Dressing Up and Dressing Down

Sometimes I wonder if it IS all about the clothes, the makeup, the heels.  But it’s not.  It’s about not feeling comfortable being tied to a specific gender for my entire life.  It’s about feeling comfortable as more than one gender presentation.  I feel just as confident in a suit as I do in a little black dress, but for different reasons.  I don’t want to transition because I like being able to choose my gender presentation whenever I feel like it.  As I get older, I also feel more hesitant to use phrases like “always” and “never” when it comes to my opinions about some things.

Of course, there are exceptions.  Like, should you wear open-toe heels with black stockings?  NEVER.

Oscar Wilde wrote “You can never be overdressed or over-educated.”  I agree.  I like to dress and look my best.  When I am out, I know that I am probably overdressed on some level to hit the mall.  But after days of shirts and ties, the sound of heels clicking on the floor in a department store is heaven.

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When I was younger I used to dream about certain clothes.  I would page through the Victoria’s Secret catalog and wonder what it would be like to wear a matching bra and panty.  I would see girls wearing formal gowns and I would picture myself in such a beautiful dress.  In my closet I am lucky to have everything from leather to sparkley.

There are still outfits on my wish list but let’s be honest, after a certain number of bodycon and little black dresses, it becomes harder to find a dress that becomes a must-have.

Lately I seem to be drawn to a more casual look.  I have tried this in the past, such as pairing a cute top with a cardigan for example, but as I look through my wardrobe I don’t have a lot of outfits that are perfect for a lazy day of going out for coffee and running errands.

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I don’t mind stopping by Starbucks or Target in four inch heels, but when I see girls wearing cute, comfy clothes I start to wonder if I could pull off the leggings/tank top/hoodie look.  I’ve been hesitant to try this in the past as I feel that layering gives me a “bulkier” look, especially my shoulders, than I would like.  I also think that if I am only going to dress up a couple times a month, do I really want to pass up a chance to wear that cute new dress?

 

Of course, expanding one’s style also feels expanding one’s wardrobe (which is exciting and also expensive).  I have an extensive collection of heels and a perfect dress to match each pair, but I have exactly zero pairs of shoes that would go with a more casual look.

I have a photo shoot next month and I am starting to pick my outfits for it.  I have a few new dresses that I am going to model for certain, but I might slip in something a little more causal as well.

Any suggestions for me?

What look do YOU want to try?

Love, Hannah

 

 

 

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Ask Hannah!

Who carries the men’s blue lace shorts lingerie. Wish I could attach photo but they are a bit short and not as loose in the legs as the one on Xdress website, the black ones.

I really have no idea.  I am sure there are many blue lace shorts so I’m sorry that I can’t be more helpful.

If you think about it, this is really an amazing time for those who are non-gender conforming , crossdressers and anyone that loves to wear pretty undies.  You can shop for a variety of options at Xdress, Bodyaware, HommeMystere, Glamour Boutique and whatever else you find by googling “lingerie for men”.

I can’t speak for everyone, but lingerie was definitely my gateway to this wonderful world and ultimately to who I am today.

Love, Hannah

Every Body Fits

I received an email the other day from Alicia Lagan whose son came out to her as transgender two years ago.  As she watched her son start taking hormones and adapting to his new life, she noticed he had a hard time finding clothes that fit his changing body.

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Alicia and her business partner were moved to create a new company named ‘Every Body’, a clothing line for transgender teens in Los Angeles, but with plan to have stores internationally.  Their mission is to help make shopping easier for the transgender community, something I think we all would benefit from.  We all want to feel comfortable in what we’re wearing and to not be treated poorly while shopping.  Every Body is committed to tailoring clothes to fit kids the way that they would like by designing a specialized size chart.  Once opened, the store will be a one-stop-shop for everything, whether it is undergarments, necessary accessories, and other clothing that fit correctly so one can express themselves as the gender they identify as.

At this point they are raising money for their project.  If you’d like to learn more about Every Body and help a difference in the lives of our LGBTQ youth, please visit their site.

Love, Hannah

 

Ask Hannah!

This is probably a silly question because I’m sure it has been asked many times, but for some reason I’ve been unable to find the answers. So do forgive, please, if this topic is painfully obvious! As a T-girl, my physical proportions make shopping for clothing difficult. I have dude dimensions. Especially, my hips are only slightly larger than my waist, so if I’m shopping online, it’s really just a flip of the coin whether I should purchase based on my waist measurement or my hips measurement. (My shoulders and arms, I’ve decided, are just fine: the girls at the gym are proud of the muscles they’ve worked so hard for, so I’ve decided I’ll just continue to be proud of mine, too.) Do you have any tips on this waist-to-hip proportion dilemma? Thanks in advance, very much! 🙂

Let me get this out of the way now and state that there is no “right” way to look feminine.  There is no standard one must meet in order to have a “feminine” shape.  Remember, there is no such thing as “passing”.  However, there ways to have a curvier shape.

