The Clearout

To raise some funds to buy even more clothes, I've decided to sell the old, outgrown and out of fashion things I have on FleaBay. Mum said it was OK so long as I ask before I put anything up for auction, so I began sorting through my clothes, deciding what I wanted to keep and what I might sell. Mum wouldn't let me sell a few items that I really wanted to get rid of, but for the most part, she was happy. Now the work begins. Not only do I have to photograph every item, I have to create the listings and write the descriptions, and getting this right will determine if something sells or not. I'd done a lot of reading about successful FleaBay selling and according to the interweb, clothes sell better if they're photographed being worn rather than on a hanger or laid flat. The more images the better, so front, side, back, close-up details and the label should be included. I modelled the first batch and Mum took the photographs... but they were all a bit crappy. If they weren't blurred they were wonky, which means I’d have to spend ages straightening and cropping the images on my laptop. Mum blamed the camera and I blamed her, before asking my brother to help. His photos looked OK on the small camera screen, but “Oh Peter you're as bad as Mum.” I whined as I looked at them on my large laptop screen. “Can't you hold the camera still for one millisecond?!”

“I was.” he claimed, before blaming the camera.

I picked up the camera, told him to stand where I'd been standing and took a couple of pictures of him. Then I viewed them on the large laptop screen and showed him the difference between my 'steady' photographs and his shaky ones. We started again and whilst some of his pictures were perfectly sharp, too many weren't. “This is going to take forever.” I sighed.

“Sorry, sis... I'm trying my best.” Peter claimed. “Why don't you put the camera on your dresser and use the timer?”

“Because that'd take forever... I'd be waiting 30 seconds for each picture.”

“Yeah, true.” he sighed. “Well... I wish I could help but, if I can't take a decent photograph there's not much I can do.” He began to make his exit.


“Actually Peter... you could still help.” I said. I briefly explained how, but he flat refused. “Oh go on... your head won't be on the photographs so no one would know who's modelling them.” I pleaded.

“Well... your head's on the pictures I took.”

“Yeah but I'd have cropped it off if I was going to use them... I don't want pictures of me on FleaBay either... pleeeeaaassseee?” I pestered. “I'll pay you.”

“How much?”

“Er... ten percent of whatever sells.”

“Fifteen.” he retorted.

“Deal.” I said. Little did he know that I'd have been willing to give him twenty or thirty percent, but if he's happy with fifteen, then I'm over the moon.

Peter cast his eyes over the huge collection of cast off's that I'd arranged either in orderly piles or hung on a rail; skirts, tops, frocks, jeans, jumpers, jackets, jeggings, leggings and shoes... lots and lots of shoes. “How long do you reckon this is going to take?” he asked.

“Well...” I began. Having a rough idea of how many items there are, multiplied by a couple of minutes to change into the next item. “About three or four hours I guess.” I said.

Peter seemed relieved at that. “I was thinking three or four days looking at this lot.” he replied. “It'd be quicker if I wear say jeans and a top then you'd get two pictures for the price of one.”

“Ooh that's a good idea.” I exclaimed. “I'm sure some of the shoes would fit you so we could get three for the price of one.”

“Surely they'd be better photographed on their own.” Peter reckoned.

“Yeah maybe.” I agreed. “So...” I began after a short silence. “...where do you wanna start? Jeans dresses or skirts?” I asked.

“Jeans I guess.”

“Saving the best 'til last?” I jested.

“Putting the worst off for as long as possible.” he claimed. “How much do you reckon you'll get for all of these anyway?” he asked.

I shrugged and said I wasn't sure. “There's around one-hundred and twenty items and the starting bid will be one pound, so if everything sells it'll be at least £120... which means you'll get at least £18.” I explained. “Not bad for a few hours' work.” I added.

“Yeah I guess.” he half-heartedly replied as once again, his eyes meandered over the selection of clothes. “You're not allowed to tell anyone though.” he gulped.

The fear he felt was evident in both his tone and his expression. I raised my hand and held a crooked little finger aloft. “Pinkie promise.” I said. Peter hooked his little finger around mine and the deal was done, just as our mother entered and catching us making the promise, she asked what we were doing. “Peter's going to model my clothes and I'm going to take the photographs.” I informed her.

“Emma!” he yelped.

“Mum doesn't count.” I claimed. Mum asked if he'd just be modelling the T shirts, jumpers and jeans, or if I planned on him modelling the skirts and dresses too. “Everything that fits.” I replied as my brother audibly gulped. “Don't look so nervous Pete... they're only clothes.” I said, casting him a supportive smile.

“You'll have to wear a bra.” Mum stated. “The dresses and tops won't look right on a flat chest.”

“I hadn't thought of that.” I said.

“And you'll have to wear some tights to hide your hairy legs.” Mum added.

I had thought of that. Mum went on to suggest that he'll need some make-up too... and that something could be done with his short boyish hair. Peter's eyes widened, just as his jaw began to drop a little. “We'll be cropping the pictures so his head won't be on them.” I informed her, much to my brother's relief.

“Fair enough.” Mum replied. “What about leggings and tight jeans?” she asked. “Will he be modelling those?”

“Yeah.” I shrugged. “Why?” I asked. In a patronising tone, Mum reminded me that boys have a bulge that girls don't have and items such as leggings, spray-on jeans, tight skirts and body-con dresses will reveal said bulge. “I hadn't thought of that.” I frowned, before suggesting that I'll have to model those items instead.

“I was thinking more along the lines of a girdle.” Mum replied. “...or magic knickers.” she added. “They should flatten him out.”

“I don't like the sound of this.” Peter said. “You are joking right?”

Personally, I wasn't sure. Mum said that if a job's worth doing, then it's worth doing well. “No one will know what you're wearing underneath, and you don't want it to be too obvious that the model's really a boy.” Mum told us.

“Well... I guess it's up to you Pete.” I said. He frowned and gulped and frowned some more. “What if I offered you twenty percent?” I suggested.

“OK.” he hesitantly replied. “But please, don't tell anyone.” he insisted. Mum left us alone and I grabbed the first pair of jeans, before selecting a top. “Surely any top will do.” Peter said as I took my time choosing something.

“Well it's got to 'go'.” I said. Peter sighed impatiently. “I want the pictures to look good... which means any old top won't do.” I added before finding the top I'd been looking for. “Here it is.” I said as held it for him to see. “I used to wear it all the time with those jeans.”

Mum returned and my poor brother seemed like he wanted the world to open up and swallow him whole. She'd dug out an old beige girdle, a pair of big black control knickers and an unopened pair of 'magic' knickers, which are best described as tiny elastic shorts. Of the three, Peter found the 'magic' knickers most preferable, but none were very appealing, not even to me. “I dread the day when I need shapewear.” I said as I cast my scornful eyes over the bland beige girdle and formidable control pants.

“It's not very attractive.” Mum said, “But when you need it, you'll be glad it exists.” she claimed before turning to my brother. “Have you got a bra?”

“I think you'd know if I did Mum.” Peter bluntly replied.

“I was asking Emma.” Mum dryly stated.

I began rummaging through my underwear drawer, looking for an old one. Peter requested 'not a lacy one'. “Don't worry... I'm not gonna let you wear one of my nice ones.” I dryly replied. “Here.” I said, finding a seldom worn sports bra.

“Thanks.” Peter frowned. He took the items to his room and Mum and I just looked at each other for couple of seconds, before bursting into a highly contained snigger.

“I can't believe he's actually going to do it.” I grinned. “I was only joking when I asked him.” I claimed.

“So was I.” Mum chuckled. “Maybe he's just pretending that he doesn't want to?”

“Or maybe he's only doing it because I offered to give him a cut of my earnings.”

“Hmm... true.” Mum asked. “How much do you think you'll get?”

“If everything sells for the one pound starting bid, about a hundred and twenty quid... plus whatever I make from the postage charge... if people start bidding then who knows?” I replied.

“Providing it sells.” Mum stated.

“Well, yeah.... for all I know, no one wants any of this lot.”

“And there is an awful lot of it.” Mum added.

We cast our eyes over the clothes hanging on the rail, the piles and bundles and the orderly selection of shoes. “Do you know what size he is?” I asked.

“Shoe size?” Mum asked. I nodded. “Five or six.” she replied, before asking if I was going to have him model those too.

“The pictures will look better if he's got shoes on.” I replied.

“Well... I can't wait to see the photographs.” she smiled before stepping toward the door.

“Aren't you going to stay and watch?”

“No... I'll leave you two to it.” she replied before leaving. I fiddled with my camera and made sure the area he'd be standing in was free of clutter, then chose the next combination of jeans and top.

