The very very first dress I remember wearing was a red dress with white polka dots. Of course, it belonged to my sister but I could never remember her wearing it.
Obviously I loved wearing the dress, and to this day polka dots instantly bring me back to that very special dress. The pattern represents femininity to me and there’s something classic and cute about them.
I was living on my own, I was in a relationship, and I was learning more about my gender identity.
I started to learn how to be an adult, learned what I wanted in a relationship, and how to walk in heels.
I learned my limits, and what I wanted. I learned what I wouldn’t settle for, and how to come to terms with being transgender.
I acknowledged what was holding me back, and whether or not those barriers could be overcome.
One of the most defining moments of my life came when I was driving home from work one summer evening. It was close to midnight, the world was still. It is moments like this that life or God or your inner voice speak to you. It’s up to you to listen.
Sometimes what you need to experience is a moment of clarity, a realization, or music. I had never heard this song on the radio before, and I’ve never heard it played again. If I didn’t own the CD I would almost believe that the song didn’t exist. But it did, thank God.
“Me”, written and performed by Paula Cole really summarized many of my feelings and thoughts that summer. I was not happy in the relationship and felt a little trapped. I was living out of state, and ending the relationship was a little more complicated than simply breaking up. I would need to move back to Minnesota, find a new job, and in a way, admit defeat, on some levels. When you are 20 you chalk up your victories and losses by relationships. My perspective is different these days.
In addition to being in a bad relationship, I couldn’t help but wonder where all of THIS was going. I would buy heels and a dress and then quickly purge in a seemingly endless circle. I knew this side of me wasn’t going away. But how was I going to live with it? Did I want to? Of course I did, but what was life going to be like?
I felt powerless in my relationship, where I lived, and in a way, powerless when it came to my gender identity. It was a difficult but important summer. It was humbling, too. I would buy a dress that wouldn’t fit (know your measurements, girls), look horrific in lipstick, and stumble in stilettos. I wanted to be beautiful but my confidence was lower than ever.
But that warm summer night my perspective changed. The things I wanted, like getting out of the relationship, returning to Minnesota… I could do these things. The only one stopping me was ME. The lyrics hit hard.
I am carrying my voice I am carrying my heart I am carrying my rhythm I am carrying my prayers But you can’t kill my spirit, it’s old and it is strong And like a mountain I’ll go on and on But when my wings are folded The brightly colored moth blends into the dirt into the ground
And it’s me who is my enemy Me who beats me up Me who makes the monsters Me who strips my confidence And it’s me who’s too weak And it’s me who’s too shy to ask for the thing I love And it’s me who’s too weak And it’s me who’s too shy to ask for the thing I love But I love
I am walking on the bridge I am over the water And I’m scared as hell But I know there’s something better Yes I know, yes I know, yes I know, yes I know
I bought the CD the next day and I still listen to this song. It still inspires me.
Having fully embraced who I am today, I am amazed at how much I have overcome and what I have done. I still know my limits, whether it is how long I can stay awake before I start to get really loopy, how many miles a day I can run, or what I am comfortable wearing. I know I don’t “pass” (and there’s no such thing) but I still don’t want to show the more traditionally masculine parts of my body.
So, dresses with thin spaghetti straps were out as they showed off my shoulders. My huge, manly shoulders.
And then the pandemic hit. Things we took for granted were gone, and my time out of the house en femme was gone. Before I go further, I want to recognize that many of what I am thinking, and feeling, and writing about is incredibly shallow and self-centered in comparison to how the pandemic has impacted others.
I would look through my wardrobe and get a little sad about not being able to hit the mall or visit a museum en femme (again, I own my shallowness). I would buy dresses and heels and wonder when I would wear them.
And then I saw a super cute dress. It was unlike what I usually wear… it wasn’t form fitting, a little longer than I normally wear… and the thinnest straps I’ve ever seen. I saw it, I loved it, and I wished I had the courage to wear it.
And then I bought it.
I promised myself that as soon as I could, I would wear this dress the next time I could go out en femme.
I’ve held myself back in my life so many times, and when I got tired of listening to that voice and would do the thing I was afraid of, I was always thrilled to do so. I also wondered why I stood in my own way for so long. It’s true, we are our own enemy sometimes.
I am so excited (and proud of myself) to show the photos Shannonlee and I took that day of the dress. The photo shoot was for a shoe review I did for The Breast Form Store but I couldn’t help but show off this dress… and my shoulders… and confidence.
I’ve been keeping a blog for almost ten years now. It’s not always easy to find something to write about. Sure, I can post pictures from a photo shoot or a link to a relevant news story, but pieces that are more introspective or personal take a little work. Sometimes the writing needs a little coaxing, like trying to zip up a dress, other times the inspiration comes like a lightning bolt.
