Introducing feminine touches to mostly masculine casual work clothes
August 10, 2016 11:21 PM   Subscribe

I'm an AMAB person. I'm not cisgendered and would like to gradually alter my work outfit to look more feminine without being too obtrusive about it. Clearly, I'm out of my depth.

My academic workplace is fairly informal for both men and women. The usual rule still holds, with women needing to put more effort into managing their appearance, but even so it's pretty relaxed. It's not considered weird for women to wear jeans and t-shirts, and make-up (though very common) isn't always worn. So there's a fair amount of flexibility regarding attire, but on the other hand there's no-one breaking gender rules, so I feel a little out on a limb here.

My "baseline" outfit is boring - plain black t-shirt, dark blue jeans, brown boots. They're all men's clothes but at the feminine end of the range: the t-shirts are fitted, the jeans are slim fit, and the boots are a little more feminine than most. My hair is long (for men's hair), but it's curly so it sits in the middle of my face once it dries. At the moment it's dyed with blue streaks against a black base. The blue matches my glasses, and I'm fond of it.

What I'm trying to do is slowly introduce a few unambiguously feminine things into this appearance. I don't want to do too much at a time because I'm pretty nervous about breaking gender norms. Also, I want to give my colleagues a long time to get used to seeing these variations in my appearance. My goal here is to be "a little bit feminine" in a few different ways over a length of time, so that if I decide to be out at work later on it won't come as much of a surprise. Plus, if I get used to doing feminine things one at a time it won't feel quite so scary to me if I do several at once, and I'd like to be comfortable in my own skin when people start asking all the inevitable questions.

So what I'm looking for are small things I can do, things that over time might give the game away to anyone paying attention, but individually wouldn't do much other than maybe raise an eyebrow or two. Complicating matters, I'm getting a little older and would prefer to act my age - I'm nearly 40 and I've no interest whatsoever in trying to pretend I'm in my 20s: the dyed hair is already worrying me a bit in that respect.

What options can I consider here?
posted by langtonsant to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (36 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
Nail varnish in a dark colour. And black eye liner. And earrings that lean sparkly (but small) .
posted by taff at 11:31 PM on August 10, 2016 [13 favorites]

Oooh, Alice bands for hair!!! Plain ones in dark colours. Great for longer curly hair. Perfect for yours. Xx
posted by taff at 11:33 PM on August 10, 2016 [6 favorites]

Carry a bag, there's a long continuum of bag-gendered-ness to choose from.
Earrings are good, chunky studs or very plain huggies are not in-your-face girly. Other plain/casual jewellery might work for you too.
Looking after your eyebrows is an unobtrusive and ambiguous female-coded thing.
Also, learning how to do I'm Not Wearing Makeup makeup.
Keeping your hair well conditioned and looked-after.
posted by emilyw at 11:46 PM on August 10, 2016 [11 favorites]

Definitely hair-stuff. All hair maintenance goodies scan as feminine, even the sober professional stuff. So, metallic or black bobby pins or regular flat snap-clips to hold your hair behind your ears, a headband (a blue or green one would look great with blue hair!! Which is not outside your age-acceptable behaviour, btw), a fancy lace scrunchie once your hair is long enough...these are all unambiguous but very subtle feminine cues.

Also, seconding jewelry. A simple drop pendant on a fine weight chain, even if you don't wear it entirely visible outside your clothes, is a very feminine touch. Little pearl earrings, if you like pearls, or little cats or abstract shapes or etc if you prefer silver or gold.

Best thing is that hair toys and subtle jewelry are both (able to be found) cheap and ubiquitous, so it won't become "I need the perfect thing, where to buy!?" and more becomes "where do I put this truckload of bobby pins, and where do they all go when I need one?"
posted by zinful at 11:46 PM on August 10, 2016 [1 favorite]

I'm 35 and don't present as terribly feminine and get called "sir" by cashiers and wait staff on an irregular basis when I'm wearing my normal "jeans and comic book t-shirts" thing. But come fall, it stops. That's because my fall jacket is purple, as is my winter coat. Colors matter a lot to people's gender perceptions. Pink is the one that tends to get called out a lot, but purple's the same, and pastel shades of basically anything. On the one hand, it reads more feminine. On the other hand, it's not like no man has ever worn a purple shirt. It doesn't have to be the shirt--a bag, a jacket, lots of options.

