Nikki’s Inbox: Transforming, Transitioning

I’m a short, somewhat overweight trans boy (I was born a girl), who would really want your help! I have just recently discovered my new gender, causing a big part of my closet to be way too feminine for me. For a long time, I’ve only worn a big hoodie/sweater with either jeans or sweatpants to hide my curves and somewhat pass as a boy, but I’m pretty tired of wearing that every day.

I’m 155 cm, 62 kilos, and pretty curvy. I’ve been looking at the men’s clothing here on YesStyle, but I’m scared I’ll just look weird if I wear men’s clothing. My main goal is to be able to pass as a boy, even with my curves.

If you could at least help me with some more androgynous clothing that is casual and hides my obvious girl body I would be really happy. I understand if it’s difficult to help me, but I would really appreciate it. Thank you!

Mica, 16/Sweden


First, I want to congratulate your decision to stop wearing big hoodies, sweaters and sweatpants. I know you wanted to cover up but wearing something that threatens to drown you in excess fabric is never the solution.

Second, thank you for writing to me for advice. I remember when I replied to “Noa” who wrote to me four years ago with the same dilemma. I still have a lot to learn about transgendered people and the culture but I promise to give your question my best shot.

Shirts are your friends
Most men possess an inverse triangle body shape — wider around the shoulders and tapering down towards the hips and thighs — while women have the opposite. I assume that at some point, Mica, you will wear a binder around your chest. This will help conceal the curves on your upper body. However, to create that inverse triangle illusion, structured pieces like men’s shirts are the best way to go, as they hold their shape better. Thin vertical stripes and straight silhouettes will make you look taller and leaner. Avoid any big patterns or prints on the chest, especially pockets as much as possible. These will make you visually bigger and also draw attention to your upper body instead of minimizing it. Pay attention to how it fits around your chest, arms and near the hips. Just because it hides what you want to conceal doesn’t mean it’s the right fit for you.

Jackets that flatter
For outerwear such as jackets, blazers and coats, you want narrow lapels to get that enviable wide-shoulder illusion. Two-button jackets also work better on petites, and even on curvy figures. Make sure those jackets don’t have any padded shoulders because that can add too much bulk. Check that the jacket also has a straight silhouette from the underarm to the hem, and skims your upper thighs at the very least. Any longer and it may overwhelm you visually. Once you find that perfect jacket, pay attention to how it looks with the rest of your clothes so you can maximize its styling options.

Tees to tease
As opposed to (collared) shirts that are structured, T-shirts have a softer, more relaxed fit, and hence follow the natural contours of the body. However that doesn’t mean you should no longer wear them. I suggest you buy athletic tees instead as these have more benefits going for you than just regular ones. Most athletic tees are cut to accommodate and emphasize wide shoulders and bigger biceps which is a silhouette we’re aiming for you! A bonus is that the stretchy fabric is also designed to wick moisture. With a good binder and the right fit and size, a good T-shirt is for keeps. So if you do find one in your size and liking, buy more than one! You can wear these under a blazer or use it as a layering piece for autumn and winter.


Pants fantastic
I might be going out on a limb here, Mica, but if you have a nice bum, I’d say flaunt it! As opposed to the bust which you can flatten with a chest compressor, there is no way to hide a good bum unless you wear pants that are two or three sizes too big. Oh wait, that’s what you were doing before, right? Again, size and fit are the most important factors here. Straight leg jeans in the correct length and in-seam will make your legs look long and lean, even if you’re petite and curvy. A mid-rise cut instead of low-rise will make it sit on your natural waist instead of the hips where you’re wider (and the bum where you’re bigger). Another alternative are >slightly baggy pants which should be a little roomy around the hips and waist but not saggy at the crotch. These will cover your widest parts while still keeping your look casual and comfortable. You can team these with those athletic tees and finish with a jacket or vest.

This isn’t a complete checklist by any means, Mica, but I hope it gives you a good starting point for your new wardrobe, and hopefully eases your frustrations. I wish you the best of luck, darling! Hey Ask Nikki readers, any advice for Mica? Post them in the comments!

Nikki

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