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?

EnFemme

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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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Krissy
Lady
Active Member
2 years ago

I love browsing thru the shops, there are so many amazing bargains out there, plus thesedays peoples attitudes have changed and 99% of people that work in ladies departments or specifically women’s shops don’t really care that I was born a male. As back in the late 70s early 80s you would get stared at, possibly laughed at or that old line " that’s a man in a dress’ it would be very hurtful but happily times have changed and much as I do love online shopping, I think shopping in person is so much better. I always dress a… Read more »

Stephanie Silk
Lady
Member
9 months ago

Today I bought a cute, short, form-fitting cocktail dress at a consignment shop, which has nicer clothes than any “thrift" shop. At the check-out, the lady, who was mostly nonchalant, shot me a glance and a smile and said, “Have fun with that." I looked her in the eye and replied, “Thank you. I will." I think we both knew. They probably see gurls like me every day. Of course, I tried it on as soon as I got home and it looked great because I have the figure for it. Tomorrow, I’ll wear it with stockings and all the… Read more »

Last edited 9 months ago by Stephanie Silk
Harriette
Lady
Active Member
1 month ago

Have you told any of the sales staff in stores that you are shopping for yourself? Lately, I have described some of my shopping experiences, so I won’t rehash them here, except for this. I dress androgynously with breasts forms and I ended up in a Victoria’s Secret, a week ago. A young sales clerk helped me with looking for a certain sized bra and I was wearing a fairly light sweater jacket. To give her a good idea of what I wanted, I opened up the jacket, to show her my current shape. A picture is worth a thousand… Read more »

Harriette
Lady
Active Member
1 month ago
Reply to  Harriette

Correction: the store was La Vie En Rose. I must have been tired and said VS.

Harriette
Lady
Active Member
1 month ago
Reply to  Amy Myers

@Amy Myers I didn’t realize just how many pajamas show up on store racks, at this time of year, until Christmas time, last year! I was dumbfounded!
What do women sleep in when it isn’t winter? 🥳 Retailers certainly have women figured out for when it is cold, that’s for sure.

Patty Phose
Duchess
Famed Member
1 month ago

I began buying my own pantyhose at 13. I was never nervous about it. In fact, I was pretty excited about my new pantyhose. When I was 17, I decided I was finally going to dress up femme and go out in public. I decided I was going to dress and look like Daisy Duke. I went out and bought a pair of platform wedge shoes, some short shorts and a couple of bras. No nervousness, just excitement over what I was going to do with them. Then I knew I had to have a wig. I saw a perfect… Read more »

Patty Phose
Duchess
Famed Member
1 month ago
Reply to  Amy Myers

I think when I was young, I was much bolder. Not sure why. Maybe it had something to do with hormones of just wanting to do it so much. seeking the femme experience was very powerful.

Patty Phose
Duchess
Famed Member
1 month ago
Reply to  Amy Myers

Over the years, I met other dressers who did most of their dressing and adventures when they were young. Others regret not doing it when they were young and began doing it in later years.

It seems we are similar in a lot of ways and different in other ways.

Chanel Dubois
Lady
Member
1 month ago
Reply to  Patty Phose

@Patty Phose I had similar experiences when I was young. I would build up the nerve and just “go for it”. I lost that for a while but now I find myself back shopping and browsing en femme and loving it!

Patty Phose
Duchess
Famed Member
1 month ago
Reply to  Chanel Dubois

I miss having that nerve of youth, where I had so much desire to have the femme experience and enjoy the excitement, thrill and rush of it. I think, the greater the fear, the greater the thrill. I knew if I could get past the fear, I was going to have an incomparable experience.

Glad you’re back to going out femme and going shopping.

Chanel Dubois
Lady
Member
1 month ago
Reply to  Patty Phose

@Patty Phose “The great the fear, the greater the thrill” !!! Love it! So true!!

Patty Phose
Duchess
Famed Member
1 month ago
Reply to  Chanel Dubois

That’s how I found it be from my first time out.

