Nov 19

The Best Boots For The Season

Why do women love accessories, particularly boots. so much? One reason may be that they have nothing to do with size. An amazing boot, shoe or bag looks Fabulous on anyone. The right accessory will transform your outfit.

 The switch of a heel to a flat, a slouchy bag to a clutch can change the entire mood of the outfit. Add ons are an easy way to add personality to your outfit and extend your wardrobe.

Why do we love our boots? Whether classic or trendy, this full coverage footwear is comfy and chic.

wardrobe accessorie

Once I start wearing them, I cannot take them off. They can have a country look, an equestrian vibe or a sleek urban chic flair. They give us the comfort to wear dresses and skirts on chillier days. They will dress up our jeans or dress down our most delicate pieces.

boots give versatilityBoots give more versatility to our wardrobe giving us more options. Every woman should have a few pairs in different styles.The right pair will completely transform your style. They will be an important part of your outfit so choose what you wear wisely. Boots are available today at many prices from 50 to 500$ in our average stores. They are definitely more expensive than shoes but well worth the investment.

 The Knee High Boot

They will allow you to wear your lighter fabric dresses and skirts in the fall and winter when it is cold. It will give a modern twist to a flouncy skirt and shawl sweater.

At the change of season, stuff them and store them in an appropriate box with a photo of the boots taped to the box. The High heel boot is just as lady like as a pump. When wearing a boot with a dress or skirt, make sure there is not more than 1/2 an inch space between the leg and the boot. It should not be too tight either. With a full skirt, the hem should fall just over the top of the boot.

knee high boot

western bootHeavier Heeled styles (Western)

These are best with longer skirts. Don’t pair your lacy, tiered skirts with rugged boots. Keep this style for your jeans or more casual skirts.


The boots below motorcycle, riding and hipster could be considered more rugged but they have elegant details, a heel, a texture and rich leather that makes them ideal for skirts or pants.

motorcycle boot

riding boot for skirts

Flat – Funky Boot

These are fun to dress down an outfit. Opt for interesting textures and colors for a youthful look.


riding boot for pants

The Ankle Boot

The ankle boots are very elegant and ultramodern. You can find them in all styles, textures and colors. They are easy to wear under your pants. I am not a fan of wearing ankle boots with dresses unless they are very slim and you wear tights the same color as the boot to elongate your leg and avoid cutting it off.


ankle boot

ankle boot

peep toe boot

“An Accessory Is Just As Important As The Outfit. It Completes The Look, Highlighting The Personality Of The Wearer”    Giorgio Armani


You may remember the days when “Matchy-Matchy” was the norm. This is no longer the case. We have become much more creative with our choices.

 Mix Textures

A patent boot with a patent bag is way too much shine,. Pair a high gloss boot or shoe with a velvet or brocade bag for more interest.

 Mix Prints & Solids

Balance the busy and basic. It doesn’t mean you have to stay away from color. A leopard print and a bright red is very chic.

 Mix Metallics and Matte

Pair a sleek silver with black and a gold will be a great complement to brown.

Always stay in the same mood or style of the outfit.

An equestrian boot calls for a hobo bag

A sleek clutch , a sexy stiletto

A dainty purse, a lady like pump

And pair your sporty nylon messenger bag with your favorite sneakers.

 RESOURCES (up to 13)

Torrid (Up to 13)

Payless Shoes (up to 13)

Nordstrom – (Up to 12 and 13)

Long Tall Sally (sizes 9 to 15)

The above sizes are available on selected styles only.

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Anna Mc Connell, Transformational Coach – Wardrobe Stylist

anna mcconnell

www.anna-mcconnell.comNovember 2018

Aug 14

Bathing Suit Shopping- Decisions, Decisions!

It was time to face the challenge of buying a bathing suit after thinking ahead to a possible Tri-Ess cruise next February and realizing there would be snorkeling and pool time,  Becoming ship-shape is a more complex a task than I had presumed so I’m sharing some of my dilemmas, adventures, and conclusions.

What to buy

First, the male anatomy presents many challenges:

  • how to deal with hair normally not visible and often hard to reach, such as on the back.. from Phoebe’s account of waxing, this is an option I personally will avoid! Some suits have higher backs than others, but employing a shaver that can bend over the shoulder or a hair removal product seems essential for most of us;
  • how to fit a 38 x >38 x 38 form into something other than a cardboard box or giant bowling pin;
  • how to hide the family jewels.

gaffe and skirt for bathing suitAs to the last item, I know of only two obvious solutions:

1) a gaffe;

2) a skirt.

