Monday, November 3, 2014

A Working Woman

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

Quiet afternoon.

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.

Final Thoughts

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.

Source: Diane von Furstenberg

 Wearing Diane von Furstenberg.

Professional femulator Adrian Ames, circa 1955.


  1. Its good to be out isn't it Stana? I know this blog has been a source of inspiration for me to do the same. But even it I have no plans to bring Joanna to work with me, she is out there in my time outside of the office and is known by quite a lot of people now. Thanks for sharing once again!.....Joanna

    1. It was wonderful to go to work as a woman; I hope to do it everyday someday.

  2. Gorgeous as usual!! Are those new earrings?

    Are the glasses your boy glasses or some that you have for girl mode? I'm seeing all styles of glasses getting larger again, (I'm old enough to have seen big and small glasses come and go like the tides). Interestingly, as they do get bigger, it seems to me that I see women's styles blending more with that of the men, or vice versa. Hard to tell them apart now.

    1. Thank you, Natalie. Those are actually old earrings... my go-to earrings when I need a big pair in silver. The glasses have unisex tortoise-shell frames; they are my computer/reading glasses. My other glasses have a wire-rim frame, but also unisex, so I can wear them in boy or girl mode.

  3. I decade or so ago we slowly transformed from formal business attire to business casual. It started with the Fridays before holiday weekends, then every Friday became business casual and now it is business casual except for occasions and events that require a suit. Perhaps you are at the leading edge of the transformation to Fridays en femme.

    For years I opted to not use shoe vendors other than Payless since I preferred leather shoes and they are not a big item at Payless but with your inspiration I recently bought a pair of black Karmen pumps and a pair of beige Karen Ornament pumps. Both are very comfortable. The longest I have had to wear either was 5 hours but I think I could go much longer. Thanks to you Payless has another customer.


    1. Hi Pat,

      I actually thought about Fridays en femme! HR will probably go for it, but I dunno about the Home Office!

      Glad Payless worked out for you.


  4. Looking good, Stana! Maybe you should invent some other occasions for dressing at work, or make Fridays your Femulate Day?

    Payless Karmen are the most comfortable pumps that I own. I wore out one pair at Fantasia Fair, but luckily I found a store with my very large size in stock (in the Boston area) to replace them before flying home.

    1. Like I mentioned to Pat above, "I actually thought about Fridays en femme! HR will probably go for it, but I dunno about the Home Office!"

      I stocked up on Karmen in my size online. Bought 4 pairs!

  5. Another very good article, Stana. I think you chose your outfit well, very feminine but not overdressed. You would certainly "blend in" at any similar workplace. I picked up on the people that know about you that you mentioned. It is so nice to have a person (or in your case, persons) outside the home you can confide in, isn't it? I have a female friend t work who I told about my "other half". I chose her as she had said a number of things (had she suspected already?) which indicated that I could trust her and she'd be interested and supportive When I told her she said she was honoured that I had chosen to do so - how good did that make me feel? (answer: "very"). SInce then I have told her about various outings (she even asked to see my Ascot photos, telling me "take lots of pictures"). If you do decide to confide in someone, make sure they won't mind and secondly, once you have, make sure it doesn't come into conversations all the time (I assure you that can be very difficult)

    1. Funny, but I forgot about how some of the people I confided in said that they felt "honored" that I did so.

  6. Wonderful post, I still can't believe it, I was truly amazed I was soooo happy for you
    I think that a lot of folks would find the most usual part of your day was that you actually drove to work in a car with a manual transmission

    I think I commented earlier that I began a career as a working woman, I worked in outside sales, although I had a office with a "safe/friendly" staff (they all knew I brought in business that contributed to their having a job) my job was to call on and visit as many businesses as I could, plus it was to my financial advantage to make as many sales calls as possible.

    I lived and worked as a woman full time, all this in good oil' boy Texas, rarely if ever a problem"

    As far as the "prep" time, the more often you do something, the better you get at it, and the less time it takes to do it. Many times picking out what to wear took the most time( I try not to wear the same outfit more than twice a year) I now chose my outfit the night before, this saves 20-30 mins

    You are an inspiration to many others out there, I think many live vicariously thru your "adventures"

    Looking back, I never regretted my decision to work as a woman, my only regret is not doing it years ago.

    Many years ago I sold copiers, I like many other outside sales people HATED cold calling, I believe I would have been sooo much more successful as a saleswoman, as I actually enjoy "knocking" on doors and enjoy meeting new people and see each call as an adventure.

    I will say in closing, as I tell everyone else, you are running out of days to enjoy this part of your life. You can't say "well the next time around", this will be the ONLY opportunity to fulfill your dream you will get, and the closet door is closing locking you in forever.

    The most powerful force in the universe is....................................regret

    1. Driving a manual transmission in heels does amaze a lot of people! But a woman's got to know her limitations --- 4-inch heels are the max I will drive in!

  7. Gosh, Stana-- I don't want to repeat myself, but have to say that you are an inspiration to our community, That you provide a positive role model for being transgender when married, you give us hope. You look like a cis-gendered woman, You have sexy legs!!!

    1. Thank you. A lesbian friend nicknamed me "Leggy." And I don't know how many times my Mother said that I should have been a girl because I had such nice legs!

  8. It will say something if next year they have a costume competition and you do NOT win - because they say it is not a costume for you any more, it is just Stana being Stana

  9. You had a fabulous time...I'm happy for you! Keep up the good work!

  10. Stana- Beautiful as always- Loved reading about your day. I am sure some of your co-workers know you are to good at being a Woman. Glad you are leting them know we are out there. I will be going to Stata Clara College. Aejaie of Carlas Boutique & 1 other TS & me token Crossdresser will be giving a talk. It is on Nov 17th. I enjoy these talks thank you for getting me started doing them.

    Now what to wear ?


    1. I am very pleased that I helped you get out and do the talks!

  11. Thats Santa Clara College - I have Stana on my brain

  12. Dear Stana,

    Wonderful article! Great day!



  13. Here's to the year you go to the office on Halloween as a guy, for something different!

  14. Stana,

    Sounds like you really enjoyed you day at work. I would love to wear a dress to work, I've even dreamed about it, but because we work in a laboratory setting even my females associates work in denim and polo shirts. We can't even wear sexy undies due to static discharge issues.

  15. Press on nails...yes I hate them too. I have a trick: before pressing on your nails, wipe your real nails with a cotton ball and nail polish remover, then let dry. Your new nails will stick much better afterward. Also, when pressing on your new nails, hold them on tightly for 5 seconds to help the glue really grab. I use the shorter nails so I have decent dexterity even when I'm fabulous.

    1. Thank you for the tip, Stephanie. (In the good old days - 10 years ago or so, they sometimes included an alcohol wipe with the nails to prep them.)

  16. always love reading detailed experiences like this. Also high five for manual transmission, seems to be a dying breed. So much in fact you read stories where people get car jacked, and the car thief can't drive stick so he runs away.

    1. I had that experience with valet parking at a hotel some years ago. The valet was clueless and my car was not parked until another valet showed up.