And pink or purple or pastel green/yellow are all colors that'd go fine with your hair, I think. Which I don't think you should really worry about. For our generation, that's not "normal" as in you're going to see your accountant doing it in the next few years, but just because your mom didn't have blue hair at age 40 doesn't mean it's not age-appropriate. Being age-appropriate is mostly about not actively trying to look like you're a teenager today--if it's something you would have at least considered doing when you were in college yourself, you're probably fine, because to today's kids that's pretty boring. By the time they're 40, their accountants probably will have blue hair. The only reason to worry about it is if you're trying to pass for not just 40 but a conservative 40.
posted by Sequence at 11:49 PM on August 10, 2016 [13 favorites]

Get your eyebrows done! Groomed eyebrows make a huge difference in how femme/put-together you look.
posted by Tamanna at 11:49 PM on August 10, 2016 [19 favorites]

Ah. You need a Utilikilt.

A manicure. You can just have your hands/cuticles cleaned up (no polish), or get the dark polish recommended above done (so it's done really nice and neat). You can do toes too, even if no one sees and it just helps you feel feminine.
posted by jrobin276 at 12:02 AM on August 11, 2016

How about a scarf? Something in a more feminine pattern.
posted by bluedaisy at 12:05 AM on August 11, 2016 [8 favorites]

AMAB is a new acronym for me. Thank you for introducing me to it.

Suggestions: Lanyard for your workplace pass? Jewellery? Pin-button badges? Your coffee mug? The background to your computer desktop?

My workplace is not academia, but it is similar, and, from what you write, just a fraction more progressive in terms of employees presenting in accordance or otherwise with gender roles. Self-expression via the lanyard is common enough. I went to a school with a uniform, and the lanyard thing reminds me of how kids at school used to express themselves through every detail by which the uniform was able to deviate from that prescribed, including pushing the boundaries of what was permissible in terms of shoes, hair, make-up, jewellery, dimensions of the clothing, minor variations in the brand or colour...
posted by Erinaceus europaeus at 12:10 AM on August 11, 2016

I find that pendants read more gender ambiguous than, say, a string of glass beads, and you can get ones that run all the way from super fancy (a delicate silver chain with a single pearl pendant) to casual funky (a copper chain with a cool glass or wooden charm) at many many price points. And once you have a few good chains and cords you can get pendants separately and mix and match to suit your outfits and whims. If you feel nervous about your necklace you can tuck it under your collar if it's long enough, too.

If you're not a black nail polish at 40 type of rock and roll person, go for a clear coat. I know a few different women in your age bracket who have played around with having everything but their pointer or pinky fingers with a clear coat and a single nail of bright fun or outfit-coordinating or mood-aligning color. That way you only need to clean off and redo the single finger and you can just paint the color directly on top of your clear coat.

You could collect patterned and colorful and generally delightful socks that peak out the tops of your boots. It's not particularly femme, but it still codes as moreso because of dumb patriarchy reasons. And if you switch your shoes to something like maryjanes or clogs in the future your socks become the stars of the show.

Many coats straddle gender presentation. Consider shopping for a fall coat that's a rich jewel tone like a dark purple, royal blue, dark green, etc, and finding one that nips you in at the waist and flares out a bit around the hips. A trench coat is very good for this (you can definitely find ones in women's departments of major clothing stores that will fit you, especially if you're willing to get something a little tailored) but there are a lot of other coat silhouettes that can do this for you, you just need to go searching.

For a t-shirt update, keep your eye out for draped tops. This one from ASOS is a nice example. The draped neckline gives it softness and movement, but it's still definitely a tshirt. The keyword to look for online is "draped" or "drapey"; it's a style that you can find for all genders and it's pretty flattering on most body shapes. Some of them might read kind of trendy/fashiony, but plenty of them are just a nice step away from a basic top that's different from your usual choices.
posted by Mizu at 12:14 AM on August 11, 2016 [2 favorites]

Something super simple! Wear your jeans on the inside of your boots, not on the outside. This generally gets coded as more feminine, even though you haven't actually had to buy any different clothing.
posted by corb at 12:15 AM on August 11, 2016 [8 favorites]

Seconding grooming. Nicely shaped brows, manicured nails (well done, they don't need to be painted but the cuticles, shaping and smooth/shiny nail look attractive) and conditioned/soft-looking, brushed hair goes a long way.

