Anti-Climatic

My most recent photo shoot consisted of a corset I was reviewing as well as a few dresses that, for lack of a better phrase, had a story behind them. The stories were more or less along the lines of why I bought it or why it lingered in the back of my closet for years.

My final posting of the shoot really doesn’t have a story. It was a cute dress that I found a cute boutique. It fit, I loved it, the sleeves were the perfect length, the hem was also the perfect length 😉 . So I bought it. Yes, a little anti-climatic.

Here it is!

Love, Hannah

It’s Like Whatever

Hi!

Guess what? I have a photo shoot booked for next month. I know, I can’t believe it either.

I have a couple of new dresses that I can’t wait to wear as well as at least one item to review.

For the item I am reviewing I was asked if I would be comfortable wearing it. After last year’s lingerie shoot I can’t imagine saying no to much anymore.

But I did recently turn down a few items that just weren’t in line with what I want to model or review as they were mainly synthetic… think feminine masks and breast plates and things along that nature. I feel that realistic synthetic vaginas are more for the fetish crossdresser (not that there’s anything wrong with that) but perhaps my perspective is wrong on this?

I started to think about how nervous I was the first time I modeled lingerie and was very glad to be done. Buuuut it was kinda fun once the shoot was over. I’ve since done a few more shoots where I’ve reviewed and modeled other items and do you know what? My attitude turned into more or less “like, whatever”. I no longer cared or felt self-conscious that I was standing in a studio wearing lingerie while Shannonlee fiddled with the settings on her camera or adjusting the lighting.

What changed? I don’t know.

Perhaps once the first set of pictures were uploaded to my website and my social media it was like I wasn’t wearing anything (or revealing anything) that people hadn’t seen already. Perhaps it was something else.

At my last shoot I was just… vibing, you know? Just standing there in my stilettos and stockings while Shannonlee set up the shot. And soon I was standing in front of a window.

I didn’t care. Maybe I should have? Regardless it’s freeing to just let go.

Love, Hannah

I Get By With a Little Help From My Forms

My most recent photo shoot had a couple of dresses that I had to look DEEP into my closet to find. I have been meaning to wear this particular one for years and years but for some reason or another just never followed through with it. I would plan a day out en femme and sometimes I would end up getting a NEW dress and wanted to wear that one instead or the weather wasn’t going to cooperate and I would need to wear something else.

But I suppose those were just excuses. The reason I didn’t wear it was because I didn’t feel cute in it. I found the dress on Amazon and thought it looked pretty and it fit like a dream but I just felt a little… frumpy? Like it didn’t fall right? Because of this I just didn’t feel a lot of affection towards it.

So, what changed?
My body didn’t, the dress didn’t, all I needed was to add my forms and a corset.

A dress can FIT, but it doesn’t mean it fits in the right places. Sometimes a pretty dress doesn’t compliment you.

Femme clothes are, for the most part, designed for the cis gender female body. This means a bust and hips. My body is pretty rectangular and sometimes the most gorgeous gown fits like a pillowcase.

I packed this dress into my suitcase for the shoot and honestly? I just hoped for the best. The shoot started and as the afternoon progressed the outfits I brought were worn, photographed, and then (carelessly) tossed back into my suitcase.

There was time left for one more outfit, and this dress was the last one left. I shrugged and changed.

This was the first time I had worn the dress with my breast forms and corset. My body was completely different compared to the other times I tried on the dress.

It fell where it should. The dress fit the body it was designed for. I had the body (courtesy of my corset and forms) that it was designed for.

I am not saying that you need a certain figure or $400 breast forms to look cute in a dress. This is a reminder that clothes sometimes need a little help.

Love, Hannah

I Can Resist Anything Except Temptation

Well temptation and leather. I can’t resist leather. I just can’t.

And it’s silly. But it is what it is. But isn’t all of *this* is what it is?

When I am en femme I feel confident and brave and powerful. It’s not necessarily because of what I am wearing but it’s more of a result of all the mental barriers and fears and insecurities and dysphoria I had to conquer before I could leave the house, before I stopped caring about being read, after I realized there was no such thing as passing, before I stopped trying to blend in.

Not caring is one of the most freeing things one can experience.

Of course, not caring is not the same thing as not being compassionate, kind, or considerate, but you know what I mean.

Sometimes I think I have enough LBDs. or enough bodycon dresses with pretty floral patterns on them, but then you see IT. A dress that you KNOW you don’t NEED but you can’t imagine living another minute without it.

So you buy it and the feeling dissipates… until it happens again.

And it will. And I love that. I love finding a dress that I can’t say no to.

