I am hoping for some advice on taking my sister in law shopping for the first time. She recently transitioned and has asked for my help going shopping for more feminine clothing, not that I’m a fashionista by any means. I am so excited to bond with her in this way but I want to be as respectful as possible in what choices I offer as far as clothing and if there are any tips on making the experience as comfortable as possible for her too. If you have any guidance for me on styles that would be the most comfortable or flattering in these early stages of transition I would be forever grateful. She is a super tall, super skinny, gorgeous woman and I want to help her feel that way every day.
Building a wardrobe is one of the most fun, but overwhelming things we will ever do. I have had to needed to shop for new clothes for male mode when I got a new job for example, but shopping for Hannah is a completely different, but much more fun (and expensive) experience.
When it comes to my wardrobe, I have clothes for every occasion. Whether it is a sparkly dress for a holiday party or something casual for a day at the mall, I have an outfit (and shoes and accessories) to mach.
What I would recommend is to start by thinking about her goals. Everyone needs clothes, but what is she looking for? Professional attire for her job? Comfy staples for running errands? Start slow, start small, and then go from there.
Another goal to keep in mind is what style of clothes is she looking for. Not only from a personal preference perspective (say that three times fast!) but from a physical one as well. I am not very curvy but I like to create an illusion of hips. My Jolie Thigh Pads from The Breast Form Store help a lot, but I also love what a cute peplum dress does for my figure.
I like showing off my legs, so my dresses and skirts tend to be on the short side. Granted, when you are over six feet tall a dress will usually be on the short side anyway. I also like to avoid exposing my shoulders. I have plenty of dresses that are sleeveless, but I usually don’t wear spaghetti straps. Many of us have features we like to show off as well as features we like to downplay.
Truth be told, I know (and care) very little about fashion. I wear what I like and what I think is cute. Putting together a skirt and top combination is something I struggle with, but I find mannequins and Instagram quite helpful, to be honest. This outfit is cute…
… but everything I am wearing is exactly what a mannequin at H&M wore. It looked cute on the mannequin and I thought I could pull it off. Matching a strip top with a tan skirt was not something I thought would work, but seeing it on display won me over.
I look at the style category on Instagram for inspiration as well. I saw a lot of girls wearing cute, pleated skirts and I had to have one. The problem was knowing what top to pair with it. I saw a lot of girls wearing a sleek black top with the skirt, so I thought a black bodysuit would be perfect.
I think I was right.
I don’t try to keep up with trends or what’s in at the moment. It would be exhausting to try to keep up. Everyone should wear what they want to wear.
I would also recommend knowing your measurements. Dress Barn and Forever 21 both have different ideas what a size 12 dress is, but if you know your measurements it will make shopping (especially shopping online) a million times easier.
Knowing her goals and measurements are important, but the most important thing a t-girl needs, whether it is shopping or anything else, is something you have already given her: support.
You are a gem to help her, encourage her, and shop with her. I would rather hit the mall with a supportive person than a fashion writer. It’s obvious you are supportive and enthusiastic about helping her and right now (and always), she will need that more anything.
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