Fast Fashion

It’s amazing how fast a fashion cycle can go.

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. ๐Ÿ™‚

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.

What do you think?

Love, Hannah

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love my Body

Once I stopped fretting about my shoulders, I happily went shopping for a few dresses that I had always wanted to wear but never had the courage to do so. I took my new dresses and confidence to my photo shoot from July and had an amazing day.

I love this dress, and I love these photos, but I am wondering if this girl needs some cleavage? ๐Ÿ˜‰ I wear forms and I like the shape they give me but it might be fun to have a little more… oomph ๐Ÿ™‚

Love, Hannah

From Concealing to Revealing

When I first started to fully dress I looked for clothes that would minimize some of my features. I found a new appreciation for layering and how contouring could downplay some of my more masculine facial features. When I started to go out of the house, I did my best to blend in instead of standing out.

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.

But as confident as I was, I still avoided certain styles, namely dresses that revealed more of my shoulders than I was comfortable with. Spaghetti straps were a no-no. But a few months ago I had an epiphany. Global pandemics can do that to you. I decided that I was holding myself back, and I was tired of it.

So I bought the dresses I wanted to wear and I have never looked back. I wore the dress that kind of inspired this whole new way of thinking for a photo shoot in June and I wore several more of them for a shoot last month.

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”.

A couple weeks later I wore it for a photo shoot and I would love to share some of the photos from that day. I hope you like them and I hope we all can overcome these invisible barriers in our lives.

Love, Hannah

Impossible Things

โ€œWhy, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.โ€ย 

Lewis Carroll

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.

As restrictions started to lift and it was possible (and just a little safer) to get a makeover, I reevaluated my life. Both of my lives. We only live once, and life is too short not to wear that dress.

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.

I think many of us have at least one thing about their body they wish they could change. For me, I wish I didn’t have such broad and muscular (i.e. masculine) shoulders. But I had a moment of clarity earlier this year and I decided to just wear whatever I wanted, shoulders be damned.

So I did.

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.

Love, Hannah

Dressed to Kill

I did a lot of shopping under quarantine. I thought a lot about what I was going to do, and what I was going to wear once things returned back to normal. Of course, things haven’t returned back to normal and if they do, it probably won’t be for a long time.

One of the dresses I bought I thought of as my “out of lockdown” dress. Something that screamed dressed to kill and I found it at En Femme.

I didn’t wear this dress the first time I went out once many of the restrictions were lifted, but I did wear it for a photo shoot I did to review a pair of stilettos from The Breast Form Store.

Shannonlee shot some fabulous pictures of the dress and I wanted to show them off (big surprise). I hope you like them!

Love, Hannah

Dot’s Adorable!

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.

While I was doing my photo shoot for a shoe review for The Breast Form Store, I couldn’t help but get some glamour shots of this adorable dress. I hope you like it!

Love, Hannah

And It’s Me Who Is My Enemy

When I was 20 I learned a lot about myself.

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.

…and fast forward a few years. This song still impacts my life. Society is never going to “let me” be transgender. I can’t wait for the world to give me permission. I knew it was myself holding me back.

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.

I accepted my limitations of what I was comfortable with, and lived my life.

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.

And I did.

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.

Love, Hannah

Behind the Scenes!

I wanted to share some behind the scenes shot from my photo shoot for En Femme‘s spring and summer line that I did earlier this month. Please note they were taken with an iPhone without the normal touch ups that Shannonlee does.

And! Since they are behind the scenes and taken between shots, please forgive me if I look a little distracted… or tired. ๐Ÿ™‚

Thank you to Jennifer for taking these pictures!

Love, Hannah