roketsune: Animated icon of me, done by (Default)
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Clothes and Accessories

Perhaps I should have made this #2. Everyone knows us femboys love fashionable and girly clothes! Anyway, there are many things to consider and be apprised of in this category, things I had to discover myself with exploration and experimentation. There are several distinct categories of leg wear alone, and women's sizes differ from men's sizes. This is also the thing which frightens femboys the most, acquiring and wearing feminine clothes. It dismays me to see so many people- femboy and otherwise- live in needless repression and unrealistic fear.

This section will broach and elaborate on a series of concepts or things which are imperative to know for one reason or another. There were several discoveries which I would have loved to have been made aware of straight away, and I consequently wasted money and time having to learn myself. By imparting critical things to you, you will be able to explore far more rapidly and efficiently. Clothing covers a massive range of sub-topics and article types, and I feel most of them lack the merit in broaching at all. Also, this is already a behemoth.

Irrational Fear- Most Just Don't Give a Damn

I have come across very few femboys who actually dress as such outside of special occasions or home. This is horrible, even more so since it is unnecessary. Humans generally have an instinctual aversion to causing conflict or discord. No doubt there are also fears of physical or verbal violence should they wear women's clothes and are not totally 'passable'. There no doubt often is fear of condemnation by those close to them, and having a veritable atomic firestorm on one's social front is never pleasant. If one of those people (say, a homophobic parent who's paying for a femboy's college education) has a capacity and inclination to cause destruction, that is a different matter which must be assessed objectively. What I'm going to address is the unease which seems almost universal amongst femboys about standing out.

I lived in a relatively conservative suburban area for a couple of the years I've been a femboy. For over two years there, every single time I left the house, I not only crossdressed very colorfully, but I also wore a tail. I just completely disregarded societal norms and carried myself as a very girly raccoonboi. Some of you are marveling at my courage and assume I was taunted regularly. Past the initial series of decisions to upgrade my appearance, this wasn't courageous, because virtually never did anyone vocalize anything unkind. 1-5% would be insulting or just erupt into derisive laughter, but the remainder were at worst obnoxiously inquisitive and at best utterly enthralled. This was an area not especially friendly to those who are non-heterosexual and transgender. Sure, it wasn't Bumblefuck, Nowhere, but still not a liberal area. People often wanted my picture and I received a fair amount of adoration and attention, too. Unless you are in a special situation where you rely on an anti-gay parent or are surrounded by savages, I don't think you have a legitimate excuse to insist on being normal.

Likewise, if people in a conservative town usually left me alone and almost always were friendly when they didn't, most assuredly the employees at a lingerie store or the women's department aren't going to object to you buying women's clothes for yourself. Hell, you're helping pay their salary! Even if they disapproved of your lifestyle, remember my remark on the natural inhibition against open conflict. You are not important enough to them for them to forcefully overcome that natural fear and aversion and tell you you are not welcome, and they also likely would be fired for the effort anyway. And, if THAT doesn't persuade you or you have pathological anxiety issues, there are businesses which are explicitly and highly LGBT-friendly. You do not have a valid excuse for not acquiring female clothes personally. The fear is not commensurate with reality.

Now, stop being normal and go wear a skirt and tail! There's no reason not to (again, barring you being in a special scenario). And, besides, femboys are about the only males I'm attracted to and I'm tired of never seeing another of my kind outside of conventions (and even there we almost don't exist it appears).

