Let’s Talk About Pants

Or! If you live across the pond, let’s talk about trousers.

I am forever a dress and skirt girl. I do wear leggings in boy mode and I’ve modeled, ah, non-pants for En Femme.

Wait, I did wear leggings (pink, obviously) in girl mode for a yoga class the MN T-Girls did earlier this year but that didn’t count.

Truth be told, I admire my t-girl sisters who wear pants and jeans. In a way, I feel they are more confident and secure in their femininity than I am, even if I am wearing a bright floral dress.

I feel that femininity is rooted to how you feel and not exclusively about your clothes. I think what we wear is connected to, well, what we are trying to accomplish, in some ways.

Not that there’s always an objective, mind you.

When I choose my outfit for the day, I base my decision completely on what I want to wear AND where I will be going. I might WANT to wear a tight black leather dress BUT if I am simply running errands I will PROBABLY choose something else. Instead I will consider what won’t look tooooo out of place with where I’ll be.

Please note that this isn’t trying to blend in. I am not trying to do that. And! This isn’t the same thing as trying to stand out. If I wanted to stand out then I would absolutely wear a tight black leather dress at the grocery store.

I’ll wear heels (obviously) and a cute dress that is probably too short. I’ll likely be overdressed for the mall compared to most girls, but this isn’t the same thing as being completely out of place.

I think I could blend in better than I do. I mean, I don’t blend in at all because I am usually overdressed, but I could choose an outfit that would help with minimizing my physical presence. What I mean is that I am a six foot tall transgirl. Tall people, especially tall feminine presenting people tend to be noticed. Transwomen that are “clocked” also tend to stand out. Considering I am both I would have to try very hard to blend in.

Please remember something. Standing out is not the same thing as being so beautiful that everyone notices you. I don’t think me standing out has anything to do with whether or not anyone thinks I am pretty.

If I needed to blend in, I would absolutely ditch the heels and colorful dress. I have femme jeans but like my leggings, I wear them in boy mode.

If clothes and makeup and shoes are a big part of who I am (and they are) then I really want to, well, give in to that. I have to wear pants and look unassuming in my male life so when I have a chance to take a little time off from the masculine parts of my life (whether physical appearance or the the responsibilities HE has), then I want to wear what I want, and toss any thought of blending in to the wind.

When I am wearing a dress and stilettos and winged eyeliner I feel very femme.

Please remember another thing. These things are absolutely not necessary to be femme. These things help me FEEL femme. Everyone has their own perspective on what helps them feel femme… which is kind of the point of this post.

I talk to a lot of t-girls about a lot of things and one thing we usually chat about is, well, clothes. Not to say we are shallow but these conversations are often about where one bought their skirt, for example. Sometimes we talk about why we selected the outfit we did. Sometimes it’s because the outfit was perfect for the occasion or for the day, but often the reason is the outfit is very connected to how someone feels or wants to feel.

Again, sometimes the outfit has a goal. It’s meant to accomplish something.

And sometimes that goal is to blend in.

I mentioned before that a girl wearing a dress and heels is usually overdressed if they are running errands. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. You can’t really be overdressed. What I mean is that not a lot of people are shopping for groceries in stilettos and a bodycon dress.

I mean, I’ve picked up a few groceries in stilettos and a bodycon dress. But if the goal was to blend in at the supermarket I would absolutely choose a different outfit.

Blending in helps some of us feel more feminine. They’re dressed like most of the other girls at the mall, the store, the office, the restaurant, or wherever their day takes them. The are wearing what most women are wearing. Their clothes, although are likely very cute and flattering, aren’t contributing to them standing out.

They are secure and confident in their femininity and don’t necessarily feel that you need to wear strappy heels or a pencil skirt to be femme. Their body language and their confidence is all they need.

And honestly? That’s admirable. I feel femme when I am dressed up but I know a lot of how I feel is because of the very traditional feminine clothes I am wearing. The pink dress and matching heels are my armor.

Clothes have a lot to do with how I feel. When I do wear, well, anything other than a skirt or a dress for a photo shoot I am surprised by how… feminine I still feel. I think a lot has to do with how different femme slacks feel compared to boy pants, but I also couldn’t help thinking that this is how most women dress each day. I still felt connected to my femme side… it was just in a very different way than I had felt before. It was completely and happily unexpected.

