When I was 14, my brother and I spent the summer with an aunt and uncle in northern Ontario. My aunt was a very proper, but kind and warm woman, who was always properly attired in dresses and aprons. This is when I say that, on one particular day, while my brother accompanied my uncle on a journey to Ottawa, and while my aunt was grocery shopping, I decided to explore the upstairs closets, dressers, cabinets, and loft. I soon discovered that my aunt was a clothing packrat and apparently saved every stitch of clothing that she, my uncle, and a series of grandparents and spinster great aunts, ever wore. One closet contained an array of dresses and gowns from the 30's through to the 50's. Keep in mind that this was a six bedroom Victorian in a small village.

Perhaps it was the musty aromas mingling with the pungent smell of aging cedar, or the rustling of silks and taffeta; I was suddenly overcome with the tingling desire to slip into one of the 1950's numbers. This particular dress was constructed of green taffeta and a black satin collar and bow/bustle. When I took it off of the hanger, it literally sent a chill down my spine. I was a tall teenager, slightly muscular, but slim. I positioned the dress in front of myself, as if I were wearing it, and sashayed in front of one of those tilting boudoir mirrors; this all transpired in an uninhabited guest room with a large walk-in, cedar-lined closet. The moment arrived when I crossed the line and just had to try the dress on; it almost beckoned me.

I was aware enough, having had parents who considered themselves 1950's fashion hounds, that a dress such as this, could not be carried off without suitable accompanying foundation garments and lingerie; my quest continued. As I searched dresser drawers and closets, I felt my heart pulsating and a warmth surge through my body which I had never felt before. I'm certain that these feelings were compounded by the fear of being caught in the act by my aunt. Eventually, I came upon some female relatives' undergarments, reminiscent of an era of ultra-femininity and grace. Briefly (no pun intended), I squirmed into a black all-in-one, boned, body-hugging girdle sort of thing, and applied a pair of white stockings which I found in one of my aunt's dresser drawers. Though overkill and keeping in mind that this was a first time experience, I couldn't resist a satiny Van Raalte half slip that my aunt seemed to favour, so I stepped into it. I still remember the wave of warmth and dread that I experienced, standing in that quiet bedroom, sliding a slinky slip over the stockings and the slippery boned girdle until it came to rest around my now slightly reduced waist.

During my hunt, I had discovered two crinolines or petticoats which had been left over from the fifties; they were probably designed more for formal occasions than daywear and they would fulfill my purpose beyond my wildest fantasies. The first was a multi-layered net construction crinoline, four outer layers, and an inner layer of black taffeta; I tucked in the half slip as I pulled it up over my hips and positioned the crinoline with the bow facing out front. The second crinoline actually looked more like a fancy petticoat which dancehall girls wore in films that I remembered seeing. It, too, was mid-calf length, but had a lot more pouf to it, comprising three layers of organza and taffeta. The outer layer was bright pink and black and was adorned with pink bows (where my aunt ever wore such a creation, living out in the middle of nowhere is still a mystery). It felt like hours as I carefully stuffed the first crinoline inside the second one, trying to inch the waistband up and into position. I must have been meticulous in this first experience, or perhaps it was just a firstborn overkill sort of thing, but a longline corset/bustier sort of thing also had caught my attention and I postioned it around myself, fumbling with hooks and eyes and then that steel zipper. The bustier flattened out all of the waistbands that were accumulating aroung my waist. Several key events occurred during that time: the compression of that antique corset caused shallower and more rapid breathing that totally sent me, and I then felt as though I had actually transcended into a totally feminine experience, now being totally enveloped in lingerie. I quickly stuffed the cups of the outer corset with tissue, producing a curvy illusion and turned around to gaze at that gorgeous taffeta dress, spread across the bed in front of me.

At that point I almost turned back, but I was overcome with a sense of excitement which I had never before experienced. I positioned the dress over my head and attempted to slip it over my arms and shoulders; the sensation of the taffeta against the nylon of the corset was almost orgasmic. This ordeal lasted about 5 minutes because I didn't want to rip the dress. When I finally positioned the dress over the petticoats (it had a V bodice), I barely managed to get the side zip all the way up. My experience began to culminate with the squeezing of my young man's feet into a pair of mules with high heels. I remember feeling short of breath and looking into that full-length mirror; it's almost as though I was entrapped or cocooned in taffeta and lingerie. Many things stand out from this whirlwing experience; the overwhelming sound of rustling lingerie brushing against the taffeta of my gown; my feminine curves, surrounded by womanly fabrics, staring back at me from the mirror; the constraint of both foundation garments, ultimately enabling me to squeeze into the dress and providing me with the temporary physical changes to carry off the illusion.

The bubble almost popped when I heard a screen door open from somewhere downstairs, and my aunt's footsteps coming up the stairwell. Being only 14, I remember thinking that my aunt might also enjoy my first time escapade; she didn't burst my bubble. My aunt pushed open the half opened bedroom door and stated, "You look lovely but you'll need a wig," and then, "If you have any of my things on, just put them in the clothes hamper so that I'll have something clean to wear."

Could she have know somehow that under the mound of petticoats lay her lace-embellished half slip? Before I changed, I twirled some more, curtseyed, and practiced sitting on two types of chairs and the bed; crossing my legs was somewhat challenging, being imprisoned beneath all of that lingerie. I often regret not having rescued the garments contained in those upper rooms before my aunt and uncle sold the house and moved to an apartment. My aunt and I have never spoke about my first and ultimate transformation, but I will never forget those two hours of entrapment in boning, nylon, lace, satin, and taffeta.



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