Thursday, September 4, 2014

Remembering Frederick’s

fredericks-of-hollywood-ad-1959 The image accompanying yesterday's post was a vintage wig advertisement from Frederick's of Hollywood.

Forty years ago, when I began to seriously explore my femininity, I thought Frederick's was the be-all and end-all for femulating. They seemed to carry everything I needed --- exotic lingerie, high heels, sexy hosiery, showgirl wigs, gaudy jewelry, cheap makeup, short skirts, skimpy tops and tight dresses. One-stop shopping for my inner slut!

Back then, there seemed to be a Frederick's store in every mall including the one near the apartment I lived in while attending law school. So, when I finally mustered up the courage to buy my own feminine finery (instead of borrowing/swiping my mother's and sister's), I headed to the nearest Frederick's emporium.

As I recall, I bought my first bra with optional inserts, my first waist cincher and my first wig that day. It was in the fall, so I may have used the Halloween excuse, but I don't think so because I recall the saleswoman trying to push all sorts of products on me --- stuff that I would not need beyond a one-time Halloween party.

With my natural B-cups, I surely did not need the optional inserts for the bra I was purchasing, so after she talked me into buying the inserts anyway, I stood my ground and insisted that my pocketbook was only so deep and I could only afford the bra, inserts, cincher and wig.

She finally relented, rang me up and I was on my way down the pink brick road.

So that day, I made my first purchases of “girl stuff” from Frederick's of Hollywood. Where did you buy your first “girl stuff?” Do you have a Frederick’s of Hollywood story?





October 1976

Wearing my Frederick’s of Hollywood purchases.





Source: MyHabit

Wearing Rachel Zoe.


  1. My first real purchase was a wig from Sears. Yes, back in the day, Sears carried wigs! (A department in their "Softer Side") As with you, I don't think I used the Halloween excuse, but I also didn't get to try them on and compare styles. I saw one (mid length, blond) that I liked and bought it. I didn't get to see how it looked until I got it home. But it lasted me quite a while - strong as any Craftsman tool I ever got at Sears!

  2. One of my most treasured (and well hidden) possessions as a kid was a Fredericks catalog. To me the products depicted were magical.

  3. I wish that I could remember my first items and when and where I bought them. I do remember the Frederick's in every mall though and I also remember thinking it was such the ultimate in femininity.

  4. Like Pat, the Frederick's catalog was my favorite. i actually "stole" one from my aunt's house once and hid it at home. i don't think there was ever a better catalog in that era when it came to feminine finery.

  5. When I was a very young divorcee, my sister took me to Fredrick's (the actual Hollywood store.) My strongest memory was changing in the large single changing room (like a ballet studio, with a long mirror at the end) and being in there with a lot of different women, including some really lovely femulators. I got the most wonderful unsolicited advice from them-- about what to wear to flatter my shape (too thin, then) and coloring. I remember feeling a lot more confident when I left the store than I did walking in.

  6. I forgot to say how cute you look in your Frederick's finery!

  7. My gateway to feminine clothing was hosiery. I started purchasing Berkshire plus size hose at Mervin's and Target had a great selection of plus size tights. After that I found a cute green juniors skirt in the JC Penny's catalog, which I promptly found and purchased in our local store. But that all went away in a purge.

  8. My first purchase, was a pair of black patent 3 inch heels in the mid-80s. We were on holiday in the near from a town called Street in Somerset, the HQ of the shoe company Clarks. The town was just full of shoe shops and as my wife took then as now, every opportunity to look for shoes, we spent ages checking out one shop after another...

    You may say that is normal for a girl to constantly scan the shoe landscape, but in the case of my wife it’s also very frustrating, as she has very small feet (2-3 UK) and finding something that looks good and fits is for her a nightmare. Usually when she is occupied rummaging around in the small sizes, I’m sent off to buy at least one pair of men’s shoes (boring) so that she doesn’t get a guilty conscience when she, on the rare occasion, finds something! So when I’m told to do my own rummaging, I am always on the lookout for heels in my size 9UK (not so boring). It’s an almost hopeless situation in a "normal" shoe shop, but I look anyway.
    End of Diversion:

    …. After countless shoe shops we entered a small long dingy establishment. My wife stayed at the front and I slowly wandered to the back, and there in the gloom bathed in a single ray of light I saw them! It was like a vision, imagine the God sequence from Monty P’s Holy Grail - I didn't hear the choirs, but near enough!
    I could not believe it, they looked like they could fit! I started to get nervous. So often in the past my excitement was dashed when I looked at the size, usually 2 sizes too small and the only way I would have been able to put them on, let alone walk, was with serious cutting off of toes!
    I took a deep breath and turned them slowly over. They were 8 and half! was I dreaming? Just then my wife startled me by taping me on the shoulder. She looked at the shoes and back to me and asked “Do you want them”? I looked at her dumfounded and then heard the choirs! I slowly nodded, she took them out of my hands, went off to the front of the shop to buy them. I could have gone with her but held back being at that moment totally embarrassed and excited at the same time. I thought it would be better to say out of sight. The shoes were obviously not for her and I didn’t want the assistant to put 2&2 together. She probably did anyway, as we walked out of the shop with my prize in my arms!

    I still have them, the leather has, let’s say, “matured” over time and so they now fit without pain. The heel tips have in the now disintegrated, but they were my first...
    My precious-is-cis!

    Abigale ;-)

  9. Actually my first purchases were from my local Woolworth's department store. I guess that might age me a bit. After learning my sizes, Frederick's mail order was my next step.

  10. My first purchase was sheer tights (= pantyhose), while I was a teenager. The sales assistant simply smiled nicely, put them in a bag and took my money, and that was it, but I was shaking with nervousness. I hadn't yet figured out hosiery sizes, so they turned out to be too small for my long legs, but I wore them anyway, secretly in my bedroom. Much later on, now living on my own, I bought my first clothes of my own, mail order, including a corduroy A-line skirt that I remember fondly, now long since gone in a purge.

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