Things Every Crossdresser Needs

I recently read an article about men who want to emulate women. It didn’t take me long to realize that crossdressers needed their own list too.

With over 35 years of crossdressing experience under my belt, I decided I am qualified to put together such a list. So, here are the "necessities" that no man's or trans woman's wardrobe can be without if they wish to successfully emulate a woman.

Waist Cincher, Corset or Body Shaper: The right body shaper can mold your body into a feminine figure by pulling in your waist and displacing what it pulled in to your hips and breasts. My waist cincher displaces enough of me into my breast area that I can nearly fill the B cups of my bra and to often forgo breast forms. I prefer an under-bust corset design with metal boning and a lace-up back.

Wig: Style is your choice, but buy the most expensive synthetic wig you can afford. Inexpensive wigs look like wigs, whereas expensive wigs look like real hair. One of the nicest compliments I ever received was when a woman thought my expensive wig was my real hair.

Hiding Gaff: A gaff allows you to hide your male parts. Gaffs come in many styles now so depending on how long you are going to wear one for, you can choose from short term to all day wear gaffs. If you don't want to wear a gaff, a body shaper can offer some flattening or a panty girdle can come in handy as well.

Beard Cover: I feel so badly when I see a beautiful girl with the telltale signs of a beard because there is an easy fix—a good beard cover. By "good," I mean a cover that is sheer and orange pigmented (to counteract the blue color of a beard). En Femme has a high quality, easy to apply cover that can go under foundation.

A Dress: Purchase a classic dress and it will never go out of style.

Moisturizer: Moisturize every day, even during periods when you are not going out en femme. After many, many years of shunning skin care, using a moisturizer will make a big difference. Your skin will be smoother, suppler, healthier-looking, and your makeup will go on easier and look better.

Heels and Boots: Buy a pair of heels or boots for to complement your outfit and to look sexy.

Breast Forms: If you are not naturally endowed or if your foundation garments do not displace sufficient flesh to fill the cups of your bra, then use breast forms (unless you are going for the flat-chested waif look). I have two pairs of forms; one is a small enhancing pair to fill out a bra when my flesh just fails to do so and the other is a larger pair for when I fake cleavage and need bigger breasts to match. If you have enough flesh to create cleavage with a little help, you can fill your bra with foam cutouts, and then pull your flesh over the top of the bra for that extra affect.

Wallet: Buy a woman's wallet.

Watch: Buy a woman's watch in gold or silver.

Outerwear: If you live in a cooler climate, you will need a woman's coat, woman's gloves and perhaps, a woman's hat if you plan on going out en femme during the winter. A man's coat, gloves, and hat will not cut it if you really want to look like a woman.

Hand Cream: A man has man's hands—especially if he does manual labor. So, shave your hands if they have hair and use a hand cream daily to help feminize your hands.

Deodorant: Unless your manly deodorant is unscented, use a woman's deodorant to avoid the manly scent of a man's deodorant.

Makeup Brushes: Buy a GOOD set of makeup brushes and throw away those foam applicators that came with your makeup. The pros only use brushes. To achieve a professional look, you should use brushes, too.

Gold & Silver Jewelry: Buy one gold-colored set of jewelry (earrings, necklace and bracelet) and one silver-colored set to compliment most of your outfits.

Credit Cards: Most credit card companies will issue additional cards under the same account for other family members. So get an additional card issued to yourself, but just use the initial of your first name with your last name. For example, John Smith would get an additional credit card issued for "J Smith." Use this card when shopping en femme; it is just another small touch that will help you pass as a woman.

Makeup Mirror: A makeup mirror can be your best friend. Get one WITH lights that you can switch to produce various lighting effects and a magnifying option. It is so handy when you are doing your eyes.

Eyeglasses: If you wear glasses, next time buy a pair with unisex frames or if you can afford it, buy a second pair with a feminine frame. (With an eyeglass prescription in hand, you can order eyeglasses online and avoid the embarrassment of buying female frames in person). If you need eyeglasses for reading, you can buy inexpensive reading glasses with very feminine frames just about anywhere (the local pharmacy, Dollar Stores, Wal-Mart, etc.) Also, you can buy woman's sunglasses just about anywhere, too.