Peter returned a few minutes later. His cheeks looked flushed but it was his chest that drew my gaze. “I'm beginning to wish I'd never agreed to this.” he said, before telling me that Mum's just been in his room making a big fuss, adjusting the bra straps for him and showing him how to convincingly stuff it with a couple of socks and suggesting he should really wear some make-up too. He sighed. “I told her that my head would be cropped off the pictures but she was like... well if you wore some make-up you wouldn't need to crop your head off.” he said, mimicking our mother's voice.

“So... are you or aren't you?” I asked. “I'd crop your head off either way but...”

“But what?”

“I think Mum's looking forward to seeing the pictures, and I think they'd be better if you did wear some make-up... just a touch... a bit of lippy and eye-liner.”

“What's the point if my head's going to be cropped off?”

“Mum.” I reiterated. “It'll wash off... no one'll know.”

Reluctantly, he agreed and I spent ages applying foundation, eye-liner, eye-shadow and mascara, before defining his eyebrows and finally applying some lipstick. “Is that what you call, just a touch?” he dryly asked as he looked at himself.

“Well... yeah.” I replied. I hadn't gone overboard with the foundation or eye-shadow and I'd given him a natural palette. He said it took ages to apply and didn't think it'd involve foundation. “Even 'a touch' takes time... and foundation is essential.” I replied. “Right... I'm gonna do something with your hair... you won't like it, but it will wash out.” I said as squeezed a dollop of hair gel onto my hand.

“What are you doing?” he protested as I began to apply it.

“Making it look less boyish.” I said. “You've got boobs so we may as well go all the way.”

A load of gel and a couple of sparkly slides go into his hair before I let him see what I've done. “You actually quite suit being a girl.” I grinned.

Peter bit his lip and glared at himself. “The only positive thing I can say is it doesn't look like me.” he grimaced.

“It does... just a prettier version.” I said, before opening my door and yelling “Mu-um! Come and look at this.”

“Oh don't Emma.” Peter whined.

Within seconds, Mum was in the room, cooing over her feminised son. “I had a feeling you'd look good as a girl.” she said. “I love what you've done with his hair.”

“Thanks.” I proudly retorted.

“I'd suggest a bit of lip gloss too, go echo those sparkly hair slides.” Mum said, before saying it's a pity his ears aren't pierced.

“It doesn't really matter Mum... since my head's going to be cropped off the photos anyway.” Peter claimed as I found some lip gloss.

“I know... I'm just getting a bit carried away.” our mother admitted. “Have you tried any of the shoes yet?”

“No.” Peter frowned. “I've been too busy having my hair and make-up done.” he sarcastically stated. “Do I have to wear that?” he asked as I wielded the lip gloss.

“It'll make you look more like a girl and less like my brother.” I shrugged before applying it.

“Right... where should I stand?” he asked.

“Footwear first.” Mum reminded him.

“OK... but please, no heels.”

Mum and I looked at each other. “He's got no idea has he.” Mum said.

“Well he is just a boy.” I replied, before informing my brother that heels look great with skinny jeans and promptly picked up a pair of black three-and-a-half inch court shoes. “Try these.”

“Seriously?!” he asked. “I'll break my ankle in those.”

“No you won't... you'll only be standing still.”

Peter sighed and sat and pulled off his socks before squeezing his feet into the stiletto heeled court shoes. “Blimey!” he gasped as he stood. “How uncomfortable are these?”

“You get used to them.” I replied. “Anyway, looks trump comfort when it comes to heels... otherwise we'd wear flats all the time.”

“Fortunately, 'we' do.” he smugly retorted.

“Not today you don't.” I grinned.

Peter groaned. “Right, what do you want me to do?”

“Just stand there.” I said as I turned on my camera. “Oh, and move your socks out of shot.”

Peter tottered into position, carefully crouched and picked up his socks. I chuckled as he stood and tossed them onto my bed. “What?”

“Nothing... you just look...”

“Awkward?”

“A bit.” I replied as I made sure he was in frame. “Right... smile.” I said. Peter frowned and raised an eyebrow at me. I pressed the button. “You can't just stand there... you've got to pose.”

“Pose?” he asked.

“Yeah... stand something like...” I suggested, demonstrating a casual stance. “...as if you’re waiting for a bus or something.” I imagined. Peter put his weight on one leg, twisted his upper body a little and glanced toward the door. I pressed the button then previewed the image.

“What.” he asked as a broad grin swept my face.

“That's a really good one.” I said, showing him the picture.

He looked, then glared at it. His eyes widened. “That's freaky.”

“I think it looks great.”

“It does... what's freaky is that it's me.” he exclaimed. “...but it doesn't look like me.” he claimed.

“It does a bit.” I said as he returned the camera to me. I zoomed into his face and smiled at his sassy half smile and glossy lips, before scrolling down the check that it's sharp enough to use. “Those knickers certainly do their job.” I said on viewing a close-up of his very fitted jeans.

“You're telling me!” he replied. “I've gone numb!”

“Really?”

“Nah.” he confessed. “...but they'd be a lot more comfortable if they had.”

I grinned. “Can I get a side shot?” I asked. Peter turned side on and folded his arms. He began to look toward me so I quickly took a snap, then another as his eyes met the lens. “Cool... and the back.” I asked. He turned away from me and I took a snap. “Cool.” I said as I reviewed each and zoomed in to check that they're in focus. I put the camera down, grabbed the next pair of jeans, found a top to go with them and chose another pair of shoes. Peter took them and headed toward the door. “You can change in here.” I said. “I don't mind.”

Peter paused, frowned and looked down at himself. “I'd rather not be seen in just my undies.” he gulped.

“Fair enough.” I said. He returned a few minutes later wearing skinny jeans with strappy sandals and short sleeved fitted shirt. “You could have kicked these off before you left.” I said as he handed me the outfit he'd just worn along with the stilettos.

“Yeah... but I only thought of that when I got to my room.” he replied. “They really weird to walk in.”

“I suppose they are if you're not accustomed to a heel.”

“These are better.” he said, looking down at the two inch heels.

“You like them?”

“Noo!” he claimed. “They're just better to walk in.”

“I'm not sure they go with those jeans.” I said.

“They look OK.”

“You reckon?”

“I don't know... I just want to get on with it. I've been here for well over an hour and we've only done one outfit.”

“I know... sorry, I got a bit carried away with your hair and make-up.”

“You're telling me.” Peter said as he looked down at himself.

“That shirt suits you.”

“Isn't it a blouse?”

“Shirt, blouse, same thing really.”

“I know but the buttons are the wrong way around.”

“Yeah but it's not very 'blousey'.” I replied, removing a proper blouse from the rail. “This is what I'd call a blouse.”

“Yeah I guess.” he said, looking at the blouse I held, then at the one he wore. “This one's better.”

“Yeah, like I say, it suits you.” I reiterated. “You could buy it if you like.”

“Err... nah.”

I grinned and said I was kidding. “You can have it.”

“Nah... thanks.”

“You sure?”

“Yeah.” he replied. “Can we get on with the photos?”

“Anyone would think you're not enjoying yourself.” I chuckled as I picked up the camera and my brother took his position. “Let's try the 'looking for the bus' pose again.” I suggested. After the front side and back images had been captured, I gave Peter his next outfit, which was much the same as the last; casual and almost androgynous, save for his footwear. He'd modelled some six or seven outfits for me, changing in his room, returning to mine, posing, leaving, changing, returning. The routine worked and we managed to get plenty done, but... “It'd be loads quicker if you changed in here.” I suggested, again. Coyly, Peter told me that he'd rather not. I reminded him that he's the one who wants to get this over with, before asking if he really wants to trot to and fro along the landing, wearing “...these?” I asked, wielding a pair of very short shorts.

Peter grimaced and bit his lip. “I'm gonna look so gay in those.” he gulped.

“I think you're forgetting what you look like.” I replied, before informing him that he'll have to wear a pair of tights. He wasn't keen. “Well it's either tights, or you shave your legs.”

“I'm not gonna shave my legs!”

“Tights it is then.” I grinned, tossing him a pair.

“Can't I wear thick ones?” he asked, clearly not keen on the thin 'nude' pair. “Black ones, like you'd wear?” he added.

“Let's see how those look first.” I replied, before asking if he'd need some help. “I guess you've never worn tights before.”

“Not since I was a playing card in the school play.” he dryly replied.

I recalled the scene in the production of Alice in Wonderland. Peter was one of several playing cards and wore a pair of my school tights and my black long sleeved leotard beneath a sandwich board with the Six of Clubs painted on it. “I'd forgotten about that.” I smiled. “So this isn't the first time you've worn my clothes.”

“Hopefully it'll be the last.” he groaned.

I cast my eyes over the clothes yet to be photographed. It dwarfs the pile we've done. “Well... looking at this lot, we might have to carry on tomorrow.” I said.

“And the day after that if we keep stopping and talking.” he impatiently suggested.

“We're waiting for you to change.”

