General Principles.


The basic assumption of these pages is that T*s are going for a feminine look. I'll avoid the language of "passing", as that has a number of further connotations. For practical purposes the aim is to look as good as possible on what is currently (in contemporary Western culture) taken to be feminine style. In this respect, the focus is on presentation, and observation of the feminine norm is important if you don't want to look a total prat. Women have had more practice and experience with what is constructed as the feminine wardrobe, so it is wise to take note of that experience. Note: this does not mean trying to look like models in Cosmo. It is also essential if you want to avoid being beaten up on the street.

Of course, good presentation is essential to avoid being beaten up in the street. It is also a first step on the path to "passing", if that is what you want, or think apropriate. I have included further points towards this, such as a guide to changing the voice.

People who are heavily into fetish wear (leather, rubber, PVC, extreme heels etc.) should be warned that this is even harder to pull off with style than "straight" transvestism [wonderfully inappropriate adjective]. Sources for this kind of gear may in fact overlap with some of the more specialist T* outlets, but a dedicated list of suppliers is to be found in the alt.sex.fetish.fashion FAQ.

For those who rather identify as TV/TS primarily, my advice is, above all, avoid the tarty look. It is all very well to glam it up in your own home, but if you go out in short-skirt, fire-engine lipstick and fishnets you are going to call unwanted attention to yourself. Consider: do you really think you have the body for it? The majority of us do not. Also, do many women actually dress like this? The answer to this is a categorical no. Many of those that I have seen doing the tarty look are really doing drag - they are parodying femininity, or at best portraying a crude version of their own fantasies.

It is also probably true that we all, to varying degrees, have an overblown view of our own attractiveness, and I would urge that before you go public (whether visiting a club, or walking down the street, shopping or coming out properly), ask a real woman to help. The tips you can get from this page and elsewhere will help, but there is nothing like advice in the flesh. And basically, women have had more practice than the closet crossdresser could possibly have, and consequently have a far more developed sense of what looks OK in the way of hair, clothes and make-up. Unfortunate, but generally true.

I would urge then that you go for the normal/everyday look. For special occasions, you can glam it up, but if you do, keep it restrained and simple. There are limits to what our bodies can do (without hormones, surgery etc.). And, if you don't want to be obtrusive, try and keep in mind what women are wearing.


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