I think almost every dress, every stiletto, everything in my closet (or in my storage… still unpacking all of my clothes after the move…) has a story. Some are more interesting than others.
Shopping can be cathartic. It’s not unusual for me to buy an outfit BECAUSE of SOMETHING.
“I’m having a good day! Let’s buy a dress to celebrate!”
“I’m having a bad day! Let’s buy a dress to turn things around!”
“It’s Tuesday! Let’s buy a dress!”
And so on. It usually doesn’t take much.
A few months ago I finished a very annoying day at work and had to run some very annoying errands I had been putting off. I was feeling kinda bitchy about EVERYTHING. I get a lot of emails from my favorite websites announcing sales or new products and The Breast Form Store added some new dresses to their site.
The accompanying photo in their email showed a Very Cute Dress with a pair of pink heels. It was like… this email was made for me. An outfit can often inspire a moment that I want to have. After an annoying day at work this outfit made me want to get dolled up and spend the day en femme and take a break from angry bosses and pointless daily reports.
I ordered the dress from the parking lot of one of the places I was running an errand to and a few days later this cute dress was delivered.
I had an upcoming photo shoot (big shock, right?) but between my makeover and when I had to be at the studio I did a little shopping (another big shock!) and guess what?? This dress + shopping was exactly what I needed. And yes, I paired it with pink heels.
When I was in my late teenage years and in my early twenties I was, in a way, just starting out. I had been trying on femme clothes for my entire existence but at this point in my life I was beginning to shop for my own clothes… clothes I didn’t have to sneak from my sisters.
This took a new set of skills. Not only did I need to learn about sizes and what would fit me (of course, there is no consistency when it comes to this) but I also had to, hm, be stealthy about this.
I had to learn about to browse through the lingerie department of a store so I wouldn’t stand out or draw too much attention to myself. I couldn’t look like I was shopping for my own wardrobe. I had to be quick but careful.
Selecting new panties also had the inevitable experience of interacting with the cashier, the arch enemy of a closeted crossdresser. Fortunately these days there’s the option of online shopping and self-checkout.
BUT! There’s also the reality that no one really cares. I worked retail in my teens and unless the customer was behaving very oddly I immediately put them out of my mind once I handed them their receipt. Yes, many, MANY men bought femme clothes and I knew WHY they were likely buying a bra. After all, I am One Of Them.
But even if I wasn’t? Let’s face it, people, of any gender, tend to buy lingerie for themselves.
Customers asked the same questions I did when I would shop for femme clothes. “If this doesn’t fit HER (implying they were buying stockings for a lady), can SHE return it?” Oh, I must have thought I was so clever when I asked the clerk these and similar questions. I felt that this line of dialogue would dispel any suspicion that I was buying this cute matching bra and panty for myself.
There are businesses in many cities that are frequented by masculine presenting people who are buying femme clothes. It’s not uncommon for these shops to be more on the fetishy side that sell size 15 stilettos, for example. I would shop at stores like these and the clerks knew I was looking at heels for myself so both the staff and I could drop any charade. Thank God.
Years ago, I was feeling particularly brave one evening. I was also feeling… hm, defiant? Apathetic? I was in the final days of a relationship that was ending and I was feeling a combination of excitement of a new start and anger and sadness over the break up. I hold no ill will towards her. We were both young and both navigating relationships and the new world that one in their early twenties is learning to live in.
She was the first person I ever came out to and well, it didn’t go well. Again, I have no ill will towards her because of this. We were both young and this was decades ago. Living outside the gender binary was not as common as it is now. PLUS! you can be as accepting and supportive of the LGBTQ+ community as you possibly can be… but it’s still a little weird and takes some getting used to when it’s your own significant other telling you that he likes to wear lingerie and high heels.
Since the relationship was on life-support and the plug was getting pulled any minute I saw no reason why I shouldn’t go shopping for lingerie and stilettos. Out of respect for my soon-to-be ex I didn’t dress (well, not that often) while we dated but there was nothing stopping me anymore.
I can’t remember the name of the business I visited and they are no longer operating but this particularly shop sold everything from PVC dresses to skyscraper heels to fetish wear to, well, normal clothes. I tried on a few dresses and heels and the salesgirl and I were chatting openly about, well, THIS side of me.
She opened the glass display case under the register and brought out a pair of breast forms. I immediately felt I was at a precipice of a new world. I was faced with crossing a threshold of my gender identity. Was THIS side of me only about clothes or was there something MORE? Did I simply like to wear lingerie OR was there possibly another gender identity sleeping in my heart? Breast forms symbolized the transition of wearing femme clothes to, well, presenting en femme.
