Make the most of your wardrobe

We all have lines that we read that we just wish we’d thought of.  For me there are many, but one sticks out above all the rest: “Beauty is not something you put on – it’s something you bring out”.

How true this is.

Particularly with respect to the crossdressing side of our lives.  It’s a long journey throughout which we all learn what to wear and how to wear it. The secret is to wear things that are “in fashion”, or constants that never goes out of fashion.

Your wardrobe should not make you stand out but, rather, should help you look attractive.

We all want to wear the things that make us look good, but we need to do it on a budget. The easiest way to do that is to wait for one of the many sales that stores tend to put on nowadays.  Or you could check out the eBay stores – some of them are quite reasonable, bordering on down-right cheap.

However you decide is best for your own shopping experience, remember to be smart with your purchases.  If you buy the right things, versatile clothes that can be used in a variety of ways – such as cardigans that can be worn open as cardigans or closed as tops – you can end up with a wardrobe that is manageable and will provide you with an outfit for every occasion.

This isn’t to say that you can’t buy that certain something trendy that you really like. Just be aware that what may be trendy for the younger set, may not look so good on an older body. If you take the time to study what the older woman is wearing you may notice that, if they do wear something that is trendy, they will always pair it with a basic.  And they will only wear one trend at a time.

Many crossdressers are probably taller than the average woman.  If you are tall, wearing the same colour top and bottom will make you look even taller, so try to mix up the colours.  Vertical stripes give a similar illusion;  conversely, horizontal stripes make you look wider or fuller, so avoid these If you’re on the heavier side.

It’s probably best to steer clear of stripes altogether and opt for prints instead. Stripes have a decidedly masculine feel about them but prints, especially florals, are more feminine.

Using colours

Everybody should have a few black items, not least the standard LBD (“Little Black Dress”).  Black can be worn whatever the season, it’s versatile and it creates the illusion of slimness.

But you also need colour.  Women wear colours and so should you.

But how do you go about finding out what colours work for you?  After all, some colours work well while others can make you look ill.

There have been suggestions that suggest that your skin tone may have something to do with it and, while this may true for some people, it isn’t a hundred per cent guaranteed.

The general rule goes something like this:
cool toned skin – wear cool colours
warm toned skin – wear warm colours

Like I said the system isn’t fool-proof, after all your decision on your skin tone is a highly subjective one.  For instance, I would consider my skin tone to be cool but I have worn some warm colours to great effect.

So, it looks like more experimentation will be required before you find out the colours that work in your case.  If you’re not sure what colours will work best for you, stick with peaches and pinks and stay away from greens, browns, and yellows.

Fitted versus tight

Fitted items can be as sexy as showing a lot of skin – sexier in my humble opinion because it leaves something to the imagination.

A fitted pair of trousers or jeans or a sweater that hugs your curves will still look sexy. But do take care to ensure that all your lumps and bumps are smoothed out by investing in body shaper. Corsets can be fun, but a decent body shaper will do the job just as well and it will be more comfortable for those longer dressing sessions.  Not to mention the fact that they cost a lot less.

Going strapless

You should only really consider strapless tops and dresses if you glue on your breast forms. If you’re self conscious about the top slipping, there are double-sided tapes available for just such occasions that will keep the fabric in place.

You can get double-sided fashion tape strips from most good lingerie stores (and some bad ones) or you could get some hypo-allergenic double-sided clothing tape from a craft store. Double-sided tape is not only helpful in securing strapless dresses, low cut necklines, and bra straps.

It may be worth getting some of this tape even if you don’t wear strapless items.  You’ll find it useful for a wealth of other things like emergency repairs of hems, preventing blouse gaps, or keeping wrap-around blouses or skirts closed.

Hosiery

It may not be obvious, but the colour of hosiery can be important.

Some things are easily over-looked, like wearing dark tights or stockings with light shoes – not a good look.  Rather confusingly, though, light hosiery with black or dark shoes works great – go figure!

Shoes

Heels do flatter your legs, but use inserts to give your feet some support.   Also, if you only dress on the odd occasion, consider that your legs – particularly your calf muscles – will not be used to being stretched for extended periods.  If you’re at home try to spend at least some of the time sat down to relieve some of the pressure.

We all have our favourite type of footwear, be it boots (stiletto or otherwise), strappy heels, court shoes – whatever yours is, try to remember that you may need to wear sensible shoes once in a while. And make sure, whatever footwear you buy, that they aren’t too tight OR too loose.  Either will only result in some bad foot pain.

Accessorise

Something that is so often over-looked when putting a wardrobe together is accessories.

Accessories can often “make” the outfit. For example, hand-bags. If you’re one of those crossdressers that loves to be out and about your hand-bag can be an important part of your overall “look”.

Women take their hand-bags pretty seriously – they have to when you look at the price of some of them.  Pick out something that has a bit of quality about it instead of that cheap bag.  A quality hand-bag will enhance your look more than you might think. If in doubt, go for a larger handbag rather than the smaller ones since you need room for your digital camera.

Another good suggestion is that, generally, your bag should match your shoes.  It isn’t a major faux-pas if they don’t, but it does show that you’ve given it some thought.

I can’t say that I have ever used a bag myself, mainly because I never go out but also because I find the prices bloody ridiculous.  I mean £100 plus for something that I’d only use once in a month of Sundays?  I can’t justify that kind of expense so I’m rather glad I’m a “stay-at-home” kinda girl.

Another important accessory that you probably should invest some money in is a belt.  It might surprise you to discover just what a belt can do for an outfit. The right kind of belt can help present a good figure – a wide belt, draped low in front but high at the back can enhance the illusion of wider hips. A wide belt made of thick elastic can also reduce the size of your belly bulge.

In conclusion

– Wear clothes that make you feel good about yourself
– Buy clothes a size larger and you’ll look thinner
– Dress for your age
– The higher the skirt, the higher the boot
– Outerwear is an important part of your wardrobe, make sure you have a femme coat
– To make your feet look smaller, try a pair of shoes with a rounded toe and very few straps. The more bare foot you see, the smaller the foot looks.

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