Also, do you wear that black tshirt tucked in? How about a decidedly feminine but not-at-all-too-girly belt? If you like that, maybe take a step toward coordinating it with other tshirt colors that feel more feminine.
posted by AnOrigamiLife at 12:26 AM on August 11, 2016

Cardigans often read as feminine and v-neck shirts are more popular with women. And, in agreement with the person in the purple jacket, color and pattern can be a big gender divider. Tiny pink polka dots is certainly not something common in men's clothing and would be subtle. Introduce some color and pattern into your tops. Little gold studs in your ears, as suggested, is a great idea. Subtle earrings really straddles the gender divide and could tip your outfits a bit more fem.
posted by Foam Pants at 12:28 AM on August 11, 2016 [2 favorites]

I think European men pull this off quite well in terms of fashion (the intent is fashion I mean but they borrow from women a lot): scarves, jeans with bedazzled pockets or more decoration, earrings, jewelry, a touch of makeup sometimes, highlighted hair, grooming, the kinds of shoes that make your feet look small and not big and stompy, graphic tees and jackets with decorative touches. Just don't go full Jersey Shore or full Beckham. Less shiny? Softer.
posted by fshgrl at 12:38 AM on August 11, 2016 [2 favorites]

I didn't see it mentioned, but do you wear glasses? Can you wear glasses?

I'm an AFAB transmasculine guy, and I get 'ma'am'ed all the time, because my glasses are purple and curvy and swirly - even if everything else I'm wearing is masculine, and my hair is cut to a really short fade. (Think Ryan Reynolds in Deadpool hairstyle).

If you do wear glasses, getting a pair like this can help a whole lot in feminizing your appearance!

(As for mine, I'm a student, so I'm not getting them replaced until I'm in the workforce again. Ah well.)
posted by spinifex23 at 12:43 AM on August 11, 2016

Collar and cuff shirts, colors in tints of dark, chrome-in-general, cashmere.
posted by rhizome at 12:58 AM on August 11, 2016

Seconding pendants, earrings and scarves, ande eyebrow grooming.

But also, how about bracelets or a delicate watch for your wrist?

If you're visibly hairy (on your arms or chest), think about epilating.
posted by Omnomnom at 1:03 AM on August 11, 2016

Seconding cardigans. Longer ones will look more feminine.

Nice shoes. Nice socks, maybe with some color as you start including a wider range.

Scarves. Start with that black and white plaid or rougher-feeling materials, then work up to the more feminine colors and soft materials, like pashmina and silk. You could also tie a softer material in a more masculine-looking tie knot to start, then move to other knots (google how to tie scarves).

I would also use jewelry, from rings to bracelets to necklaces. A progression could be: leather, matte stone, chain link metal (it looks tough because it's what armor is made from), rope or twine, to various other metals, adding cloth and plastic, then beads, then feminine or rainbow colors, then finally gems and precious stones. You can usually mix bracelets together.

You can also buy beads with spiritual or healing significance; I got a bracelet of black beads from a Nepali store. That gives you a reason to share if people ask.
posted by ramenopres at 1:29 AM on August 11, 2016 [1 favorite]

I am a female academic. I am not into some markers of feminity - e.g. ruffled edges on a finished clothing item- but you might like them for being somewhat subtle.

My personal work uniform is jeans plus camisole plus no-iron shirt (I get women's no iron; the darts give a more feminine appearance regardless of what's underneath).

There are other things I wear that definitely code as feminine, even in my jeans and shirt academic style. I have colorful socks (there are so many socks in the world! My SO even got me a sock subscription once and it was lovely). And I generally wear Mary Janes or shoes with some detail stictching, even though I am not into heels myself. If you fit women's shoes (check for brands that have widths available-- I like Ziera personally) you could try that.

Also yes with the earrings (simple studs or anything small/non dangly) may fit in this space.

And haircut is another option- I don't have curly hair, but even when I cut my hair quite short the style still reads feminine. Take a look through one of the curly hair threads here on Askme- most of the responders are women and you can see if any of their advice might result in a more feminine style.

For glasses if your prescription isn't too complicated you can get cheap ones online- a good way to try a few to see how you like the look. Askme also has a bunch of questions here.
posted by nat at 1:55 AM on August 11, 2016

I think a lot of this is going to depend on your personal sense of style - for some people having hairbands, pendants etc might look great, but if you're more of a lowkey person you might want to go for a simpler, less cluttered look, especially if you already have coloured hair which can look really nice next to cleaner lines and subtler colours on your person. I really like the website into mind both as a toolkit for putting together a wardrobe (I've used this successfully as an AFAB/masculine person, so this part isn't dependent on personal style) but also as a lookbook of sorts for unquestionably feminine things that aren't too fussy. I'd think about blouses that are simply cut - the buttons will do up 'the other way', which is a signal many people will notice if only subconsciously. Also the cardigans which have been mentioned, and in general jumpers that are cut higher so that they only just reach past the waist. This will also create a slightly hourglassy look which I think you'll like. Generally I think you're more likely to slip these things in under the radar if you think about outfits rather than accessories - fancy nails are going to stick out somewhat if they don't sync visually with the rest of your appearance, but they'll look really awesome if the colour complements the colour of your top/t-shirt and if you're wearing 'fancy nails' type shoes.