I’m sure it was no more than a few moments but it felt like a lifetime passed as I considered purchasing them. I declined but happily bought a pair of black patent stilettos that would ultimately be purged as the cycle of buying femme clothes and tossing them a few days or weeks later would continue as it would for the next decade.
In retrospect I realize I was contemplating this side of me on a level I had never really considered too deeply before. Was THIS about wearing girl clothes or was THIS about presenting as a girl or was THIS about wanting to BE a girl?
Years would pass until I accepted and embraced what THIS was all about. It’s not just one easy answer. I love “girl” clothes. I’ll wear panties and leggings and nightgowns until I breathe my last breath. I love looking cute and having my makeup done. I love interacting with the world as a girl.
…but transitioning? No. That’s not the right direction for me.
For me, presenting en femme is a combination of a wig, makeup, jewelry, heels, clothes, and SHAPE. I am not trying to pass and I don’t believe in it and even if I did I have no illusion about my ability to blend in. I don’t try to “pass” or blend but I do want to look as femme as I can. There is a difference.
When I started to get serious about “real” clothes I started to invest a lot of time (and money) into my look. The right outfit, the right style, the right color, the right fit, the right everything. Most of us know that a dress looks and fits differently in boy mode vs girl mode. I have some dresses that zip up fine in boy mode but when I have my thigh pads and breast forms? That zipper is not going to zip. I also have dresses that look very unflattering in boy mode but look A-MAZ-ING when I have my corset on.
Through the trial and error of wearing femme clothes you start to learn the nuances of sizing and how inconsistent they are. If you order a dress online or buy heels without trying them on you quickly learn that sizes are more or less arbitrary. Sure, I may be a 12 dress size and most of my stilettos are also a 12… but that number means little when I am out shopping. It’s all about what FITS and what you feel when you wear an outfit.
Since we roll the dice on clothes when it comes to sizing and discovering our style we realize that THIS side of us requires time, money, and patience. It demands a financial investment. That’s NOT to say you NEED a pair of $400 thigh pads or a $200 corset, but whether it’s a pair of cheap panties or the lowest priced lipstick at the store, if you want SOMETHING, be it femme clothes or anything else, you’re PROBABLY going to have to spend money on it.
I don’t mean to trivialize gender identity or gender presentation but if I overly simplify who I am then I must accept that THIS can be, and for me it IS, a very expensive “hobby”.
I had no issue or qualms about dropping money on new shoes or outfits when I expanded my wardrobe from lingerie to proper clothes. Indeed, I was probably a little too… eager to do this and was very much lost in the Pink Fog. But I was always hesitant to invest in forms. It was more appealing to spend $400 on dresses and heels than to spend the same amount on pads.
Eventually I did order a pair of breast forms. But they weren’t REAL forms, mind you. Just a simple pair of silicone padded forms. But they did the trick. Not only on a practical and visual level, but they also impacted me on an… emotional(?) level. That’s not to say I was brought to tears or anything but I loved how they looked and how they made me feel. LOOKING pretty and FEELING pretty don’t always go hand-in-hand.
A few years ago I was sent a pair of forms by the amazing goddesses at The Breast Form Store. To say they changed my life would be an understatement. I felt… and looked amazing. I felt femme, I LOOKED femme. I couldn’t imagine dressing without them.
Whether it’s an iPhone or breast forms, things tend to be redesigned and improved. If you had asked what could be done to improve the forms I was sent I would be at a loss for words (yes, this CAN happen, lol). If anything, I felt that the nipple on these forms was a little too… ah, pronounced. It seemed like I was always nipping out no matter if I was wearing a tight dress or a padded bra.
Buuut I was delighted to find out how wrong I was. I was provided a pair of The Breast Form’s newest forms last year to review and I am delighted to share my thoughts after months of wearing them.
Their website describes the Hera as the ULTIMATE, most PERFECT crossdresser breast forms ever! I mean, that’s a pretty bold and definitive statement. But my God, they’re right, “It’s not bragging if it’s true”, as the saying goes.
If you’ve never worn forms before, terms like “silicone” mean very little. When it comes to forms, in my opinion, it comes down to how they LOOK and how they FEEL. The Breast Form Store’s website has a nice description of the, ah, technical aspects of these amazing forms so let’s chat about my experiences.
I don’t have natural breasts so I can’t comment on whether or not they feel NATURAL. However, I can absolutely attest to how they move with me. How they bounce when I strut. How I can wear them and feel their weight.
