Liverpool Travel


At Sudley House in Liverpool it’s a special exhibition called Transformation – One Man’s Cross-Dressing Wardrobe. Both the museum and the exhibition are free.

Transformation - One Man’s Cross-Dressing Wardrobe

Peter Farrer was born in Surrey in 1926 and lived in Liverpool for many years. His father was a schoolmaster and a clergyman. He started cross-dressing from the age of 14. He died this year aged 90. He had an interest in women’s period costumes and he collected garments, evening dresses from the 30s to 80s. He liked dresses made from taffeta. The exhibition displays 21 garments from Peter’s wardrobe.

Cross dressing means the wearing of clothing which is usually associated with the opposite sex to oneself. There can be different reasons to do that, from wearing them as a costume for a performance, transitioning from a gender to another or exploring part of their sexuality.

Peter identified himself as a straight man who liked to cross-dress. He had a clothing fetish centred on wearing of taffeta dresses.

Transformation - One Man’s Cross-Dressing Wardrobe

Peter served in the Army for three years before going to Oxford University. In the background is a picture of him as a young man in the Civil Service. He was married twice and had a son and three stepsons. He wore his clothes in private.

Transformation - One Man’s Cross-Dressing Wardrobe

Details of an evening dress made from polyester taffeta from around 1985 – 1990. The dress is beautiful.

Transformation - One Man’s Cross-Dressing Wardrobe

A rayon taffeta evening dress, printed, from about 1930 – 1935. The cleavage looks so beautiful, I like it a lot.

Transformation - One Man’s Cross-Dressing Wardrobe

Evening dress with applied glass beads and sequins from 1950s.

Transformation - One Man’s Cross-Dressing Wardrobe

I like this type of huge bows on the back of the dresses. This dress is from the early 60s.

Transformation - One Man’s Cross-Dressing Wardrobe

Transformation - One Man’s Cross-Dressing Wardrobe

I liked the exhibition very much. I didn’t know much about cross dressing, so it was informative too. A couple of hundred years ago a woman in a pair of trousers would have been cross dressing. Who knows, maybe in a couple of hundred years time we wouldn’t be bothered who wears a dress or a skirt.

5 Comment

  1. What an interesting exhibition! They are beautiful dresses though, can’t blame him for wanting to wear them! 😀

  2. This is fascinating! It’s amazing to think that trousers would be considered Cross dressing for women. We have more choices in terms of what is culturally considered ‘conventional’ clothing than men, we are luckier in that respect nowadays!

  3. Oh these are stunning! I love these kinds of exhibitions where they feature older styles and dresses and knowing the history behind it is even more intriguing. I’ve only ever been to the Fashion Museum in Bath where they had some similar styles but these are gorgeous! Lovely photos too. The dress with the little flowers around the collar area is gorgeous! – Tasha

  4. This looks fascinating! The dresses are beautiful but I’m finding his story more interesting. It’s odd to think how a woman wearing trousers would be considered cross dressing back in the day eh?

  5. I don’t remember visiting Sudley House, but my parents insist I have! I’d love to visit it again, this looks like a wonderful exhibition. I’d never heard of Peter Farrer before this post, so thank you for teaching me!

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