The latest article with blogger, trans-activist and fashionista, Hannah McKnight is now available on our Learning Center! Hannah’s blog discusses more in-depth her life as a self-described T-girl.
In past articles for our Learning Center, Hannah has discussed her gender identity evolution and journey towards self-acceptance, coming out to friends and family, and coping during the lockdown.
Now, Hannah begins to focus on the physical side of things! When we start to build a wardrobe, how do we determine our body type so we know which styles will help us to best express ourselves? Read it now>>
I was just wondering how you figured out your femme style? You always look so good in the clothes you pick out for your shoots. Was it a lot of trial and error or did it just come natural?
Also does your boy style have any influence on Hannah’s style?
We discover our style by trying a lot of different clothes. Which is super fun (and expensive). When I moved from simply underdressing to actual real clothes, I was drawn more to formal wear and little black dresses. To me, there was nothing more beautiful than a gorgeous gown and nothing more classic than a little black dress. The thought of getting dressed up, and I mean REALLY dressed up was so exciting for me. A beautiful dress, amazing heels, perfect accessories, flawless makeup… the only thing missing was a place to go.
The more I dressed and the more I left the house the more I became drawn to other styles. I would never say I dressed casually, but going to the mall in an evening gown really doesn’t work. I started to wear less formal dresses but dresses that were still cute and feminine. A feminine dress might seem redundant but dresses that were cute and stylish. I think you know what I mean.
Once I lost weight and became more comfortable going out, my wardrobe started to reflect my confidence. Since I also stopped caring about “passing” and accepted that as a six foot tall t-girl I was never going to blend in, I decided to wear whatever I wanted. These days I love bright dresses, I love eye-catching patterns, I love floral print dresses, I love clothes that show off the parts of me that I love, such as my legs.
So yes, it was a bit of trial and error (we learn by doing) and a bit of coming naturally. I started to look at what girls were wearing a little differently and I thought about WHY something was cute. Sometimes it was the dress itself sometimes it was what she wore WITH dress. A casual t-shirt and a jean skirt paired with stilettos is really sexy sometimes. A tight black blouse with a hounds tooth skirt with knee high black boots is an amazing look. For me, it takes more than the clothes. I have to feel comfortable in them, I have to feel confident in them. Without comfort and confidence the outfit, no matter how cute, just doesn’t work. For years I was drawn to dresses that had thin, spaghetti straps but I never felt comfortable showing that much skin, especially my shoulders.
As a boy I would never say (and no one would say this either) that I have any sense of style. Most of the time it’s a t-shirt and a pair of jeans. I work from home (even when we’re not in a global pandemic) so I rarely have to dress nicer than that. But men’s fashion isn’t that exciting to me. It never really changes. There’s really never anything that men wear that I am drawn to. Men’s fashion is boring and overly practical. Hannah’s style is in many ways the opposite of what boy me wears. When I do go into the office, it’s khakis and a dress shirt which is about as boring as you can get. If Hannah went to the office it would be, well, something like this.
After a week of boring clothes, it is liberating and exciting to wear something bright, something pink, something fun, something sexy. I don’t think too much about it, but you bring up a good point. Hannah’s style might be a reaction or response to days and days and days of boring boy clothes. When I did go into an office everyday it was always the same shirts and the same three pairs of dress pants. The options as to what Hannah could wear to work, or anywhere, is endless.
Perhaps Hannah dresses the way she does is because wearing a dress and heels doesn’t happen every day. If I lived full-time or transitioned would I still wear super cute dresses and heels each day? Honestly? Probably not. I imagine I would have more casual dresses and skirts and more leggings in my wardrobe than I currently do. As much as I love love love looking super cute it’s a lot of work. 🙂
I don’t pay much attention to fashion. I mean, I look at every dress I see and if I think it’s cute, I add it to my wardrobe. But I don’t wear something because it’s in style or trendy. I might wear something that IS in style or trendy, but not BECAUSE it is.
If that makes sense.
I wear what I wear because I think it’s cute and because I think it will look good on me..
Fashion usually encapsulates an era. Bell bottoms will forever represent the 60’s to me. Poodle skirts represent the 50’s, and so on. But there can be an outfit or a style that simply says retro and I totally heart this look.