The Hera is described as “squishy” which sounds unappealing but it’s a perfect word. I’ve worn my Heras with sports bras and with lingerie and practical bras and there’s been no issue. My forms responded to my tight sports bra and they present themselves in all their cleavage glory when I wear a push-up bra.
There are many options when it comes to the Hera in terms of customization. I provided The Breast Form Store with my measurements and I feel and look proportionate with these forms. Simply put I am amazed at how natural and real I look and feel.
For over a year I’ve worn them each time I’ve gone out, whether it’s a day of shopping or for a photo shoot. Whether sitting, standing, walking, or laying down my forms move with me and rest in a natural way.
Are these forms cheap? No. Are they an investment? Absolutely. Do you NEED forms to be femme? Of course not. Will they help you “pass”? Well, I don’t believe in “passing” as this side of us is for US and what we want to wear and how we feel and think about ourselves.
If you are considering forms, whether it’s time for an upgrade or you’re ready for your first pair, I hope you consider the Hera.
Thank you for your blog. It helps people like me, who often feels alone, because I have what I call dual identity and I find it not always easy to find the right balance in my life. The reason I am righting to you is that I was wondering if you could give me some advice. It is related to wigs.
I think your wig(s) suit you quite well, and I was wondering how you found it. I live in Canada, and it is very rare to find a wig store, and my experience with a few of them them have been disappointing. I have quite a big head and all the wigs I saw in the stores that I went to ere either too small or unflattering.
So, I tried buying wigs online and this also have been disappointing, because you only know when you receive them if they suit you or not. I must have bought over a dozen, and only two of them were partly ok. They fit me, and did not look too bad on me, but I am only half happy when I wear them. And they are starting to get worn out. So I was wondering if you tried your wigs in a store or online.
Do you have any tips on how to find a good one? I hope my questions are clear. Thank you for your work and your smile.
Thank you for your kind words! I bought my current wig at Creative Hair Design. I wasn’t tooooo sure about it when I first tried it on but the more I wear it the more I like it.
I have had a lot of wigs over the years and I have purchased most of them online, specifically from Wigs Us.
Finding the right wig is a lot of trial and error. Wigs can be made of different fabrics. Heat-resistant tend to be the most affordable but are a bitch to take care of and tend to wear out sooner. Human hair (that sounds so creepy) are expensive and require a lot of care but in the long run tend to be a very good investment.
Many wigs are adjustable so there is that.
Buying wigs online opens up a lot of options buuuut if you select one that is not the right look for you then you’re kind of stuck with it as you usually can’t return it. If you have the option to visit a wig salon then do it. I’ve shopped for wigs in person many times and yes, every experience has been positive. Businesses will vary and people will react differently to a girl like us but I’ve never EVER had a “non crossdresser friendly” experience at a wig shop.
If there are not a lot of options for wig shops in your area, well, it might be time to take a trip to a larger city with more options. Is this expensive? Yes. Finding our look, a look we are happy with, a look that is truly US is an investment. This side of us takes time, patience, and money.
I absolutely believe that t-girls and non-binary people EVOLVE. I have a love/hate relationship with the term JOURNEY… it’s cliched and makes it sound the challenges and bliss that we experience are almost trivial and naïve. I suppose it’s probably one of the more appropriate terms for our lives, though.. But like a stiletto that is a half-inch too small, it doesn’t quite fit right.
Maybe evolution is a better term? I mean, we start with this longing in our heart for pretty clothes or we become aware that the gender everyone says we are isn’t quite right. As time passes and as we experience, uh, experiences we start to realize that the world is bigger than black and white… and pink and blue.
We go from wondering what it would be like to wear a dress to being conflicted by this desire… and then we go from looking at them at the store or online to plucking up the courage to buying it… sooner or later we are wearing it… perhaps in our living room with the curtains pulled… and then maybe one day we are rocking it at the mall.
I heart lingerie and I’ve gotten past any reservation and shyness when it comes to showing off my, ah, intimate apparel (as the department stores call it). A big part of why I love lingerie shots is because of what they represent to me.
Not only are they a reflection of confidence (I mean, I think it’s pretty brave to do this) but it’s also (at least to me), the ultimate final strut of my personal journey/evolution when it comes to how I feel about my body.
Dysphoria is a bitch and over the years I have hid my shoulders or have been too terrified to leave the house because I didn’t “pass”. I went through (and still do) periods where I believed that certain parts of me were too masculine to wear ANYTHING, especially if it was a dress with thin straps.
But thankfully I have moved past that. Of all the things I’ve accomplished or will accomplish in my life, getting over the invalid thoughts that held me back will always be my biggest victory.
