The Allure of Velvet

I think it’s probably safe to say that a t-girl loves clothes.  I have a fascination with certain styles and fabrics.  I love a really cute peplum dress, I love leather, I love pleated skirts…oh, I could go on.

I think we have a certain emotional connection with many of the items that hang in our wardrobe.  I can pick out a pair of stilettos and think of a half dozen events that I wore them to.  I can remember when and where I found a certain bodycon dress that hangs in my closet.  I can recall how I felt when I tried on that flared skirt that I love so much.

The point is that, well, I love clothes.  I think some of this adoration comes from growing up and seeing a whole world of beautiful dresses, lingerie, and shoes that boys weren’t allowed to wear.  This helped fuel my curiosity and longing.

Not only was I fascinated with the clothes themselves, but there was a whole world of fabrics that were off-limits to me as a boy.  I never had patent-leather shoes, I didn’t have anything made of corduroy, and I certainly didn’t have silk underwear.

Of course, these days my wardrobe now includes Mary Janes, corduroy skirts, and if I am being honest, my lingerie drawer has panties in just about every fabric and texture you could possibly dream of.

One fabric that I was always mesmerized with was velvet.  Dark and seductive, it was a fabric that begged to be touched.  A girl in a velvet dress seemed mysterious, classy, and fashionable.  What’s more alluring than a girl like that?  I wanted to be a girl like that.  Thanks to Glamour Boutique‘s Black Crushed Velvet Fit and Flare Dress, I can finally be that girl.

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My first thought when I slipped this on is how happy the dress made me feel that the sleeves were long enough.  It can be frustrating to try to find a long sleeve dress that fits, but this is perfect.  The shoulders in the dress are wide enough for it to fit comfortably and not compromise the length of the sleeves.

And the flare!

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The dress has a seam under the bust which provides a very flattering fit but also creates a flirty flare for the skirt.  It’s not something I see in a lot of dresses and I appreciate how it downplays my longer torso.

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I love when I put on a dress and I immediately think of an event I can wear it too.  This dress begs to be worn at a holiday party and December seems too far away.

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I paired it with patent leather stilettos and nude stockings, but I think perhaps black stockings would work just as well.

As we grew up there were so many things that were denied to us, clothes we weren’t allowed to wear.  A dress like this evokes memories of those moments when we longed to wear something beautiful.  We have a second chance to finally have the wardrobe that we always wanted and I am so happy that this beautiful dress hangs in my closet.

Love, Hannah

Thank you to Glamour Boutique for providing this dress for this review.

Makeup by Corrie Dubay

Photography by Shannonlee McNeely

Getting to Know You, Getting to Know All About You

I have hosted parties and organized gatherings in my male life.  I am not a particularly a social person, so for occasions like these I tend to details such as making sure there is enough food and cleaning up.  I try to busy myself and keep moving.  I try to stay out of the way.

It’s not that I don’t like people.  I know and I am related to amazing and wonderful people that I love very much.  But in my male like I am usually very goal orientated and I get a lot of satisfaction out of work.  I like to clean up after a party.  I like when all the laundry is done, folded, and put away.  I like to start things, and I like to finish things.

As I got to know Hannah, I was very surprised at how different she was from the male side of me.  I “met” Hannah at the same time and at the same pace as my wife got to know her.  Letting another gender identity and gender presentation come to the surface is an experience like no other.  You feel a wide range of emotions.  These emotions are usually triggered by what you may be wearing.  For a very long time you were all wingtips and work boots.  Neckties and facial hair.  Now you could be wearing anything from a long blonde wig, to red press-on nails, to a little black dress or your first pair of pumps.  You feel apprehensive, self-conscious, nervous, and a little afraid.  You also feel beautiful.  And happy.  And calm.  And…well, it feels right.

There’s no question that what you wear will likely affect your attitude.  Some cis-women feel silly wearing a dress, some cis-men feel stupid in a tuxedo.  But on the flip side, a bright pink dress or a three-piece suit can bring out a sense of confidence and power out of someone.

