Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Changing Room Fun

Dressing Room Selfie
I never get tired of shopping for clothing. 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 go shopping. After all I do need something new to wear when I go to Hamvention (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.”

Anyway here are a few thing I learned when shopping.

👠 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 change in and out of 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 changing 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.

👠 In smaller stores, savvy associates will size you up and recommend clothing for you to try on. This has happened to me more than once and I ended up trying clothing on that looked great on me, but I would have never given a second look if the sales associate had not made the suggestion.

👠 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, you go girls and have some fun!

Source: Wholesale7
Wearing Wholesale7 (Source: Wholesale7)

John Mulaney
John Mulaney (center) femulates on a 2018 episode of television's Saturday Night Live.


  1. Have you ever tried the "play dumb" routine and have the associate say "you've been here before. I remember you." I mean, you're probably memorable. Most 5'14" girls are.

    1. Never happened, but if it did, I would feign faulty memory

  2. Oh yes! I remember my first dressing room experience fondly. It was a Hanes/Bali Outlet store. I went in looking for a long line bra (and had to educate the girl there as to what a "long line bra" is!) After clarification, she showed me a few and started a dressing room for me. As I was about to go in, a lady stepped out of an adjoining dressing room to ask for further assistance with the tops she was trying on, and I was able to compliment her on her selection (it DID look good on her). She didn't bat an eye.
    I also learned that you should dress properly to try on stuff! I started the night not knowing I'd be trying on bras, and the top I had on (fairly tight turtleneck) was NOT conducive to ease of changing. (giggle)

  3. What timing! Just yesterday I went to Macy's in Towson, MD to check out their "Last Chance" rack. Last week I went to Catherine's and sometime next week I'll head to Avenue.It's an annual "attack" of shopping therapy that happens when Daylight Savings Time starts. Out of the dark, into Mikki's new clothes!

    Macy's had some real finds, a polka dot dress I'm wearing, even as I type, a shiny silver dress, a fantastic red flowered Calvin Kline dress and a wine Tahari pants suit, all discounted over 70%. By the way, there are plenty more still on the rack!

    A few years ago I finally got tired of taking my selections home and schlepping the ones that didn't work back to Macy's. The next time I just took the clothes into the dressing room when the sales person wasn't looking. I commented about an item not fitting and she raised an eyebrow and commented, "Well, you are a regular customer". At specialty stores like Avenue and Catherine's I was invited to use the dressing room. Years ago I brought some clothes to the Avenue register and the sales person asked, "Don't you want to try them on"? Sometimes I solicit help, but mostly I do it myself. Last week at Catherine's I tried on a 1X dress that was too loose, so I went out to the rack and picked out the 0X while still in the 1X.I wasn't trying to bring attention to myself, I just did what any cis woman would do. Nobody blinked an eye, not even the customers.

    While I'm comfortable shopping at Avenue and Catherine's in a dress, I don't do it at Macy's. I do wear women's tops, slacks, shoes, etc and leave my hair down and not in my usual pony tail, so I'm dressed appropriately for the changing room. I do hang my non-selection on the rack in the changing room while dressed in another of my selections. My previous time a woman complimented my selections. I thanked her and commented on my non-selection about how it just didn't work with my male body -- too short for my trunk. She snapped it up and I saw her buying it later. And yesterday I went out in the shiny dress to get a different size off the rack.

    My conclusions here are in line with those I made about the ladies room. I act like I belong there and do the things the cis women do. I don't purposely encounter other women in the rooms, but I do make eye contact and smile if I do encounter them. Invariably I make some comment about my selections. I don't dawdle or attempt to draw attention to myself, but I also don't shy away from it. When I'm shopping I'm just "one of the girls" and do my best to blend in. I can only dream about shopping while actually passing, but at least I don't back off just because I'm not a cis woman.

  4. Just wanted to share that this afternoon I went to Payless Shoes to take advantage of their "going out of business" sale in male clothing. They had the high-heeled knee-high boots I had been looking at marked down 50% to $25. Since there were no returns allowed I took my sneakers off and tried on the size 13 boots right on the sales floor to make sure they fit. They did! I would recommend checking out Payless for good prices on larger sized footwear before they go out of business for good.