Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Hips and Thighs

I tackle these together because they are about the front and rear view of the "hour-glass" whereas the bum is about the side view. And it's not just about the hourglass, it's about how a woman looks in jeans, leggings or anything that hugs the figure.

Angles and Body Types

I took the image from the Wikipedia article on female body shape. Arguably, I'm currently closer to the Banana than anything else. If I've not said it before, the true Hourglass figure is beyond my reach. Both the Pear and the Hourglass look more feminine in shape that the other two and that's down to the hip-to-waist ration but also the angle of the outline of the body from the waist to the maximum frontal aspect of the hips.

My knickers with the hip pads - they put a bump on the hips. I've not yet had the opportunity to try them with my rubber slimming corset. Even so, I can imagine given my shape what they would do is just create a very localised "bump" rather than creating that overall curve. Again, I think if you were a woman in need of a little bit of help, they'd work fine but not if you are me.

These pads is closer to the mark but they are expensive. Interestingly, the advice that the adhesive is not strong enough on its own mirrors what I had suspected about stick-on bum pads. Pocketed foundation wear of a more robust construction (probably a light powermesh) is the obvious solution. Obviously this rules out any clothing that is not knee length and even then, smoothing could be an issue. Unless the fit-to-form is very good, there is the risk of an obvious step/line.

I go back the prosthesis I linked to in the Bum post. It's not what I want but the result is interesting.

Inner Thigh
The question of what a woman's inner thigh looks like only applies to certain clothing - jeans, leggings and the like. The nonsense about the thigh gap makes me sad in that it's actually the negative of what someone who doesn't have an ideal feminine shape might want to achieve. I do understand that there is an innate tension between the short live vogue and long-lived more "classical" thinking. Some sort of shapewear or prosthetic that would that give little bulge of the inner thigh that short distance below the pelvis would be welcomed by many and not just crossdressers.

That curve is not a function of muscle, it's about how female hormones cause fat to be laid down.

Stance and Walk
Notice that in the above drawings that the thighs are together. If you watch how men and women walk and stand and even sit, men tend to splay their legs more as well as turning their feet out. It can be partly a function of clothing - a tight skirt restricts movement. The extreme is the hobble skirt.

As an aside, I tend to cross my legs when I sit in opposition to stuff like this kind of crap.

Monday, 23 June 2014


You can tell I'm based in the UK from the use of the word bum as opposed to the more American "butt".

Something that I have realised that is that since I've started cross-dressing, I look at women not so much in a different way - more there's another level added. If I see an attractive woman, all sorts of questions arise in my mind along the lines of what is it about her body shape that makes her feminine?

Part of the answer is the hip to waist ratio. Mine is currently 0.9. Waist reduction can only get me so far so.

The bum certainly is one aspect - the side view, if you like. One thing I certainly don't have is feminine bottom. Skinny bum. This is a different class of problem from the waist - this is about adding rather than reducing. Arguably, adding is a hell of a lot easier that reducing but the reality is that there are no ideal solution. There's also a realistic movement problem - which I'll deal with later.

Pragmatically, this is only an issue with certain types of clothing. Anything tight but also looser clothing can reveal the underlying shape when it clings.

Choosing a Size
Because I am adding, in theory, I can choose what size bum I want. Currently, my hip measurement is 40". I'd like to be a 42". Not all of this is going to be on the bum - I'll deal with hips and thighs in another post.

The choice isn't entirely arbitary. It's about being able to wear same size top and bottom. This also informs the bra size I've chosen.

Padded Knickers
Yes, padded knickers of various types exist. I own a couple of types.

I have something like these - I got them from Debenhams but they seem to have discontinued them (an increasingly familiar story). They give a modest boost and the shape isn't bad. The padding is foam. The back is ruched in such a way to give a greater impression of two separate buttocks. What I don't know is what they look like when I walk. To a degree, the action of the bum during walking is due to the walk itself. Men do walk in a different way from women. There are various instructions on the internet for crossdressers in terms of how to walk like a woman. On the other hand, it is also due to the distribution of soft tissue.

Now there are knickers of this type that supposedly give more of a boost but if you read reviews, there are complaints that they don't look natural, have very visible VPL and are stiff. Photos of various different ones (e.g. this) seem to indicate that can be less of an impression of separate buttocks, meaning that they will look bad in certain clothes. I am reluctant to try these. I also suspect that the more padding involved the less naturalistic bum action.