The first time, or the hundredth time, you have crossed over to a whole new wardrobe will bring out a new, or a suppressed, or a surprising side of you.  For decades this side of me was a secret.  Yes, I came out to two girlfriends in the past, but that was more about underdressing.  One didn’t want to talk about it and the other was really accepting.  But I identified as a crossdresser at that time.  Panties and nighties were really all I wanted to wear.  There wasn’t much to talk about, it was what it was.

I came out to my wife as a crossdresser a few months after we dated.  Once the first few days after the revelation passed, we didn’t talk about it much.  But once I stepped into the next level, we talked about it all the time.  We talked about it when I wasn’t dressed as well as when I was dressed.  For something that we keep a secret and at the same time desperate to share with someone else, it is usually hard to talk about this part of us.

However, Hannah had no problem opening up.  Sitting in our living room, me dressed in everything from mascara to sky-high heels and sharing a bottle of wine, I had no problem talking about…everything.  How did I feel?  AMAZING.  But a little self-conscious.  I felt beautiful but at the same time I felt a little let down that I didn’t look like Sandra Bullock or Dita Von Teese.

I felt vulnerable but comfortable about my feelings.  I felt exposed.  I mean, here I was wearing a beautiful little black dress and lipstick, presenting a side of me that was a hidden secret that was shoved to the back of a closet for years and years.  And here I was…I was OUT.

When people see your hand, you have to play it.

I gave into her.  I let how I was feeling win.  It sounds pretentious and a little odd, but it was a rebirth or a reincarnation.   Just as my wife was getting to know Hannah, I was too.  I was confident and beautiful, insecure and awkward.  I had amazing insights into gender roles and how I understood how humbling putting on makeup or a dress could be.  I wondered how Hannah would fit into my life.

My wife wondered the same thing.

Those first few months my wife and I learned that Hannah was chatty, relaxed, a bit of a gossip and a Taylor Swift fan.  Hannah brought out parts of my male personality that were there but took a little coaxing, a little wine, and a little eyeliner to bring out.  Hannah was “me” with my guard down.

Hannah was chatty and social at home, she wasn’t always thinking about work or what needed to be around the house.  I was curious, excited, and interested to see who Hannah was in the real world.  Me in the real world is a mission of purpose.  If I go to the mall it’s because I need something.  If I go somewhere, it’s because something needs to be accomplished.

But when Hannah goes to Target, yes, she may need something, but she tends to browse around, look at clothes, and take her time.  Interactions with baristas are chattier and friendlier and go beyond simply ordering a cup of coffee.  Hannah talks to cashiers, people in line, she smiles at people who stare at her as they process seeing a t-girl.

It’s not that I am unfriendly or rude when I present as male.  No, I am someone who does things when they need to be done.  I’ll schedule a morning of errands whereas Hannah will happily spend an afternoon simply wandering around a museum.

I am pretty confident in both of my genders, but Hannah has a level that surprises me.  I suppose she needs that if she is going to strut through the Mall of America wearing stilettos and a bodycon dress.  But that confidence is there online, too.  Hannah has no qualms with reaching out to businesses like Glamour Boutique or The Breast Form Store about modeling or product review opportunities.  Could I ever do something equivalent in my male life?  Could I ever be so bold?  I wonder.

Starting the MN T-Girls was probably one of the most significant points in my life.  On one hand, it requires the organization that I excel at so well at in my male life.  But it takes the confidence that Hannah has when it comes to organizing events.  Hannah confidently reaching out to a lingerie store to arrange for a private shopping event is on a level that I have never come close to in my male life.

The MN T-Girls have events that range from going out to dinner to shopping events to holiday parties.  The group was started to help other t-girls feel comfortable in going out and part of that means making sure everyone feels welcome.  When we open up en femme we all feel vulnerable and guarded, but we will also start to let our defenses down.  We have all been there.

