Yes, Ladies of Every Shape Can Wear a Bodycon Dress

| Oct 15, 2018
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Yes, a bodycon (body conscious) dress can be worn by every lady, even us mature plus size ladies. One of my first columns for TG Forum over 5 years ago was on the Condum Dress; yes, that super slinky, reveal everything dress that seems to a perennial favorite of crossdressers, but was meant for athletic, slim built women, Donnakelli and the Kardashians of course.

Bodycon models

Well, whatever was I thinking that my plus size, apple-shaped body would ever look good in one. Surprisedly I bought a LBD with a leopard print jacket on Ebay (see why I love Ebay) in my size but when I tried it on, I didn’t exactly have to roll it on, but it was tight under the bust and just below. Now mirrors don’t lie, right, and I did look good, and as you’ll soon learn, layering is great for a plus-size body if done right.

And then I also remembered that I’m in Mexico and Latin/Mexican women are not ashamed of their bodies. They in fact love their form fitting (also known as tight) clothes, abundant bellies notwithstanding.

Mexican women

And you’d be surprised at the number of plus-size bloggers (yes, real women) that are wearing the bodycon dress now and it’s all about how it makes you feel. Those old rules don’t seem to apply (elegance is not a word that works here), but there are a few styling tips that will help the bodycon dress flatter your figure, whatever it is, while channeling your inner diva to feel fabulous.

bloggers

Bloggers

Dos & Don’ts Of Wearing A Bodycon Dress

Camouflage the Tummy

If you’re not comfortable about your tummy, you can cover it up. Pick a wide belt that will have a slimming effect and instantly becomes the focal point of your outfit.

Don’t Forget Shapewear

Ladies, shapewear is a blessing and there’s no shame in getting a little help to make you look and feel better. Shaping underwear can flatten a not-so-flat tummy, smooth bulges, conceal panty lines and just help you feel more fantastic.

Printed Dress

You can camouflage your curves, too, if you prefer. A printed fabric is perfect for that. Just stay away from prints that are too wide or big, which could make you look a little heavier.

Tips 1-3

Left-Camouflage the Tummy, Middle-Don’t forget shapewear, Right-Printed dress

Layered Tops

If you’d prefer not to reveal your mid-section, you can cover it up with the help of pretty layers. Layers help to give you a more balanced look, making you look in proportion.

Choose a Darker Color

A dark bodycon dress is great for plus size figures and women who want to look ultra-chic. With a dark dress, you can look vertical and elongated, and it will have  a slimming effect. Black is good but other dark colors work well too like purple or Navy. Don’t forget to pair your dress with a sparkly clutch and heels for added flare.

Choose a Good Fabric

In fact, choose the best fabric you can afford. Pick fabrics that are firm enough to hold onto plumper areas without giving the appearance of extra bulges. Sheer clothing will only make every detail of your figure more visible, especially the panty line, and every girl wants to avoid that.

Tips 4-6_

Left-Layered Tops, Middle-Choose a Darker Color, Right-Choose a Good Fabric

Panelled Dresses

Side panels are a beautiful way to make your figure appear slimmer. A bodycon dress with side panels on both sides gives the illusion of a slim-fit.

The Neckline

A neckline also plays a role in how you balance your look. If you have a rounder stomach, choose a deeper neckline to divert the eyes up. A plunging V neckline also makes you appear taller.

Shoes

A bodycon dress screams glam, don’t kill the vibe with flats. Heels will help amp up the look, while also elongating your frame and helping your silhouette appear slimmer. Pumps, stilettos and even wedges work — whichever you’re comfortable with.If you’re not comfortable wearing heels, opt for comfy platforms and low wedges.

Tips 7-9_

Left-Panelled Dresses, Middle-The Neckline, Right-Shoes

Don’t Over-accessorize

Let the dress be the showstopper and keep the accessories minimal to avoid looking OTT. A few key pieces like a watch, dangling earrings and a clutch are enough to keep the look tasteful.

Show Off Your Best Feature

It may hug you all over, but you can still use it to flaunt your best assets. A strapless dress or even a halter neck can show off toned shoulders and killer collarbones. A super short length can flaunt gorgeous legs — pick one that accentuates your best feature!

Knowing Your Body Shape Is Essential

Now, don’t hate me, but I do think that regardless of the confidence (which is key in fashion), being aware of our dimensions and our body type is essential to wear whatever we want.

Not so long ago, these clothes were thought to be only flattering on skinny and slightly curvy women, and nowadays many still don’t dare to wear them because we think that their tightness will only highlight our flaws. But if you love a bodycon dress then you must know what works best with your body type to wear them and look great. So, here are the bodycons that look best on the most common body shapes for crossdressers.

