Hello from a new member

If you're new to the Cafe, please grab a seat by the potted palm, settle down with a nice big latte, and tell us a little bit about yourself. Please also look here for forum principles and rules.
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TheEngineer
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Hello from a new member

Post by TheEngineer »

Hello from a new member

Hello folks, I have just joined and I'm now standing in the lobby marvelling at the potted palm and deciding what sort of coffee I'll grab. I am in the UK, in Oxfordshire, and joined this forum because, having read a large number of posts, I instantly felt at home here. I was immediately impressed by the way members feel free to talk about the things that are important relating to their clothing choices, but also the spirit of helpfulness and support. These values are important to me.

So who is this fella? I am a man first and foremost and behave and present as one and do "manly" stuff in my home workshop and active stuff elsewhere. My clothing choices often reflect what I am up to on each day, whether sturdy working clothes, or something to go out in, or just to be comfortable in an evening on the sofa. I have always been fascinated by some "female" clothes, often wishing that society would accept their wearing by men. I regularly buy clothes from "the other side of the store" when they work for me as a man and very often find thry actually fit me better than the men's equivalent ("fashion" designers please take note). In part this is because I have become totally bored with mens' high-street fashions... dull, unimaginative and gender-normative.

So... about skirts.....since this is why we are here.... yes please. My journey into skirts is really only just beginning and I am full of questions. I have been looking for a while for something that works for me, and tried quite a few. The charity shops are doing quite well by me. It's been an interesting journey so far. Some skirts I have tried have not worked well, a very small number might become favourites. I tried kilts but not being remotely Scottish the tartan kilt with miles of fabric did not feel right. However I did discover the utility kilt and love them. Comfy and practical. I found many limitations in some skirt designs. For an active male I found the hem circumference one of the biggest limitations when, for example, stepping over a log and the hem goes tight, not good and looks ugly or plain daft. I like freedom at the hemline so the skirt does not inhibit mobility and I am currently enjoying pleated designs.

The skirt has to work as part of my outfit of course and would need to work with the shirts and tops I would normally wear with jeans or shorts. Visible legs is an interesting topic in it own right, so inevitably legwear and footwear enter the equation. I am aware that they (and "underthings") are sort of off-topic here as a subject on their own, however I do believe they are very influential in the overall success of an outfit and the confidence and comfort of the wearer.
Having had limited success finding "off the shelf" skirts that work for me, and not being an accomplished seamster, I would consider commissioning a custom design that would work better for me.

So enough waffle from me, I look forward to interesting chats and swapping ideas with you folks. Look out for posts of specific topics from me. Best wishes from The Engineer.
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denimini
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Re: Hello from a new member

Post by denimini »

Welcome to the cafe. Reading your intro, I am sure you will get on very well here, settling in next to the Aspidistra.
Yes, charity shops are a good start to experiment. Also it is worth having a look at eBay and perhaps creating a targeted search once you know the type of skirts you like. I did an initial search using picclick becasue you can quickly browse 100's of skirts, then subsequent searches I do sorted by recently listed so that I am not browsing the same ones again, also removes a lot of cheap new stuff as they are long term listings.
Good idea to ask for measurements if they are not supplied, unless you know the brand fit well.
https://picclick.co.uk/Clothes-Shoes-Ac ... ng/Skirts/
Anthony, a denim miniskirt wearer in Outback Australia
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TheEngineer
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Re: Hello from a new member

Post by TheEngineer »

Hello denimini, thank you for your welcoming reply and the tips you gave. I have already tried some of those methods with varying success. Ebay is a regular haunt, including Ebay USA though USA shipping costs can be an obstacle. Amazon and Shein also work sometimes as do online UK stores. I find sizing variability the biggest cause of disappointment, but getting to know the brand certainly helps as you said. The charity shops do well by me because they usually get my cast-offs, but I have not yet plucked up the courage to go shopping for skirts in one. Maybe its a "just do it" thing :-) Now where did I put that latte.... ahh there it is.....slurpppp.
pelmut
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Re: Hello from a new member

Post by pelmut »

TheEngineer wrote:
Tue Oct 19, 2021 11:20 am
... The charity shops are doing quite well by me.
Car boot sales are a good source of bargains.  The clothes aren't usually arranged conveniently by size and some are missing their labels entirely, but they are cheap enough to allow you to try out new ideas or dressmaking alterations without worrying about the cost of making mistakes.

Most of them are closing down now for the Winter, but give them a try when they start up again in Spring.
There is no such thing as a normal person, only someone you don't know very well yet.
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Sinned
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Re: Hello from a new member

Post by Sinned »

Welcome TE and you will find so much help and support here. We don't know everything so we can learn from your experiences as well. When considering the Chinese and far east suppliers you have to be aware that the Asian inch is 10% shorter that the western inch. The sizing of female garments, skirts included, is the most inconsistent measuring system on the planet. Buy men's trousers and you'll get 36/32in meaning 36 inch waist with 32 inch leg length. Buy a size 16 skirt, which should fit a 36 inch waist and you take pot luck that it will. I have skirts from size 12 to 198 that fit my 36 inch waist. Go figure.
I believe in offering every assistance short of actual help but then mainly just want to be left to be myself in all my difference and uniqueness.
Faldaguy
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Re: Hello from a new member

Post by Faldaguy »

by TheEngineer » Tue Oct 19, 2021 8:30 am

The charity shops do well by me because they usually get my cast-offs, but I have not yet plucked up the courage to go shopping for skirts in one. Maybe its a "just do it" thing :-)
Emphasis added:
Yes, indeed it is just a do it a thing! I've noted your concerns about sizing and suspect that perhaps your reluctance to be obvious is about to cost you a small fortune without concurrent benefits.