At these events Hannah is the hostess.  A role I never thought I would have.  At the annual holiday party she talks to everyone and tries to make everyone feel welcome.  At similar events in male mode I am happy to be more behind the scenes, but Hannah is there in a sequined dress and matching heels shining as bright as a mirror ball.  Hannah is on a social level I never dreamed I, in any gender, could ever be.

At first, my two genders were very different from one another, but over time the best parts of Hannah, the ability to talk about my feelings and thoughts, and her social tendencies spilled over to my male life.  It’s not inaccurate to say that Hannah brings out the best in me, in both sides of me.

Of course, all of this sounds like a psychologist’s dream.  I understand that.  We all have different sides to us.  We all are a little different in different situations.  I am different, in subtle and significant ways, when I am interacting with my work colleagues or having dinner with friends.  How I am dressed impacts my behavior in a way, too.  I tend to be more serious and reserved in a suit and more relaxed in jeans and a t-shirt.

It’s not that much of a stretch to see how being dressed in heels and a skirt can bring out a side of us that a polo shirt and khakis can’t.  Hannah wandering around Sephora with her friends is a different “me” than me trying to find a belt or whatever at Sears.

Although this all may come off as a reason to be examined for having multiple personalities, every t-girl reading this knows exactly what I mean.

What we wear can affect how we feel.  How we feel determines how what we do.  In any gender.  I can’t make it simpler than that.

Love, Hannah

 

 

 

 

 

Keep Trying

…to convince me that Trump and the GOP don’t hate us.

From The Washington Post

New Trump administration rule would weaken protections for transgender people in health care

Under the Obama administration, the Department of Health and Human Services determined that rules against discrimination “on the basis of sex” applied to transgender people. Today HHS proposed a new rule that protections against sex discrimination should apply to “the plain meaning of the term,” an interpretation civil rights groups say may be used to deny care to transgender patients (more here)

From The Intercept

The Trump Administration Wants to Make It Harder for Transgender People to Access Homeless Shelters

The Trump administration on Wednesday announced a new rule that would permit homeless shelters receiving Housing and Urban Development funds to turn people seeking shelter away based on their gender identity.

The plan, which is currently under review by the Office of Management and Budget and could result in a formal change as early as September, would modify the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s 2016 Equal Access Rule. That rule, issued by the Obama administration, required single-sex or sex-segregated shelters to admit people based on their gender self-identification (more here)

Love, Hannah

What is Crossdressing?

I think it’s easy to overthink who we are and why we like what we like.

Why do I like heels?  Why do I wear panties?

I suppose we are a psychologist’s dream, an opportunity to examine and dissect every aspect of our lives to determine why we are who we are.

But the truth is that this is just who we are.  There’s likely no psychological reason for what we wear, just as there likely is no reason someone prefers a particular season over another.  It just is.

I absolutely think there is too much time debating and discussing gender and why someone is who they are.  We simply are who we are.  There are a lot of terms someone can identify with when it comes to gender and I think it’s wonderful there’s so many options, and at the same time I think these labels are there to make others feel comfortable with us.

“Why is that man wearing a dress?”

Because they are transgender.

“Why is that person referring to themselves as ‘they’ and not ‘he’ or she’?”

Because they are agender.

Using a label or a term can help someone put who we are in some sort of framework.  When we say we are transgender, it gives them sort of structure for them to process who we are.

“Oh, you’re transgender, like Chaz Bono or Laverne Cox.”

Well, yes, and no.  Yes, we are transgender, but we are transgender is different ways.  Some trans people take hormones and legally change their name, some happily and deliberately bounce back and forth between gender identity and presentation.

For someone who thinks that we overthink labels and gender, I sure spend a lot of time thinking about them.  I wrote about how my definition of transgender is pretty expansive and inclusive, but I started to think about what crossdressing is.

If I consider my definition of what I feel being transgender is, crossdressing falls under that umbrella.  Some in our community identify as crossdressers but not as transgender.

