I went to work en femme this Halloween. Third year in a row; fifth time in the past 14 years.
The first two times, my workplace was officially celebrating Halloween with a little party during lunch and a costume contest. (I won the contest both times.)
The last three times, my workplace was not officially celebrating Halloween, but most years, a few co-workers show up in costume, so I took the opportunity to dress like a professional woman.
I am out to a few people at work including Human Resources, which has encouraged me to present as a woman at work. I wanted to prove to HR (and myself) that I could do it for a ten-hour stint (8-hour day, 1-hour lunch, and 1-hour commute). Things went so well that I did it again and again to sort of get the troops used to it in case I ever get the go-ahead to do it from my spouse.
Dressing at work with a computer always at hand afforded me the opportunity to record my day contemporaneously more or less and so I did.
10 AM Report
I got out of bed 15 minutes early and was on the road 25 minutes late, so femulating added 40 minutes to my normal get-ready-for-work routine. There were a few things I could have done the night before that would have cut about 15 minutes off that 40 minutes, so I think I did OK.
By the time I sat down at my desk at work, I lost both of my stick-on thumb nails! I have no idea when they gave up the ghost, but I think washing the breakfast dishes in hot water loosened the glue. Luckily, I brought a spare set of nails with me, so all is well.
My boss and her boss liked my "costume." My boss was surprised I was wearing hosiery. She would be flabbergasted it she knew what else I was wearing beneath my dress. (I assure you that I am not wearing a stitch of male clothing.)
Our receptionist said I looked better in a dress than she does.
Two female engineers said I looked "beautiful." One of the two, who is new to the company and unfamiliar with my Halloween past said she had no idea who I was, nor that I was cis-male until I spoke to her.
My boss said I looked like a former female co-worker — someone who left the company shortly after I started, so I have no recollection how I compare.
The administrator to the president of our group said I looked "so different" and "loved my outfit."
One of my biggest fans here, a male engineer, said, "You rock!" He also uses the correct pronouns when I am en femme. (After a previous Halloween at work en femme, he commented that he preferred my female presentation to my male presentation.)
More co-workers are in costume this year than in the past, but there were no other femulators.
1 PM Update
I went out during lunch.
First stop was CVS to return an item I bought, but did not need. The cashier was very pleasant and after we finished with business, she complimented my nails and we had a short discussion about faux nails.
Next stop was Dress Barn... one where I shop in girl and boy mode. I was greeted by Liz, the store manager, who was the person I worked with when we arranged in-store parties for the girls in my old support group years ago. She asked if my support group would be interested in doing it again. Since I am no longer active in the group, I volunteered to pass the word along to the group's current leaders. Then Liz asked if I would like to meet her district manager.
Of course I would like to meet her and she got the district manager from the back of the store, who seemed very happy to meet me. We had a little tête-à-tête about DressBarn, past store parties and Fantasia Fair. I think I made a good impression
Next, I perused the racks and found what I was looking for. A belted cowl-neck black and gray colorblock dress that I had seen on the DressBarn website. They had my size and when I tried it on, "my size" fit like a glove!
I had a DressBarn 25% off coupon, so the $56 dress only cost me $42.
But while I was trying on the dress, my left thumb nail fell off. The glue was so weak that it would not stick back onto my finger, so I put it in my wallet to deal with later.
Next door to DressBarn is Stop & Shop and that was my next stop to buy some nail glue. After entering Stop & Shop, I perused the cosmetic aisle forever trying to find the faux nail section. I was just about to give up when I found it - a tiny rack with a few packages of faux nails and one tube of glue. I took the glue to the register, checked out and when I got back to my desk at work, I fixed the nail.
I am wearing my most comfortable high heel pumps and my feet are fine six hours in.
4 PM Update
The Director of Engineering stopped by and commented that I looked "amazing" and he "doesn't know how I do it every year."
One of my long time female co-workers stopped by and said I looked great. She is very supportive and probably suspects the truth.
Most people gave me positive comments about my "costume." No one gave me a hard time. A few people commented with tongue in cheek about the fact I have done this so many times that they are beginning to wonder --- I am sure some people do actually wonder.
My feet are still holding up after 9 hours. Forgot to mention that I did bring my wedges as backup but I have not needed them so far. I even drove to work driving a manual transmission in my heels, did so during lunch and will probably drive home in my heels, too. With some shoes I have worn in the past, this has not always been possible... my feet would not stand for it.
I did wear the heels while I drove home and I was so impressed with them that I got on the Payless website and ordered additional pairs of the same style (Karmen) in different colors.
Would I do it again?
In my heart, I hope to be dressing full-time by the time Halloween rolls around next year, but in my head, I am not so sure. So, either way, I will be dressing en femme next Halloween.