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Thread: Want to shop en femme for 1st time - need advice

  1. #26
    Junior Member Erin Campbell's Avatar
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    Thank you very much, I'm getting very excited! I have my outfit, makeup, and accessories all setup in the bathroom so tomorrow morning I can wake up, shower, and probably spend hours getting my look just right haha.

  2. #27
    Junior Member sandy1975ad's Avatar
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    go for it Hun------Good luck

  3. #28
    Platinum Member Eryn's Avatar
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    OK, the big day is here! We're waiting with bated breath! How did it go? Spill, girl!
    Eryn
    "These girls have the most beautiful dresses. And so do I! How about that!" [Kaylee, in Firefly] [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
    "What do you care what other people think?" [Arlene Feynman, to her husband Richard]
    "She's taller than all the women in my family, combined!" [Howard, in The Big Bang Theory]
    "Tall, tall girl. The woman could hunt geese with a rake!" [Mary Cooper, in The Big Bang Theory]

  4. #29
    Makeup addict!
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    The look is very good, so you shouldn't have a problem. By the way, I like that top

  5. #30
    Junior Member Erin Campbell's Avatar
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    Yes!!! I did it!!!!

    Today was the big day, and first let me say thank you to all my friends on this thread that helped me find my confidence. Forgive the extended post but all the important details follow and the pics are of me before going out and my toes, I was especially proud of my feet today....

    So, I woke up this morning and still felt like I wanted to try and go shopping so I hopped in the shower and began my transformation. It's amazing how long it takes to get all dressed up when you obsess over the details and do and redo things. After a bit of time, I finally got my look together the best I thought I could for today, put my touch up makeup in my purse, snapped a couple of pictures to commemorate the occasion, made sure I had everything I needed and headed out the door. Now, this is not the first time I have ever gone out the door dressed, I have gone to a few girls nights out, a wig fitting, but all those were CD friendly and more of a private setting. This would be the first time I went some place that was mainstream like shopping.

    The car needed gas and I thought that would be a great way to start building my confidence a little bit. I could simply pay at the pump yet still be outside the car with other people doing their thing. Simple pleasure: standing outside with the wind blowing my hair (wig) all over the place. It was great feeling the wind shifting my hair and although I had spent plenty of time getting it just right, I didn't mind one bit. I filled up my tank, smiled at a few people and I was off to the store.

    My first stop was going to be Dress Barn. I had been in it before in drab so I knew my way around and thought it would be a good place to start. After a few extra minutes in the car wondering what I was doing, I looked to see if the coast was clear and the next thing I knew my flip-flops were hitting the pavement. I walked in with my head held high and was greeted warmly by the SA. I wasn't read right away, but the SA did eventually figure it out about midway through our conversation. For me, that was good enough and I was feeling great about myself. I browsed the racks and didn't really see anything that interested me. Once the SA read me, she showed a casual interest in me, which was fine because I had a casual interest in buying something. If I had found something I might like, I planned on trying something on but left without doing so.

    I had one other stop planned and that was Payless Shoe Source. This store was next to a busy Target so there was a lot more foot traffic but I was feeling good and confident by now. Again, a small pep talk before I got out of the car and off I went. I smiled at people passing by and blended in pretty well. If people were staring at me, I didn't notice and I soon realized that people were going about their day and I wasn't standing out.

    I walked into the shoe store and had a conversation with the SA. Again, I was read within a couple of minutes and the SA had a bit of a surprised look on her face but she was very sweet and didn't bat an eye at all. After our conversation, I winked at her as if I knew she had read me and off to the size 11 shoes I went. Words cannot express how great it felt to be in a shoe store, casually trying on different pairs of shoes without fear of any strange looks like I would if I was in drab. I probably tried on every pair of 11s they had, but I restrained myself and picked out only 2 pairs to take home. The SA was very attentive and was always checking to make sure I was finding what I needed.

    I took my pairs of shoes to the register, smiled at a few people walking in the door, paid for my items and left the store. Again, my head was held high and I smiled as I walked out. As I was crossing the street to my car, another car drove up so I stopped. The driver waved me by and as I crossed I looked right at her and did a little girly wave. I was impressed with myself that I remembered to be feminine in that moment when I am so used to just putting my hand up like a guy would do. She gave a similar wave which made me smile, then I was safely in my car and back home.

    Full disclosure: Yes, I know I didn't pick the most public of places to go and try to blend in as Dress Barn and Payless are very much known for their friendliness on these boards. However, it was a great day, something I will not soon forget and a huge confidence builder for future outings. I realized that I could blend into a crowd pretty well for the most part, although if asked to have an extended conversation, I could be read fairly easily. The 1st time will definitely be the hardest I am sure and now I can work on my voice a bit more and next time will hopefully be a bit easier and better.

    Thanks again for the wonderful help all of you have given me. Yes, the confidence and everything was there all along, but the wonderful ladies here have helped bring it out today in a way I didn't think was possible for me before.
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  6. #31
    Senior Member Debglam's Avatar
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    That is terrific Erin! Good for you girl!

    I had a post full of advice all typed up and then I saw that you actually made the trip! All I'll say now is "See?" Nothing to fear. Most people don't even "see" you, those that do don't really care, and the SA's are doing their job. They want to make a sale - period. Some are actually curious about the trans thing and friendly chit chat with them will take you far. I have a girlfriend that seems to know someone (SA) in every store we go to. She always has the inside track on great sales. (See where this is going???)