Someone dressed in lingerie is showing the WORLD (or just their partner) their body. Every beautiful “flaw” and every beautiful imperfection.
Complete vulnerability. Letting your guard down is intimate and courageous.
When I was growing up it was the scariest and bravest thing in the world to let my eyes linger a little tooooo long at the pretty dress the mannequin at the department store was modeling. Over time I found the courage to follow my heart when it came to beautiful clothes, especially when it comes to what we wear that only we ourselves see. Eventually I found myself (trembling all the while) wandering around the lingerie sections feeling completely giddy and overwhelmed and terrified. It felt like it took forever to take the step when it came to buying panties. And then a bra. And then stockings. And then everything else.
It was braver still to wear them, even in the quiet privacy of my own apartment. It felt like conquering a mountain the first time I underdressed outside my home or slept in a nightgown.
But I did these things. I did more than these things.
Everything about me had to evolve. How I felt about crossdressing itself to how I felt about my body to finding the courage to learn my measurements and how sizing in femme clothes worked.
But I did it! And everyone reading this evolved in some way. Whether you are wearing panties under your boy clothes or you strut out the door en femme every day or have simply and quietly acknowledged that you WANT to explore this side of you… you’ve made progress.
I am new to your blog so pardon my question that may have already been answered. My question is what service do you use for your pictures? Do they do all you make up? Do they supply clothes, or are you on your own for that?
I don’t use a service for my shoots. My photo shoots are very similar to putting together an outfit. Your heels might be from one store, your skirt might be from one designer and your blouse might be from a different brand… but somehow it all comes together.
I have worked with the same photographer for almost six years now and we’ve become really good friends. When I am feeling self-indulgent or when I am asked to review/model an outfit I reach out to her and schedule a shoot.
Similar to my photographer, I get my makeup done by an artist that I have been working with for about two years.
Studios and locations for shoots are almost always found and booked by my photographer. Typically all costs associated with my shoots are paid for by me, whether it’s hiring my photographer, paying for my makeover, or booking a studio.
The outfits I wear for my shoots are either from my own wardrobe or are provided to me for the purposes or writing a review or for modeling… typically for En Femme.
Life is about LEARNING and gaining new perspectives often from other people’s experiences. Walk a mile in someone else’s shoes… or in our case, strut through the mall in someone else’s five inch black patent stilettos.
When I was younger I attended Catholic school and there was a uniform and yes, it was the plaid jumper and skirt for the girls. For boys? Well, what else are boys “allowed” to wear? PANTS.
To be fair, no one is prohibited (in the legal sense… at least not as of this writing) to wear what they choose. I heart skirts but I don’t wear them in male mode.
My sisters HATED wearing the skirt. Most of the girls in my class did as well. When the weather became colder they were allowed to wear pants and most of the girls did so as soon as they could.
I mean, I don’t blame them. It gets cold in Minnesota and I know from experience how chilly and tricky it can be walking in heels on an icy sidewalk in January.
But oh, it’s worth it.
Weather and temperature aside, I couldn’t understand why most of the girls I knew jumped at the chance to not wear a skirt when I wanted to wear one so so so badly.
(Of course, I tried on my sisters’ uniform when I had the chance and it was EVERYTHING I had dreamed of. But I digress.)
Growing up I was good friends with a girl who had a huge impact on THIS side of my life. She was the one who first told me what crossdressing was. I didn’t know there was a word for people like myself. It is no exaggeration to say that no word in any language has had the same impact on who I was, who I am, and who I will always be than the word CROSSDRESSER.
The second thing she said that had a huge effect on my perspective on femme clothes was a few months before we, along with most of our class, were scheduled to start college.
We were discussing music and I had brought up the aforementioned song. I had heard it on the radio recently and I had speculated on what it meant.
Do you remember those days? The moment you realized that not everything was literal? That songs and creative works often had subtle meanings? Metaphors, symbolism… they were everywhere and it was fun to interpret what the artist or novelist or musician was actually saying… when it was different that than the words they were using.
My friend glared at me as if I was the most clueless person on the planet. You know that look. Like, only a boy could be THIS stupid. She patiently and kindly explained that the character in the song must really like someone if she wanted to wear dresses for them.
I was like… so?
Again, she patiently explained that most girls HATE wearing dresses. Dresses, skirts, every heel that I longed to wear were not things most girls liked wearing. Essentially, her perspective was that the character in the song was willing to tolerate wearing a dress for the person she was crushing on.
My mind was blown.
I had NO idea that so many girls hated wearing dresses and skirts. Over the years I heard this same thing. Of course, some girls heart skirts and stilettos but the majority of them? Not so much.