Even when I was growing up I couldn’t understand why on earth a girl would choose to wear pants when they could wear a skirt. As the years went by I started to get it. If I was full-time I feel pretty sure that there would be days when I would absolutely opt for pants or jeans or leggings. Time and experience shaped my thinking and perspective.

But these days my perspective is influenced by how they can still help someone feel femme… whether it’s because they are blending in or, to be honest, it’s how they want to dress, dammit. It’s our choices to wear what we please, no matter what it is, that is freeing. The confidence that we can present how we feel is the strongest confidence we can have… whether it’s a dress or pants or anything else.

Love, Hannah

Ask Hannah!

I know you love both of your identities, as male and female and highly value both lives. You do seem very happy and alive when discussing your outings as a woman. Do you ever sit and consider what your life would have been like, if you were born female? You appear to thoroughly enjoy female clothes and how you feel wearing them. I love wearing female clothes also, and at times I wish I had been born female.

You know, for someone who overthinks and considers every potential outcome and scenario, this is not something I have ever really thought about.

It kind of brings up the whole nature versus nurture scenario, doesn’t it?

When the doctor checked the little box for “MALE” on my birth certificate it shaped how everyone I would ever meet in my life would talk to me, interact with me, react to me, and see me. A lifetime of norms and expectations were set in stone without any consideration as to who I might be and what I might want.

It’s… not unlike an arranged marriage in a way. Like it didn’t matter if you loved or even liked this person, it was agreed that you were going to marry them in a few years and that was that.

Growing up I wanted to wear dresses and beautiful and interesting clothes. Underwear didn’t have to be ugly, baggy, ill-fitting boxers. Underwear could be cute, colorful, lacy. I was drawn to “girl clothes” and no matter my genitalia I wanted what I wanted. This is nature.

But then nurturing came crashing through. My parents bought me boy clothes. I was given blue things and steered away from anything pink. I had toy trucks. You get the idea.

And to be fair I loved the toys I had. My sisters had dolls but… well, they seemed kind of boring to me.

A closet full of pants couldn’t extinguish the fire that burned in my heart for dresses. But I wasn’t allowed to listen to it. It’s not like I was explicitly told that I couldn’t wear dresses but let’s face it, in a world (especially back then) when gender norms rule I didn’t HAVE to be told.

But of course I wore dresses and skirts and anything I could whenever I could.

My interest, my fascination, my yearning to wear femme clothes was only fueled by these opportunities. It’s like a piece of cake. It looks amazing and the first bite is heaven and it only makes you want a second taste. To continue this metaphor I devoured the entire cake and at this point, probably several bakeries.

As the years went by this part of me grew and I began to understand and accept and eventually embrace who I am and what I wanted to wear.

I got to know the part of me that would eventually become Hannah.

BUT I also grew as the masculine presenting person that most of the world knows me as. He made friends, found a career he (usually) likes, and became who I am today.

And this person, the male side of me is, well, happy. Satisfied. At peace. He has a fulfilling life. I like HIS life.

As I matured both of my gender identities grew and found themselves and found happiness. They are not in conflict with each. They have their contrasts but it’s a wonderful mixture of the two. I am forever charmed by the differences and polarizing opposites they seem to have. This past Saturday I bought a ladder and cleaned the gutters which is a very manly thing to do. This upcoming Saturday I am getting a makeover and wearing a lot of pretty clothes for a photo shoot.

As I look at my life and my lives, I realize that nature, well, it won. How I was raised, how the world thought I should be didn’t stamp out the femme part of who I am.

If the “FEMALE” box was checked then my nurturing would have been very different. My dresser would have been filled with the clothes he wanted to wear. There would have been no effort to prevent me from wearing any dress I would have wanted to.

I really don’t think I would be bi-gender if I was raised as a girl.

Now, please don’t misunderstand. I don’t feel that I was born in the wrong body.

What I mean is that I was always drawn to the femme side of the world. It was, and is, endlessly captivating to me.