Putting together an outfit can be very much like writing. Sometimes a dress or a pair of heels will stay in my closet for months until I find the right occasion or accessory to wear it. But other times…
As soon as I unwrapped these heels, I could envision not only the dress these shoes needed, but what I wanted to do in them. Some heels I want to wear to a club, some I want to wear for a photo shoot, and these heels I wanted to wear while running errands, hitting the mall, and enjoying a lazy Saturday.
Not that these heels are casual. Oh no, but because there’s nothing like wearing a cute dress and pairing it with a fun pair of heels. These heels are incredibly cute, and are even cuter with a dress that compliments them. Some heels help with glamming up an outfit, some are perfect for dressing an outfit down, but sometimes a dress and the shoes look like they were made for each other.
I knew exactly the kind of dress I needed for these beauties. Something retro, something flirty, something with a lot of small details. The pulled satin under the box and the fastener were small little rewards for an eye that lingered a little bit longer. I looked through my wardrobe and I eventually came across this adorable dress.
Is there any pattern flirtier than polka dot?
Is there anything cuter than this dress?
I love the bodice of the dress and the lace detail is just adorable. These little details compliment the small details of the heels perfectly. The waist is gathered and the skirt retains a bit of a-line when standing (but it still will easily blow in the breeze… trust me lol).
All day long I felt super cute and despite the five inch heel, my feet never got tired. I strutted and glided like never before. At first I was worried that they were too narrow and I was happy that they fit so well. The wraparound ankle strap is not only sexy but also kept everything in place.
I love these heels. I love this dress. I love how cute I felt that day. It’s tempting to look at these pictures and stop whatever I am doing and get dressed up and head to the mall or send the rest of the day wandering around the city. This dress, these heels, inspire me and isn’t that exactly what an outfit should do?
Thank you to the Breast Form Store for these adorable heels!
Hi Hannah, I live in South Africa. I crossdress but it is so difficult to buy crossdressers items because in South Africa we do not have the facility like in the UK, Australia, Canada or America. We cannot go to a store and purchase. I wish someone could set up a store here. Even finding a makeup artist is difficult. I have been trying to buy silicone breasts for some time. Please try and assist. Thank you for all the lovely articles and information as well.
Regardless of where one lives, stores that specifically target our community aren’t all that common. As happy as I am that there are retailers that sell clothes and heels that are sized for girls like us, I don’t limit my shopping to them. I have just as many dresses from Target and Dress Barn as I do from En Femme and Glamour Boutique.
I don’t think greater society will ever be “okay” with girls like us, crossdressers, or a guy buying panties, but some parts of the world might view us as more taboo than others. There’s nothing stopping me from going to the mall en femme to buy lingerie, but I would be less comfortable doing this in certain parts of my state than others.
If buying clothes locally is not an option (regardless of where you live), then online shopping is the way to go. When to comes to forms and pads, I highly recommend The Breast Form Store.
There is nothing I love more than planning outfits and shopping. I have chosen the more recently based on staple items and items that can work with multiple outfits. Most of the things I have now would fit into the “office casual” or “office to evening look”. I had not considered outfits and heels for occasions but I LOVE LOVE the idea. What would you recommend for both outfits and shoes for brunch? date night? Errands? Going to club or nice dinner?
Clothes, heels, accessories, and makeup are a wonderful way to express one’s style and personality. Clothes can convey confidence. I am always amazed (and delighted) at how versatile “girl clothes” are. There is a dress for literally every occasion I can think of.
This is probably a good time to mention that this is all strictly my opinion. What you fill your closet with, your lingerie drawer with, is 1000000% up to you. Create a wardrobe you want, wear clothes that you want to wear. There are no rules.
But since you asked, here’s what I would wear.
When it comes to heels, start with a pair of black heels and a pair of beige heels. These are the most practical and the most versatile as you can pair them with almost every outfit and are appropriate for almost any occasion. Black to dress up, beige to dress down.
Boots are essential for fall and winter. Something cute and strappy for summer. As you build your wardrobe you’ll start getting inspired as to which shoes would go best with the outfit. For example, this sparkly dress is beautiful, and yes, a pair of black heels would work, but I am happy I had a pair of gold heels to pair it with.
Accessorizing an outfit is not that different than cooking. Sampling the soup you are making might inspire you to add a spice (or whatever, I am not a chef). Picking out a dress will also inspire you to envision what heels you should wear with it.
As for choosing an outfit for an occasion, really, you can wear whatever you want to whatever you want, and what I would wear may be different than what you would choose. As I get older I get bolder, braver, more confident. I can’t blend in, so I fully embrace with standing out. Not to the point where I am wearing a gown to Target, but I love wearing bold patterns and bright colors, even if I am a little out of place. Not too many people wear heels to run errands, but this girl does.