Please don’t misunderstand me. This is not meant to throw shade at girls who choose not to wear dresses or other items that WE want to. Everyone should have the freedom (in a societal sense) to wear what they choose. A girl can wear whatever she damn well pleases. After all, they fought for this right.
As my relationships with cis women matured over time, I had new glimpses into the reality of their lives (particularly their wardrobes). Most girls I lived with, be it a roommate or a girlfriend or my wife, took off their bra as soon as they could. They couldn’t wait to change out of their skirt into comfy clothes. Most girls hated bridesmaid dresses even though I couldn’t get enough of mine.
Teenage me wasn’t able to comprehend that. But grown up me? Yes, I get it. I can even relate. As much as I love my corset and how it makes me look, there is a certain feeling of comfort when I unhook and uncinch it. I have Very Cute heels and Very Sexy stilettos… but my feet do feel better when I slip (or unfasten) them off.
When I am en femme I am always in heels and a dress (except for a few outfits I modeled for En Femme or when I took that yoga class). It’s inconceivable for me think of Hannah in slacks.
But being en femme is a treat for me. It’s fun to dress cute. It’s a wonderful break from my boy life and my boy clothes. I know myself well enough that if I were to transition I would wear dresses or skirts every day… for a while. I have lazy days in male mode and I know I would have lazy days en femme. I know there would be days I would opt for leggings and a t-shirt and minimal makeup.
Time and experiences (both my own and listened to) have shaped my perspective on many things, especially clothes.
I had a little time to kill between my makeover and my last photo shoot so guess what I did? I went SHOPPING.
There a couple of thrift stores somewhere in-betweenish of where I had my makeup done and the photo studio and sometimes I get lucky and sometimes I don’t.
I had my outfits packed for the shoot and I seem to be running out of dresses in my wardrobe that I like enough to wear for photos but there was one dress that I selected that I wasn’t sure would fit right. It was a bodycon dress that I found at another thrift store (I be thriftin’) and it was meant to be tight (God knows that’s what I look for in a dress) aaaand it fit fairly well.
The problem was that it was a larger size than what I normally wear. Prior to COVID I was consistently a size 12. When lockdowns kicked in I wasn’t able to hit the gym. Like, at all. I started to gain a little weight (I be snackin’) and it was… well, frustrating to see some of my favorite outfits didn’t fit the way they used to.
As things reopened I was able to go back to working out but had a hard time getting back into a daily routine. I was able to maintain my weight but wasn’t losing what I had gained.
In June I worked hard to get back into the mindset of going to the gym every morning no matter how tired I was. It wasn’t easy (and still isn’t) but with hard work, both physical and mental, I was able to lose every pound I gained and got back to my normal size.
Anyway, as I was killing time I started to doubt that the aforementioned dress wouldn’t look quite right. It was a perfect excuse (not that I needed one) to find something new. I saw another bodycon dress and it checked all my boxes. It was my size, it was short, it was cute. AND! It was ten dollars.
It was a STEAL.
BUT! I hemmed and hawed. I took it off the rack… I put it back. I wandered around the store and took it off the rack AGAIN and once more, returned it. And this cycle repeated itself.
It’s not that I’m cheap but sometimes I feel conflicted about buying something that I might only wear once… especially if that one time is just for a photo shoot.
Eventually I (spoiler alert) bought it.
It was the last dress I wore for the shoot and I absolutely fell in love with it. It fit like a dream and I loved how I looked in it. It felt like a reward for all the hard work I put in at the gym, the early morning workouts, and passing up desserts.
Written out like this, it sounds so easy. It’s not. Losing weight is never easy. What works for one person doesn’t mean it will work for someone else. If you decide to make changes to your life, whether it is diet or physical activity, please consult your physician first.
I hope you like this dress. I love it. Best ten dollars I’ll ever spend.
Just wondering, have you ever considered doing a podcast? I have followed you for years and based on everything you are doing, in my opinion I believe a podcast from Hannah would be very well accepted.
Thank you! That means a lot. I feel I am always a few a steps behind when it comes to social media. I blog when most social media people are video blogging or doing podcasts. The truth is I would love to do something along those lines in addition to running my website and my superficial tweets.
I would love love love to do a series of little “how-to” videos. Subjects about getting makeovers or having a bra fitting… but for t-girls. I am sure this is not an original idea but it would be fun to do.
A podcast would also be fun. I have been asked to be a guest on several in the past but unfortunately schedules didn’t match up.
What holds me back is I don’t have a lot of time to learn a new skill like video editing and all the technical stuff that would go along with these ideas. I also don’t have the financial means to pay someone to do those things either.