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How to Make a Girl Look Like a Boy

Three Methods:Changing Your ClothesChanging your Physical AppearanceBehaving like a Boy

Many people like to play with gender and experiment with appearance. We do it for fun, as an way to express ourselves, and transgender boys do it as the next step in transitioning from a "girl" to a boy. Thankfully there are a number of clever tactics for tailoring the female body to a boy's appearance.

Method 1
Changing Your Clothes

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    Find plain or graphic t-shirts that you enjoy. Whereas women are expected to combine a variety of tops, many men tend to reach for the t-shirt. Simple, easy to clean, and draws little attention. Since this is a safe choice for self-presenting as a boy, it's easier to have some fun and pick out shirts that align with your interests.
    • Many men wear t-shirts of their favorite bands, or with artwork from their favorite TV shows and movies.
    • If you want to give off an athletic appearance, consider buying plain white, gray, or black shirts. Also, sportswear would be a good choice for an athletic male look.
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    Purchase some nondescript pants. Most men can be seen wearing blue jeans, navy slacks, and khakis. Take a trip to the department store or even a thrift store to save money, and pick up several pairs. These will give you a solid foundation to build multiple boyish or manly outfits.
    • Be sure to pick pants that fit comfortably.
    • Currently, skinny jeans are becoming more common among men, and these could be a good fit for your new look. Keep in mind though they are more revealing of figure (leg musculature) and could potentially reveal your sex. These could be great for muscular women or gender fluid people who want to embrace their non-dichotomous self-presentation.
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    Wear comfortable sneakers. A common representation of women's shoes is flats, heels, and sandals. For men you will more likely see sneakers (high, mid, and low-tops), boat shoes, boots, moccasins, and loafers. Do you want a sporty look, or more professional? Knowing the answer to this question can help guide you toward the right shoes for you.
    • Skateboard shops, department stores, and brand name outlets are good places to find fashionable male shoes.
    • When wearing formal wear, be sure to pair your outfit with smart dress shoes. It is best to have them polished without any blemishes in the material.
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    Wear a baseball cap. Considered by some to be the "common man's crown," baseball hats give you an athletic, relaxed look, that can compliment any male outfit[1].
    • Do you have a favorite sports team? Or simply a city you love and want to represent? Answering these questions can help you find a cool new accessory.
    • The way you wear your hat - forward, backward, angled, cocked, tilted - can convey different things about your personality, and allows you more expression in your new male look.
    • Be aware that sports fans may engage you based on mutual support or rivalry.
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    Wear a backpack. Although they are undeniably used by girls and boys alike, women commonly carry purses instead. Trading in a purse or clutch for a simple backpack can add to your simple male appearance.
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    Get yourself a suit and tie. For formal, business, and even some party occasions, it is appropriate to wear a suit and tie. Whether this is a simple blazer and overcoat, or a personally tailored tux, suits are an easy way to give off a male appearance.
    • Transforming the common female body into a male look often means minimizing hips and increasing shoulders[2] Consider getting coats with shoulder pads to accentuate the appearance of a masculine build.
    • Loud colors like green, pink, and teal are extremely uncommon among male formal wear. In order to pass as male, you will have better luck with suits in shades of navy. Pants are typically khaki and navy. There is more wiggle room with ties. A good question to ask yourself is how much you want to stick out. For example Neil deGrasse Tyson often wears eccentric ties and garners some attention for it. On the other hand, your everyday business man on the street can usually be seen wearing a paisley, striped, or single tone tie.
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    Carry a suitcase. If you are older, or simply want to give off a more mature appearance, suitcases are a classic symbol of the business man. Traditionally, leather suitcases are the go-to for professionals. However, shoulder strap, and bicycle bags are steadily finding popularity among young professional men.

