In order to look the most convincing when dressing en femme you need to spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars on an extensive wardrobe right? Not necessarily. Expressing yourself by dressing and looking the part of an attractive, authentic female does not mean you have to wear expensive designer labels,bespoke fitted dresses and specialist silicone bodysuits. There are a lot of different ways for crossdressing on a budget without spending a lot of money. For example, you can find great deals at a number of locations, including: garage sales, flea markets, thrift stores, or consignment shops. These are all great places to pick up any and all kinds of clothing, shoes, and accessories for pennies on the dollar. They are great places for finding affordable gems that will help you build a beautiful and functional wardrobe that will last through the seasons. We understand how important it is these days to stay within budget when crossdressing, especially if you are at the beginning. This article will share all the secrets to teach you how to save money while crossdressing.
Setting a budget
If you can instill a little discipline in your life then crossdressing on a budget will be a breeze. You need to have an idea of your overall expenses versus your after tax income i.e. everything you take home after tax in your wage packet. Clothing should be one of your main expense categories along with Rent/Mortgage, Transportation, Food, Savings etc. On average a person spends approximately 10% of their total post-tax income on clothing BUT as a crossdresser that must be spread between boy and girl clothes. Know what the $ amount of that 10% is and then decide what proportion of that $ amount you will assign to your girl clothes purchases.
If money is tight, then build a ‘Girl Shopping Fund’ by being both creative and disciplined. Cut out a daily treat like a store bought coffee or cigarettes a few times a week and you’ll soon be saving $10 to $20 a week towards the fund. You could also start using a ‘change jar’. Every night you simply empty the change from your car and trouser pockets into the jar and count it up at the end of each month to kick start your fund.
As well as setting up a budget it’s important to shop wisely, both in terms of where you shop and thinking strategically about the items you purchase. You want to create as many looks as possible from the same outfits without breaking the bank. If you are an impulsive person you need to try and curb that behavior to make the most of your budget. The internet is full of fast fashion retailers with beautifully photographed female clothing at reasonable prices BUT it’s easy to get tempted into making multiple purchases only for several to turn out to be fails. Also, fast fashion pieces do not last as well as better quality pieces and often quality is a better budgeting approach over quantity. Some specialist items are better off being purchased from crossdresser businesses. Breast forms, padding and shapers like corsets, are different when made for a male body as opposed to those made for sis females. Get the basics right and don’t waste money. Some of the following retail destinations may not be the obvious one’s on your target list, but they should be if you want to know how to crossdress on a budget.
These are great resources for searching top brand clothing and accessories at a fraction of the full retail price. In terms of sustainability and recycling it’s also a great way to shop. You can find top-brand dresses and coats for less than 20% of the normal price. They may be overstock or lightly used but many times the items still have tags on. If you have a particular designer brand that fits your body type well, this is a great way to shop on a budget.
Many major brands participate in outlet malls. Initially set up to sell off overstock styles from their regular stores, outlets have become big business in their own right. Now a lot of brands manufacture specific styles just for the outlet malls that will not appear in their regular priced stores. You can save from 30% to 90% on top brand products. But because outlet malls are so vast we recommend planning the trip in advance and knowing the items you are looking for rather than trying to just browse. Also, most outlet malls issue coupon books online for additional discounts so do your preparation in advance.
Search through local newspapers and watch for those tell-tale signs on the side of the street advertising yard or garage sales. We’ve heard of designer coats with tags intact, never worn being foundfor $25!. You have to be prepared to roll up your sleeves and search through a lot of stuff you don’t want but it is possible to uncover a really good find. You just have to have the time to do this and not everyone does.
Your Own Wardrobe
As you build up the girl’s side of your closet you often use your go-to favorite garments over and over again and forget some of the other pieces you have. Don’t forget to empty out your closet at least once a year to audit your crossdresser outfits. I guarantee you will find one or two pieces that will turn out to be ‘jewels’ of your clothing selection each time you do this. Sometimes all you need to refresh your wardrobe selection is the addition of some accessories to completely reinvent the look of something you previously ignored.
Crossdresser Clothing Exchange
You must have things you want to get rid of but instead of just trashing them, arrange a meeting with like-minded crossdresser girl-friends and spend an evening having a swap meet. Crack open a bottle of wine and have fun with each other. If you attend some of the transgender conferences they often incorporate a clothing exchange. Just take the items you no longer use and see what you can exchange them for. This is a great way to budget changing up your wardrobe selection.
