(Picture reposted with permission of author and owner)
I am Olivia; I wasn’t born female, but nonetheless, I deeply desire to be feminine. Having not been born to it and not been allowed to experience the trial and errors that many girls get to go though, I find myself lost among the jumble of clothes, makeup and self-care that others take for granted.
I’ve bought endless clothes only to find out they don’t fit or aren’t my style. Every time this happens, I get frustrated and find myself wanting a mentor who would help craft a personal style for me, someone that would help me to present my feminine best.
I stopped wishing and actually did something about it! I used Google to search for trans-friendly fashion consultants. And after some further research, I settled on an online service by the name of Fox and Hanger. They specifically had a MTF package designed for Transgender and CD women.
A quote from the site: The MTF package “is a personalized lookbook for trans women who want to connect their inner reality with their outer expression.”
Interested, I contacted the owner about a free consultation, and that’s how I met Julie Rubenstein. We connected via Facebook messenger. However, it’s also possible to connect with her through Video Chat, Email, or Phone.
I found Julie to be a warm, kind, open, and a non-judgmental person. She asked about my goals and what I was hoping to achieve through this consultation. I said that I hoped to eventually present in public as a woman, but lacked confidence and needed guidance as to what would give me the best feminine appearance. She was happy to help and discussed the options available.
One choice was a single look consisting of one full outfit; the other was a lookbook consisting of five full outfits. At the time, I went with the one look as it was the cheapest at seventy-five dollars an outfit. It is worth noting that since my consultation (and partly because of it) a third option has been added. It includes a full five outfit lookbook with makeup, shapewear and wig support. Everything that went into my lookbook is now included in this package.
After the booking, Julie sent me a questionnaire. It contained pertinent questions as to my height, weight, key measurements (be sure to have a tailors tape on hand for this), my preferred styles, favorite colors, and more. She also requested a full body picture. All this information provided her with a base idea of what she was going to be working with.
Julie asked me to set up a Pinterest board and fill it with as many feminine things as I could think of, which I did. In fact, I somewhat overwhelmed her. And of course, me being me, nothing I picked worked with my body type. It wasn’t a problem for Julie as it allowed her to form her clothing picks. What can I say? I’m a gorgeous, curvy, thin supermodel stuck in a plus size body.
I was so nervous and excited to see the final results, but I did my best to be patient. Occasionally, Julie would shoot me a message with clothing ideas or ask clarifying questions. The whole process took a couple weeks, but we finally settled on a Purple Faux Wrap V-neck top, black Lane Bryant yoga pants, Corra Flats, bracelet and a cross body bag. Beyond the outfit, Julie also provided me with shapewear, wig, and makeup options. She even went as far as to compose a makeup application guide.
After all this was finalized, Julie sent all of her finds off to Kate, her best friend and graphic designer. Kate took all the disparate web pages and suggestions and compiled them into a personalized PDF lookbook. This was then emailed to me. Opening it, I could not have been more thrilled! Finally, here was the guide I’d wanted and needed for so long… and it was all within my budget! I could not be more thankful to Julie and Kate. What they have done is a miracle in my book. They have taken a guy in a dress and given him a guide to his inner woman. With their help and creative efforts, I have what I need to fully introduce Olivia not only to myself, but hopefully, to the world.
And for that, I could not be anymore thankful.
In closing, I would like to recommend Julie to anyone who is looking for a safe, non-judgmental space. You can go to foxandhanger.com, to get in contact with Julie Rubenstein, even if it’s only for the free consultation. I have a feeling you will know you found something extremely special when you do. She has been a positive experience for me, and just what I needed. The important message is that there is help out there for us, help to guide us to a better presentation of the woman we strive to be, and help with all the things that we need to navigate the world of women.