17 September 2010

Packing girly stuff to travel

After my recent blog post about travelling with family, I stopped and thought about the practicality of what I'd like to do and realised that I haven't even considered how I would pack everything that I would need to go out en femme while away from home.

I've done this only once ever before, when I went to the Seahorse Ball back in 2001. On that occasion, both my wife and I wore wigs and I don't remember how we organised them. We probably left them on foam heads and covered them with satin while travelling to avoid messing them up. I'm not sure if that would work amongst all of the other luggage that we'd have in the car, and even though I've looked around for years, I've never found a suitable box to convert into a wig box, like RuPaul's converted drum case.

For now, rather than concentrating on whether I'm going to go out en femme while I'm away, I think I'll start by trying to figure out how to pack all of the things that I would need. Clothing including shoes and undergarments are obviously fairly straight forward (aside from deciding which ones to take!), I have a cosmetics case that should be right for all of my makeup, cleansers, moisturisers, etc. My breast forms and adhesive bra are in packaging that would probably be okay if correctly packed into a suitcase amongst the clothes.

This leaves just 2 things to sort out properly, my wig and hip and buttock padding. Both could be packed into a suitcase, but the wig would need extra effort to prepare before I could wear it and the padding could be damaged, as I have discovered the hard way in the past.

Packing a wig in a bag with some padding inside the cap to prevent it from folding and damaging the skin top, and taking a travel wig stand would certainly be the most space efficient way, but the wig may get creases in the fibres that take time hanging on a stand to disappear, and the travel stand is nowhere nearly as good as a foam head for brushing the wig, which is going to be needed after unpacking and after wearing.

The sponge foam that I use to make hip and buttock padding is the sort of stuff used in furniture such as lounges. It's easy to shape but is also quite easily damaged. Just getting it on and off several dozen times will see some little bits being torn out of the edges, making them wavy. Years ago, when I needed to transport some padding, I rolled it up tightly and rolled a trouser sock over it to keep it rolled up. I only did that a few times, as the tight rolling rubbed and damaged the surfaces inside and out and getting the sock on and off did even more damage. Ruling out rolling up leaves a couple of options. Either way, I'm thinking about putting the padding into some satin pyjama pants first. If a suitcase was big enough, I could put one end of the padding in, pack clothes on top then fold the other end over the pile.

The other option for the padding is to buy or make a round case suitable for fixing a wig head into the middle, then placing the padding around the inside of the perimeter of the box. To fit one of my normal length wigs, the box would need to be about 60cm tall and 30cm diameter. Ideally, it should have the top and sides as one piece that attaches somehow to the base. I guess I'll have to start looking at how I'm going to make it because I don't see myself finding something like that pre-made!

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