Friday, January 19, 2024

Notes from the Changing Room

Let me preface this with the fact that I am a large person. Until late 2017, I weighed 215 pounds to go along with my 6-foot 2-inch height. I dropped 30 pounds in 2017, so I am still a large person at 185 pounds. My height more than the weight kept me closeted for a very long time, but when I finally began exploring my female persona in public, I found that my size was not a deal breaker. 

Using the changing room en femme was easy. Using the changing room en homme was just as easy. I lost count how many times I used the changing rooms in Fashion Bug, Dress Barn, Fashion to Figure, Torrid and Macy’s to try on womenswear during a lunch hour while disguised as a male.

I can recall only one “negative” experience. It occurred a very long time ago. Shopping for a girdle en homme in JCPenney, when I asked to try it on, the saleswoman insisted that I use the men’s changing room. Not a big deal, but that was the only changing room experience that I can come up with that had any negativity.

The layout of the dearly departed local Dress Barns had changing rooms scattered around the perimeter of the sales floor. They also had a changing room area in the back of the store. The first few times I visited Dress Barn en homme, I was sent to the back-of-the-store changing room. But as I became a regular customer and the sales staff knew me by name (both male and en femme names), I was invited to use the more public perimeter changing rooms, which was delightful when I was en femme because it gave me the opportunity to exit the changing room and view whatever I was trying on in the three-way full-length mirrors outside the changing room. And doing so invited the sales staff and even customers to comment on what I was wearing. The sales staff usually liked what I was wearing (to make a sale), but when a stranger says they liked what I was wearing, it was a home run and that’s where I went with my new dress.

And so it goes.

Source: Ann Taylor
Wearing Ann Taylor

Nadia Russo
Nadia Russo


  1. The policy at the Canadian department store “The Bay” is no men in the lingerie area changing rooms but if you are presenting female it’s fine— a policy I’m in accord with.

    I agree about being big. I’m 6 feet and 160lbs so I really only have the height to deal with but even so, the amount of people who walk past without even a glance is proportionally high (unless it’s tourist season, then all bets are off.) It’s like cars: it’s not the mass that matters but the aerodynamics!

  2. What a smashing good picture. The dress is very nice and your figure looks fabulous!

    1. Thank you, Rianna.

    2. Hey Rianna, so glad to read that you are still out and about - sometime I wish to reconnect - Lisa K

  3. ...ah, but Stana makes large look GOOD....

  4. Certainly! Here's a more readable version:

    I can confirm everything Stana mentioned in her article—it's really no big deal to use changing rooms, and sales associates are happy to help, whether we're dressed enfemme or endrab. Your mention of JCPenney brought back a memory from several years ago on Halloween. It was early in my cross-dressing journey, and at the JCPenney lingerie department, the sales lady was so helpful. She had me use the changing room, handed me girdles to try, and enthusiastically schooled me on various types of lingerie. It was a fun experience. I was so surprised at her support and enthusiasm as I walked in there with great trepidation just another experience that chewed or fears were unfounded

    Also, your mention of girdles brought back a memory of Florence Fashion in Massachusetts back in the '70s. Men would come into the store looking for girdles due to bad backs—that was their excuse. Word got out, and she started catering to the transgender and cross-dressing communities. Today, her store is a mecca for cross-dressers, as she gladly helps and advises us all. Paula G

  5. Ditto Rianna and Fiona! You will always be my role model.

  6. There was a long gone second hand dress shop on Western Ave on Chicago's south side that welcomed crossdressers. Not wanting to make any of the shop's regular customers feel uneasy, I'd call the owner and ask if it was a good time to come shop.

    She'd almost always say, "yes."

    I'd dress myself up in a nice dress, pantyhose and the works, and when I arrived at the store the owner always had some dresses that she selected for me to try on. What was so wonderful was that she'd choose dresses for me to try on that I normally wouldn't such as ball gowns or silk and crepe cocktail dresses.

    Once after trying one on the owner looked and asked if I had a girdle. I had one in my bag I told her and she said, "slip it on. This dress needs one.!"

    I think my favorite experience was when I was in one of the dressing rooms, I heard a customer come in. I thought I'd wait for her to leave before coming out. After a while I couldn't wait any longer. I don't know if the owner whispered to her that I was a man, but when I emerged the customer who was a lovely older woman, smiled and said, "he has nice legs."

    This girl was in heaven that afternoon.


  7. I'm enjoying reading about these successful trips to the changing room! The few times I've ever tried on women's clothing at the store, I've hidden the items into men's clothing I pretended I wanted to try on. I've often wondered if the skirt or cute top that was left behind in the men's dressing room gave the sales associates something to talk about...although I doubt I was the only person to ever do such a thing.

  8. The first time I ever tried on clothes in a ladies clothing store was at the mall. I spoke to the sales person about some unmentionables at one point. Then, I continued shopping. Later, I spoke to her again. I asked her if they let men use their dressing rooms. She replied, "Oh. Yeah!" and took me to the dressing room as though it happens every hour. I tried on the skirt and blouse that I had selected. Then she and the other salesperson started bringing me outfits to try on. I was in shock that, not only did I get to try on clothes in the store, but I also received help and feedback from enthusiastic employees.
    Who knew?