I also have these. They have pockets that can accommodate either foam or silicone gel pads. Gel pads can't be put in the washing machine - hence they need to removable.

They are disappointing. The leg holes are too small and cut into my thighs slightly. It's irritating rather than painful. The fabric is somewhat flimsy and has little elasticity. The extra gel pads I've bought are heavy enough to cause them to sag a bit.

Again, what I don't know is how realistic they look when I walk. The shape isn't quite right but they do feel more natural than foam pads. Yes, if you touched my bum you'd think something wasn't quite right.

Supportive clothing overcomes this and also smooths but I don't always want to wear it. There's also not much of a sense of separate buttocks. Looking on the internet I'm sure that any other product is any better. It's very clear that a lot of vendors are offering identical products with different names that come from the same factory in China although that could also be the result of a single vendor appearing in multiple guises.

I'm sure I could design a better pocketed knicker. Shame I can't sew.

I'll talk about the hip element in a later post. That's also disappointing.

Not for crossdressers
Despite seeing claims that padded knickers were initially created for cross-dressers, I suspect that the majority of purchasers are women looking for a modest bum-boost. A double gusset is a give away. My understanding is that historically, Japan has been a strong market for padded knickers. In Western countries there does seem to be a fashion for larger bums. In certain Latin American countries, even more so. The horror stories you read about harmful substances being implanted or injected into the buttocks make one shudder.

Leg Cut
Women have neither a penis or testicles. I will write in another post about concealment but for now the most important thing to realise is that knickers, padded or not, are made with the lack of a "package" in mind.

My experience is that anything with a high cut leg will not work for me. One or both of my testicles will sneak out over time and I have small testicles. Thongs tend to be a no-no. The styles that work for me are boy shorts, bikini style and fuller briefs. There are some padded knickers that will give me problems in terms of fit straight off before the question of whether the padding works.

Stand alone pads
It is possible to get stick on pads, both foam and silicone. I'm not sure how well they'd stay on. Unlike stick on breast forms, they are subject to considerable mechanical forces. You need to wear something supportive to help them stay in place.

Bum Lift
There are a type of bum boost knickers that probably would not work for me. Skinny bum. But they may work for others. Having worn shapewear that does lift the bum, it can give a more youthful appearance even if it does not make the bum look bigger. I also think there are some lessons to be learned.

There is a world of prosthetics that doesn't really interest me in itself and the products are ferociously expensive.  Even so, the approach of something moulded from a female body has potential but, to be frank, shape and realistic movement is what I'm interested in and I do not care about the outward appearance other than it gives a reasonably seam-free. I would wear under clothes.

Sunday, 22 June 2014

Not a Crossdresser

On reflection, I suppose that I should explain a little more about what I'm trying to achieve.

There is absolutely no way that I will ever pass. However convincingly I dress, do my hair and make-up, however good my walk, my mannerisms and voice modulation is, my height screams biological male. I've never met a woman as tall as me. Yes, a few inches shorter but very rarely. A tall woman is an unusual enough sight that she will attract attention simply for being tall and part of that attention is the unconscious question of whether she might be a man especially if she is even slightly androgynous in appearance. Heels make it worse. I've a couple of tall women friends and they tend to shy away from heels.

Getting upset about not passing would be foolish and it's not as if I really want to pass. I'm much more interested in the dissonance that the juxtaposition of traditionally male and female elements creates. I may not be as confrontational as some who use the term genderfuck but I do have considerable sympathy with them. I also have considerable sympathy with those who use the term genderfluid - strangely, I can't find a compelling definition of it on the internet but, in essence, they slide up and down the gender spectrum.

The idea of a spectrum, that the binary is a social construct, is part of what my "dressing" is about. But what my blog is about is about is what looks more feminine on me. Whilst I sometimes dress very simply, with no attempt at changing my shape, there aren't any learning points to share.

I reject "crossdresser" as a label in binary terms. My cursory venture into trying to grasp what others think is that there is a very binary thing with many "crossdressers" - the reluctant dressing as a man in the majority of their lives and the wanting to "pass" when they dress as a woman even if they are not out of the closet. I neither approve or disapprove. It's more - I don't think that way.

