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Women's fashion staples


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I've been out FT for about 9 months now and thought I would share what I think should be "staples" in your wardrobe if you are just starting out.  I've gone through some fashion evolution over that time and you will probably do the same but these things are always needed IMO.  Please share what you think is a staple.


Gonna go from the inside out:

Basic "bralette" style bra. As you boobs start to grow, these fit nicely without the need for inserts

Undies that are "supportive". stay away from sexy lace- things fall out. I like high cut/high waist for holding things without much trouble and feeling great-get fun colors

basic gaff IF you are wearing tight fitting leggings

basic pantyhose/leggings. If you are going to wear skirts a lot or shorter dresses stock up.

basic ankle socks, thin calf socks in black/brown. knee length locks for cold weather

Bottom half:

2 pairs of jeans minimum. Different styles/leg lengths.  ankle, calf or full length depending on your style

1-2 pair basic slacks in primary colors

knee length black skirt

Maxi skirt

Yoga pant-basic color (with pockets)



4 cami tops- with or without bra shelf (I like with). 4 different solid primary colors like black, white, red, blue

couple basic t-shirts

a couple "fashion tops" of your choice

2 basic nicer blouses/tops, one white, one black

seasonal top. IE- cowl neck pull over for winter or a light "summer beach" top for summer.

2 cardigans/wraps. White, black, beige. 

casual dress for each season- have fun here



Casual walking shoe like sketchers 

2 pairs of sandals/wedges if you like some height.  Basic black, white, gold, natural colors are versatile until you fill in your shoe closet ;)

2 basic ankle booties natural colors / black (heel height your choice but recommend low to start)


After these, add some "style" items to fill it all out.  

Thrift stores also have lots of really inexpensive jewelry /accessories.  $25-$40 can get you a lot of necklaces/earrings to totally change your look, same with belts/scarves.

If you thrift shop you can get everything on this list except underwear/socks/shoes for under $300


OK ladies, what did I miss?

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  • Admin

Very comprehensive list, Bri.  I'm certain it will help a lot of girls and women here.  Thanks!  :goodjob:


Carolyn Marie

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One of the first things I got was this little purse/handbag. It's not a full size purse, it has the long shoulder strap, holds lots of cards, my phone, and a few other things, but it is nice and slim and this deep maroon color, I get compliments on it all the time, it was like 20 bucks at JC Penney, over a year later and I am still using it haha.

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1 hour ago, AwesomeClaire said:

One of the first things I got was this little purse/handbag. It's not a full size purse, it has the long shoulder strap, holds lots of cards, my phone, and a few other things, but it is nice and slim and this deep maroon color, I get compliments on it all the time, it was like 20 bucks at JC Penney, over a year later and I am still using it haha.

I have quite a few handbags now also, i love them.

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  • 8 months later...

No need to apologize for bringing back old posts, Lucy! There is a lot of great content on the forums, the site is almost 15 years old I think!


@Bri2020, that is a great list! ❤️ I would love to share a few pointers of my own...


Bra: Make sure it fits you well in the band! On HRT you will experience some growth but it is hard to forecast how much and when. I have outgrown my first bra's cups. I am currently wearing a molded cup bra to give the girls a nice shape under clothing especially while they are still developing. Do not buy cheap bras: you get what you pay for! Get a fitting if you can.


Gaff: Become good at tucking and make sure both your gaff and your technique are sound. I cannot tell you how many times I think people are looking at my crotch in an attempt to gender me. Shapewear and control top pantyhose can help smooth your line too.


Tops and Bottoms:

  • Think of the areas of your life where you will need clothes and the climate you live in. For most people, this will mean clothes for work, clothes for casual/weekend, and possibly clothes for special occasions. You may also need clothes you are not afraid of getting dirty.
  • Become familiar with how the cut of women's clothes is different from men's clothes and how they fit on your body by trying them on if you can. If you are ordering online, many sizes have easy exchanges, or you can buy two sizes and return one (sometimes that will get you free shipping!). Be sure any pieces you buy are fitting the largest part of you, often the shoulders/chest for tops, or abdomen or possibly hips for bottoms. Dress the body you have, not the one you wish you did. (That can be tough sometimes!)
  • Many women's tops will show skin on the arms, shoulders, back, and/or chest that you will want to be mindful of. It is easier to cover any body hair there that you cannot shave or otherwise remove with winter outfits like sweaters, but with summer outfits this could be a challenge this way.
  • Many women's bottoms will be a shorter length than you might expect. This can make pants and jeans look cut off, or the hem of dresses/skirts shorter than you want them to be.
  • You can use your clothes to help define a figure, making it appear you have more curves! Jackets and tops that cinch at the waist or using a belt (or similar accessory) to draw attention to the narrowest part of you. This is usually right under the ribcage/bust. Pieces that flare out at the hips and thighs like peplums and a-line shapes in dresses/skirts can create an hourglass silhouette when combined with a narrow waist. Bootcut jeans and wide leg trousers can also balance your figure if you are bigger on top. Pieces with an empire waist can achieve this look too.
  • One of the most important things to do with any outfit is pull them together with a jacket, cardigan, or similar piece. This is also a way to create a shape with an outfit.
  • Experiment with color! Use one bold color and/or print as a focal point of an outfit (like on a top or bottom), and use neutrals to pair with it. Black, navy blue, browns, greys, khaki, and white are all neutrals and can generally be paired together variously.
  • If your workplace has a dress code, be sure to know what it is! It is unlikely you have ever run into this issue before transition, but women must be careful about this one. My boss called me in to her office one day about my outfit. So learn from my mistakes! Usually this will be things like too much skin on the shoulders/back/chest, bare midriff, short hemlines, open toed shoes,  or possibly slogan t-shirts and jeans.

Accessories: Yes! Just do not overdo it! If your outfit has gold, silver, or other hardware on the buttons, clasps, or elsewhere, you can look really put together if your accessories compliment that.


Shoes and Boots:  This can be troublesome depending on your women's shoe size - I am a size 13 wide width in women's shoes, so my options are limited by my size. Make sure they are comfortable to walk in and consider whether you will wear them with any socks when figuring out fit. Many women here in NYC have "commuter shoes" for their trip on the subway/bus and then change to their office shoes once they are there. Same is true of dressy heels for special occasions.


Oh and one more thing... every woman needs a fabulous little black dress (LBD). It is a timeless classic!

I would also add that having at least one suit with both a pant option and a skirt option is important too, but this may depend on your lifestyle.


I have posted a few of my recent outfits in the "what are you wearing today?" thread in the general forum if you are curious!





p.s. Do not forget to smile! 😇

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