But I never had the… pull when it comes to the other side. There wasn’t ever anything masculine that appealed to me. I never was curious about what it would be like to wear a tuxedo but I daydreamed constantly about wedding dresses. I wanted painted nails, not nails with dirt under them from playing football.

However.

Being raised as a boy put me on the path I am on now. Over the decades I’ve grown as a person, created a life, and fell in love. I love my life, I love who I am.

And I don’t want anything to change.

If I was a girl at birth, I can’t help but think I would still be ME. That’s the nature side. But I would have been raised differently and have gone in a different direction. That’s nurture. I think I would still like the same things I like, I can’t imagine not falling in love with my wife, regardless of my gender.

At this point in my life I am both of me, I am all of me. Things would have been different if I was born with a vagina instead of a penis, but honestly? I have no complaints. I am very glad things turned out the way they did.

Everything works out in the end.

Love, Hannah

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

Ask Hannah!

Now that it is getting into the fall and winter, what items do you suggest?! I am just getting into cross-dressing, and I don’t know what to wear!

As you can tell from the picture below, I am absolutely the right person to ask about how to dress in colder months.

One of the many things I love about femme presentation is the amazing variety there are with clothes as the seasons change. For me, fall is all about layers, leather, skirts, and boots.

Pairing a short skirt with cardigan is a perfect way to show off our legs and stay (somewhat warm).

I love this look. I am not very confident about my skills pairing a skirt with a top but with the help of an H&M mannequin I think I… oh, who am I kidding? I saw a mannequin and just bought everything it was modeling.

I tend to stay away from sweaters as I tend to gravitate towards, ah, tighter clothes but I really like this outfit. I think I sexxed it up with the leather skirt.

I am also really into duster style cardigans. Not necessarily sexy but again, the leather helps… I completed this look with a bodysuit. I think having in a tucked in blouse is a good look with a skirt but I hate tucking in a top. A bodysuit is a wonderful cheat.

One thing that I hate about colder weather is needing to wear a jacket or coat. I think these add to my frame too much and emphasize my masculine shoulders. Buuut I think this look is cute.

Again, I balance (or contradict??) the look with a short skirt.

Honestly, I am not known for my practicality when it comes to my wardrobe. I am overdressed for everything, I am not shy about showing off my legs, my makeup is bold, my heels are high. If I have to dress for the weather I usually do it kicking and screaming. If I HAVE to take the cold into consideration I stubbornly (and admittingly unwisely) match a warm sweater or coat with a short skirt.

One common article in these pictures are boots. I rarely wear boots with a dress but there are exceptions…

I like the short skirt/boot pairing. Boots are a very autumn thing to wear.

I hope this helps?? I don’t think it does.

If anything, let me suggest two things:

  1. Wear whatever you want. Yes, you might be cold and you might look out of place but life is short.
  2. Look at what other women (or mannequins) are wearing. If it looks cute then wear something similar.

Love, Hannah

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

Ask Hannah!

Do you think high heels is a strong reason to males to dress as females?

I think there are a lot of reasons some of us present en femme. For some, myself included, it’s an expression of my gender identity. For others, it’s a fetish. And of course, there are countless reasons in-between those two.

I do believe in “gateway” clothes. Clothes, be it lingerie or stilettos, that open up our minds and worlds to something else, something new. An item that unlocked something in us that made us look at it differently, that made us reflect on who we really are.

I knew there was something about me that was different than others as I grew up. I cannot remember a time when I wasn’t trying on femme clothes whenever I had the opportunity. This desire grew over time and hitting new levels in my teen years. In high school my friends would comment how hot a girl in our class looked in her prom dress. I would also think she was pretty… but I was also focused on how badly I wanted to wear the same dress.

For me it was lingerie. Lingerie was NEVER “just underwear”. It was never just what girls wore under their clothes. It was sensual, beautiful, and captivating. It was elaborate, delicate, and intimate. I would see mannequins in department stores modeling nightgowns or women modeling Basques in a Victoria’s Secret catalog and I was forever changed. Yes, the women were beautiful but oh, how badly I wanted to wear what she was wearing.

So yes, I absolutely think that high heels (and anything else) can have the same impact on someone.

Love, Hannah

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

Ask Hannah!

Do women like crossdressing?

Okay, a few things before we dive into this question.

