Accessories — the Secret to Stylish Dressing

| Jan 11, 2016
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Accessories, particularly for the beginning crossdresser, is the single most important element in stylish dressing. Why? Because one of the secrets to stylish dressing is to use illusion (using line, design, fabric, color, scale, texture, sheen), and distraction (detail). When you get all the elements right for you, the effect is magical. . They are the touches to an outfit that express individuality and style.

My favorite way to create distraction (which is an essential part of the magician’s arsenal) is to use accessories. Clothing experts predict accessories will be more important as styles become more classic and investment dressing a necessity. Wise consumers can no longer afford to purchase clothes having a short fashion life; they are buying fewer clothing items of better quality. Accessories make basic clothing versatile by changing the mood and image of an outfit.

But what are all those other elements. Don’t worry about them. One of the essential style lessons from Audrey Hepburn, herself a Style Icon, is start with a simple dress. A perfect Jackie O-inspired sheath dress for instance will carry your through interviews, nice lunches and dinners, business casual functions, hot dates, and so much more. Look for styles that hit right at or slightly above your knees. They’ll be conservative enough for proper functions, but short enough to play!

sheath dresses

So how best to use accessories to create the focal points you want?

Let’s look at the basics:

1. Glasses – highlights face/eyes – ensure the frame style is current, suits your coloring, face shape and facial features.

2. Earrings – highlights face – drawing attention to the face, which is the communication center, is ideal as when people are looking in your eyes, they’re not looking at your thighs! Or your boobs.

3. Necklaces – highlights decolletage and torso – draws attention upwards, length of necklace will change where the focal point sits. Above the bust draws up to the face low pendants that hang below the bust draw attention to your stomach. Large pendants above the bust will make your bust look smaller.

4. Brooches – highlights decolletage – great for people with short or thick necks who don’t like necklaces. Wear high on your shoulder if you’re petite to draw attention upwards.

Consider for instance pearl jewelry. An absolute staple of any preppy and sophisticated wardrobe is a classic set of pearl jewelry. Real pearls are expensive, but awesome lookalikes can be found almost everywhere. Look for pieces that have a substantial weight to them and aren’t too iridescent in color.
• Pearl stud earrings make any outfit — even scrubby jeans and a t-shirt — look polished and intentional.
• A pearl brooch pinned to the lapel of a blazer or used to hold a scarf in place will look unexpected and — dare I say — editorial.
A long string of pearls around your neck will look fantastic with any LBD or sheath dress.

pearl jewelry

5. Watches/bracelets – highlights wrists, forearms, hands – wear only on one side if you’re an A, 8 or X shape so that they don’t widen your hips.

6. Rings – highlights hands and fingers – great if you’re expressive and wave your hands around when speaking.

7. Belts – highlights waist and/or hips – fantastic focal point creator if you have a defined waist (A, 8, X shape) or want to define a long waist (some I, V and H shapes) or wear lower on your hips if you’re short waisted. More often than not, the difference between making an outfit go from “okay” to “wow” is by cinching the waist with a skinny belt. They’re more subtle than thick belts, so they won’t take away from the other elements of your ensemble. Plus, they’ll give you shape and look totally flattering!

skinny belts

And check out All About Belts in the Sister House Library

8. Scarves – highlight neck, decollatage and torso depending on the fabric, length, shape and weight, can be used to draw attention up, like a necklace, or create vertical details to elongate your torso.

9. Shoes – highlights feet, ankles, calves – if you want to look taller, blend shoes to trousers or skin. If you want to create a focal point choose an alternate color shoe to make your feet a feature. Everything you’ll want to know About Shoes is in the Sister House Library

many types of shoes

19. Handbags – Handbags run a close second to shoes as a woman’s favorite accessory and like shoes, your handbag says a lot about you. I love buying  trendy bags, but you do need to consider your body type too. All you need to know is here.

perfect handbag

Accessories can make or break your outfit. Too few accessories and you look underdressed. Too many and you look like a Christmas tree.

Your accessories should also be in harmony with your body proportions. If you’re full-bodied, avoid dainty accessories like tiny earrings or a delicate bracelet. Instead, wear heavier, thicker pieces that go with your size.

And don’t forget the Power of Color in your accessories. Jennifer and Pam talk to this important subject in “A Well Styled Life”

Accessorize for your style personality

Your accessories should reflect your style personality but what is yours? Everything you want to know is here


Summing It Up

Accessories are only as important as your total look. No ensemble or costume is complete without accessories. They provide you with a finished, polished appearance that underscores your individuality. As with any form of art, using accessories requires the careful manipulation and blending of elements and principles of design. Develop an eye and sensitivity to the coordination of the clothing and accessories you wear. Recognize your good and bad features and your personal coloring. Select clothing based on your lifestyle. Scan fashion magazines, people watch, attend fashion shows, watch television programs relating to personal appearance and fashion and take a look at the All About (fashion) section of the Sister House Library. Don’t hesitate to try a new idea and play with the coordination of clothing and accessories. Experimentation can save you money and add flair to your image.


There are many great ideas in the Sister House Pinterest albums.

Also check out our many fine stores in the Sister House Boutique. And here are some of our speciality accessory stores

eBags      Belt Outlet     Jolly Chic      Scarves

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Category: Style, Transgender Fashion


About the Author ()

Tasi was a transgender, married, lifelong crossdresser. She passed away in late 2018. She’s the founder of the Ladies of the Blue Ridge transgender group in Roanoke VA, a prolific writer, commentator and blogger including fashion articles for Tri-Ess, TG Reporter, Repartee, and Pretty T-Girls magazine. Tasi currently resides in Merida, (Yucatan) Mexico. Her new website, Sister House and her blog, the Fashionable TG Woman are dedicated to fashion and style for the transgendered woman. Tasi’s book, "Top Ten Fashion Mistakes By Crossdressers and How To Fix Them" is available on Amazon or on her site free to subscribers.

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