I was seventeen, lying down in the front hall of the family home, with my Dad pulling up my jeans zip with a coat hanger! The aim was for every part of the jeans to be so tight there was no room to breathe!
And it worked – no space between my cute young body and the jeans, even between my high heels and the jeans. Of course, I was short (still am!), and the aim of these jeans was to cover my shoes too, so no one knew how short I was. It seems funny now; in those days, many people thought I was taller than I was!
All of this came to my mind because of a discussion with Sara Andrew of Inspire PR Media about fashion and style, particularly regarding XDress. We are both passionate about this in our roles of writer and publicist, and of course, beyond that, it’s intrinsically interesting to us! We realized that this following by rote what the media, the fashion magazines, and the people in the know say we “should” be wearing is quite clearly fashion. There is no space for individual thought or individual expression, just an almost “mindless” desire to get it “right,” look the part, fit in, and not be ridiculed.
It's easy to see from my experience of many years ago that I was, in a small way, a fashion victim. And not just in the clothes I wore but in my desire to be taller.
This is different from style. Style is where we get to express ourselves. Have you ever had that experience of putting on clothes, and your whole body relaxes, feels happy, and others notice? XDress is a space where we don’t need external validation from the style gurus; being in touch with what makes our body “sing” is enough for us.
Of course, with what we call “style,” there can sometimes be some “efforting”, some proving. Think of the person who deliberately goes out of their way to find something different, something that will provoke a reaction in the mainstream. This is different from pure style, where you find what works for you, what delights you, what makes your body feel relaxed and happy, and you go with that without a point of view about what it will create as a reaction or a response in the people around you.
And now we come to XDress. With these designs, this lingerie, we are dealing with “style”, not fashion.
Fashion tends, by its very nature, to be mainstream. And when XDress was founded back in 1989, it was far from mainstream. Kristina and her husband David, founders of XDress, explain how it initially was something new, innovative, and almost forbidden. Until then, the only “innovation” in men’s underwear was different colours from the standard white Y-fronts. Men who desired something different would have to buy women’s underwear. So, XDress, with its beautiful designs that were actually tailored to the male body, was very different and sought after by a minority of men looking for something different, comfortable, and exciting. XDress wasn’t just taking female underwear and making it for men; they were looking at the male body and seeing what would be comfortable and luxurious for men.
When XDress started, Kristina reports how she, in particular, was misconstrued. People assumed she had some kind of agenda to change men for some sort of political reason. Instead, she laughs and says she enjoys seeing men in underwear that they love and is more interesting, exciting, and appealing than “normal” underwear.
The way that XDress has developed over the years is also indicative of its emergence as a style that suits each individual who chooses a garment. David, who designs the underwear, explains how garments are designed based on the customers’ desires and feedback. Rather than XDress dictating what men wear, this company is willing to listen to its customers and evolve based on what the customer is asking for.
And this is reflected in what Kristina describes as one of her greatest joys from founding this company: the feedback from the men. Men share how they love the underwear, how good it makes them feel, and how they no longer feel alone in their desire to dress like this, girlfriends and wives also love it, and some say it has even saved their marriage, actually even saved their lives! And while that may sound like a bold claim, not being able to express yourself through the clothes you wear can lead to a kind of dying inside, a lack of vitality and engagement with life. This underwear is an invitation to live and enjoy life! Even the models for XDress say they love modeling the garments. XDress’s underwear somehow brings them alive and makes them enjoy the photoshoots.
And this brings me to the next thing I would like to talk about: how difficult it is to define XDress and its garments. It’s easy at first sight to think – oh, this is for gay men! And sure, there are many gay men who buy and love this underwear.
However, many customers are straight men, who love to have different underwear, and wives and girlfriends who love to see their partners and husbands in this underwear. This is very different from fashion, which can easily be defined. By its very nature, style is constantly changing, continually evolving as people and cultures change. This is reflected in XDress’s willingness over the decades to not just listen to customer feedback but to be led by it and to continue to be a different voice in a world where it sometimes seems most people are looking to fit in.