There is simply no easier way to explore styles, sizes, fit, fabrics, and the multitude of factors that will ultimately help you gain a good handle on what works for you than the variety and low cost of charity shops. External ordering of any kind will incur time, delays, costs and fewer things to really 'test' where it counts -- on your bod in front of the mirror and in the street.

If you aren't yet comfortable 'buying skirts for yourself' you can 'pretend' to be shopping for a spouse, a niece, special event, or party gag -- whatever if it takes to make you more at ease. Personally, I find it easier to do my shopping "on the other side of the aisle" while skirted -- it makes it clear it is for me, I often get more offers of help or kind words than the days when I still wore pants at times to shop. You can buy a bundle of stuff -- ones you think will work, some you hope might work, a few that..... anyway, a grand bag full of skirts for very little cost, and they may even have a return policy. (In the US Goodwill type stores during Covid the dressing rooms are closed -- take what you want home -- if you don't like it, just bring it back with the tag still on for a full chain-wide store credit.

I know those first ventures out are a challenge, but the joy follows quickly! Read through more of the posting on this site and you will get a pretty uniform picture: 'People don't care what you wear'. "Own it" and act as you always do...nothin to it! :D Pura Vida

Welcome aboard from Ticolandia, (Costa Rica) albeit momentarily in Duckland (Oregon)
Last edited by denimini on Thu Oct 21, 2021 5:15 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Fixed quote formatting
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denimini
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Re: Hello from a new member

Post by denimini »

Faldaguy wrote:
Thu Oct 21, 2021 5:06 am
Personally, I find it easier to do my shopping "on the other side of the aisle" while skirted -- it makes it clear it is for me, I often get more offers of help or kind words than the days when I still wore pants at times to shop.
Yes, I find that works well, it makes it obvious why you are looking through a rack of skirts and avoids well meaning misunderstandings at the checkout;
"For the wife?"
"Someone is going to be happy, that is such a lovely skirt". (I didn't reply and just smiled thinking yes I will be happy)
"That is so cute" (I didn't reply but smiled, nodding in agreement)

Even wearing a skirt, sometimes the person at the checkout says:
"Your wife will be very happy with this?"
and I stand back from the counter and say "It is actually for me, I wear skirts"
That way it removes any suspicion of it being something creepy when you say it is for yourself.

The other advantage of shopping skirted is that you can get a lot more assistance. One charity shop I walked into, I could not see any skirts and a guy came up and said "Are you looking for something?" and I replied "Yes, I am looking for a skirt like this one", pointing to the skirt I was wearing. I was treated like royalty ........ no, not the Queen .......... perhaps a KIng, and they ended up giving me one of the skirts I selected because the zip was a bit faulty.
Anthony, a denim miniskirt wearer in Outback Australia
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denimini
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Re: Hello from a new member

Post by denimini »

TheEngineer wrote:
Tue Oct 19, 2021 11:20 am
For an active male I found the hem circumference one of the biggest limitations when, for example, stepping over a log and the hem goes tight, not good and looks ugly or plain daft. I like freedom at the hemline so the skirt does not inhibit mobility and I am currently enjoying pleated designs.
That is one of my biggest bugbears with skirts. It does not happen often because I wear mini skirts but even a 14" length skirt can cause a problem if the hem is too tight. I have sort of worked out a minimum hem size for each length or I select materials with a bit of stretch, which work well for windy days. Skirts with pleats give great freedom of movement and offer plenty of drape for sitting. My favourite style is a skirt with short pleats, flare or ruffle at the hem, which offer freedom of movement yet limiting uplift on a windy day.
Anthony, a denim miniskirt wearer in Outback Australia
rode_kater
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Re: Hello from a new member

Post by rode_kater »

W.r.t. buying in charity shops, I started by going in as soon as they had opened on a Monday or Tuesday which meant there were almost no customers. It takes a lot more balls to rifle through the skirts when there are two other ladies doing the same :)
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TheEngineer
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Re: Hello from a new member

Post by TheEngineer »

Hello rode-kater, that's a useful tip, thank you, I might try that. And I agree with your summary of the courage it requires :-) Nice one !!
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TheEngineer
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Re: Hello from a new member

Post by TheEngineer »

Thank you denimini, that's good advice. I have a corduroy skirt with short pleats that fits that description and it works very well. And your advice on shopping in charity shops is much valued. Who'dathoghtit? :-)
jamodu
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Re: Hello from a new member

Post by jamodu »

M&S frequently have Sales; which is good time to order online so that you can try on different items in the comfort of your own home. Order online, with free pick up at your local store. If you don’t like it, or it’s the wrong size, you can return it free of charge.
New-in-Skirts
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Re: Hello from a new member

Post by New-in-Skirts »

Welcome to the family TE from across the pond. Central Illinois to be exact. I hope you enjoy your time picking up new ideas and sharing some of yours.
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