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Where is the Lingerie for Trans Women?



Recently, the company Homme Mystere has risen to prominence by marketing feminine-styled lingerie to men, with articles declaring the company is “challenging some of our most entrenched gender stereotypes.” That sentence bothered me, because even before Homme Mystere, I saw lingerie companies catering to crossdressing men - specialty sites as well as sections on women’s lingerie sites.

The idea of “lingerie for men” gets so much play, I’m starting to get the impression it’s drowning out another conversation that needs to happen - a conversation about clothing options for trans women, especially lingerie and foundation garments.

I should say first that I think it’s a great idea for all genders to have nice lingerie. I love that there are companies marketing to men, and that men who like to dress up and look pretty have resources to help them. But there’s something a little odd to me about all the attention the lingerie world gives to crossdressing men, given how few specific resources are devoted toward trans women.

Rose Bra, in sizes that fit up to a 50" band, is just "for men." Sigh. Via

Rose Bra, in sizes that fit up to a 50" band, is listed as "for men". Via

Let’s start by unpacking the problem a little. Lingerie shopping in stores often presents problems for trans women. Harassment and/or expulsion from the store is a concern. In July, Kylie Jack was asked to leave a lingerie store in Austin, TX after she was unable to produce identification listing her as female, because a salesperson thought she might "pose a safety risk to the... staff."

I spoke to trans women who expressed similar concerns, who said that fear of being harassed at stores is a barrier to buying the underwear they'd like. Furthermore, trans women’s bodies aren’t always within the range of sizes and shapes commonly available on the market, especially in early stages of transition. Being a non-standard bra size can make retail shopping difficult enough without the additional risk of being told to leave.

It would make sense for online retailers to cater more to trans women, since the internet is good at providing both a wide size range and privacy during shopping. For the most part, however, it seems many lingerie companies are familiar with only two audiences: cisgender women (and trans women who can wear standard sizes and cuts) and crossdressing men.

Crossdressers and trans women: not the same thing. Via

Crossdressers and trans women: not the same thing. Via

Trans woman's review, via

Trans woman's review, via

For example, has a guide devoted to helping crossdressing men figure out their size and which style of lingerie may work best on their bodies. Herroom offers resources and testimonials for popular products, which is amazingly helpful. Except there’s not a similar page for trans women.

In fact, when I searched for one, I found that “trans women” weren’t being catered to, but several trans women’s customer reviews were being included on the page for helping men find lingerie. The trans women were being described as “male customers," despite their own efforts to distinguish themselves as women and girls.

Chrysalis Lingerie

Chrysalis Lingerie

In itself, it’s not bad to make a guide for men on a women's lingerie site. However, given that trans women don’t get one, when they are women who might reasonably shop on a women's lingerie site, that puts them in an odd position. The information in this guide could be useful to them, but they’re reading something that’s clearly targeting crossdressers, a guide that refers to other trans women as male. For people with dysphoria, that kind of experience can trigger anxiety or depression.

And of course, none of this mainstream attention to male crossdressers would be a problem if there were similar opportunities for trans women. It’d be nice to see some distinct companies selling ready-to-wear lingerie designed for trans women’s specific needs. Right now there’s approximately one - Chrysalis Lingerie, which disappointed a few people with its exclusionary bra sizing. Teagan on Autostraddle even went so far as to tell people to go to Target instead.

Chrysalis also calls their panties "t-strings", which feels a little odd to me. Via

Chrysalis also calls their panties "t-strings", which feels a little odd to me. Via

A trans woman friend I asked broke lingerie into three categories: primarily designed for cisgender women, primarily designed for people into "being feminized" as a fetish or a punishment, or "well-intentioned" transgender-specific options. Of these last ones, she said that they are often "either quite expensive or low quality... the whole thing feels exploitative sometimes. You charge more or sell cheap crap to profit off our embarrassment and unfamiliarity with women's clothing." She also said that it would be nice to see guides to dressing her body type, and more practical, simple lingerie options.

"I'd like to wear functional, comfortable, appealing clothing more than I'd like to put on scratchy ill-proportioned fetish wear," she said.