But what is crossdressing itself?

When I was younger I knew I liked wearing “girls clothes”, but it wasn’t until I was in grade school when my friend mentioned an episode of the Donahue show that featured crossdressers.  As someone who was raised Catholic, that term could have very well meant something religious. I asked her what that word meant and she said it was a word for men who wore girl clothes.

My world exploded.

I never thought there was anything “wrong” with me, but I knew that not many boys dreamed about wearing dresses or sneaking into their mom’s closet and trying on her high heels.  I couldn’t imagine that I was the only one like me, but to learn that there were so many others like me that there was a word for us was a life-changing moment.

I was a crossdresser.

The word, in a way, legitimized who I was.  It explained me. It defined me. It was a word I could use to describe myself.  It was a word I could use instead of telling others that I wanted to, and that I liked to wear makeup, dresses, and, well, girl clothes.  It’s hard to describe, but I suddenly felt better about myself. I wasn’t alone.

As I grew into adolescence and into my teens, I learned that the word wasn’t necessarily one that had many positive associations.  A crossdresser was a freak, an ugly portrayal of women, a pervert, a joke. A crossdresser was someone to be afraid of. Pop culture did no favors to the non-gender conforming community.  Whether it was the Tina character in ‘Funky Cold Medina’ or Bugs Bunny in drag, a boy wearing a dress was played for laughs.

I was crushed.  I was never ashamed about who I was, but instances like these made me more protective and paranoid of my secret more than ever.

The internet wasn’t much help, either.  My first day of college was in 1994 and the web was still a newish thing.  The computers in the library was my first opportunity to look up anything I wanted.  Google wasn’t a thing yet, but I looked for the term ‘crossdresser’ on my very first online search.

Pictures and stories of men wearing lingerie flooded the search results.  I panicked. The last thing I wanted on my first day of college is someone to walk by and see what I was looking at.  I logged off, more dispirited than ever.

Were crossdressers perverts?  Was I? There was never anything sexual in my dressing.  Yes, I loved, and still love lingerie, but that’s not what it was about.  What is more beautiful than a lacy bra and delicate panties paired with stockings?  Dressing was about looking and feeling beautiful. The feeling of belonging that I first felt when I learned that word had completely vanished and I felt more alone and misunderstood than ever before.  I questioned who I was and whether or not the word was right for me.

I hadn’t learned the word ‘transgender’ yet so crossdresser was the only word I knew for someone like me.  So, what were we? What is a crossdresser? This is a discussion many in our community disagree on. I fully accept that there may likely never be a term that is satisfying and universally accepted.  However, I wanted to clarify what I mean when I use this word.

Crossdressing is simply wearing clothes that are typically associated with another gender.

A boy wearing panties, a woman wearing a tie.  That’s crossdressing.

I use the word ‘typically’ with some qualifiers.  I do not think cisgender women wearing pants is considered crossdressing.  Women have been wearing pants long enough for society to accept that women are “allowed” to wear pants.  Yes, there are ties that are made for women, just as there panties that are made for the cisgender male anatomy.  I still think that my example above fits my definition as those clothing items are overwhelming associated with a specific gender.

What crossdressing does for the individual person is as unique as the person.  Someone might feel beautiful, powerful, horny, calm, happy, whatever. I do not believe a crossdresser is necessarily a pervert.  I do not believe everyone who identifies as a crossdresser is wearing what they want for a sexual reason. Yes, there are those that do, but not everyone.

A crossdresser may have a limited scope for what they enjoy wearing.  Some crossdressers may only enjoy wearing high heels or lingerie. For some it’s all about eyeliner and that’s it.  Some crossdressers will wear anything from wigs to stockings to skirts to leggings to jewelry. There’s really no right or wrong way to crossdress.  So, just like my definition of transgender is pretty far-reaching, my definition of crossdressing is just as expansive. I believe that by having an expanded perspective on this word, it makes it more socially acceptable.  It challenges the exhausting, inaccurate, and common ‘crossdressers are perverts” opinion.