Off the top of my head, here’s what I would wear to a few different events or places.
I am not really sure what I mean by the “The Club” but I suppose a crowded place with loud music and alcohol. 🙂 I think you can get away with an incredibly bold outfit at a club more than anywhere else. I would, and do, wear something more leathery or shiny, such as PVC.
I love showing off my legs and I do so with any chance I get, but I would wear a dress or a skirt that touches my knees or longer. Probably something that isn’t sleeveless, too. Bright colors also seem perfect for brunch, too.
Of course, this depends on the type of restaurant you go to, as well as the event. These are some of the outfits I have worn to dinner. This first dress is from a night out that included dinner and attending a play. The dress worked perfect for both.
Of course, I don’t work en femme, but I have a lot of outfits in my closet that would work just fine for the office. These two outfits are my best effort at a sexy CEO look. 🙂
I dress for ME. I don’t dress for anyone else. What I wear when I hit the mall is a little overdressed compared to the other girls, I don’t hear a lot of other heels clicking on the floor besides my own.
I hope this helps! In looking over these photos I am seeing a wide variety of dresses and heels, but the really, wear what you want. 🙂
Hi Hannah! I have two, pretty different questions… I’ll ask the light one first, and then the deep one second:
Have you ever thought of attending a Trans conference or gathering (like Diva Las Vegas) before? I’m hoping to go to one after all of this COVID stuff is done.
What are your thoughts on the term “genderfluid” (specifically, does identifying as Bigender differ from Genderfluid)? You’ve mentioned being bigender before, so I wonder how, in your opinion, that would differ from being genderfluid. I hope that question made sense.
I would love to attend a conference! It would be a opportunity to finally fly pretty, one of my goals. I travel (or used to) a lot for my job, and every time I am at an airport I think about how much more fun it would be to do so en femme. Besides Diva Las Vegas, there are quite a few of conferences out there, I just need to decide which one to attend. As you mentioned, COVID-19 is impacting everything, so I suppose if/when I go, it would be next year at the soonest.
There are a lot of ways non-cis individual can identify. There are many different interpretations of what transgender and crossdresser actually mean, and I have my own perspectives on these terms. Falling under the transgender term are bi-gender and genderfluid. I don’t think that we as a community will ever 100% agree on the definitive definition of the meaning of many of these terms, so please don’t take my perspective as anything than my opinion.
I identify as transgender, basically because it covers a lot of territory. But to put a finer point on it, I suppose bi-gender fits me best. When I am out in the real world, I am (in the binary sense) either a boy or a girl. There’s really no gray area when it comes to my gender presentation. I am either in a dress or… um, something less fun. Hannah’s life, and my male life are about as divided as my closet.
Genderfluid is a little different. I interpret this as one combining clothes and physical attributes that are normally associated with the gender binary. Think facial hair and lipstick. A necktie and heels. Of course, I am not saying that girl can’t wear a necktie or have facial hair, but I think you know where I am coming from.
But like clothes, my gender identity can also change a bit. For example, I woke up in a nightgown, and I am currently writing this wearing a boy t-shirt and girl leggings. By my definition I am genderfluid at this moment.
I do love the idea that gender is so much more than boy or girl. As wonderful as it is to find a term that anyone can identify with, in some ways, it also shows how pointless it is to think of gender as either THIS or THAT. I hate that wearing leggings in boy mode means that society has to slap a definition on me.
As shelter-in-place restrictions are eased, we are able to slowly and gradually return to parts of our lives that have been off-limits for a while. I am excited for this for a number of reasons. One would think these restrictions are being phased out because the curve is flattening but that doesn’t seem to be the case, unfortunately. That would be the reason I would be most excited about, but that doesn’t seem to be the case.
Regardless, I am excited to go out en femme and resume MN T-Girls events and photo shoots. I have a shoot in June for En Femme and another shoot for some amazing stilettos I was sent to review.
Part of my review for the heels will be about matching the shoes with an appropriate outfit. Which mini-dress looks best with a pair of sky-high stilettos, for example. Sometimes the answer is obvious, sometimes this decisions keeps me up at night (not really. Okay, maybe a little).
This side of me has an amazing wardrobe with a zillion different possibilities. On one hand this is wonderful, on the other hand, it can be quite intimidating. Putting together an outfit with everything from earrings to stockings to shoes to a top and making sure it all goes together is a learning curve. I still have a hard time matching a skirt to a top which is one of the reasons I mostly wear dresses.
I’ve been thinking about which dresses I will wear for the shoes over the last few days and I think I have decided on two out of the three, but still considering the final pair. Putting together an outfit is not unlike playing dress up with paper dolls.
Have you found putting together outfits easy? What are some of your fashion rules?
I am in the process of opening up an online store for crossdressers. What products would you recommend me to sell? What do crossdressers need the most?
