DIANE’S FIRST DRESS
I was 10 when I first discovered the joy of donning a dress. It was white satin, the bodice trimmed with white feathers; it was long and strapless. The year was 1938.
Since age 5 I had many times rummaged through my older sister’s dresser drawers for ‘soft and feminine’ things to soothe my aching mind and body – I had sorely wanted to be a girl, and experiencing the feel of silk panties and slips was intoxicating.
My favorite place to play was the attic where there were two, large cedar closets. The one at the top of the stairs was for seasonal clothes like heavy jackets and my father’s WWI uniform; the other was tucked away in a far corner for clothes waiting for my younger sister and me to grow into. Since there were 10 years separating my sisters’ ages, there were only winter coats and leggings for my younger sister; feminine fashions changed constantly even ‘way back then,’ so there was little of the ‘feminine’ there for me.
For years the only feminine attire that held any interest for me in the ‘seasonal’ closet were my mother’s skirt-suits and dresses, none of which felt ‘right’ on me. My mother was very small and ultra-conservative, having come upon the planet before the turn-of-the-century. I remember the day, wet and blustery, when my best friend and I were in the attic playing. He had discovered my father’s uniform and had put it on – I never had. As he paraded around the attic he came upon the other closet and opened the door. Something shiny-white inside caught my eye, so I went in and turned on the light.
Lo-and-behold, the closet was now filled with my older sister’s evening gowns. I could hardly wait to try them on, but I was afraid at the time of what my friend might think of me. I knew that I wasn’t ‘normal.’ The following day was a schoolday, and I had nothing else on my mind for the entire day but those pretty dresses. The energy rampaging through my body was exhausting, and the run home and to the attic did little to ease the excitement. Besides the cook who was preparing the dinner, I was the only other soul in the house so I raced to the attic, went into the far closet, turned on the light, closed the door and locked it from the inside.
I had found a New World to hide in. Moments later I was naked except for my socks which protected my feet from the wooden floor.
I looked at the array of long dresses for what seemed hours but could not have been more than a minute, trying to decide which dress I would try on first. Is that a ‘feminine’ trait? I first noticed that the shiny-white dress that had caught my eye the previous day was strapless, and I took several moments wondering what it was that was going to ‘hold it up.’ I came to the conclusion that it was the breasts that would hold it up, and since I didn’t have any, I should forego that dress and try the others first.
That was a painfully disappointing moment, coming-to-terms with the fact that I did not have breasts and probably never would. To me, that dress epitomized what it would feel like to be a girl. One-by-one I stepped into or let fall over me every one of those dresses, closed the zippers as best I could – most were in back – and marveled at the luxurious feelings of femininity.
As time passed, and I knew it would soon be time to appear before my parents and the dinner table, I arranged the closet as I had found it and then stood there eyeing the one dress I had yet to put on. I knew intuitively that, if I did not satisfy a most powerful inner urge to at least step into the dress, I would never forgive myself. I unzipped the back of the dress, held it in front of me and stepped in. As I eased the dress up my body, I became very aware that it was the smoothest and most delicate of all the dresses I had put on.
I managed to get the back zipper all the way up, but I had to hold the dress up and close to my chest lest gravity pull it down to my knees. Holding the top of the dress up at the sides, I looked for a mirror to see how I looked in the dress, and how the dress looked on me, but there was no mirror; there would be the next time I came. I swished and twirled and curtsied and danced to the music in my mind, reveling in the most powerful feminine feelings I had ever experienced.
Rather than let the dress fall so that I could step out, I dutifully unzipped the back and stepped out of it, put in on its hanger and returned it to its proper place on the clothes rack. As the weeks and months passed and my body grew larger, I would periodically go to that far closet in the attic and see how that white gown would fit me. I still believed that it would be my ‘breasts’ that would hold up the dress, and I could see no way of making that come to pass short of putting on one of my sister’s bras and filling the cups with her silk stockings (nylon had yet to be invented).
But that would not be what a strapless dress was all about; it was going to take real breasts, and I promised myself that some day I would have my own. I was as yet unfamiliar with the phenomenon known as the ‘strapless’ bra; it would be more than a year before I would.
When I finally did become more familiar with bras, I would go to the attic with a ‘proper’ bra, panties, stockings and a garter belt in order to dress ‘properly.’ By the time I was 12, the dress almost fit me and the strapless bra had finally come into common use. Now the dress would stay up if I used enough padding to fill the strapless bra cups, but it felt awkward; there was something unnatural about having to use padding.
Girls my age were beginning to develop their breasts, and here I was with the prettiest dress imaginable, and I had nothing of my own to hold the dress up. I would look down at my flat chest and feel diminished. I remember about having had quite a dilemma wondering how I might be hurting myself by continuing to indulge myself by ‘dressing up,’ but you, Reader, know why I did not and could not stop.
By the time I was 14, the dress was fitting me perfectly except for what I had always believed was intended to ‘hold it up;’ the trauma of seeing the other sex blossom with what I thought was rightfully mine was excruciating. Most of all, I was now going to formal dances myself – in a tuxedo – and wanting with all my heart to wear that pretty gown hanging in that faraway closet.
Envy of the girls in their pretty gowns was near-all-consuming.
In my bed later, I would cry to vent the hurt. I was at a dance one evening when I finally came to realize what was actually holding strapless dresses ‘up.’ It was by observing girls who I knew were small-breasted that I finally understood. It is the depression of the female waste above the widened hips that ‘holds up’ the strapless dress by supporting the top from underneath. I smiled, but I really wanted to cry; I lacked not only the breasts, but the shape of the lower torso.
Once again I was reminded of what my mind said that I was, and of what my body said that I was not. It is now many years later, and that dress continues to be the most elegant and feminine article that has ever draped my body, including all the lovely nighties and undies that fill my dresser drawers and adorn my body every day.
Best of all, though, is that feeling of wholeness and completeness that I have today of being able to now hold the top of that dress up the way I had originally thought it should have been… by my very own bountiful breasts.
Thank you Transformation!