Book Review: Top 10 Fashion Mistakes by CDs and How to Fix Them

| Feb 16, 2014
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Review: Top 10 Fashion Mistakes by Crossdressers and How to Fix Them by Tasi

tasi-bookYet again, my editor asked me to review a book. I begged and pleaded. “No! I hate being mean!”

My editor, Angela, laughed “You love being a bitch. Now review the book or I’ll be forced to call the Spanish Inquisition with their Bore Worms!”

I didn’t want the Bore Worms again, so I took the assignment.

So. This book was written by fellow TGForum contributor Tasi Zuriack. But expect no favors, despite our mutual affiliation.

Okay. This is an e-book. As I’m old fashioned and prefer paper, I printed it. That way, I could read it if we lost power again due to snow.

Tasi is a life-long CD. To quote her biography:

She’s the founder of the Ladies of the Blue Ridge transgender group in Roanoke VA, Owner of the Yahoo group, the TG Woman, a prolific writer, commentator and blogger (the Fashionable TG Woman) and has written frequent fashion articles for TGForum, TG Reporter, Tri-Ess, Repartee (British), Pretty T-Girls magazine and the soon to be, The Style Room (Australian). Tasi currently resides in Merida, (Yucatan) Mexico. Her new website, Sister House, is dedicated to fashion and style for the transgender woman.

So, I’d say she’s qualified to discuss the topic. How does she do it? Well, she does it in a very intelligent way: she asks others and pools the best ideas. What you’re getting here is not just her opinion, but “best practices” from many sources.

First the author dishes on how and where she garnered this information. She then classifies TGirls into three different categories with which I agree (quoting):

1. The Genuines — these are the crossdressers who want to achieve a look as close
as possible to what a real woman would look like…. They are the ones who are aiming to look as
tasteful as possible and even pass for a genuine woman when out and about, even
though they may not wish ultimately to be a woman.

2. The Fantasists –– these are the crossdressers who love to wear over-the-top,
overtly sexual clothing that is an image of their ‘fantasy woman’, i.e. someone who
wears the shortest, tightest skirt/dress, stockings, high stiletto heels, big boobs, big
blonde hair etc….

I don’t believe that the crossdressers who choose this style of dressing do so
because they want to emulate real women. They are the ones that we’ll see wearing
the too short skirt with the too high heels and the brashest wigs and jewelry, and
they love it!

3. The Fetishists — these are the crossdressers who like to wear a particular theme
of clothing, possibly with a stronger link to the sexual aspects of transvestism than
say The Genuines would exhibit. So this may be rubber/latex wear, the secretary
look, the maid look, the burlesque look etc…

Tasi then covers ten topics, and has a lot to say about each.

Her topics are:

  1. Fashion Mistake #10 – Deportment and Mannerisms
  2. Fashion Mistake #9 – Dressing Like a Hooker
  3. Fashion Mistake #8 – Poor Grooming
  4. Fashion Mistake #7 – Clothes That Don’t Fit
  5. Fashion Mistake #6 – The Right Accessories
  6. Fashion Mistake #5 – Too Much Makeup
  7. Fashion Mistake #4 – Wearing Inappropriate Clothing
  8. Fashion Mistake #3 – We See Your Underwear
  9. Fashion Mistake #2 – That OMG Wig
  10. Fashion Mistake #1 – Age Appropriate Clothing?

I’m not going to tell you what she says, as that’s why she’s selling the book. However I will say this: there is a LOT of good advice. I’ve been back to dressing as my correct gender for five years now, and I still learned more than a little.

Okay, it wouldn’t be me if I didn’t go into the nitty gritty. Let’s talk grammar, style, and the other hard core English stuff. After all, I’m a former English teacher.

I’ve never spoken to the author, but I will guess that she writes exactly as she speaks, as her tone is very open and conversational. This is a good and bad thing. In a short piece, say an article or column, conversational works. However when it’s a book, the writing needs just a bit more structure. The idea is to keep the reader engaged and interested. And if the author is “conversational” it’s like having that one sided conversation with that person at the bar who just won’t shut up.

It also leads to sentence structure issues and grammatical errors, of which there are many, especially given that Tasi seems for some reason to write more in the Queen’s English than its American cousin. (Yes, I am versed in both. Call me bilingual.)

And Tasi, that’s my ONLY major gripe with this book. (I have a minor gripe with the cover. Kinda amateur night, but that’s ok.) Congratulations: you got past the Bitchy reviewer.

As noted above, the author lists ten major fashion faux pas, and I’ve been guilty of every one.

Sophie in short red dress


I’ll give you one of her tips as an example. Quoting from Mistake #10.

Men don’t smile.
The ladies in the example above sat with their brows furrowed and lips pressed together as contemplating some utterly worldly issue and it was working against their ability to pass as a woman. Most women have a more open and uplifted face and a smile that says you are accepted into the sorority. This can prove quite a challenge for transgender women, since most of the time we don’t think about what our face is doing until we express an emotion.

Now interestingly enough, maybe there’s another reason. Research shows that women don’t find happy men as attractive- — they prefer the moody type… just like the axiom that “women prefer bad boys.” Men, on the other hand, are drawn to happy women because a smiling woman is seen as submissive and vulnerable. So instead of concentrating on how to become a woman, just let your natural propensity for femininity shine through. That’s much more effective than plastering a fake smile on your face — and as a bonus you’ll feel better too

She is so correct. How many times to I go to TG Parties and people are sitting around glowering. They don’t even know they are doing it. I do it all the time. DID it! I’m correcting that.

Sophie smiling


And this is only a part of Mistake #10.

This book is FULL of amazing advice.

Top 10 Fashion Mistakes by Crossdressers and How to Fix Them is a book I wholeheartedly recommend as required reading for those just starting out in this thing we do. This book will sort out many of the questions beginner has.

However, I also recommend it to experienced TGs as I guarantee that there are things that all of us can take to heart in these pages. As I stated above, I’ve been back to dressing for five years, and I’m heading full steam to full time, and I learned many things from this book. Tasi, where were you five years ago when I NEEDED you?

Don’t bother answering that, as the book is here– NOW — and it is indispensable.


Nobody Expects the Spanish Inquisition!”

Top 10… is available as an eBook download at

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Sophie Lynne

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Comments (4)

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  1. scalesman scalesman says:

    I find myself in agreement with your assessment of Tasi’s book. In terms of content I give it very high ratings. I do agree with your comments about the style but as I read the book on line, in small increments, as my time permitted, I found the conversational style to be adequate and appropriate for the message that she was conveying.

    I will add that I have actually gone back to the book a few times to refresh my recollection about some of the points that she raised.

    Pat Scales

  2. Linda Jensen Linda Jensen says:

    I may have missed it but could you add to the review where the book is available?

  3. tasidevil tasidevil says:

    Guess I have to stop reading all those British publications, Sophie, if I’m beginning to sound like them 🙂 Actually, you should have seen the original cover, but I was told by a lady who operates a TG shop in CA that I would offend some ladies, hence the more vanilla one. Hugs…..Tasi