Men who crossdress get all this beautiful lingerie to choose from at a range of price points, including whole lines specifically designed to fit their bodies that still validates their masculine gender identities -- and trans women have to either fit themselves into clothes designed with cisgender women’s bodies in mind, or resign themselves to buying lingerie marketed with hairy male models and large text declaring that this stuff is for men.

This bra would be adorable on at least one lady I know, but she can't bring herself to buy "lingerie for men." Via


I also suspect that the “lingerie for men” excitement, when combined with the lack of resources for trans women, has helped inspire some of this refrain I’ve heard  from many crossdressing men: that trans women are just very misinformed crossdressers. Some of these comments may come from struggles with their own genders, and I respect that this stuff is painful and hard, but I’m tired of companies making it easy to erase trans women from the conversation.

I'd love to see a company with the tagline "we pride ourselves on making trans women happy." Via

I'd love to see a company with the tagline "we pride ourselves on making trans women happy." Screenshot via

So I guess what I’m saying is: I’m fine with us fighting the stereotype that men can’t wear lingerie, but only if we’re also going to devote time to fighting the stereotype that trans women are men in drag.

If you're a trans woman looking for lingerie, this guide may help. If you know of any lingerie businesses or brands that go out of their way to help trans women, let me know in the comments because I'd love to give them a shout out!





27 Comments on this post

  1. Stewart says:

    Try unlike crysalis they ACTUALLY sell panties and gaff thongs which fit well and look great. They dont feel cheap like some lingerie or made for cisgender men. I have not started hrt but when I do I will be sure to try gendergear’s bras too. They are a company located in Toronto Canada which overall is a pretty diverse and accepting city (i live in toronto) I couldent be happier with their product fit, quality and style although their selection is limited I think you other T girls will be surprised.

  2. Sarah Kent says:

    The goal of this site is to be accepting of everyone who is interested in lingerie. Trans people and cis-males have different experience and different needs when it comes to lingerie. It’s not useful to lump everyone together.

    For cis-males it’s great to have something tailored to their needs. Most of the time cis-men have to make due with women’s lingerie options, as well as a stigma while shopping and in society.

    Trans people face similar issues, but in significantly different ways. Thus, it’s important to have brands tailored for trans women and trans men. A women’s lingerie brand—or a cis-male’s lingerie brand, for that matter—might do an ok job of catering to trans people, but they’d never get it 100%. Who better to design trans oriented lingerie than trans people. The same goes for cis-male lingerie. That said, it would be great to see some industry support for trans and cis-male designers and lingerie brands—perhaps a special line or collaboration.

    All of our needs are different, but we should work together and support one another.

  3. Raven says:

    This article is just my thoughts too! Thank you so much for expressing the difficult issues trans women face. It is either humiliation in real life stores or having to put up with fetishised clothing or for guys.

    There are very few real companies that provide lingerie for trans women. You mentioned Crystalis but there is another company that I do use regularly because their products are varied in styles (and hopefully increasing in choice as time goes on) and comfortable, as well as sexy (yes trans women can look, feel and be sexy without it being some dark fetish or something!)…. its called Translingerie… i would totally recommend them! (
    The only thing I would like to see that company do is make matching bra’s for the (tuck—hate that word) bikinis, And actually I think their entire bra range, no existent, needs to improve. But for knickers they are great! On a side note they also cater for trans guys stuff (binders etc).
    Worth a look!

  4. DDtop says:

    Another thing to add is that not all males and females(Genetic)bodies fit there gender! as there’s males out there with a more female shape where female garments would actually make more sense to wear(more lower half) likewise know females that have a more male figure(broader back/small breasts and not so wide hips)Also some have wide set breasts like a male has so wide cleavage so have problems with fittings.
    So it’s never totally clear cut and at the end of the day we are a mixture anywhere from totally masculine to totally feminine ie perfect male body to perfect female body and the greater majority sit somewhere in between as family genetics play the massive part in shaping/who you are with body shapes and height.

