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Thread: Such a teensy weensy step... bought some shoes/clothing *publicly*

  1. #1
    Junior Member Marissa Q's Avatar
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    Such a teensy weensy step... bought some shoes/clothing *publicly*

    I've dressed countless hours in private and I've never gone out en femme (but, of course, want to at some point in the near future). I have a decently-sized wardrobe, but everything I own has been bought online. I'm fortunate in that my weight doesn't fluctuate, and my size choices for buying-without-trying have been on point. But the real fact of the matter is that Marissa is still pretty much completely closeted.
    Yesterday, though, I was in a store and decided to sneak a look at women's shoes. I've done this before. You know.... getting just a quick "glance" at the goods? "Glancing" quickly during a hurried walkthrough (and I do mean hurried) is about all I've ever done in a mall/store. I lingered a minute or so, looking at some pumps, while other women -- with their husbands in some cases -- milled around shopping for shoes in the same area. As usual, I thought about employing some of my usual "tricks" such as looking at the text messages on my phone or taking a picture as if I was shopping for a wife/girlfriend. But...

    ... then this forum came into my mind. Even my brief membership here flooded me with confidence and made me recall that I've essentially committed to gradually eliminating the fear of coming out. I then asked myself: "If I can't even shop for shoes in public with a measure of pride and dignity, how could I even contemplate telling close friends about Marissa?" It's such a small thing, but a switch clicked, and I just decided to own it, even embrace it. I spent a full, leisurely half hour checking out some shoes that caught my eye and ultimately bought a gorgeous pair of grey 4" pumps. I loved them, wanted them, and then bought them, all with the innate knowledge that others who were shopping near me as well as the sales clerk knew that those pumps were for me and no one else.

    I left the shoe department feeling a lot better about myself and -- for once -- didn't feel cheated out of a bona fide human experience due to fear of utterly inconsequential social stigma.

    THEN my brain clicked again as I passed women's activewear, and I ended up shopping for and purchasing two pairs of leggings that caught my eye. My male side was still poking me to hurry up, but I calmed and took my time once again. And... it made me happy!

    Again, I know the above is such a small thing, but it was a first for me, and it wouldn't have happened without all the courageous threads I've read here.
    Last edited by Marissa Q; 09-29-2021 at 12:12 PM.

  2. #2
    Aspiring Shopaholic BTWimRobin's Avatar
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    Hi Marissa,

    Welcome to the forum. Congratulations on your successful shopping experience. Owning up to it and having confidence makes a world of difference. It only gets easier from here especially as the SA's get to know you. Have fun!
    - Robin


    Because life is too short not to.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Maid_Marion's Avatar
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    Hi Marissa,

    Congratulations on making that small step!

    Marion

  4. #4
    Feminaut Julie MA's Avatar
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    Marissa,
    Well done, lady. Your confidence and acceptance, of yourself, is growing. I would assume there are many LGBTQ+ places in the SF area. Getting out is just the best. You really feel like a different person in public.
    Julie
    Inside my heart is breaking
    My make-up may be flaking
    But my smile still stays on

    C'est la vie CD

  5. #5
    Fun Member Natalie5004's Avatar
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    That is correct. By just "Owning It" you will amazed at what you can do.

  6. #6
    Junior Member Larissa Cassandra's Avatar
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    Way to go, Marissa! Some day I might have the courage to shop in women's departments by myself, but even when I'm with my wife (with her buying me things) I'm nervous and when I'm looking at something I like, I always pretend that it's for my wife. So I point out a dress on the rack, she takes it off the hanger and holds it up against herself, and I can judge whether it will be the right size for me! Silly, but that's where I'm at now.

  7. #7
    Weirdest woman ever! docrobbysherry's Avatar
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    Give Caitlyn credit where credit is due! If nothing else, she brought conversation about trans from being whispered about in dark places, to open public dialog in living rooms everywhere!

    None of us have to feel afraid, dirty, or guilty ever again!
    U can't keep doing the same things over and over and expect to enjoy life to the max. When u try new things, even if they r out of your comfort zone, u may experience new excitement and growth that u never expected.

    Challenge yourself and pursue your passions! When your life clock runs out, you'll have few or NO REGRETS!

  8. #8
    Senior Member Geena75's Avatar
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    Boy, have I been there. I can't really order on-line as deliveries to the house are a source of curiosity for the family of a very closeted person. I've done the "shopping list" routine when picking out hose and the like. I stick to U-scan lanes to avoid questions or conversations. But I progressed to where I'm only a little self conscious getting a pair of shoes at the good will, or make up at Big Lots. I even asked for a price adjustment on the last dress I bought. It's never 'easy,' but the world hasn't caved in on me either.

  9. #9
    Gold Member Crissy 107's Avatar
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    Marissa, That was a big step forward and your confidence will only grow from there. I think buying things in person is just so much fun. Hey, you did it and are now in the club!
    Crissy

  10. #10
    Sallee Sallee's Avatar
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    I buy things for Sallee all the time in Boy mode I actually enjoy it when I get a wise comment like "you'll look good in that" or something similar because my answer "Do you think so I was wondering" or "I know it really is my color." Just hand the wise ass comment back. I look forward to getting them Those comments often come when I am in thrift stores not so much in regular stores like Target or Ross. I think those clerks are just to busy to care.
    It really is no big deal because your money is all that really matters. Can you imaging a clerk saying to you "Oh we won't sell bras to men sorry."
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]Sallee

  11. #11
    Senior Member
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    CONGRATULATIONS!!! That was no "teensy weensy" step, that was a momentous occasion. It's one of the hardest steps to make and you crushed it!

