With the rise of online shopping, many of us would be relieved to no longer have to subject ourselves to the “in-person purchase.” But nothing can really replace assessing the size, fit, colors, fabrics, and contours in person before splurging hard-earned money. Finding an item you love and making sure the fit is correct is part of making sure we will present our best, most feminine, selves. The “in-person purchase” is an art form on its own.
I would encourage more members of our crossdresser community to shop in person to normalize the practice and reduce the stigma. We are paying customers, purchasing garments/makeup/etc for ourselves. It is not illegal. We are doing nothing wrong, and we are just like everyone else shopping. There appears to be a double standard when shopping for items of the opposite gender – women can casually purchase garments designed for men without fear, but there is stigma associated with men buying clothing for women. It seems understood that women purchasing male clothing would be intended for a significant other, son or friend. The same concept should apply when we could be purchasing garments and accessories for our significant other, daughter, etc. Keep that in mind as we might naturally assume everyone else knows we are buying it for our (glamorous) selves. This assumption may be entirely false.
A step-by-step guide
- Scout out the shop
Especially for first time purchasers, make a round or two outside the location to familiarize yourself with the shop. Make mental notes where the objects of purchase are, if the sales assistants are attentive, etc. Are there other sections (food, furniture, etc)? If so, going in to pretend to view those other items could help build confidence being within the shop.
- Going in
Walk into the shop. Yes, it’s that simple. Walk in confidently. Just like everyone else. You are a normal customer, and you belong there. Remember you’re a paying customer and there are no signs which say “No cross-dressers”
- Making the purchase
Here is where the path splits, one can use one or all of the following:
- 1) Ask for help.
Ask a sales assistant for help (if they have not already approached you). Share with them your needs (lingerie size, type of makeup, etc). Being prepared helps as they can only help us if we know what we want. This is the crucial part: 99% of the time they will assume we are purchasing for our significant other. They will speak sentences such as: “What is her favorite color?” and “her size”? I have had less than a handful of bad experiences and in these cases, they didn’t speak to me directly. They just giggled or made comments to their co-workers. If they had any concerns about the intended recipient, they would have addressed it head-on.
2) Get a basket.
Begin with filling it with “other” stuff first (literally anything), then approach the section where the objects of purchase are. Shop away, then politely put the “other” items back before heading to the cashier. If it makes you more confident, buy them anyway. The cashier would assume you are making the purchases for someone else.
3) Use your phone.
Pretend to be texting someone as you enter the shop, as if they are asking you to make a purchase for them. Continue to “check” and “reply” every now and then. Have a reference photo of what you want to buy on your phone so when the sales assistant approaches you, you are able use the picture to help them assist you with the purchase. Once, a sales assistant laid out the garment (lace panties) and said “you can take a photo to check with her (my significant other).”
- Make your payment.
Head to the cashier and make your payment. A card is always the fastest, easiest payment method. If it helps, bring along a larger bag so you don’t have to carry the bag with the shop’s name around the mall. After purchasing some lingerie, a sales lady once kindly pointed out that the bag did not have a “bra” written on it.
The first-time purchase is always daunting. I’ve frozen, walked in and out, and been giggled at.
I survived and you will too.
I confidently walk in and make my purchases now, its a mental barrier we have created for ourselves. We are the ones whom need to set ourselves free
You can always message me directly for any advice, support or more tips.
Glamorously and confidently,
The Bluest Belladonna