    So we are all out there i think of it like a cake mix all cakes at the end of the day be it fruit/sponge/gateau etc etc some have more eggs other have fruit etc etc.
    But since had/needed to wear a bra learnt quite a lot about subject& must admit do always try to buy matching bra/panties now or find ones for bra’s i have as just find there so much more comfortable to wear mind do think my lower half has changed because of the hormone imbalance!
    But there are also many males that wear them speaking to lady i know that has a shop say’s sells many pairs because the fabrics are better!
    But maybe one day some companies will embrace us all? but it is a big market there missing.
    I might have grown breasts as it were but it don’t make me any different as a person(maybe better)but just have to adjust my shopping habits as it were but there part of me so something live with so why can’t shops/brands etc accept that and encompass the larger market.

    And thank you for bringing this out and being understanding

  5. DDtop says:

    Hi being male it’s not plain sailing for us at all either quite the opposite as many shops are ignorant/rude mind then wonder why they have to close down!
    spoke to one nice lady at a shop won’t mention it though said come when that way to be measured etc when can etc anyway had some time so thought would ring ahead as i tell many to do anyway woman answered (other owner’s daughter)asked for lady said she’s away said about fitting she replied why do you need a fitting as can be any size? no i said ho unless you have something to fill them yes i replied told her size she just said don’t do that size as she wriggled like a worm on a hook after falling flat on her face just said ring back when she’s here. Talk about help your business!
    im not TG? but not well not anything really just myself! but have or did 46D but now a 44E/F cup size has ive a hormone imbalance type problem alot came from pituitary tumor(very high P)had leakage too and get very sensitive nipples from it also have Fibro/Raynauds which adds to it then they gave me Tgel which increased them! by quite a bit as it’s tissue not fat.
    but could be worse could be ugly!
    Have found some helpful shops though and ones that are are really helpful not just token help.
    Found my own size as it were.
    But it’s a market that shops/brands just overlook some are realising it now as had an email back from Prima Donna and looking into this market which should help a lot but it’s not just males/TG/M2F’s/CD/TV’s etc that have problem as many females do many struggle to find the right bra/size as they don’t conform to the “norm”
    But it’s not that many want a different line but more understanding/compassion and what does help if more out in the open as why should we be shut away from the world because we are “US”!!! Many of us make the best customers as loyal too.
    Know a lady that does dress making she only now deals with the TV/CD/TG scene as say’s always happy know what they like/want pay up no problem always happy with what she makes for them and Don’t moan and bitch about everything! her words.

  6. Tal says:

    This post doesn’t directly involve me, but I wanted to express my support. I’m a trans man and my girlfriend is a trans woman – although she has no interest in bras and prefers just to wear two camisoles, one on top of the other. So it’s not *my* reality (or even our reality), but I wholeheartedly support the idea of more easily available undergarments catering to trans women. There are several good sites that sell chest binders and compression shorts for trans men; hopefully some good sites selling bras and other lingerie for trans women aren’t far behind. Also, a wider availability of band sizes would help all women – trans, plus-sized, anyone who doesn’t fit the narrow range that’s commonly available. (Smaller bands would help too – I have a cis female friend who’s a 28DD and has trouble finding bras that fit.) And I think the point that lingerie for male crossdressers is more available than for trans women is definitely a valid critique – as people assigned and living as male do tend to have more resources and clout than those who are female and especially those who are trans :( I hope this blog post helps create some change to redress this imbalance.

  7. Shannon says:

    Transfemme, 28 years old. Rose and Morgan echo my feelings precisely on the market in general, and Chrysalis’ specifically. Jen’s experience at Victoria’s Secret is a lot like mine. The first time: two smiling young ladies approached me confidently while I was browsing. They asked me what I was looking for, and I said definitely some hipsters, like these, and the immediately began to suggest sizes. They looked at me up and down, and turned and invited me to look at their bodies, and compare sizes. One of them was smart enough to suggest that if one of the sizes was too big, that it would be very comfy for sleeping (she was absolutely right). Their grammar and word choices (they were not referring to my hypothetical absent girlfriend, they were talking to _me_), their confidence in approaching me with friendliness, their lack of shyness at inviting my eyes to their hips (you don’t do this for men), and finally, the suggestions they made have worked perfectly for me (this includes bras since then). Victoria’s Secret in fact offers a better range of sizes and styles than Chrysalis, at far better prices, has transgender model(s), and has customer service that is so incredibly trans-positive that as a transgender woman I could not discern even that I was targeted for extra-nice service. They treated me like all of their other customers, and that has made me a customer-for-life. And Teagan, writing on Autostraddle, is absolutely correct. I have two bras from Target that cost me $15 each and I have been wearing them once a week (think sports bras, camisole bras, bralettes, and other construction for women needed little support; sometimes they are sized S-M-L and are very forgiving in fit and comfortable all day). This is also a good place to buy a silicone bra insert for $16 as opposed to a $200 breastform online. Wal-Mart, on the other hand, is basically useless. My two cents!

