GRABBING THE RING!
PAUL'S (AMY'S) STORIES
Warning to those who care: Contains sexually explicit material!
I have always been fascinated with hoop skirts, petticoats, and crinolines ever since I can remember. Like most of your readers, I did and still do enjoy anything where I can catch sight of a voluminous dress supported by any of the above three-mentioned foundations. I am going to submit my first experience in a crinoline and then my second experience, which I feel is more profound. So, here I go!
I was in my early years in high school and the youth group I was a part of was planning a Halloween event. I figured this was my chance to actually wear a hoopskirt, crinoline, or petticoat(s), so I set out to create a costume. I went to my grandma's house to go though some of her old clothes and the clothes of my aunts and mother. In my search, I found a navy blue taffeta cirlcle skirt and a white shirt with a peter pan collar. Luckily, both items fit and I was off to my next destination: my other grandma's house. There, I found an old crinoline slip of one layer bunched into the bottom of a trunk, a white cardigan sweater, a well preserved hat with the nylon netting still intact, a fifties style handbag, and yet another skirt that sparked my interest, which I also took. A few days later, I acquired a wig and shoes to match and now all I had to do was put the outfit together. I decided to stick to the navy blue skirt, but was disappointed that the single crinoline slip did not provide the amount of fullness that I wanted. It was then that I got a brilliant idea. I went to a store and bought two witch's hats. I had discovered that the wire in the brim of the hats was very flexible and knew that I could put that to good use. I took the wire out of the hats, connected them together and fished them through the hem of the second skirt I found. Then, I put the crinoline slip over my new "hoop skirt" and then the navy blue skirt over that. Success!!! By some fortune, all three of the items worked together and created the look I adored. I finished dressing and was pleased with the results. Now please remember, that I was only about 14 or 15 at the time, so I made no attempt to apply makeup to further the illusion. I was content with what I had done and was the hit of the party for my "sense of humor". Little did they know that, deep down inside, I was secretly wishing that I could stay in my hoop/crinoline ensemble forever!!
My second time is, for me, of more importance. I think you will understand why after reading my story.
I was now 22 years old and 7 to 8 years had passed since my first time in a crinoline and hoop. I did, however, keep that costume tucked away for safekeeping, even though I had outgrown the blue skirt in the waist. I just couldn't part with it. By now I had moved out on my own and was living my life as an out gay man with a close knit group of friends. Again, it was Halloween that gave me the opportunity to slip into a little frou frou. I decided to go as a fifties girl again, but this time I wanted to look as authentic as possible, unlike my previous costume of years ago. I spent an entire month going from vintage clothing stores to thrift stores and back again, slowly piecing my creation together. When all was said and done, I had amassed a grey cotton/wool circle skirt, a white polo type shirt, a light pink jacket, light pink socks, black slip-on flat heeled shoes, a grey scarf to tie around my neck,a pair of cateye glasses, a fabulous wig styled in the fifties bob, and seven crinolines!!! Three of the crinolines were authentic 1950's creations that I found in perfect condition and bought them from an unknowing store clerk for only $2.00 each!!!! What a bargain!! To finish off the look, I bought a poodle applique and sewed it on the skirt and made a leash out cording, that I also attached. The night of the party came, and my excitement was overflowing. My friends helped me with my makeup, and then I got dressed. Altogether, the whole process took about an hour, but the transformation was stunning. My male self melted away and my alter ego of Amy took over. You can imagine what it was like for me to spend the whole night swishing around the party, with my seven layers of crinolines rustling at every step. The feeling was undescribable! After the party, I changed back into myself, like Cinderella after the ball. However, I was careless, for when I took off my costume, I neatly folded certain articles, but left the crinolines in the corner of my closet, where, in the middle of the night, my two dogs proceeded to rip apart all but 2 of my 7 precious crinolines; and yes, the three original 1950's bargain buys were among the fatalities. The next morning, I was in tears. My dream outfit had become a nightmare. I was very depressed after that took place, but I have picked up the pieces and am already in the process of creating another creation for this coming Halloween in which I can again feel the sway and hear the swish of crinolines.
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