Method 2
Changing your Physical Appearance

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    Cut your hair. Although there are a fair number of men who choose to grow their hair long, this is largely considered a feminine trait (at least in European-American culture). Common male hairstyles include crew cuts, comb overs, fades, faux hawks, shape-ups, and waves.
    • Take a look at professional hair salon photo galleries and pick out a style that appeals to you.[3]
    • Oftentimes it's easier to look at male celebrities to determine what kind of hair style feels appropriate or comfortable for you.
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    Use a wig and wig cap. Shaving, or even just cutting your hair isn't necessary, especially if you want to be able to wear it down and dress as a girl. If you have long hair you will need to braid it and pin it up. Then place a wig cap over your head and secure it to the hair with pins.[4] Once this is done you can wear any wig of your choice.
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    Bind your chest. Breasts are an immediate physical trait that let people know you are a woman. In order to alter your appearance - especially for those women with curvier figures - using a binder will help you create a flatter, masculine chest.
    • There are companies who make binders specifically for trans men
    • Do not use Ace Bandage or duct tape as a binder, as this can cause scarring, limit breathing and create fluid build-up in your lungs, among other possible injuries.
    • Do not wear a binder for 24 hours. 8-12 hours is a safe maximum range for binder use. [5]
    • Do not wear a binder that is too small for you.
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    Invest in suitable underwear. If binders are too intense for you, or simply unnecessary thanks to your body size, sports bras do a good job of securing breasts and creating a masculine appearance.
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    Do not wear make-up. Although it may seem possible to use it to your advantage in giving your face a masculine look, ultimately the mere presence of make-up on a man (or someone dressing as one) draws attention.
    • If you're dead-set on integrating make-up into your transformation, try using a small amount of brown or dark eyeliner to fill in your eyebrows.
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    Consider pursuing hormone treatment therapy. For those transgender people looking into a serious physical transition, this can be the next major step in their lives. It's advised to always pursue hormone therapy under the guidance of a primary care physician and primary psychologist. Be sure to educate yourself on the health protocols for transgender health before seriously pursuing this.[6]

Method 3
Behaving like a Boy

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    Alter your voice. Pitch and pronunciation go a long way in conveying different gender presentation. Although it is common sense that a lower voice denotes masculinity, research shows that it has more to do with two things: the pronunciation of your "s," and the presence of a "vocal fry."[7] If you have a high-pitch voice, do not strain yourself to speak in a baritone. Instead, aim for a slightly lower, more monotone version of your natural voice.
    • The presence of any lisp or softness in the "s" is a marker of female speech patterns.[8]
    • Vocal fry refers to the creaky, deepened, elongation of vowels at the end of your sentence. This is also a marker of female speech patterns and is best to be avoided if you want to self-present as a boy or man.
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    Avoid feminine body language and habits. For example, crossing your legs, batting your eyelids, and playing with your hair.
    • If your male look includes long hair, don't toss your hair over your shoulder, or spend too much time touching your neck.
    • When sitting, lean back and allow your legs to be slightly apart.
    • Don't hold your wrist limply or expose your wrist too often. For example when women smoke cigarettes they sometimes hold their hand with the wrist turned out and visible.[9] Men are more likely to turn the wrist down or hold the arm by their side.
    • One safe posture is to put your hands in your pockets as this is far more common among men than women.
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    Use typical male greetings. Although it is socially common for men to hug, it is perhaps more prevalent to greet with different variations of hand shakes and high-fives.
    • When shaking someone's hand, grip firmly (though not attempting to harm them), and maintain eye contact to give a confident, friendly impression.
    • When going to do a high-five, aim for the elbow to prevent missed connections that lead to awkward moments.
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    Speak to convey information. Research shows that women often speak with the intention of creating connection and community, whereas men speak more to transfer information and determine status.
    • If this is a struggle for you, consider taking an assertiveness class, as this is an attribute respected among men.
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    Spend time with male friends. In the process of self-presenting as a man, we can get hung up in the socially conditioned notions of "how to be a man." However, the truth is there is no one right way. And a great way to find out how you can comfortably present as one yourself, is the hang around individual men or boys and observe their personalities and behavior.
    • If you have any close male friends you are comfortable discussing it with, talk to them about your attempts to self-present as male and see what solutions you can come up with together.


  • Add 21 to your women's waist size to approximate your size in men's.
  • Make sure you take off all nail polish, and remove all residue make-up with wet wipes before you go out.
  • Generally speaking, it is natural to wear clothes that are one or two sizes larger than what actually fits your body.
  • If you are a transgender person in need of support, there are a number of helpful resources available to you including Trans Lifeline, The Trevor Project, Trans People of Color Coalition, and National Center for Transgender Equality.


  • Be aware that some people have bigoted beliefs and take offense to transgender people or anyone who bends the gender "rules" of society. If you feel threatened seek protection and/or call the police.
  • There will be people who will figure you out and give you weird looks. Just shrug it off, smile, and enjoy their confusion.

Article Info

Categories: Character Style Imitation