Thursday, 19 June 2014


The hour glass figure is something very few men can achieve without assistance.

I suppose that I'm lucky in that I'm still slim when many men my age have pot bellies. I can still get into the same size jeans as I did aged 18. Even so, my waist is not in the same place as a woman's. And whilst I don't have a pot belly, I do have a little one of sorts - which is not a problem except it's kind of in the wrong place.

There are lots of shapewear solutions that target the waist and tummy but the majority of the ones I've tried don't quite work for me.

Tallness means I have a longer torso even though the proportions of limbs to torso is in the normal range. This means that the length from crotch to underbust, from the top of the hip to the bottom of the rib cage are greater than for the majority of people.

Being a man, my stomach is less compressible than most women's. Less fat, more muscle. Men generally can not achieve the same level of waist reduction all other things being equal.

I tried high waisted knicker types of shaper but some of them didn't even reach where a female waist would be on me. I'd end up looking like a sausage constricted by a rubber band. Ones that were supposed to come up to near to the underbust line didn't. The top would tend to roll down. There is also the question of how high the leg is cut - but I'll discuss that another time.

There are bodyshapers that have built in bra or allow you to wear your own bra and have shoulder straps or straps that fit on your bra. I do own one that fits (it's from M&S, I would link to it but they seem to have stopped doing it) - unfortunately it doesn't offer the level of control I need - but this is very unusual. Assuming the shoulder straps would be long enough, the waist might well be too low. One with a built in bra - that's likely to be too low.

Whilst modern fabrics will stretch in one that one direction, on someone tall, with that kind of shapewear, the stretch seems to get used up dealing with the height.

I tried waist cinchers that just do the waist. The cheap ones I first got were too short and also the top and bottom would roll up/down in the same way as some of the high waisted knickers. This would result in a look of a sausage constricted by a wider elastic band. Worse, it had the effect of emphasising the size and shape of my rib cage. A box on top of a constricted sausage.

Finding an off the shelf waist cincher that did anythixng other than that was a pleasant surprise. I bought an Esbelt Slimming Corset - although it seems to be called different names in different markets. I'm not sure that it is a corset but differents vendors use different names for very similar garments.

It's made of rubber bonded to cotton. It has light boning - which stops it rolling up/down. It has hook and eye fastening at the front. In some ways, it looks quite retro. Before the invention of modern fabrics with synthetic elastics, a lot of shapewear was made at least in part of latex. I've been staring at images of vintage girdles quite a lot recently - quite inspiring.

It fits surprisingly well. It is long enough in the body - about 12 inches. It's surprisingly comfortable to wear. Doesn't pinch. It's quite constricting but I like that. It also does force you to assume a better posture. Slouching is physically difficult.

It gives a modest waist reduction. At best a couple of inches. It doesn't do a huge amount for my stomach either. Totally transforming? Not for me but I only expected modest results. I know well enough that most shapewear is modelled by women who don't really need it. Their type of figure is unobtainable for me. True, there are sometimes before and after photos of women with less idealised figures but I would guess than even then, vendors pick the best results.

I have tried a proper waist cinching corset. Potentially proper corsetry offers a much greater waist reduction and tummy taming. One thing I didn't realise is that there is a particular way of putting on a corset - I was thinking in terms of a Victorian lady being laced up by her maid. Doing it wrong was painful. I got nipped by the metal fittings of the busk!  I also put it on upside down at first. Oops.

It's not a perfect fit but I was expecting that - this explains it better than I can. Still, it did demonstrate to me the kind of waist reduction that is possible even though I'm never going to be able to find an off the shelf product that fits me properly.

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

To begin...

Whilst I hate labels "cross-dresser" is a convenient shorthand. There probably better descriptions but I'm more interested in certain practicalities of a man trying to dress as a woman rather that the reasons behind it.

I'm relatively new to cross-dressing. Some of the practical problems I've encountered are probably very common in cross-dressing others I share with tall women as well. Tall? 1.98m. That's very tall. But I'm slim with it. Long slender hands. In some ways quite delicate looking.

I've wasted a lot of time, effort and money on trying to get a more feminine shape. Some of the lessons I've learnt are worth sharing.