The other thing I'd really recommend is to look at the Colour Me Beautiful system, which is terrible and problems and ridiculous but also really really helpful when it comes to working out which colours actually suit you. This is useful firstly because you're probably going to end up using more colour in your outfits - women's clothing not tending to have the weird colour constraints that mens' does - secondly because if you're buying new clothes you might as well choose ones that fit you, and thirdly because you want the thing people to notice to be 'gosh langtonsant is looking awesome and put-together these days' first, and 'huh langtonsant is wearing a lot of girls' blouses these days' as an afterthought. Oh and fourthly because it's actually fairly helpful to have the extra confidence boost of realising that you're wearing stuff that makes you look nice in a way that your old clothes just didn't.
posted by Acheman at 2:37 AM on August 11, 2016 [3 favorites]

Don't forget belts. Women's belts transition along a spectrum from fully functional "masculine" to totally silly, frivolous, decorative, feminine.

The finishing details on women's clothing is often the only thing that differentiates it from the male version. For example they sometimes finish women's knitted garments, like t-shirts by simply edging the cut end of the fabric, no hem, or turning, and the result makes it ripple a little bit and of course is lighter weight.

Look up "How not to look mannish" and take the advice.

Foundation garments can make a big difference. If you are not already doing so, you could start wearing a sports bra for a woman with minimal breasts under your shirt. It would add that subtle extra bulk to your bust line and the not hugely perceptible strap lines that show through clothes.

Shave any skin on your limbs that will be exposed - like your forearms.
posted by Jane the Brown at 4:10 AM on August 11, 2016

There's a person I see on my bus regularly whose style I really admire that might have aspects you could borrow. They generally wear skinny jeans and a tightly fitted button down shirt, with well -manicured hands, eyebrows, and subtle makeup. In the fall, I often see them with a waist-length felt cape/poncho. In the winter, they have a really nice trench coat that emphasizes their waist. They also have a really fantastic pair of black ankle boots with heels. They also often wear a tie. I've chatted with them a few times; they're doing a postdoc in the dance department and their work plays with gender, so I'm sure they would appreciate your adoption of any parts of their wardrobe that suits you.
posted by ChuraChura at 4:31 AM on August 11, 2016 [1 favorite]

Hello! I'm AMAB, in my late 30s, and "probably not cisgendered". Here's what I found helped:

- Eyebrows! Get them done properly by someone else first, then keep a pair of tweezers (a good pair, eg the ones made by Rubis) near the bathroom mirror or something, and get into the habit of doing little minor tidy-ups, even if it's just a hair or two, every time you wander past. Unless you go really crazy with it, nobody will really notice, certainly not as much as you fear they might. I wish I'd done this *decades* ago..

- Facial hair. Save up/splash out and get it lasered off right now - it's expensive and painful and takes ages but the confidence boost alone is worth it. Plus you save the hassle and skin damage of shaving.

- Moisturize! Especially if you're still shaving.

- Moving to a more femme style of jeans may help, depending on what shape you are. I found skinny jeans made a big difference.

- Women's black tops with mesh panelling or sleeves can look pretty androgynous; I quite like them for being in the grey area between femme and vaguely goth. I got this one recently, although the neckline and tie-back push it towards the femme end of things. Sportswearish stuff can be surprisingly good, here.

- Tunic tops! Might be femme, might be a stylishly long t-shirt, who knows?

- Cowl necks! I love this top, although annoyingly I don't think they're made any more. As long as they're not too drapey, they can be very helpfully ambiguous about the boob areas. Cowl neck jumpers are pretty good.

- Do stuff with your hair! Even just moving a parting can make a huge difference. Try braiding it - there are tons and tons of tutorials on youtube.

- If you don't fancy coloured fingernails at work, at least keep your toenails painted. It can pretty cool to wander round barefoot at home in skinny jeans and painted toes.

