The Basic Woman’s Wardrobe

Let’s face it, building a wardrobe is tough when you’re trans.

Stuff often doesn’t fit right, things that do fit don’t fit over time as your body changes, and then there are the impulse buys that often are attempts at scratching an itch or willful suspension of disbelief. It can be a scattershot affair too, spread over months or years, in attempts to locate a personal style while finding brands, cuts, colors, shapes, and patterns that we find suitable for ourselves. Then there’s the cost.

Recently, I’ve found myself eyeballing all sorts of fun things and I have to chase myself away lest I end up with another article in my closet that is more about an ideal that I’d like to be than the reality of who I am right now. To that end, I’m giving serious thought about basic wardrobing pieces that I’m sure I’m missing that can be a foundation to build on.

I’ve always been a bit sartorially challenged, so this is a struggle for me. Here’s what I think I need just as a base:

  • T-shirts, short-sleeved in black & white/cream, and v- & crew-necks
  • Shirt/blouse, in black & white/cream
  • Jeans, boot-cut & relaxed legs
  • Slacks, black & brown/tan
  • Socks, black trouser, athletic
  • Shoes, dressy black flats, low-heeled black pump, black & brown ankle boots, tennis/athletic shoes, mid-calf boots, casual sport flats
  • Tights, black, brown, white/cream
  • Skirt, black & brown/tan
  • Sweaters, black & white/cream cardigan or pullover
  • Coats, rain jacket, fluffy warm in black or white/cream, dressy trench/peacoat
  • Dress, little black, not-so-little black
I can’t think of anything else that one wouldn’t need as a basic layering piece to go with other items, or be ready for a cocktail party or a funeral. I have a handful of the above items, and I’m thinking I shouldn’t buy much else “fun” until I have these all ticked off the list.
What do you think? Am I missing anything? Would you remove anything? What would be on your basic wardrobe list?


About cistotrans

A Seattle-area trans woman seeking a happy spot to stay at along the path of transition.
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2 Responses to The Basic Woman’s Wardrobe

  1. Becca says:

    My wardrobe is just full of things that I will never wear. Impulse buys or a stupid nature. My wide remarked the other day that I should chuck it out and start again.

    You know your list is OK but colour – there are a lot of browns, blacks and creams ?

    The one thing that women can do so much better than men is colour ?


  2. Jenn Ifer says:

    Well, my thinking is that these basic color pieces pair with just about anything, and there are different hues, so I might need more than one to get the complimentary looks. 😉

    With my fair skin, brilliant white tends to be too white, but it depends on the intensity. Sometime cream works better, but it's all a judgement call and can depend on other things I wear due to color reflection.

    I think I do OK with color, my challenge is that I think I have too much colorful stuff sometimes and I need these basic pieces to tie them together.


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