I am going with the assumption you are referring to cis woman and the definition of crossdressing (for the purpose of this question) that I’ll be using is about as simple as it gets: one gender wearing clothes that is intended for a different gender.

And! I am mostly going to talk about gender identity as a binary here.

Let’s get started.

Do women like crossdressing? I don’t know, I haven’t asked all of them.

But let’s frame this question a LITTLE differently. Is that okay? Thanks.

Do women like their cis male partner crossdressing?

“Like” may not be the right word. I am not sure how many cis women are necessarily happy that their big tall strong manly man husband wears panties. I can only speak for my relationship but I wouldn’t say my wife LIKES that I crossdress…. but she understands and accepts that I like it and that it is a part of who I am. I think many people are glad that their significant other has SOMETHING, be it crossdressing or hot yoga or hiking or whatever that brings joy to their life. My wife doesn’t understand why I love wearing what I wear but she doesn’t have to. Put the stiletto on the other foot and I don’t understand why she loves listening to murder podcasts right before she falls asleep. I think she is happy that I have this side of me that makes me feel the way I do.

I think for a lot of people as long as their partner’s interests don’t go toooo crazy or dominate toooo much of their lives AND are honest about this side of them, it’s (usually) good.

At the end of the day, I don’t think for many of our partners they really care don’t what color our underwear is. BUT the concern can come from the other things that crossdressing can bring.

I don’t care he wears panties, but I’m scared he will want to transition

I don’t care he buys dresses, but he is spending a LOT of money on clothes

I don’t care he goes out en femme, but he is going to places that I’ve asked him not to

I don’t care he wears lingerie, but he is always lying about this side of him

I can’t speak for every wife out there, but these are the most common things that I hear from a lot of partners of crossdressers. For some, it’s not about the CLOTHES themselves, it’s about the other things that we as crossdressers have a tendency to do.

Crossdressing under the influence of the Pink Fog may cause us to do things that we normally wouldn’t do and may cause us to make poor decisions that are not well-thought out. It’s not unlike drinking too much.

So yes, it’s safe to say that crossdressing, because of everything that can come with it, may not necessarily delight our partners.

Do some women have a kink that their man dresses? Sure. I know for a lot of us we hope that our partners have a fetish of men crossdressing which can open the door to all sorts of fun but I am not sure how common this is. I could be wrong but I don’t think it’s very typical.

If your question is “do women like TO crossdress?” that is a completely different question. Again, we are going to use the definition of ‘crossdressing’ at it’s most simplified: one gender wearing clothes originally designed for another gender OR clothes that on a societal norm level are typically associated with a different gender.

For starters, let’s acknowledge that people wear the clothes for many different reasons. Practicality, style, comfort, an occasion, or for fetish reasons.

If a cis woman wears “men’s clothes” it might be for practical reasons (such as the joy of having pockets). I know some cis women who wear men’s t-shirts because the fabric is a little thicker. Some cis women tell me that some t-shirts designed for cis women don’t hang long enough or the neckline is too plungy.

Cis women might wear clothes because of the style or it’s trendy, even if it’s a little uncomfortable or expensive. They might be wearing it for the ‘gram. And that’s okay.

Wearing an outfit for an occasion, be it a Target run or the coronation of royalty is pretty self-explanatory.

Same with comfort. Choosing leggings or pajama pants or flip-flops might not be as glam as a floor-length ballgown but are arguably comfier.

Do some cis women wear something because it arouses them? Sure, of course. It is erotic to a cis woman to wear something that is designed for a cis male? For some I think it is… however I think there are many, many, MANY more men who are turned on when they wear lingerie than cis women who fetishize wearing neckties.

Clothes and emotion are linked. Some men feel powerful in a suit. Some little kids feel confident in a Batman costume. Some people feel beautiful in a princess dress. But crossdressers connect with clothes on an entirely different and elevated level. We wear what we wear for a lot of reasons. It could be comfort (leggings!) or sensuality (lingerie!) or because a dress or a skirt is a representation of our gender identity. I present en femme because doing this is a reflection, a manifestation, of my gender identity. Do cis men wear a suit for the same reason? Do cis women wear a skirt for the same reason? Maybe… but I don’t think at the same… intensity, if you know what I mean.