Special Note About Recent Anti-Transgender/Femboy Bathroom Laws

Speaking of fear, this has exploded into the consciousness of the nation since I started composing this. I'm going to address this succinctly and bluntly... Nothing has changed, regardless of which bathroom you would prefer to use. These laws are completely unenforceable generally. Think about what would have to happen for someone to even be confronted by police. The cases of people being arrested for using the 'wrong' bathroom is and will be miniscule, and the chance of even being bothered by someone for it is not much higher. Transgender people have uneventfully used their preferred bathroom before laws and policies either way were enacted, and they will continue to do so afterwards. While a major impetus of these laws and the uproar with Target is indeed general transphobia, the other is the irrational fear of insincere males exploiting gender identity reforms vis-a-vis bathrooms and assaulting females. If you're clearly a femboy and not acting suspiciously in the women's room, few women are going to object. If you prefer to use the men's room, as you will read in a later chapter, violent crimes in general and especially hate crimes are unusual. You will undoubtedly make some uncomfortable either way, but very few are going to protest. I have used the men's bathroom many times in both conservative suburban and liberal urban areas now, pulling up my skirt at the urinal and peeing many times (VERY unusual for a boy in there, let me tell you!). I have applied makeup at the sink many times. Those massive gender transgressions have resulted in just ONE person in over two years mentioning I was in the wrong bathroom, and once I told him I was male he accepted this immediately and wanted my picture.

Now, I am not dismissing the very disproportionately higher levels of violence against trans people, nor am I denying some areas are inhabited by many people who are violent. I do not suggest pulling up your skirt and peeing at a urinal if you live in an area where such people are assaulted regularly without having substantial self-defense capability. If you live in such an area, I exhort you to get the fuck out of there and into an urban area ASAP. However, if that is not a factor, the rates of violence even against trans people are low. Don't live in terror if you live in an area where a bunch of fucking Republicans decided to make an issue out of this, especially if you still prefer the male bathrooms. Nothing has changed.

Legwear: Many Variations For the Same Body Parts

Clothes that cover the legs and hips are far more varied in women's fashion than men's. With males, while you have two or three different fabrics, the general structure is the same: pants and shorts of substantial construction. Women have far, FAR more choices than pants and jeans. There is the pantyhose-type we are all familiar with, there are 'tights' which have the same structure (closed at the feet) but are somewhat heavier, there are 'leggings' which come in such a variety of thicknesses and materials that they are worthy of their own chapter. 'Stockings' can mean anything from pantyhose to long socks. You need to know precisely what you want to avoid acquiring clothes you dislike and/or cannot use.

Pantyhose is very light nylon that has a wide range of colors and opaqueness, and that is closed off at the ends so the entire leg and foot are enveloped. If you want something which will keep you warm and will endure for years, this is not it. It generally serves only aesthetical functions and is comparatively fragile. Some of my early purchases were of this type, and I quickly disfavored them once I found alternatives because they were too sheer (you WILL need to shave your legs wearing these!) and would keep pushing against my feet and toes.

Tights are essentially a heavier variant of pantyhose. It is still a closed-toe garment and is often nylon or some other stretchy material, but it tends to be more opaque and can be utilized for thermal protection. If you want what amounts to pantyhose that will keep you warmer and remain serviceable longer, this will be your preferred type. One or more of my early acquisitions were of this type, and while I disfavored them less than the pantyhose, the closed design at the feet made wearing them less desirable than I had hoped. Oh, yes, keep in mind since these and the above have such a structure, you have to be mindful of your height and the suggested max height ranges. IIRC, one or more had a max recommended range of a few inches below my height and they still fit, albeit with pressure on my toes.

Leggings are what I gravitated massively towards due to their open-foot design, opaqueness, and their ability to provide varying levels of thermal protection. They come in a variety of materials and thicknesses. As my experience with leggings is overwhelmingly or exclusively derived from American Apparel items, I will refer to their products. American Apparel is very much pro-LGBT and they have many other legging designs, and they frequently run 50% off sales. I generally have assigned my leggings into three categories: Everyday, Insulating Field, and Light Field. I am wearing this right now. Everyday clothes are supposed to have a higher comfort and lower maintenance level, and this particular design is moderately insulating. Field clothes must be pretty and colorful, but also not cause me to be uncomfortable. The Insulating Field consists of these, specifically the turquoise. This material is heavier and thus sufficiently insulates on colder days. Light Field is this, a color I am especially fond of but made from a material that does not insulate worth a damn and also will faintly show leg hair if I neglect to shave. Oh, also, these leggings are Medium and Large, and I am approximately 65 kg, 180 cm tall, and 88 cm at the waist/hips.

