Wednesday, January 18, 2023

Liar, Liar, Your Panty Girdle’s on Fire

Frederick’s of Hollywood Wig
October 1976
Trying to recall my early days acquiring stuff for my femulations, I remembered the following adventures.

To acquire stuff in the early days, I used two excuses (lies): 

  • To put together a Halloween costume 
  • To put together a costume to play the “aunt” in Charley’s Aunt

The first excuse was not always a lie because some of the time my purchases (usually wigs) were actually used for a Halloween costume. 

The second excuse is embarrassing and I only used it once: to purchase a dress in a plus-size women’s store. The store was a family-run business, not a chain like Lane Bryant, and when I showed up one evening to buy a dress, the store was staffed by the owner, a kindly middle-aged woman, and her daughter. They were very helpful trying to find a dress for my appearance in a local community college’s production of Charley’s Aunt

I don’t know if they bought my story. Running a plus-size women’s apparel store, I am sure I was not the first crossdresser they ever saw. Believing my lie or not, they gave no indication that they suspected anything was amiss and I went home with a pretty new acquisition to my wardrobe.

I used the Halloween costume excuse for the first two wigs I purchased, one at Frederick’s of Hollywood and another at an out-of-town wig store, where the two young women staffing the store were very enthusiastic about my costume and convinced me that I had to buy a blond wig.

There was a wig store in town where I made many subsequent purchases, the first time using the Halloween excuse. This was a high-end wig store, so I concluded that the proprietor was no fool believing my story that I was buying an expensive wig for a one-time Halloween costume. Not to mention that like the plus-size apparel store owner, she probably had a few crossdressing customers, too. So when I made all my later wig purchases, I jettisoned the excuses and admitted that I was buying the wig for personal use. (The truth did not faze her in the least.)

After that, whenever I acquired stuff, I admitted that whatever I was buying was for my personal use, which occasionally resulted in visiting a women’s apparel store changing room in boy mode.

And so it goes.

Source: Bebe
Wearing Bebe



  1. Stana,

    Beautiful wig stories, I'm jealous of course! you go girl!

  2. A sale is a sale. My money, and yours, spends exactly the same as a woman's money. We aren't -- especially in "certain" stores -- the first crossdressers (unless the clerks are kids) they've seen and we won't be the last. If the salespeople see us as returning customers they might just become helpful. Given the rules and logistics, they might just invite us into their changing rooms.

    I've written about this before, but it doesn't hurt to repeat it. I started buying plus sized clothes at The Hecht Company, and later after it became Macy's. The same salesladies remained in the Women's Department. Neither iteration of the store allowed men in the ladies changing room. But after a while the ladies remembered me and one day, instead of ringing up my selections straight away, the clerk set my choices to the side and walked me to the Jones New York rack and suggested I'd find their cuts would fit me better, especially in arm length. That was a wonderful breakthrough and saved us both the hassle of handling returns.

    Then there was my sneaking into a changing room at Avenue only to be told all I had to do was ask them to open a changing room. Wigs? Stana was more brave than me. The USPS was my vehicle for delivering my mail order wigs. I miss those Avenue changing rooms, but now I have access to the Macy's changing rooms as long as I'm properly attired. I'm fortunate to have grown my hair long and have had it cut in a woman's style for years -- long, so I can go "stealth" with a pony tail when necessary. Things sure have improved over the years, even if the speed of change has been close to glacial!

  3. I'm right there with you. I bought my first wig at a Kmart. The sales associate was a young woman who thought it was a hoot and helped me. I was in my early 30's so I probably fit into her mindset that a young guy would do that. I also used the Halloween ruse to buy my first set of heels at Payless. The male store manager was helpful and I think he may have bought my ruse. He even asked if I needed hosiery or what to buy a second pair at 50%. I passed on both and headed down the road to another Payless and used the same Halloween ruse to buy a second pair. The only time I got a knowing scowl was at JCP when I bought a Vanity Fair slimming half slip with a built in panty with the ruse that my wife asked me to pick it up. The knowing associate even said 'Oh, SHE even wrote down the correct size!" I did not fool her at all. When on-line shopping came around my life got a lot simpler.