- Skinny jeans and lurid trainers is still a common look around here, regardless of gender - if that's a look you're comfortable with then try more femme-coloured shoes. (The difficulty might well be in finding the right size, more than anything else)

Really, I found the biggest differences are internal ones - it's hard to overstate how useful a confidence boost is, which is why eyebrows and lasering were the first two things on the list. Try things - if there's an online clothing store you like that does free returns, then make full use of it - it's really helpful to be able to try out loads of different styles and sizes at home until you figure out what works for you.

Good luck, and have fun!
posted by doop at 4:53 AM on August 11, 2016 [7 favorites]

There's a lot of female-coded jewelry that still wouldn't read as super out-of place on a stylish androgynous academic (I say, as a androgynous academic). Earrings, bracelets, or necklaces, probably not all at once. Around here, earrings probably code as the most feminine and also most "not trying too hard". And, while not visible to your colleagues, I wouldn't underestimate the power of undergarments for changing your bearing and making you feel more you.
posted by tchemgrrl at 6:47 AM on August 11, 2016 [1 favorite]

One of my AMAB genderqueer male-presenting friends has this down in a way I can't help but admire. It helps that he's tall and thin, and that he wears fitted/close-fitting pants and either a close-cut button-up shirt or plain shirts that read as feminine because they have boatnecks or other less-common necklines. He has long hair that he wears in two braids on either side, and has for as long as I've known him, and he's always clean-shaved. I've never noticed whether he wears jewelry or earrings, but he does sometimes paint his nails.

There's no one thing that makes him present as genderqueer, and his style (besides the daily shaving) is very low-maintenance. I suppose it helps that he doesn't have crazy eyebrows or a naturally macho bearing he has to compensate for--but what do I know, maybe he would if he wanted to present differently? His style is so 'him' that I can't imagine him otherwise. He's also in his late forties, and I didn't know him fifteen or twenty years ago when he was leaving his grownup corporate job and figuring out his new self.
posted by tapir-whorf at 7:06 AM on August 11, 2016 [3 favorites]

Keep the streaks, no problem for your age / occupation demographic. How's your hair parted? I'd go for a side part. Or an asymmetrical bob or fade.

2nd: eyebrows, for sure. Boat-necked tees now, and in the fall, pants tucked into boots, cowl necks, and scarves (that look like cowl necks - thick, long, draped around the neck and shoulders, not skinny dangly things). A nice watch, something shiny (I like this one, I think it reads a little femme, with the gold. If that suits you).
posted by cotton dress sock at 7:32 AM on August 11, 2016

Slowly add jewelry there is a wide range available so you can slowly move or or less feminine as you want to. Necklaces/pendants would be a great place to start, maybe get your ears pierced if they're not already.
V necked t-shirts instead of crew necked.
Find tshirts in colors that are considered more feminine or just in colors that aren't black.
Get your brows done.
Would you be up for getting your eyelashes tinted or wearing mascara. Long or prominent lashes tend to read feminine to & tinting saves mucking around with make up if you're not comfortable with it.

Get a good hair cut for specifically for curly hair. My hair walks a fine line between heavy metal music fan that's stuck his finger in a light socket & soft feminine curls that is helped immeasurably but a good cut.
posted by wwax at 9:40 AM on August 11, 2016

I just wanted to chime in with a couple of thoughts on things mentioned above.

Eyebrow shaping - if you're picturing the full-on glamour brow with winged shape, high arch, penciled and powdered, and thinking that sounds like too much, be aware that you can ask for a much more natural shape. They will clean up the stray hairs, and shape them into a subtle arch that will definitely give you a softer look without drama.

Nail polish - dark polish would not have to be black. Navy blue, dark teal, dark maroon, deep purple would be less goth and more femmish without crossing over into girly.

I love the idea of the Alice band for your hair. I used to work with a guy who was growing out his very curly hair and used a band like that to keep it out of his face. He was masculine-presenting and it didn't look odd, but it is a look that is much more associated with women so it would have a feminizing touch.

Along similar lines, maybe embrace the man-bun? I think it's a nice look for both masculine guys as well as those that are a little more femme-leaning.
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 10:17 AM on August 11, 2016

Are you into fragrances? There are a number of unisex and subtly feminine fragrances out there, and you can wear a small-enough amount that it won't be overpowering to anyone unless they get close enough for a hug or a handshake. And it's something you can privately enjoy during the day.

