Get Over Yourself and Put on a Nightgown

This post is a little… well, shallow isn’t the right word for it, but it is pretty superficial.

I like to write about things that a lot of us can relate to as I think we all have a lot in common, but please bear with me and humor me if these thoughts don’t necessarily ring true to you.  I acknowledge and can relate that this side of us isn’t just about clothes, for many of this is who we are.  This is our identity.  And!  For some of us this is all really about the clothes.  This little entry is all about the clothes.  

I woke up in one of my black nightgowns about an hour ago and I have spent the morning drinking coffee in leggings.  And it’s been wonderful.  This is how I normally start my day and it’s lot more comfortable (and fun) to begin my morning in leggings instead of jeans.  Nightgowns and leggings are so comfy (and cute!) that sometimes I can’t imagine NOT wanting to wear “girl clothes”.  I absolutely believe that if a guy could get over it and just man up and put on a nightgown he would sleep in them every night.  Same with leggings, and skirts, femme jeans, long cardigans, and so many other things.

Femme clothes are a link to my femme side.  BUT!  Even if I wasn’t bi-gender I would still want to wear femme clothes.  I mean, that’s how this side of me became, well, unlocked.  I understood there was just something about me and my gender identity when I was young and I realized that I wanted to wear skirts and lingerie.  I didn’t want to wear boring, ugly boxers.  I wanted to wear cute panties. 

Realizing that this was not, well, common (as far as I knew), I came to the conclusion that there probably was a reason I was comfortable (and excited) about wanting to wear dresses (and everything else).

Of course this brings up the unanswerable question am I transgender because I wear femme clothes or do I wear femme clothes because I am transgender?  ACTUALLY!  For me it’s not unanswerable.  You don’t need to wear femme clothes to be transgender.  If you are a girl then there’s nothing that says you HAVE to wear a dress to be a girl.  I am still transgender when I am wearing boy clothes, after all.  My definition of transgender is when someone wears (or feels) in such a way that is not commonly associated with societal norms for the gender you were assigned to at birth.  I don’t FEEL like a manly man, at least not the manly man that much of the world thinks of when it comes to manly men.  

What does a MAN do (if we look at common stereotypes)?  A man drinks beer, watches football, and yells a lot.  I mean, I guess.  I don’t do these things.  I wouldn’t describe myself as masculine (other than my physical features).  Men don’t do “sissy stuff” like talking about their feelings or even acknowledging them.  Men certainly don’t want to wear cute clothes.  

But I do.  

As someone who is bi-gender I am comfortable in both of my gender identities.  I am not uncomfortable when I am in boy mode.  Of course when I am in boy mode I might be wearing leggings or sleeping in a nightie.  I am always wearing panties and have smooth, shaved legs.  Even as a boy I have my toes dipped in femme waters.  And I suppose that’s, well, appropriate in a way. 

When I am en femme I have masculine features such as my hands and facial structure.  No matter how cute a dress is it still can’t hide these shoulders.  Minimize them, sure, but they are still there.  They’re ALWAYS there.

I suppose in a way I don’t HAVE a gender since no matter what gender I am presenting as I still have features and thoughts and feelings that are always there, whether I am in a suit or stilettos.  I am both but in mornings like this I am neither.  

I remember growing up and watching the girls in my class in skirts and just thinking it would be so fun to dress like a girl.  Doesn’t a skirt look fun?  And when I finally tried one on I wondered why EVERY boy didn’t want to wear one, regardless of their gender identity.  

I guess the point of this rambling is that girl clothes are so cute and so comfortable and I love being who I am.  I love being completely en femme AND I love being comfortable and secure enough to be able to spend the morning in leggings.  

Love, Hannah

Ask Hannah!

How do you get started?  What costs are involved?

Well, what do you want?

Crossdressing and presenting en femme means something different for every transperson in the world.  And although not all of us identify as trans, I use the term in the context of anyone who wears, well, anything that is not typically associated with the gender they were assigned at birth.  A boy wearing eyeliner, a guy wearing panties under his suit, a drag queen strutting on stage, and someone like myself.  

This little guide I wrote should help you get started, whether you are looking for guidance when it comes to shaving your legs, learning makeup, finding your measurements, and shopping.  

As for cost, this side of me is EXPENSIVE.  I don’t have a curvy shape, but I do when I wear my corset and thigh pads and breast forms.  No one needs to have an hourglass figure (or to fake one) to be femme, but the shapewear and forms helps me look the way I want when I am en femme.

