Ask Hannah!

I noticed that you are getting very comfortable wearing sleeveless dresses. You look great wearing them, besides that is what the women wear. So you are fitting in very nicely. I am wondering what advice can you give to t-girls on how to be confident wearing sleeveless tops and dresses? 

I wasn’t always brave enough to wear dresses with thin straps.  I used to think my shoulders and arms were toooooo masculine to wear spaghetti straps.  But I started to take my own advice when I saw a really cute dress that I really wanted to wear.  The hill that I will die on is there is no such thing as passing.  No one has a body that is too tall, too wide, too muscular, too ANYTHING to be femme.  I am a tall t-girl but there are cis-girls that are taller than me.  Are they too tall to be beautiful?  Of course not.  Am I too tall to be beautiful?  Of course not.  Are you too tall to be beautiful?  Of course not.

This is all easier said than done, obviously.  It’s easy to believe something, it’s easy to say this, but doing something requires something else.  For me, it required two things.  I needed to stop caring (and wondering) what other people thought (and that included what I myself thought).  I also needed a reminder that life is short.  When the first weeks of COVID hit life was turned inside out.  Things were falling apart, things were changing quickly.  Things we took for granted, like going outside of the house, seeing friends, and shopping were all very different and weren’t the safest things to do.  I started to think about all the things I still wanted to do and how I didn’t want to live my life with any regrets.  

And yes, it’s shallow but I didn’t want to have a life where I didn’t wear a certain outfit that I loved.  I found a dress that I loved but it would show off my shoulders in a way that I never did before.  I didn’t think I could pull it off.  But fueled by the new uncertainty of the world I bought the dress and I promised myself I would wear it out.

And I DID.  And I looked amazing.  And I know that’s egotistical. 

I wish I had let myself wear dresses like this sooner.  I wish I didn’t let myself stop myself.  Now I have beautiful and fun dresses without sleeves, with halter ties, and thin straps.  I also have a confidence that I didn’t think I would.  

As for advice all I can say is to wear what you want.  Stop caring what others think (because unless you specifically ask someone you won’t know what they think anyway).  In terms of practical advice, have a strapless bra and a cover up.  When I wore the animal print dress in the picture above I had a long cardigan with it.  It was a little chilly that morning and it helped keep me warm, but I also looked at it as armor that I could put back on (or leave on) if I wasn’t quite ready to flaunt what I got.  

I hope this helps!

Related reading

All We Have is Who We Are

Impossible Things

Love, Hannah

Have a question for me?  Oh yes you do.  Ask me here!

5 thoughts on “Ask Hannah!

  1. Hannah, you are fabulous.

    I can remember one of the 1st times I ventured out about 6 years ago. I don’t remember the dress other than I’m sure it was the epitome of conservative meant to not get noticed. I wanted to go into a Starbucks. Pulling into the lot I thought, “oh dear God there are two guys standing right at the door… what are they going to think?” I drove slowly around the parking lot and back around. They not only hadn’t left, they had sat down at one of the tables outside!! I parked for a minute or two. Couldn’t bring myself to get out of the car and walk past them (what are they going to think)????

    I could fill a half dozen pages with stories of interactions after opening my mouth and saying something (I try to soften it, but it doesn’t make it particularly female sounding… whatever female sounding is) … or I take off the mask with no makeup the last year (make-up just turns into a hot mess wearing a mask) … yeah I can start wondering what the person I am interacting with “thinks.”

    I’ve never ask.

    And I’ve gotten to the point where I am going to wear what I want to wear. That includes on occasion a figure skating dress or two that I have in the closet. Saturday, I had an appointment to get the brows waxed. Had a few other errands; just felt like going for it, wore one of the skating dresses… crystals on the bodice, nylons, boots.

    Did I blend in? Not. A. Chance.

    Clerk at CVS (I needed some help finding an item) said she loved the dress. At the bank someone walked up with a somewhat hesitant “excuse me…” (my thought was ‘uh… okay… now what…’ as the guard went up another notch) … she said “you look fabulous!” Didn’t ask them about any assumptions they were, or weren’t, making.

    To anyone reading the comments, wear what you want, what you are comfortable with. Act naturally. Be safe (always) and aware of what is going on around you.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I was the same, until found a turquoise strapless dress that looked great on me. I was indecisive until my GG friend said “buy it and figure out a place to wear it”, so I did–and I wore it out with another GG friend Michelle for a fabulous night out.

    Last year I saw a spaghetti strap orange dress I thought looked good on me. Tried it on, didn’t buy it. Did the same a second time. Third time, I bought it–and I love it. I’ve bought another spaghetti strap dress and a spaghetti strap top since then, and I’ve worn them, along with a bare shoulders dress I absolutely love. Yes, I have male shoulders. No I don’t care.

    One clear advantage is the spaghetti strap/bare shoulders dresses are a lot cooler, which is very useful in summer as wearing a wig is hot. One disadvantage is that you have to up your shaving (or waxing or Nair) game as you have a lot more exposed flesh. Another issue is creating a shape without showing bra straps. Forms means a strapless bra, or attaching the forms I usually wear a heavily padded bra and tuck the straps under the bra or dress.

    But the key is not worrying what people think and wearing what you want to wear with confidence.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am in Phoenix. With breast forms and hip pads; unfortunately even cold shoulder / strapless / hemline a couple inches above the knee (figure skating dress) … 2/3 of the year it doesn’t matter. It’s just hot.

      I have no desire to have SRS. I’m comfortable the gender I was born. Just have a side of my personality which I like to express. All that to say I did start hair removal about 16 years ago which had been an off/on commitment (it’s expensive). Unless it’s on the top of my head… Still working on facial hair. Legs and such are long since done… at the time 16 years ago I worried, “what’s the doctor think?” She’s never batted an eyelash. And for all I know she’s had her fair share of all over hair removal as well…

      A skating dress is the one dress (they are small dresses, and forms do take up room) that I may go without forms. The blue one has a shelf bra. If someone tries really hard, they might imagine an “A cup.” A few weeks ago I stumbled across (if posting a link will work)

      Interesting article. I’ll just focus in on “…the archetypal ballerina is still … negligible breasts and hips…”

      That I didn’t wear breast forms didn’t make me less of a woman than … anyone dancing the Nutcracker. That’s “the hill that I will die on if there is such a thing…”



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