The Occasional Woman — Fashions that flatter

| Nov 3, 2014
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Blouson dress.

Blouson dress.

Dear Readers, I hope you all had a fabulous Halloween, and dazzled in your raiment! I was fortunate to go to a really outrageous Halloween ball in Philadelphia — and made some very interesting observations therein.

First, I was pleased to hang out with the one and only Angela Gardner; she is a lot of fun, and had on a quite glam dress. And she has the figure to wear a type of dress one doesn’t often see these days. It is called a Blouson style; think of a lowered-waist dress that kind of poofs at the waist. And this got me to thinking about dress styles, and choosing the most flattering shapes for YOUR shape.

A blouson looks best on a tall, slender human being. The blouson poof just above the defined waist breaks up the line of a torso, adds a pleasing amount of carefree curves, and is both classic and out of the ordinary.

Now, try putting that same style on a shorter and rounder lady — NO,NO,NO,NO! This combination looks like the Michelin Man in a skirt, shortens the visual line of the dress, makes one’s waist look BIGGER, almost as if one uses the extra fabric for storage of nuts and berries for winter.

pesant_topSimilarly, a “peasant” style dress or blouse can flatter some, and just look crappy on others. If one is of a generous build, and opts to sport a light colored or white peasant top, one runs the risk of looking like a basket of muffins — all fluffy and stuffed. Gathering at the neck and shoulders, if discreet and of a nicely drapie fabric, can look very feminine and attractive. If one is less ample in the boobal region, this style can create the illusion of a fuller rack, and a soft fabric will skim the curves nicely and make you look cuddly and fun.

A suit on a lady can be a sticky wicket — first off, if one has her some shoulders and must buy a suit to accommodate them, one can easily wind up with that good ol’ linebacker silhouette! Look for jackets with NO shoulder pads (often easier said than done), a soft fabric and especially a V-neck. This neckline is quite slimming, and gives the wearer an elongated torso appearance. I would also recommend that the jacket be of a darker color, and NOT some big-ass plaid or check. Way to go for the Human Billboard look! And a floral jacket can look cute OR like a slip-cover; take a trusted friend for her or his frank appraisal.

Plus size jumpsuit.

Plus size jumpsuit.

Jumpsuits. Whoa. If you are considering going for this outfit, which is inexplicably popular this season, here are a few things to consider — the torso of the average genetic male is a good 2 inches LONGER than that of most genetic females; if you are buying a woman’s jumpsuit, you can easily find the acts of sitting down, reaching your arms up or turning your head to see someone behind you to be incredibly uncomfortable or downright painful! The crotch will cut into yours, and ride up unmercifully. Also, sooner or later, most of us have to go to the potty, and to accomplish this you must take most of it off! Jumpsuits are not made with Dr. Denton type snap crotches.

Some general facts: Drapie fabric is usually softer and looks more classy and feminine than a stiff cloth, but not some cheapo knit, that just looks chintzy and sleazy. A straight across the shoulder boat neck or ballet neck serves to emphasize shoulders, and can put you in the fullback category. Too much gathering at the neck can make the wearer look fussy and puffy if one is of a more Amazonian build, but can soften and add dimension to the less robust girl. Fabrics should not cling in a sleazy way (unless that is the goal!), nor should they be so stiff and unyielding that one will look like a package to be shipped via UPS.

Do yourself a favor and go shopping with a trusted friend, who has either good eyesight or good vision correction. Try on lots of styles and fabrics — it can be great fun, and you will be able to discover what works for YOU!

Do have a great time, enjoy the Autumn, and I’ll catch y’all on the flip side.

Lorraine Anderson is the woman behind the crossdresser seamstress service, The Occasional Woman.

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Category: Style, Transgender Body & Soul, Transgender Fashion, Transgender How To

The Occasional Woman

About the Author ()

I am a native Californian who has been based in the Philadelphia area since 1984. My first CD fashion creation was a gold lamé dress for the now esteemed editor of this publication. Since then I have made tons of fabulous frocks and other fashion apparel for the crossdressing and transgender community. Contact me for custom clothing or alterations via email: Visit my Facebook page, @alterationsbylorraine

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