There are a few fashion rules that I think are absolutely silly such as not wearing white after Labor Day. I love this dress that I wore for my last photo shoot but it took place before Labor Day so if we follow this arbitrary rule I am still not breaking any fashion laws, lol.
This is the second outfit I wore for a review I am doing for The Breast Form Store. After my first lingerie shoot I wasn’t sure I would do another, but I thought this cute set would be perfect for the review. My first lingerie shoot was filled with mixed emotions but I was happy to realize that this time all those nervous butterflies and negative thoughts were gone.
When you work with artists, whether it is a makeup artist or a photographer, you get different results, different interpretations, and different perspectives. I have two makeup artists I see on a regular basis and both are very, very good. It’s always fun to see what kind of look they will create for me. It’s also exciting to see what two very different artists will do with the same canvas (if you will).
Photography is like that. I have been working with my friend and photographer Shannonlee for almost six years now and I am always excited to watch her work. She finds fun locations to shoot in, fun angles, and always captures the best light and background. Because of this, I had been curious to see what she would do with this dress.
When I plan a photo shoot, it’s often because I have outfits or products to review. I pack the clothes I am modeling and I usually wear a dress that I am not necessarily reviewing, but something I would like some photos in. I wore this dress to my most recent shoot and I was excited to see how Shannonlee’s photos would turn out.
Our shoot was in south Minneapolis so as long as I was in the area I decided to spend a little time at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts beforehand. Wandering around an art museum en femme was something I had missed during COVID. After my visit I met Shannonlee and we took a few photos on the steps of the museum. We only took a few pictures and what we took turned out amazing.
I love this dress and I love how both sets of photos turned out. I hope you like them too!
If we are all on a journey (and that word annoys me less than it used to for some reason) then our journeys are marked by milestones.
I think we all have pretty common milestones, significant moments and small accomplishments that show our progress. Some of the standout moments in my life include the first time I wore a bra, the first time I tried on stilettos at a store, the first time I left the house en femme, my first makeover… the list continues.
Of course, no one HAS to have these moments but I think (depending on where you are on your journey) many of us can recall similar first times. Do you remember the first time you woke up in a nightgown? I absolutely do.
Since so much of my gender identity is tied to clothes I mark much of my journey by what I wear. I used to wonder if I was transgender because I wore “girl clothes” or if I wore “girl clothes” because I was trans but I’ve decided that I was born this way and I just simply and absolutely love clothes. I love how a dress can boost my self-esteem, my confidence, and shape my whole day.
Many of these milestones are tied to what I want to, and what I want to wear. I had always wanted to go to dinner or see a play en femme and I’ve done those things. Crossed them off my girly “to-do” list. Clothes are not any different in that sense to me. When I was a kid I looked longingly, almost achingly, at the beautiful lingerie that the models in catalogs were wearing. I dreamt about how amazing it would be to wear stockings and a garter belt, along with matching bra and panties. There was (and still is) something so sensual, beautiful, feminine, and almost innocent in that elaborate lingerie.
I am at a point where I feel I have worn almost everything that I want to. If there’s something I want to wear, whether it is an evening gown or a corset, I shop for what I am looking for and usually end up wearing it for a photo shoot. As the list shrinks I find it to be a little… bittersweet. On one hand, I am beyond fortunate and blessed to have worn so many things on my wish list. On the other hand, clothes make me insanely happy and I love wearing something that I have always wanted to wear. It’s getting harder to think of new and fun outfits to wear for photo shoots. The list isn’t finished yet, but goodness it’s getting close.
Whether you identify as a crossdresser, t-girl, gender non-conforming, non-binary, or something else, there is a part of your journey where we can go from accepting (yes, THIS is who I am) this side of us to EMBRACING (yes, THIS is who I am and I LOVE it) this side of us. In my opinion the real fun begins once we make this step. Once I embraced who I was (and this was at twenty years old) then I let my imagination run wild. I let my inhibitions go. I started to buy and wear what I wanted. I mean, this was all done discreetly and in secret, but it was thrilling to shop for stockings after wanting to wear them all my life.
It’s not uncommon for there to be a link between this side of us (and what we want to wear) with eroticism. I am not talking about crossdressing as a fetish, that’s another subject altogether, I’m referring to wearing clothes that are, well, SEXY.
Of course there is a difference between a sexy dress and a dress that you would wear to Sunday brunch. I mean, that’s one of the reasons I am so enamored by clothes. There’s SO much to wear for literally any occasion. Yes, lingerie is SEXY but I don’t wear lingerie because I am turned on by it. I wear sexy dresses because they make me feel confident and attractive, but they don’t, ah, arouse me.