Hopefully someday terms like crossdressing won’t need to exist and people can wear whatever they want without people batting an eyelash.  The hill I’ll die on is that there are no such things as boy clothes or girl clothes. They’re just… clothes.

So, what do you think?  Do I get this right or am I far off the mark?

Love, Hannah

 

 

A T-Girl Needs to Shine

I know I stand out.

Not because I am a goddess or the most beautiful girl on the planet, no, I stand out because I am a six foot tall (without heels, and I am never without heels) t-girl who is likely the most overdressed person wherever I am.  I can’t change who I am, so I may as well embrace it and make it work.

For a long time I was afraid to go out because I didn’t “pass” (because there’s no such thing) or blend in.  After a while I was tired of this keeping me from experiencing the world in the way I wanted so I left the house and never looked back.

Some days I stand out a little more because I want to stand out a little more.

I like wearing leather and I have dresses in my wardrobe that might turn a head at the mall, but would barely cause someone to bat an eyelash at a club.  Again, there are times I want to be noticed more than usual.

This dress is designed to get you noticed.  Anywhere.  Ladies, I present to you Glamour Boutique‘s Long Sleeve PVC Dress

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I have a lot of dresses in my closet that I would consider pretty bold, but I think this outshines (literally, look at that glossy finish!) them all.  Made out of PVC, this dress shines bright which is not easy for a black dress to do.

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It’s not always easy for a t-girl to find a dress that fits comfortably across the shoulders and has sleeves that are long enough, so I was thrilled to find that this dress fits like a dream.  PVC/latex/rubber/vinyl/leather are not very forgiving so finding a dress made out of these materials that fits isn’t always easy.  This dress was designed for girls like us and runs true to size.  Take your measurements before ordering.

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Wearing a dress made out of material like this can be a little challenging, but it has a two-way zipper on the front and zips up or down the entire dress.  Simply step into it, and zip it all the way up.

If you want.

The dress is a lot more versatile than it appears as you can adjust how much cleavage or leg you want to show off.036

This is not a dress to wear while running errands.  This is a dress that, to be honest, is not designed to be practical.  Due to the PVC material, the dress is a little… noisy and doesn’t have a lot of stretch in the shoulders once you put it on.

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But that’s not a bad thing.  There are some dresses I wear that show off my legs or my figure.  These are not dresses I wear to the mall and I think every girl needs a few outfits that are designed to do nothing except get you noticed.  Pairing any dress with fishnets and stilettos will give any outfit extra allure and this is no exception.

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There’s no question that a dress like this makes a statement.  Whatever that statement is is up to you.  This is a super fun and super sexy dress.  Yes, not a dress to wear to Target, but it certainly inspired me to think of all the places where I could go in it.  🙂

Love, Hannah

 

Thank you to Glamour Boutique for providing this dress for this review.

Makeup by Corrie Dubay

Photography by Shannonlee McNeely

 

 

My Name is Hannah and I Approve this Message

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Yay!  My first published endorsement!

This is the for the Mane Attraction Enchantress Wig from the Breast Form Store which I wrote a review for recently.  I’m having a lot of fun doing these reviews and I have a couple more dress reviews coming soon.  I hope to continue to more projects like this, so if there is something that you think would be a good product to review, please let me know!

Love, Hannah

 

Our Friend, Corrie

Those schoolgirl days of telling tales and biting nails are gone
But in my mind I know they will still live on and on
But how do you thank someone who has taken you from crayons to perfume?
It isn’t easy, but I’ll try
If you wanted the sky I would write across the sky in letters
That would soar a thousand feet high ‘To Sir, With Love’
The time has come for closing books and long last looks must end
And as I leave I know that I am leaving my best friend
A friend who taught me right from wrong and weak from strong
That’s a lot to learn, but what can I give you in return?
If you wanted the moon I would try to make a start
But I would rather you let me give my heart ‘To Sir, With Love’
-Don Black

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Almost every t-girl in Minnesota knows, or knows of, Corrie Dubay of Femme MakeoversI’ve taken lessons with her, she’s done my makeup for photo shoots, and has been an amazing host for private shopping and makeup demonstrations for the MN T-GirlsHer newsletters highlighting different makeup techniques and tricks have been shared on this site and t-girls across the country rave about her.  She is a jewel in the Twin Cities makeup scene.

