Home › Forums › Men’s Fashion › I need to put together a wardrobe in a brand new gender. Looking for premium/luxury brand suggestions, advice on how men put together items and what looks might suit a spring/casual person.
This topic contains 1 reply, has 2 voices, and was last updated by transplantius 2 weeks, 3 days ago.
November 27, 2018 at 10:10 pm #25882
Hi all. I recently came out as FTM (transgender, going from female to male) and I realised that all my life I’ve felt incredibly uncomfortable in women’s clothing and the way it fits on my body. Since I’ve decided to start my transition, I can now buy men’s clothing, but I have a couple of problems.
1. I don’t just want to wear the cheapest ill-fitting men’s clothes I can find, I want to look good. My look for the past ~10 years has been jeans and a t-shirt and I really want to move past that. I know that I’m a Spring colour-wise (see both the True and Light palettes [here](https://www.kettlewellcolours.co.uk/blog/jo/spring-explaining-the-different-types)) and I suit casual styles/textures/patterns, but I’m not sure how to translate that into actual clothing. What decent highstreet or premium/luxury brands would you recommend for spring colours and casual to smart-casual style clothing?
2. I have no idea how men’s fashion works (to be fair, I’ve been high key ignoring female fashion too for the longest time too). Do you have any advice for putting items together? Like, should I be taking my wardrobe with me to stores so I can try pieces on with them? Buy a whole single outfit at once (and never have anything else that works with it)? Blindly buy single pieces I like and hope? I have done all three of these and they don’t seem to work very well. What can I do to shop better?
3. I know a few fabrics that suit spring/casual looks, like cotton, corduroy, denim, soft leather, and I know I don’t suit items that are too straight in cut. But as for pieces themselves, since I’m branching out I was curious whether there are specific pieces of clothing or cuts that suit spring/casual? For example, I’ve realised patterned or textured blazers tend to work. Anyone have any spring/casual clothing guides or recommendations for fabrics, cuts, etc?
4. I’m essentially starting from nothing, or very little. I have a whole wardrobe to make. Including underwear. Holy shit how do you avoid bankrupting yourself on underwear.
A few more bits about me:
* I’m 25, so I want to look like an adult not a child.
* I am not interested in androgynous female clothing, just male please.
* I wear a binder which reduces my chest size to about a 34″. My waist size is about 34″ also.
* I live in the UK, but to be fair most premium and up brands are worldwide.
* I’m not tiny (5’7″) but I do have a pretty small shoulder/chest size and it seems incredibly difficult to find formalwear or jackets/blazers/coats in that size. Do all smaller guys go to tailors? Or do they do something else that I’m not aware of?
* Personally I prefer comfort whenever I can. My favourite brand prior to transitioning was Fat Face, because it was soft and comfortable while also being decent quality and cut. Recently I’ve bought a couple of Ben Sherman and Benetton polo shirts which do the same thing. Itchy or harsh fabrics, super tight clothes, weird shapes that don’t look like clothes, etc are things I really don’t like to wear.
A few pics:
* [I didn’t buy this shirt](https://image.ibb.co/bPdLPf/46524121-603896383404846-2243057742761689088-n.jpg) but I do own those jeans. They’re men’s Bench.
* [You can see how](https://image.ibb.co/dN5pH0/46519479-510481619429809-9092940520094695424-n.jpg) some things cling too tightly to my body shape.
* [One of the polo shirts.](https://image.ibb.co/cgKzH0/46474763-492594191235745-4400972058142441472-n.jpg) I really like how I look in this, but you can see that as usual it’s a shirt-jeans combo because I don’t know what to put with it.
TL;DR: I’m switching genders and am super used to just buying random one-item pieces, so have no idea how to put together an outfit or what brands for male clothing suit my colouring and style. I have a whole new wardrobe to buy. Help?November 27, 2018 at 10:10 pm #25883
Lots of people have said this, but I’m going to try to condense it here.
