I think it’s the build and the proportions more than the height. I mean, if a woman is very tall, she gets noticed, but it’s the proportions that “give it away.” It’s the relationship between shoulders and hips that I think makes the biggest difference. Also, the length of the neck related to the shoulders. A lot of men seem to compress their neck a little, or maybe they’re lifting their shoulders and letting their harms hang further away from the body (male gorilla impersonation). I find if I stretch my head a bit taller and let my shoulders drop back a bit, it makes a huge difference (in the mirror anyway . . .)
It’s interesting, as I’ve dressed more and more openly, I find myself paying attention to this kind of thing more and more. I often see a person and think, is that another cross dresser? Usually the key is the body proportions. I’ve noticed that as people get older, their bodies seem to shift away from the “classic” male and female profiles. It seems like passing is easiest if you’re older, younger, or if you have a body that is naturally shaped like a woman.
Here’s what I notice most:
1. Body proportions, shoulder to hip ratio usually
2. relationship between head, neck, and shoulders
3. The face. If the face looks feminine, then I assume it’s a woman, regardless of the body, and the same is true in the opposite direction. The face is key, I think. (which means I need to do some make up work . . .)
5. presentation, body language, voice, mannerisms, etc., though if a cross dresser is really trying, that looks more awkward/obvious than if they just relaxed and were more natural.