Thursday, 23 October 2008

A Slight Setback, Some Correspondence, Quilted Housecoats, Nylon Overalls - and A Little Dress Discipline (The Last for a While...I Promise)

I suffered something of a minor disaster yesterday (well a setback anyway) - but possibly not everyone would see it that way. To be honest it was more the outcome of sequence of events spread over a few days. First of all my mother was taken ill - treatable by antibiotics but uncomfortable nevertheless. Being in her early 80s she is not always able to bring in her own shopping, so off I went and dutifully collected the shopping, only to arrive to find that now her television had developed some sort of sympathetic ailment and had keeled over. So I did the washing up, a bit of cleaning round the house, and then I went again. One television and a taxi later I got back, put the thing together, connected it up, switched it on… no picture - simple problem, I hadn't plugged the aerial lead. I leant over the back, plugged in the offending lead, straightened up and… thump!!! My head slammed into the corner of the cupboard above - not a major injury in everyday terms, ordinarily barely enough to cause a swelling. But I've just had a rather expensive transplant done and that cupboard corner had scored a bull's-eye right in the centre of a particularly dense group of grafts. It wasn't very dramatic, just a bit of blood around some of the grafts, but those grafts are barely a week old and very vulnerable still. So a cold compress was duly applied and I laid down for half an hour like some old invalid before phoning the clinic (well several times in actuality - so I'm a bit of ie panicker…would do you want?). They reassured me that it is probably going to be okay (I bet they said that to the passengers on the Titanic)… but then suggested I came in so someone could check and give me some peace of mind one way or another. Of course I haven't got round to it, as with everything that worries me I keep putting it off. That's what I do… and if I could I would go for a pint - because that would sort it out, wouldn't it? But I can't drink because apparently it could make my grafts fall out or something. The same goes for going to the gym - it's a blood pressure thing apparently (in my minds eye I can see myself squatting some weight while stubble and grafts shoot off in all directions like a porcupine’s quills). Anyway that's the end of my excuses for not posting yesterday… I hope you liked it… the dog ate my homework, honest mate.

Meanwhile, although hardly any comments seem to make onto the blog, plenty come in each day via e-mail and although some of you may be getting a little worn down by all this dress discipline stuff (and let's face it is not everyone's cup of tea, is it?) it has to be said that there's been a surprising amount of interest shown. So, just a little bit more (it does after all have some relevance to the book/books) and then I'll draw a line under it and we'll move on to pastures new - probably to one of my favourite scenarios, that of reformatories (a good excuse to share a few more of my old scans with you).

Yesterday, for example I received the following from someone I have agreed to call anonymous for the purposes of the blog (perhaps this better be anonymous-2 or something, seeing as I have already published contributions by couple of folks calling themselves anonymous - it seems a common name out there in blog-land) which flags up a problem occurring with adding comments to this blog that I was not aware of. At this point in time I'm not sure what to do to fix this - in the blog options page I've set up everything so as to allow anybody to post unmoderated and also, as far as I understand it, I've selected the correct options to allow the postings, when made, to automatically appear. I have developed one or two ways of working around the problem: when people have e-mailed a suitable contribution they want posted I have added it manually (although in truth I've got a few outstanding contributions lined up and waiting to be published). Alternatively, when some one has managed to post a comment I have later reposted it as a quotation within one of my daily updates so as to make it more visible.

I digress… sorry… to get back to the point: in my reply I found myself rambling on somewhat (nothing new there then) and in doing found I had passed via the subject of discipline dress through all sorts of insights into the development of the INSTITUTIONALISED storyline them back into the discipline dress thread before finally revisiting an old inspiration I have mentioned before and that can be found elsewhere on the blog. Rather than to try to completely rewrite the thing I thought it might be simpler to present both sides of the correspondence here, albeit as the gist of both sides, including all the nasty typos that my voice recognition system has probably introduced.

Actually, something just occurred to me while rereading my reply just now, having today looked over a section of INSTITUTIONALISED volume 1 (the part dealing with the part of Susan’s life spent staying with her Aunt Julia and the latter’s dress restrictions that she imposes) and visited some old photographs from Spick and Span (click for a couple of examples) magazine. How interesting it is to contemplate the way that the common day dress of one era (perhaps even considered attractive at the time) may become the punishment/discipline dress of another. Take for example the housecoat (toward the bottom of this post on the left) that Aunt Julia provides for her young guest - most girls in their late teens or early 20s today wouldn't be seen dead in such a thing. And the same would probably apply to the corsellete and those nylon frock-overalls and shopgirl uniforms of the time, even if designed by famous name designers; take for example this design (left) by Hardy Aimes and designed for Sainsbury's in and around the early to mid-60s. In terms of the relevance to the dress discipline thread; many of these wonderful items readily turn up in charity and second-hand shops and so are available to any building up a suitable wardrobe for the young lady in their care with the aim of enhancing her disciplinary regime. No replacement for the traditional cane or strap of course, but an excellent adjunct to that more traditional approach.

