In previous Lessons Learned I’ve written about various things including finding your personal style and shopping. This post (hopefully) fills a gap around building your shape. Now, that might seem a bit odd – I almost wrote nuts, but we’ll come too those later 😉 – in the idea you can build a shape.
What I mean is, what are the tricks, hacks, and ProTips to help you have more of a femme figure compared to your regular figure. I will touch on FTM stuff as well, but as that’s not my area of expertise, it will be light.
First off, let me a clear – oh dear, I sound like a politician about to not answer the question 😁. Where was I? Oh yes, there is no right way to be a woman or a man. People are wonderfully varied and what goes on from here are merely the things I’ve learned over the years. Maybe through trial and error, reading up on things, or help from friends. You don’t have to do any of this and if you prefer to work it another way, enjoy. 🙂
Also, please don’t waste your time wishing your body was taller, shorter, muscly, prettier, boyish, or whatever. Even with surgery – which some folks do have – all the wishing in the world won’t make you perfect. Instead, please know that you are doing the best you can with who you are right now. Try to accept yourself and make the most of what you have. ❤️
So, we can’t ‘take something away from our shape‘ but we can add to other areas or try and hide things. 🙂
I’m not aware of the shoulder corset, so if you are concerned about you upper body shape, here’s a few hacks to with with what you have.
The right type of top will help draw the eye away from your shoulders. Equally, wider hips can balance that shoulder/hip ratio.
What do I mean by the right top? As a rule of thumb, darker colours hide and lighter colours draw the eye. Wearing a darker blouse or t-shirt with lighter trousers/skirt means the viewer week look towards your midriff, rather than your neckline.
As well as colour, bardot or ‘cold shoulder’ style tops can draw the eye to a wider part of our frame. Instead, think on wrap style or V neck, as these may help draw the eye down and provide cover for the area we’re looking to minimise.
Having a look online with the phrase style advice for girls with large shoulders can keep you up to date on fashions and what may – and may not – work for you.
Okay, I could’ve written boobs, but might that lead us into Carry On Dressing? 😉
A bra is certainly going to help here and it’s a bit Catch 22. What bra size am I if I don’t have any breast forms and if I don’t have a bra, what size forms should I use? 🤔
Depending on your budget, you could go with rolled up socks or two pop socks filled with rice and tied off. If you are starting out, you don’t have to save up for breast forms or a chest plate.
For me, being a -ahem- gentleman of middling years, and middling weight 😉, I get by with two pairs of ‘chicken fillet’ style bra fillers. You can get those from various shops including supermarkets, online, or on the high street.
To answer the bra or filler question? You could measure your back and take a punt at a supermarket bra* and then experiment with different fillers or forms until you are happy with the result.
Thinking back to a visit from a bra specialist, cheap bras are made cheaply. Now, they’re not wrong in that, and sometimes that’s all we need. If we’re not wearing one day in day out, longevity may not be an issue for us. Plus, you may be starting out and you can always replace/upgrade as time goes on.
I would recommend you look online to see how to measure yourself as a man when it comes to bras. Our build is different, so following just the female advice may not give the best fit.
Thin or otherwise, having a little more curve in the right places can help. Not just our confidence, but the fit of our clothes. One thing I’ve noticed about my other wardrobe, is that womens’ clothes are thinner and a lot more fitted. The latter certainly brought my insecurities forward.
To achieve a smooth front, look into shapewear. That might be supermarket own brand, Spanx, or a corset. The latter might be an underbust style or one that sits around the gap been ribs and hip. It’s worth trying different versions to see which you prefer.
For a long time, I stuck with a long body, shapewear tummy control garment. Sort of like a long tube you pull up from lower tummy to hear your boobs. That works well if I’m in loose clothing or if I don’t need the fuller curves a corset gives. It’s really personal choice.
Not only do hips fill out our new clothes, they also balance the upper body / lower body ratio. A lot of men are carrot shaped: that wide triangle with the point near the floor and the width at the top. To get away from that, padding can help.
Now, you can buy specialist products – not just foam, but silicone as well. If you are starting our, or don’t fancy the above, you can go DIY.
Personally, I’ve been using a thumb thickness of foam cut into a rounded diamond and then a pair of foam shoulder pads on top to curve things. I’m either a cheap date or I watched to much Blue Peter as a kid. 😉 There’s numerous DIY hip pad videos on YouTube and while they may seem orientated towards a drag aesthetic, using thinner foam can change that.
I’ve no experience of the padded shorts sold on Amazon, although the reviews often talk about them coming up small. Buyer beware 👍 Conversely, a review of a set made specifically for drag and cross dressing had good reviews, so maybe worth a punt.
A story of two halves this one 🙂 Padding the rear of, uh, our rear can be done by DIY pads or purchasing padded underwear. If you’re not DIYing it, you may find the hip pad shorts include extra va-va-voom to your derrière.
As to the front, there’s a certain set of equipment that can spoil the line of an outfit, so we’re into tucking. A good tuck can be helped by control knickers, so keep an eye for those.
There are various guides on tucking available online, and for sake of completeness, tucking means pulling your ‘gentleman’ backwards (as if you’d be sitting on it) and gently popping the gent’s two compadres into their respective pouches further in the body. Be careful and this won’t hurt. It takes a little practice but certainly helps keep any unsightly bumps out of sight.
So that’s pretty much it. A collection of ideas and suggestions from over the years. Like a lot in life, there seems no limit to what you can spend. But, you don’t have to if you’re willing to try a few things out and experiment a little.
Looking at the photo below, the hip padding emphasises the curves from the corset and both padding plus corsetry, help break up the vertical line of my birth gender’s straight-up-and-down-ness. We have the technology 😉
Ultimately, the things that work for you is the key element. What I do may not be for you and vice versa: it’s all cool and it’s about using things that make the best of what you have.