Am I making sense? I mean, I know what I mean and I hope you do too. 🙂
I want to wear (and I do) what I think is beautiful, cute, and sexy. Little black dresses look amazing on anyone and I love wearing them. I think a cute skirt and boots look very cute so I wear them.
Corsets are sexy so I wear them (I mean, aside from how functional and practical they are). This thinking can also cover what I think is, and would be fun to wear. Whenever the calendar is flipped to October I start to think (and dream) about what Hannah will be for Halloween. There is a seemingly endless list of options and each year I dream about what I am going to dress as. I admit that some of the costumes are almost, well, cliches. Television shows and movies that have costume parties almost always have a girl wearing a schoolgirl outfit. Or a girl wearing lingerie and cat ears. You get the idea. French maids are also pretty common. I had always wanted to wear a French maid outfit. Like lingerie they always seemed so… elaborate. The skirt floofed out with a white petticoat, fishnet stockings, a cute little apron, patent leather stilettos…
Wearing a French maid outfit was on my wish list and I finally accomplished this milestone at my most recent photo shoot. I love looking at these photos and I think I nailed the look I was going for.
But as I mentioned before, my wish list is dwindling and it’s bittersweet crossing things off of the list. Like finishing your reading list. It’s like, well, what do I read (or wear) next? I like setting goals and trying to accomplish them. It all sounds so silly (and probably a little shallow) to think like this. But like my gender identity, this is how I am wired. I was born this way.
It’s a little funny to see clothes in such two completely, almost contradictory, ways. One one hand clothes are pieces of fabric sewn together to cover our skin. On the other hand, clothes are EVERYTHING. Wearing leggings keeps someone warm, but wearing leggings are OMG, comfortable and a way to connect to my femme side, my other gender identity. Panties are not JUST underwear, they are a small and beautiful way for me to stay in touch with my femme self when I am in boy mode. I think society gets waaaaay too worked up when it comes to who wears what. The world (for the most part) loses its mind when a boy wears nail polish. When the world’s collective mind has a meltdown about a boy wearing a skirt I think it’s a huge overreaction to someone wearing a piece of fabric. But at the same time, clothes are MORE than a simple piece of fabric. Clothes can, and do, shape our confidence and our perspective. I wouldn’t be surprised if there was something in your closet or drawers that makes you feel cute, beautiful, or sexy.
A French maid costume (or a skirt or a LBD or whatever) is sewn together with pieces of fabric and is nothing more than that. But on the other side of the coin the clothes can be a milestone. Wearing something you have dreamed about for years is, in a way, an accomplishment. It’s crossing something off your wish list. It’s kind of… well, funny that such a sexy costume can make me feel such a myriad of emotions. I felt cute but also a little… well, bittersweet (goodness I am using this word a lot here but if the stiletto fits…). In some ways the costume, like my lingerie shoot, signified getting near the end of my”to-wear” list.
I’m not quite done yet with my list but if you have some ideas, I would LOVE to hear them, lol.
I enjoy your site and frequent it fairly regularly, but I keep wondering why you keep doing all these photo shoots. Do you pay for these yourself, with maybe some being covered by some of the companies you review? If you pay for them yourself, what purpose do they serve? Is it just to have photos for your blog posts?
This is an excellent question.
One reason I do photo shoots is to take pictures for products I am reviewing. It’s one thing to talk about how amazing breast forms are or how cute a dress is, it’s another to show something off. I believe it also lends some credibility to whatever it is I am writing about, too. Usually when I do a photo shoot it is because I was sent something to review and if I am going to do all the work to plan a shoot for one outfit or product, I may as well take other photos too. Some shoots are paid by the company I am modeling for, and some I pay for.
Of course, not every shoot is for a product review. Some shoots are to mark a milestone, in a way. Last year I did a shoot that featured a couple of outfits that I never thought I’d be brave enough to wear… but I got over it. I had always wanted to wear dresses with halter and/or thin straps but I was afraid that my shoulders were too masculine to pull them off. My body didn’t change, it was still the same as it always was, but what shifted was my thinking and I stopped caring about how my shoulders looked. I did the shoot to symbolize my, uh, getting over it.
I did another shoot in May of this year that I jokingly referred to a “Because I’m Alive” shoot. I was feeling a mix of gratitude and joy and elation from simply being happy with life and bought some super cute dresses to wear.
I would be remiss if I didn’t admit that some shoots are done for sheer vanity. I like how I look, I love looking at photos of myself in a cute dress and an amazing makeover. I also try to keep my website fresh with recent photos and regular shoots are a good way to do that.