The last conventional legwear-type category is socks. You will find them primarily on Sock Dreams, as well as the other stereotypically femboy items such as arm warmers. The massive thigh-high socks are called, unsurprisingly, Thigh-Highs. You can purchase an adhesive to roll on your legs, or invest in garter belts to hold them up. I was not able to keep mine up at thigh level without using garters, and that and preferring mono-colored leggings caused me to move away from socks. Actually, you might be able to get Thigh-Highs to stay up without either adhesive or garters if you wear something underneath. My Thigh-Highs will stay up on the very rare times I wear them over my Everyday/Home leggings. Note that you can use socks in conjunction with any of the other types, and this applies to the above categories as well obviously. On that subject, especially socks that are lower on the leg would compliment well legwear and a skirt. If I wasn't so fond of my furry leg warmers I might seriously consider a new field configuration using socks.

The last legwear-type item is called leg warmers, which are more or less very loose-fitting socks with no feet.  I have noticed this type is very unusual. In fact, I don't remember encountering anyone else wearing these that I can remember. If you ever have seen Cleo from Heathcliff, those are leg warmers. The name is somewhat misleading I feel, as they don't necessarily provide much warmth (mine from American Apparel are loosely knit and would be bad at insulation). I deem leg warmers to be almost a purely aesthetical type of clothing, actually, as other items would serve a thermal role far better, and these are excellent accentuators or augmentors in certain configurations. They are a noteworthy component in my various outfits.

They come in a variety of designs, but I will present three groups to demonstrate both the range of options and their massive capability for aesthetical augmentation. I use these from American Apparel for my Everyday attire. They add a great deal more color to legs which otherwise would just be sport one shade via the leggings, and the cuff height is extremely adjustable. These from Sock Dreams come in a few patterns and materials, and a few are also apparently serviceable as arm warmers as well. Legwear is their forte, so they will be a major solution for any such needs. The third is the highly conspicuous and colorful furry variety, things most associated with raves and the 80's. I own these (they sell furry skirts, too), and the furry companies Lemonbrat and Pawstar also produce them and a myriad of other objects small and large. As all three appear to produce furry cuffs, skirts, and leg warmers, you can easily go full fucking femboy flamer on society and acquire a matching set for general use!

So, I have explained the various types of legwear and hosiery and your curiosity should be running rampant. May you now choose wisely and not have half a dozen or more things laying in storage indefinitely due to lack of interest or feasibility!

Skirts and Related Concepts of Great Importance

I'm sure you understand generally what a skirt is and thus I am not going to explain THAT to you. However, there are a few related items that aren't obvious but are highly important.

Skirts are generally not utilitarian in nature. You might find a couple of skirt designs with a couple of pockets, and there is also the Utilikilt which essentially gives your kilt/man-skirt (hey, a skirt marketed to males is still a skirt, and holy FUCK they are expensive!) the capabilities that pants and shorts possess (store things on and in it). I've also heard of the concept of 'skorts', though I don't know if any of the designs' shorts component have the things normal shorts do such as belt loops and pockets. Therefore, generally, especially if you want colorful and really gay and girly-looking skirts, you will be devoid of carrying capacity on that type of article. This puts you or anyone else adopting that outfit at a severe disadvantage, because it is extremely helpful to have something with belt loops (belts and belt loops are kind of important for wearing tails, too) to attach things to, and pockets to place things in. You can carry things in a bag, of course, but I would MUCH rather have my wallet and all it carries on my hip rather than in a bag that can be suddenly snatched or just misplaced.

So, what can you do if you prefer skirts? The answer is: wear both! There is absolutely nothing stopping you from wearing shorts underneath a skirt. Actually, you could also do what I did until I obtained a set of femboy clothes and wear a skirt over pants, if you truly want to give normalcy the middle finger! But, I much prefer the former aesthetically and probably you do as well. As you will be trying to wear shorts which cannot be seen unless you're retrieving something from them, short of improvising a solution with scissors and a pair of pants or regular men's shorts, you will need to find women's shorts with little or no inseam. I have two such pairs which I discovered at Goodwill (that's a great option for clothes in general, though ensure nothing you're buying has stains or other damage), and one or two pairs I fashioned from a spare pair of pants and a pair of scissors before the Goodwill acquisitions. My mini-skirts are much longer than the shorts, so people see the shorts only when I need to retrieve an object from there. This allows me to retain the advantages of wearing pants/shorts while also retaining the aesthetical characteristics of the skirts!