Buying dresses is a fun and often times a humbling experience.  When I purchase “male” clothes (please note I don’t think there are such a thing as “male” clothes or “female” clothes, they’re just clothes), I purchase shirts that fit my shoulders and pants that are long enough and are the proper waist size.  It’s pretty straightforward.  Dresses are a different story.  I have dresses that fit perfectly around my hips and waist, but don’t fit my shoulders and chest as I am wider on top than my middle.  And of course every dressmaker has different sizing standards, as well.  When shopping, you need to know your measurements, and yes, sometimes it is a flip of the coin when it comes to deciding to order based off of hips or waist measurements.

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I wrote a little about how to take your measurements here.

There are a few things you can do to have a curvier shape.  You could always wear a waist cincher.   I often wear this one from Xdress.  I also wear a petticoat under certain dresses.  It gives me a really cute and girly appearance and it also gives the impression of hips.

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Some girls will also wear hip padding as well.  I have never really tried that, but some girls love it.

Like most aspects of crossdressing, this is something you learn by doing.  Find what works for you!

Love, Hannah

 

En Femme Style

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I never thought there would be so many options when it comes to businesses that cater specifically to our community.  I’ve been aware of Glamour Boutique for a while and I even did some modeling for them.   There’s also Suddenly Femme, Xdress and HommeMystere.

I recently learned of another option for us.  En Femme Style offers specially designed and engineered to express the feminine form and appeal.  They sell shoes that go up to size 15, clothing, jewelry, wigs and more.

I recommend checking them out!

Love, Hannah

Ask Hannah!

Hi there Hannah. Just wanted to start out and say thank you for all you do. I am 31 male but I am finally starting to embrace that I enjoy dressing and possibly being female/transgender. Still unsure of some things as I am finally starting to talk about this and I am seeing a great therapist to help work things out. My questions is I am starting to actually dress and not just fantasize about it and just wondering what some good resources are to help learn how to dress and look more feminine? YouTube is great for somethings but like buying a wig and all the styles and different kinds also knowing how to do make up for my face it’s hard for me to know what would be good for me as everyone is so different? The great thing is I am also from MN so I think your insight would be amazing. Again thank you for all you do and for any advice.

Coming into your look is all about trial and error.  Coming into your look takes time, practice, mistakes and money.  It’s about discovering yourself.  It’s about finding what you like, what you are comfortable wearing and uncovering that part of you that might not get out very much.  It takes time and patience.  No one expects the first time they paint something that it will be a masterpiece.  Be easy on yourself the first (or even the fiftieth) time you dress up or apply makeup.  You might not look as fabulous as you want, but you’re getting there.

This is something you learn by doing.

Everyone has a different perspective on what is and what is not feminine.  The best, and the only way for you to find out what you like to wear is to try on a lot of clothes.  Some things you’ll try and like, others you won’t.  Some dresses make me feel like the prettiest girl in the mall, some make me feel like a man in a dress.  The important thing is for you to wear what you like.

A wig is not much different.  I tried a lot of different styles before I found the style that I like.  I’ve tried wavy styles, longer styles, styles with and without bangs before I found a style that is *me*.  It’s true there are resources out there that will help suggest what style may be best for your face, but really, who cares?  All that matters is what you like.  So, like clothing, try on a lot of different styles and you’ll find what works for you and what you like.

Makeup, like hair and clothes, also takes trial and error.  It took YEARS until I was happy with my look.  It took a lot of practice.  I made a lot of mistakes.  I spent a lot of money. Again, you achieve your look by doing.

So, here’s how you learn makeup. You could watch YouTube videos and learn from them but like buying clothes, everyone is different.  Everyone has different skin, different color, different tone.  What works for me might not work for you.  The easiest way to learn makeup is to have someone teach you.

Makeup is hard to get right.  There are still times when my eyeliner doesn’t look straight or my color correcting is a little off.  The best way to learn makeup is to schedule a makeover.  I know that sounds like the scariest thing in the world, and it is, but it’s the best way to start mastering your look.  Go to the experts, they will show you which products to use, which tones are best for your skin color and they will teach you how to apply makeup.  I’ve been doing my makeup for years and I probably had ten makeovers in the last twelve months and I still learn something new each time.  Remember, you aren’t the first or last t-girl your makeup artist will ever have. They are trained to help girls like us.  Makeup artists are also trained with advanced techniques, like contouring, which totally changed my life.

I have written pretty extensively about getting started and you can read about it here.  I cover topics like shaving, finding your measurements and more.

Since you live in Minnesota, I highly recommend you making a trip to Midwest Makeup Supply in Minneapolis and scheduling a makeup lesson.  While you’re there, I also suggest crossing the street to visit Sunny’s Hair and Wigs.  Both stores are very t-girl friendly.  I have other resources in Minnesota here, and I’d also encourage you to join the MN T-Girls.

Have fun, be safe!

Love, Hannah