I was just In CBD of Auckland and realized after a person walked by in a very plain conservative dress, i realized there was the outline of a beard and i looked from the back and realized the shape of the person was definitely male. The immediate style without looking real close was feminine and very stylish, without drawing more attention than necessary. Wearing high heels and stylish dress and being able to present as feminine in walk and manners i was quite impressed.
I absolutely cannot say enough as to how much I like this site/company! Their products are absolutely fabulous and the fit is always perfect. Although I’m not a ful time CD, those moments when I slip on my XDress undies and Bra’s make me feel divine. Keep up the good work and a big kiss to all!
Thanks Ally Do tell where r u going? Wish it were Xdress dress then we could c u in it! I hope one day to wear a dress and heels out Maybe one day it wont b such a big deal! Get ur dress on! I want to lol Stevie
I don’t think I’m that brave. I only wear dresses around other T-Girls – at the moment.
I am soooo pleased with the dress I bought last week. It fits beautifully and goes with other things I have.
When I buy a dress now I buy one that doesn’t need an hour glass figure to look good. I choose loose fitting to the hips with a bit of cling to the bottom and thighs – sort of an upside down triangle shape. That suits my body shape. Full length batwing sleeves are good for me too – as is a high round neck.
I’m so looking forward to wearing my new dress out. I wouldn’t say it’s the sexiest or most fashionable dress. I just feel very comfortable in it and it suits me. I’m homing in on my style. And I love it!
Do it with style x
I would love to share your courage Ally. For me, to go out dressed in a full outfit and share my true style with the world would be a dream come true. I do sometimes wear lingerie under my regular clothes, which are fashionable but not reflective of my true inner sense of style, and find satisfaction and excitement when I do. I am also lucky enough to be able to dress in lingerie (and even stiletto heels) at home with the full support of my wife (she tells me that she finds the effect sexually subversive and exciting because of that). But, if I could go out wearing a beautiful dress and heels along with my lingerie, and to be wearing skillfully applied makeup and a wig, I would be exhibiting my true inner sense of style. My wife doesn’t know that I’d like to do this. Maybe it’s my uncertainty about how she might react if I told her that I’d like to go out with her dressed in this way that stops me. Maybe I should ask her what she thinks?
Sounds like you’ve got your style well taken care of Stevie. I bet you look and feel really great.
Just after I posted last time I spotted a dress I just had to have. I’m really excited about picking that up tomorrow. Fingers crossed it will fit nicely though. I have the shoes and the opaque hold-ups to go with it. Really looking forward to wearing the whole outfit at a venue I know.
Good points Ally I love underdressing! Xdress is my go to ! As far as outerwear its a mix of clothing from both sides of the aisle. My jeans tend to be women’s (i hate the shallow pockets) fall is now my fav season i can wear bra and panty sets! I m girl next door sexy i guess if i had to say what my style was Get ur lingerie on I did Stevie
I think femininity has become fashionable, particularly among younger men, in much the same way as it was among the new romantics in the ’80s. Fashions then beget different styles.
For me, Xdress is about desire – the article itself makes frequent referencs to desire – which then unfolds in the creation of styles. For example my desire is to appear (stereotypically) feminine, my style is to wear Xdress underwear (it fits and it’s sexy) and dresses and make-up designed for women in addition to that. I have style preferences in dresses and other outerwear.
Whoever we are, I think style has to come before fashion. At a personal level, getting the outerwear right is much harder than getting the underwear right.
I don’t need to think too hard about the Xdress underwear I like. Desire triumphs over style and – largely – remains private. Dresses and other stuff are another issue.