My shorts are utilized to carry the following:

-Wallet with my cash, state ID, three cards I always use for purchases, and reserve transit card.
-Repurposed slender camera case containing my military ID (father was an Air Force veteran), debit card, a credit card not ordinarily used for purchases, and main transit card.
-Retractable key holder fastened to a belt loop directly, and leashed to a carabiner with yarn for further security.
-Pepper spray attached to a belt loop via a carabiner. The spray is wieldable with minimal effort via a magnetic keychain. I strongly advise everyone to invest in potent spray such as that and this in case the worst happens, but especially femboys and females.
-My big and fluffy raccoon tail via a belt.

Another crucial consideration for those who wish to wear skirts- especially those who are new at it- is the type of waistband the skirt has. A skirt which has an elastic waistband (American Apparel generally states on each page whether it is elastic or possesses a zipper/buttons; also, the furry rave ones are all very elastic!) can accommodate at least a moderate range of figures, whereas one which is opened and closed not only usually has a very limited tolerance but is far more difficult to don/remove. I could gain 25 kg and these Large skirts (damn it, they stopped carrying the velvet skirts!) would still fit me. Especially if the skirt isn't listed by numerical size but rather by Small, Medium, etc, you would be unlikely to choose so poorly you couldn't wear it. As a frame of reference, I have an 88 cm waist/hip and I can wear nylon and spandex Medium skirts and leggings comfortably, and as best I can tell my numerical size is 8-10.

The last thing pertains to the resplendent furry customized skirts I brought up in the last section. People at Pawstar or Lemonbrat or Vinyl Doll can and will deviate from their standard design if you wish for it or whatever else to be so, as they make everything themselves by hand/paw. You need to know what the dimensions of their default design are to begin with, or you will be at risk of having to order a second one. The skirts might by default be too short for your taste and you will thus wish to ask for more length. The truly important thing to be cognizant of is, these skirts are a cross between a circle skirt (a typical roomy mini-skirt) and a pencil skirt (hugs against the hips and thighs; I have no clue why women elect to wear such restrictive clothes), meaning there is a high chance they will not be roomy and flared enough for you to comfortably traverse, and that chance rises if you wear a tail. Thus, you likely will need to ask for a "flared" skirt. That seems to be the term such fashioners use to describe a skirt wider at the bottom. I had to order a second one from Pawstar largely because the bottom lacked the shape and circumference for my purposes and structural needs, and the second one is just flared enough to pose no problems. Do not make the same mistake and not specify you need a flared one (assuming you don't genuinely prefer the default version).

Secondary Clothing and Accessories

While it dismays me few furries have ever been excited about my appearance despite the enormous level of thought and energy I have invested in the whole process, I am sure at least some of you who are new at this thing or furry/bronydom in general really want to know where I acquired this or that. I will point you all in the appropriate directions so you also can expeditiously outfit yourself with the most adorable stuff which often is also critically useful!

Arm Warmers, Gauntlets, and Cuffs

Sock Dreams was the one who sold me my arm warmers, and they not only are highly inexpensive but also are insulating. If I wear two of them on each arm, on all but the very coldest of days, especially if I am marching, those are sufficient for my arms. They have taken the place of flannel shirts I used to have to wear when outdoors, then promptly take off and somehow stuff in my tote bag upon entering a building because it provided far too much insulation around my torso and arms. These protect my arms in an extremely lightweight and compact design, meaning I can easily store surplus warmers in my bag and usually not need to remove them when indoors. They also provide sun protection for me, of course. These also caught my attention and I wish to purchase one sooner or later.