  8. Pia says:

    I love this topic and completely agree! I’m a cisgender woman, but my girlfriend is trans, and we had an arduous but very interesting time exploring how to make lingerie work for her and for some of our close transgender friends.
    We keep meaning to make a site or blog to share what we’ve found with other transwomen who may be having a hard time with lingerie and clothes in general, but have honestly been scared off it by a lot of the intense anger that seems to surround transgender issues at the moment. Maybe someday…

  9. Jen says:

    You know, you’re right… kinda. Mostly?
    Let me explain. I agree – there is NOT a lot out there for trans women. My husband (I am a biological woman) isn’t living a transgender lifestyle, but he does have transgender leanings which we choose to explore in the privacy of our home. We have both scoured the internet for lingerie options that were actually fashionable, actually well-made, and actually fit and come up empty-handed and disgusted from time to time. While neither of us are overly large, neither of us are walking into Victoria’s Secret to buy off of the racks, either. (In fact, I’ve actually had experience with rude salespeople and nasty looks being a plus-size girl shopping where the skinny girls shop – rudeness and prejudice is NOT limited to trans women!) Then, as you probably known, if we shop at the plus-size shop for him, the clothes STILL aren’t going to fit right without cumbersome prosthetics…and even then, the fit just isn’t quite right. You can add hip pads, butt pads and breast forms, but you can’t change your shoulders or rib cage.

    There is definitely a serious lack of shopping options for trans women. Absolutely. No arguments. And I’m hearing your justified frustration about that in your writing. Let me restate, it’s a righteous indignation you’ve got there for sure.

    However, I don’t think Homme Mystere (whom I just discovered for myself today) is the bad guy here. Necessity is the mother of invention. By the sounds of it, the owner made the site as a man who likes to wear women’s lingerie, not as a trans woman. In fact, I LOVE what he’s offering. I can order my husband a pair of panties that will actually fit him without chafing or a bra that he can wear without having to wear breast forms. I’m not anti-breast forms, but let’s face it – those babies don’t feel real, they feel like heavy, stiff jelly-sacks and with half of them you can’t actually reach across your body while wearing them because they don’t move like real breasts do.
    Considering that there are plenty of trans women out there who want to feel feminine but for some reason or another feel like they cannot come out or transition, (I’m heavily involved in a popular forum based around living out TG fantasies and surrounded by that scenario daily) I’m surprised you’re not more supportive of a company like this. Because the lingerie is cut specifically for a biologically male body – which many even transitioning girls will probably never fully be rid of – it means that our girls on the sly can wear them daily without any telltale signs. They can secretly embrace their femininity and express their inner selves *somehow.*

    Yes, it would be wonderful if we lived in a world where we didn’t have to keep secrets; however, some people still just prefer to keep things about themselves secret and some girls wouldn’t want to make the transition, anyway.

    Instead of blaming a company choosing to cater to a specific group or victimizing an already underrepresented group of people, how about taking action. We can all blog about how unfair something is, but why not actually DO something about it? Necessity is the mother of invention – design a line! Can’t design or sew? You’ve got the world at your fingertips and a pretty big fan base. Why not tap those resources to come up with a line that fits exactly what it is you’re looking for?

    You’re right, it’s not out there right now and it’d be awesome if it were. But sites like HM or xdress are not the bad guy for not catering to your specific needs any more than a grocery store is a bad guy if you walk in looking for new tires and they tell you they don’t carry those.

    Maybe I’m just overly sensitive to the societal attitude of entitlement I’m seeing all over these days and I’m unfairly taking it out on you, but I don’t think so. I’m sorry if I am. I want you to have what you need, but I want you to wear your big girl panties while you’re being the change you want to see. Don’t blame the shoe store for not carrying hats or Taco Bell for not carrying big, juicy hamburgers. (Mmmmm…hamburgers…)

    • Cora says:

      Hi, I’m Cora, the Editor of The Lingerie Addict, and though I’m sure Rose will see your comment herself at some point, I did want to make a couple of notes of clarification regarding a few of the points in your comment that are more related to general aspects of this blog or industry-related.