Your budget is t luxury. Even if it were, it’s not a good idea to spend hard earned money on clothes while you’re still defining your style/identity in a new phase of life. I recommend affordable fashion brands, basics, and a minimal wardrobe. Shops like Uniqlo, Zara, and H&M will get you through a season as your body, style, and tastes evolve.
Another thing, clothing is all about fit. I empathize with wanting to wear male clothing, but it likely will fit horribly right now. The classic male figure is a deep chested inverted V. Most off the rack clothing will be a variation of this. It will need alterations, which are an added expense, if you want it to flatter you. I know you mentioned that you are not interested in androgenous clothes, but for well fitted shirts (not sweaters or t-shirts) you may consider those clothing brands/lines/shops.
While the hormones change your body, save money. You will likely have to replace your wardrobe several times in the next 2-5 years (especially if you lift weights).November 27, 2018 at 10:10 pm #25884
What is your overall budget? Where are you in your transition and where do you project you will be in one year? Five years?
I ask this because a lot of folks jump the gun and instantly spend a ton of money on a new wardrobe. If you intend on going on hormones soon or start working out to get a “certain type of physical look” then all that money you just spent on clothes is all for stuff that might not fit in a year.
I would recommend thrifting for general stuff. I can get specific with names if I have more info on what you’re looking for.November 27, 2018 at 10:10 pm #25885
Mens stuff is typically fairly easy, only option you really have are shirts, tshirts, pants and shorts. But the cut and the fit are the most important part in what you want – but you gotta find the right style that you feel comfortable in.
I more go for colour in the spring and neutral in winter. Rather than straight slacks, or jeans a cropped pant or smart pant is always good. Spring wise maybe add some floral, nature print and add a bit of colour. My fashion sense is general considered a little more out there though.
Heres some that i have worn recently.
(Sorry accidentally put each picture in twice)
I generally go for simple pants, slim fit rather than skinny fit, and leave the shirts for the colour and print. Since you are just starting out, i reckon start simple, block colours or simple patterns.
I think the last polo shirt you posted looked nice on you, try going more for that style. Or a nice short sleeved button up is always good.November 27, 2018 at 10:10 pm #25886
Fellow trans dude here heartily seconding u/TransManNY and u/transplantius. I was super eager – honestly, overzealous – about completely revamping my wardrobe early in transition, too. The result is that I’ve had to buy things two or three times because my body shape changed drastically, and because my personal style evolved drastically, too.
If I could do it over, I’d get cheap basics from retailers mentioned elsewhere in this thread (H&M and Zara are great, as they’re cut for slimmer/smaller folks) and go easy on big purchases like outerwear and footwear.
T will eventually redistribute your fat and muscle into a male pattern, but if you don’t actively work out, the changes may be subtle and slow. The first year is mostly weight gain, particularly in your upper body. Be mindful of how tops will fit differently over time. If you plan on getting top surgery, that will also have an obvious effect on how tops fit (and impacts your style: I wear more form-fitting tops now that I want to accentuate my torso muscle rather than try to just look as flat as possible).
One more piece of advice: while we as trans dudes often feel compelled to dress to hide certain feminine qualities in our bodies, don’t be afraid of wearing close-fitting clothes. Men come in all shapes and sizes. Do what you need to do to minimize your dysphoria, but don’t let it dictate your evolution of personal style.
Early on in my transition, I gravitated toward workwear – thick flannels, heavy sweaters, bulky boots, selvedge jeans, layers upon layers – as a way to “fix” my silhouette and remove all the curves. My outfits looked good, and they certainly hid my figure, but they weren’t ME at all. As my body changed and my shape became more masculine, I let myself wear more form-fitting clothes…and fell in love with skinny jeans, clingy sweaters, and those “pointy elf boots” that certain MFAers love to hate. I embraced bolder prints and things I’d once worried were too feminine and would “out” me. I finally feel like my style represents me; I’m not wearing some “manly man” costume in a desperate attempt to pass. If anything, being comfortable and confident in yourself is one of the key factors in passing.
We all have different goals when it comes to transition, but I cannot stress enough how important it is to not let your personality be drowned out by ideas of how folks of a particular gender should dress. Give T time to work its magic and give yourself time to explore what clothes make you feel most like the real you.November 27, 2018 at 10:10 pm #25887
Just wanted to stop by and so this is so cool!
