Category Archives: Shoes

A new chapter

As you may or may not know, I work on a freelance basis rather than being a permanent employee of a company, although often it is on a contract basis with just one client.

For the past 2+ years I have been having a fairly long distance daily commute to just such a client. Although it was good work, and I enjoyed working with a great team there, the commute did leave me fairly tired a lot of the time and also ate into my leisure time enormously.

Just over a month ago, they gave me a month’s notice that they wished to discontinue the arrangement, which is fine as it’s the nature of freelance work, and a flexible, dynamic working arrangement is all part of the service. More on that later.

It had been my intention to take a sabbatical after I finished there, but a week or so before my last day some new work pretty much fell on my lap. I was sought out by the owner of a small company to whom I had been recommended by two people independently – both former colleagues – and the owner of the company was keen to discuss how I could help them.

A meeting was arranged, discussions were had, and we established that I had exactly the skills and experience that they needed, including some business knowledge in their area, and was ideally placed to be able to help them. Furthermore, I pointed out that as a freelancer I represented a much lower financial risk and commitment compared to taking on an employee, especially as their requirements were for short-term assistance. Also discussed was the fact that their company does not have offices as such, and operates on a distributed basis, so I would be working from home with occasional meetings. And, even better, they are based quite near to me geographically so even the meetings would not be a huge problem for me.

The owner of the company is a trans woman and is also a campaigner for transgender issues, and since one of the people who recommended me had mentioned that I am genderfluid, I raised the subject of perhaps presenting as female for future meetings. She said she was more than happy for me to do this and that I could present however I felt comfortable, even if that might change from day-to-day. As you may recall from a previous post, this is a big departure for me as I have up until now presented exclusively as male professionally (although I confess that towards the end of my time with my previous client, I was mixing it up and wearing nail varnish to work every day).

We had a Perfect Storm, as far as I was concerned. Or, given that ‘Perfect Storm’ usually has negative connotations, I suppose I should say “a synergy of forces leading to a release of energy much greater than any of its individual contributors”, but that sounds incredibly wanky, so I will stick to ‘Perfect Storm’. But I digress. My point is that the timing was right, the location was right, my skills and experience couldn’t really have been a better match, and after some negotiation an agreement was reached for me to work with them for 4.5 days a week at a fee that was acceptable to both.

They were keen for me to commence sooner rather than later, so it ended up that I only had a week off between finishing with my previous client and starting with them.

Butterfly cowl dress by Purplish

Butterfly cowl dress by Purplish Fashion

So on Monday this week, I turned up for our 10am kick-off meeting in girl mode. I chose a nice Butterfly cowl dress by Purplish Fashion and my favourite black DUO boots, and wore my short wig as I thought that I might get less ‘hot & bothered’ with it. The owner and I signed the contracts, and then we were joined by two other members of staff and we got down to business, thrashing out technical details and talking about where I could contribute. Later, we all went out for lunch at a nearby pub, which was a good opportunity to get to know each other a little more, and then resumed before finishing mid-afternoon to go back to our respective home offices, having first spent time making sure my laptop was all set up to access their systems and that it all worked.

The next day was an all-hands meeting in the afternoon starting at 2pm, which gave me a great opportunity to meet everyone. It was also good to learn more about what the company did, and to see their roadmap for the immediate future as this gave me an idea of how what I would be working on fit into the bigger picture. Everyone accepted my chosen gender, and used feminine pronouns throughout, and never once got it wrong. Then from 5.30pm onwards it became a social. I felt so natural in girl mode, and much more at ease socially, and found it easy to chat to everyone which is not something I find so easy in guy mode. I also found I ended up talking to the other ladies rather than hovering on the edges of a group of guys, and felt a lot more comfortable with that and also very accepted.

'Marie' dress by Crew Clothing

‘Marie’ dress by Crew Clothing

For this meeting I wore a favourite dress by Crew Clothing which you will have read about before in a previous post.

I left around 7pm, then popped in to Maplin on the way home to pick up a “Collect In Store” purchase I had made a few days previously.

I’d ordered the item in a gender-neutral name, but unfortunately the billing details were in my guy name, and the assistant asked me if I could sign for it and what my relationship was to the purchaser. So I simply said “Actually, I am that person; I’m just presenting as female today” and he apologised and said that he would absolutely never have known and it never even occurred to him. Awesome – I’ll take that as a compliment thanks. 🙂

On the way home from there, I decided that I needed some more tights, some new undies, and some shoes. So I called into a big out-of-town Marks & Spencer’s near me. I was delighted to find that M&S now go up to a size 8 – in the past they only went up to 7½ – and this gave me a lot more choice.