Makeup isn’t cheap, my makeup lesson wasn’t cheap, the heels I strut in aren’t cheap, my gaffs aren’t cheap, my wig isn’t cheap.  It costs a LOT for me to be en femme.  Of course, this is not to say that you need to spend a lot on a wig or anything else, but I have found that (for the most part) you get what you pay for.  A wig that uses real human hair (whether it is 100% human hair or a 50/50 blend with synthetic hair) is a lot more expensive than other options out there, but the quality difference is huge.  I can buy a bottle of Covergirl foundation for ten dollars but it won’t do what I need my foundation to do.  I need my Dermablend to work as a base for color correcting which usually costs around forty dollars.  I can pay a makeup artist for a makeover which will always, always look better than if I do my own face.  Crossdressing takes time, money, and patience.  That’s my reality.

Love, Hannah

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

Ask Hannah!

I am very curious about crossdressing, please let me know where I can shop.

It all depends on what you’re looking for.

Every t-girl/crossdresser is different and we all need and want different things.  Thankfully there are quite a few options out there.  When it comes to retailers that design for and market to our community, I shop online with En Femme, Xdress, Homme Mystere, Glamour Boutique, and the Breast Form Store the most.

I like Xdress and Homme Mystere for their beautiful, feminine lingerie. I like the Breast Form Store for their practical stuff, like forms, pads, and gaffsI like Glamour Boutique if I want something on the sexy side, and En Femme is a wonderful place for day to day clothes.

Love, Hannah

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

Together Alone

The MN T-Girls get together on a monthly basis and it’s lovely catching up with the girls.  Some girls attend each event, some girls I see once or twice a year.  People change and live their lives and it’s not unusual for a little (or a lot) to happen in between the times that I see them.  Girls like us are all on a broad spectrum and we can grow or evolve how we identify over time.  The group has existed for almost ten years (!) now and I’ve met a lot of amazing women through the group.  Some of us, including myself, have changed how we identify.  Some of us are, and will always identify as a crossdresser.  Some of us have shifted to identifying as transgender or gender-fluid.  Some of us have started to take hormones.  

At a recent event some of the girls were chatting about their transitions, including everything from voice lessons to estrogen.  And I”m thrilled for them!  As I mentioned I’ve known a lot of these girls for a long time and it’s lovely to see them on their (ugh) journey.  Some girls feel, or felt that their male lives were almost traumatic, or at the very least, wrong for them.  As someone who is bi-gender I can’t relate.  Which is fine, no one will relate to everyone they meet in every aspect.  I’m comfortable in both of my genders and I don’t feel either is wrong or the real me.  Both of me is me.  

Although I don’t see myself ever taking t-blockers or hormones or transitioning, I still have much in common with these lovely women.  We are still part of the same community, but I have to admit I felt a little out of place.  I didn’t belong in that conversation and I couldn’t relate.  Which is fine, promise!  No one can be a part of every conversation, no one can relate to every experience or feeling.  

For a community as diverse as ours, it’s not surprising to see that there is a wiiiiide array of people and their lives.  The non-cisgender community can range from crossdressers to drag queens to people who have transitioned and many of us fall somewhere in all of that.  I know I do.  I do think diversity is important in any group and community and although I can’t relate to someone feeling anxious about their gender identity or wanting to take hormones, I do enjoy getting to know people.  It’s fascinating to hear about other people and their lives and their own experiences and their perspectives on gender and identity.  We are a beautifully diverse community.  

The diversity of the community is also on full display online.  I’ve written before about looking up crossdressing the very first time I went online almost thirty years ago and being a little shocked that most of what I found was very sexual and seem to suggest that crossdressing is a fetish.  And it is!  For some of us.  And that’s okay.  Over time and through my own experiences and by meeting others I’ve learned that one segment of a community doesn’t necessarily reflect the entire community.  Yes, some of us are aroused by lingerie or thigh high boots and what have you, but there are some of us who feel a sense of peace when we are en femme.  Two sides of a coin, but both still part of a very diverse community.  

Although my first awakening that all of THIS was a fetish for some was a long time okay, even today the internet can often still seem like crossdressing is ONLY a fetish.  I am pretty active onTwitter and I seem to attract a lot of chasers and fetishists there.  I will get comments and likes and followers from men who have account names along the lines of “TGURL-LOVR” or whatever.  And look, I am not calling anyone out or kink-shaming anyone.  As long as someone isn’t hurting someone else, then a fetish or what (or who) is attracted to is (usually) pretty harmless.  I do try to keep up with who is interacting and commenting on my tweets and I have no problem blocking or muting someone if the comments get sexual.  I have a real problem when someone comments about how much they want to kiss or have sex with me.  I mean, I can’t control what arouses someone, but for god’s sake restrain yourself.  Please keep your comments respectful.

