As a feminine image consultant, one of the first things I do in my initial consultations with clients is to go through their wardrobes. This helps me get a sense of my clients’ personal styles, and where they might be in their feminization journey.
Time and time again, I consistently find certain items of women’s clothing in the closets of many individuals I work with that ironically masculinize their bodies—clearly not their intended result. I get that they probably feel more feminine when wearing these particular items, but the truth is that they’re not doing any good for anyone.
Let’s go through the three items you need to throw out if you actually want to look high-femme.
1. Wide Belts
No, wearing a wide belt (elastic, leather, whatever) is not helping you cinch in your waist to create the illusion of soft, curving hips. In actuality, thick belts emphasize the angular lines of the masculine body and thicken the waist simply by adding material to it. In short, they help make you look like a rectangle—not what you’re going for, I’m assuming.
Plus, thick belts just aren’t in right now. Do yourself a favor and go buy a ½-1 inch belt. A more delicate belt means a more delicate you.
Many people are surprised by this one, as they think “Oh, a corset will give me an exaggeratedly curved silhouette.” Well, the operative word here is exaggerated: corsets create an unnatural silhouette, and actually draw attention to the artificiality of the curves.
Yes, women’s bodies have a noticeable softness, particularly in their mid-section. But corsets actually restrict movement, making the body more vertical, rigid and stiff. Much of the qualities we associate with high-femme style actually come from comportment and movement quality—how we carry ourselves and hold our bodies in conversations. So if you’re rigidly standing around with an unnaturally curved silhouette, you’re probably not carrying yourself with much grace or confidence.
Add to the mix that most corsets (that is, unless they’re custom made) are designed for torsos that are much shorter than the average man’s body, only adding to the unnaturalness. Plus, corsets tend to push up any fat on the body, so many trans women end up having what I like to call “back boobs” as a result of wearing corsets.
Unless you want back boobs, I hope you’re ready to burn your corset. (Kind of like the opposite of bra-burning or something?)
3. Shoulder pads.
This one is simple: shoulder pads make your shoulders look broader and more bulky, so get rid of anything you own with shoulder pads. Or at the very least, take whatever item of clothing it is to the tailor to have the shoulder pads removed.
Let’s get things straight: women’s clothing with shoulder pads became popular in the 1980s as more and more women began entering the workplace. The ostensible goal of this fashion statement was to look more like a man, to take up more space.
By wearing shoulder pads, you run the risk of making yourself look like a linebacker, but you’re also dating yourself. Shoulder pads aren’t a trend—for anyone—anymore.
Of course there are an infinite number of things to do (and not do!), to wear and not wear, in order to create a more feminine silhouette. Start by eliminating these three items and you’ll dramatically feminize your day-to-day look!