Hip and buttock padding is used by ladies to increase the apparent size of the hips and buttocks. The padding is intended to improve the person’s chance of passing as female by altering their apparent waist-hip ratio and shoulder-hip ratio. This technique is often used by drag queens to create the illusion of a feminine figure, often taking it to the extreme for comedic value. This is now a trendy way by ladies to improve their looks and boost their self confidence. It is considered by many beauty experts to be better than plastic surgery as it has no health side effect and is equally cheaper to afford.
These garments can be broadly classed as pre-made, made to measure, and homemade.
Padded underwear with pockets into which sections of padding can be inserted are marketed by companies catering to crossdressers. Many of these premade garments are often criticised for looking lumpy or false.
Made to measure
At least one company specialises in manufacturing custom made garments specifically designed from the purchaser’s measurements. These garments are more expensive than pre-made or homemade garments but are generally well made.
The cheapest form of hip and buttock padding is homemade. Information on making padding is available on web sites and in at least one book.
Using the person’s own measurements and a table of comparative measurements, it is possible to determine how thick the padding needs to be at various places, such as the widest point on the hips and the fullest point on the buttocks.
Homemade padding is usually made by cutting a block of high-density polyurethane foam rubber to shape. This is the same type of foam as used for upholstery. The most common tool used for shaping the foam for this application is an electric knife. The block is usually cut as a flat piece which is wrapped around the hips and buttocks, rather than being carved as a curved piece. The foam is carved only on the inside, so that the outside surface remains smooth.
The padding is usually worn inside a compression garment such as one intended to be worn by females to lift and shape the buttocks.