Shoes by M&S

Shoes by M&S

Eventually I settled on some cute sling back shoes with a snake-skin effect block heel. And as a nice bonus, I qualified for a free pair of flip-flops too. Yay!

I also picked up a pack of tights and two 5-packs of the cutest cotton bikini briefs, but I draw the line at posting pictures of those. 🙂

Today (Wednesday) I was working from my home office and put in a really solid day’s work, took a little break every hour as prompted to by my Fitbit Alta, and walked the suggested 250+ steps each hour by using my treadmill in the next room. If anything, I think my life may actually become less sedentary due to the treadmill.

Right now I am feeling really happy and content. It’s a real change for me, especially presenting as female professionally, but I really couldn’t have asked for a safer and more accepting environment in which to do it.


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Ruby Shoo

Recently, one of my colleagues wore the most GORGEOUS pairs of shoes to work. They were a pair of either black or dark Navy court shoes in a Mary Jane style, in material / fabric, with an ankle strap and a bow on the ankle, in a kind of vintage retro style.

Piper by Ruby Shoo

Click to enlarge

Initially I didn’t think it would be appropriate for me to talk to her about them in guy mode, but as luck would have it I bumped into her in the canteen mid-morning whilst we were both waiting to be served, and it was nice and quiet with nobody else in earshot, so I simply blurted out “OMG I love your shoes so much” and fortunately she was brilliantly positive and shot back “I know! Aren’t they fab!”. She wasn’t at all fazed by me wanting to chat about them, nor by me asking what make they were and where she bought them.

Turns out that they are by Ruby Shoo, who I must confess I have not heard of before, but from looking at their website I can see that they specialise in quirky fun shoes with a hint of vintage about them, and that is definitely my style.

When I had a moment, I started google image searching for “Ruby Shoe” (since that is what I had misheard) along with various attributes of the shoes my colleague was wearing, and I very quickly homed in on Piper in black by Ruby Shoo. It had to be the black because hers were plain with a floral bow, whilst the Navy blue version is polka dots all over. I surreptitiously checked her shoes a few times as I saw her around during the day to make sure I had correctly identified them, and I am absolutely sure I have.

Piper by Ruby Shoo

Click to enlarge

I’m a UK 8 for shoes, and initially was gutted to see that on Amazon they only go up to 6. But then I went onto the Ruby Shoo website direct and saw they actually go up to size 9 (unusually). Size 8 was out of stock but they did have a size 9, so I took a chance on that and ordered since they were the same price as on Amazon. Even better, I got a 15% discount for signing up to their newsletter so got them for £37.50 including postage. That seemed quite reasonable to me.

Piper by Ruby Shoo

Click to enlarge

The very next day I got an email and text to say that the shoes had been despatched and would be delivered the day after and they indeed were.

They’re gorgeous and I love them, but unfortunately they are way too big and I really do need a size 8. Currently I am waiting for a reply from Customer Services as to when (or if) they will have size 8 back in stock and if I can exchange. I so hope they are not permanently sold out or I will be so upset!




Ruby Shoo responded to my email (and also posted a nice reply to my Facebook post) saying that Piper has been an extremely popular choice this season and subsequently has completely sold out in size 8 and that they are not expecting any more stock of this style and colour. However, they did identify a stockist for me who did still have stock; a company called My Vintage. I went to their website and found that they did, but that they wanted £40 + £4.95 postage for them, which seemed excessive to me. I sent them a polite message asking if they would give me a discount code and received a prompt reply saying that they would not. However, I then found another stockist called Scorpio Shoes who not only had stock, but had free delivery, and even better had them in a sale, and they were reduced to £31.20! So I’m over the moon about this, as you can imagine.
I just need to return the size 9 to Ruby Shoo for a refund and keep my fingers crossed on the size 8.

The size 8 from Scorpio Shoes arrived today (actually yesterday, but I wasn’t able to pick them up until today). They fit absolutely perfectly and I love them!
I also received the refund from Ruby Shoo direct. I was a little disappointed that the refund was less postage, however they only deducted the price of postage in one direction rather than both directions, so that’s something.


Posted by on 21st October 2015 in Clothes, Diary, Shoes

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