A “gaff”, by definition, is “a blunder”. Imagining the discomfort, inconvenience, and, to me, the seeming impossibility of this solution, for reasons which I will leave to the imagination of the reader, I dismissed this option, foreclosing many suit options available to women. This left me with the question as to whether a one-piece or two-piece would work best.

Key advantage of one piece bathing suit:

The indignity of an involuntary separation of top and bottom is minimized. This could lead to a disastrous snorkeling trip. I am notorious for losing skirts at embarrassing times due to my above-mentioned block-like form.. i.e., lack of a waist to impede the law of gravity. Imagine what I could do in the water! However, that DOES lend to more adventure, colorful stories for future Belle articles, and comic relief.

Key advantage of two piece bathing suit:

1) Easier to deal with the call of nature;

2) More options to mix and match. My top is a 16W, while my bottom is closer to a 12. It is hard to find a one-piece in these proportions.

Either way, the beer belly is tough to hide. Looking fit as a fiddle when you look like a cello is a losing proposition. With no clear winner, I looked at both options.

Through experimentation I soon realized that either situation would, in my case, require disguise. Something had to be done to avoid displaying a gut that has little resistance to the charms of sweets, potatoes, and beer. I found that layers of frills can cover some sins, while adding a touch of femininity. Apparently enough women face this issue that it is easy to find options that, while not creating an hourglass look, at least don’t stop a clock. Some garments have tummy control… helpful but far from a cure for the seriously afflicted.

What to do about the bust?

This is a more complex matter, but something with which we already have at least SOME familiarity. A few options:

  • BBWSeek a suit with built-in cups… most don’t have enough natural shape or support, forcing one to consider other alternatives;
  • Sew in padding;
  • Find a mastectomy suit;
  • Use forms that adhere to the flesh (OUCH!!);
  • Find a suit capable of holding forms. Not many I have seen would give me comfort that I would not be a disaster ready to happen… I can easily visualize silicone floating to the surface after a dive, assuming it is not so buoyant as to prevent a dive!… a useful spare life preserver in the ocean perhaps, but maybe not ideal for the pool.)

In my case, option 2) seemed feasible. Time will tell.

I perused catalogues and ordered a one-piece from Venus that has remote possibilities (i.e., great if I lose 10 pounds- not going to happen on a cruise!.. deckmates stay clear of IEDs!). So off to the malls I went.

The shopping adventure

A trip to Florida provided a perfect opportunity to shop incognito. I spent about 5 hours trying on suits at Sears and Penney’s, while Barbara shuttled back and forth to seek out and return supplies, appraising my looks whenever returning. A female appraiser is an invaluable asset! In the end, I purchased two one-piece swim skirts and one two-piece.

bathing suit

Of course a woman’s decision is seldom final, and two stores barely scratches the surface. So we went to Dillards’ the next day to browse some more for a bathing suit. This time Barbara determined that an attentive sales-lady should be told the truth of our situation. She asked the clerk if she were open-minded. When told “yes”, that led to two female appraisers. I learned that four female eyes is better than two and a lot more fun! The suits bought the previous day were quickly dismissed as being inferior to a two-piece outfit, the result of many more changes and appraisals. This of course meant that the other outfits had to be returned. But the quest was at least closer to a conclusion.

After being outed I took the opportunity to ask if the clerk regularly deals with crossdressers. She has done so before, although I gathered it is not too common. As part of their training the clerks learn how to treat TGs and to make others feel comfortable, whatever their gender or shape. To this end, all trainees are required to remove all of their clothes and fit other clerks a la fresco! I presume this is done after hours but will likely be more vigilant as I wander through Dillards in the future! I always thought Dillards was TG-friendly. Now I am beginning to understand why!

Upon returning home we made one more round through the local mall. As I walked by a clerk while carrying a dozen swim skirts she remarked that I’d look cute in them. This started a round of “Is she or isn’t he?” At one point she was chided by her manager for embarrassing a client. Barbara thinks the clerk was onto us even if her manager was not. It may have not gone unnoticed that I used the men’s fitting room while Barbara shuttled in and out to bring in new garments and return the discards. I was tempted to model the final picks but thought that might be pushing the envelope. My identity would be abundantly clear when finalizing the purchase and it is, after all, a small town.

The next stop, Macy’s offered the excitement of dressing room doors that would not close and giddy teens flitting from room to room. I found a great cover-up before calling it a day.

This experience was almost too much fun not to repeat. I am beginning to understand the women’s creed: Vini, vidi, visa (I came, I saw, I shopped), a mantra which requires frequent repetition.