Dear Sir,

I have viewed with great interest your Blog and, for the most part, quite a supporter of the disciplinary regimes you describe for females. Based upon your post, I located the dress discipline discussion on the femalefirst forum and (based upon your instruction) have commenced posting in that group (under my name…….) As a born and bred Californian, I marvel at my interest in enforced uniforming and highly structured disciplinary regimes which for the most part appears to be an English and Scottish sensibility. I have not registered with "eblogger" and found it difficult to post a comment on your blog. I apologize for not participating more on your website (but the foregoing is the reason). From a personal perspective, I enjoy seeing a thorough but possibly more muted disciplinary regime than may be your taste. I am an enthusiastic supporter of strict dress and uniforming rules, control of the disciplinee's hair and grooming, deportment and behaviour rules and traditional strict disciplinary corporal punishment. Please keep us informed of resources for the governance, training, teaching, and discipline of those of us who understand the need for such regimes.


Dear anon

As you will have realised, the reason for the existence of the blog in the first place is to discuss the book I wrote last year and other stuff I've written in the past, the books I have planned in the series and I am in the process of writing, to gather feedback (vitally important whether negative or positive as long as it is honest), explain the influences and the history behind the development of my ideas and structure of my stories, and hopefully to receive ideas from others that might be incorporated into the new stuff I'm working on.

As for the concept of the enforced wearing of uniforms and the strict imposition of a highly structured disciplinary regime being an English / Scottish sensibility - I have received e-mails from people all over the world, particularly, it seems, from Eastern Europe. Monitoring the blog, as I do, I see hits coming in from just about everywhere: there quite a lot of hits coming from my own country (the UK), not much from Scotland, ironically, quite a lot from Germany and the Benelux countries and as I say Eastern Europe but a hell of a lot from the USA (so you're not alone). All I guess it must be said that many of those are probably looking for the more mainstream spanking literature rather than the emphasis on control and discipline that my writing tends to revolve around. I wouldn't imagine that you would appreciate the book/books that I've been working on - although volume 1 does start off in a domestic setting and has a certain amount of discipline introduced at that stage and that will be revisited in flashbacks through the next couple of volumes, the regime/regimes imposed, although brought in gradually and subtly, I introduced in the context of a gradually growing level of a type of what could be described as mind control. The girl's concerned have been encouraged through repeated visits to a psychologist (who in turn they had been encouraged to visit by way of a clever series of suggestions) to become more and more dependent on a rather domineering Aunt figure they are living with (there is much, much more to it than that but I'm short of time today). With each girl's growing dependency comes the ability to impose stricter and stricter restrictions on her movements and behaviour - uniforms, when they are gradually introduced at that stage, are first presented as a solution to a problem: both girls have a problem with making a decision of what to wear each day but it is more than the usual indecisiveness over dressing that one would expect from a normal teenage girl - it has gradually become a psychological problem, it brings on panic attacks, something both these girls would rather avoid. Similarly (in truth actually encouraged by the very therapist there are visiting in hope of seeking help) of girls are increasingly suffering from a form of agoraphobia. Part of the solution for both problems is the gradual introduction of a structured and rule-driven home life and of course the taking out of the hands of the responsibility of decision-making – thus clothing is chosen for them, uniforms become stricter and more juvenile, the regime is tightened up and finally, their carer wallowing in power, the cane is introduced.

Most of the rest of the story then takes place in institutionalised setting (as you have undoubtedly guessed from the title of the book) they are encouraged to join a residential clinical trial in the setting of a very secure section (it turns out) of the psychiatric wing of a remote and private hospital. Initially scheduled to be resident for three months both girls, approaching the end of that period, find themselves signing up to restart the study, the experimentalists Being disappointed at their participation thus far and with that extension of their stay comes a necessity for their agreement to have their status change to that of voluntarily admitted psychiatric patients. It goes without saying that there is an inheritance or two at stake and a couple of greedy stepmothers/guardians in the background somewhere, doesn't it - hackneyed I know; but I love that sort of Victorian Gothic feel. The thing is; in such an institutional setting the gloves off, so to speak. The girls join a small experimental group of test subjects, all strictly uniformed and humiliatingly so, and living under the strictest discipline. (There is all sorts of other stuff too going on; hypnosis, behaviour modification, the deliberate induction of phobias for the purposes of control, and of course both corporal punishment and psychological punishment, both in the context of a schoolroom/reform school scenario and in a prison/workhouse scenario).

The writing is not necessarily only reflect my interests of course, I set out to create a body of work based around a multi fetish framework and trying to incorporate as many different fetishes and interests as I could, whether or not they interest me, into some sort of cohesive storyline.

