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“You’re going to wear that?” she said.

| Apr 9, 2012
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Any of you heard that line before? You say it to your kids, or the wife comments on her husband’s tie, but when you just put on your nicest, your prettiest, or your most sexy frock for a day out on the town; well then, there’s trouble in River City. Of course, Robert Preston is talking about a pool table when he says “Well, either you’re closing your eyes to a situation you do not wish to acknowledge or you are not aware of the caliber of disaster indicated.” But we are talking about a favorite outfit.

Take this example (with her permission). My dear friend wore this lovely period dress for a brow waxing at Ulta and then on to Merle Norman. Although she was treated with respect, I would have  loved to hear the comments around the dinner table that evening. It has now been consigned to another place.

Well, how does a lady know what to wear? Are you following this year’s fashion trends. I recently posted on an Australian fashion site complaining about the plethora of trends. Let’s see, there are the 10 best colors for the new year;  the 15 latest European fashion trends, 6 tips for Bohemian dress, 14 ways to wear, and everyone is gaga over prints and patterns. Then there are the runway style trends for the ’60s, the ’70s, the ’80s, blah, blah, blah. Well you get the point. There is no rhyme or reason to the fashion world. It has come down to what do you like, except I see one bad example after another.

Now, I have a penchant for prints, too, but it is oh so easy to go overboard on a print. Stephanie Monroe, in the  picture on the right,  is wearing an excellent example of a floral, flirty, and girlie Spring dress. She has enhanced the outfit with the wide belt to define her waist, and when worn with appropriate accessories and some simple strappy heels, creates a picture of loveliness.

However, not all of us have Stephanie’s lovely figure so one of the basic tenets in selecting any piece of clothing is knowing your measurements. With 50% of women buying online today, and that number goes to 70% for plus-size women, you can’t depend on traditional sizing methods. Women’s clothing can vary by two to three dress sizes from one manufacturer to another. I had one friend who is a sales associate at Macy’s tell me that middle-age women take up to 30 dresses into the fitting room at any one time. That seems just a bit overwhelming.

When buying online, it’s absolutely critical to know your measurements and not just bust, waist and hips. You need to know your inseam and height of your waist and shoulders to adequately determine where the dress or skirt will fall on your figure. And your overall height, along with your other measurements, will determine if you wear a Misses, a Junior, or Women’s size. And then, of course, there is petite, average, and plus-size, too. This chart will help you determine your measurements, but remember a man’s waist is 2-3 inches lower than a woman’s natural waist and you need to take that into consideration.

Measure around the fullest part of the bust and across the shoulder blades of your back. When measuring the bust for women’s underwear and swimwear, follow the bra measuring guidelines.
Measure at the natural waistline, just above the hipbone. Remember — women’s fashion trousers will have bigger waist measurement, as they are low rise and do not sit on the natural waistline.
Measure around the fullest part of your hips. As a guideline, this is often 20cm below your natural waistline.
Inside leg
Measure from the top of the inside leg to the floor.
Skirt length
Measure from the natural waistline in a straight line
Dress length
Measure from the center back neck in a straight line.

Well, among all these trends flaunted across the pages of the fashion magazines and on a gazillion blogs are a few fun ones to think about. Woody Allen directed a 2011 film called Midnight in Paris which takes you back to the 1920s and the flapper girls (it was a great movie). Those 1920s design ideas have now cropped up on the fashion show runways for this spring, including short dresses in the flapper style and sleeveless shifts, often with fringe or beading. Tell me you don’t love these dresses?

And Lounging pajamas in luxurious fabrics also date from the 1920s and were strictly for at-home wear then, but pajamas have been reinvented for this spring and are no longer meant for at-home wear

Well, the fashion weeks have ended and now the designers are trying to translate those trends into workable designs that will sell in the stores. The overarching themes for fall are boxier shapes, twists on work dressing, and nerdy-grunge revamps, but of all the new trends, this one is for us — men without hips.

Carven, Photo: Courtesy of Caven; Lanvin, Photo: Courtesy of Lanvin; Stella McCartney, Photo: Courtesy of Stella McCartney

Padded Hips — Exaggerated, full hips were everywhere — a boon for those of us who don’t already have an hourglass figure. 🙂

Now least you think that we girls are the only ones that pad their hips, model Marquita Pring caused a sensation recently when she gave away some plus-sized industry secrets in an interview with Women’s Wear Daily. Those hips? They’re not all hers: sometimes she gets a little help by way of padding. She said, “I don’t know if we should reveal this secret! They’re pieces of foam. So I just lay them flat on each hip underneath [hosiery]. They’re like a solid inch and a half thick . . . It’s a little bit of model magic.”

So ladies, do as the models do, Pad those Hips.

Lastly,  I’m highlighting some shops that I highly recommend to you.

I’m really excited by the new  Eloquii. line by The Limited. Their separates and dresses are sophisticated and modern and  their website has a shape my style feature where you can walk through and answer questions. They will help you not only figure out your body type because it’s about shape, not size, and once you figure out your body type they filter the items that will flatter your figure. And their “Get The Look” section offers inspiration with entire ensembles. Check it out.

I also know that many of you are avid Dress Barn shoppers, and DB is probably one of the most TG-friendly and stylish stores in the marketplace. This YouTube video, published by the Style Supreme demos all the latest fashions at Dress Barn. Be forewarned however that this is a Plus-Size video and fashionista


Tell me what you like!

Next month: We all have our LBD (little black dress) and it is the classic color, but next month we are going to talk about why black may not be good for you.

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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.

Comments (2)

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  1. This is an excellent article!

    In June, I will be giving a seminar at Amy’s “Just You” week on “The Top 10 ways to get ‘made’ as a cross dresser.” The text was done by Ann Grogan (San Francisco) who makes many of my dresses. She interviewed many sympathetic GG’s, professional female impersonators, and long-time trans-gender ladies. The results will astound you!

    See you Wednesday the 20th of June.


    • angela_g angela_g says:

      Michelle, you should take advantage of the TGF Community Calendar and enter your event. Click on Calendars in the black menu bar and then
      Community. Use the form to add your event.

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