Might I suggest Uniqlo for cheaper but good looking stuff. Buy some stuff that you think looks good. Wear it. If it doesn’t suit you it didn’t break the bank so whatever. It does, start looking for some higher quality stuff.
One piece that I really like is a good pair of denim and Uniqlo has their stretch selvedge series that is pretty good.November 27, 2018 at 10:10 pm #25888
As others have mentioned you body shape will change over the next few years.
So i would end up just buying the staples of a wardrobe.
Maybe a shirt or two.
Leave shirts/polo shirts until you happy with the body shape. For brands I’d go with what others have recommended cheaper “luxury” brands then you can move onto other brands.November 27, 2018 at 10:10 pm #25889
That’s so awesome dude!! Check out [Chris Mehan](https://instagram.com/chrismehan?utm_source=ig_profile_share&igshid=10fcf0duleuh4)on instagram. His style is very “adult,” relatively casual, and oozes timeless male fashion. He also links to the brands he uses.
I suggest getting basic pieces, and building from there. Two jeans, light and dark; several plain nice t-shirts (Long and short sleeve) from your color palette; navy/khaki chinos; white, light blue, and a couple of patterned button downs; two sweaters, one black and one that goes with brown shoes. That will get you started. The main thing is fit. You should look sharp, put together, even for casual. If it’s too big/ill-fitting, you will look sloppy. Finding a good tailor is going to help you a lot as well. Sometimes shopping in the men’s section can be a pain. Shoulders, arms, and chest can be pitfalls. I’m a MoC female, and couldn’t live without my tailor (thanks Rosie)!!
As far as putting it all together…it depends on the activity. Today while running errands, I wore a pair of dark jeans, a burgundy v-neck tee, canvas jacket, and brown chukkas. For a meeting, I would go with a pair of chinos and a button down with a dressier boot. For date night, I may go with dress/dark wash jeans and a button down.
I’m not sure on the high-end brands, as I have to stick to a budget. I wear a lot of Gap, uniqlo, jcrew and BR outlet, and ASOS. You’re on the right track already with knowing what colors/styles work well for you. Keep searching for inspiration and one day it will click. Best of luck!November 27, 2018 at 10:10 pm #25890
As a man with gynecomastia. I tend to steer away from polos and v necks. And favor casual button downs and Henley’s as a way to lessen the breast effect.November 27, 2018 at 10:10 pm #25891
> I’m not tiny (5’7″) but I do have a pretty small shoulder/chest size and it seems incredibly difficult to find formalwear or jackets/blazers/coats in that size. Do all smaller guys go to tailors? Or do they do something else that I’m not aware of?
A couple of quick things here.
First, every guy should go to a tailor regardless of their size…especially with suits/jackets/blazers. Nothing fits exactly like it should off the rack and a good tailor can do wonders. It’s better to spend less on an item and more on tailoring than more on an item without any tailoring. That said, see if you can find a tailor with some experience in the trans community because of the unique challenges of your body shape (even post-transition, you won’t be shaped exactly like a CIS guy).
Also, slim notch lapels are what’s most commonly in fashion on men’s suit jackets (especially at places like H&M and Zara), but you should look for a slightly wider and/or peak lapel (not wide, but maybe 1/2″ to 3/4″ wider than slim). This helps to draw the eye up and away from your chest and towards your shoulders…and will give the illusion of a slimmer chest and broader shoulders.November 27, 2018 at 10:10 pm #25892
The most recent episode of Queer Eye (on Netflix) was all about helping someone who transitioned into wearing men’s clothes. Someone’s probably mentioned it already but really worth checking outNovember 27, 2018 at 10:10 pm #25893
[removed]November 27, 2018 at 10:10 pm #25894
I have skimmed this thread and I want to say something different.
