Crossdressing Fashion Accessories
Thou Shalt Accessorize
the devil's - in the details
Make no mistake about it - accessories will often pull your best outfits together. However, learning to select - and actually find accoutrements, which best show off your look - can be a real challenge.
Here I'm going to dissect all sorts of options you can consider with accessories - and share a few ideas I've had luck doing, including:
- Where to buy great - yet affordable - accessories
- Purses & wallets
- Accessorizing your accessories
I'd suggest staying away from high-priced accessories - in the beginning. They are rarely worth the money as they tend to be trendy. You need to first learn the direction you are headed with your style.
Wal-Mart and the other mass merchandisers are a better source for great accessories than you'd first think. By nature, mass merchandisers sell what sells well at specialty shops. They offer a decent selection of great accessories at prices you can live with.
The only bad thing about mass merc's - is they tend to be much slower in adapting new styles. They basically watch for items that specialty stores can't keep on the shelves - and subsequently "add" those same items much cheaper - later in the year.
In other words - if large hoop style earrings become the rage at the specialty store - you'll find them at Wal-Mart for half the price next season - buy accordingly. *Smile*
Try thrift stores and other rock bottom sources to test various accessory styles with your favorite looks.
Purses & Wallets
Your purse is a very important item. I buy mid-sized purses, as I tend to carry a lot of touch up supplies when I'm out - to keep Renee looking her best late into the evening. There's no hard and fast rule on the type of purse you carry. I prefer manageable a midsize weight that doesn't give me a workout from carrying it - yet can handle my arsenal of stuff. Color wise, I'd suggest one black and one cream to start.
If you plan on going out to less t-friendly venues - I'd suggest you not skimp on the quality of your handbag. Women take their purses pretty seriously. Nothing will cause you to stick out - quite like donning a handbag that looks like a 16 year old girl's selection. Quality in this item - will enhance your overall look more than you'd first think.
The fashion police say your purse must always match the color of your shoes and I'd agree they usually coordinate any outfit much better. However, they've yet to ticket me for failing to stay in this lane - so don't let them dictate your plans. Wal-Mart, Marshall's, TJ Max and the ilk - are great for finding nice purses.
A formal purse is a nice addition for special occasions. Beaded versions can be stunning - but a simple black velvet purse is always classy. I'd also suggest looking at thrift stores for odd bal" colors you might need to match some particular outfits or shoes. They're tough to beat in this category.
You'll also need a femme wallet. I'm a bit pickier on this item since - I have a section I keep my male stuff, Renee's stuff, change, etc. Black is usually your best bet with this item.
Necklaces offer a host of decorative options.
If you want to enhance the appearance of your cleavage, try wearing a very light weight chain necklace with a diamond pendant that falls right between your tits. I almost always do this. The length and weight adds to the illusion.
I personally like chokers of all varieties - as I find they tend to reduce the apparent width of my jaw, and cover my Adam's apple at the same time. However, I first made the mistake of buying them too wide. In general, our jaws are thicker than our GG counterparts. I find a more slender chocker looks more feminine. You can purchase those slender rhinestone studded types you see in my photos at ForPlay - in every color under the rainbow.
If you want some really fabulous looking stuff - check out Ron's Rhinestones. Pretty impressive selection at reasonable prices.
Bracelets & Rings
Wearing rings on two or more fingers can enhance your fem look. You will likely have trouble initially finding rings large enough for your index an middle fingers. I buy rings as I find them in specialty shops. They are one item you simply have to pounce on when you find the right look - and price.
For example, I was visiting Gatlinburg, TN this past summer and strolled into one of those many shops selling everything from t-shirts to jewelry - and found a huge selection of lovely rings in my sizes - for half what I see them priced in Atlanta. I think I bought about eight rings. It occurred to me their selection and prices were right - because they targeted elderly women - with fingers more my size.
