Thursday, September 3, 2009

shopping for novices

A shopping novice asked how do I shop.

I shop from mail order catalogs, online stores, and in person in stores. I prefer "in person in stores" because I have instant feedback concerning the look and fit of an item and if the look and/or fit is an issue, I do not have to package the item and ship it back to the seller.

In person in stores, I shop in boy mode and in girl mode. In either mode, I have tried on items in dressing rooms and have never had a problem with store personnel being reluctant about me doing so. Before using the dressing room, I always ask first if I am in boy mode, but almost never ask if I am in girl mode.

In person in stores, I prefer to shop in girl mode because in that mode, I wear a wig and makeup and have properly adjusted my body so that it is curvy instead of flatty. So attired, I get instant feedback about how an item looks and fits on Staci, and not a male approximation of Staci.

If the other customer's perception of you shopping for girl stuff in boy mode is a concern, another advantage of shopping in girl mode is that the other customers usually pay less attention to a girl looking through the dress racks than a guy doing the same. Also, they will have no concerns about a girl (rather than a guy) trying on a dress in the next stall of the dressing room.

No matter how many times it has occurred, it still surprises me how store personnel are willing to let a guy try on women's clothing. So do not be afraid to shop for woman's clothing if you must do so in boy mode. Shopping in girl mode is preferable and more fun, but money talks and high heels walk no matter who is wearing them.


  1. I agree with everything you say here. As an inexperienced tv, most of my shopping has been done in boy mode - but the trick is to ask, and in almost every case the store personnel are fine about it. Some will just let you get on with things, others will go out of their way to help. I've never had any hostility, and only occasionally the kind of shock that makes things awkward.

  2. Great advice, Staci. I haven't actually shopped en femme yet, but perhaps one day I will.

    You're so right: money talks, and if any sales associate values their job, they won't give you any flak for shopping in the women's section. :)

  3. good advice and comments. I shop mostly in girl mode but have been treated well in boy mode because the shops know we are not afraid to spend $$$ to buy what we like. Sales associates can be very helpful in advising you on what looks OK or what doesn't work.

  4. I totatally agree with you, Staci. I am always fascinated about the positive reaction of most store personell too. In the past I went shopping in boy mode, but have switched to TG mode which has become my everyday mode by now :-) What is also important for me is to dress comfortably in order to not get exhausted after trying the first piece on. I also avoid wearing makeup in order to prevent leaving any makeup traces on the clothes.

  5. Well said Staci-Lana, and a wonderful example to us all. Beyond the truth that the customer is king (err... Queen?) and must be catered to, I believe that every honest, forthright and normal engagement we have with everyone helps normalize this whole life just a little more.

    Ours will always be a special habit, but should not be a hidden one.

    Sincere thanks...

  6. Thank you all for your comments and affirmations about what I wrote. The main thrust of my post is that novices should not be afraid to shop in boy mode or girl mode.

    No one has ever made an issue about my shopping for and/or trying on women's wear in boy or girl mode.

    One time, maybe 20 years ago when I was shopping in boy mode, a saleslady in JCPenney asked me to use the men's dressing room to try on a girdle. That's the "worst" experience I have ever had. So, just shop in "money mode" and you will have no problems at all.

    (I reposted this comment to correct a spelling error.)

  7. Staci

    Your experience has been mine as well.
    And I quite agree with everything. I probably could not have expressed it quite so well. As always you excel at that. I could only add that I also prefer to shop in person. Another reason that you did not mention is the money stays at home a little more. It goes through the local banks in many cases. The stores employ local people. And if I can find mom and pop stores that are family owned so much the better...


  8. I just felt compelled to post a comment, and to thank you Staci.

    On a number of shopping trips, I've dared myself to try something on, but have always chickened out. After reading "Shopping for Novices", I decided to give a go. WOW! I've now gone shopping two weekends in a row (in boy mode) and tried on a number of dresses and outfits. Not one problem, or sideways look was experienced! I even found myself shoe shopping with the same confidence. Thank you so much Staci.

    So far however, my dressing room experience has been limited to stores that sell to both men and women. Stores where there is a common dressing room or a men's nearby. Has anyone tried on clothes (in boy mode) in women's stores such as Fashion Bug or Dress Barn?

  9. Christine --- You are welcome and, yes, I have tried on clothes in boy mode in both Fashion Bug and Dress Barn. I just go up to a salesperson with the clothes I want to try on in tow and tell them that "I'd like to try these on." They always happily escort me to an empty dressing room without an issue.