      First of all, Rose is a columnist here at TLA. She’s not the owner of the site or the person who runs it (that’s me), and I have to say, as someone who is a little familiar with what goes into making a new lingerie line, it’s not as easy as your comment seems to imply. Or rather I should say that coming up with ideas is easy but the implementation (sourcing, manufacturing, distribution, etc.) is considerably more difficult than the casual consumer realizes.

      When someone makes an offhand remark like “just design your own line,” it’s not only incredibly flippant (as if to imply that if you don’t have tens of thousands of dollars to invest in creating a company then you don’t get to have an opinion), it reflects a shocking lack of awareness about what goes into starting and running a successful lingerie company. Necessity may be the mother of invention, but you need capital (i.e. currency or credit) to create a company. Furthermore, trans women tend to be a very economically disadvantaged group with higher rates of poverty and joblessness. So a statement like this is not only uninformed and uneducated in terms of industry knowledge, it’s also callous and insensitive regarding the very real financial situation of a socially disenfranchised group of people.

      Second, no one is calling Homme Mystere a “bad guy.” In fact, this article isn’t even about Homme Mystere. It’s about how there are more options for some people than other people, and about how one segment of women is continually underserved by the lingerie industry. The owner of Homme Mystere saw his name and chose to make this article about himself (which, unfortunately, is a rather typical occurrence for people who are unused to discussing how they may be socially advantaged). I have every confidence in Rose’s writing ability, and I believe that if she thought Homme Mystere was a bad company or that the owner of Homme Mystere was a bad guy, she would have said as much. She did not.

      Finally, there are multiple ways of enacting change, and talking about gaps in the lingerie industry is one of those ways. In other words, the very act of bringing these issues to light on a popular blog dedicated to the subject of lingerie is a key part of being the change you want to see. Any social issue requires visibility before it can be adequately addressed. It requires discussion. It requires naming the problem. It requires acknowledging that there is a problem. And that is what this article does. To take an “all or nothing” approach towards social change not only ignores the actual process of how change happens in reality (hint: it’s not in a 15-minute montage), it also discourages progress. After all, if the stakes are so high that your only options are to succeed spectacularly or fail spectacularly, then no one will take even the smallest risk.

      As I say to everyone who stops by, thank you for taking the time to leave a comment and share your views on The Lingerie Addict. However, in this case, I believe you are really, truly, and deeply wrong.

      P.S. One last note…it may sound like a small distinction, but being trans is not a “lifestyle.” It is an identity. Nor is anyone saying (or has ever said) that trans women are the only women to experience prejudice. However, experiencing rudeness because you’re a woman of size is not the same as experiencing rudeness because you’re trans, and any attempt to equivocate the two is misplaced.

    • Rose says:

      Jen, I have so much I want to say here! First, I think it’s commendable that you’re supporting your partner and that the two of you have found something that works for you in your lives. I think gender is always far more complicated than a tidy divide between cis and trans, so I understand why your partner might not want to transition, and might be content with the offerings that are available right now in the market.

      However, I’m a publicly nonbinary person writing from the experiences described time and again by friends of mine who are publicly trans women–who have a hard time with bra fitting and with retail shopping, who feel very negatively toward marketing that addresses them as “men” or “male”, and who (unless they are secretly robots) are just as “biological” as everyone else. These women’s needs can’t be denied simply by saying “this isn’t true of the trans person I know.”

      I’m very supportive of nonbinary identities for people assigned male at birth, and I’m very supportive of crossdressing as an option for people who enjoy it. But as I’m sure you and your partner know, there are huge risks and detriments to being a trans woman, and a lot of those involve people routinely invalidating trans women’s gender with small aggressions (denying identity, using male pronouns, selling trans products as “male” products, excluding trans bodies that aren’t “passing” bodies from product lines). Just as your partner’s experience is a valid way of being, so are the experiences of women who want to present daily as female, be referred to as female, and buy products as women. I hope this helps!

