Thursday, December 7, 2023

How to Dress Like a Woman If Your Style Isn't Girly

You don't need to change your style to embrace your feminine side.

By: FAY SCHAEFFER    JUN 21, 2019

Rhonda - 1992 Power Suit

My Note: It is interesting that not all women have a personal feminine style.  I struggled for seasons to put together a casual feminine style. My role models were professional women in the 90's; power suits, shoulder pads, pencil skirts and pumps.  I worked along side women with this look daily and still love it. However, not only is it dated, but it does not fit with my life style any longer.  

Below is an article written by a woman struggling to fine her feminine style.  I love the point that so much of her style guide is influence by icons of the past and her modeling career.  

This is very much like those who just cross-dress occasionally that are stuck similarly emulating their 50's mother.  Our best and everlasting role model. Step up your feminine style and embrace tbe modern. 

Here ares some great suggestions on how to embrace a [modern] feminine style. :



When it comes to assessing your personal style, brutal honesty is important. I spent my twenties swept away by dreamy catalog shoots of women in romantic settings—Provence, Barcelona, Morocco—think of the Anthropologie catalogues with their always interesting, always feminine women. Shaped by my love of old movies and sartorial icons like Grace Kelly and Audrey Hepburn, I had deeply embedded ideas of what it meant to dress like a woman: florals, full skirts, fitted waists, embroidery.  

The problem was that I was a different woman from these icons and models; my life in no way resembled theirs. I spent my days teaching high school, not strolling through the streets of Paris; I spent my summers working odd jobs and traveling to see family, not wandering through the vineyards of southern France. So often the pieces of clothing I loved on the rack and purchased because they were “timeless” and “so feminine” hung in my closet, unworn—or worn only begrudgingly when I was doing things that didn’t matter to me.

While traditionally feminine styles evoke womanhood when I see them on others, often when I wear them I feel like a child dressed up in my mother’s heels and pearls, rather than a woman confident in her own self.

But, at the same time, I am a woman and want to feel like one, and dressing is a large part of that. So sorting through and finding the sweet spot between traditional images of womanhood and my particular sense of self has taken me some time.


While each of us has to discover and define her personal sense of feminine style, I think there are some more general ways to channel that feminine vibe while staying true to your own aesthetic self. Here are some moves I’ve found myself making:

01.  High-waisted things. 

The waist is an undeniably feminine feature, and there’s a reason so many styles highlight it. If you’re not a dress or skirt girl, however, try high-waisted culottes. They create a similar silhouette, highlighting your womanly figure, but are edgier and can feel less like you’re fitting into a box. If tight jeans aren’t your favorite, go with a looser-fitting mom jean.

02.  Mix it up. 

Pair a feminine piece with a more traditionally masculine one. Try a silk cami under a black blazer instead of a cardigan. Pair a high-waisted midi skirt with a menswear button-down tied at the waist instead of a feminine blouse. Or, throw on a great pair of heels with some high-rise, loose-fitting denim instead of a dress. The proportion of pieces is often more important than the pieces themselves in creating a feminine mystique.

03.  Find viable alternatives. 

I love a good sundress, but sometimes they make me feel like a child. Rompers, ironically, make me feel more grown up, fashion-forward, and more like myself. Heels always elevate an outfit, but if stilettos aren’t your thing, seek out a chunky summer sandal or a great flat-form to add an unexpected twist. Spaghetti straps are delicate and timeless, but a wider strap can feel a little more unconventionally feminine and a little more modern.

04.  Find a floral you LOVE. 

Not one you like—that’s not good enough. I’ve learned that if I don’t absolutely love a floral print, I simply won’t wear that piece. I am, however, drawn to any kind of jungle-y, banana-leaf style print. With their clearly defined geometric appeal and in cool monochrome combos of greens and yellows and blues, these prints feel less traditionally feminine than the nineties floral prints that have made a major comeback in the last few years—and feel more “me.” I also know I’m more likely to wear a floral dress than a floral blouse, so I stay away from the latter unless, again, I absolutely love it. So assess what botanical prints you love, and work them in as you please.

05.  Or ditch floral altogether and go for eyelet. 

I’ve always loved the subtlety and ease of eyelet. The eyelet itself can be either floral or geometric, but it always evokes a sense of feminine intricacy and delicacy while avoiding the floral fantasy. And since eyelet items are usually one color, I find they are easier to wear often in a variety of contexts—just mix up the shoes and jewelry and you have a whole new look, more easily than you would with a true floral print.

06.  Pick one. 

While traditional feminine styles highlight all the lovely aspects of womanhood, I prefer to choose an outfit that centers around only one. If I choose a short dress, I want it to be loosely structured; a sweetheart neckline is complemented by a long skirt; if you show off a sliver of midriff, go with a crew neck t-shirt. The subtlety of these combinations creates an unmistakable aura of mystery that is distinctively feminine in its power of suggestion.

Women come in all shapes and sizes, and so should our sense of feminine style. Instead of feeling forced to align yourself with generic ideas of womanly style, have fun discerning what you love and designing a closet that showcases the wonderful and distinctive woman you are!


  1. Rhonda - love the suit! Brings back memories of office dressing past. But not the dark ages...(check the typo in the caption). Cheers! -Juliet

  2. I've always been a big fan of...as described in the "Mix It Up" section...blending menswear and womenswear styles. Whether that's a piece of women's clothes in a traditional men's pattern (like houndstooth) or it's wearing an item of men's clothing with an ultra-feminine piece (men's blazer + miniskirt).

    Perhapd that's because, as a closeted CD, I need to make do with what I have during the chances I get to dress:)

    1. Nice comment Elise -Escape come in many verities. Please comment again.