“I'm waiting for a top.” Peter retorted. I suggested he put the tights and shorts on whilst I find one. “OK.” he sighed, before sheepishly changing in my room. I tried not to look because I knew he was embarrassed, but I couldn't help but glance. The 'magic' knickers that Mum had given him are just a pair of black trunks really, with short legs and a high waist. He began to don the tights by gathering one leg over his hand. "You seem to know what you're doing." I commented.

“They're just a big pair of socks really.” he said as he pulled one leg up to his knee before gathering the other onto his hand. “I think I'd prefer thick tights though.” he groaned as he pulled the thin, nude tights over his knees. He quickly pulled the shorts on and I tossed him a top; a cream sleeveless T-shirt with lots of colourful little sketches of women wearing dresses printed on it. "It's bit girlie." he moaned.

"They're all a bit girlie... if you hadn't noticed."

He donned it and stood. "Shall I tuck it in?" he asked.

"I'll need one with it tucked in to show off the shorts, and one with it out so they can see how long it is."

"OK." Peter stood by the wall and did as I asked; look over there, turn a bit, one from the back, tuck it in... he wore God knows how many different pairs of shorts, T-shirts and camisole tops with glitter, bows, flowers and frills. "I don't get what girls like about this sort of stuff." he whined as he donned a pink T-shirt with a bicycle print surrounded by flowers.

"It's cute." I replied. "I don't get why boys are so boring when it comes to dressing themselves."

"We're not boring just because we don't like flowers or frills." he claimed. "Haven't you got anything that's plain?"

"Loads of stuff." I retorted, listing the plain jeans and jumpers he'd started with. "It was you who wanted to save the nice stuff 'til last." I reminded him.

"I'm beginning to regret that... maybe I should have got them over with first." he said when I gave him a pair of black floral knee length shorts and a pretty burgundy top with glittery details.

"Well it's too late now... everything's in order and it needs to stay organised." I said. "If it's any consolation I've got a few old school skirts to get rid of... will they be plain enough for you?” I asked.

“I can't wait.” he sarcastically said as he put his feet into the floral shorts. I took as many pictures as needed before giving him his next ensemble; black tailored shorts and a navy blue top with a white pan collar. "What's the point of having the buttons on the back?" he asked as I helped him into the blouse.

"So it looks nicer from the front." I replied.

"But it must be a pain. Does Mum have to do the buttons every time you wear it?"

"No." I grinned. "Girl's are adept enough to do them ourselves."

"I don't think I'd be able to do them myself." he said. To be fair, there are lots of little fiddly buttons on this top so it's not exactly the easiest back fastener. "I feel like I'm being trapped in it." he said.

"Good." I grinned. "I can't wait to button you into a dress... then you'll be stuck." I chuckled.

"I'm sure I'd be able to rip it off." he claimed. "More heels?" he protested when I gave him some footwear.

"You only have to stand up in them... it's not like I'm going to send you to the shop."

"I guess." he sighed. Snap snap snap. I helped him out of his button back blouse. He helped himself out of the shorts. I gave him a really cute pair of shorts which he predictably sneered at. I couldn't blame him... in a way they're too cute for me. "Stop laughing!" he whined as I grinned at him.

"I'm not laughing, I'm smiling." I stated as my grin grew to gargantuan proportions.

“Have you found a top yet?” he mournfully asked.

“Oh yeah... sorry.” I replied, returning to my bundle of jumpers. “Here.”

“You're kidding?” he said after unfolding the lime green cropped jumper.

“It goes with those shorts.” I shrugged.

“It's cropped.” he gulped, holding it up and realising just where it'd go down to. “You'll be able to see my belly.”

“Just roll your knickers and tights onto your hips.” I suggested.

Peter took exception to my use of the word 'your', before removing his top, revealing 'my' bra and quickly donning the fitted lime green jumper. I smiled as he stood and tended to his undies, hiding them beneath the waistband of his shorts. “What about shoes?” he asked.

“Oh er...” I cast my eyes over the shoes I'm selling and wondered which would look best. “Try these.” I said, handing him a pair of black ballet pumps with a bow detail on the front.

“At last!” he jovially exclaimed. “Flats!”

“Do they fit?” I asked as he slid his stockinged feet into them.

“Er... yeah.” he replied. “I always wondered how shoes like this stay on...” he commented. “...but they do.” he said as he lifted and flexed his feet.

“They are the world's most comfy shoes... especially after heels.”

“They are comfy.... can't see 'em being much fun in winter though.”

“They're not bad.” I replied. Having been a schoolgirl, I know just how much boys say thing like, aren't you freezing in your uniform? and it's winter and you're still wearing knee socks! and how can you be not be freezing in just a skirt? And being a girl, I know that boys are just ignorant on such matters. Girl's are more resilient to the elements. Winter sun on bare legs can be quite warming if there's not much wind. Thick tights are just as warm as thin trousers and little shoes are fine, most of the time. “I think when it comes to winter, girls are just tougher than boys.”

“Nah, it's practise... you're just used to it. If I’d grown up wearing skirts and dresses, I’d be the same.” Peter claimed. He looked down at himself and questioned the 'point' of cropping a jumper.

“I'll show you.” I said before putting him in the corner and telling him how to stand. I took a snap and showed it too him.

“What?”

“It's looks cute.” I grinned.

“You can see my bra through it.”

“Yeah... it looks OK but...”

“But what?”

“Maybe you should wear a different one.”

“Bra or jumper?”

“Bra of course.”

“If you'd told me yesterday that I'd be wearing Mum's knickers and your bras and loads of make-up to model clothes on FleaBay... I'd have said you'd gone crazy.”

“Yet here you are...” I smiled.

“At least I’m gonna get paid for it.”

“Hopefully... we have to sell them first.” I stated. “Can I redo your lippy?”

“Why?”

“Because it needs it.” I replied. “Do you want to try?” I asked, handing him the lipstick and gloss. “...whilst I find you a bra.” Reluctantly, he took them whilst I opened my underwear drawer and began to rummage.

“Is that OK?” he asked as I shut the drawer.

“Perfect.” I said, you're a natural.” I claimed, “Is this OK?”

“It's a bit lacy.”

“They all are, pretty much.” I replied. “At least this is more of a crop-top.”

Peter removed the cute green jumper, followed by the plan black sports bra. A couple of socks fell onto his lap. He made vaguely witty comment about the benefits of having a spare pair. I told him that loads of girls his age carry socks in their bra. “Isn't that a myth?” he asked. I shook my head and told him that I stuffed my bra when mine were developing. “Why?”

“Because I wanted to look like a woman, not a girl.”

“What do I look like?” he asked after pulling the lace trimmed crop top on.

“You look like a boy who'll do anything for money.” I grinned, before helping him to convincingly stuff it. “Now you look like a girl.” I winked.

He donned the lime green cropped jumper and took his position once more, I took a photograph. It looked much better. “Let me see.” he asked. I showed him and he reckoned the shorts would look better with thicker, black tights.

I disagreed and told him his legs look nice. “You can hardly tell you've got tights on.” I claimed, before suggesting heels might look better than flat shoes.

“Well... make your mind up.” he retorted, stating that it's been almost three hours and we've still got loads to do.

“Yeah... sorry.” I replied, checking the current time. “I might have to rope you in again tomorrow.”

“I've already resigned myself to that fact.” he groaned. “By the time we've got through this lot I’ll have forgotten what it's like to be a boy.”

I chuckled. He chuckled. I chose his next outfit. “You know if there's anything you like, just say so.” I said.

“Why?”

“Because I might let you have it at a discount.” I jovially replied. “...and you wouldn't have to pay P&P.” I added.

“The amount of work I’m putting in I'd expect a freebie.” he replied, before quickly adding “Scrub that... just sell it all, then I won't have to wear any of it again.”

We spent another hour putting him in different outfits. Jeans, trousers, shorts, leggings, pedal pushers, T shirts, vests, jumpers, blouses and hoodies. Peter said he quite liked the plain leggings, but detested the spotty, flowery and other particularly girlie styles. He donned a sporty pair with a broad white stripe up the side and said they were 'cool'. I said he could keep them since they won't fetch more than a pound, but he declined the offer. He liked my old Roxy hoodie too, but figured that being a deep purple it might be a bit 'girlie' for him. “Is it 'eck.” I claimed. “Girl's hoodies are exactly the same as boy's ones... it's not like it's pink or lilac.” I added. He reluctantly yet graciously accepted the hoodie and I declared that we'd done enough for today. “Are you OK to carry on tomorrow?” I asked.

“Yeah I guess.” he half-heartedly replied.

“I'll warn you though, it's gonna be mostly skirts and frocks.”

“I know... in for a penny.” he shrugged.

