Developing a Casual Style

(This is a rewrite and update of an item from 2005. Those who will be participating in the daytime activities but have not had much public exposure should find this of value.)

Although casual dressing is not very popular in the TG community, it is one very effective means for blending in everyday situatiions.

It’s been reported over the years of DLV that quite a few of our attendees would like to develop a more casual everyday daytime style, but really don’t know where to begin.

In this article we’ll see if we can point those who want to develop a casual style in the right direction.

“But I don’t wanna dress down! I want to dress UP!!!!!”

Don’t worry, there will be plenty of times during DLV where you can dress up and put on the dog, if you should choose to wear one. :)

There will also be opportunities where it’s perfectly appropriate to wear a more exotic outfit if you would like to.

I also promised the ORG group that I wouldn’t attempt to convert everybody to the “P-Town Annie” style of dress in this column. :)

I’ve gone back through some of the various relevant threads of discussion over the past several years, and quoted some items when appropriate.

There are two desires that are often expressed by the DLV attendees, those being:

    1. The desire to blend with the members of the general public when in Las Vegas.


  1. The desire to have more DLV activities in mainstream (general public) settings as opposed to alternative (LGBT bars, etc.) settings.

I’m going to try to avoid using the term “pass” in this note, using the term “blend” instead in most cases.

To blend means, among other things, to not draw unusual attention. This means not to appear out of place or not-normal.

“If Tammy Fay Bakker can pass, so can you!”

I’m sure you’ve heard this line before. Yes, it’s an in-jest put-down on one individual but it does bring up one important point about blending.

Despite the cliche, Tammy Fay Bakker CAN pass. Nobody suspects that she was not born female. She doesn’t blend very well, however. She stands out, and attracts attention, not much of it positive, because of her style.

She could blend much better, but for some unknown reason she chooses not to.

From the beginning …

+>You've got to remember, these are girls who have dressed in
+>private all their life and they don't have the slightest clue
+>what to wear to a mall or to a dam tour.

GG’s do have the advantage of years of experience learning how to dress and how not to dress for just about any circumstance. TG’s often do not have this experience.

If you’ve seldom or never dressed casually in public before and you want to develop a casual style in which you can be comfortable, here are two important starting points:

  1. Observe.
  2. Inquire.

Let’s go over these in detail …

1 – Observe, observe, observe, and observe some more! People-watch! Look at what women are wearing in casual settings. Visit public settings such as parks, shopping centers, sporting events, home shows, rock concerts, casinos, fast food places, anywhere women go while casually dressed.

Pay particular attention to what women of your particular AGE, HEIGHT, and SIZE are wearing.

Yes, I know it’s tempting to observe (and to try to emulate) those who are younger and smaller than you are, but this will most likely backfire if you try it!

+>Yes, gg's come in all shapes and sizes, including yours. :) 

This is very true. Although men tend to be taller and larger than women in general, there’s quite a bit of overlap within the normal ranges.

2 – Inquire. Ask others what types of casual outfits they prefer. Be prepared for some widely varying answers here, but this will help you get a handle on what others prefer to wear in casual settings. . . . . .

From a conversation on the mailing list a few years back:

+>>I think many of the girls are hung up on the notion that they
+>>can't feel feminine without getting all dolled up. I think they
+>>try it and
+>I admit this used to be me all the way. I've toned down a LOT, but
+>still feel more feminine whn I get all frilly and girly. It's a
+>learning curve you've got to climb.

Let’s enumerate and briefly discuss some common casual looks, starting at the bottom of the food chain and working up. Some of these may appeal to you, some may not, and some may work for you while for others might not.

    • First, the very casual combo, jeans/shorts/slacks/sweatpants, etc. combined with a t-shirt, tank-top, big shirt, etc. This is one of the most common looks that you will see in Las Vegas, in the day and even at night. This is often not color or style coordinated. It’s one of the easiest looks to do, and one of the most comfortable to wear.It is, however, not very popular in the T* community.If you want to blend in and not stand out, particularly during the daytime, this is the look that will do it.
      +>It's also amazing how many real girls [sic] look 
      +>damn good in jeans. 
      +Very good observation! :) 

      One thing to avoid with this look, are any t-shirts or tank tops with illustrations or words that will attract attention.

      Divisive political sayings should be avoided. Anything that draws attention to the wearer (This is what a {whatever} looks like.) should also be avoided. Ditto on any items that have profanity.

      Jeans or shorts which emphasize the rear (or the lack of same) should be avoided.

      One query in the DLV Discussion Forum last year asked if jeans which were “fashionably torn” were appropriate for a certain activity.

      My response was that the terms “fashionably” and “torn” were, in my opinion, mutually exclusive, but yes, this is something that is currently in vogue with the younger set.

