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Thread: First time shopper tips?

  1. #26
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    This brings back a fun memory.
    I remember going shopping with s friend back in 8th-9th grade.
    He and I went to s woman's clothing store. It was such a giggle. We were young and we gave zero fuks. Lol. I still remember the looks on the faces of the women working there. LOL.

  2. #27
    Member Nadya's Avatar
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    I think part of it is where you live. Going out shopping, you definitely would not wear what you are more comfortable only wearing around the house if you wanted to blend in. Wear something comfortable and easy to move around in. I would say make up that is more for a daytime look (less dramatic) would be good as well if you are shopping during the day. It might be easier said than done but be confident and enjoy yourself. Most people will probably not even notice as they are too preoccupied with their own shopping to care. I've shopped with my wife as a woman and it was amazing. The sales associate was perfectly awesome about it and didn't treat me any differently. I don't think the sales associate would mind you using the changing room but if you are worried about that, you could always call ahead and ask. I've heard others here do that. It could also save you the trouble of stores that are not open-minded so you can skip to the ones that would gladly take your business. Hope that helps. Good luck!

    <3

  3. #28
    Member JenniferYager's Avatar
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    Tanya, you'd be shocked as to how awesome shopping is. For starters, unless your photo is totally photoshopped, 99% of people are going to walk right by you and not notice. Everyone is on their darn smart phones these days, you could wear a gorilla suit in the mall and half the people wouldn't notice.

    If you want to fade in, just wear jeans and a sweater. You'll look like everyone else. You actually get more noticed in a skirt, but most people just give it two seconds of thought until their brain says "skirt, must be a girl, back to Candy Crush!"

    Store associates will not care. They are most worried about theft, so if you walk around all creepy-like, they'll think you're trying to steal something. I've walked up to the Macy's gal (in drab) in the women's section and asked her to start me a room. She had a big smile and said "Of course!" and helped me pick out two bras and matching panties. Makeup is the same way. I personally like shopping enfemme, but I'll go in drab if I don't have time to change.

    The only people I'd worry about are teenagers and little kids. Both don't have any impulse control, so you might get the 4 year old that says "Look mom, it's a guy in a skirt!" The easiest way to defuse little kids staring is to wave at them and smile. They like the attention. Teenagers...just avoid. They are a mixed bag, most are fine, but more than a few can be cruel.

    I'd go with you if you lived nearby. Maybe we should start organizing shopping trips on the forum, like a big sisters sort of thing?

  4. #29
    Member Michelle Girl's Avatar
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    I find that my levels of confidence while shopping in the women's section fluctuate. Sometimes I am carefree and simply enjoy browsing and I actively train out everyone else. Other days I feel more self-conscious and will quit the section because my comfort levels have fallen. Funnily enough, when I have done this I've often gone straight into another store and because the atmosphere there is so different I immediately feel more at ease. So the sense of nervousness is quite fleeting. Many of the more experienced shoppers have pointed out that it's really just a question of doing it often enough that you break through the pain barrier. But I'm not there yet, but I have taken the first steps.

    For me, I know I feel most confident when I have something I MUST buy, when I cannot return home empty handed. This clear purpose maybe gives me the focus to ignore things that might normally unnerve me in a woman's store section. I love the idea suggested in a post above, too, of just taking a short break till your confidence returns. Good tip!

    Good luck with your shopping adventures. Michelle
    Michelle

  5. #30
    Member adrienner99's Avatar
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    When I first started shopping for dresses, high heels, etc., I felt and acted somewhat like a fugitive on the run. I was furtive, tense, and convinced that someone I knew would spot me, or a SA would say something mean. (Neither ever happened.) Somewhere it occurred to me that our attitude, our demeanor when shopping can make a big difference. If we don't behave as if it's a big deal, the SA's may not either. No, this is not easy to achieve, but it can be done. I've had lengthy conversations about lipstick shades, heel heights, and other matters once I was able to calm down....I have shopped en femme and in drab.....If you go dressed, you might consider going very casual....don't wear searing red lip gloss and five inch stilettos. Women in malls wear sneakers and jeans more often than not (with exceptions of course). You might even call ahead to a place like Dress Barn and just ask they feel about crossdressers shopping there.....

  6. #31
    That guy in a dress Sky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tanya_cd View Post
    Any suggestions on what to wear, tips on trying to blend in? Makeup, accessories, mannerisms to adopt or avoid?
    While wearing something comfortable (loose blouse, flats, etc.) is preferable to shiny clubwear, do wear the shaping stuff you normally use in drag (corset, body suit, waist cincher, etc.). It makes a big difference in size. I can shop in drab or drag, but not if I don't have my breathe-control torture devices underneath. Mannerisms don't matter much -relax and be yourself. The salesgirls will be nice -that's a certainty- and most customers will be focusing on their own purchases, not you.

