Thursday, January 17, 2008

Decisions, Decisions

Transition is an interesting journey at times, especially when you are beginning it. You have some basic ideas about what's going to happen when you start taking hormones, some of the positive and negative reactions you'll get, and some of the issues you'll face such as the need for a heightened awareness of your personal security.

But the nuts and bolts mundane stuff can be maddening at times as well along with the choices that go into every phase of putting together your feminine presentation.

Outside of the obvious one that men's and women's shoe and clothing sizes are different, one of the things you'll quickly discover on your clothes shopping safari for the new you is that standardized sizing for women's clothes doesn't exist. You either have letter or number sizes and they vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. Once you figure out what size you wear, the fun begins.

For suits, would you like a pantsuit or a skirted one? Which look is more flattering to your figure? Do you prefer the skirt length to be above or below the knee? What style dresses not only do you like, are they flattering to your figure?

Now let's talk about undergarments.

The various things we wear to lift, separate, shape, hide, support and sculpt our bodies also have different sizes, styles, lengths and colors. Pre-op and non-op transwomen have the added problem of making sure the neoclit doesn't pop out at inopportune times and stays neatly tucked away.

The question you have to ask yourself is how much shape wear do I want (or need to) put on so that I look good and it doesn't impede my ability to quickly take it off if I need to make an emergency restroom pit stop? One thing I learned early in my transition is that on this side of the gender spectrum, Moni has to potty far more often.

Then there's finding the correct size bra to keep 'the girls' in place. You not only have to have the correct bra for your cup size, but also have to consider what style and type is needed for a particular outfit. Do you need a strapless, push-up, convertible strap, underwire or support one?

And what's your cup size? Is it an A, B, C, D or larger?

Then there's pantyhose. Do you want to wear them or not? If you do (and I'm old school in the fact that I don't think an outfit is complete without them) what size do you wear? Do you need control top, sheer to waist, sheer toe or reinforced toe? Do you wear them inside or outside your panties? What shades not only complement your shoes and outfit, but your skin tone as well?

Let's move on to hair. What color do you want it? Do you want highlights and in what color if you do? Do you want to wear it short, long, shoulder length or down your back? Do you want a weave or not? Do you wish to wear wigs or not and in what styles if the answer is yes to that question?

What hairstyles do you like? Do you want a bob, curly, straight or wavy? What hairstyles are flattering to your head shape and your overall feminine presentation and sense of style?

Speaking of looking good, makeup is another area that has a dizzying array of choices. What foundation shades in which makeup collection match your skin tone? What colors work best for you? Do you have oily, dry, or combination skin and how does it affect your makeup choices? How do you apply it so it doesn't look like you used a trowel to put it on?

Ah, nails. Do you want them long, short or medium length? Do you want acrylic, nail tips, or natural? Do you want them polished, French or American manicured? What color polish would you like on your nails, and does that color complement your skin tone as well? Would you like that same color on your toes?

And finally, my favorite, shoes. Do you want high heel, mid heel, low heel or flats? Pump, sandal or open toe? Dressy, business, casual or trendy fashion?

Betcha didn't think women had to put this much decision making into looking good, did you?


imogen said...

Monica, I only discovered your blog a couple days ago, but it's already one of my favorites ever. I don't know if I could even quantify why- it's just this great mix of intelligent, playful, don't-take-shit, and... I dunno, awesome.

Thanks for posting, is all. xo

Monica Roberts said...

Thanks for the comments and I hope you'll continue to check out TransGriot on a regular basis.