    1. I guess I should have added, based on the lead-line using "girdle," I had an attraction for girdles. In my old neighborhood there were two women's stores diagonally across from each other. The store displays had mannequins adorned with all sorts of foundation garments. Fortunately, there was a bus stop in front of one of the stores. I use to linger, pretending to wait for the bus, so I could sneak a peak at those mannequins. Of course, I would try on my mother's open bottom girdle. I have always found the advertisements of the day rather amusing because their human models never really needed a girdle; so was the case with my mother.

  4. Haha Too funny....I drooled over a pair of heels in a store once and I heard behind me “ those heels are just to die for let me guess a worries you can try them on discreetly and I will leave them in change room 3”. There were 3 boxes and I ended up with. Patent leather mary jane with a 3 inch heel. You will not fool anyone these days and mostly the reception will be warm. If you sense anger then leave right away. There are some Karen sales clerks that will out you. I saw that happen once and it was horrible for the person to be outed in such a crude manner.

  5. It depends on the store. I have had only one sales associate be rude to me. I have tried clothers on in many women's stores or sections of store; how else do you if they fit. But with on-line shopping and knowing my sizes (by brands), I can order on-line all the time. But it still fun shopping in person.
    Today I'm stopping in on a favorite local shoe boutique. I visit them once a month when I need to get something else nearby. They know me as a good and repeat costumer who BUYS (key word) and wears high heels. Today I'm wearing knee high leather 9 West boots with 4" heels. I get better service than the other costimers in the store. The manager will come over and show me their new inventory in the style and heel height they knew I like while ignoring the looky-looks.

  6. These days on line purchases make it all a lot less stressful, but I dud find buying a wig in person very much preferable. The store used had a seperate room for "private" fittings.

  7. Stana I love the title of your post!

    Barbara at Florence Fashions told me in the 1960's men would come into the store asking about girdles for their bad backs, her and her Mom knew and made them all feel at ease.

    My two wig stores both have men customers, this is typical for all wig stores.
    I had a friend who over a 2 year period went to about 20 different wig stores in the Boston area and she said they all except one were TG friendly and had male customers for years.

    One of the most liberating moments in my life was for the first time uttering those words “they’re for me.” When the words came rolling off my tongue, the world stopped; I could hear the clock ticking and the hum of the air conditioning. I had visions of alarm bells going off and a SWAT team bursting out.

    Instead I got a smile of approval from the sales associate and a 1000-pound burden of guilt was lifted off my shoulders. I had given myself permission to be transgender. It was an epiphany. The problem was in my head, once I got over this I was able to move forward with my evolution as a woman.

    I wrote about my Halloween excuse here in an article titled "Starting Out"

  8. Rachel McNeillJanuary 19, 2023

    I was lamenting to a friend that even though I knew I was wired differently from about the time I was 11 or so, I never, ever tried femulating while I was young. As a teenage boy in the early 1970s, I thought my impulses meant that---horrors--- I might be gay. At that time, that was a scandalous and shameful thing. I simply buried the impulse and got on with my life.

    College, the Army, starting a career, graduate school, marriage, graduate school again...and the next thing I knew, I was in my late 40s. The feelings had never really gone away. I finally confronted them and realized that I didn't have a sexuality issue; I had a gender-related issue.

    To cut to the end of the story, when I shared my regret with my friend, she told me that I was actually fortunate. I had missed out on 30+ years of guilt, binging-and-purging, furtively hiding from mainstream society, being followed by store security, and being all dressed up and having virtually nowhere to go (safely).

    When I finally embraced my feminine side, at least in my area of the country, we're no longer a novelty and are welcome pretty much anywhere we go.

  9. I really miss the physical Frederick's of Hollywood stores in the malls. I think it was 2015 or so when they closed them and went on-line only.

    Once the new owners took over. They stuff went to crap, sad to say. They don't have heels, wigs, slips and a lot of good stuff they were known for.

    I miss the old F.O.H. stores