  10. Addibaddi says:

    So glad that the owner of Hommemystere showed up to talk down to transpeople and tell us that our criticisms aren’t valid because somehow we are not offering constructive criticism correctly. Thanks for the mansplaining. Also, I really loved how he told us that our community is tiny and that we are unable to support businesses that cater to us with our money. It is completely ignorant and rude. There are lots of trans people in this world, some you may notice, some you might not, but I doubt you have it in you to actually do some research on the market that you expressly stated “you knew nothing about” and then proceeded to make a bunch of assumptions on us. You also completely missed Rose’s point and got defensive. Thanks!

  11. Jen says:

    I’m stumbling across this a little late, but wanted to chime in that I’ve had consistently great customer service at Victoria’s Secret, even before I “passed” or had breast augmentation. Not once was I ever made to feel uncomfortable or treated in any way discernibly different than a cis woman, to the point I must assume they received some kind of training to that end. Lately I’ve been shopping at La Perla, but at their price point I suspect they treat everyone rather well.

    I think part of the issue is that many girls like me and my girlfriends (who have had breast augmentation and are mostly indistinguishable from cis women), don’t really have special needs. If we’re pre- or non-op, we quickly learn what styles of panties work with our bodies. Which is to say that the market for trans women with needs so specific that they can’t be comfortably or appropriately accommodated by standard suppliers is likely too small to financially justify a dedicated company.

    What Chrysalis did right was market to trans women, and do it beautifully. I would have shopped there simply because their brand was aimed at me, showed trans women as sexy, and was trans owned. What they did wrong was fail to realize that the customers that most needed trans-specific lingerie were more likely to need a wider range of sizes.

    My best guess, or perhaps hope, is that a popular company like VS, or a brand like Aerie, will eventually have a trans model and that alone will be enough to get trans women’s loyalty. Thanks for covering this!

    • Rose says:

      All excellent points, Jen! I agree it’d be lovely to see trans women seamlessly incorporated into the womenswear market–accounting for a wider range of sizes for those who need it, showing trans and cis models, treating all customers with the kindness that lingerie shopping deserves. Thanks so much for writing in, and I’m glad to hear Victoria’s Secret is stepping up!

  12. Sam says:

    There are a lot of assumptions in the article and comments about what the Trans community and men look for in lingerie. Just like women, men and trans women have different wants and needs from their underwear and lingerie. Some women prefer comfort above all else, some prefer premium materials or design, and some don’t care at all and buy whatever is on sale.

    I don’t want to be lumped in a marketing bin with other men. I am a man who started wearing women’s panties purely for comfort. I needed underwear that fit snug, offered superior material options, didn’t have giant/logo waist bands, and I hate the front “pouches”. For these reasons I don’t like most men’s underwear. But for these exact reasons I also don’t like the offerings from HommeMystere (especially the pouches). For me the ideal brand is Intimissimi… the style is nearly identical between men and women and I can buy based on my individual need.

    Bottom line, I don’t know what trans women need, just as I don’t assume to know what every woman or man needs. But I can guarantee NOBODY wants the same thing. One size does NOT fit all.

    • Rose says:

      Hi, Sam! I think you’re right that one size does not fit all, but we’re talking less about any specific sizing or comfort issues and more about the fact that trans women often get passed over in the lingerie market altogether, with no one asking what trans women (either as individuals, or as a group) would like to see more of. Hope that clears some things up!

  13. morgan says:

    Chrysalis was such a huge disappointment. All that hype, all those hopes — after a couple years of tensile strength being literally the only criterion I could buy panties on, I’d have given almost anything to have something resembling a selection to choose from — and we got: a dead simple mastectomy-style bra, and an utterly hideous highwaisted thong you can hardly wear with anything. Oh, and the thong will run you $85; sure, materials, small run, but you’d think at some point someone would have realized they’re targeting a demographic that collectively tends to have a lot of trouble making _rent_, let alone dropping that kind of money on underwear.

    • Rose says:

      You’re spot-on, Morgan. Not to mention the fact that their band sizes only range from 32 to 38, which is going to exclude a lot of larger women.