Rhonda Lee
Baroness
Active Member
1 month ago

While the fear subsides over time, I find that the comfort level increases and it is nice to feel that it is natural and accepted to do such things en femme. SAs are willing to assist, bring clothes to you, and more. More stores are CD friendly. The arousal has for me abated, but the enjoyment of going out and doing everything en femme a woman might do has not. I feel freer to be myself and to engage more openly with SAs and others. I have gone bra shopping with my daughter and her son and many other things… Read more »

Patty Phose
Duchess
Famed Member
1 month ago
Reply to  Rhonda Lee

That’s pretty much how I feel. Fear is always holding me back. Sometimes it is very strong and I’ll chicken out. But if I can push through the fear, I feel excitement begin to build. Once the excitement gets stronger then the fear, that’s when I get confident and bold.

Rhonda Lee
Baroness
Active Member
1 month ago

I am well past the fear. I have done everyThing imagineable and more while dressed. The first time I ever dressed I ventured to makeup counters to allow SAs to help me pick colors and jumped into the deep end. I bought dresses at Macys, went to fine dining restaurants, theater, and went to a Chik Filet with screaming teens.. got out on the road and into public immediately. It was a weekend I won’t ever forget. From there on I invested my time in outreach, giving presentations to university groups, visiting nursing homes to entertain residents, going to sports… Read more »

Patty Phose
Duchess
Famed Member
1 month ago
Reply to  Rhonda Lee

I’m truly envious of your ability to have gotten past the fear. I never have.

Rhonda Lee
Baroness
Active Member
1 month ago
Reply to  Patty Phose

Practice, practice, practice. Take baby steps. Test your personal envelope, staying on the safe side, until you realize your fears need not control you. You can then move forward. Everyone is different. So I cannot say what is true for you. I’d suggest setting modest goals and determining what needs to be done to achieve them, in small steps. To just pick a topic at random, let’s say you fear picking a fem outfit, so confine yourself to ordering online and having it delivered to a post office box. Your hope is to be able to walk into a store… Read more »

Harriette
Lady
Active Member
1 month ago
Reply to  Rhonda Lee

Once I started carrying a tape measure and my numbers around with me, buying in stores became really easy.

Rhonda Lee
Baroness
Active Member
1 month ago
Reply to  Harriette

I learned my preferences in hem length and sizes, which help, especially when shopping online, but when I shop in stores I mostly ignore all that and just pick outfits that are advertised to be my size and head to the dressing room to try them on.

Peggy Sue Williams
Duchess
Famed Member
1 month ago

A brief flashback to the early 1960s, it was not always readily acceptable then for me to walk into just any store and try on a dress, so I did most of my female purchasing from the Sears Roebuck catalog.  Moreover, I found out I could save on shipping charges by having my order sent to my local Sears store for pick up.  Trouble is there was one lady at the pick up counter who always verified the contents of the order in a loud voice for half the store to hear.  It always made me want to become invisible… Read more »

Harriette
Lady
Active Member
1 month ago

@Peggy Sue Williams If given the chance, I really would look for a more discreet seamstress.

Peggy Sue Williams
Duchess
Famed Member
1 month ago
Reply to  Harriette

@harriette  I go where I wish in public, and IMHO those rare instances where I have encountered persons who express a negative opinion of my crossdressing I regard it as a personal issue they own and need to resolve. (Smirking males are a minor league annoyance, more like entertainment.)  As far as the situation with seamstresses in Atlanta, Georgia, this is a huge metropolitan area.  Alteration shops are often found in the thousands of strip malls.  Most of them send out their alteration work to third parties.  With persistence, one can locate one of the rare alteration shops that does… Read more »

Rhonda Lee
Baroness
Active Member
1 month ago

When I met my SO she ran a business out of her home called Thrifty Threads.. alterations. She soon became my “go to" alteration lady.  One of my daughters has put me in situations where I am asked to put on a dress in the middle of a crowded shop. She worked in a consignment shop. She and a friend of hers asked me to try on clothes there, and her friend applied her makeup skills on me as well. While always uneasy to some degree, these experiences were in San Francisco, where the abnormal is normal. No one cares.… Read more »

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