As the holidays kick into full gear, our lives get very hectic as we plan for family gatherings, events, parties, and of course, shopping for gifts. After my holiday shopping is finished, I am always tempted to treat myself to a little something, and that usually means picking out a new outfit (or three) or a new pair of heels (or four). I am fortunate beyond my wildest dreams to have the wardrobe that I have. I have a dress for every occasion, whether it is a wedding reception, shopping at the mall, brunch, or at the club. Some things I own are staples, others are outfits that were meant to be worn once for a certain event.
When I first moved from underdressing to... well, everything I wear now, I selected things that I had always wanted to have... a cute cocktail dress, a leather skirt, sky-high stilettos, an amazing push-up bra... but as I started to venture out into the real world, I realized that although that red PVC mini-dress is incredibly sexy, it's not something to wear while running errands. My wardrobe needed to expand and what I felt was essential evolved.
I often get asked how to buy clothes and where to start when it comes to shopping. So, in the spirit of the holidays, I thought it would be a good time to create a gift guide for girls like us... even if you are the one giving yourself the gifts.
Let’s start with the basics. Having a beautiful and practical lingerie collection is essential. Note that beautiful and practical are not necessarily the same thing. One of the most boring bras I own is a simple racer-back bra, but it's the bra I wear when I am en femme. I wear this bra because it works best with my forms and the cups are styled where I can wear something a little more low-cut without my bra peeking out. In terms of practical bras, I recommend having a black bra, and a white one, depending on how see-through your top is. A black bra under a white blouse isn't a good idea... unless that's the look you're going for. A convertible style is also helpful in case you need to go strapless depending on your outfit.
If I am underdressing in male mode, then I pick out something much more beautiful. I love having beautiful lingerie on under my boy clothes. It's a sexy secret and nothing helps me feel more connected to my femme side than a lacy bra, matching thong, and garter belt.
There's no real right or wrong way to be en femme, but one of my personal rules is that my bra must match my panties. Again, there is a difference between cute panties and practical panties. The ultimate in practical panties, and what I absolutely feel is essential, is a good gaff. You do not need to tuck if you don't want to. You shouldn't tuck if you find it uncomfortable or painful. When I am en femme I always, always wear a gaff. I love tight dresses and skirts, and nothing ruins an outfit like our "feminine flaw". Gaffs are designed to be effective and practical. My gaffs are not as cute as my lacy pink thongs, but a thong isn't going to help create a smooth appearance.
In boy mode my panty options become much more fun. I have comfortable cotton panties, sexy panties, lacy panties and panties in every color, style, and pattern you can think of. I have panties for every mood, and occasion, if you will. Not only are panties are a wonderful way to stay connected to my femme side, there are also a way to express myself, even if no one else sees them (especially if no one else sees them).
I love stockings, and, like with panties and bras, there are options suited to every occasion, purpose, or whatever your mood might be. Tights, pantyhose, seamed stockings, cuban-heeled, stay-ups... there are such a variety from which to choose. Most of the time I wear nude pantyhose. Even though nude hose isn't that different (appearance wise) compared to having bare legs, I find that nude stocking helps even out my skin color, the are helpful when it come to wearing a heel that just might be a little snug, and they are essential to keeping my pads in place. (More on forms later.)
Again, a girl has options for hosiery depending on what she is looking to do. As sexy as a seamed stocking held up by a garter belt is, it's not what I wear en femme. In boy mode, absolutely, but I appreciate how effective a good pair of tights or pantyhose is when it comes to keeping everything in place. Stockings are something in my wardrobe that I stock up on. It's pretty much the end of the world (not really) if I discover my only pair of tights has a run in it. Like lingerie, I have stockings for each occasion or mood. Fishnets, seamed stockings, sheer, white, textured, thigh-highs... a girl needs to be prepared.
As difficult as it is to cover up a cute bra and panty set, we have to wear something over it. Luckily shopping for clothes is just as much fun. There are as many styles as there are girls, and I could write a book about shopping for clothes. Instead I will cover what I think we all need in our closets. I recommend having something for a cocktail party or formal event. A little black dress is never out of style. There are a ton of variations on the classic LBD. My current favorite is En Femme's 'All Night Sparkle' Sequin Dress. There's something so irresistible about mesh sleeves. There's a LBD for every body and it's amazing how a simple dress can still allow your personality to come through.
As fun as it is to dress to the nines, it's also important to have a cute outfit for running errands in. This could be a t-shirt and jeans, sweater and leggings, or whatever you feel cute in. When I am en femme, I am always in heels and a dress, so don't think you have to give up your glam for comfort. If you're like me and not a fan of pants, a cute top and a skater skirt will do the trick.
These examples represent two extremes. One being perfect for a glam-filled night, the other for a casual day out. The fun part is building your wardrobe for what's in-between these extremes.
As the year goes by, you may also want to have seasonal appropriate outfits. As fall comes around, I tend to wear more cardigans, skirts and boots, whereas warm weather is all about summer dresses.
Making the transition from shopping for boy clothes to building a beautiful wardrobe is an adjustment. A peplum dress fits different than a shirt and pants, obviously, but it can be a learning curve to know what size skirt is right for you. And speaking of curves...
Up until recently I never wore breast forms or pads. I wanted to be as natural as possible. However, in the last year or so I've added forms and thigh pads to my wardrobe. And what a difference! With forms and padding, dresses hug my body, my silhouette is shapely, and dresses fit better. No one needs to have forms or pads and I didn't wear them for a long time, but I love, love, love how they look and I am never going back.
Finally, the finishing touch is one of our favorites... the shoes. I have about three dozen pairs of shoes, all heels. I have strappy silver heels, red patent knee high boots, sexy black stilettos with spikes on them... just to name a few. I have an outfit for any conceivable event, whether it is brunch or going to a bondage-themed nightclub. Not every girl NEEDS to have a pair of five inch heels, but no shoe closet should be without a few key items:
1) A pair of black heels or pumps. Something elegant that can be paired with anything. Patent leather is usually my go-to, but a matte finish will also work
2) A pair of nude heels. I am surprised at how often I wear nude heels, but they go really well with bright colors, especially dresses with floral patterns
3) A pair of knee high black boots. As much as I love my heels and tend to go with looks over practical footwear, I wear boots a lot in the winter when it tends to be colder and icier. Boots also look super cute with a skirt.
Please know these are my preferences. I am always in heels and dresses, but I know a lot of t-girls prefer jeans, sandals, thigh high boots, or t-shirts. Wear what you want. Isn't that what we're all about? ;)