    Quote Originally Posted by tanya_cd View Post
    Important : Changing rooms. When they are not unisex, where do you try on clothes?
    Again, salesgirls will be helpful without any doubt. So they will lead you to the changing room of their choice, be it women's or unisex. If you feel uncomfortable they might try to find a private backroom for you only (I've been offered this a few times, I just declined). If I notice that a female customer is half dressed or wearing revealing stuff in the changing rooms corridor (sometimes for a friend to give an opinion on what they are trying on) I try to avoid going out at the same time. But I've never had a bad reaction from a woman.

  7. #32
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    Above all, look and act as though you rightfully deserve to be there - because you do. Should you shop en femme, it's probably advisable to have all your padding on as that'll be the figure your clothes are meant to fit.

  8. #33
    Aspiring Member AnnieMac's Avatar
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    Yeah this is kind of a fun topic. Like probably a reasonable percentage ( I wonder how much actually ) of us here, I am still a closet dresser and haven't really sprung Annie out there to the world much. But I still have a bit of a fear of shopping because of the ridicule and embarrassment I guess. I have actually bought shoes, a dress, tights and makeup in person, in drab though. Funny I have no problem buying any kind of make-up, nor do I really have a problem purchasing tights. Maybe its because I actually use those things male or female modes. I work in media so have often I have had to have a minimal supply off makeup on hand for photo and film shoots, and have bought those things when there weren't for me anyway-so no biggie. I also fly, often on long flights, so because of my leg circulation issues, the tights are often a big help. Also I prefer women's knee and over the knee socks, because mens knee socks flat out just do not fit! S0 no problem buying those either.
    Shoes though are a little different. I bought a pair of cute flats and pretty black open toed sling backs at two different times from the same Payless girl. She was so sweet to me, no questions, no weird judgement attitude or looks. Shoot, size 13, she knew they were for me, although I was dressed as a guy. But funny, I purchased some 4" black platform heels from this rather flamboyant(most likely gay, not that there is anything wrong with that ) sales dude from another Payless, and the look on his face was priceless, like OMG these are for you??? Funny you would get that from the alleged gay dude, and not the GG.
    But I must say it creeped me out a bit and made me not want to do it again. I guess like one of the above posters says the bravery comes and goes.
    Oh yeah and I once bought a couple of pairs of women's jeans because they fit so well! No issues there just took them into the mens changing rooms with my other jeans and they fit great. Because I was checking out with both mens and women's jeans, the SA barely even looked although they did ring up at kohl's as women's
    Last edited by AnnieMac; 12-07-2015 at 12:28 PM.

  9. #34
    Platinum Member Beverley Sims's Avatar
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    Just go out and buy it and if asked tell them it is for yourself.

    I know it's bravado but usually you are not believed and a good joke come at the end of the purchase.

    I broke barriers years ago with checkout chicks and actually got a couple of dates into the bargain.
    Work on your elegance,
    and beauty will follow.

  10. #35
    Silver Member Barbara Jo's Avatar
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    Yeah, I guess it all come down to embarrassment, even if no one ridicules you and never makes any comments.

    The " funny" thing with me was, when i was in Jr high school in my early teens, I was embarrassed to purchases a "jock Strap" needed for phys ed but I had absolutely no problem buying panties, etc .
    So, i can understand embarrassment.
    Happiness is not a future condition. It is a Present state of mind.

    "....And it's only the giving that makes you what you are" - Ian Anderson

    "It's all right now, I learned my lesson well..... You see, you can't please everyone, so you got to please yourself." - Ricky Nelson

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  11. #36
    I am her, she is me tanya_cd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bok4fun View Post
    I went shopping for the first time yesterday fully dressed at Torrid.

    And from your picture, I would say you have very little worry about anyway.
    It sounds like you had a really enjoyable experience. Thank you for sharing that. Also, thank you so much for the lovely comment.

  12. #37
    Member Heidi Spencer's Avatar
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    This is a great thread by the way.
    I have purchased bra's from Kohl's and was so nervous looking at them and then paying for them as well. The SA did not even blink an eye when paying for them.
    I have made numerous panty purchases at a big box store and the SA was just taking money. The hardest part for me is looking at the items on the rack to determine what I want. I feel people are judging me, when in reality they don't even know you are there.