But above all, she is my friend and I am lucky to know her.

Many of us saw her most recent newsletter yesterday announcing her move and relocation of her amazing gender transformation studio Femme Makeovers to Las Vegas.  Although I am sad that my friend is moving, I am so excited to see what she does next.

Her latest newsletter announcing her final studio dates is provided below.

Corrie, thank you for all you’ve done.  You will be missed, and you will be remembered as an ally, as an artist without peer, and above all, our friend.  We’re all cheering for you.

XOXO to our favorite makeup guru,

Love, Hannah

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Hello my darlings,

How have you been? Well… I’m going to cut right to the chase – I have some news. It is with an excited (and a little bit sad) heart I announce that my husband, the pups and I will be moving to Las Vegas next month! This is something I’ve wanted to do and thought about for many, many years. It’s really scary but also so very exciting at the same time. I’m not 100% sure what my plans will be other than I want to set up a studio (just like I have here) in Vegas and continue to do the thing I love – which is make you look and feel gorgeous!!!!!

I will keep everyone posted via my website (www.femmemakeovers.com) and newsletter as to what is going on (much of the website and how newsletters are sent will not change). Please bear with as it will take a little bit of time to get situated, find a new studio space, etc., but!!! In the meantime – will most likely be doing on-site work (ie: I would come to you). For now – my email and phone number will all stay the same so feel free to reach out with any questions you have.

What now??? Don’t worry! I will be taking session (both makeup and dress up) appointments through the first week in June. Right now – it looks like June 7th or 8th will be my last day to book anything. If you’ve been wanting to get in to see me – now is your chance! (And may I suggest booking sooner than later so you can get the day/time you want). Otherwise – you’ll have to hop a flight to Vegas and see me out there (which most definitely wouldn’t be a bad thing…if you ask me!) 🙂 If you have questions or want to book an appointment – please email me.

Before I wrap things up – I wanted to touch on two quick things. First – as many of you know – I don’t take any personal photos of the work I do. I do this mainly to protect the privacy of my clients….however – I tend to run into problems when people ask if they can see some of the transformations I’ve done. I have next to nothing to show!!! 😦 If you’ve ever done a session with me and are willing to share any photos we took – please let me know. My plan would be to use them on my website gallery and possibly on Instagram. If that’s something you’d be willing and interested in doing – please email me here for more details. Also – please feel free to share this info with any friends you have – whether it’s here in MN, out in Vegas or anywhere else!! I’ll need all the help I can get with re-establishing Femme Makeovers. THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!

Lastly – I want to say THANK YOU for being such wondering clients. I will miss everyone so much. I have had so much fun over the past few years transforming people…watching someone who I am worried might pass out in my chair from nerves….transform into Sassy Pants rocking a smoky eye, bright red lips and a pair of stilettos. It is one of the BEST feelings in the world to see that attitude and confidence shift. I am so thankful you allow me to be part of such an important part of your life. I thank you for all the fun times and great memories at Suite 267!! I look forward to even more fun, debaucherous times out in Las Vegas though!! STAY TUNED!!!!!! 😀

Okay – I have some packing to do!! If I don’t see you in St. Paul – perhaps on your next trip to Vegas!?!?

XOXO from your favorite makeup guru,

Corrie
FemmeMakeovers

Questions or want to request a session? Call/text (612-860-6739) or email me at: corrie@femmemakeovers.com

Be sure to check www.femmemakeovers.com for more info.