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

 

Shopping with Skepticism

A friend of mine forwarded an email to email from Lane Bryant announcing their new Pride-themed collection.

It’s a wonderful thing to see a company announce their support for the transcommunity (and the GLBTQIA community as a whole).  It’s a risky thing as it can create backlash and boycotts of the business itself, such as when Target updated their bathroom policy to emphasize their customers should use the restroom that coincides with one’s gender identity, so I really appreciate when an organization takes a stand.  I’m also happy to see that Lane Bryant will be donating a share of their profits to GLSEN, an organization whose mission is to create safe and affirming schools for all, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.

While I appreciate a business declaring their support, I also am a little cautious about how sincere they are.  In full disclosure, I totally love Target and I love seeing the Pride displays they put up each year, but I also know that they donate to politicians who do not support our community so you’ll have to forgive if I am a little skeptical of major corporations when they make a stand.

I get many emails from other t-girls who are simply looking for somewhere to shop.  We want to go to stores that welcome our community where we can shop and ask for help without judgment.  I’m glad some companies do specifically target our community, but I hope it’s because they sincerely support us and want to help us, and not just seeing us a way to boost their profits.  Although I meet such announcements with some trepidation, I ultimately think this is a step in right direction.

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!

I am a beginner crossdresser.  Please tell me how to chose my dresses.

Creating your wardrobe is one of the most fun and expensive things you’ll ever do.  It will be even more expensive if you don’t purchase clothing that is the right size.  It’s important that you know your measurements and understand that the size on the tag doesn’t mean very much as each designer and store can have a different meaning of what a size is.

So, how do you find your measurements?

Find a measuring tape (not the tool kit kind, the ribbon kind) and take your measurements for different parts of your body:
-Waist measured at your belly button
-Bust measured at nipple height with or without forms/padding
-Chest measurement taken just under pectoral muscle (2 to 3 inches below nipple)

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I have a section on my blog that goes into more detail about shopping and sizing.  Read that section here.

The internet makes it very convenient to purchase and ultimately return clothing if it doesn’t fit.   It’s important you refer to the size charts on the store’s site in order to choose the right items.  I found a really cute dress on Amazon recently, but I know from experience to look at the size chart.

Here’s a typical screenshot from Amazon:

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Under the price, you can choose the size you’d like, as well as view a size chart.  This is a standard Amazon size chart and is rarely relevant.

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I ignore this.  Usually on the left side of the screen, among the alternate views, you’ll see the manufacturer’s size chart and will vary from dress to dress.  This is usually more accurate.

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I also will scroll to the bottom of the page and read the customer questions and reviews to see other shopper’s opinions.  I normally wear a size 12 or a large (unless it’s stretchy, then I go down to a 10), but according to this chart I am a size XL.

Taking a few moments to do you research will save you time and money.

Happy shopping!

Love, Hannah