“You're the best.” I smiled. Peter retired to his room and spent a while sorting out some combinations for tomorrows 'shoot' and looking at the photos from today. It'll be a pity to crop his head off them since I'd done such a good job with his hair and make-up. I can tell that it's Peter but I don't think anyone else would recognise him or even realise that he's not a teenage girl. I closed my laptop and headed downstairs to fix myself a bedtime snack. Mum asked if she could have a look at the pictures. “I've just shut my lappy down but they're looking pretty good.”

“Did he enjoy it?” Mum asked.

“Not sure.” I shrugged. “He certainly looked more comfortable after a while, and he actually suited some outfits.”

“It's a pity boys don't have the same choices as girls.” Mum suggested. “When I was your age we had the New Romantics... I was hoping it'd be more than just a fad but it turned out to be little more than a flash in the pan.” she said, before telling me how she had a huge crush on Martin from Depeche Mode. “I had posters of him all over my room.”

We chatted for a while before I returned to my room. I intended going directly to bed but couldn't help but boot up my laptop and search for some pictures of the popstar she fancied. Whilst many of his outlandish outfits looked both terrible and terribly dated, others looked quite good.

The next day, soon after lunch, Peter and I prepared to begin again. “Are you gonna do my make-up again?” he asked.

“Do you want me to?” I asked.

“Well... if I'm gonna dress like a girl I may as well look like one.” he half-heartedly replied, deliberately trying not to sound too keen.

“Fair enough.” I replied. “Although I think this will look better without.” I added, holding up a short grey knife-pleated school skirt and a white blouse. A perplexed expression swept his face, so I explained. “You wouldn't be wearing make-up at school because it's not really allowed.”

“Yeah but... I'll look too much like me without it.” he claimed.

“I'll be cropping your head off the pictures.” I reminded him. “Do you want black or grey tights?” I asked.

“Er... black I guess.” he replied. I rummaged through my drawer to find a nice pair. “Actually... can I try grey.” he asked.

“You can try white knee socks if you want.” I suggested. He declined, claiming he'd have to shave his legs. I told him that I wasn't being serious. He donned the skirt, a white shirt and some grey tights. “What shoes do you want?”

“Those ballet pumps I guess.” he shrugged. After slipping his feet into the flat black shoes, he faced himself in the mirror, twisted his hips this way and that to swish the skirt. “Are these warm enough in the winter?” he asked. “Don't they get really wet when it rains?” he quizzed. “Are they clammy in the summer?”

I answered his questions as best I could; in winter we tend to walk a bit quicker to keep warm, and standing with our legs close together also helps. Trousers also get wet when it rains and like tights, they soon dry out and in summer we either wear thinner tights or socks. “Do you like it?” I asked. “The skirt.” I added.

“Not really... just wondering what it'd be like wearing one for school everyday, rain or shine, summer or winter.”

“Mum said last night that she thinks it's a shame that boy's don't get to wear the same variety of clothes that girls wear.” I told him.

“She said the same to me when she was faffing with my bra.” he replied. “Er... I mean your bra.”

“And what do you think?” I asked.

“I dunno... it's a bit weird.” he gulped, looking down at himself. “Especially the bra.” he added. “But then again, if boys did wear skirts and frocks we wouldn't wear bras.”

“True.” I said as I picked up my camera. “You ready?”

He took his position and I took a couple of photographs. “Can I see?” he asked as a reviewed them. I handed him the camera and he had a good look. “I'd look better with make-up, I think.”

“You look OK.” I replied. “How does it feel?”

“OK I guess.” he shrugged. “I quite like these shoes... they're really comfy.” he confessed.

“You could wear them as slippers, around the house.” I suggested. He grunted in agreement and I told him he could have them if he wanted.

“Oh I dunno... Mum might think I've gone weird if I started wearing girl's shoes as slippers.”

“Would she 'eck.” I insisted.

Peter wasn't so sure and reminded me that I’m supposed to be selling this stuff rather than giving it away. “What's next?” he asked.

“Make-up?” I said. Peter frowned. “You did say you'd look better with some.” I reminded him.

“Yeah I guess.”

I pulled out the chair to my dressing table and told him to sit. “Why don't you have a go?” I suggested, handing him a compact.

He didn't seem too keen but took it from me. “What do I do?” he shyly asked. I coached him through the process, explaining that less is more when it comes to a natural look, otherwise he'll look like a porcelain doll. After applying the powder, I had him apply a touch of eye-liner; brown rather than black, then some eye shadow and some transparent mascara. “What's the point if it's clear?” he quizzed.

“It separates the lashes and makes them more defined.” I said. “You're actually quite good at this... for a beginner.”

“I dunno if that's a good or a bad thing.” he sheepishly replied before casting his eyes over the array of lipsticks on my dresser. “Which one?” he asked.

“Whichever you like.” I said.

“Which one did I wear last night?” he asked, picking one up. “Was it this one?”

“No but that's nice... try it.” I replied.

Peter carefully applied it, rolled his lips together and looked at me for approval. I told him it looked nice but told him that it's his opinion that matters. “It looks OK I guess... I think I prefer it without the gloss.” he said. “Weird though... painting my face... I can't imagine having to do it everyday... isn't it a chore?”

“A bit.” I shrugged. “Most of the time I just wear lippy and a bit of eye-liner and don't bother with the foundation and eye-shadow.” I informed him. “Why don't you go and show Mum?” I suggested.

Peter gulped. “Er...”

“Go on... don't be shy.” I persuaded.

Sheepishly he stood, smoothed his skirt, checked himself in the full length mirror and left. I chose the next skirt he'd be modelling and a couple of minutes later, he returned. “What did she think?”

“She said I looked nice.”

“Did you tell her you'd applied it?”

He nodded. “What's next?” he asked.

“Another school skirt.” I said, handing him a navy blue A-line skirt. I averted my eyes whilst he donned it and dug out a different pair of tights. “Try these.”

“Blue?!” he gulped. I nodded and smiled and told him they'd look better with the blue skirt than grey tights. Reluctantly he donned them. “These look weird.” he groaned as he stretched out his leg.

“I know.” I grinned. “I hardly ever wore them but Mum said they were more 'academic' than black tights.”

“I think I’d rather wear white knee socks than these.”

“Well, let me get a couple of pictures first.” I said. “Then you can.”

“I wasn't being serious.” he retorted as he slid his feet into the flat black ballet shoes. “Anyway my legs'll be too hairy.”

“They're not that bad.” I replied. “Plus that skirt's a lot longer than the grey one.”

I took a few pictures from various angles before pestering him to try some knee socks. He wasn't keen but I got my way and handed him a pair of white pelerine knee socks. “You've got to make sure the pattern is perfectly straight, and the tops have to level.” I advised as he pulled them up his legs.

“I'd prefer plain ones.” he moaned.

“Here, try these instead.” I said as he grabbed the ballet shoes.

“I prefer these.” he said as I handed him a pair of black Mary Jane’s with a modest inch-and-a-half heel. Regardless of his preference, he put them on and took his position. I grinned. “what?” he moaned.

“Nothing... you just look cute.” I smiled.

“I feel like a first year.” he bashfully stated.

“You look like one.”

Just then, Mum knocked on the door and entered. “How you getting on?” she asked. “Oh you look nice!” she grinned. “Very sweet.” she said. “It's a pity your hair isn't long enough for bunches.”

“Oh mu-um... this is embarrassing enough as it is.” he claimed.

“You're loving it.” I claimed. Peter claimed otherwise.

Mum asked if we wanted a drink making or a snack fixing and offered and egg & bacon bun along with a pot of tea. I told her that he had one more school skirt to wear, then we'd be down. Mum left. I took a couple of photographs and gave him my black, box pleated skirt to wear.

“Girls get a lot more choice what they can wear for school don't they.” he said as he took his position. He's right. Boys can wear black or grey trousers for school whilst girls can wear black, grey or navy blue skirts with knife pleats, box pleats or A-line styles. Hosiery can be black, grey, blue or white and includes ankle socks, knee socks, over-knee socks or tights which can any denier over thirty.

“We get a lot more choice what we can wear full stop.”

“Yeah... seems a bit unfair when you think about it.” Peter supposed. “Not that I intend to start cross-dressing.” he added.

I raised the camera. “You've already started.” I chuckled before taking a photo.

“Wouldn't this skirt look better with black tights?” he asked.

“Maybe... but it stands out better without.” I replied. I took a three more photographs. “Come on, lets go and eat something.”

“Can't I get changed first?” he asked.

“Why?” I asked. “There's only us here... no one will see you. No one will know.”

“I know I just feel a bit silly.” he replied. “Can't I at least put some tights on?” he asked, adding “Black ones?”

“Oh stop being such a wuss... you look fine. Just pretend you're a girl for the day and you always dress like that.”

“On a Sunday?” he asked.

“I can find you a nice Sunday dress if you prefer.” I suggested.