A few months ago I was at a second-hand boutique and I saw a dress. It was my size, it was leather, and I mean, I HAD to get it. And really, it wasn’t that different than the other leather dresses I have, but really, when has logic and reason had a chance against a WANT?

I used to save leather for nights out but I rarely am out late these days. Late nights and bold outfits tend to go together but… well, I don’t care about blending in anymore. Well, I do to a degree, there are some limits to what I will wear when I am out. I might love my thigh-high boots and pink PVC dress but I won’t wear that outfit to the mall.

Speaking of shoes, let’s talk MORE about shoes I wore with this dress.

I didn’t MEAN to buy them. I had no choice.

I mean, yes I had a choice, but I didn’t feel I had a lot of options on the day that I bought them. I was out en femme a year or so ago when the fastener on my heels stopped cooperating. Girls like us don’t have the luxury of popping into Target in a pinch and picking out a pair of heels that fit. I also “needed” black heels to go with the outfit I was wearing. I knew I had only a few places I could go that would almost guarantee where I could find a pair of black heels that would fit so off I went.

There is a chain of shops called Fantasy Gifts in the Minneapolis/Saint Paul area (and New Jersey) and they sell lingerie and um, other accessories of a sexual nature. They also, thank heavens, sell heels for people with my shoe size.

Their selection tends to be on the more fetishy side with towering platforms and six inch stilettos. Obviously I heart heels like this buuuut for the day I had planned I was hoping to find something a LITTLE more modest.

Depending on how you look at it, luck was either against me or it was running in my favor because the only option where these heels:

My heart skipped a beat and felt a combination of OMG I HEART THEM and I can’t possibly wear them while I run errands.

But guess what! I could and I did:

I am used to being the tallest girl in town but my goodness I towered over everyone. It was… an experience. A sexy experience.

Like a few other pairs of shoes I own, I couldn’t imagine wearing them in the real world so when it was time to plan my outfits for my most recent photo shoot I thought they would perfect for my newly acquired leather dress.

I love how these photos turned out. I think it’s obvious how the stilettos and the leather just… awakens something in me.

Love, Hannah

Life is Short. This Dress is Shorter.

Sometimes the world feels overwhelming. Often life feels overwhelming.

I try to be optimistic, or at least I try to not let the bastards grind me down, but God knows that isn’t always easy.

It had been a stressful couple of days. I can’t even remember what was happening in the world at the moment but it was worrying. Work stuff was frustrating, and I was just in a baaaaad mood.

I had to run to Target and I saw a cute dress. I was in such a cranky mood that I barely stopped to appreciate it. I did see it was my size but you know the feeling when you’re in a bad mood and you just want to… I don’t know, stay in the bad mood for a bit? Like you don’t want to cheer up quite yet? That was me.

The dress had very thin straps. The type of straps that at one point I was convinced my shoulders were too masculine to wear. But I got over that. The dress was also pretty short, probably too short for someone with my body. I like showing a little leg but this dress? I would be showing a LOT of leg.

I picked up a few groceries and went home.

Eventually my mood improved and of course I started to think about that dress and how I should have bought it. Even though I was feeling pissy I couldn’t get it out of my mind. I was reminded that life is short and the time that we have is not a promise. I may live for another five decades but the life that I have, the things I am able to physically do, could all change in the blink of an eye. The day is coming when I can’t strut in heels. There will be a time when I can’t do THIS anymore.

So, I decided to take my own advice and to buy the dress.

I went back, found the dress, and wore it for my most recent photo shoot.

The dress was even shorter when I was all dolled up… breast forms and shapewear can do that. I probably should have purchased the next size up buuuut I didn’t. The length is fine in the sense that it conceals the parts it needs to conceal… as long as I don’t sit down.

This is, at the risk of being crude, my “f____ it dress”. Not because I want to be… ah, sexual while wearing it, but more like “life is short, the time we have is running out, so, f____ it, wear the dress.”

I may be too old to wear this, but in a year I’ll be even older. I might wear this dress for Pride later this month. A year ago I never thought I would wear a dress this thin, this revealing in public but again, life is short… who knows when I will have the chance to wear something like this again?

Love, Hannah

“A Dress!”

This is going to sound very silly but for a long time I didn’t really think about where clothes came from.

I mean, they came from a store and I knew that someone sewed them using fabric but as for the PERSON who designed them? Never gave it another thought.

Until the movie ‘Clueless’ came out in 1995.

I’ve always noticed tags on clothes and sometimes they had a name on it but I assumed it was the brand and for the most part I was probably right. Occasionally I would see the name and it was the name of a person but again, I never considered who the person was or why on earth there was someone’s name on the dress I was quickly trying on before my mom returned home.