  14. C says:

    I love how inclusive your blog is! I wish there was more day to day lingerie for people with male bodies. As it gets colder out, the more layers the better. Most of the time I wear good old cotton boxers, but sometimes for fun or even not for fun I’d rather wear lace underwear and a nice bra or even just nice plain cotton hipsters. Thanks to the internet I can find these things now, and an awesome wife and friend who will shop with me helped me find sizes. Keep up the good work. I’m sure I’m not the only man who’s gone into a lingerie store and given them my measurements and claim they are my partners if anyone asks. God forbid I’d ask for a bra sizing. I dream of a world where everyone stops judging people and just live life.

  15. Rose says:

    Thank you to everyone who’s commented! I’ve been thinking more about this issue and I think that the answer is probably in a combination of informing retailers of the possibilities of the market–which, yes, will include critiquing companies that make a great product but are explicitly excluding trans women from their markets–and rewarding companies who are reaching out. Trans women, please feel free to chime in with your thoughts on this!

    Readers, if you know of any retailers I’ve left out–who either make a good product explicitly for trans women or are particularly trans-friendly in their press, customer service, etc.–please feel free to e-mail me at [email protected]. I’d love to be able to come back a few months from now with a big list of places trans women are clearly being welcomed as a market.

  16. DRJP says:

    Another great post on this topic!

  17. Brent says:

    Strangely enough, and though I’m loathe to repeat myself, we never set out to challenge anyone or anything at any time. HommeMystere began simply because I couldn’t find lingerie that I liked and that would fit comfortably enough that it could be worn for more than ten minutes without becoming unbearable.
    Despite the assertion that ‘men who crossdress get all this beautiful lingerie to choose from’, the reality is simply not true. Sure there’s plenty of beautiful lingerie about but very little of it will actually fit a guy!
    The reality is the market for men’s lingerie is small, even on a global scale. All our garments are manufactured to the highest quality / best price matrix that I think is reasonable based on the anticipated demand for each new line.
    I can only imagine how tiny the trans women market must be for lingerie. I suspect it would not be remotely viable as a business based on the required economies of scale to establish and grow a new business.
    As the owner of HommeMystere, I have never pretended to do anything other than create lingerie that fits men. Nothing more and nothing less. The reason we target our lingerie towards men is because that is the market I understand. I am my own best customer because I have been doing this for 30 years before starting the business. It would be remiss of me to advertise towards the transgender community when I have no knowledge of that market.
    As for the criticism of Chrysalis, I think it reflects a deep lack of understanding about business – on the part of the customers. I have never been in touch with the owners of Chrysalis but I feel they have been treated quite harshly by the customer group they are trying to serve. Rather than criticise the Label, perhaps some support and constructive advice would help all achieve their goals. A viable business and nice lingerie!
    I certainly take a conciliatory approach with our own customers because they are like family to me. We share the love of lingerie and while I get to make the final decision, if I have a question on anything from style to color to name, I know I can ask several thousand customers and receive a considered response.
    The trans community needs to speak up a little louder, start something for themselves or support businesses like Chrysalis that are trying to break new ground.
    As for the whole rude ignorant salesperson at the lingerie store, we’ve all encountered that kind of thing. There are plenty of store owners that are more than happy to address whatever your requirements. You just have to keep looking until you find the right one.
    I am in this business because I absolutely love lingerie. Everything from the design phase to the samples, photographs to conversing with the guys. I do it because I love it and each new sale is a vindication that the first few years of struggle and criticism from the naysayers was worth it. To Chrysalis, Herroom and any others in a niche market having a go, I say good on you and I hope you have every success.

    • Oliver says:

      “As for the whole rude ignorant salesperson at the lingerie store, we’ve all encountered that kind of thing” I am female-passing and I NEVER have. As you are not a trans woman, neither have you. No, you really haven’t.
      Way to spend a whole essay talking about men’s lingerie and defending prejudice in the industry. Not like that proves the point of the article or anything! Bloody terrible.

      • DDtop says:

        Hi yes many dinosaurs in the lingerie world don’t want to serve us but then moan when the blue rinse gang only buy a cheap bra once in a while and moan about it where as we spend cash and happy with what we buy and repeat customers

  18. Megan Rose says:

    Just chiming in with 100% agreement.

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