Shopping for clothes in person, women’s of course

If you are like me, and most other CDs I know, you love to shop for women’s clothes. Even if you don’t buy anything, simply looking at the myriad of fashions, colours, styles, it’s an exercise in eye candy whether just wandering through a mall or looking online. Of course, shopping online is so nice and easy now, except for trying to figure out the sizing, and with so much being made offshore it can be a challenge to find the right size.

Even so, isn’t it fun putting things in your shopping cart, accumulating hundreds or maybe  thousands of dollars worth of beautiful and perhaps evocative clothing, only to close your computer and sigh, “Maybe someday?”

All of which makes it so much better to shop in person! Rather scary for many, and maybe frightening, too? Although I believe in most cases it needn’t be.

Like most, who’ve been buying in the last few years, I started purchasing online because it was easier, and I didn’t have to deal with a real live salesperson. Someone you are worried about might be seeing right into the heart of your crossdresser’s soul.

However, shopping in person has many advantages. You can see, touch, and feel that item of clothing you’re interested in, making sure the colour is to your liking instead of possibly being distorted by the digital system. The all-important sizing: either you can discretely hold the piece up to you, try it on if you’re brave enough, or just make sure of the return policy and take it home to try on. The latter might be important to you if you wear forms and hip/bum pads. Trying it on with everything you normally wear lets you know if the fit is just the way you desire it.

I well remember going into a local discount store with the intent of buying a couple of things for myself. I was so nervous doing this my palms were sweating, and I felt everyone was looking at me! Of course, no one was paying me any attention. In reality, I was just another shopper, and they didn’t care “why is this guy buying a women’s t-shirt?”

I eventually became quite comfortable with any store’s staff. Without exception, they were all friendly and helpful. If they figured out I was buying for myself, so what? No one really cares these days. A sale is a sale.

I did confess to the manager of one women’s clothing store I was buying these for myself and did the same thing at a lingerie store. I was getting tired of the old line about my wife’s shoulders being about the same as mine. They were both fabulous and so accepting it seemed amazing to me. The first one told me the best times to shop when the store was the quietest, and that they had a change room separate from the main group if I wanted to try something on. She also told me that their policy is one of inclusiveness, and if any of her staff were to ever give me a difficult time I should let her know.

This is an important consideration as many major stores have this kind of policy now. You can check out their policy online before stepping into the store.  They see crossdressers from time to time. The sales ladies are like that seasoned traffic cop, seen it all before, no big deal.

It is so freeing to simply be honest and say this is for me! The deception can get rather tiresome after long enough, which it had for me. Recently, I was looking at a pair of wedge heels sandals that were attractive, as my old ones had just broken. The sales lady came up to me and mentioned they were now at half price! That tipped it for me, so within sight of her, I slipped my guy shoes off and tried them on. The fit and feel were good, so I bought them. I detected no hint of disapproval from her.

I became comfortable with store staff but was still uncomfortable shopping with other female customers near me. I would often go to another part of the store to avoid them, or just leave. As you might imagine, this got rather frustrating and annoying, so I just started looking at what I wanted no matter if there were other shoppers about.

My next revelation was they didn’t seem to care either! If they had any curiosity about a man shopping in a women’s only clothing shop, they certainly hid it well. So now I just simply shop, look at what I want, and don’t worry about the other women in the store. I am certainly not immune to disapproval, so I am cautious at times, although I suspect this, too will also evaporate in time.

One has to achieve a comfort level for shopping in person, and it may depend on your locale as well, but are so many areas much more accepting than ever before. I do live in a conservative part of Ontario, Canada, but I have not had any issues at all. If you are very closeted and are concerned that someone you know might catch you, then consider traveling to a different locality to shop.

How do you shop? In-person, just online, or both?

If you have shopped in person, how was your experience?

Have you told any of the sales staff in stores that you are shopping for yourself?

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Amy Myers

I'm 60+, hetro, married, and love dressing up! I keep saying and feeling like I'm new to this, but I have dressed from time to time since my pre teens, but just late 2018 it seems to have become of a bigger part of me, rather than just a role I played from time to time. I'm interested in music, cars, photography, and plus other interests.
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Clara Cross
17 days ago

Yes. Brick and mortar stores for me Amy. I feel like if we don’t support them they will (and they are) just wither away. There just is no substitute for the feels you get from in person shopping.
Nice article.

Last edited 17 days ago by Clara Cross
Holly Monroe
16 days ago

I do get a rush from shopping, hoping one day to go shopping in Holly mode !

Gail Bingyi
16 days ago

Love the confidence you give Amy to those who may be teetering on wether to go or not to a store, and shop for something they need or want. I love shopping in person and if there is something I need that I think I should try on I love going as Gail to buy it. Mind you I have also been guilty of the old “this is for my wife/ girlfriend can she exchange it if it doesn’t fit”

Michael Drev
15 days ago

the first times are a rush

Robin Snow
15 days ago

Hi Amy, I shop both on-line and in stores. I prefer going to an actual store. I shop in drab and always let the SA know I am shopping for myself. Sure I’ve received a few strange looks but they are always professional have no issues helping me out or letting me use the fitting rooms. There was one particular SA who stands out. I met her the first time I went shopping for myself. She saw how nervous I was and she went out of her way to make me feel like one of the girls. Her face lit… Read more »

Melissa Lewis
15 days ago

This helps a lot! I have recently begun shopping in-store (in drab) with more confidence but I never thought about the anti-discrimination stuff. Just in time for new fall fashion!

7 days ago
Reply to  Amy Myers

Hi Melissa, I’ve commented on the main thread that one thing that helps me is to out myself to the shop assistant first, usually showing a picture of Carla. It immediately releases the pressure. It doesn’t suit all but it helps me.
Carla x

Fredrika Jones
13 days ago

Loved the story! I know the thrill of the first time out!


Robin Girly
11 days ago

I prefer to shop in person.Go to a local woman’s clothing shop often.The Girls there are very friendly.They know I’m shopping for myself.I’m always looking on line but mostly always buy in person.However buying shoes in person can be difficult.They rarely have my size.

7 days ago

It’s such a big thing isn’t it? Since my first outing outside in April this year, I have found I prefer to shop for my clothes as Carla, yet still buy stuff in drab. Last week, with my wife, I bought a pair of boots. I stress while trying them on as others pass me and I do the deed as quickly as possible. One thing though, that has helped me, whilst shopping In Male, drab mode is to ‘out’ myself. I find it immediately takes the pressure off me. Last week I was measured for glasses and wanted a… Read more »

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