Historically pants (or trousers for my readers across the pond) are FOR MEN and yes, women wear pants but women have the option of wearing pants designed for women.

And yes men have the option to wear panties designed for men but on a societal level a woman wearing pants at the office is not equal to a dude wearing pink boyshorts in a gym locker room.

So yes, girls wear girl pants and some girl wear Boy Pants (again, the practicality of pockets can be appealing). A girl wearing “boy clothes”, a girl crossdressing (again, using the definition at the start of this post) is not a big deal… not as big deal as a boy wearing a skirt, anyway.

bUt iT’S nOt FAir tHAT giRLs caN CRossDreSs but boYs CAN’t.

Listen, we’ve been over this, but society did not one day collectively decide it was okay for women to wear pants. This did not happen suddenly or without consequences.

If we want the same societal acceptance to wear a skirt that women have when it comes to wearing pants, wonderful, then we had better start fighting for it.

I don’t view a cis women wearing pants as crossdressing. Pants have been “de-genderized”. Women did that. Women waged and won that battle. And honestly? Good for them. If my wife is wearing jeans she is wearing “girl jeans”. Jeans that are designed for the cis woman’s body. If men want a skirt to be de-genderized, it’s a battle that men will have to fight.

And to be clear boys can absolutely crossdress. As of this writing it is not illegal to wear a dress if you have a penis (but I suppose that day is coming) however you’ll probably turn a few heads and, let’s be honest, opening yourself up to less-than-welcome comments, to say the least.

So! Do women like to crossdress themselves? I don’t know, I don’t think a cis woman CAN crossdress the same way a man can crossdress. A girl can wear her boyfriend’s t-shirt and a pair of boxers to sleep in but I don’t think she is necessarily crossdressing (using the definition above) . But her boyfriend wearing her nightgown? Yes, that is crossdressing.

Is this fair? Eh, maybe not… but I think cis women have earned the right to wear what they want by fighting for it.

I have no idea if I answered your question but there it is.

Love, Hannah

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

You’d Be A Lot Cuter If You…

…smiled more.

Since I live the majority of my life presenting as a boy most of my experiences with the world are a reflection of that presentation.

In male mode, I am aware of when I say something the person I am speaking to not only listens to what I am saying but they are also considering that a masculine presenting person is saying it to them. If I am describing something to a feminine presenting person I choose my words very carefully so she hopefully doesn’t feel I am manspaining it to them.

Another example. A female colleague can compliment another colleague on her cute dress and if I were to say the exact same words as she used, it may very well come off as, well, creepy.

When I am tempted to compliment a girl on her makeup or her outfit, I am doing it from the perspective of Hannah, even if I am in male mode. As a t-girl, I absolutely appreciate and admire amazing lipstick shades BUT in male mode the girl I am speaking to doesn’t know about my other gender identity. For all she knows I am just a creep staring too long at her winged eyeliner.

I don’t want anyone to be uncomfortable around me… in either of my gender presentations. In male mode I know I can come off as looking unfriendly and intimidating. I am over six feet tall and I look strong. If I haven’t slept well or haven’t shaven in a few days I come off as a little scary looking. When I am out walking my dog (also rather large) and I see a young woman out for a run I am well aware she has looked at both of us and likely registered us a potential threat to her.

And for understandable reasons. I don’t take this personally and the reality is that every woman I know is always aware of where they are and who is nearby. The last thing I would ever do is intentionally harm someone and I regret that I LOOK like a threat. I work for a college and almost every female student I work with asks about campus security and campus safety. Not a single guy asks about this.

Another thing I’ve learned is never, ever tell a woman to smile. That realization came hand-in-hand with learning that presenting as a cis male there are things I should never say to a woman.

And I know there are a lot of guys who defend their comments as compliments or insisting they would be flattered if a girl said they looked handsome. I mean, that’s great that’s how YOU would feel and you might think it’s a double standard but still, keep your thoughts to yourself.

When I am en femme I experience the world through a different set of heavily eyelinered eyes. I am hyper aware of my surroundings and who is in the room or in the store. I look for potential threats.