    I'll add one thing. Don't worry about the SA's reading you. IMHO, it is a rare girl that doesn't get read. Even if it boils down to the name on your credit card, sometime during the transaction with the SA, you will be read. So what. Be confident (even if you are faking), smile, and be friendly. It will take you far.

    Again, great going Erin!!!!

    Hugs,
    Debby
    Debby

  7. #32
    Junior Member Erin Campbell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Debglam View Post
    That is terrific Erin! Good for you girl!

    I had a post full of advice all typed up and then I saw that you actually made the trip! All I'll say now is "See?" Nothing to fear. Most people don't even "see" you, those that do don't really care, and the SA's are doing their job. They want to make a sale - period. Some are actually curious about the trans thing and friendly chit chat with them will take you far. I have a girlfriend that seems to know someone (SA) in every store we go to. She always has the inside track on great sales. (See where this is going???)

    I'll add one thing. Don't worry about the SA's reading you. IMHO, it is a rare girl that doesn't get read. Even if it boils down to the name on your credit card, sometime during the transaction with the SA, you will be read. So what. Be confident (even if you are faking), smile, and be friendly. It will take you far.

    Again, great going Erin!!!!

    Hugs,
    Debby

    Thank Debby, sorry you had to scrap your other post but I appreciate the thought!

  8. #33
    Platinum Member Eryn's Avatar
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    Erin, so glad that things went well for you! Don't belittle yourself for picking "safe" places to go. It's not a competition and you should go to the places you want. Soon you will be expanding your horizons further, interacting more, and enjoying yourself even more!

    Your outfit and pedi are great! Just perfect for the occasion.

    Hugs, Eryn
    Eryn
    "These girls have the most beautiful dresses. And so do I! How about that!" [Kaylee, in Firefly] [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
    "What do you care what other people think?" [Arlene Feynman, to her husband Richard]
    "She's taller than all the women in my family, combined!" [Howard, in The Big Bang Theory]
    "Tall, tall girl. The woman could hunt geese with a rake!" [Mary Cooper, in The Big Bang Theory]

  9. #34
    Senior Member Jenny Doolittle's Avatar
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    Erin,


    Congrats Girl!.

    I am a Columbus Girl myself and you choose some great places to start your shopping adventures. May I suggests for your next adventure to try the consignment shops of 5th Ave in Grandview. There are some really nice people that run those shops and some deals as well.

    The best part about that first time out shopping is looking forward to the second. If you are ever interested in a shopping buddy let me know. I would love to have an afternoon shopping and lunch.


    Oh yea.... the Short North is a nice area to hang out browsing too.

    Jenny

  10. #35
    Platinum Member kimdl93's Avatar
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    It looks like you should blend in just fine. Casual top and jeans are perfect for an afternoon at the mall. As for improving your look - you look pretty good in the pictures. You might make a stop at MAC or Sephora and get a make over...thats a great way to get tips to improve your appearance.

  11. #36
    Junior Member Erin Campbell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eryn View Post
    Erin, so glad that things went well for you! Don't belittle yourself for picking "safe" places to go. It's not a competition and you should go to the places you want. Soon you will be expanding your horizons further, interacting more, and enjoying yourself even more!

    Your outfit and pedi are great! Just perfect for the occasion.

    Hugs, Eryn
    Thank you Eryn, great name by the way Again, a sincere thanks to you for the kind words on this thread and helping me find my confidence to do it. I really appreciate the inspiration!

  12. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jenniferathome View Post
    Erin, I debated hard before I chose to send this note in the public forum. I think it is important to get this "out" there. This forum is NOT the place to get objective advice on passing. Crossdressers, in general, are the worst possible source for advice on passability or appropriate attire. The reason is that we all want to be complimented. We all want to "pass" and we want our fellow crossdressers to feel good as we want to. As a result, false praise is rampant. In there are probably less than .01% of men who can pass for women. In other words, be mistaken for a woman upon any kind of inspection. Men and women are trained from our first visions, to notice the difference between men and women. There are thousands of cues that tell us a person is a woman or man, dressing and makeup cover just a few. So, will you pass? No. Not a chance. I'm sorry.

    Now, does that mean you cannot "blend" in? Most people don't actually notice others. Blending, with the right clothing and makeup and accessories for the occasion is possible. But any interaction with someone will break the illusion.

    So, should you go out? Absolutely! Have fun. Be confident and know that when people notice you, they basically don't care. It is fun to go out. Just have your expectations set right and you will enjoy your time out. You can relax knowing that you will be made so now you don't have to worry about it. When people look at you, smile. Confidence will make others more at ease as well.

    Lastly, if you do want an opinion as to your look, ask the GGs to comment and ask for the brutal truth. Only through critique can anyone improve. I do hope you accept this message in the sprit in which it is intended: honest help and concern.

    Good luck shopping and have fun
    This is the best, and most realistic advice I have seen on this board. When I go out, I know I will be read, but as long as I feel that I look good, that is all that matters. To many of us are concerned about being read, when we should be concerned about being read, then the person thinking, wow, he(she) actually looks very good. We should strive to be tasteful, and blend.

    Every time I go out, and enter into a conversation, I will often ask (usually cashier/sales associate) what can I do to improve, and I have always received positive comments.

    Erin, You look very good, and as you found out, most people don't really care, and don't even notice. Glad you had such a wonderful experience.

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