I never get tired of shopping for women’s clothing en femme. Browsing through the racks and finding a half-dozen outfits to take to the changing room is just as much fun today as it was when I would browse through my mother’s closet and find outfits to try on in front of her full-length mirror.
Just writing about shopping motivates me to take a day off this week to go shopping en femme. After all I do need something new to wear when I go to First Event (as if I don’t already have a half-dozen dresses hanging in my closet that still have their price tags attached).
Someday my tombstone will read, “Shopped ‘Til She Dropped.”
“How can someone who is transgender shop for clothes in the women's clothing department/stores?” is a question that Quora readers answered recently. The readers’ responses offered some good advice (read it here), but I wanted to add some of my own advice.
- If a store associate is available when going to the changing room to try on your finds, play dumb and ask where the changing rooms are located. I do this whenever possible for insurance purposes, that is, if somebody complains about a dude in the lady’s dressing room, the dude can say that’s where the store associate told me to go.
- Take as many outfits as possible to try on when you go to the changing room. Some stores limit the number you can take in, some don’t, but in any case, go for the max in order to minimize the number of times you have to strip off your street clothes.
- Shop at smaller women’s clothing stores rather than big department stores. You won’t get a lot of hands-on assistance in large department stores, however, you usually will get assistance in smaller women’s clothing stores. For example, when you are ready to try on your finds, an associate will “start” a dressing room for you (your very own queendom) and sometimes they will even put a sign on the door reserving that room for you with your femme name emblazoned on the sign. If something is the wrong size, the associate will fetch another size to try on saving you the trouble of getting back into your street clothes to do the fetching yourself. Savvy associates will size you up and recommend clothing for you to try on (the polka dot dress I wore on my Christmas card was an associate’s recommendation; she even suggested accessorizing with red heels and a red bag, which I did).
- Speaking of street clothes, wear an outfit that you can strip off and put back on easily. I own a sweater dress that has a full-length zipper in front, which is perfect for quick undressing/dressing. Jumpsuits also work well.
- The associates want to sell, so if they compliment you on what you try on, take the compliment with a grain of salt. If you go shopping with a friend, your friend’s compliments may not be any more valuable than the store associate’s because your friend may not want to hurt your feelings. So here is a way I get an independent appraisal of what I am trying on… I step out of the dressing room on the pretense of viewing myself in the full-length mirrors usually hung throughout the store. My goal is for another customer to see me while I am doing this. If they gush over what I am wearing, it is a bingo! Whenever I have done this, other customers always check me out while I am checking me out and if they like what they see, they let me know.
- For a quick self-appraisal, take a selfie or have an associate take your photo. The difference between what you “see” in a mirror and what you “see” in a photo is surprising ― trust the photo, not the mirror.
Shopping for women’s clothing is almost as much fun as wearing women’s clothing! So go girls and have some fun.
Singer Kuba Molęda femulates Margaret on Polish television’s Twoja Twarz Brzmi
Znajomo (Your Face Sounds Familiar). The must-see video of this femulation is here.