Sock Dreams also sold my gauntlets. They cover the remaining length of my upper extremities- save for the fingers- in a very gayish manner, blocking UV radiation in the process. They have two other niche purposes. On mildly cold days which are slightly excessive for my bare paws, if I forgot to bring my gloves, they can be used as a substitute. On very cold and blustery days which are making my arms uncomfortable due to wind blowing up the very loose outer sleeve of my arm warmers, I will work the cuff of the gauntlets around the edge of the arm warmers so the wind can no longer travel through. If you are desirous of gauntlets of different designs, I believe some of their arm warmers are essentially gauntlets.

As I mentioned earlier, Pawstar, Lemonbrat, Vinyl Dolls, and surely others on Etsy and elsewhere, produce and/or sell these furry cuffs. I assume at least some of them can and will customize such things to some degree. Please bear in mind that since the cuffs are so small and are so much closer to your face relative to everything else, if they use a thread color that badly clashes with the color of the fur, you are likely to notice it. Pawstar uses black and they have no alternative thread color, and the fur cannot hide that seam at the end, and thus I have until recently declined to wear the hot pink cuffs I received months ago since I was too self-conscious about it. The others I have no idea.

Kemonomimi Cap

I acquired my cap with a medium blue base and very fluffy lupine ears (she didn't have raccoon ears specifically and it was close enough for what I was trying to achieve) from AnimeNoms, one of countless such people and companies on Etsy. She is extremely friendly and grateful to her patrons, even sending me hand-written notes expressing thanks with my orders. The cap serves multiple purposes: 1.) It is obviously furry, so if they see nothing else, other furries will know I'm likely one of them. 2.) It is very congruent with my fashion themes of adorableness and feminine raccoonishness. 3.) I am extremely self-conscious about my low hair density at the top of my scalp (not typical baldness, just sparse all along the middle-top), and this entirely obscures my scalp and thus obviates that cause of anxiety.

However, this has two drawbacks I have to counteract: 1.) I cannot wear the cap with nothing underneath because I otherwise would sweat directly into the cap (and I overheat a lot even with fans), causing a gross tactile feeling at the forehead and exposing my cap to facial grease and more rapid discoloration. 2.) It increases somewhat my ordinarily high susceptibility to overheating by further insulating the most heat-emitting part of my body! To resolve #1 and just make the cap more secure, I acquired a rainbow headband from American Apparel (they also make rainbow wristbands of the same material), and place the cap on top of that. I have a second one in reserve for excursions in which I expect to sweat significantly. To resolve #2 and my general proneness to overheating in the field, I utilize this (this is a critical item, as many times it is burdensome or impossible to hold a fan, this one is powerful, AND resists hair cloggage) and this to power it, and this will allow to recharge the batteries within the fan and thus reduce wear on the connectors and increase time/energy efficiency.

Jewelry, Bags, and Miscellaneous Other Accessories

This is the realm which necessitates more exploration, as there are innumerable varieties of each type of accessory and very many types of accessories. I can tell from where/who I procured my stuff, and point you to areas where you are most likely to find something appealing. However, your preferences and circumstances are unique and you cannot merely acquire everything from one business.

As I hope this treatise becomes heavily disseminated and spoken of, and I always like to name and praise those who perform a service correctly, I will link all the makes even though you likely will go with something/someone else. I linked where I acquired my satchel bag and cosmetics bags in the Cosmetics section closer to the end, and I'll do it again here: satchel bag and pencil bag. I own a plush raccoon backpack from an obscure anime named Rascal, and I think I purchased it on eBay from China. Mine is quite roomy and is aesthetically respectable. My wallet was made by this person, but he only made one and he might not be active. I am especially fond of the wallet because it has a strap which can in turn be secured to a belt loop with a carabiner, and it is very compact (this is highly important if you're wearing women's shorts due to the small pockets). I own a Celestia necklace made by this one, and is quite pretty and colorful from the figurine to the beads on the string. I own a MLP scarf made by her that is quite lovely. I once bought a Bright Heart Raccoon necklace from her.