Peter declined and we headed downstairs. Me in my jeans and a sloppy top, him in my old school shirt, skirt and knee socks. We perched at the breakfast bar and waited for the sizzling bacon to cook and eggs to fry. I poured Peter a cup of tea and slid it toward him, before pouring one for myself and Mum. “Is that supposed to happen?” he asked, noticing the imprint of his lipstick on the rim of his cup.

“We'd rather it didn't.” I said. “...but it always does.”

“That explains why you're always reapplying it.” he said. I smiled and he grinned. “I guess us boys have got it easy.” he added. “We don't have to wear make-up, heels, bras, short skirts, style our hair, shave our legs...”

“Yeah but we like wearing make-up, heels and skirts. We like being able to style our hair in a different way each day.” I said. “And if you shaved your legs you'd know how nice they feel... and when we can't be bothered we wear pants or tights.”

“Yeah I guess.” he replied. “You've certainly got a lot more choice.”

“Well now you've had a taste...” Mum optimistically said. “What's been your favourite so far?”

“None of it.” Peter dryly claimed.

“All the really nice things are to come.” I said. “Yesterday was all jeans, T-shirts, jumpers and leggings... so far today we've only done my old school stuff.” I explained, eyeing my brother's attire. “Isn't there a school in Kent where the boys have to wear the girl's uniform?” I vaguely recalled.

Peter screwed his face up and recoiled, casting me a perplexed expression. Mum thoughtfully furrowed her brow. “I remember that on the news... it's in Ashford isn't it?”

“Why would the boys have to dress like girls?” Peter quizzed as he nervously glanced down at his skirted lap.

“To stop them from being too boisterous in class.” Mum suggested. “I don't think they had to wear skirts but culotte shorts.” she added.

“What are those?” Peter asked.

“A skirt with legs.” I informed him as Mum put a bacon & egg bun in front of each of us. “They're horrible... thanks Mum.”

“Thanks Mum.” Peter said.

We tucked into our snacks and topped up our tea and chatted about this and that before Peter and I headed back to my room. “I must say Peter, you do seem quite comfortable.” I said as I followed him up the stairs.

“I feel anything but comfortable.” he claimed. “You can't see up this can you?” he asked.

“No.” I chuckled.

We entered my room and the first thing that Peter said was “I guess I'll have to redo my lipstick.”

I grinned and told him that's what I mean about him seeming 'comfortable'. “You haven't even looked in the mirror yet you know your lippy needs reapplying.”

“Only because it was all over the rim of my cup.” he claimed.

“You also smoothed your skirt beneath yourself when you sat, you kept your knees together and you walk quite well in those shoes.”

“They're not exactly high.” he said, claiming that they're nothing compared to the stilettos he'd already worn. “...and who wouldn't keep their knees together in a skirt this short?”

“True.” I said as I handed him the lipstick and a small vanity mirror.

“So what's next?” he asked after reapplying.

“Well... this lot.” I said, gesturing to the host of skirts, frocks and tops he's yet to model. “Do you want to choose something?”

“Nah you choose.” he replied. “I wouldn't know where to start.”

I removed a floral dress with angel sleeves, a broad flouncy hem and an orange satin sash. Peter grimaced and said it was horrible. “I know!” I agreed. “That's why I want rid of it.” I gave him a pair of thin nude tights to wear and apologised for making him wear such a horrendous frock. “One of the downsides of being a girl is when your Mum buys you something like that and you have to wear it.”

“At least I'm getting paid.” Peter said as he looked at himself. I quickly took three photographs; front, back and side before giving him another frock. “This isn't much better.” he groaned.

I agreed and told him it's best to get the worst out of the way sooner rather than later. “I do appreciate you doing this for me.”

“No worries, so long as no one finds out.” he replied, biting his lip. I assured him they wouldn't. He donned frock after frock and I admired his fortitude. It can't be easy for a fourteen year old boy wearing his sister's cast-off clothes but he's doing me a really big favour. I guess if he or Mum were capable of taking a decent photograph it would have been me on the other side of the camera... but with so many clothes that I've no intention of ever wearing again, I’m kind of glad I'm not.

I put him in a white long sleeved skinny top with a boat collar and a powder blue dungaree dress. He looks down at himself and says “At last, something normal instead of floral.”

“Yeah, I used to love that dress... doesn't quite fit me any more.” I replied. “Go and fetch your Converse.” I advise. He pops to his room and returns wearing his own baseball shoes. “You actually quite suit that.” I tell him.

“I can imagine wearing it if I was a girl.” he replied.

“Can I put this in your hair?” I asked, presenting a powder blue Alice band with a small off-centre bow attached.

“Really?” he sneered. “Just as I feel relatively normal you want to put a bow in my hair?”

“I always used to wear this with that.” I claimed. “It'll complete the outfit.”

“OK.” he sighed. He sighed some more as I arranged his short boyish hair around it, and even more as I suggested he pose with his thumbs hooked in the belt-loops. “Surely you've got enough.” he moaned after the fifth or sixth photograph.

“Sorry... I'm indulging 'coz you do look nice in that.” I admitted.

“Maybe so, but give me something else to wear... I want this over with sooner rather than later.”

Next came another old favourite, a burgundy button through corduroy skirt which he wore with the same long sleeved T shirt but I put him in the burgundy skate shoes I always wore with it. Like the dungee-dress, he wore it well and looked really quite comfy. This was followed by a short distressed denim skirt, a knee length denim skirt, then a black and grey plaid skirt. “I like all of these skirts.” I said as I put them to one side.

“Why are you selling them then?” he asked.

“They don't quite fit any more... and the money I make will go towards clothes that do.” I replied as I pulled out the next item. “I can't wait to see you in this.” I grinned.

“More flowers.” he groaned.

It's a short black skater dress with capped sleeves and a floral ditsy print in white. “I reckon black tights. What do you think?” I asked.

“Yeah I guess.”

“Can I play with your hair?”

“Do you have to?”

“No but I'd like to. In fact I think we should glam up your make up a bit too.”

“OK.” he groaned. “Just don't spend ages and ages... it'll be teatime soon.”

I sat him at my dresser and handed him some make-up wipes. He carefully removed his eye-shadow and eye-liner before wiping away his lipstick. “I'm back.” he said once his face was a blank canvas.

“Not for long.” I grinned. I applied a darker eye-liner and a heavier eye-shadow, before defining his brows with a pencil. “Can I tidy them a little?” I asked, wielding a pair of tweezers. I promised that I'd only take a couple of unruly hairs away and reluctantly, he agreed.

“They don't look any different.” he said once I'd finished.

“I did say I’d only take a bit off.” I smiled. “Here, try this.” I said, handing him a lipstick.

He removed the lid and wound it up. “That looks dark.” he commented. “You're not turning me into a goth are you?” he grinned before applying it.

“I can if you want.” I replied.

I squeezed some gel into the palm of my hand and applied it to his hair, giving his boyish hairstyle the pixie look he'd worn yesterday, before adding a couple of barrettes. “I must admit I am enjoying this.”

“I noticed.” he dryly replied.

“It's like having a little sister.”

“It's like being a little sister.” he retorted, just as dryly.

“Peter! Emma!” Mum's voice hollered from the hallway. “Tea's ready!”

Peter rolled his eyes. “Great timing Mum.” he groaned. “Shall I put those on?” he asked, gesturing towards the black ballet shoes.

“Sure.” I replied. He slipped his stocking feet into them and stood, mumbling something about Mum potentially fussing over him. “At least you're wearing something nice.” I said before we both headed down to the dining room.

We entered and Mum did a double take before her jaw slowly dropped. “Peter you look absolutely lovely!” she exclaimed.

“Oh er... Emma did it.” he bashfully replied.

“I feel under dressed now.” Mum said as she looked him up and down.

“So do I.” I grinned.

Clearly embarrassed at Mum's reaction, Peter stood sheepish and still as we admired his sassy feminine look. “Please, sit.” mum grinned. “Will you help serve Emma?”

“Sure.” I replied. It being a Sunday, we're having the usual roast dinner; topside of beef, roast potatoes, carrot & turnip, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, Yorkshire puddings and gravy. If he wasn't wearing so much foundation I expect my brother's cheeks would be bright red as we ate. He received Mum's string of compliments well but I had to inform her that she was embarrassing him. “He's only dressed as a girl to help me sell my clothes... I don't think he's going to make a habit of it, are you Pete?”

“I hope not... I feel like I’ve already worn more skirts and dresses than most girls my age.”

“So you're nearly finished then?” Mum asked.

“Yeah... there's about fifteen maybe twenty to go, then he can be a boy again.” I grinned, winking at my brother.

“I can't wait to see the pictures. Are they good?” Mum asked.

“Yeah they're OK.”

“Some of them are.” Peter said. “Some of them are awful.” he added, listing a handful of the very worst items I'd had him modelling.