Apple

In this body type, mass is accumulated on the upper area, so it refers to bodies with medium to big breasts, broad shoulders, and generally not a well-defined waistline. From the hips to the legs everything is narrower compared to the upper part of the body. Now, you’d want to highlight the length of the legs but also the shoulders to balance your body. So, the best bodycons for apple shapes are those that accentuate the shoulder region with details like some loose fabric on the area or even with patterns. Also to bring attention to the legs, choose a short dress that shows them off. Finally, in order to conceal the mid-section, it’s advisable to find a dress that doesn’t pay too much attention to that part. So, avoid the faux belts or another sort of decoration on that part.

Apple body shapes

Straight/Rectangular

What happens with this body type is that the shoulders and hips maintain basically the same width. So, you must give some dimension to your body and curves to accentuate the hips. You can also find a dress that highlights the shoulders and hips, but you must do it in a balanced way, since adding volume to all these parts will only emphasize your original body shape. Focus on the waist to make it look smaller and add some volume to the bust and hips to create an hourglass effect. Ruffles can be your best friends to achieve this.

Straight body shapes

Hourglass

This is probably the body type we’ve heard about the most. This is defined by an accentuated waist while the shoulders and bust area are similar in width with the hips giving that classic shape. In this case, you must accentuate the waist, take advantage of the defined lines of your body, and go for dresses with belts or with patterns that highlight and even tighten that area. V neck dresses look great on you, since they drag the attention to the center of the body leading to the waist. Now, most bodycons have this feature, but you must be careful not to go for those that also bring attention to the upper area of the shoulders because this will only unbalance your already balanced body.

Hourglass shapes

Women Sizes 0 Through 28 Try on the Same Bodycon Dress

Watch women sizes 0 through 28 try on the exact same bodycon dress. They discuss their experiences going shopping for bodycon dresses and how they feel about wearing them.   Wow – this is an amazing dress… because it basically looks horrible on ALL OF THEM. What a special dress that can really make every body type look bad (Not what you expected, Huh!)

Still not sure, then take a look at these 30 ladies

Bottom line, ladies. Maybe you can pull it off and maybe not, but we’ve given you the how to’s. Now what it takes is self-confidence. The term invites you to show your body and be aware of it. We could even cheat a little and say it’s mostly based on self-confidence. But if you love these pieces, bear in mind that you must know what works best with your body type to wear them and look great. And have fun.

Here are some additional styling tips for wearing a bodycon dress:

20 Style Tips On How To Wear Casual Bodycon Dresses

How to Style a BODYCON DRESS on a Curvy Body!

STYLE CHALLENGE: The Bodycon Dress

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Category: Style, Transgender Fashion

tasidevil

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.

Comments (9)

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  1. tasidevil tasidevil says:

    OK Graham. Read this https://www.alreadypretty.com/industry/ from Sally McGraw, a well known Minneapolis blogger, and her recognition that there is an all encompassing industry out there to make women feel bad about their bodies and to buy their solutions

  2. tasidevil tasidevil says:

    Had to add this to my comments as it is pertinent to Graham’s comments, Who Do You Dress For? by Justine LeConte https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qYWGZY-ksOo&t=26s. Be careful, she’s a French fashion Designer (but also the most honest and practical woman in fashion today). She’s my go source for much of my fashion research

  3. tasidevil tasidevil says:

    I find that comments on FB pages about appearance are almost always positive. No one is going to make negative comments let alone constructive criticism at the risk of negative blowback from others. That said, you look fine in all the photos I’ve seen of you. And I’ve always commended you for being who you are

    I wasn’t using inflammatory words like “dictate”, that came from you. Whatever makes you think they are brainwashed…that’s your own prejudices coming through

    True fashion experts have studied their trade just like doctors, plumbers and airline pilots all study their trade and they use their expertise to help others. You rail against informed advice but yet I don’t see where Graham has studied fashion or has credentials in the subject, yet you blow off those that have credentials.
    Actually, the best piece of advice I ever received was fine another woman whose style you like and emulate her

    Looking good creates positive feedback from others as well as for yourself as proven in a number of psychology studies. You can Google for the details. Of course you could blow off the psychologists too.
    Again you missed or ignored the point Graham. Feel free to wear neon shirts or pink tutus if it makes you feel good but don’t expect others to see you as you see yourself. Not going to happen. People usually make their judgments of others in who they are in the first few seconds-that’s human nature. Fact of life…you’re not going to get to know the person if you can’t get past the visual. Railing against it doesn’t change it.