Note that most of these things were found on Etsy. If you want hand-made items in general and things made by fandom artisans, this is by far the best site to venture to. Various independent artisans and companies reside here and are more than happy to make your life slightly or substantially better by making and sending your purchase. As these are independent crafters, it is very ordinary and expected for people to ask them about customization. Do not be shy about asking one if they can do a different character or change the dimensions of the item. I didn't search for things from other subcultures or universes, but there were many MLP/brony artisans and wares over there. The next best site would be eBay as far as I am aware, as there are many artisans and companies who have set up there. Of course, many of these items are made by companies overseas, but you might not be able to acquire them or a suitable alternative anywhere else. I have heard the name Hot Topic come up several times both for MLP items and general femboy items, though I have zero direct experience or observation. Also, do not forget that conventions are excellent places to personally find artisans and peruse items, and I highly recommend you make all of your cons double as fandom shopping trips (incidentally, my conventioneering guide is here)

While we are on the subject of customized items... There are some objects onto which you can have an image of your choice emblazoned. Tote bags, messenger bags, shirts, canvas pictures, etc, are suitable for this, and there are a handful of places to go for this online. Cafepress has the widest variety of customizable objects and is a large site with numerous sales, but their interface is unwieldy and they seem to have ceased offering 'All-Over' shirt customization (the image area spans the entire shirt rather than a small area). My tote bag and my shirt I acquired from them, and they have emblazoned on them commissions I purchased from artists (if you ever see a crossdressing raccoon with a shirt sporting his fursona, that will be me: say hello!). If you want shirts with an image area spanning a shirt facing, this and this may be the best places to try. Also, while we're on the general subject, if you want prints or canvas versions, for non-erotic stuff you could use Cafepress. This company offers a very wide variety of mounted art types. This one is a furry company/artist who makes prints and sells a few other things. There are other sites who produce a variety of objects with their or your own images which can be found with adequate searching online.

Brief Note On Maintenance: Re-fluffing Fur and Defuzzing Clothes

Various items will need occasional maintenance, and these things are usually never made apparent to people at the outset. Things with fur such as your tail, plushies, and furry skirt, will need to be brushed periodically or the fur will become matted and not feel soft. I actually thought Kaleusthes's fur permanently developed that texture on most of him due to him being held and smooshed in my bag and such, but all he needed was a pet brush (this one also works well but is much larger). I often brush my skirt and tail as well. No matter how gentle you are, though, you are going to tear off a slight amount of fur, and a new item will lose a lot of fur at first because much of it is loose to begin with. Obviously, artificial fur doesn't grow back, so especially on your companions, be as gentle as possible. I cannot say how many years of regular brushing it will take noticeably erode the fur of a tail or skirt or plushie, but I find leaving the fur alone indefinitely is intolerable and thus I do brush all my furred items at varying intervals.

Some items such as the American Apparel leg warmers and knit gloves will develop large bits of what resembles lint or fuzz, colloquially referred to as 'pills', and something such as this will remove them. Be forewarned, these can and will easily tear holes in your fabric. The aforementioned leg warmers should be defuzzed with that only at the setting where the blades are furthest away from the grate. This one is more highly rated and thus probably less frequently tears holes in clothes, but it is more expensive, and I certainly would not use it on a treasured item. The arm warmers I own from Sock Dreams develop moderately large pills over time, and the first defuzzer I linked did cut holes in them a few times. For my arm warmers, gauntlets, and fursona shirt- as reckless as this sounds- I have found a cartridge razor shaves off the pills rather nicely and is not prone to cutting the fabric. A relatively cheap razor that has been used several times for shaving I pressed into service and works well. I don't know whether a brand new one would be too sharp, though the $5 arm warmers would be a wise choice for an experiment. Anyway, stretch the fabric out and very gently run the razor across the surface, and the fuzz will come off quite nicely. Defuzzing will renew your clothes which are prone to that and thus cannot be avoided forever without substantially impacting their/your appearance. New items seem to fuzz up more rapidly. There is no other defuzzing device I know of which is safe and effective.


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