Mum stated that she liked some of those frocks and claimed I looked lovely in them, but I sided with Peter and declared them mostly horrendous. “Has he worn that spearmint polka-dot tea dress yet?” she asked me. I shook my head since I had a mouthful of food. “...or the green velvet one with the lace collar?”

“Not yet.” I replied. “I organised them to get the really bad ones out of the way first.”

“Both of those sound really bad.” Peter said.

“You liked the blue dungee dress didn't you.” I reminded him.

“Not so much 'liked'... it was just better than some of the others.” he claimed.

“You wore it well.” I said.

“You wear that well.” Mum added. “It's a shame that I'll never see you wearing it again.”

“There'll be photographs.” Peter reminded her.

“True.” Mum smiled. “I'd like one of us together.” she suggested. “All three of us.”

“Oh Mu-um.” Peter groaned. “I'm only doing this to help Emma... I'm not exactly enjoying it.”

“You're not exactly hating it either, otherwise you wouldn't be doing it.” she claimed.

“Well there is a financial incentive.” I reminded her. “I doubt he'd be doing it otherwise.”

Peter cast me a thankful smile, fluttering his eyelids as he did so. Regardless of the reasons, he doesn't half look nice and I'm pretty sure he knows he does.

Normally after supper, one of us washes the dishes and the other dries and puts them away, but since Peter and I are busy, Mum offered to clear up... providing I took a photograph of her and Peter first. I popped upstairs to fetch the lipstick since it needed reapplying. “You look like you've done that a hundred times.” Mum said as he quickly applied it and rolled his lips together.

“It's not exactly difficult.” he bashfully replied. “Where do you want me?” he asked.

“How about by the fireplace in the sitting room?” Mum suggested. We went through, they posed and I took a couple of photos. “Can I get one of you two together?” she asked.

“Oh Mu-um.” Peter whined.

“I'm hardly dressed for a photograph.” I claimed since I’m only wearing jeans and a jumper. “I haven't even got make-up on.” I added.

“Well go and put something nice on... it'll only take a minute.” Mum said in an insistent tone.

I went to my room and quickly chose a dress. Something that would compliment Peter's yet not compete with it. His falls mid thigh and has capped sleeves whilst mine is knee length, charcoal grey with vest type cut. I also don opaque black tights and wear a pair of black kitten heels. I quickly apply some powder, eye-liner and eye-shadow, along with a deep pink lipstick and place a shiny steel band in my hair. When I return to the sitting room, Mum claims I look plain and should have worn something nicer. “I didn't want to compete with Peter.” I reply.

“I think you look nice.” Peter said. I don't think he's ever complimented my appearance before.

“Aww thanks Peter.” I bashfully said as I stood beside him. Mum took three photos, the best of which was a little bit wonky but that could be rectified in photoshop. We left mum to do the dishes and returned to my bedroom.

“So... what's a 'tea' dress?” Peter asked. I explained as best I could and showed him the spearmint green one that our mother had mentioned. He described it as 'nice' but not in a good way. “I like that one.” he added, looking me up and down. “You're not selling it are you?”

“This... no way!” I smiled. “You can try it if you want though.”

He declined, saying it looks better on me than it would on him. “Anyway... any more delays and we won't get finished today.”

I put him in a pencil skirt and a sheer polka dot blouse, followed by a little black dress with spaghetti straps. Next came a mini tartan kilt which I paired up with a punky vest and a big pair of boots. I wasn't selling the boots but they did complete the outfit. “Right... I think we need to adjust your make-up for the rest of it.” I said.

“Is it tea dress time?” he asked.

I nodded and told him that he needs to look pretty rather than 'edgy', which means pale pink lips and a more natural looking eye make-up. “I know it seems pointless since we'll be cropping your head off but...”

“Yeah I know.” he replied. “It feels more normal with it than without it, if that makes sense.”

“Sure does bruv.” I smiled. He perched at my dressing table and removed his make-up. “Do you want to do it or shall I try?”

“You do it.” I said. “You did a decent job last time.”

“OK, just tell me what to use.” he said, glancing at the vast array of cosmetics.

“You want a pinky powder, and a pale eye-shadow palette.” I said, pointing them out.

“Powder first?” he knowingly asked. I nodded and smiled. “Dunno what I’m gonna say when my mates ask me what I did this weekend.” he grinned as he carefully applied it.

“Just tell 'em the truth... you stayed in and hung out with your sister... that'll sound boring enough to deter them from asking for details.”

“True... although this is anything but boring.” he replied. “I'm actually enjoying it in a weird sort of way.”

“Me too.” I said. I directed him in the modest application of some beige eye-liner, followed by sandy shades of eye-shadow and a nutty brown mascara. I suggested he chose his own lipstick and after looking at a variety of pink one, he chose a subtle pale pink. “Perfect.” I smiled.

“It's quite amazing how you can completely change the way you look.” he said once he'd finished. “Half an hour ago I looked like a goth and now I'm the complete opposite.”

“Yeah.” I agreed. “I'm glad I'm not a boy.” I added, glancing at the dress that awaited him.

“Having tried some of the things Mum used to make you wear, I'm kind of glad I am.” Peter claimed. “Did you chose that or Mum?”

“Mum did but I really like it... just a bit too small for me now.” I told him. “Here, put these on.” I said, handing him a pair of ivory fifteen denier tights.

“They've got dots on.” he observed as he rolled them up his legs.

“So's your frock.” I grinned. I put a couple of bow barrettes in his hair, gave him a pair of ivory shoes with kitten heels and put a cream clutch bag in his hand. “Perfect... all dressed up and nowhere to go.” I said as he approached the full length mirror. “What do you think?”

“Er...” he said as he looked at his reflection, then down at the dress. “I can't say I like it but I feel really elegant.” he gulped. “...if that makes sense.”

“It makes perfect sense.” I informed him. “It's a very elegant dress whether you like it or not.”

“Why is it called a 'tea' dress?”

“I dunno... maybe it's what a lady might wear when taking afternoon tea or something.” I guessed. After a couple of moments I grinned and said, “Shall I take some pictures are are you gonna stand in front of the mirror all evening?”

“Oh er... yeah.” Peter bashfully replied. He stood by the wall, I suggested a couple of poses and snapped away, getting from, back and side images, plus a few close ups of the lacy details and subtle polka-dot pattern. Next I put him in a plain cream dress; a little shorter than the bellow-the-knee tea dress. This is followed by a green velvet dress with short sleeves and a lace collar. “I remember you getting this for Christmas one year.” he said as I zipped him into it. “I always thought it must be really boring, getting nothing but clothes but you were always over the moon.”

“If I was a boy and got nothing but clothes, it would be really boring.” I figured. “Nothing but jeans, trousers, shirts and jumpers.”

“Yeah.” Peter sighed as I handed him the black Mary Jane's to wear. “At least we don't have to spend ages and ages trying to decide what to wear.” he cockily stated. “But then again... our clothes do all look pretty much the same.”

“Exactly.”

I took a few pictures of him before choosing another outfit that would go with his thin cream tights. A short plaid skirt and a fitted white jumper. I swapped his barrettes for a paid Alice band and once again, he looked at his reflection before I could take the photo. “I guess this is what you'd call the 'preppy' look?”

“Yeah kind of.” I replied. “You like?” I asked.

“Hmmm... it'd look better with black tights, or at least thicker ones.”

“That's exactly what I'd wear, either opaque black or knitted white tights.” I said. “You're quite good at this.”

“It's not exactly rocket science.” he smugly replied. I offered him some knitted white tights but he declined. I took the pictures and told him to change. “How many more are there?”

“Er... five... three frocks and two skirts.”

“Phew... the end is finally in sight!” he grinned.

“Then you have to go back to being a boring boy for the rest of your life.” I said in a menacing yet jovial tone.

“Or until you next have another clearout and you rope me into being your mannequin again.”

“There is that.” I smiled. I put him back into a pair of thin nude tights and gave him a rather drab shift dress to model and a pair of high heeled court shoes. He sneered at his reflection. “What's up?” I asked. “Is it the heels for the dress?”

“The dress... it fits like a sack.” he said, running his hands over it's loose waist.

“Looks OK though. They're easy to wear when they're not too fitted.” I replied. “Careful in those heels.” I said as he tottered to his position.

“I am being.” he claimed, adding “They don't feel too bad now I've worn them a few times.”

“You wouldn't be saying that after spending all day in them.” I knowingly replied.

“Are they that bad?”

“Sometimes... you get used to them.” I said. “No choice really since some employers insist on women wearing heels.”

“You'd think that wouldn't be allowed.”

“I know, but it still happens apparently.” I replied as I raised the camera and took a picture. “One from the side.” I instructed. “And the back.” I said. “One more from the front for luck.” I added. He grinned and I pressed the button. “Perfect.”