    Last night I went to Dress Barn to look around. It took me 20 minutes to get the courage to walk in the door. But once I did what an experience. The SA was friendly, asking if I was looking for anything special, and left me to browse. The other women in the store did not even blink that I was in the store. I think the only person that was concerned was me. I have done all my shopping in drab, and have only bought under garments, however that is about to change.
    Dress Barn was awesome and I will be going back soon.

    Randi

  13. #38
    Junior Member LindaAnne's Avatar
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    I used to be so scared to even think about going to a store that I previously limited all my shopping to on-line purchases. However earlier this year I finally got up the nerve to go into a store and buy a dress. I went to GAP (their sizing has been very consistent so I knew I could get one that fit the first time). I went in so nervous - I felt like everyone was looking at me! I was in drab so nobody was actually looking but I felt like it. My heart was beating so fast. Then I started looking at dresses, next to other ladies, and I suddenly felt calm. Nothing happened! I continued to look, picked out a nice dress, then picked out a skirt I had my eye on. I purchased them, walked out, and it was just like I had gone to a mens store. As many have said here, the SAs are very nice and really don't care. Since that initial purchase I've gone to Victoria Secrets to pick up a good supply of panties (a girl can never have enough!) as well as some nice slips. I've also shopped at Torrid, and some of the larger chains (Macys in particular). I prefer GAP and Torrid as I've found they are more accommodating to me, but I'm guessing that can change based on the location and SAs. I'm so happy as I'm finally over being scared and now I don't think twice going in to purchase women's clothing and lingerie. When I'm in those stores, it feels so natural now.

  14. #39
    Platinum Member Eryn's Avatar
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    What to wear: comfortable clothes that are easy to get in and out of. Large collars, simple pants or skirt, flat shoes.

    Makeup should be enough to blend, but make sure it is powdered and set do you won't get it on the clothes you try on.

    Behavior: enjoy yourself. Stroll casually and peruse what catches your eye. Don't walk fast or flit about like a nervous bird.

    Dressing rooms: If you are dressed, use the women's dressing room. Walk in like you belong there, because you do. Don't speak unless you can be seen. I note that many retailers have wisely avoided the gender issue by not specifically stating the gender on the entrance. The only thing that makes a room male or female is its location in the store, so simply use the nearest one.

    Attitude: shopping is supposed to be fun, so go have fun!
    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]

  15. #40
    Aspiring Member grace7777's Avatar
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    You have gotten a lot of great suggestions here. I definitely agree with Eryn in wearing clothes that you can get in and out of easily.

    I have found that shopping in femme is a lot less stressful than shopping en drab. Even if you get made, at least there is an obvious reason for why you are shopping in the woman's section. These days I am in male mode only when absolutely necessary.
    Last edited by grace7777; 12-27-2015 at 01:52 PM.

  16. #41
    Platinum Member Eryn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grace7777 View Post
    I have found that shopping in femme is a lot less stressful than shooting en drab. Even if you get made, at least there is an obvious reason for why you are shopping in the woman's section..
    Absolutely! After the first time I went shopping dressed, I never shopped in drab again! It is so much easier with bra and forms already in place and no obvious gender disparity while shopping or going into the dressing room.

    One thing I forgot: If you are getting attention from other shoppers while browsing, resist the urge to move away. Browse your way toward the observer slowly. Let them see as much as they want. Scared people run away, confident people don't, and your goal is to be a confident person.
    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]

  17. #42
    I'm wishing to be her SANDRA MICHELLE's Avatar
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    Well Tanya if your avatar pic is of your true look than wow, just get dressed up and go, you look great. I have gone out many times and I always try on the clothes that I pick out. I always use the dressing room that is closest to the clothes I am trying, AKA woman's dressing rooms. I have never been denied and have never had a confrontation so do whatever feels right for the situation. If you really want to have fun go to a Dress Barn, the SA will bring you different dresses or tops in the sizes you ask for, believe me they only want to sell you clothes. Also If you want to try on bra's go to Victoria Secret and the girls will bring you as many bra's as you ask them to, they will also gladly help you get the correct size. My favorite shoe store is Payless, they will help you or leave you alone. It is my favorite because they generally have a good selection of size 11 and the cost is always reasonable, why spend a bunch of money on shoes that you will only wear on limited excursions.
    I want to be this girl!