    Not knocking the rule breakers but rules had a reason for coming into being which tend to be generational in nature, like don’t wear white after labor Day. Not true now as winter white can be very beautiful. Here’s an interesting article from Sally McGraw (be careful – she’s a fashion guru) just published on rule breaking https://www.alreadypretty.com/rules-made-to-be-broken/. Always welcome your dialogue, Graham

    • Graham Graham says:

      We’re not going to agree on this, but let me tell you why I’m so dismissive of fashion experts.

      Firstly, I should say that I don’t despise experts per se – just self-appointed ones who ride the bandwagon of populism, but have little innate talent. The so-called music industry (how can a creative art be an “industry”??) is chock-full of them. I understand that cutting cloth and making clothes is a skill in the same way that writing a piece of music is a skill, but I don’t have to like the result, or agree that it’s taken imagination to create it. I also don’t have to agree with a critic’s hailing of a piece of music or an item of clothing as a “work of genius” … because most of the time, it’s no such thing.

      OK – I admit that while I have considerable expertise in music, I don’t have any particular expertise in sartorial style. But in the same way that a non-musician can like a piece of music which I detest, I can like wearing a style of clothes which the experts tell me doesn’t work. They can tell me a I’m a snob for liking classical music, I can tell them they’re pretentious and talking rubbish. It’s likely that neither of us is qualified to make such a comment, but we all defend our choices in our own way.

      Oh, BTW – as for my friends on Facebook always being complimentary about my outfits, I did say that they don’t have to comment. If they don’t like what I’m wearing, they can stay quiet – plenty do. But they’re also free to come out and say they don’t like it. I can take the criticism, and I can choose to act on it or not as I wish. Sometimes I even ask for advice. I hope my friends – you included – realise that provided their comment is civil, we can remain friends. The only thing I won’t tolerate is blatant insults.

      I’m dismissive of fashion experts because from where I stand, there’s a gaping hole in field in the form of male-cut skirts and dresses … every other corner of the market is satisfied. I’m not talking about full-femme crossdressers, but men – as men. There seems to be an endless succession of (usually-male) fashion experts telling women how to dress in whatever they feel like wearing, but not a single one appears to want to rise to the challenge of putting men in skirts and dresses. The usual response is that “men won’t buy them” or “there’s no market” for it. While I don’t happen to believe it’s as black-and-white as they claim, it is nonetheless a self-fulfilling prophecy, because there won’t be a market all the time people like them shy away from trying something TRULY radical. They’ve managed to convince women to wear what they create, now let’s see them do something difficult. Perhaps they can’t … perhaps they’re not good enough?

      In whatever field you care to name, endlessly rearranging components that already exist is easy – pop music writers do it all the time, and I’ve even tried it myself. But to come up with something brand new and original is the mark of genius I referred to earlier, and maybe one in a thousand “experts” in a particular field will achieve it. Fashion designers may indeed have studied their craft at college, but if the music analogy holds true, this merely reinforces the status quo by having students study the work of past masters. Show me a person – a musician, a writer, a physicist, or a clothes designer – who can come up with a truly original piece of work, and I’ll sit up and listen.

      The upshot of this is that people like me have to make do with clothes which aren’t designed to fit a person with narrow hips, wide shoulders, and no bust … so I’m at a major disadvantage in looking good before I even start! That’s why – for better or worse – I have to make my own rules.

      • tasidevil tasidevil says:

        Well I can’t talk to the world of music. I’m still stuck in the 50s with Mr Sandman (Chordettes) and Lonesome Town (Ricky Nelson) 🙂 and admittedly there have been too many men designers that controlled the runways for many years. I’m not sure how many really new innovative designs are possible in fashion. If you look at Fashion history (https://www.sisterhouse.net/library/2015/06/13/fashion-pieces-that-changed-what-women-wear/) there are designers that stand out through the decades and have made a difference like Coco Chanel and her LBD, Mary Quant and the mini-skirt, Diane von Furstenburg with the wrap dress to name a few.

        In more modern times, I follow women designers/bloggers and they tend to be French or Australian and one German lady.

        As far as male cut skirts, etc, only a few trans boutiques carry clothes designed for the male body (En Femme, etc) but they are focused on the bodycon styles without a full range and are expensive (for a reason). The plus size industry is growing and new designers are coming aboard all the time and many of these women have male like physiques. But you are right that you are in a niche that designers don’t look at and probably never will.

        Actually you are wrong in one aspect. Modern designers are ignoring the work of the old masters. Most of these designers would not even know how to use a sewing machine (read “The Lost Art of Dress). And the advent of “fast fashion”has destroyed the expertise and experience of our classical designers in past decades. I don’t see a lot of hope except for a few like Justine Leconte who I mentioned earlier.