Next came another shift dress with a Peter Pan collar, followed by a smart skirt and spotty blouse. “Is it normal to be able to see the bra?” he quizzed. “Shouldn't I wear a camisole or something?”

“Depends how modest you want to be. It's not really showing on the photos... look.” I said, handing him the camera.

“It's weird seeing me looking like that.” he commented as he flicked back through the recent pictures. “That shift dress doesn't look too bad.”

“Which one? The grey or the blue?”

“The grey one that felt like a sack.” he replied, returning the camera.

“Yeah it does... you probably won't believe me but you look OK in most of 'em.” I claimed. “The nice ones anyway. It's a shame you can't really wear them.”

“You mean like... and it be normal?”

“Yeah... like, girls can be tomboys if they feel like it and no one's bothered... but when a boy chooses to be a bit girlie, everyone’s like 'oh my gosh!' as if the world's coming to an end.” I explained. He reminded me of the school in Kent I'd mentioned and wondered if that would be perceived as normal. “I dunno... I guess so, they'll be wearing it daily and they'll be seen daily.” I figured.

“Yeah maybe.” Peter replied. “I can't imagine it though.”

“You don't have to imagine... you could wear one of my old school skirts when you're doing your homework after school and we'll see how long it takes for it to feel normal.” I suggested.

“I might pass on that.” he replied. “I might forget what I'm wearing and answer the door to one of my mates.” he said. “Anyway you're supposed to be selling them, not giving them to me.”

The two final outfits were a yellow sun dress which he said made him feel like a daffodil, and a charcoal grey pencil skirt coupled with an ivory blouse with decorative buttons on the front and its actual buttons running up the back. “It's a bit scary when they fasten at the back.” he said as I buttoned him in to it.

“Why?” I asked.

“I feel like I'm being trapped in it... there's no way I could undo them myself.”

“I'm sure you'd suss it out.” I said. “Right, let's have a look at you.” I said. He turned to face me and I looked him up and down. “Can I change your lippy?”

“What's the point? This is the last outfit.”

I told him that something more red than pink would look nicer. “...and you haven't worn a red one yet.”

“I wore that dark red one.”

“I know but I'm thinking more pillar box red.” I said, handing him one. “You can put it on top of the pink... it'll only take a sec.”

He took the lipstick and quickly applied it. “That's too red.” he said as he looked at his reflection.

“Here... hold this.” I said, handing him a bright red clutch bag.

“Oh I see... matching my make-up to an accessory.”

“You got it.” I grinned. I took several photographs and a couple more for good measure before declaring the task finished and thanking my brother for all his help. Peter kicked off his heels, peeled off my tights and asked me to unbutton his blouse before saying, “Just realised... I've nowt to change into.” I unbuttoned enough to enable him to pull it off and suggested he continue in his room. He returned a few minutes later with my skirt, blouse and heels in hand. He's wearing a pair of pyjama pants with an old baggy T shirt and I suggest he borrows one of my nighties so he can finish the day in style. “Nooo!” he whined. “If I wake up dressed as a girl I might forget I'm supposed to be a boy and...” he paused and glanced at the flat black ballet shoes he'd worn. “...wear those for school.”

I grinned and said “Fair enough.” adding, “Shall we go downstairs for a bit?”

I felt a bit mean because he's clearly forgotten about his full face of make-up and the diamanté slide in his hair, that is until Mum mentions it. He darts like a bat out of hell to the bathroom, pulling the slide out as he exits. “You'd better go a show him how to remove it properly.” Mum suggested. “And bring your camera down.” she added as I left.

I gave Peter some make-up wipes, some deep-cleansing lotion and some moisturiser to apply before bed. I advised him to deep-cleanse again in the morning and that should get all the pigment out of his pores. “Should?” he asked. “What if it doesn't all come out?”

“It will.” I assured him, knowing full well that it probably wont. I left him to it and returned downstairs. Mum and I sat together and looked back through the photographs. “I can't wait to see these full size.” mum said. “Ooh that's a nice one!” she exclaimed. “Very elegant.”

“That's what Peter said.” I replied, explaining that he claimed he didn't like it but admitted that he felt 'elegant' in it. “Hard not to in a dress like that.” I added. “Shame I’ve outgrown it.”

“It's a shame he's not a girl then he could have it.” Mum replied. “Same goes for a lot of this stuff... you grow out of it, he grows into it, I’d save a fortune on clothes.” she grinned. “Especially school uniforms.” she chuckled as we reached those photographs. “You put him in blue tights.” she noticed.

“Yeah. He wasn't keen on them.. then again, neither was I.” I said. “He wore grey tights with the knife pleated skirt.” I added as we clicked back.

The next batch of images are from Saturday and showed him wearing shorts with tights, leggings with shorts, skinny T shirts, vest tops, blouses, jumpers, jeans, trousers and pedal pushers. Knowing that we're viewing them photographs in reverse order, Mum noticed that I'd eased him in slowly rather than putting him straight into my skirts and dresses.

Peter returned from the bathroom and realising that we're looking at all the pictures of him modelling my clothes, he once again sought assurance that they wouldn't be shown to anyone else. We assured him we wouldn't, but Mum managed to put the fear of god into him when she said she'd like prints of some of them. “Especially the pale green tea dress.” she added. “It'd be nice on top of the telly.”

“Please don't Mum.” he nervously begged.

“I'm only joking.” she grinned. Peter looked positively relieved. “So... apart from the trauma of wearing girl's clothes and make-up, have you enjoyed playing dress-up this weekend?” Mum asked.

“I've endured it.” Peter dryly retorted.

Mum and I grinned. I suggested that the experience wasn't 'that' bad and reminded him that he applied his own make-up a couple of times and did an admirable job for a beginner. I also reminded him that he quickly became adept tottering about in high heeled shoes, and that he 'quite liked' some of my skirts, tops and frocks such as the pale blue dungee-dress, the distressed denim skirts, etc.

“Only because they were better than the rest.” Peter claimed. “I wouldn't 'choose' to wear them.”

As we chatted, Mum continued skipping back through the photographs. “You could certainly get away with wearing some of Emma's old jeans.” she said. “You also suit some of her tops and T-shirts too.” she added.

“Some of 'em were OK I guess... the plain ones.” Peter replied. “But they're still girl's clothes.”

“No one would notice.” Mum claimed.

“I am supposed to be selling them remember.” I reminded my mother. “Giving them to Peter doesn't exactly help my wardrobe fund.”

“Yeah.” Peter agreed. “Anyway can we talk about something else... I've spent all weekend dressing as a girl so I'd rather not spend all week talking about it.”

“Fair enough.” I said. “Are you still up for helping me crop and edit the photos?” I asked.

“Yeah I guess.” he replied. “How long do you think that'll take?”

“I dunno... half the time if there's two of us doing it.”

Mum handed my camera back to me and we watched TV for a while. Being a school night for my brother, he took himself up to bed at around nine-thirty. I wasn't far behind since I'm at college. I booted up my laptop and connected my camera to transfer the hundreds of photographs onto its hard-drive. I should have borrowed Peter's USB stick and transferred half to that for him to edit, but figured it'd be just as easy to put them on a CD-R.

By the time I woke on Monday morning, all the pictures had transferred. I selected all to burn to disc and set that going before heading down for breakfast. Peter's perched at the breakfast bar, chomping on a bowl of cereal. He's wearing his school uniform and I smile to myself, recalling the previous day when he sat there wearing my school uniform. He told me he'd used the deep-cleansing lotion on his face again but is worried that it's still obvious that he'd been wearing make-up. Whilst there is a vague trace of the pale pink pigment trapped deep within his pores and an echo of his eye-liner, I assured him that no one would notice. “...we can only see it because we know... everyone else is non the wiser.” I told him.

Later in the afternoon when I returned from college, Peter was sat in the dining room doing his homework. I asked if he'd had a good day at school before asking if anyone had noticed that he'd been wearing make-up. “No.” he replied, adding that he'd spent the whole day worrying about nothing. I asked if he had a lot of homework to do. “Not much.” he replied, telling me he'd be finished in half and hour or so.

“Cool.” I replied. I took myself to my room to find the burnt CD-R ejected from my laptop. I closed the tray and checked that it had transferred the images properly, then double checked my hard-drive to make sure I'd copied rather than moved them. I took my laptop down to the dining room and asked Peter if he minded me joining him. I sat and ejected the CD tray. “Here... a present for you.” I said, handing him the disc.

“What's that?” he asked.

“About two-hundred and fifty pictures of you wearing nice clothes for a change.” I grinned. “I'll get going on Sunday's pictures and you can do Saturday's.”

“I've got my homework to finish first.”

“I know... just letting you know so we don't edit the same ones.”