      The keyword in the last sentence is “younger”, and, in my not so humble opinion, yes, those who are indeed younger might get away with this, but it’s probably not a look that those over 30 or so should attempt.

      And please, no “Yes I Am A Model” or “Princess” tank tops! :) :) . . .


    • The casual separates. Various tops, blouses, shorts, slacks, even skirts that you will see quite often in casual settings. This is the “mix” of mix and match.This is a step up from the jeans/tee look, but still far from being too dressy even for daytime.What you do have to watch out for, and avoid, are clashing colors, clashing patterns, and things that just don’t go together. This is often a trial and error process. Styles are now more liberal than they were several years ago as far as “what goes with what”, but obvious clashes should be avoided.


    • The casual coordinates. The “match” of mix and match. Coordinated sets are sold in the womens department of any store, sometimes as a set, sometimes as separate items. You’ll often hear a salesperson say “now this will coordinate with this … and this … and this …”There is a tendency in our community, with both coordinates and separates to wear things a bit too tight, a bit too short, and a bit too bright. It’s an easy trap to fall into, and it often looks out of place.


  • The sundress, wrap dress, muumuu, etc. Hello Hilo Hattie! :)Yes, dresses can be casual. Look around in Las Vegas and you will see some dresses during the day. Not that many, as shorts/slacks/jeans are worn by most, but you will see some.As you observe, carefully note the style of casual dresses worn by women of your age and size.The muumuu can minimize figure flaws and is something that about anybody of any size can wear. They are incredibly comfortable to wear for an extended period.With sundresses, you may have to watch it! They are not for everybody.

    Many women, both GG and TG can wear these, but those who have broad shoulders or large upper arms should avoid the styles that are strapless, have spaghetti straps, or are off-shoulder.

    Wrap dresses are best avoided by those who are large around the middle, as they tend to amplify figure flaws.

One common misconception is that you have to be small and petite to be able to blend.

+>I guess I'm the odd person in this thing anyway, since I would be 
+>perfectly happy to attend all of the events in jeans and a T-shirt, 

This statement came a few years ago from one of our long-time attendees.

This is somebody who is far from petite and over 6′ tall. Yet, she blends extremely well in public, never receiving a knowing stare or a double-take.

What you see here is attitude. First of all the attitude of confidence, but also the attitude that expresses the desire to blend.

“Femininity is a state of mind, not a mode of dress.”

Another one of our multi-year attendees is so natural in public as to be undetectable without a full-body search. She also happens to be one of the larger attendees we’ve had. I’ve observed her at not only DLV but at Fall Harvest and Pinkfest as well, and she never gets even a sideways glance on city streets, in shopping malls, and even in places where kids are common.

In 1999 I watched her as she was waiting on line for the roller coaster at NYNY. She was not “dressed down”, she was wearing a very “Vegas-y” glitzy top and slacks. (The “mix” of the mix-and-match.) There were kids everywhere! (Kids, you know, those little people who can read a t-girl a mile away.) They were oblivious. This was just another typical tourist from Peoria who was enjoying herself in Las Vegas.

One key to these success stories is that they do not try to dress to appear younger or to appear smaller than they are.

Another is attitude, the attitude that expresses the desire to blend as opposed to the desire to attract attention.

>One has to also consider what is women's casual day wear in LV to blend 
>in better. Many newbies I think prefer the night for the style of 
>wardrobe is more attractive. 

In general, yes, DLV has always been a nighttime crowd. However, we’re seeing the demand for and the planning of more and more daytime activities.

“But I didn’t come all the way to Las Vegas to wear jeans!”

We’ve had a number of people state flat out that they have no desire to dress casually for daytime things. However, when they try it, they often report that they do indeed feel far more comfortable and enjoy things more than if they intentionally overdressed.

>Annie, let me play your Devil's Advocate here. I think maybe some of 
>you more experienced girls are forgetting how it is to have so few 
>opportunities to dress. For many of these newer girls, this is one 
>of the only times they have to go out in public dressed. They don't 
>want to dress down, they want to dress up! 

Yes, I believe this is the case for some of our attendees.

>They want to dress up for the everyday things, and dress up even more
>for the fancy things! 

It’s up to everybody to decide how many activities to do and what to wear to each one, and for some, which mode to appear in for each activity.

If the casual femme thing appeals to you about as much as getting a tooth filled without novocaine, that’s fine. Boymode will be perfectly fine for all except a few specially designated activities. There’s no stigma in showing up as “brother” (right, Tony?). :)

One important point of blending is to be a lady, not only in dress, but in behavior and mannerisms. Avoid the temptation to speak loudly, joke around, etc. If you are casually dressed, blending may be easier, but it will never work if you remain in boymode in mannerisms.