All of us have different body shapes and sizes, each with its advantages and liabilities. Did you know that you can use clothing to highlight your assets while also minimizing your weaknesses? To help you choose the clothing styles that are best for you, Sami’s pick is Flatter Your Figure, by Jan Larkey. This book has improved Sami’s wardrobe.
Sami’s Pick in a Nutshell
When I started crossdressing, I was glad to get whatever clothing I could find. I had no idea what I was doing. I am sure many of my readers had similar experiences when they started.
To become savvier, I started reading a lot of books. Flatter Your Figure, by Jan Larkey, is one of a handful of books that helped me understand why some of my clothes looked great while others didn’t work. With this guidance, I have been able to make smarter choices about what to buy. This is why I chose this book as Sami’s Pick.
One example of something that wasn’t quite right was a sundress I bought on eBay. There was nothing wrong with the size. It had spaghetti straps and was fairly short, about to where I could reach with my fingertips. I liked the color too, a dark pink. However, it still didn’t look flattering. After reading Flatter Your Figure, I now understand why.
I’ll be getting into a few more specifics later in this article. In the meantime, let me explain what I found with this particular dress. First, for my body type, having spaghetti straps was one of the big problems. It had nothing to do with my age (mid-fifties) or my hairstyle. It was because my shoulders are wide and bulky. The spaghetti straps drew attention to my huge shoulders, rather than complimenting them.
In addition, the length of the dress was too short given the length of my torso. I am a tall gal, and my torso is a large part of that height. Unfortunately, the shorter length of the dress drew the eyes to my long torso, which only accentuated my perceived height.
To discover one’s assets and liabilities, Flatter Your Figure provides a detailed quiz during which one takes several measurements. Examples include torso and leg length, the balance between one’s shoulders and hips, and the bustline. I suggest doing this while wearing any breast or hip forms you usually wear, since this determines what you will be wearing over them.
Once you finish the quiz, you’ll learn which of these issues you should try to use clothing to overcome:
- Short Legs
- Wide Hips
- Dominant Shoulders
- Short Waisted
- Long Waisted
- Short Neck/Double Chin
- Extra Long Neck
- Round/Sloping Shoulders
- Thin Arms
- Heavy Arms
- Full/Low Bust
- Small Bust
- Wide Waist
- Protruding Abdomen
- Protruding Derriere
- Flat Derriere
- Thin Legs
- Large Thighs
- Large Calves/Thick Ankles
Sami’s Issues and Suggested Styles
For myself, my areas that need help are Dominant Shoulders, Long Waisted, Short Neck/Double Chin, Round/Sloping Shoulders, Small Bust, Wide Waist, and Flat Derriere. My problems with Small Bust and Flat Derriere can be fixed with forms. The rest can be addressed with properly styled clothing.
What I discovered, for example, with my Dominant Shoulders, is that sleeveless and short-sleeved tops exasperate them, making them look even bigger. On the other hand, 3/4 sleeves, long sleeves, and cuffed sleeves accentuate the Dominant Shoulders, turning them into an asset.
In addition, neck styles that enhance Dominant Shoulders are keyhole, deep U, and V neck. On the other hand, off the shoulder, square, smocked, and western necklines draw unwanted attention to my Dominant Shoulders.
With my Wide Waist, I have several good choices for skirts. These include many A-line styles such as modified dirndl, culotte, wide panel, and wraps. I can also wear some pleated skirts, such as stitched and knife. On the other hand, there are styles that bring unwanted attention to the Wide Waist. These include straight skirts such as pencil, flared skirts such as trumpet, and drop waist skirts.
Sami’s Last Words
What Flatter Your Figure has done is provide a focus for my purchases. Rather than buying something that looks cute while on the hanger, it has helped me to make informed purchases that flatter my figure. Now I can feel more confident that when I step out, the clothes I choose to wear won’t draw unwanted attention. The clothes will look good, and that adds to my confidence.
I will also say that this book was published in 1991. That means some of the styles are out-of-date (at least for now!) Please don’t let that deter you. What is the most important is that you understand how your clothing choices work with or against your particular body shape. It is those general principles that will help you decide which of the newest fashions will work great for you. This way, you’ll be purchasing clothes that you will want to wear again and again because they look so good on you, rather than relegating poor-looking clothes to the back of your closet.
The Buying Opportunity
In order to provide unbiased reviews, The Crossdresser Report does not accept free samples of the reviewed product. If you agree with Sami’s Pick and want to buy one for yourself, you can help support The Crossdresser Report at no extra cost by clicking the link below. Thank you for your support!
Flatter Your Figure
Be sure to read about other great crossdresser shopping ideas.