Why did I buy so many? First, I like wearing rings on all my fingers - I feel it adds a nice touch. Second, since I wear so many rings, I find a need different styles to match certain outfits - i.e.. yellow gold styles, white gold styles, diamond styles, etc. I think you'll enjoy having similar options on your phalanges. Give it a try. *Smile*
Bracelets often get a little frustrating because the ones I love - rarely fit around my wrists. For dressier versions, I've found many of the open at the base types - will often make their way around my larger bones. Thrifts are my absolute favorite source for bracelets - however - you must stop by them fairly often to scan new inventory as the best items get picked over quickly.
On the club gear side - I've bought several from ForPlay in various colors with decorative diamonds (they match those chocker style necklaces) and I really like them. In general, stay away from thick styles and opt for more slender versions. The slimness tends to make your hands appear a bit smaller.
Also - don't forget to buy a femme watch - ideally one in both white and yellow gold. I've bought all my watches mine from Wal-Mart. They look fine and are usually too buried under all my bracelets for me to care less about brands.
Stylish earrings are probably the toughest things to find, if you don't have pierced ears. Most of the clip-ons you see in stores look like they belong on Aunt Bee!
Early on - I bought pretty much every pair of decent looking clip-on ear rings I could get my hands on. I often felt frustrated that my earrings seemed to add little to my overall look.
The Internet provides a world of options when it comes to finding clip-on earrings that will add pizzazz to your ensemble.
Specialty shops are great for earrings. I've found very few sites I like in the jewelry department on-line. However, I just made an earring purchase from both of these sites and was pleased - you might check them out! They're a little steep on pricing - but what a selection...
If you're on a tighter budget, check out this place...
I've also bought some favorites at a place I buy wigs. They just happen to sell great costume jewelry - as well as nice wigs. One thing that helped - is I explained to this fine lady what it is I'm looking for - and she tends to try and buy items she feels confident I'll eventually purchase. (Hint, Hint)
Which style earring is right for you? If you are like pretty much every other t-girl on the planet - your face is slightly round or wide - relative to genetic girls. Damn that male jaw, huh? *Smile* Thus, you want to wear earrings that are long & slender. This style will assist in an illusion which helps narrow your face.
Some independent jewelry dealers (in the kiosks in malls) have a decent selection - and will convert the pierced type to clip-on's for a small fee. Just tell them your mom can't wear pierced earrings, if you're shy!!
You can also convert pierced earrings yourself. Most every large fabric store (Hancock, JoAnn, etc.) carries "earring clip attachments" in the "beads" section.
They only cost about a dollar for five - and they come in a variety of styles and coloring. I'm no expert when it comes to fine jeweling, so I tend to look for earrings with a large backing that I can simply cut off the post - and super glue the new clip on attachment. I'd suggest you tackle similarly simple projects on your own - and leave those little flimsy numbers to a professional jeweler.
The only exception to this rule is the hoop style earrings - these are a cinch to do-it-yourself - and they look awesome.
There is an attachment you can purchase which allows you to create a small circle which you can slide the bar which attaches on this type that makes for a very nice look.
I think these provide the best look of all. You can buy the large and cheap versions - as you won't face the health concerns of unsterilized metal running through your ears. The length is nice in that it will elongate a round face.
The cost of the pair of gold hoop earrings you see in the photo to the right - was less than $5.00 - including both the earrings & attachments.
Try it - you'll see what I mean. ::))
Can't afford expensive hair styling?
Why not try a fun hat?
Hats - like other accessories are forever in & out of style. Thus, prices vary with demand.
One trick in the t-department when it comes to hats....the horizontal line - created by a hat can cause an already wide jaw - to appear even larger. If you face this problem (like moi) - try angling the hat to one side a bit - in order to create a slimmer jaw line.
Sounds silly - but it makes a difference. ((hugs))
Gloves can add much more than warmth. They can be used as a fashion statement as well.
If you buy a pair of long" gloves to 'snazz up a formal dress - consider purchasing the extra long and stretchy gloves. Most form fitted long gloves don't make it over my larger hands and forearm. Likewise, the extended length and stretchiness creates a very femme look.