I get a little… well, tired of the seemingly endless messages and comments from fetishinst and chasers that are very sexually charged.  Look, I get why some people might think that this side of me is a fetish and that I might want to engage with someone who feels the same way.  This side of me is not, and never was a fetish.  Not really.  Just as surprising that others were aroused by crossdressing, I am sure others are surprised that I am not.  

There are those who dress up because it arouses them.  And that’s fine!  You go girl.  It’s not unusual to see someone dress up in lingerie and post rather… ah, personal and intimate photos of themselves.  Again, I am not kink-shaming anyone but that’s not for me.  That’s not me.  But in a way people who do that are still part of my community (if we define a community as a non-cisgender community).  

My point is that it’s easy to feel out of place in the transcommunity.  And before I go any further I want to make it clear that I am not equating someone wanting to transition to a fetishist.  The point that I am trying to make is that with a community as diverse as ours it’s not unusual for us to feel a disconnection with others within our community.  And that’s fine!  Really.  No one is going to be able to relate to everyone, even if there is something that we all have in common.  A fetishist, a crossdresser,  someone who loves the sissy lifestyle, a hardcore transactivist, someone who is genderqueer… we are all part of the transcommunity in our own ways.  What unites us is that there is a side of us that feels drawn to a world and a wardrobe that is different from what society expects us to live in or wear.  

I often feel out of place no matter where I am.  That feeling is likely due to my introvertness as opposed to my gender identity, though.  I felt out of place all those years ago when searching for ANYTHING related to crossdressing online resulted in pages and pages of people turned on by crossdressing.  I felt out of place when listening to girls like me chatting about transitioning. Both of these extremes are part of the very community that I identify with and it’s a little uncomfortable feeling out of place within your community but I suppose it’s not uncommon to feel out of place within your own family as well.

Please understand.  I am not expecting (nor do I want) every conversation I am near to be one that I can relate to.  I would be mortified if a conversation shifted because I joined it.  My point is it’s easy to feel alone in this life, it’s easy to feel out of place.  It’s easy to feel like you don’t belong.  I feel that way in a lot of aspects in my life.  But take comfort in that there are more like YOU than you know.  If you feel like hormones and transitioning is for you, then you are not alone.  If you feel like you have more than one gender and are happy with that, you are not alone.  If you do drag, you are not alone.  If you wear panties under your boy clothes, you are not alone.  If you are aroused by revealing lingerie, you are not alone.  If this side of you brings pure joy and happiness and peace, you are not alone.  

There are countless others like me, others who don’t feel turned on by lingerie (please note that feeling beautiful and feeling aroused are not the same thing), others who don’t feel uncomfortable in their boy lives, others who are happy with all of their genders.  I need to remind myself that although my friends within the transcommunity, all have different journeys and feelings and experiences and perspectives, we are still in the same community.  They are not alone in how they feel, and although I may feel differently than someone else, I am not alone either.   

Love, Hannah

Ask Hannah!

I enjoy your site and frequent it fairly regularly, but I keep wondering why you keep doing all these photo shoots. Do you pay for these yourself, with maybe some being covered by some of the companies you review? If you pay for them yourself, what purpose do they serve? Is it just to have photos for your blog posts?

This is an excellent question.

One reason I do photo shoots is to take pictures for products I am reviewing.  It’s one thing to talk about how amazing breast forms are or how cute a dress is, it’s another to show something off.  I believe it also lends some credibility to whatever it is I am writing about, too.  Usually when I do a photo shoot it is because I was sent something to review and if I am going to do all the work to plan a shoot for one outfit or product, I may as well take other photos too.  Some shoots are paid by the company I am modeling for, and some I pay for.

Of course, not every shoot is for a product review.  Some shoots are to mark a milestone, in a way.  Last year I did a shoot that featured a couple of outfits that I never thought I’d be brave enough to wear… but I got over it.  I had always wanted to wear dresses with halter and/or thin straps but I was afraid that my shoulders were too masculine to pull them off.  My body didn’t change, it was still the same as it always was, but what shifted was my thinking and I stopped caring about how my shoulders looked.  I did the shoot to symbolize my, uh, getting over it. 