In the movie the main character has a quick conversation with her dad when he sees her wearing a dress.

Mel: What the hell is that?
Cher: A dress.
Mel: Says who?
Cher: Calvin Klein.

Again, this sounds very silly but it was a lightbulb moment. Of course someone had to design the dress.

I am not much of a brand girl. There’s not many designers that I really care about or seek out, but it’s still something I notice (and avoid if I think the designer is a horrible person).

This little scene from the movie popped into my head when I saw this dress at a thrift boutique. I took it off the rack because it was kind of cute and it wasn’t a color I had a lot of in my closet. It was a Calvin Klein dress and it fit like a dream. I’ve had this dress in my wardrobe for years and I thought it was time to wear it for a photo shoot. So I did!

When I add something new to my constantly overcrowding closet I think about what occasion I could wear it to. This dress would be perfect for a wedding or another formal event that Hannah will likely never ever be invited to, but reality usually doesn’t stop me from buying an outfit.

At any rate, that’s the story behind this dress. I hope you like it!

Love, Hannah

Review: Lara Underbust Corset

If you’ve spent more than a minute on my website you will likely realize a few things:

-I heart clothes

-I overthink

-I overthink about clothes

I tend to associate a lot of memories, meanings, and emotions with a particular piece of clothes. Well, femme clothes. I have a lot of neckties that I absolutely have no idea where they came from. On the other hand I have an incredibly beautiful floor length ball gown which fit perfectly before I lost weight that I will never ever get rid of because it was one of the first dresses my wife bought for me.

I am enamored with certain items because of their beauty, even if they aren’t, well, practical. My six inch rose gold platform stilettos? I’ve worn them like twice but my goodness they are magnificent and will forever have a permanent spot in my closet.

Lingerie is a perfect example of pragmatism versus beauty. Tights are more practical than thigh high stockings held by a garter belt, but I chose stockings almost every time.

For years a corset was a perfect example of something that was visually stunning but not something I felt could be worn for long periods of time. But that was because I was wearing them wrong and I didn’t have a proper corset. My introduction to proper corsetry started with my Dita Black Satin Corset from Glamorous Corset.

It’s a stunning piece of lingerie and my goodness did I learn quickly that it required proper training as well as commitment. I had never heard of seasoning a corset before but I learned. Corsetry requires an insane amount of dedication and at first it was kind of intimidating but I quickly realized the benefits of following through.

While preparing for a photo shoot over a year ago I decided to wear my corset which I rarely did for long periods of time. This would be the first time I would wear it for more than several hours and it would be the first time I would wear it outside of my home when I would be getting in and out of a car, going up and down stairs, and doing a lot of walking. Again, it was intimidating and there was a learning curve but it didn’t take long to see the benefits of a proper corset and the results of the hours I put in seasoning it.

Since then I have worn my corset every time I present en femme. Yes, it’s a stunning corset but its equaled by the practical benefits of it. A perfect balance.

I was thrilled when I was contacted by Glamorous Corset asking if I would like to review their Lara Black Cotton Corset with Hip Ties corset. Yes please!

A corset takes dedication and it also requires accuracy. Measurements are absolutely key.

I sent in my measurements and within a few days I received a black velvet bag with the Lara corset in it.

Although I’ve been wearing my first corset for a while and I am very much used to it, I was still taken aback by the beauty of it not only in terms of appearance but also in construction and design of it. I love small, subtle attention to clothes, whether it is a small fabric rose on the front of a pair of panties, and in this case of the Lara I was drawn to the side ties of it. This is a steel boned corset which helps create a more defined (curvier) figure and helps with my posture. I couldn’t slouch if I wanted to.

My second impression? Yes this is beautiful but I have a certain affinity for my current corset and I couldn’t imagine wearing the new one in place of it. This thinking would change.

I spent about a week seasoning it and was quickly reminded that although I am used to A corset it doesn’t mean I am used to ALL corsets. When seasoning one you should wear it for about an hour at first and over time wear it a little longer as you progressively adjust the lacing. A quick reminder if what you’re wearing hurts (be it a gaff or a corset) you’re wearing it wrong. I wear my current corset for up to 14 hours at a time and I naively thought this new one wasn’t going to be as much of a learning curve as it was.

After thirty minutes or so I was very much aware of what I was wearing. It was a relief to take it off however over the next few days as it adjusted to my body it became more and more comfortable and by the end of the week I was wearing it for up to ten hours (in boy mode).

This was one of the items I wore for my most recent photo shoot and although one of my first thoughts was that I would continue to wear my Dita corset I realized that my Lara would now be my go-to corset.