Congratulations on taking this step! If there’s one thing I love, it’s more options when it comes to shopping.
Years ago the idea of a store specializing in clothes for girls like us was inconceivable but I am amazed at how many options are available these days. Even though there’s quite a few options, each one is different from each other and can all happily coexist.
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 don’t think it’s uncommon for us to modify how we identify throughout our lives. As soon as I heard the word, I privately considered myself a crossdresser. About ten years ago, I knew this was more than just finding joy and comfort in clothes that are typically associated with the gender different than the one I was assigned to at birth and I felt that identifying as transgender was a better fit.
If I wanted to put a finer point on myself, bi-gender is probably the best word for me, as I am happy and comfortable and secure presenting and living as either a boy or a girl. However, since transgender covers a lot of territory, I primarily stick with that.
Whether I am a crossdresser or transgender, I would never be so bold to claim to be brilliant, but I can have brilliant thoughts. I’ve been a bit of a shopping spree lately and yesterday I received a super cute cami and panty set from Xdress. Yesterday was a long day and it was a late night, so falling asleep in cute lingerie was the perfect way to end the day.
If you’re not familiar with Xdress, they make lingerie for men. The models on their website are men wearing their beautiful bras and panties. From what I gather, their target market is men who love to wear cute, feminine undies. Their models are very male, no makeup or wigs, they are not presenting as a girl. This lingerie is different than En Femme and their new Carmen Liu line of lingerie. This lingerie is beautiful but also practical as it is designed to hold breast forms and to tuck our feminine flaw.
As I woke up this morning, I realized that my lingerie wardrobe is divided between bras and panties that I wear en femme and bras and panties that I wear in male mode. Although this new set from Xdress is beautiful, it’s not something Hannah would wear. When I am dressed, I have different needs from my lingerie. I need my gaff from the Breast Form Store, for example.
In male mode I do wear lingerie “for girls” and lingerie from Xdress and Homme Mystere. I underdress each day and my panties are either panties “for boys” or panties “for girls”. I am always wearing something.
My revelation this morning was that we can shift our gender identity throughout our lives, but we can also shift our gender identity throughout the day. I decided that when I am in male mode, I could be considered a crossdresser. But Hannah is not a crossdresser, she is transgender. I could wake up in cute lingerie like I did this morning, wear a matching bra and panty under my boy clothes, and I would be crossdressing all day. But as the day progresses and I am preparing to go out, my gender identity shifts to being transgender.
I suppose that labeling ourselves is rather pointless and I doubt anyone else thinks about this as much as I do, especially before they have had their coffee, but this was going through my mind as I lay in bed. Never let it be said that I don’t overthink.
At any rate, I am now awake, having my coffee, and sharing these perhaps not as brilliant thoughts I had imagined they were with you.
I read your “what a girl wants” article on the En Femme website and it was awesome. After reading it, I have ordered 2 matching panty/gaff and bra sets, nude patent pumps and black slingback pumps, some sexy lingerie (babydoll and cami set) per your advice. I already had some cute black ankle boots and some black knee length dress boots. I don’t have a LBD yet ( but am looking into it). What are some other essential items?
A wardrobe starts off with thinking about what we need for what we do. It sounds like you have a lot of the basics covered! At least what I think are basics. 🙂
I present as male for most parts of my life. Work, family gatherings, day to day errands… Hannah does the fun stuff. Saturdays at the mall, wandering around an art museum, relaxing at home, dinner out with the MN T-Girls…
Hannah doesn’t have to go to work, sit in on meetings or attend Zoom conference calls. Since she doesn’t have a real job (if you follow me), she doesn’t need to have professional work attire. Sure, there are things in my closet I could wear to work…
…but I don’t need a lot of clothes for “the office”.
If you are full-time and/or present at work, then some clothes will be considered essential. Depending on where you work, of course.
Since Hannah pretty much does only fun stuff, my wardrobe is built around that. There are dresses perfect for Saturday night, Sunday brunch, happy hour or meeting for a coffee.
When you build your wardrobe, think about you’ll be doing and where you’ll be going. Find an outfit that would work for that. If you are unsure about what to add to your closet, look at what other girls are wearing.
And you can choose to completely ignore what you see. When I go to the mall I see mostly girls in leggings and comfortable clothes. Not many of us are wearing heels.
Dress from En Femme
Many of us dress at home, so I would recommend having cute clothes to be comfy in. If I am being lazy on a Sunday morning and want to look cute, I skip the stilettos and pencil skirt and wear a femme t-shirt and leggings. A corset and stockings is OMG one of the sexiest things to wear to bed, but most nights I slip on a nightgown.
I hope this helps but I bet a lot of girls reading this have their own suggestions and I would love to hear what everyone else thinks is a must-have for their wardrobe.