You can add a bracelet over the top of one or both gloves if you'd like to add a splash of color or brilliance.
Leather hand gloves make a power statement - I find appealing. Try a few gloves for the feel they offer your growing fashion statements.
Pendants and brooches aren't my style par say. They tend to be seen on the elderly - and I'm old enough without that. *Laugh*
However, I buy them often for another reason you might find useful. I add them to the center of a visible bra - to add color and brilliance to certain outfits. Sometimes - I need a touch of sparkle. Other times - I seek to compliment a stray color in my ensemble.
A pendent positioned in the center of your bra can accomplish this challenging task quite easy.
Specialty shops are great for these items - but you'll get luck & score a few dazzling numbers at Thrift stores now & then.
One thing you have to learn anew - as a gal versus a guy - is that belts are a decorative item. As a guy, we know them as a device - to hold our pants up. *Grin* My favorites are either wide and hanging - or sleek and slender.
You'll get great ideas in this area from women's fashion magazines. Look around to get a feel for how you might use different colors and shapes.
Belts can also serve to hide or enhance common tranny challenges. For instance - a thick elastic belt situated at the very top of a skirt - will often hide a small bit of tummy - and create a more slim appearance. Likewise, try draping a wide belt - draped high over your back side while hanging down in the front. This creates an illusion of widened hips - sort of like the look of female tan lines created from a French-cut bathing suit.
Don't discount what a belt can do for any outfit. I've had more than one number - that remained collecting dust in my closet - end up being a favorite outfit after I added that just right belt with it.
Once again, thrift stores are a killer spot to find these. However, shopping the sale racks at specialty retailers can result in stunning examples as well.
I sometimes enjoy wearing fetish style clothing - latex, leather, PVC, etc. I find there is nothing like the look of a real bitch to make any guy - feel like a real woman. *Smile*
Fetish outfits are one area where going overboard with accessories - is actually considered normal. Problem is, the extras are often expensive - as Macy's - doesn't have a Mistress department. *Smile*
Fetish accessories are an area where your creativity can pay big dividends. For example: I seriously doubt Wal-Mart ever imagined their $6.00 chain belt - would be holding my Dominatrix whip. If I bought the same item at a fetish-type shop, it would have cost four-times as much.
I'm also quite sure ACE hardware had no idea I'd be using my colored chain link to hold the whip - from my Wal-Mart belt. There's no doubt the cute little check out gal at PetSmart - had no idea I was going to use that dog collar - as a thigh wrap - and as a holder for my favorite pair of handcuffs. *Grin*
I'm sure you're getting the idea. Look at accessories - everywhere you shop - for how they might make your favorite outfits more sleek and fun - affordably!
accessorizing with accessories
Accessorizing - the accessories?
That - sounds a bit strange, huh? *Laugh*
Trust me - it's fun.
Adding brighter buttons on a favorite jacket, pulling out the glue gun and adding rhinestone or studded trim to a pair of pants or gloves, hand stitching sequin trim to snazz a bustier, stapling bright metal trim onto a large belt...get the idea?
If you're a naturally creative type person - you've likely already tested this concept.
I'm not - so I look for ideas while I'm shopping or scanning catalogs. Think as you shop and study women's clothing. Copy - ideas off of more clever people. Visit standard craft & fabric shops to fulfill your visions.
Could you design a look - just like that $1,000 version you see at Lord & Taylor?
You might be surprised what you could do - if you simply try. ((hugs))
Additional Chapters in This Section Include:
Crossdressing Shopping and Fashion Tips
How to Get Past the Nervousness of Buying Women's Clothing
Crossdresser Size Conversion Charts
Tips for Trying on Women's Clothes in Stores
Important Shopping Rules for Crossdressers
Shopping On-Line for Women's Clothing
Crossdressing Fashion Secrets: Wardrobe Essentials for Crossdressers
Crossdressing Fashion Secrets
Crossdressing Fashion Supplies and Accessories