Waste Reduction Networks
An extension of consignment and thrift stores are the waste reduction networks. Set up primarily with the intention of helping solve the fashion waste issue. It’s another way to regularly update your style and reduce waste. It’s part of the modern behavior known as ‘thrifting’. One great example we can recommend is thredup.com
Budget-friendly Crossdressing Boutiques
Specialist online crossdressing stores like Glamour Boutique make and design specialist crossdressing attire, shapewear and breast forms made to fit the male torso. Whilst the cost may be a little more than a ‘fast fashion’ garment made for a sis female, the fit should be perfect and so you will always look great and never have to deal with costly alterations.
Shop Seasonal Sales
A great way to find deals on your crossdressing purchases is to plan your buying around the major sales. The downside of buying during end of season sales is you may be a year behind on current fashions and you will need to store purchases away until the following year. The biggest and best end of season sales tend to be Black Friday and New Years for the end of winter or Labor Day for the end of the summer season. Always use coupons where you can find them as you can often double your discounts.
Use an Affordable Seamstress for Alterations
If you have the time to scour the thrift stores and consignment shops and you do find some awesome purchases make sure you get the garment altered to fit you. Ill-fitting dresses, skirts and tops look cheap. If you save dollars on the purchase then spend some of your savings on having the garment tailored to fit. Garments made for sis women will often be too big in the hip area, too short in the arm and torso and too narrow in the shoulder. A good seamstress can solve these issues for you.
Be Strategic with your Wardrobe Choices
Build your wardrobe strategically by investing in staple items like a Little Black Dress that can be worn over and over again. Both because they are high quality and because they go with lots of other clothing items and so can be used to create lots of different looks. Investing in higher quality items (that don’t go out of fashion) upfront often saves money in the long term because you don’t have to replace them as often.
Know your Measurements
Shopping brick and mortar or online make sure you keep your key measurements on you at all times. Store them on your phone for easy access so that you can reference them at any time you need them. Guessing at sizing will cost you inconvenience and money. If ina store and you are in guy mode, take a tape measure to use on garments if you aren’t brave enough to ask to try dresses on.
Timeless Basic Essentials
Plan your crossdressing purchases around basic essentials and you will have a minimalist clothing selection on the girls side of your wardrobe which will be full of timeless, fashionable outfits. Such essentials when carefully chosen are interchangeable and you should be able to dress them up or down, depending on the occasion. If you are careful with these selections your wardrobe will always be in fashion. Examples of such garments are the little black dress, a black pencil skirt, black leggings or stretch jeans, a leather jacket (preferably blacK), black heels, stylish denim jeans, a tailored white button up blouse, ballet flats and a classic trench coat. These staples can be mixed and matched with different affordable tops and accessories for a multitude of different outfits. As a crossdresser remember your shaping garments here too, such as breast forms, padding and even corsets. Without the right shape, your garments will not look their very best. Make sure these basic shaping items are the right size and proportion to get the best bang for your buck. These are better purchased from a specialist retailer and remember bigger is not always better with shaping.
Get Creative with Accessories
Your wardrobe of forever in fashion classic garments can be changed each season with the simple addition of some affordable accessories. Belts, bags, shoes, scarves and costume jewelry are the easiest and most affordable way to change up your outfits. Plan your purchases and curb your impulsive nature with accessories or you can overspend on purchases you don’t need.
Makeup and Wigs Finish the Look
A realistic makeup application and a naturalistic looking wig can be the difference between you looking like an authentic female rather than just a ‘guy in a dress’. You don’t need to use a professional or the top of the line MAC products. A good quality cream based foundation is the best for male skin. Once you have this, a simple makeup kit containing blush, mascara and eye and lip colors can be purchased from any drugstore for around $20. With makeup application a light touch is needed to be realistic. If you are new to wigs choose a style suited to your facial shape in a contemporary cut. For color, start with something close to your own hair in order to compliment your own skin tone and eyes. Good affordable synthetic wigs will save you a lot of money, just make sure they fit. If you need a large cap wig, pay that little bit more to find one. It will look much better than an ill fitting hairpiece that feels like it is falling off.
Start making a list of action points regarding where you should shop, what your budget will be and what your ideal wardrobe looks at. Actually make a carefully selected list of those essentials. Don’t be scared to invest in those key essentials but make sure you curb those impulse buys.
For those starting out, specialist retailers like Glamour Boutique are both specialists and affordable. Checkout their crossdressing tips blog to educate yourself and if you are in the tristate area book a shopping appointment. You get assisted by a specialist fitter so you are assured of trying on garments in our retail store that will not only look great but feel great. Look for the monthly specials and you’ll save a lot too! Happy shopping!