I batch processed Sunday's images, reducing them from their vast original size to a more manageable 1280x960 pixels, then each would need the head cropping off, and splitting to show just the top or skirt where necessary. We tapped away in relative silence for a while, until Peter said “I was looking at that school you and mum mentioned last night.”

“What school?”

“Ashford Academy... where the boys and girls all dress the same.”

“Oh that school!” I exclaimed. “Why?” I asked.

“Because I didn't believe you.” he replied.

“And?”

“They've got a website.”

“Show me?” I asked as I got up and took the seat beside him. He typed 'Ashford Academy, Kent' into the search box and tapped 'go'. The first result is the official .edu website. Beneath this is a number of news websites and headlines such as 'controversial school storms local league tables' and 'new uniform rule triggers wave of transfers from Kent high school'. Peter clicked on the official website and from the home page, clicked on the 'uniforms' tab. I chuckled at the image of two pupils; a boy and a girl wearing almost identical uniforms. “He's wearing ballet shoes.” I said.

“Is that a skirt or those clot things?” Peter asked.

“Culottes.” I corrected, before reading the description. “It says they are but they look very similar to the girl's skirt.”

“It also says that boys can wear either culottes or a skirt.” Peter added.

“Which would you wear?” I asked.

“Culottes I guess... I'd rather wear shorts than a skirt.”

“Click on the gallery.” I suggested. Peter did and we browsed through the various images; kids in class, kids at play, kids cooking, doing science, reading, debating, receiving awards and so on. “It's hard to tell which are the boys and which are the girls.” I said. Peter claimed that the boys have short hair and girls have long hair. I listed a couple of short haired girls we both know, before drawing his attention to a pupil with bunches and said “He's definitely a boy.”

“No way.” Peter claimed before having a closer look. “Maybe.”

“Definitely.” I insisted.

“I hope you're studying and not just surfing.” Mum said, popping her head around the dining room door. Peter told her that he'd pretty much finished his homework, before asking her opinion as to whether the pupil in question was a boy or a girl.

“What's this?” Mum asked. We told her and she took a closer look at the enlarged image. “Boy.” she claimed, before asking why we're looking at that particular website. “You're not hoping to transfer are you?” she asked.

“No way!” Peter replied.

“Good, the bus fare to Kent would be extortionate.” Mum grinned. “Why are you looking at that school?” she asked again.

“Because I didn't believe you so I did a search and found it... I was just showing Emma.” Peter replied. “Must be horrible having to go there.” he muttered.

“It wouldn't be that bad... you've just spent two days wearing girl's clothes and that wasn't horrible.” I said.

“But that didn't involve walking to and from school and all my mates seeing me.”

“If you went there all your mates would be wearing the uniform too... it'd be strange at first but I expect they get used to it soon enough.” I replied.

“Maybe.” Peter frowned.

“What's this?” Mum asked, noticing a CD-R on the table with Peter's Photos written on it. I told her and she asked if she could borrow it. I told her that Peter needs it to help me edit all the images I'll be using to sell my old clothes on FleaBay. “Well, when you've done that, can I borrow it?” Mum asked.

“I guess.” Peter reluctantly replied. “...just...”

“I know.” Mum chirped. “I won't show anyone.”

She left us alone and Peter spent a few minutes finishing off his homework, before slipping the disc into his laptop. I told him that images are in two folders, one for Saturday and one for Sunday. “I'm doing Sunday so you do Saturday.” I told him, before asking if he knew how to do a batch process to reduce all the image sizes at once. He didn't, so I showed him. “It'll take five or ten minutes.” I said.

“I'll go and change.” Peter said, referring to his school uniform.

“You can change into one of mine if you want.” I grinned.

“Tempting... but I'll pass.” Peter sarcastically replied. He returned just as the batch process had completed.

“You're wearing my hoodie.” I noticed.

“Yeah.” he bashfully replied. “So, what am I doing?” he asked as he sat.

“I'm doing the skirts and frocks, you're doing pants and tops...” I said. “...so I need a crop of each item, and don't forget to crop your head off.” I explained.

“And saving as a JPEG?” he asked.

“Yes please.”

“What about the image names?” he asked. “And where should I save them?”

“Errr, save 'em onto your hard-drive and retain the original P0101 whatever names. I've stored the clothes in the order I took the pictures so...”

“OK.” he replied.

“I can't tell you how much I appreciate this Peter... it'd take me all week on my own.”

“It would have been quicker to just photograph them on clothes hangers.” he reckoned.

“I know but they supposedly sell better if they're modelled.” I replied. “Plus it was much more fun putting them on you then it would have been if I'd put them on hangers.” I added. “Would you do it again?” I asked.

“You mean... next time you have a clearout?” he queried.

“Or next time you don't feel like wearing boy's clothes.” I suggested. “You did say you liked how we can completely change the way we look...”

“I didn't say I liked it.” he claimed.

“You at least found it interesting though.” I replied. “...and you did feel elegant in this.” I added, twisting my laptop so he could see the image on the screen.

“It's hard to believe that's me.” he said.

“I know... you look so pretty.”

“Only because you did my make-up.”

“You looked nice when you did your own.” I said as I opened the image folder and showed him one of those pictures, zooming right into his face.

“Yours looks better.”

“Yeah but yours still looks good.” I replied. “Plus, I've had years of practice, that's your first attempt.”

“Maybe... it's not that good though.”

“It's fine... and imagine what you could do with some practice.”

“I think you're forgetting I'm your brother.” Peter dryly retorted.

“I'm not.” I grinned. “But we both know you've loved every minute being my sister.”

“Not every minute... some of those dresses were awful.”

“Yeah and others you really liked... the dungee-dress, the frayed denim skirt and you'll probably deny it, but the tea-dress too.” I claimed.

He began to deny it but stopped himself. “Yeah they were OK...” he admitted. “...but the tea-dress definitely felt better than it looked.”

“How it feels is all that matters when you're wearing it.” I said. “How it looks is for others to decide.” I added as I found the image on my laptop. “Imagine that's not you...” I suggested, tapping the screen in the vicinity of his head. “...do you think that dress looks nice on her?”

Peter slumped and sighed and stared at the screen. “Well... yeah I guess.”

“Which means it looks nice on you.” I informed him. “It looked nice on me too when I could fit into it.” I said.

“You could by a new one when you sell it.” he suggested.

I wanted to tell him that I didn't want to sell it, but wanted him to have it instead. “True.” is what I did say. I've been getting so engrossed about my brother wearing my old clothes that I'd forgotten all about my potential new clothes. “I new tea dress would be nice.” I added as I imagined us both wearing tea-dresses.

We continued editing the images in relative silence for a while. “How come you've got so many pairs of shorts that all look the same?” he asked.

“Because they don't all fit the same.” I replied as I looked at his screen which showed seven or ten thumbnails of him wearing various pairs of blue denim shorts. I pointed out that some hug his hips and thighs and some don't. That some are a little shorter than others, or have a frayed hem whilst others are turned up. There's various arrangements of pockets, different shades of blue, high waists, hipsters and so on. “Little things make a big difference in how they look and feel.” I informed him. “Those suit you, those ones don't.” I said, pointing out two of the images.

“They look better with black tights than those nude things.” he replied.

I agreed and told him that little denim shorts like those look great with leggings too. “We never tried that combo did we?”

“No but I can imagine.” he gulped.

“Wanna try it?”

“Can we just get on with this?” he asked in an impatient tone.

“OK.” I moaned as I set my eyes on my laptop screen. Peter's were focused on his. “But I'm going to keep pestering you to try something else until you give in.”

“I know.” he groaned.

I grinned to myself. It was a triumphant grin. I know he wants to dress up again but he just can't admit it. He knows it too and he's pretty much admitted that he will give in. We tapped away, editing the images for a while before I thought of something. “You know what I didn't get round to sorting through?”

“What?”

“My nighties and jim-jams.” I replied. “I must have about twenty altogether and a good half of them I never wear.”

“Oh.” he groaned.

I said nothing more. We continued working through the images until we'd had enough. There's plenty more to do but we'll continue tomorrow evening. It wasn't just a ploy... I really had forgotten about my nightwear. Sorting it into two piles, one to keep and one to sell took a matter of minutes and I wondered if pestering my brother to model them would be a bit mean of me. It would be easier to photograph them on clothes hangers but... I dunno. I decide to do the decent thing and ask, so tap quietly on his bedroom door. There's no answer which means he's still downstairs. I consider going down but instead I return to my room and grab the bundle if nightwear, before quietly entering my brother's room and laying it neatly on his duvet, before creeping back to my room. Three pairs of nice pyjamas, four nighties and a few cami/shorts sets await him. Will he wear something or just put them to one side? I wonder. No one need know if he did.


3 comments:

  1. Posted without a full proof read... apologies if there's more than my usual amount of errors. :)

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  2. Awesome as always PJ really can't wait to see what you have planned for your next story

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