This Atelier Cologne fragrance is bewitching and spicy and masculine (for me, anyway, an extra-femme ciswoman). Smaller amounts for cheaper are available via Birchbox or other retailers.
posted by witchen at 10:45 AM on August 11, 2016

switch from a lip balm to something with just a little more gloss in it. If you don't use lip balm now, start!

a quick swipe of mascara will define your lashes without looking too feminine as long as you aren't wearing like 2+ coats.

bangs are a feminine style, even if you don't wear your hair too long, cutting slightly shorter and swooshed off to the side bangs reads feminine.

Eyebrows is a great tip.

bracelets are pretty feminine without being overtly so. a non-wedding band finger ring or two. I've never seen any manly men wearing thumb rings, so that might be a good finger to pick.

a belt? men's belts tend to be chunkier and more bland in colour than ladies' belts, so maybe you could jazz up your belts a little.

lastly, women's tshirts' sleeves are a thing that is different than mens. Maybe start buying shirts with different length sleeves.. women have cap-sleeves, and longer, tighter sleeves, and 3/4 length sleeves, all of which are unusual for men's shirts.
posted by euphoria066 at 12:34 PM on August 11, 2016

Nthing the Alice Bands.

However, the ones aimed at cis females tend to be colorful or at least have colored accents. If you want an Alice band that has a more neutral color appearance (like black or white), check out soccer pro shops - a lot of soccer players wear them, like Diego Forlan or Erik Friberg. They can also be found at World Soccer Shop. Link here: Soccer Alice Bands.
posted by spinifex23 at 12:35 PM on August 11, 2016

Response by poster: Thank you all. This is super helpful!
posted by langtonsant at 1:51 PM on August 11, 2016 [1 favorite]

Maybe too obvious or maybe not, but one of my not-so-cis work friends occasionally wears wedge-heel sneakers -- some of them are kind of stealth heels (e.g.), so they wouldn't be immediately obvious but would still change your posture/look/silhouette. Something in all-black without too much ornamentation/flash should look fashiony and not age-inappropriate.
posted by en forme de poire at 2:46 PM on August 11, 2016

I've been trying to do this for the past year and I've been really invested in this thread.

Been aiming for feminine but plausibly denialed male clothing.

So far, found a woman's lightweight cargo pants - basically the same as cut for a man (with ankle cinchers) except for bigger buttons and some nice understated tie-on streamers. It came with doodads at the ends of streamers so I cut them off but kept the streamers The cut really crowds the man parts, though.

Bought a pair of high-end brand cargo pants from eBay (I've previously loved their men's versions from brick&mortar stores, but so expensive); genuinely wanted that particular brand, the cheapest of the correct size was posted in Mens and classified as unisex. Upon receipt, it's cut for women but the colours/cut are close enough for plausible deniability. But, ow, my balls.

Shopping at Salvation Army - picking through the women's jeans section, found a ridiculous NYC designer of a skinny men's jean for $4. Works for either look. Man parts were accounted for. I'm starting to think trying out Korean clothing shops...

A woman's tight jean maybe a size or two larger, with the attendant variety, might fit? Men's clothing options (outside of the high end) is so narrow. I have huge calves but tiny waist/hips and that isn't optimal.

Despaired with shoes, but these were suitably plausibly deniable. Never thought that'd I'd be able to go out (much less afford - ebay steal) wearing Miz Mooz's.


Thanks so much Mizu, that's exactly what I was looking for. That and more fitted t-shirts/henleys only where the definition of henley (the buttons/decolletage) was subjected to some imagination with optional pleats and buttons and stuff.
posted by porpoise at 9:18 PM on August 11, 2016 [1 favorite]

A lot of cis women wear men's jeans, because they have serviceable pockets, and are still read as women due to the rest of their clothes - tops, footwear, accessories, hair, etc.

So you may not have to give those up, especially if comfort is a factor.
posted by spinifex23 at 9:42 PM on August 11, 2016 [2 favorites]

If you wear mostly black shirts/dark jeans right now, jumping into full blown pastels might not be the comfiest. (Of course YMMV, but something to think about as you try new clothes on.) I'm a cis woman who wears a lot of black, and whenever I pick up a bright- or light-coloured piece I like, I always have a really tough time feeling comfortable in it out in the world, no matter how nice it looked on the rack and in the changing room. Now that I've come to peace with that, when I want to branch out from black I go for neutral (earth tones, greys) or darker shades (navy, maroon, forest green). Or, if there's a light-coloured thing I really want to wear, I pair it with a dark cardigan or scarf.
posted by snorkmaiden at 10:21 AM on August 30, 2016 [1 favorite]

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