I did another shoot in May of this year that I jokingly referred to a “Because I’m Alive” shoot.  I was feeling a mix of gratitude and joy and elation from simply being happy with life and bought some super cute dresses to wear.

I would be remiss if I didn’t admit that some shoots are done for sheer vanity.  I like how I look, I love looking at photos of myself in a cute dress and an amazing makeover.  I also try to keep my website fresh with recent photos and regular shoots are a good way to do that.

I do shoots for a variety of reasons, and they are a lot of work.  But I wouldn’t do them if they weren’t fun, either.  It’s a lot of fun to work with my friend and photographer and to shoot in places she picks.  Whether we’re shooting in downtown Minneapolis or at a park or in a cool hotel, she has a good eye for interesting and fun locations.  She’s also great at getting the right angle and pose and lighting so getting the photos back is also a lot of fun and validating.  I want to look cute, I want to look feminine and seeing photos that capture this side of me makes me incredibly happy.

Love, Hannah

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

Ask Hannah!

Sometime ago you reviewed some silicone thigh pads and you really liked them. Some time has passed since then and maybe you could update us on your experience with them?  They look great when you’re standing, but what are they like in the rest of your daily life, e.g. sitting, walking, crouching, picking up something off the floor, lying down on your back or on your stomach or on your side?  Have you ever slept with them? Or ride a bicycle with them?

I still wear them, and I still heart them.  They give me a figure that I want, but one I don’t have.

Like most things related to crossdressing, there is a bit of a learning curve but they really didn’t take long for me to get used to them.  I wore them in boy mode under femme jeans for the first few days and I was delighted by how well they stayed on and never moved around.  There is an adhesive that comes with them but I don’t use it as they stay in place just fine.  They move with me, although it takes a LITTLE time for them to stay in the same place. 

When I first put them on for the day they move around a tiny bit but it doesn’t take long for them to stay secured and move effortlessly with them.  Your body temperature and your skin’s heat help keep them in place.  When I wear them, I will be wearing either tights (which helps them stay in place since they rest on my thigh and the side of my stomach) or stockings and my corset.  The corset helps keep the top of the pads in place and the stockings keep the bottom of the pads where they belong.  They move with me, whether I am sitting or getting in or out of a car, kneeling down, going up and down stairs, or laying down.  Honestly I forget I have them on (until I see a mirror or my shadow and it’s like va-va-voom).  Compare the two pictures below. The first is with thigh pads, the second is without. HUGE difference.

The only… well, I hate to call it a downside, but something to remember that since they change your shape (which is what I want), they do, well, change your shape.  I will try on a dress in boy mode and it’ll fit fine, but when I start getting ready and wear my thigh pads and breast forms I have different measurements and the dress doesn’t fit properly.  Since I’ve gotten my thigh pads I’ve learned to take my measurements with my thigh pads on.  

They are versatile, beautifully made, and essential.  I have never ridden a bike with them but I’m sure I could.

Love, Hannah

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

Time, Money, and Patience

If I have a philosophy, it’s “crossdressing takes time, money, and patience”.

This side of us takes time because we learn over time.  We get better at makeup the more often we put makeup on.  None of us are born with a steady hand and are able to do a perfect cat-eye every time we wear eyeliner.  Time is also essential when it comes to embracing this side of us.  I fully believe we are born this way, even if this side of us doesn’t “wake up” until later in life.  I was always this way but when I was very young and I saw the mannequins at JC Penney wearing beautiful lingerie… well, something just clicked.  Like a butterfly pushing its way out of a cocoon.  It took time to acknowledge this side of me, to accept it wasn’t a phase, and to embrace who I was.  Each stage took time, it took a long time to get to where I am today.

Crossdressing or presenting en femme isn’t cheap, at least it isn’t for me.  Sure, I can put panties or a nightgown on and I am crossdressing.  It’s about as inexpensive as crossdressing gets.  But being en femme is another story altogether.  Before I even get dressed or put on makeup, I am wearing my breast forms, thigh pads, and corset.  All of these things give me the figure I want when I am en femme and these things are not cheap.  For me, they’re worth the cost as I look at them as an investment and I see the return on my investment every time I am dressed up.  It sounds silly but when I see a curvy figure in my shadow I get a little thrill.  Clothes aren’t cheap, makeup isn’t cheap.  I had a makeup lesson a few years ago which wasn’t free but again, it was an investment.  Photo shoots, which I acknowledge are not something every t-girl does, take a lot of work and money from booking the studio, getting outfits, paying my photographer, and a professional makeover.  We learn a lot when we build our wardrobe and buy makeup.  If we don’t know how to find our measurements we likely will waste a lot of money on clothes that don’t fit.  You (for the most part) get what you pay for when it comes to makeup.  Sure, foundation from Walgreens might be 5-6 dollars, but that won’t work when it comes to what I need foundation to do.  I need my foundation to mix well with color correcting and to cover my facial hair and to act as a good base for more foundation for contouring.  The foundation I need runs about $40.  