Photo shoots can require a lot of creative movement and posing. This could be reclining or balancing on one stiletto. The Lara moved with me and complimented my figure with every gesture. The seasoning and expert design of it paid off.

I was a LITTLE concerned about stealthing (essentially subtly wearing a corset in public) but this wasn’t an issue as shown in the photo below.

This is a stunning corset. It marries beauty and practicality. It demands commitment. And isn’t that what this side of us is all about?

Love, Hannah

Another Self-Indulgent Photo Shoot

I’ve heard that a need is a really strong want.

And I think there’s a lot of truth to that. For example, two weeks ago I realized I needed a photo shoot. But in a less dramatic and in a more realistic perspective, I didn’t NEED one. I did WANT one, though.

I am seasoning a new corset from Glamorous Corset and I COULD have limited my review to just words, but as I said this was very much a self-indulgent shoot.

Of course, it would be boring to only take photos of a corset over the two hours Shannonlee and I had the studio, so I jumped into my closet to see what else would be fun.

Aannnnd to be honest? I am kind of running out of outfits that I haven’t already worn for previous shoots. As I selected the dresses for the shoot, I was struck by how well I remembered when and why I bought the dresses in the first place. Every one of these dresses has a story. I’ll share these exciting origin stories over the next few weeks as I post the photos from the shoot. So, stay tuned, I guess.

In the meantime, here are some very low-quality iPhone pictures we took of the outfits I wore yesterday. It was a fun shoot and I am looking forward to sharing the photos with you!

Love, Hannah

Review: En Femme Wrap Dress!

I keep a lot of physical reminders from previous moments in my life. These could be ticket stubs from a concert or a small rock I picked up from when I saw the ocean for the first time. I associate objects with moments, even if the moment hasn’t occurred yet. This is especially true when it comes to clothes.

During the early days of the pandemic, I found myself buying dresses that I never thought I would wear. Several of these outfits had very thin shoulder straps which I previously avoided as I felt they exposed too much of my torso and I would look too masculine in them. The pandemic reminded me (and still does) that life is short, but what’s even shorter is the time that we have to do what we want.

And yes, this is going to sound shallow and superficial but whenever things seemed bleak and depressing I would often brighten a little when I thought about my new, never worn dresses and they would give me something to look forward to. I daydreamed about the world being a little safer to schedule a makeover, put on a cute dress, and just… try to pretend things were normal.

Over the last two years it felt like the end of the pandemic would never come. Sometimes it still feels that way. Similarly, here in Minnesota it sometimes feels that spring will never arrive. It starts and stops, two steps forward, one step back. We will have a beautiful March day when it hits fifty degrees (which is warm for a Minnesota March) but the next day we’ll get a little snow.

I look forward to different styles and outfits as the seasons change. In July, when the weather is unbearably hot (yes, it does get hot in Minnesota, lol) I start to look forward to sweaters and leather skirts that are perfect for autumn.

Of course, the opposite is also true. Seeing a cute, summery dress makes me long for the days when ice isn’t covering the sidewalk and I don’t have to wear a zillion layers to go outside.

The last few dresses I’ve reviewed for En Femme all inspired moments that would be perfect for the outfit I was wearing. It could be a party or a boring work meeting. In my final review for this little series I immediately panged for warmer, sunnier days when I tried on En Femme’s Fabulous Wrap Dress.

If there was ever a dress made for strutting down the sidewalk on a warm spring day, this is it.

The versatility of this dress surprised me. I think this would look cute with simple sandals or even wedge heels. I don’t have enough opportunities to wear white stilettos so I used this dress as an excuse to glam up.

Alternatively black heels would work just fine and would dress up this outfit even a little more.

Dresses with sleeves rarely flatter my arms, regardless of the length. If a dress has long sleeves they usually only fall far below my wrist. Capped sleeves, such as this dress, tend to bunch up as many dresses aren’t designed for people with shoulders as broad as mine. These sleeves fell perfectly and are another reminder of how En Femme designs dresses for people with the body shape, size, and structure that many of us have.

And of course, my favorite feature of this dress is how short and swishy it is. As perfect as this dress is for a summer day, you may think twice about wearing it if it’s a windy day. Of course for some of us the combination of a breeze and a swishy dress might be what someone is looking for. 😉

The neckline plunges and I think it’s quite flattering if I do say so myself.

These photos were taken on a very, very cold day earlier this year. The frigid temperature paired with this summery dress made me long for warmer weather. Today is the first of April and I am hoping that warmer days, days perfect for this dress, are just a dream away.

Love, Hannah