Interactions on social media are also different. I get a lot of guys hitting on me through comments and emails and messages. This is not humble bragging, mind you. I am not necessarily flattered by this. Most of these comments are… ah, very specific and almost all of them cross a line with me. There’s a difference between “you look really beautiful” and “I would love to be naked with you and caress your face as I gently kiss your lips”.

Ick.

The smile thing? I totally get it when girls get annoyed when a man tells them to smile. I post (a LOT of) photos and I am not always smiling in them. It’s not a surprise when someone messages me about a specific picture and telling me that it would be a better photo if I smiled. I mean for one, don’t tell me what to do, lol.

I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately as I looked over the pictures from my most recent photo shoot. I don’t smile in every photo because I am trying to look… seductive? Or trying to convey a certain emotion?

I love this photo and I think it would hit different if I was smiling.

Sometimes the outfit vibes differently with a certain facial expression.

Sometimes I choose a resting facial expression to leave one’s interpretation of what I am thinking or feeling up to someone else. It’s not uncommon in lingerie photos.

I like all three of these photos a lot. And I think they would be very different if I was smiley in them.

But the last photo shoot taught me that yes, some photos look really good with a more neutral expression but almost every one of those pictures are completely entwined with what I am wearing. Lingerie, leather… outfits that convey domination or seduction tend to work without a smile but a pretty floral bodycon dress or a gown? Mmmm… not so much.

Look at these two photos.

Hate the photo on the left. HAAAAAATE it. And if I wasn’t using this photo to prove a point it would never see the light of day. My shoulders looked hunched for one, but the neutral expression just doesn’t work with this dress. The dress is cute, it’s flirty… I love wearing it. My facial expression, my body language should reflect that… similar to how my facial expression and body language reflects leather or lingerie.

I post a LOT of photos and the reality is that I upload just a fraction of what is taken and what I have saved on my hard drive. There are some really great pictures in terms of lighting, composition, outfits… but the picture is spoiled by my face. Er, facial expression.

I am not saying that all the men who tell me that I would look cuter if I smiled are correct. It’s not that simple. What I am realizing is that like a color of a dress or the style of an outfit some things, including facial expressions, work for some girls and not so much for others. Very, very, VERY few pictures (in a relative sense) where I am not smiling WORK compared to photos where I am expressing how happy I really am when I am wearing a cute dress and feeling like a supermodel for a few hours.

Love, Hannah

Hellbent on Poly/Lycra

I THINK it’s Judas Priest that has a song called ‘Hellbent on Leather’ but I am too lazy and disinterested to Google it to find out.

I heart leather but I also love anything tight and shiny and leatherish. This can include latex and vegan leather and, like this sexy number from En Femme, a blend of polyester and lycra.

It sounds so… unsexy to describe a dress like this with the word ‘polyester’ but it is what it is, lol.

This is the final outfit I am posting from my most recent photo shoot… just in time for the NEXT one this Saturday.

I hope you like this dress and these photos!

Love, Hannah

You Make Me Want To Wear Dresses

Oh hi!

Listen to this song.

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.

But I still dance to this song.

Love, Hannah

The Best Ten Dollars!

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.

Yay me!

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.

Love, Hannah

Men in Skirts

It used to be that whenever I saw an article about cis men wearing clothes that society views as exclusively for women I would become optimistic about the de-genderization of clothes. Men wearing skirts? Heck yeah! Men painting their nails? Heck yeah!

I don’t want to be cynical but I don’t feel the same optimism that I used to. I don’t necessarily think that when a celebrity wears a skirt or a dress that it means that the world will collectively think it’s acceptable for any cis male (basically non-famous cis-males) to wear the same outfit.

When Brad Pitt or whomever wears a skirt I think most people chalk it up to as celebrities being celebrities or trying to draw attention to themselves or shock people. “Celebrities are weird” is a pretty common response.

A movie star wearing a skirt to a film premier is one thing. Your coworker wearing a skirt to the office is another. Your buddy wearing a skirt to the bar to watch football is also another.

It miiiiight be, well, not normal for an actor to wear a skirt, but perhaps it will become less uncommon in the future. However, I think there’s a long, long road ahead until it becomes “acceptable” for a dude to wear the same skirt.

Love, Hannah