Rhonda Lee in swimsuit

Rhonda’s final choice

Rhonda Lee in black coverup

Rhonda Lee in black coverup

Other adventures await, such as:

-dealing with swim cap issues: does one wear a cap over the wig? how does one hide and store the wig when required and reverse the process when necessary?;

– is it possible to swim without removing so much make-up as to emerge as a man in a woman’s bathing suit?

– is it feasible to devote the time necessary to apply and later re-apply make-up?

Inquiring minds want to know!

No doubt there is plenty of literature already on such issues, but for me this opens up new vistas, adventures, and possibilities for more colorful tales.

This could be chapter 1 of a new adventure novel. Stay tuned!

Rhonda (aka Ms. Nemo)

Rhonda LeeRhonda Lee

Rhonda is the Outreach Director for Sigma Epsilon, the Atlanta chapter of Tri-Ess. She has been active with churches, universities and support groups in promoting the understanding of crossdressing. She’s an active author and participant in research studies and regularly hosts dinners and other events to encourage closer relationships and inter-actions between members of the broader TG community and the general public. She’s a late bloomer so can relate to the mature crossdresser as well as helping those new to the experience. She can be contacted at

Sep 05

Crossdresser Physical Giveaways…What Can We Do About It

being read

No crossdresser likes to be read (identified as a man) and it’s often because of our physical giveaways. These characteristics are always with us but as we improve our feminine presentation, we think about them less and less. I’ve been out and about for almost 15 years now, although only occasionally, and hadn’t thought much about mine until I read a response to a man in an advice column who was concerned his girlfriend may be transgender (how awful!). The columnist gave this advice:

  1. look at her hands. If they’re big angular, it’s a male
  2. look if she has a bulge
  3. look if her head is bigger than other girls
  4. look if her feet are broad
  5. look if her jawline/chin is broad
  6. do her boobs/ass look like implants?

Now if you are a crossdresser or transgender person and in a relationship, you should be telling anyway. But that’s not the focus of this article.  Each of these physical characteristics can also be seen on women, but not in totality, and with natal women there are most often other offsetting feminine characteristics that provide clear evidence of femaleness.

Still, you probably know a crossdresser where one of these physical characteristics is so evident that their maleness is all too known. But in each case, we can do something that minimizes these male features. Here are some of the tools at our disposal:

  1. Makeup
  2. Clothes
  3. Posture
  4. Voice

The more you distract from your masculine features, the more convincing – and attractive – you will look as a woman!

The Hands

handsYou can’t change the structure of your hands, of course, but the good news is that there are simple ways to downplay their size and make them look more feminine.

  1. Neatly groomed hands and nails are a must  and be sure you have the right grooming tools.Obviously, keep your hands very clean, but also moisturize them so they are smooth and soft.
  2. Get a manicure but avoid nails that are too long or colors and designs that attract  attention.
  3. Shave those hairy knuckles.
  4. Use jewelry to your advantage but avoid delicate jewelry and flashy rings and bracelets that call attention to your hands. Large chunky jewelry works better.

I had one beauty blogger say that most people, especially men, are flat-out mesmerized by women with big beautiful hands so perhaps a larger hand is not all that bad if you follow our tips above.

Sources:  Lucile Sorella

The Penis

tuckingOk… tucking sucks but the truth is if you are pre or non opt and you want to pass you are going to have to do something to hide your penis. Most women’s clothing, even loose fitting clothes to some extent are not designed with extra room in the crotch so hopefully these tips will help make it both more comfortable and less noticeable. Using a gaff of course is the easy way but you should also consider the following from the Silly Trans Woman.


  1. Shave
  2. Know how to find Your inguinal canal

  3. Use sports tape

You can find a complete discussion on the subject of tucking in the How To section of the Library. Honestly though, you can get by with a strong pair of jockey shorts and/or pantyhose depending on your age, physique (size of penis), and clothing choices. A full skirt or an  a-line dress hides a lot. One crossdresser  friend uses a Depends lady panty quite successfully and fully passes.



The Head

crossdresser in wigYou can’t make your head smaller but you can disguise it. These illustrated Wikihow tips can be used to your advantage. Lots of women have large heads. Find one with a head like yours and model her. But aside from that, here are some great tips for a more feminine-looking head.

  1. Select a wig or hairstyle suitable for your face shape. More hair in the crown gives you a longer, thinner look. Take care that your bangs are appropriate…not straight across. Select a style with long layers and side swept bangs.
  2. Contour your face for a thinner look including your brows.
  3. Draw attention to your eyes with eyeliner and mascara. Larger eyes make your face appear thinner
  4. Wear a hat, particularly one with a high crown
  5. Try some long, dangly earrings
  6. Choose longer necklaces, particularly statement necklaces that will draw the eye downwards pulling attention away from the width of your face.
  7. Go for the wider frames when choosing sunglasses and glasses

The Feet

feetHide those big feet by wearing the right clothes and the right shoes as shown in this Wikihow article. You’ll want to review the article for more details and illustrated examples.

