Last month’s “Dressing Appropriately” feature generated some wonderful responses from readers, so I decided to pass on a few more hints to help you become the “woman of your dreams.”
Wearing women’s clothes isn’t always that simple. Our bodies are often much different than that of the average woman. We have wider shoulders, longer arms, bigger hands and feet, an Adam’s apple, and sometimes a beer belly. But, there are ways to get around our “flaws” and create an image which we can be proud to present in public.
The most important thing to remember is to wear clothes that flatter your body – clothes that do not call attention to what you want to hide. One of the tricks of a well-dressed woman is that she is always aware of which clothes flatter her figure and which don’t. Fashion is all about creating an illusion that is better than reality.
A genetic male, when dressed as a woman, has very special fashion needs. Some of the body challenges one might face include small hips and a flat rear end, a thick waist, broad shoulders, a wide chest and above average height. Let’s look at a few ways to solve these problems.
Small Hips and a Flat Butt – I wear a Veronica 5 undergarment to solve this dilemma, but the cost could be prohibitive for some girls. An alternative is to design your own padding using foam rubber you can buy at most any fabric shop. Padding or no padding, remember that light colors make your upper areas look bigger. Wear dark-colored tops and light colors on the bottom to balance out your figure. When wearing a skirt, try an A-line that flares out at the sides, which will make your hips appear bigger. And, buy skirts and dresses with gathers at the waist to create a look of fullness in the hips.
A Thick Waist or Beer Belly – Hide your waist by wearing styles with a raised or lowered waistline, such as baby-doll tops or drop-waist dresses. By all means, avoid tucked- in tops. And, don’t be afraid to buy clothes in the maternity section if you are having problems finding clothes to fit over your stomach.
A Wide Chest – Wear tops and dresses with deep necklines which will create vertical lines and a slimming effect on your torso. Jackets and cardigan sweaters (open or closed) will help break up a broad-looking chest. Remember to wear dark colors as this visually makes your chest look smaller. And, above all, wear proportionate breast forms or enhancers. You don’t want your breasts so large that they over-emphasize your chest.
Broad Shoulders – Try to avoid wearing tops that cut off at the shoulders. Instead, opt for halter tops, short sleeved sweaters or blouses that fall a few inches from your shoulders. Stay away from puffy or structured sleeves that stand away from your natural shoulder line. If you are wearing a sleeveless or strapless dress, throw on a shawl or a shrug to hide your shoulders.
Too Tall – Stay away from a monochromatic look (one color or shades of one color) because it will emphasize your height. Choose colors with fullness and gathers to make you look less vertical. Big prints will make you look shorter, as well as contrasting colors on top and bottom, to break up your figure.
Adam’s Apple – Unfortunately, all men are burdened with this flaw, even though not all are visible. While my Adam’s apple doesn’t show, I know I’m in the minority. The best way to overcome the problem is to wear a high-collared blouse, a turtleneck sweater, a scarf, or choker-style jewelry to cover the area. A little bit of base makeup or a touch of bronzer in a darker shade can also minimize the bulge.
If you have any questions, comments, or column ideas, please write me at: firstname.lastname@example.org.