  18. #43
    I am her, she is me tanya_cd's Avatar
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    Thank you everyone for the great feedback and responses. I am happy to share with you all that I am about to take that big step! I am going on my first shopping adventure en femme January 8th!!!! I have this date set because I have been waiting for a few items to arrive. Basically I needed new makeup, flats and a nice purse. Now that those items are on the way, I am preparing myself. Literally I have not been so excited about anything in a long time. I look forward to sharing my entire experience with you all. Thank you for the great information

  19. #44
    Pooh Bear Judith96a's Avatar
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    Hi Tanya,
    Congrats on deciding to go en femme. The reality is that very few of us really 'pass', so don't sweat that. The main thing is to not look like you're up to no good. So, no matter how nervous you may be, smile sweetly and saunter in like you belong (because, actually you do).
    As regards the changing room issue, if in doubt then find a friendly SA and ask "Where's the changing room?"

  20. #45
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    The one tip that really helped me is to have an opening request ready in your mind. That's the one you use when the first SA comes to you and asks "Can I help you?" I started with "Do you have this dress in my size?". Once the ice is thus broken, the conversation proceeds naturally.

  21. #46
    Miss Judy Judy-Somthing's Avatar
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    I buy at least a dress a week in drab.
    I do get nervous thinking they'll ask me something I won't have a response for. But so far it's been great.
    A couple of years ago when buying a dress the SA asked if size 18w was the right size and I said "yes, I looked at the tags on some of my wife's dresses"

  22. #47
    Reality Check Krisi's Avatar
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    It's hard for me to understand when someone 20, 30, 50 years old has to ask how to blend. You wear what other women wear for the time and place. You already know not to wear six inch heels so go to the mall or the stores where you plan to shop and make a note of what the women your age are wearing. Go home and put on the same type of clothing, makeup, jewelry, etc. You have your answer.

    The changing room situation is a little less easy. You're not a "woman" so trying on clothes in the woman's changing rooms could be a problem. If you're dressed as a woman but not passable, waltzing into the men's changing rooms might be embarrassing but it might be a better choice. Finding a store with unisex changing rooms is the best solution.

    Myself, I don't shop as a female, I know pretty well what sizes fit me and I just buy, take the stuff home and try it on (with my boobs and hip/butt padding) and if it doesn't work, return it.

  23. #48
    Call me Pam pamela7's Avatar
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    many replies covering the ground here. My own ha'penn'orth:

    1. Dress andro in jeggings and a simple top (e.g. long-sleeve polo) + fleece + flats. it's easy to change and sufficiently blendable either way.

    2. buy for combinations. if you're not building an entire wardrobe for 24/7 living, then you need to choose what goes with what, so it's about creating outfits.

    3. take a GG along - they really do know best.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dJFyz73MRcg
    I used to believe this, now I'm in the company of many tiggers. A tigger does not wonder why she is a tigger, she just is a tigger.

    thanks to krististeph: tigger = TG'er .. T-I-GG-er

  24. #49
    Member CourtneyJamieson's Avatar
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    I just returned from a 1.5 hour shopping spree at "Wal-Mart" (I know, not the most sophisticated shop for nice fem attire). But I am just building my wardrobe and have yet to get the confidence to shop in Fem clothes. So I spent the 1.5 hour time in drab but in the Women's department buying a few outfits. I have purchased female clothes for both myself and my SO many times before so I had no hesitation looking at tops, bras, panties, etc. and picking some nice ones for myself. The one thing new I did do today was to purchase a pair of "skinny" jeans. I wasn't sure of the right size and didn't want to have to return them. Thanks to you girls I used one of your tips. I picked a couple of sizes of "skinny" jeans and 1 pair of men's jeans. Took them to the fitting room and walked right in. I threw the Men's jeans in the corner and tried on the "skinny" jeans. Found I fit quite nicely into a Misses Size "10" and left without a care. Nobody even noticed or cared. Bought a belt and a matching sweater a a set of panties as well. Now I can't wait to find a place to wear my new jeans and sweater. Thanks again to the girls on this website for giving me the strength to do what I just did.

  25. #50
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    I haven
    't gone through all the responses yet. However, one thing I try to do which is dependent upon the store is to pre-shop. Many stores link their on-line offerings or catalogue with availability at their local stores. Taking time to use a computer search will let you see what may be available, and, if it is available in your size. At least trying this may eliminate some fumbling through dress racks. Of course, there may be other things offered that are not in their on-line offerings. Also, although not pertinent to the question, there are many offerings that are on-line only.

    As to what to wear or how to appear en femme while shopping, if you have any fears of doing it, please try to remember the mind's eye sees what the brain wants to see. You may think your presentation is 100% or some other number on the passable range when looking in a mirror, but, you may be overrating yourself. Otherwise, I'd say just act as natural as if you're looking for male attire. I know of some stores in my area that are large variety stores that have "unisex" one person at a time dressing rooms. That eliminates figuring out whether I go into the male or female changing areas with multiple persons there to observe you.

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