Thursday, October 5, 2017

Remembering Frederick’s

It's Throwback Thursday, so I am repeating this popular post. I hope you enjoy it.

Wearing my Fredericks' of Hollywood
purchases (bra, waist cincher and wig)
Forty-five years ago, when I began to seriously explore my femininity, I thought Frederick's of Hollywood 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 yellow 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?

Source: Intermix
Wearing (left) Sarah Magid earrings, Alessandra Rich dress, Giuseppe Zanotti shoes and (right) Lizzie Fortunato earrings, Misha dress, Aquazzura shoes, Tambonita bag (Source: Intermix)

Don Winslow
Don Winslow in the Navy, 1940


  1. My favorite pumps are from Freddie's! Never did see a brick-and-mortar near me, (they were in malls not too far away.. but not the closest ones) and now they are gone....

  2. Lee Brewster's Mardi Gras on the corner of 14th Street and Ninth Avenue in Manhattan was Aunty's version of Frederick's, and she remembers how nice Lee-- of blessed memory-- was to a very nervous fledgling femulator. Lee made sure my first retail bra and girdle fit just right and that the breast forms, which I wanted to be massive, were not so big, given my size, as to make me look like a freak. Lee rightly insisted that a proper wig cap go along with the wig that adorably framed my face. Even though I was hardly a big spender at her store, Lee treated me so thoughtfully and in such a caring way that I could feel my jitters subside. Lee was the first trans I ever talked to. Over the years there must have been thousands of us straight closeted cd's whom Lee helped to discover our inner woman. Indeed, some of Lee's customers may well be Femulate readers today. May she rest in peace in a heaven where we are welcomed.

  3. I wrote about this in one of the worlds leading Transgender blogs Femulate

    We all started out “borrowing” our sisters and mothers clothes as we grew up struggling with the duality of ourselves. We depart from the designation of youthful curiosity and exploration when a spark inside of us calls out to us louder and louder. I’m speaking of that moment of self identity when you realize that you want your own clothes.
    I was 22 and had just started my new job with a hi-tech company in Clifton New Jersey. There was a dress shop in town that I walked by each day during my lunch time walks. It was an old fashion kind of place that you don’t see any more locally own and operated.
    It was the 80’s, so think “Designing Women” style dresses, (sigh). Well, there were all kinds in the window but one caught my eye, a blue print dress with a belted waist and lace collar. After several days I decide that I had to have it. As it was early October the Halloween excuse was perfect.
    It took several days of trying to even go into the store. I have to laugh now like a secret agent I made sure none of my colleagues were out in the area I doubled back a couple of times in front of the store. Finally I opened the door and then a loud bell deliberately announced my arrival. Sheepishly I made my way toward the back of the store and a middle age lady looked over the rim of her glasses appraisingly.
    My heart was pounding; my face was red as I stammered out a request for the dress in the window. She was very pleasant and settled me down. She took my measurements, determined I was a size 16, and pulled a similar dress in my size from the rack. She then proceeded to sell me an expensive bra and then girdle along with a pair of my first Hanes Silk Reflections the brand I still wear today.
    Looking back I think she saw right thru me and was an expert saleswoman. I walked back to my car and hid my purchase watchfully as if I had just bought something illegal.
    I never wore the dress outside my bedroom. The dress and foundations would be lost in one of the Great Purges of the 80’s. However an important step had been taken in my journey.
    I had bought my first dress.

  4. Julie M ShawOctober 05, 2017

    Believe it or not, my first wig came from Sears. That's right - I was shopping the "softer side of Sears" before they even knew they had one! (Old commercial reference, pardon my quirky memory) As I recall it was a good wig, as was attested to by some of my girl friends the first Halloween I went out in drag (senior year of high school).

  5. Yes it was Lee Brewster's For me also. My wife & I were going to a Broadway Play at Night. We went down to the Villiage for lunch. We were near her store - somehow I got my wife to vist the store . I perchased a wig - dress- shoes- hose- garter belt - ect- Lee packed it all up & sent it to our house She was very Nice & helpful to us Ther were 2 ladies from the UK - They were shopping for their husbands back home Buying Heels LOL

  6. I was unemployed at the time, and was out of town job prospecting (upstate NY)for several days (back around '90.) And the urge came.

    Where did I buy my first girly stuff? Why, Sears, of course. The sixtysomething clerk was glad to help, and figured it was for me, AFAIK. Maybe she simply needed the commission?

    I can remember buying a cheap wig, taking time off to schedule a quick makeup session and hair appointment, and showing up in a dress. I can also remember the first the car, stopping at a grocery store to pick up something for dinner. For some odd reason, I was almost immediately "clocked" by a gaggle of teen girls, but it didn't matter as nobody knew who I was.

    That was a lot of fun...but I'm glad I've progressed as far as I have.