I avoid this topic, but I shouldn’t, I guess. I don’t like brands. I don’t like marketing. I’ve tried to strip it from my life. I don’t watch TV, I don’t wear logos, etc. The problem with style blogging is that it forces one to enter that realm, I guess. The larger problem is it is steeped in cultural expectations and perceptions of beauty. There are stereotypes, tells, hurt, impossible expectations, etc.
That said, there are many transfemmes out there who’d like help, and I’d like to bring some of the skills I have to bear on that. I’ve always had an eye for it, or so I’m told. I’m good at makeup, and good at throwing together a look. This is geared for transgendered MTFs. We have some special considerations to take into account. This is also somewhat for cis-gendered women out there who (like my wife) have absolutely no idea how to approach style. My wife (bless her heart) tried to put on liquid eyeliner the other day. She got more in her eye than on her lid. What she did get on her lid was more vertical than horizontal. =)
The first rule, the cardinal rule, the IF YOU FORGET EVERYTHING ELSE, REMEMBER THIS rule is: Don’t overdo it. Understatement is better, particularly if you are interested in not getting read as a man.
The second rule: Don’t pick your colors. Let your colors pick you. If you have hazel eyes, brown hair, and pale skin (like I do) you don’t want to wear a bunch of red. Natural tones are a good thing(tm).
The third rule: Avoid stereotypes. They are tells. They also make you look like you don’t know what you are doing. That miniskirt and 5” heels may be something you’ve coveted, but if you can’t pull it off, you’ll look like you went shopping in the dark. When in doubt refer to rule one. Too flashy hurts.
This post is intentionally general. I’m not going to get too much into specifics here, because I think it’s best to start generally and work down from there.
Buy the book “Making Faces”. It is absolutely the most wonderful book on makeup that has ever been invented, ever. Practice every day. Start with pencils, not liquids. At first, you’ll probably want to wash it off before you go out. Go ahead. It’s not a waste. It’s an exercise. Enlist the help of somebody that has been applying makeup for most of their lives. This is where a cis-gendered woman can be a really handy ally.
On makeup - pick a part of your face to go dramatic on. The other parts should be subtle. Don’t do dramatic eyes AND dramatic lipstick. Pick one. Otherwise, your face will look weird. This is a general rule, which you can safely break AFTER you’ve become practiced. Wearing makeup imposes extra maintenance. Use scrubs, blackhead removers, lotions and an astringent (like witch hazel) EVERY DAY. This will help even your skin tone, and provides a bulwark against acne. If your bathroom isn’t cluttered with product, you are doing it wrong. =). Initially, you’ll likely have to spend a small fortune on concealers and foundations before you find your color. Again, don’t pick the color you want - pick one that matches the color you have. Also, like eyeliner, use powders - not liquids, especially when you are new at this.
If your face is especially masculine, grow your hair out. I like my hair long because I have big beautiful curls, but I can sport shorter hair, I suppose. I like short hair because I find it sexier in general though. If in doubt, grow it out =). Use good shampoos, and switch brands every couple of bottles or so to help prevent excess build up.
Skinny people should not wear especially clunky jewelry. Big stones on rings = bad. Huge chunky necklaces and earrings are also bad if you are skinny. Again, a general rule.
If you are tall, don’t be extra-tall. While heels can hide the length of your feet, they also make you taller. For me, I like tall boots with buckles, which I prefer to wear with long skirts. If you are younger - or look younger, Demonia has a big selection of these, but unfortunately a lot of them are platform or with high heels. I try to avoid the extra height, where I can. I don’t do the goth thing, I’m likely to wear these with long patterned skirts w/ slits. I like some of these styles, because the buckles are an accessory in and of themselves, and peek out of the sides of my skirts, giving me little “wings” - also the bubbly toes tend to make one’s feet look smaller. Don’t copy me! I prefer you to find your own =) hehehe
Accessorize. Again, if you are younger, cheap jewelry is your friend. Quantity, not quality. =) Bracelets, necklaces, earrings, the more the merrier. Just don’t wear them all at once =). For bracelets, I make exceptions - I do tend to wear tons of bracelets at once, I’ll stack them about 4 inches up one of my arms sometimes. =) Your mileage may vary, it depends on your build.
Wraps and scarves are awesome - when I wear pants, I like a good wrap around my waist and hips, tied off on one side, dangly on the other. Punk is awesome. If bubblegum pink is a good color on you rock it with spikes =) - though I loathe the “trying too hard to be femme” stereotype of it, I accept it for what it is - it looks good on me, so fking with it for me is a good thing.
Anyway, I’ll post more here and there - this is where that “Ask me anything” button may come in handy, I can’t help you work out specifics without knowing something about you. One day, I’ll post pics of me - I need a good camera first though (my last one was stolen), and you’ll see for yourselves.