I don't really get into fashion basics here in Cyrsti's Condo. I don't really feel qualified as a "fashionista". Then again there are basics we all need to remember, follow and are especially valuable for those you who are new to all of this.
Here are a few:
Use caution when wearing strapless or thin-strapped designs. This is because men naturally have broader shoulders than women, and if you want to pull off dressing as a woman seamlessly, opting to show your shoulders is a dead give away that you're a man. If you must wear a strapless style, be sure to have a wrap, stole, or jacket handy to cover up. Also, instead of wearing thin spaghetti straps, choose wider straps that are more flattering.
Form-fitting clothing looks better than you think. It may look and feel a little awkward at first, but deciding to wear form-fitting clothing over baggy, relaxed styles is definitely the way to go. It creates the natural outline of a woman's body easier, and helps you create the full illusion. Whether it be dresses, skirts, pants or tops, clothing cut close to the body works best.
Embrace darker colors, and be cautious with light or bold ones. Darker colors are going to easily conceal the more masculine elements of your body, thus creating a more convincing illusion. Lighter shades should really be worn with caution because you can't hide anything when the color you're wearing is especially light.
Bold colors are more forgiving than light ones, but they also tend to draw a lot of attention, so be aware before you buy.
Dress your body as though you were a woman. This basically means that the way you dress as a man does not apply to the way you dress as a woman. You need to know what female body type you have, and dress it accordingly for the most flattering look. The way to do this is to do a little research on female body shapes and see which one you best fit into, and then style your clothing as such.
Years ago, I found clothing separates much easier for me to find, buy and wear. The process led me out of the "dress" mode years ago and I doubt if I have worn one in at least five or six years. For me it was much easier to find a pair of jeans or even a long skirt. Then I would add a shirt , jacket or sweater that fell softly over my hips.
Most certainly "illusion" is the key term to all of this but knowing your body style is huge. There are many sites you can go to research yours such as this one called "Shop Your Shape" It's important you don't fall into the "I can't do anything about my linebacker build" mold. Of course you can add curves to that straight up and down body of yours and restrain that male belly of yours with a good pair of Spanx undergarments.
Finally, I really liked the advice on "colors" or "patterns". Back in the day, you could pick out the "Plus Size" women's area of a store a mile away because of a blinding array of bright ugly clothes. Not so much these days. A couple of my favorite and most complimented pieces of my wardrobe are patterned. Even still, patterned additions to my wardrobe are rare. Most of them are pieces that just jump off the rack at me and fit the style I've worked on for myself. Now, I'm to a point where the process becomes innate. Sure I still make mistakes but what woman doesn't?
There you go. I hope this helps some of you who are new and struggling with this magical mystery tour of looking as good as you can as a woman!