        Just keep doing what you do, Graham. i enjoy the repartee

  4. Graham Graham says:

    The idea of “looking right” in any item of clothing is a mixture of convention and pretension … it comes down to whether you believe that fashion designers and fashion gurus actually know what they’re talking about. I don’t – IMHO, fashion “rules” are a massive con-job, perpetrated by a multi-billion dollar global industry whose aim is to ensure that people – mainly women – keep spending money on new clothes.

    The only thing you need to consider is whether YOU feel confident in your body and in your clothes. If you do, that’s fine – end of story. Break the rules, ignore traditions, dress to please yourself rather than others.

    • tasidevil tasidevil says:

      Sorry Graham. You have no clue. Women in general are concerned about how their body parts will display which is the reason we have so many opinions but I have been following fashion for some time now and there are many great fashion bloggers out there with no commercial interests that simply want to help woman look good in what they wear. That is reason I have a section called Body Shape Compendium (https://www.sisterhouse.net/library/category/all-about/body-shape-compendium/?numtoshow=3&archive=yes) which helps you select clothes that look on your body shape and another section on the Pyschology of Clothing (https://www.sisterhouse.net/library/category/all-about/psychology-of-clothing/?numtoshow=3&archive=yes) In fact Sister House is heavily focused on fashion and style for the transwoman.

      One reason we have so many bloggers and why shows like “What Not To Wear” were so popular is because many women don’t know how to dress themselves for best effect and if women have problems, crossdressers and trans women have even less of a clue, often some fantasized version of womanhood, hence the bodycon dress or even the frumpy look.

      In case you didn’t notice, there was a bit of satire in the article especially the video. Frankly you don’t have the qualifications to voice that opinion but you are entitled to one nevertheless. Not all women just spend money on clothes. In fact European women (French/Italian) have very limited wardrobes but highly selective pieces that they can wear in many different combinations

      • tasidevil tasidevil says:

        Actually here’s another relevant article just posted by one of those fashionistas that you disregard https://mail.yahoo.com/neo/launch?.src=ym&reason=myc#5936860172

      • Graham Graham says:

        OK …

        “You have no clue.” Really? I get compliments all the time from my female friends about how I look, many of which should be visible to you on my Facebook page. No-one’s compelled to comment, but they choose to do so of their own accord … why do you think that is? Or do they also “have no clue”?

        “Women in general are concerned about how their body parts will display”. That’s my point exactly. Who brainwashed them into believing that they should be concerned about the shape of their own bodies? What gives anyone the right to dictate how other people should look, far less how they should feel about themselves? How dare they be so presumptuous! Last time I checked, that’s textbook bullying …

        “Many women don’t know how to dress themselves for best effect”. What is “best effect”? Who defines it, and what privilege or knowledge do they possess in order to do so? Why is the opinion of a fashion “expert” sacrosanct? Why should their opinion any more valid than yours or mine?

        “You don’t have the qualifications to voice that opinion, but you are entitled to one nevertheless.” How gracious … thank you so much! No clue AND no qualifications? You must think I’m a real dunce! So what constitutes a “valid” opinion, and what qualifications do I need in order to have one? Who determines what those qualifications should be? You, perhaps? If I say – from experience – that I look good in certain clothes, who are you to say that I don’t know what I’m talking about? Do my friends also need qualifications to judge what I look like, or should I disregard their opinions because they’re not fashion gurus?

        I appreciate that fitting in with fashion conventions – “looking good” in your terms – can affect the way people feel about themselves, but it’s not exclusive to the process. If the world valued people for who they are rather than what they look like on the outside, then people would start valuing themselves as individuals too – “warts and all” – and the world would be a much nicer place to live in. I trust you’d agree?

        As things stand, it’s “safe” to go with the crowd, and the vast majority of people prefer not to stick out and draw attention to themselves. That’s a shame, but we are where we are. However, for many people, being an individual IS a necessary part of feeling good about themselves … and if you don’t mind me saying, I have far more experience in that particular department than you do! My fashion sense certainly isn’t traditional for a man in his seventh decade, but if I choose to wear a bright blue and green ra-ra skirt for a night out – or, topically, a couple of neon tutus – instead of a pair of dark brown trousers, what right does anyone have to tell me that it’s not acceptable? Getting self-confidence from a rule-book which tells you what you can and can’t wear in order to “look good” may be something you want to promote, but I prefer to make up my own mind about what makes me FEEL good!

        All joking aside, where do you think your rule-book comes from? You must realise that the current state of female fashion is the result of the work of a succession of people who thought outside the box, and who tore up the manuals prevalent at the time. So don’t knock the rule-breakers, the anarchists, and the non-conformists, because the future is in our hands!