Makeup: These are the makeup items that I consider necessities: concealer, beard cover, foundation, powder, blush, lipstick, lip-liner, lip-gloss, mascara, eye shadow, eyeliner, and eyebrow color.


Clip-On Earrings: If you don't have pierced ears, you should collect clip-ons. Clip-ons are a rare commodity and I buy them whenever I come across a nice-looking pair for sale.


Makeup Boxes: Males need more makeup than real females to look female, so get a big box for your makeup. Don't be shy about buying the biggest box you can find or afford. If the box is not full now, trust me, you will fill it eventually. A big fishing tackle box will do the job.

Jewelry Box: Instead of using traditional jewelry boxes to store your jewelry, use clear plastic stackable compartmentalized storage boxes. They are inexpensive and allow you to see what is stored in the box at a glance.

Hosiery: Hosiery, tights and leggings are very handy to create that feminine look or when there is no time to shave your legs - plus they are also very fashionable right now.

Nails: Long painted nails are so feminine, but how is a guy supposed to hide them when he is in male mode? The solution is to use fake nails. I prefer the pre-painted, pre-glued, press-on nails. They go on in less than five minutes and usually do not come off until you purposely remove them— especially if you clean your nails thoroughly first.

Perfume: Buy one bottle of an expensive perfume and use it when you dress as a woman so that you will have the scent of a woman, too.

Cuticle Remover: Whether you paint your nails or use fake nails, you should use a cuticle remover to clean your natural nails before you go glam.

Razor: Purchase an electric razor with a side burn trimmer and use the trimmer to remove long hair, and then use the head of the razor to remove stubble. For closely shaving your face, get a multi-blade safety razor and always use a new blade before going out en femme in order to get the closest shave.

Attitude: I wish you could buy attitude, but you can't. Attitude is something you acquire and is critical in your success of emulating a woman. When you go out en femme, act as if it is the most natural thing in the world. Don't be ashamed. Rather, strut your stuff. It’s your life and if you want to live it as a woman even momentarily, it’s your right to do so. If someone has a problem, it’s their problem, not yours. Go for it, Girl!


  • Kim

    Hi Carollyn, Thank you for the very thorough list, yes, and all the items you list are a must for us T-girls. I have a couple to add, things I find are a must for my preparation and femininity. I’m always wearing expensive pantyhose and I’ve found a good pair of hosiery gloves is a definite must have for me. I keep a pair in my hosiery drawer and one in my purse. No matter how much you file your nails and buff the rough spots on your hands and feet, there’s always the chance you will snag your gorgeous hosiery on something – a definite downer when you want to look your feminine best. Wolford has a wonderful set of hosiery gloves that will fit even larger hands, they last a long time and are not too pricey. Also, I use Wolford hosiery wash, a cupful in the wash basin with cool water will make your hosiery smell fresh and last a lot longer. I soak my nylons for about 15 minutes, squeeze the hose about four times while they are soaking, rinse, and then lay flat to dry. Trust me, I’ve been dressing for more than 20 years, small investments like gloves and hosiery wash will save you money in the long run and help you stay fresh in your gorgeous hosiery. Hugs, Kim

  • Don

    Thank you for the great tips ;) I like the Idea of the tackle box, lol and yes I do have a lot of make up and can spend an hours just checking out make up and everything fem in the drug stores or walmart . Thank you again. Dawn

  • lonnie

    Thank you very much for the article. I have just started crossdressing and I have found this article very helpful. Looking forward to reading more in the future.

  • Karen

    Carollyn, while I think I must be of approximately the same age as you, I do not have anywhere near the level of experience that you do, crossdressing having come to me late in life. This list gives me a lot to think about, one thing at a time. I only recently got my first set of breast forms from SF, and I "love" them. They are perfect with all my classy SF dresses and tops. A very natural look and feel. I also continue to use my microfiber filled bras in various colors to coordinate with certain lingerie and sheer things. But birdseed in a baggie?! I would never have thought of it. I can think of some applications where that might just work, and I'm going to try it. Thank you!! And just in passing, I might say that I also "love" my SF gaffs, and am no longer really completely comfortable without one on. Not, certainly, to contradict you, but I guess while we're all "the same" we're all also different. Anyway, thanks again for the tips, and I am going to keep this list around. Regards: Karen.

  • Elena

    Thanks a lot for your advise. I'll try to do it.
    See you.

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published