How to Crossdress and Pass in Public

Don't go out crossdressed wearing too much makeup!

I recently wrote an article at Transgender Heaven for woman who are struggling with going full time because they don’t pass as well in public. The article is entitled ‘How to Go Full Time When You Don’t Pass‘.

Much of the advice is also valid for crossdressers who are fearful of going out dressed for the first time. Though if you’re not intent on transition I’d recommend you tread carefully when altering your body movements and voice. Too drastic a change could jeopardize your ability to lead a regular life when you’re not en femme. You need to make sure you’re okay with that.

For crossdressers, I think there are two other vital areas to be aware of if you’d like to improve your ability to pass in public.

Clothes – Wear what flatters

Now, honestly I’m the last person who should be telling you what to wear. Already your fashion proclivities are recalcitrant just by crossdressing. And you’re free to wear what makes you feel most comfortable. If you’d like to improve your odds of passing, however, I recommend paying attention to what woman your age and body shape are wearing. What looks good on them? What doesn’t? Use this as a basis to develop your own unique style, and do so with the confidence that you’re starting from a safe, well worn style path.

Makeup – Beware the Bozo

Your goal when putting on makeup is not to hide every imperfection, nor is it to create a dramatically different image, one other than what you see in the mirror. You should approach makeup with a light touch, intent on accentuating your best features and drawing attention away from those that aren’t as flattering. I recommend starting out light, with something like Bare Escentuals mineral makeup. Pay more attention to the quality of your skin – moisturize often, wear sunscreen – if you’re able to get laser hair removal or electrolysis which will dramatically soften your skin. Take a look at a few more makeup tips for crossdressers here.

So go out and work your great looks, and don’t worry about what others think!

What else do you do to pass as a woman in public?

P.S. Follow me on Google+ for great discussion about transgender news and issues.


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  1. Charlotte Kerr-Scot 3 months ago

    Hi Vanessa and all of you girls out there!

    One of the lessons, I hope I have learned, about ‘passing’ is to use Tammy’s advice – I look when I am out in DRAB (DRessed As a Boy) and if I see a girl/woman that I think is wearing clothes that I think would suit me I try to replicate her look.

    There are times (going out clubbing for example) when I would be very extreme or if it somewhere that I am known and excepted then the heels would get to be vertiginous! The makeup slapped on and the skirt short. Day time at Waitrose (a Supermarket chain in Britain for my American friends) then its jeans, wedges (or believe it or not flats sometimes!) T shirt and minimum make up.

    The most important thing I find is to smile and look people in the eye! You will be amazed how many smile back or even start talking to you. (Young women in particular can be very supportive!) Sounds easy but it took sometime to get this level of, basically, doing what suits me. I can understand, like I use to think, OK for you hun but this is me – I am worried about doing this!

    You will know when it is right to take the next step if you study the great advice contained here and in a number of similar websites. I wish you well – Enjoy!! xxx

    • Profile photo of Vanessa Law Author
      Vanessa Law 3 months ago

      What a great tip Charlotte! We don’t have to make it all up from scratch ourselves!

  2. peter harlow 11 months ago

    how do us older C.D. go about coming out when we have to stay in the closet for so long were to find help so we can enjoy our true self. freerica52

  3. Tammy 4 years ago

    I just ware things that a women would ware today. I would not try to make myself look like I don’t belong.


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