And finally, patience.  This is the hardest part for me.  It was very disheartening to see how I looked the first time I did my own makeup.  The first time I wore a wig.  I expected to be totally transformed but I looked like the boy me in bad makeup and a cheap wig.  I mean, that’s not unfair to say.  The wig was cheap (there’s the money part again), and my makeup was rushed (oh, and here’s the time thing again).  I expected to look AMAZING the first time I did my own makeup but I was… well, I didn’t look amazing.  It was a little discouraging and I COULD have given up on all of this (I mean, not really, I can’t quit being trans no more than I can quit being tall or being right-handed) but I tried again the next weekend after my wife showed me a little more technique when it came to my foundation and reading more about color correcting.  I looked a little better, at at least, a little less terrible.  Patience was also key when it came to wearing a proper corset.  Corsets require seasoning (essentially breaking them in) and the first time I wore my current corset I thought I would DIE after a half hour.  It was painful and I couldn’t see how on earth I could get used to it.  But I kept at it followed the instructions and took my training seriously.  These days I can wear my corset for ten hours without even noticing it.  Thank god I invested my time and was patient with it.

I got to thinking about all of this a couple weeks ago when I was getting dressed.  In the early days my wife and I would have a girls night on Saturdays and I would get dolled up.  It took about thirty minutes to get dressed and do my makeup.  These days it takes that same amount of time to just put on my corset, stockings, pads, and forms.  Being en femme takes more prep work and planning than it used to.  For example, for the longest time I wore nylons or tights and I could wear a short dress or skirt without thinking about it.  These days I prefer stockings held up by garters attached to my corset.  A short skirt can show my garters and stocking tops and I don’t want to do that.  I mean, it’s kind of sexy to do that (if that’s the effect I am going for) but it’s not appropriate for a day at the mall.  So my outfit is planned around my corset, in a way but usually my outfits are built around the heels I am wearing that day, and my heels are planned on what I am doing.  If there’s a lot of walking or standing I’ll wear certain heels compared to my six inch platform stilettos.  Once I have my heels chosen then my outfit comes next.  My makeup is usually done to watch my outfit, not only in terms of colors and shades, but also in terms of, well, intensity and drama.  If I am wearing a bright flowery dress than my makeup is more colorful and cute.  Leather or a little black dress?  Vamp me up.

I have come a long way, even in the last five years, and it’s all due to these three things.  I get asked a lot about how does one crossdress and yes, I can be bitchy and tell them to wear panties or lipstick and ta-da, you’re crossdressing.  But that’s not helpful.  Crossdressing requires a wardrobe of course, no matter how big or small it is.  I mean, you can’t crossdress without SOMETHING, but once you start thinking about this other than about clothes, you need to know that this is a side of yourself that you need to invest your time in, spend your money on, and be kind to yourself while you are being patient.

Love, Hannah

Ask Hannah!

My problem is that the caps in wigs aren’t deep enough for men, they don’t stay on. I need to find a way to keep a wig on to the point that if I had my hair pulled it would really be hard for it to be taken off or fall. 

Like almost everything else we want to wear, wigs come in different sizes.  Before shopping for a wig, measure your crown (basically the top of your head) so you know what size you are.  Some wigs are adjustable, most have an elastic band so there is a little stretch.  Wigs can be pricey (remember, crossdressing takes time, patience, and money) so it’s important that you do your research before you buy.  Reading descriptions and online reviews (if possible) are pretty helpful.  

There are ways to secure your wig including clips and even glue.  Depending on what method you use it may not withstand getting pulled hard, of course.  I have found online tutorials and YouTube videos on drag to be especially helpful when it comes to wearing wigs.  As most drag queens perform it’s pretty essential that their fabulous hair stays in place so some of the tricks they use are very helpful for everyday wear.

Related reading


Love, Hannah

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