Right clothes

  1. Wear flared jeans and trousers
  2. Avoid bottoms that highlight your calves
  3. Balance your feet with a wide belt
  4. Avoid clingy skirts.
  5. Draw attention to your top

Right shoes

  1. Choose heels over flats. …
  2. Avoid skimpy sandals. …
  3. Opt for shoes with blunt, rounded toes. …
  4. Wear heeled boots. …
  5. Hide your toes. …
  6. Wear sandals with wider straps. …
  7. Gravitate toward shoes with dark colors.
  8. Dress up your shoes

The Jawline

Most crossdressers and transsexuals don’t just want to look like women – they want to look like beautiful women. Unfortunately, the features of a beautiful female face don’t come naturally to most males – particularly the traits of a delicate jaw and chin.

square jaw

So what if you were born with a jaw like Jay Leno? Don’t despair! There are plenty of beautiful genetic women with strong jaws and chins – just look at Paris Hilton, Jessica Simpson, and Jennifer Anniston. They look great because they know how to flatter their features – and you can do it, too!   FIND a woman with a face like yours

Try these four tips for disguising a manly jaw:

  1. Contour your face. When applying makeup, sweep a little bronzer or brownish-toned blush across your jawline and chin. This creates a shadow effect which makes strong features appear to recede.
  2. Choose a softening hairstyle. The purpose of a great hairstyle is to flatter your face by creating balance. Look for wigs with gentle waves that flow over the harsh angles of your face. Avoid strait hair or severe styles, as they will only make you look more manly.
  3. Wear the right neckline. Stay away from turtleneck or square necklines that accentuate a strong jaw. Instead, choose v-neck tops or rounded necklines to create a flattering frame for your face.
  4. Feminize with accessories. The right accessories can also help soften your look. Try wearing a scarf in a flattering shade around your neck – or some dangling earrings that skim over your jaw bone.

Your Boobs and Butt

Do your boobs and/or butt look like implants? Really? Who cares? It’s true that breasts with implants feel different to the touch than real breasts. Although silicone breasts feel similar to real breasts, they are still man-made and don’t feel like natural breast tissue. You’ll be more likely to notice there’s an implant in a woman who began with little breast tissue than a woman who had more breast tissue to begin with. Smaller implants and those that are placed below the muscle are harder to detect.

Still, it’s a matter of little concern since breast augmentation has been the #1 cosmetic procedure for women for over a decade. More than 5 million women in the U.S. have had breast implants up to 2010 with an 89% increase since then. There were 99,614 implants alone in 2015. Women in their 30s were the single largest group.

Special Trade, a German crossdresser shop, offers what I see as the best ever breast form for the mature woman in their Extra Elderly Breast – the breast for “girls” aged 40 plus. These breast forms have a slightly hanging shape and also the nipples are correspondingly set a bit lower down.(see below)

shapewear and boobs

But it’s not only breasts, according to the 2015 report from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), butt implants and lifts are the fastest-growing types of plastic surgery in the United States..Buttock lifts, are up 252 percent (4,767 in 2015, up from 1,356 in 2000). Butt augmentations have grown to the point where women are waging an all-out assault on their asses in what is known as the Fake Butt Phenomenon. A pronounced butt is a sure sign of femininity given that males (crossdressers) almost always have flat butts.

We highly recommend padded panties or some form of butt enhancement for any crossdresser to achieve a more rounded butt. Our single most read post on this subject is Hip Pads…for that Classically Womanly Look read more than 5000 times on TG Forum. The examples prove the point. Here are some sources for padded shapewear:  Herroom     Hips and Curves     Suddenly Fem

The Rest of the Picture


Any article on feminine presentation will always stress posture. Often the nuisances are subtle as we see in this video below. Take time in practicing each positions to get the full effect. If you really want to embrace and express your inner lady, then you have to adopt the mindset of a more traditional woman and cultivate grace, politeness and capability.

The art of being a lady takes practice, knowledge and observation. For a more complete look at the subject, check out All About Feminine Presentation in the Sister House Library.

Your Feminine Voice

Even after you master all the nuances of your physical presentation, the single largest giveaway is your voice. While it is particularly true for trans girls, any crossdresser will benefit from this easy to do voice training. My friend, Nina, has developed the Female Voice Club that will work for women around the world, of every age, in every stage of transition, who were born with all kinds of voices. If you want a beautiful voice to go with your beautiful image, then check out our voice feminization section..

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