lingerie for men

Review: XDress Valentina Bra and Shorts

Wear what thou wilt should be the whole of the law; especially when thou lookest this good in fishnet holdups.

Product link: XDress Valentina Lace Bra in teal

Product link: XDress Valentina Panty in teal

Once I started looking into lingerie in more detail I realised there were several different categories, and as per my list of lingerie brands for Hims and Thems, I chose to split them into men’s brand, inclusive women’s brands, and unisex brands. But there are subdivisions within that schema. Under lingerie for men, there are brands that make lingerie for men who want to wear lingerie; and there are brands who make femme lingerie for crossdressers. XDress are an example of the latter.

“Some people cross-dress as a matter of comfort or style, a personal preference for clothing associated with the opposite sex. Some people cross-dress to shock others or challenge social norms; others will limit their cross-dressing to underwear, so that it is not apparent.”


I make no judgement about crossdressing; while an action harms no one, do what thou wilt should be the whole of the law. It’s just not for me and, identifying as nonbinary, it makes crossdressing linguistically fraught. I neither identify as male nor female and honestly, there are times when wearing men’s clothes feels more performative, more inconsistent with myself, than wearing women’s.

But that’s not the point here. When I decided to start looking into this, I knew I would have to purchase this type of lingerie in order to do a fair comparison. It came down to XDress or Homme Mystere and given that international shipping almost doubled the cost of any order I placed with the latter, I plumped for this Valentina set in teal.

The set comes in three colours: coral, purple and teal. There are alternatives to the shorts: the panty, seen above, which is more like a pouch with a waistband from which lace is draped.

(The more I look at the pics on Insta, the more I wish I’d bought the fishnet holdups. They really do go together.)

As the pictures below show, the shorts do skim the bottom of the bum. The set is made in China, from polyester (88%) and spandex (12%), but presumably stocked in the UK as delivery only took a couple of days.

The shorts

I’m not always a fan of pouches in pants for penises, especially when the pouch is the emphasis for novelty; Lord, deliver us from elephant trunk posing pouches. If you’re like me and suffer from gender dysphoria and/or body dysmorphia, having your penis displayed and emphasised by the pouch can be very difficult. Sometimes, I want underwear that flattens – no, I need underwear that flattens – that area.

“Stunning and lightweight, the Valentina Lace Short is a delicious addition to our lace collection.  A cute style that’s made to make anyone’s booty look gorgeous.  We’ve put in our signature contour pouch to allow for comfort and shape without the crush or squeeze. The legs have a delicate scalloped lace and the back center seam gives your bottom a great shape.”

XDress website

That said, wearing the shorts when I’m not suffering is actually a pleasant experience. The colour is glorious, but obviously we’ll need to see how that lasts under repeated washes (these are machine wash, low temperature, line dry). They’re very comfortable and they fit well. I’m roughly a 29” waist and bought a small, and the waistband is just right. They fit snugly, but the lace edge doesn’t cling to my butt, it drapes and moves in an attractive way. The waistband doesn’t bite into my skin and leave a mark, but they don’t slide down. They fit just right, and they feel nice when they’re on. I’ve bought generic lace underwear from ebay for half this price, and these don’t feel like those. They’re much better – I don’t feel like I overpaid for them at £22.

The bra

I could say many of the same things about the bra – the colour is nice, it’s comfortable to wear, and so on. I bought a medium because I’m about a 37” chest (one of the things I find frustrating about shopping for women’s lingerie sets at many online places is needing a 12 on top and a 10 bottom and not being able to order separately). Although the fit was objectively fine and I could say exactly the same things about the shorts, I couldn’t work out how to fit it. I couldn’t work out where it was supposed to sit.

Beautiful lace and delicate detailing come together in the Valentina Lace Bra. The scalloped lace cups are slightly shaped with a center seam, and the bra will fit perfectly on your chest because of the sturdy 2.54 cm. (1 in.) lace-covered elastic band under the cups. With narrow adjustable criss-cross bra straps in back.  Easy to slip into, easy to wear and easy on the eyes! 


In the pictures on the site or the Instagram embeds above, you’ll see the model is wearing it so that the cups sit flat against the chest, and the band itself is pulled up to an apex between the pectoral muscles. I didn’t find that to be the most natural fit. It seemed like the band ought to sit level all the way around my chest and back. It might be because I’m not used to wearing bras, I guess. I wore one the one time I did drag, but that was a padded, underwired bra and this is neither. This is the only male bra I’ve tried. I do have another unpadded, unwired bra – the Bluebella Lilia Soft Black Bra – and that one actually fits more comfortably than this, even though that was designed for women and this one was designed for men.

The verdict

I am a big believer that Hims and Thems who want to wear bras should be able to do so if they want to and I’ve spoken about this elsewhere. I see them as an adornment, like a tie, or a scarf, or jewellery. And I can say many nice things about this set, especially the shorts. The shorts I will definitely wear as part of my underwear collection.

I’m not sure about the bra though. Just today I’ve been trying to style underwear as outerwear, to see if that’s something that Hims and Thems can do. I’m going to write about that and post some pictures at a future date. This bra is more noticeable under clothing than the Bluebella Lilia, especially under the sweaters and shirts that I wear. It doesn’t sit as flat to the skin as the Bluebella. So, I figure if I’m going to wear it, it may as well be visible. But unless I can figure a way to make it a feature of an outfit, I’m not sure that I would wear it just for the sake of wearing it.

Whether the world is ready to accept a male underwear as outerwear trend, well that’s another question altogether.

That said, that’s just my opinion and I’m reviewing it from the point of view of someone who is not a crossdresser. Someone who wants to wear something more overtly femme may well find it’s exactly what they’re looking for, and in that case they’re likely to be quite happy with it.

The lowdown

Diversity and InclusionThis is an odd one to gauge. Obviously the whole site is super inclusive for certain subcultures, such as crossdressers; but on the other hand, it is a site for men and AMAB people so there are no women. Every model on the site is a Greek god, there’s no one who looks like my Dad bod, and there’s no one over 30 either. C
SustainabilityAs an oil-based plastic, polyester does not biodegrade and could last for hundreds of years in landfills; not good. Spandex – which is the same thing as elastane, just another name – is similarly non-biodegradeable. The manufacturing process for both is not environmentally friendly. At least the site does say what it’s made of, giving you a choice; other sites I’ve tried don’t even give you the composition on the site, you on;y find out once you’ve bought it and read the label. E
Vegan statusNo animals or animal byproducts are used, which does at least make these products vegan. A
RatingThe only fair thing to do is give two ratings.
– I really like the shorts and will definitely wear them again. Not sure I would buy them again if I didn’t already have them, but now that I have them I will be wearing them. A
– The bra, I don’t know. If I can figure out a way to wear it and maybe make it a feature, then okay. I’m definitely going to try. I think it may be a case of the product being objectively not for me, rather than there being anything wrong with it. B

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