You say that you enjoy seeing a thorough disciplinary regime but possibly a more muted one than might be my taste. Well, the writing on the bulletin board is certainly more muted than anything that's within the books I've written but, as you've will have gathered by what I've written about it, I'm just as interested in those ideas as I'm in the more institutionalised discipline I've written about. There is something very special about the subtlety of some of the ideas, the cardigans for example, clothing coming from the charity shop. Yes there is that idea of enforced juvenile dressing but as you said in your postings on the bulletin it is generally best restricted to home use and to visit friends or relatives (in my mind I like to think of stepmother's being in control or governesses, incidentally; it is why I like the letters from Judith on the bulletin board so much although I prefer to think of her aunt as being more of an aunt figure rather than an actual aunt per se, ie her mother or father's sister). But then there are all the possibilities inherent in retrieving clothing from the charity shop, the idea of a deliberately frumpy look introduced as a form of punishment or control - out of date clothing or garments made unsuitable by their styling for a young woman of today. And there can be practicality in such a look; for example in Judith's case where it becomes necessary to perform household chores and work around the home or could be better than a nylon overall from the 1960s or 70s and if a smartly tailored dress style overall such as might have been worn by shop assistants or even secretaries of the time could be sourced then, with the privilege of an overcoat worn on top, a privilege that could be withdrawn in response to misbehaviour if necessary, it could be worn outside of the home, to perhaps go shopping etc. perhaps a rather ugly button-through calf-length dress in nylon or polyester, full skirted the tightly belted, preferably long-sleeved and in navy blue or some other muted colour - in warmer weather the type of round-necked cardigan described by several of the correspondents on the bulletin board could be worn in place of the overcoat should the girl complain of being too hot in it. But then of course the collar and top button would be on show (a high-buttoning style should always be chosen if possible, such as that shown to the right, and that top button kept fastened at all times) as well as the entire skirt from the waist downwards, the type of fabric and button-through styling leaving little doubt in the onlookers mind that it is part of some sort of uniform - an impression easily encouraged by the choice of a matching colour for the cardigan and perhaps a colour matched hair ribbon or scrunchy to hold her ponytail (although there is something to be said about a bun as a hairstyle for a young girl). I would imagine she would soon and be back in her overcoat whatever the weather (or cape perhaps - how about an old nurses cape of a colour to match the dress, if it could be found, and of course like everything else, sourced from a charity shop).

Another eminently suitable style for the modern miss undergoing dress discipline of the nature discussed above is that shown to the left. Taken from the 1960s film Up The Junction it is one of the inspirations behind the design I envisaged for the girls detained in the unit in INSTITUTIONALISED.

On the right is a pleated skirted nylon style that would be absolutely perfect if worn outdoors with a cardigan over the top as suggested. The skirt's design and fabric choice would then leave no doubt in the minds of onlookers, what ever the young lady might try to do, that she had been put in uniform and was living under a very strict form of discipline indeed. I really can't imagine such a regime being instigated without some form of enforcement through corporal punishment - but so much the better.

As for the objection about the more juvenile styling when worn in public - is understand it the problem is the public perception of a mature near full grown woman dressed in a child's clothes. But underwear may be chosen to minimise the swell of the breasts for example, outerwear can be kept loose, perhaps a variation of the cape theme again, or the girl can be encouraged to put on a little weight, if carefully managed it should be possible to lose some of the maturity of the figure by simply allowing the once trim waist to fill in while restricting the curve of the hips by the wearing of suitably constricting garments or underwear. Similarly the wearing of loose fitting non-waisted pinafore dresses rather than skirts and blouses or in the summer months a smock-styled zip fronted school summer dress with or without a cardigan (although either way her arms should be kept covered, so if no cardigan is to be worn then a long-sleeved dress is a must here) can also help disguise those mature curves. Worn as described with knee or ankle socks and sensible lace up shoes or even Mary Janes (but whatever the choice they should be strictly flat-heeled to minimise her height) and with the girl's hair tightly plaited into pigtails and tied with suitably coloured ribbon this outfit should knock years off her. As for hair of course detail such as highlights, streaks etc would have to go -a home visit from a hairdresser would be the solution; the application of a bit of dye in a nondescript mousy brown colour and a bit of hair straightening if necessary would go a long way to perfecting the look. Similarly fingernails should be cut short and obviously no form of makeup or jewellery should be worn at any time under such a regime.

The rest pretty much comes down to attitude and deportment, if she insists on behaving and holding herself as one of her actual chronological age then she will only draw attention to herself, it is in her own interest to let herself be accepted as the age suggested by her appearance. Similarly anyone supervising her would have to treat her in the appropriate manner - although I think this would soon become quite natural under the circumstances based on her appearance alone and others would also tend to treat her in the appropriate manner (thus helping further reinforce the girl into her role).

Anyway, that to me seems a solution where perhaps it is thought prudent to adopt a more long-term approach to juvenile dress discipline. Actually if you have a read through my blog you'll come across a story that I scanned from a 1970s magazine that followed along pretty much those lines. A stepmother has employed a governess and being worried about the age of her stepdaughter reflecting on her own age has asked the governess to encourage the girl to dress in a more juvenile manner and the woman's approach, albeit enforced by a few strokes of the cane where necessary, is get her charge to realise that it is better to actually try to seem as juvenile to others as her dress suggests than to struggle against it and make a spectacle of herself. She actually introduces the girl to people they meet as being 13 despite her in reality being 17 and of course the girl then quietly slips into the role.

Best wishes, Garth

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

i am in total agreement with dress/uniform discipline.
i am regularly made to wear a nylon overall of varying designs from plain blue to flowery and others like pink or red.
when wearing an overall i am made to clean even outside,though embarrasing it makes me more obedient and fearfull of females.