You are on a budget. Go to primark and get some jeans and t-shirts. Don’t spend too much. That’s what most guys are wearing now anyway. The clothes you have in the pictures are what you’d see most guys wearing in the street anyway. The reason I say this is because you want to save your money for something:
A coat/jacket. Firstly it is practical. We are in for another six months of not great weather. But more than that a jacket is really the only piece of clothing you can have that can maintain a fit over a period and last for a long time. It’s also an identity piece, way more than a shirt or sweater. The designs are timeless. Unless you see yourself joining a subculture in the next five years, the thing is that you are already an adult and the type of jacket you wear at 25 isn’t going to be too dissimilar to what you wear at 35. Especially because at mid 20s, you’re 25 going on 30, not 21 going on 25.
Go with what you want: leather, denim, wool, duffel, whatever you think fits you. I think you would suit a duffel coat personally (especially because they are roomy, and will easily accommodate bodily changes), going forwards, but it’s not my choice.
So save some money and in the mean-time, look for the kind of thing you really want. When I was your age my life was turned utterly upside-down and one of the things I got shortly afterwards was a jacket (I won’t mention the brand since I don’t want to advertise) that will likely last me a life-time, is suitable for 9 out of 12 months of the year and will always remind me of the moment in my life when I had to re-start everything. It cost £225. That’s not a huge sum of money if you’re not spending £30-50 on single items just to experiment.
November 27, 2018 at 10:10 pm #25895
Just to add to what others said about budget clothing to get you through for the time being, you can also spend a touch more to have those clothes tailored to you to ensure a good fit. Budget clothing looks much more expensive (and fit to you) when it is fitted properly and pressed. The only trouble might be finding a tailor who is sensitive to your needs during transition, but perhaps your family member in the fashion industry might be able to help you find someone good?November 27, 2018 at 10:10 pm #25896
My friends and I make premium unisex tees and jeans in Italy. Would love your feedback.November 27, 2018 at 10:10 pm #25897
/u/transmannyNovember 27, 2018 at 10:10 pm #25898
start by reading the sidebar for our basic adviceNovember 27, 2018 at 10:10 pm #25899
You asked about putting outfits together, and a very simple way to always look good for beginners is to build your wardrobe around neutrals. Black, white, grey, olive, every shade of brown, and most shades of blue (if the shade of blue isn’t *ridiculous*, it’s a neutral. That’s pretty much the standard I use) will all be pretty interchangeable. If you stick to these colors, you can pretty much blindly pull together any shirt and any pants and you’re guaranteed to look good. You’ll know when the time is right to start adding more colors as your style journey progresses and you’re killing the basics. That said, I’ve been at this for a while and 85% of my wardrobe is still neutrals.November 27, 2018 at 10:10 pm #25900
My mum sent me [this video](https://youtu.be/LkolhC-osgA) on how to build a capsule wardrobe with items that can be combined into any combination. It’s been very helpful. Good luck!November 27, 2018 at 10:10 pm #25901
I’d say get a Pinterest account and look up outfits you like. 🙂 I do this all the time. Helps me know what I’m looking when I shop.November 27, 2018 at 10:10 pm #25902
r/navyblazer is a good resource too, and it doesn’t skew as young/urban/hangs out at Starbucks working on first screenplay as this sub.November 27, 2018 at 10:10 pm #25903
This may also be of help as it goes through four general “energy” types, but that really means modes of dressing. The basis for this is this woman’s work on personalities. I’ve found it very useful.
Her color palettes are not based as much on skin tones and such, so you have to sort of seat aside what you’ve previously thought.
But what’s great here is the various looks she takes the guys through.
The program itself is paid, and I don’t have any affiliation aside from being a very satisfied user. My wife and I completely overhauled our wardrobes by this system and get compliments all the time.
It also goes into shape, and fabric textures. So, as you’re really coming into your own identity, it’s worth taking some time to reflect on those. Because you can get an outfit that’s “perfect” and looks totally put together on a model but just doesn’t “feel” right on you. And you’ll regret wearing it.
Best of luck!November 27, 2018 at 10:10 pm #25904
[removed]November 27, 2018 at 10:10 pm #25905
[removed]November 27, 2018 at 10:10 pm #25906
Jack and jones is good cheap for what you get
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