Hi all. Haven’t written for a long time. The topic is very interesting, maybe important. I believe that wearing beautiful and delicate underwear is most likely a style. For many, it may be that we wear women’s underwear, but for me it is men’s underwear. It looks like a woman, but our beautiful bras, many panties will not suit any woman. I wear them under my men’s clothing during the day… I wear them all the time at home. It pleases me, I inspire and I don’t even think that suddenly someone will notice. I am proud of my style. It’s mine. I broke up with my girlfriend, she even looked at my thong with bewilderment. But I think that if there was love, then my underwear would not matter.
Well here’s my take: indeed style and fashion are different. I have my own style in the face of the current fashion. Some of the current fashion trends i like but some not. My style is girl next door sexy when it comes to lingerie. Dressing sexily underneath my reg clothes is also a frequent undertaking Outer wear is straight to skinnyleg jeans with a white linen or longs sleeve shirt. Adding sweaters in the fall Get ur lingerie on! I did!
Dressing as a girl was so natural for me growing up I lived with my dad who was a secret cross dresser he figured I was same as I got older we would discuss about this so we openly dressed as girls at home so I owe huge thank you to dad for way I am today xxx
Kristina and David were pioneers in this industry and look at all the mainstream changes to underwear there have been in the past 20 years. I do wear XDress and feel comfortable, sexy and confident in them. My SO loves the different fabrics but loves the satin collection! Keep up the good work! And I can tell you, Kristina and David do listen to suggestions on styles, colors, patterns and fit. I offered the polka dot blue and white panties a few years ago and was happy they made it into the rotation! Stay sexy and true to yourself!
Choosing to wear Xdress garments, or dressing in underwear designed for women (as a man), could never be construed as a fashionable trend. It is quite clear that the vast majority of people don’t approve of men wearing feminine lingerie (or female clothing of almost any kind), or see this as an indication of being gay (I’ve never understood this connection or assumption) and therefore this has never gained traction as a mainstream fashion trend (and probably never will).
Men, including me, deciding to adorn themselves in the luxurious materials and feminine cuts of Xdress underwear (or those of us that also wear women’s underwear pieces) are dismissing the fashions that influence traditional male clothing, and the acceptance that goes with it. So, I agree, it is not for fashion that ‘we’ (those of us that choose to be different) decide to dress the way we do.
The acceptance associated with fashion is also one of the main reasons that ‘we’ quite commonly keep our choice of underwear hidden from others, because ‘we’ don’t welcome the stigma that comes from being different in these ways. Therefore, although ‘we’ don’t appear to be fashion victims, I don’t think we can claim to be fashion creators either.
So ‘we’ reject fashion, at least to a certain extent, when we wear Xdress or feminine lingerie. But are our choices part of ‘our’ style?
Style is closely connected to fashion. A common answer if someone is asked to define a stylish person would probably include the ideas of being well dressed, coordinated and in keeping with current trends (including fashions). However, in choosing to secretively wear underwear that would be seen by the majority as being for the opposite sex, ‘we’ are not displaying the quality or beauty of the garments or of this as part of our look and we are not showing anybody our ability to coordinate or impress with that look.
That being said, I absolutely feel a heightened level of confidence when I’m wearing something feminine, sexy or sensual, whether under my everyday clothes or even just on its own. When I wear lingerie under my clothes at work I can feel myself performing to a higher level and in social situations I am more outgoing and gregarious. This, I think, can make me feel stylish. All looks, whether fashionable or not, can become stylish if the person exudes confidence. Although no one can see my ‘stylish’ underwear (or lingerie garments) my outer style is enhanced because of my increased inner confidence built on the foundation of my feminine underwear choices and the thrill and feel of wearing them.
I will not even attempt to follow fashion with my choice of underwear (that’s far too boring for me!) but I will continue to boost my confidence and style credentials by wearing all things sensual, feminine and sexy.
I am a straight man with complete acceptance of anyone who chooses to be slightly different whether gay, straight or anything else. I just hope others can share my love of lingerie and get a similar buzz from wearing it as often as possible.
I find myself dressing more every day its hard to be all male its almost like a drug. I just cant stop have fun and enjoy urserlf
Lovely shopping site. Great job