I do shoots for a variety of reasons, and they are a lot of work. But I wouldn’t do them if they weren’t fun, either. It’s a lot of fun to work with my friend and photographer and to shoot in places she picks. Whether we’re shooting in downtown Minneapolis or at a park or in a cool hotel, she has a good eye for interesting and fun locations. She’s also great at getting the right angle and pose and lighting so getting the photos back is also a lot of fun and validating. I want to look cute, I want to look feminine and seeing photos that capture this side of me makes me incredibly happy.
This weekend I had a photo shoot with my friend and photographer, Shannonlee. We did some pictures for some reviews I am writing for En Femme and The Breast Form Store and spoiler alert! I love what I reviewed. More pictures and the actual reviews coming soonish.
Although I don’t shop at Victoria’s Secret anymore, I still have a lot of panties from them that I wear. The quality is, well, fine, I suppose. Although they are cute I don’t expect tooooo much out of panties that are sometimes 10 pairs for $30 or whatever. When I compare them to panties and lingerie I get from say, Allure, then the difference in quality becomes more noticeable. There’s also a quality difference between a $50 corset and my Glamorous Corset. Before I owned my current corset I thought they were, well, overrated. I didn’t see the (practical) benefit from wearing one. And yes, as sexy as they are, there is a practical side to a corset. But my corset from Glamorous Corset? Oh my goodness. Quality and sexiness.
My point is that, for the most part, you get what you pay for when it comes to lingerie (and makeup). Although my purse would prefer I purchase a $5 pair of panties from Target, my body appreciates the panties that I spent $30 on. Again, crossdressing takes patience, time, and money. I feel that there is a benefit in investing in this side of me.
When I first heard about Moot, I fell in love with their designs. Moot is a newish lingerie designer for crossdressers and girls like us. Their designs not only fit someone like us, but their designs are, in my opinion, what I want in my lingerie and panty drawer… what I mean is their lingerie is super cute and super feminine. I loved their designs but I was taken aback by the price. Moot isn’t Victoria’s Secret when it comes to price.
To their credit, Moot acknowledges that. They pride themselves on quality and after being sent some items to review, I have to say that they’re right. Moot lingerie is super cute, and the quality is on another level.
Each item is handmade in England using materials that are ethically sourced. I know this doesn’t matter to everyone but, well, it matters to me. As I get older I make more of an effort to shop local, buy from independent businesses, and eat at non-chain restaurants. Moot aligns with my values perfectly.
But the lingerie… how is it? The quality is the first thing I noticed. The panties I was sent to review didn’t feel or look cheap. They felt luxurious. A perfect combination of lace and mesh and small details. One pair (The Quentin) is sexy and comfortable (which is what I want from lingerie).
The front holds my feminine flaw perfectly and the cut open detail in the back is alluring and flirty.
My favorite pair is the Floral Brief. This is transparent lace and the back is, well, tiny, but it fits like a dream. Both panties are welcome additions to my lingerie drawer(s). I suppose at this point I need a lingerie closet.
Moot isn’t cheap, and they pride themselves on not being cheap. Their pride is well deserved and the quality is truly second to none. Moot is what I want to find when it comes to my lingerie… ethically sourced, handmade, feminine, comfortable, and sexy.
Thank you to Moot for providing these panties. I heart them.
There are words that I love to use when it comes to this side of me. I love to wear a leather dress and look smoldering. I love wearing a cute dress and looking flirty. I love a little black dress and looking like a bombshell.
But this dress? I would love to be described as enchanting. There’s something so… amazing about a dress like this and imagining being the center of attention at a (very) formal event. A dress that makes people wonder who she is.
This was the last dress I wore for my most recent photo shoot. I wanted to create the feel of a very fancy event and a hotel in downtown Minneapolis was the perfect place to play in. I hope you like these photos!
Whenever I buy a new outfit I usually try it on for the first time in boy mode. When I do this, I end up hating whatever I am wearing, but I also know I will think, and feel, and look different once I have my forms and pads on. Once my body is in femme mode (not that you need to have curves to be feminine), clothes look and feel and fit differently.
When this dress was delivered I tried it on and it fit fine. When I wore it in girl mode, well, it still fit fine, but I realized it was a little too short. I determine if something is too short if the tops of my stockings or the clasp of my garters are visible. If I stood still, then it was fine, but the tiniest breeze or movement was a little much.
I felt a little self-conscious in this outfit but I love how these photos turned out. It might be a short dress but it is still very cute. I hope you like it too!