I fell in love with this dress and I thought it looked flirty, cute, and feminine. It is also a rather bold style. I don’t care about blending in and I usually am overdressed wherever I go, but this dress really, really stands out.
This was one of those dresses that caught my eye and I wasn’t really sure why I liked it. I don’t have a lot of blue dresses so I thought it would be fun to add to my wardrobe and for my August photo shoot.
I don’t know why I was so drawn to it but I’m glad I bought it because I love it. I love how it looks and it feels very flattering, especially with my Jolie Thigh Pads.
When I was growing up, I was fascinated and intrigued by the vast options of girl clothes. It was all so exciting compared to the clothes that were in my closet and dresser. It seemed like there was an endless variety of shoes. Girls could wear Mary Janes, saddle shoes, pumps, heels, ballet flats, wedges, and of course, stilettos. Girls could wear thongs, tangas, boyshorts, bikinis… the list goes ever on.
I was stuck with such boring clothes. Many of us wonder why we are who we are, and although this isn’t a question that can really be answered I suspect this has a lot to do with who I am.
Patterns were another fascination to me. I had striped shirts… and that was about it. I always loved hounds tooth, polka dots, and gingham patterns. They have always seemed to feminine to me. For my last photo shoot I wore a super cute red gingham pattern dress that I absolutely love and I hope you like it too!
Some things are popular for what seems to be a short period of time, and some things seem to be around forever or constantly making a return. I am not a fan of (most) high-low dresses or maxi dresses but they always seem to be fashionable. I have always love peplum dresses and tops but those seem to be out of favor.
Of course, everything is in fashion if you honestly don’t care about what others think. 🙂
Last summer I noticed a trend of dresses that had a mesh or pattern overlay over a simple black dress. I loved this look and I was surprised and a little disappointed that it was super popular for what seemed to be a very short time and then like many trends, went away. I picked out a dress that fit this style but I never wore it until recently. I decided to wear it at my last photo shoot and I’m glad I did, it’s super cute.
But somewhere along the way in my (sigh) journey I stopped caring. I cared less about blending in and embraced my height and the fact that I am transgender and everyone who sees me or interacts with me knows I am transgender. I am going to stand out, so I may as well wear the stilettos and the bright pink dress.
I have been doing more shopping online than I normally do. Again, a global pandemic can do that to you, but a dress kept popping up as a suggestion. I thought the dress was super cute but I thought I couldn’t pull it off as it was a little more revealing than what I normally wore.
But then I thought the hell with it and clicked “add to cart”.
On one hand, I look at clothes as fabric that cover our bodies and there’s really no logical reason to genderize them in any way. On the other hand…. OMG, is there anything more feminine than panties?
I’d be lying if I said that selecting my panties for the day wasn’t one of my favorite moments. I love doing this because it represents me being comfortable with my gender identity. For too long I was afraid of wearing what I wanted to wear.
I would like to take a moment to recognize some of my favorite places to buy panties and lingerie. I support these business and I hope you do too!
“Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”
When the pandemic hit and the little things and the big things were impacted, I looked at a lot of aspects to my life. I was reminded how important it as to support small, independent businesses that were affected by the shutdown. I realized I took meeting friends for dinner for granted. And of course, I realized just how important Hannah is to me.
I mean, I AM Hannah, and obviously we should be important to ourselves, but without having the option to get a makeover and spending the day en femme I was reminded how crucial it is to be me, to be all of me.
Being alive, being who we are, is a reason to celebrate. If you have accepted and embraced your gender identity you have accomplished something incredibly significant and special.
Yesterday I had a photo shoot with my friend and photographer of five years Shannonlee. There was no reason for the shoot. It wasn’t to review a dress or a shoe, it wasn’t for En Femme, it was just for fun (not to say shoots for reviews or for En Femme aren’t fun, they are, but you know what I mean). The theme of the shoot, if you will, was to wear a few dresses I have always wanted to wear. The location was the Stone Arch Bridge, one of my favorite places in the world.
Yesterday’s shoot featured several dresses that I never thought I would wear. Two of them had halter straps and one had straps about as thin as dental floss. The point is that my shoulders were as exposed as they could possibly be. A year ago I would have thought this would be impossible.
And I never felt more beautiful, confident, and powerful.
Here’s a bit of a preview of yesterday’s shoot. I hope you like them and I hope you all cast away your doubts and fears about what holds you back, in all aspects of your lives.