BY COREY RAE JULY 14, 2021 1:30 PM
As fall weather is (almost) upon us, we begin to refocus and change our wardrobe for the cooler times ahead. Fashion trends today come and go just as fast as summer does, and it can be hard to keep up with what to wear—especially if you’re transgender and beginning a physical transition. And as a transgender woman who can’t get enough of fashion herself, I’m here with some fall fashion tips for trans women in transition.
Of course, becoming so confident with fashion and honing my personal style didn’t happen overnight. In the fall of 2009, I began transitioning when my mom kindly offered me her clothes to wear. She and I have very different body types; she’s shorter with a beautiful hourglass figure, while I’m a bit taller and lankier. Her clothes on my body made me look androgynous, which was a great first step for me because I lived in a cookie-cutter town where no one even knew what “transgender” meant—yet. At first I wore her jeans (which were baggy on me) and her long-sleeved shirts and cardigans (most of which were too tight, too small in the armholes or didn’t flatter my undeveloped chest.)
While my hair grew longer over the course of the next seven months, we bought androgynous shoes, I donned a simple necklace and eventually wore mascara. That spring, I also started wearing a bra stuffed with pads I took from a high school fashion show I walked in. By May, I felt validated and seen for the first time by my classmates when I wore a dress to prom and became the first openly transgender girl to be voted Prom Queen.
I already hated dressing a body I didn’t identify with, and now I had to dress one that also got hot flashes, chest and back acne, easily greasy hair and oily skin. Eventually those side effects subsided, but during the first few years of transitioning, this took a toll on my confidence and general state of well-being.
My friends made me feel better by giving me their old clothes and shoes—but none of those pieces reflected my own personal style. Looking back, I was lucky enough to have my mom there to help style me. And now, after having learned the importance of developing your own unique sartorial identity, I’m paying it forward by helping you navigate your own transition, too.
Here, my top fall fashion tips for those transitioning, plus tons of street style inspo.
Now that you have an idea of what to wear, I urge you to seek out clothes that will make you feel your absolute best! Remember: This transitional period is for YOU. It’s important to know that no two transitions are the same, so move forward at your own pace. Give yourself time to find your own personal style—it doesn’t have to be right away! What matters most is that you’re comfortable and safe. If you can stay true to those two things, you’ll be on your way to your most authentic and beautiful self. Happy shopping!