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What Not To Wear

| Oct 31, 2011
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Bad dress for the mall.

MtF crossdressers often love to strut their stuff in the sexiest fashions. Who doesn’t love a mid-thigh mini dress with spaghetti straps and a plunging neckline? Same goes for those skyscraper heels the hot girls are wearing. We all love to look sexy and hot, and feel sexy and hot when we slip into those trendy and nightclub-ready outfits. It just goes with the territory for many of us.

But —  you knew I was going to get to but — there is a transaction that goes on with the rest of the world when you go out in hot, sexy attire. The statement you are making is, “I am hot and ready to rock your world.” The rest of the world is supposed to respond, “Hey baby, you are hot and I would like you to rock my world.” The problem occurs when the response we get is, “Huh? I think that’s a dude.”

Better dress for the mall.

Let me state right here that it’s all about what we want to feel like, not how people judge us. This is not meant to be one of those dress-conservatively-to-blend-in-and-don’t-embarrass-the-community opinion pieces. Go ahead and embarrass the community if it makes you feel like a hot young woman on the prowl. Wear what you want in TG friendly places. If you don’t mind getting a ton of attention in public go ahead and wear what you like at the mall. There’s no shame in showing off and letting the world know you are TG — however — if you want to blend in while mingling with the general public here are a few clues on how to do it.

Take Stock of Your Equipment

Most important in the effort of attempting to blend is to understand that your particular equipment — your face, hands, body — may not lend themselves to achieving your dream look. If you don’t have the slender build, the smaller hands, or you are over five foot ten you can’t expect to wear the latest fashion from Guess, Aqua or BCBG without having people notice you’re actually a guy. The shortcomings of your equipment will stand out when seen attired in sexy, trendy outfits. Like I said before, don’t let it stop you from wearing those things if they make you feel good. Just be prepared for looks, comments etc. — and remember looks and comments are nothing to be worried about. It’s only the few who feel so threatened that they have to attack you who can become a problem. Try to avoid them.

Now, on to the blending in hints.

Even Beyoncé can't manage those shoes.

I was in Macy’s a couple of months ago and a young woman was browsing the racks in the section I was cruising for bargains. She wore platform heels with 5 inch stilettos. While I loved the look, when she moved she had no grace and it was obvious that she wasn’t comfortable in the shoes. Shoes that make your ankles wobble or make you look like you’re concerned that your next step will drop you to the floor don’t make you look sexy. You don’t see RuPaul all shaky when she struts. If you’re gonna wear those things, even to the mall, be sure you can work ’em. If you can’t they will only call attention to you that you may not want.

Dressing for the place you’re going is always a good idea. Using the mall example again let’s think about what kind of outfits you see women wearing there. There will be some very fashionable women, perhaps even in extreme heels, who work at the mall and dress in clothes that come from the store where they work. A few of the shoppers will also be dressed up, but they will not be in the majority. You’ll see women shoppers wearing what used to be only worn as work out gear.  There will be jeans and T-s, comfortable dresses, business looking outfits and some upscale couture, depending on where your mall is located.

How should you dress to fit in at the mall? Wear whichever of the outfits mentioned suits your figure and age. If you are 50, 5’11” and you want to not attract attention don’t wear four-inch heels, patterned tights with a short mini skirt and a bare midriff top. Wear flats, the upscale work out look, or the business woman shopping after work look. A pair of slacks, or knee-length skirt with a camisole and sweater and you will fit right in.

Take into consideration what outfit you have worn that everyone, GGs and TGs, said you looked great in. What was it like? Did it have cap sleeves that minimized your shoulders? Was it low-cut to lengthen your neckline? These are all factors in how you can dress to make the most of what you’ve got. We all know, or should, that certain hairstyles can flatter your face and hide unfeminine aspects. Clothes can do the same for your body.

Very popular right now are the loose tops that have a waistline right under the breasts and then flare out to the hem down by the hips. These tops look great on a slim body with protruding breasts. They don’t look great on a body with protruding breasts and a protruding gut. This is an example of a counter intuitive style. Many people think, “Oh, my gut is not going away so I will hide it under this top that is cut loose around the midriff.” The loose midriff actually calls attention to the gut underneath. What you need is a look that gives you the appearance of a waistline. Look at what stylish larger women are wearing and give that a try. (Or work on getting rid of that gut.)

Muffin top!

Don’t wear low-rise jeans if you can help it. Low rise jeans are meant to ride on a woman’s hips. Most men do not have such hips and you can end up with a bad case of “muffin top.” Often our figures need help and hip pads and a waist reducing undergarment are necessary for us to look our best. Low rise jeans will slid off of your Spanx far too easily. A girl with her trendy jeans sliding down around her thighs will definitely attract attention.

Fortunately higher waist jeans are coming back into fashion. The high waist allows you to wear a waist reducing undergarment without fear of losing your pants, and you can wear the loose tops over the jeans without having a protruding gut.

To sum up; don’t be obsessed with “passing” but if you want to not attract attention use the same rule that applies to makeup — learn to blend. Identify your best looks and wear those styles in the appropriate places. And your best fashion accessory is always confidence. Have fun!

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Category: Transgender Body & Soul, Transgender How To, Transgender Opinion


About the Author ()

Angela Gardner is a founding member of The Renaissance Transgender Association, Inc., the former editor of that organization's newsletter and magazine, Transgender Community News. She wrote the Diva of Dish column for TGF in the late 1990s and was the Editor of LadyLike magazine until its untimely demise. She is currently the Editor of TGF. She has appeared in film and television shows portraying TG characters, as well as representing Renaissance on numerous talk shows. In her idle hours she keeps busy producing her monthly TG parties, Angela's Laptop Lounge.

Comments (4)

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  1. says:

    great advise love yourselves as you are girls. Thanx
    Tee Capee

  2. says:

    You mean this miniskirt is too hot for a little league game? *sighs*

    Great piece! 🙂

  3. awesome presention – right on awesome insight. what is your real goal make sure it matches your presentation. i like to say to myself i want to a complement to feminity and all the beauty that the women in me is meant to be. i know what i like when i see a fabulous women and how it inspires the the beauty in me but i remind self wher am i going and what will really ake me complement alll i am and can be. thanks for this the reminder and advice hugs veronica black

  4. says:

    I totally agree here Girl, you know the old saying “spandex is not for everyone”, well some of these hip hugger jeans are not for everyone either lol
    And agreed about what to wear while shopping, be modest Girls, it will go a long way toward giving yourself a classy image, if that is what you want to portray =)
    You can look sexing without “Putting It Out There” just by showing your feminine features, like accentuating your waist or boobs.

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