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How To Buy Women's Clothes In Public


It is very important to know the size of the dress you are looking to buy. When you go shopping and you are able to ask for something by size, you appear to be shopping for someone. Also, armed with the phrase "I'm looking for this in a size 8," you have something to ask the clerk if they offer their assistance.

The best overall approach is to purchase several pieces of used dresses from a salvation army, oxfam, or used clothing store. They do not have to be the color of what you would want to wear, but they should approximately resemble the style of clothing you plan to buy. What you are trying to do is to get familiar with what size you are. Each style of dress is cut a little differently: A size 8 suit fits differently than a size 8 casual sweater. You want to determine the best fitting size for what you plan to wear. A good starting point for determining your size is a mail order catalog, because they usually provide a measuring chart for body sizes. From that point on, go buy some used rags and find out your size.

This section deals primarily with shopping,in your male mode, for dresses in a clothing store, not through mail order. Because not only is mail order lacking in spontaneity, it increases the chance of every tg-girl's nightmare coming true: showing up at your support group wearing the same outfit as your tg counselor! Let's face it: There's much more choices when you shop at a store, and we can't be wearing the same outfits if we expect to be as fabulous as we are! :)

APPROACH NO. 1 (ill at ease but not nervous)

You can either walk in there sweating, nervous, and stuttering, "I'm buying these for my girlfriend (or wife)" and get laughed at by the salesclerk while she says "Yeah Right." Or you can go in there and look that salesclerk in the eye and say "I'm buying these for myself to wear" with a straight face and raised eyebrows, and most of the time she will say "Yeah Right," and laugh it off like you were the biggest joker in the world. It's very important, especially in completely empty stores, to walk in and initiate eye-contact with the sales people. The moment you walk into a store that you don't belong in, trust me, they are watching you. They may look like they are busy working. But they are not.

So you say "hi," with a big smile to satisfy their curiosity and immediately break the silence. Asking questions will also loosen up the atmosphere and will help dispel the myth of the creep who keeps to himself. Approach no.1 works for middle-age to older folks. Of course, there's a trick to looking a little bit embarrassed, feigning a blush, and using your body language to communicate the fact that you are feeling out of place but not nervous. Asking for assistance will show that you are not trying to avoid them.

IF YOU RUN INTO A FRIEND OR CO-WORKER, and they catch you with a 80% chiffon 20% nylon camisole in your hand, here are some things you can say:

  • "Hi Bob, wanna come help me get in touch with my feminine side?"
  • "Damn 90's, I can barely keep up with these kids!"
  • "Bob, is it just me or do you find your wife wearing your underwear too?"
  • "I share everything with my mum!"
  • "It's three hundred more days to the superbowl, gotta find something to do."
  • Or my personal favourite: (in a rough beer buddy voice and a painful nudge in their ribs) "Hey! How about those swedish male synchronised swimmers eh?! Gaddammit!"

After they stop laughing, you just shrug and say, "Yeah, cousin's birthday in Vancouver, doing the whole routine y'know?" You trade nods and say "yeah yeah "and off you go to continue your shopping spree.

APPROACH NO. 2 (take a rebel along)

We all have that one utterly rebellious friend-you know who I'm talking about. :) You get together with that utterly rebellious friend and you tell him (or her), "I'm going shopping for women's clothes." Let me tell you, any self-respecting rebel will be so excited at a golden opportunity to wreak havoc in public, that they won't even ask you 'who's it for?' However, if he (or she) turns you down, you simply throw your head up in the air and sniff, "I ALWAYS THOUGHT YOU WERE A REBEL, BUT YOU'RE JUST ANOTHER ONE OF *THEM!*" and usually they will be so utterly overcome by a sense of shame and inadequacy, they will immediately follow you on to your shopping caper. In the case of a female shopping companion, all suspicions become null: *It's for her*. In the case of a male companion, two suspicious gents are better than one: They might think it's him. That's 50% load off you. If you are worried about accusations of homosexuality, don't worry doll: Homosexuality has become so normal in the nineties, it's *banal.*

APPROACH NO. 3 (two tv's are better than one)

The third approach is simply bringing another tg friend along. Aside from moral support, it's really lots of fun. You can become the Siskel and Ebert of fashion at every rack, discussing and critique-ing the "beneficial waist-enhancing qualities of the A-Line hem" at the top of your lungs in a manly, factual voice. You could end up sounding like two dressmakers in conversation. More importantly, I've found that when you appearto have nothing to hide, people will immediately ease up on their defenses. For additional dutch-courage, Alcohol helps too, of course.

APPROACH NO. 4 (The Transvestite Freedom Fighter Approach or "The Kick Ass")

You walk in there and you do it. You take as long as you like. And you shop like any other normal human being shops- no sweating, no games, no pretending. I started using this approach when I was 15 years old. When the sales clerk or a fellow shopper looks at you, you look directly back at them. No hostility or defensiveness. You don't stare. You *look* at them. Let me illustrate what I mean: Say you are dead thirsty and you sit down in a public bench and start to drink a glass of water, and someone comes by and tells you can't drink a glass of water; how do you look at them? THAT is the look you give anyone who is glaring at you.

It's *as if* you are saying: "I am who I am and I wear women's clothes. This is what I do and this is my harmless need as a human being. I am going to look at these dresses and then I am going to buy them and after that I am going to put them on in order to live and continue being who I am." THAT is the look you give them.

If you hear people behind you chuckling or giggling at you: Relax and say to yourself: Soooo What? The sales people are working in a mall wearing last week's trendy clothes. They have next to no clue who they are. Are you going to let little clueless teens *run* your life like that? Think about it! They can all laugh as loud as they want, but the truth is you should never let anyone determine your identity with a few intimidating giggles. Especially when they own Spice Girls CD's.



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Revised: 11/07/10