5 Ways To Dress More Feminine
The 'no florals, no frills' approach to channelling a more femme aesthetic
Personal style and identity are intrinsically linked. For many of us, especially those with intersecting identities, getting dressed in the morning is more than just wearing clothes; it's constructing how we want to be perceived by the world that day. For me that usually means having to look 'put together' enough to be taken seriously at work, comfortable enough that my clothes don't feel like a sensory prison and striking the perfect balance between masculine and feminine energy to truly feel like myself. As someone who hates wearing floral prints, frills and flouncy dresses, I've found that a lot style advice out there on 'dressing more feminine' tends to lean on stereotypical optics of femininity which don't always resonate. So after years of experimenting and taking notes from some of my favourite style influences, I've discovered some tips and tricks of my own. These ideas are perfect for those days when you want to lean into a more femme aesthetic WITHOUT drastically changing your style or compromising on your daily dressing needs - check them out below:
1. Wear your colour season
So I don't know if this was actually a viral trend or just my TikTok algorithm feeding my special interest in personal style theories, but there was a point in time where it seemed like literally everyone was trying to figure out their colour season and with good reason! If you have ever found yourself on this side of the internet you would have seen those comparison photos of famous celebs wearing their colours vs not and I can't lie, the girlies did make some points. While its easy to make the assumption that dressing more femme equals wearing more 'girly colours', I think a far more nuanced way to incorporate feminine energy into your personal style is to wear colours that enhance your natural essence. If you're looking for resources on how to discover your colour season (especially for darker skin tones) check out Cocoa Styling on Youtube - their channel is the holy grail I used to re-do my entire wardrobe!
2. Wear more jewellery
There's something about adding a handful of statement rings to an outfit that just hits different. For the longest time, I had always thought of jewellery as an afterthought (most likely because I was never allowed to wear any as a kid) but now I honestly feel like leaving the house without jewellery on is like walking around with your shoe laces undone. From collecting chunky rings and statement necklaces to adding a chain to your fave pair of jeans, accessorising instantly elevates a basic outfit and pulls it together to create a complete, well thought out look.
3. Scent is the invisible accessory
One thing I completely underestimated until recently was the power of scent. We've all walked passed someone who smells amazing and instantly felt drawn to want to know who they are. Wearing a fragrance is an instant confidence booster and is often a silent first impression when meeting someone new. Whether you're into sweet and sultry scents or a more musky masc vibe, your signature scent is all about trial and error. Take yourself out to your local department store and ask for a few tester bottles to trial. Make a note of the scents that get you the most compliments but also the scents that feel the most like you.
4. Balance your silhouette
So contrary to a lot of advice out there, I don't believe in wearing figure-hugging clothing in order to accentuate your silhouette. If you're anything like me where tight fitting clothing sends you into sensory overload or just makes you feel overexposed, I think using silhouette enhancing tricks can be just as effective. The key is obviously all about knowing your own body frame and then deciding if you want to balance it out or exaggerate it for greater impact. Personally as a top heavy girly (broader shoulders, bigger bust), I love a 'small top, big pants' moment to balance out my silhouette. I also love rocking an oversized fit (big top, big pants) if I want a more dramatic (yet comfortable) look. If you have a different body shape you can naturally flip these combos or mix and match e.g. big top, small bottoms to achieve your desired vibe.
5. Invest in the details
Whatever your wear, dressing more femme is all in the details. You could be wearing the most baggy, oversized or basic look but with a great hair, nails and makeup combo you can still achieve the perfect feminine balance. While I personally don't think its necessary (or practical) to look dolled up all the time, I think having a 'bare minimum' go-to look that you can do effortlessly can really help to solidify your overall vibe. If you don't have the budget to do monthly treatments, choose one element to focus on such as your hair and experiment with styles at home to find a signature look that works for you. Buy a nail polish colour that you won't get bored of and re-paint your nails every weekend. Create natural homemade skincare masks and treat yourself to a home spa day. It's the little things that will make you feel good and therefore look good.