    And did you notice how much negative feedback you got? I'm thinking it was zero. Because I've always found that the women in a dress shop, be they staff or customers, are supportive and a lot of them are quick to compliment us crossdressers. As for the men, who cares? They take second glances at me but never say anything.

    Again, congratulations on your big step. It gets easier and more fun every time you shop. One suggestion I'd like to make is to find the shop you like best and become a regular. Once you are well known to the staff, they will zero in on whatever is your personal style and make suggestions that suit you perfectly. They love when customers take their suggestions and run with them and your wardrobe will go in directions you never considered. You'll love it.

  12. #12
    Junior Member Marissa Q's Avatar
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    Seriously... Heartfelt thanks to all the amazing girls in this thread for their support and understanding.

    BTWimRobin: Thanks so much. I think it will be easier each time I do own it. Confidence -- even if dressed in the simplest paper bag -- is the winner on the runway every time.

    Maid_Marion: Small step made! But... when do you think I'll have bikini-confidence? (sigh) Someday. Until then, you're an inspiration!

    Julie MA: You're. So. Right! The SF Bay Area is chock full of accepting places. I'm very lucky to live here.

    Natalie5004: Thanks a bunch, Natalie. Be assured that reading about girls just like you handily "owning it" made it significantly easier to accomplish myself.

    Larissa Cassandra: You and I share some of the same "tricks" when shopping, girl. And it's not silly... It's just like you said: it's where we're both at right now.

    docrobby(Sherry): Credit given to her as well as so many other LGBTQ+ people who've led the way. No fear, no guilt!

    Geena75: Price adjustment?!? Props on your courage, Geena. At this stage, I probably would have folded instantly.

    Crissy 107: I always wanted to be in this extraordinary club and not just looking wistfully through the window. You're totally right about enjoying the physical aspect of shopping: SO much more exhilarating than pointing/clicking online.

    Sallee: Ahhh, excellent point. I really do have to remind myself that I'm breaking no laws or codes.... The only thing I'm breaking is the cycle of self-imposed fear.

    suzanne: Thanks for the congrats. It was momentous for me. And you're completely right: NO negative feedback whatsoever from anyone. But.... whoa there! Me? A regular? Hmmm, well, yes! I could see myself liking that a lot.

  13. #13
    Member MiniRock's Avatar
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    Congratulations Marissa! You've found the secret that for me too seems to work, which is pretty much: "do it anyway!"

    [SIZE=1]- - - Updated - - -[/SIZE]

    Oh, and in response to Larissa, that's pretty much how I clothes shop with my partner. She often suggests things for me, but I'm in man mode so I'm pretending to be accompanying her. Although we frequently buy something in both our sizes. Incidentally, she has a trick to check if a skirt will fit, which is to put the waist, doubled up, around my neck. Works perfectly every time.

  14. #14
    Platinum Blonde member Ressie's Avatar
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    Congratulations Marrisa. I predict your wardrobe will increase faster this way

    I also shop in boy mode all the time. It wasn't always this way. 15 years ago I would only shop in other towns. I've probably become too brave assuming I won't run into anyone I know - as I purchase bras, panties, dresses, heels etc.

    Returning clothes doesn't even worry me anymore since I've been shopping all these years. Last week I returned a bra to Target and panties to Burlington!

    Trying clothes on at stores still makes me a bit nervous sometimes yet it's great when coming out to a SA asking "can I try this on"?
    "You're the only one to see the changes you take yourself through", Stevie Wonder

  15. #15
    Senior Member Sandi Beech's Avatar
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    Hey Marissa,

    Many of us have been where you are at and understand the complexities of it all. I think one of the first places I went out fully dressed was Vallco Mall south of SF. I was too gripped by fear to even enter the stores back then. I have come a long way but just like you, it is baby steps first. Each step is huge mentally speaking so congratulations.

    Sandi

  16. #16
    Gold Member alwayshave's Avatar
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    Marissa, Congratulations on owning it.
    Please call me Jamie, I always_have crossdressed, I always will, "alwayshave".

  17. #17
    Junior Member Larissa Cassandra's Avatar
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    Hi MiniRock ("Miniskirt" auf Englisch!),

    That's a great trick for checking skirt size, but unless there's no one around I'd be nervous to have any attention drawn to myself. Still...I'll definitely try it some time!

    ~Larissa

  18. #18
    Junior Member RebeccaS's Avatar
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    Marissa congrats on your shopping trip......Back before online shopping was available i wanted to get a dress and a few things of my own that would fit properly instead of stuffing myself into my girlfriends clothes. I remember getting so worked up about it that i drove halfway across the state of NJ to shop. I believe it was a Macys and i felt like everyone there knew what i was up too. I kinda panicked and just quickly grabbed a dress that ended up being way too loose when i finally tried it on at home. Looking back I don't know why i was so nervous about it, all i had to say is I'm looking for a dress for my girlfriend if one of the associates asked if I needed help.

  19. #19
    Junior Member Marissa Q's Avatar
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    Thanks, RebeccaS. You hit on my feelings exactly. I was a bit panicky over it all and just wanted to grab something without really thinking, just to "get it over with". I felt that any woman within sight would easily realize that -- due to the pretty big size of the shoes -- I was going to be judged, sentenced and condemned to ignominy. That's when I recalled the countless posts I had read over many months that essentially said the same thing: i.e., "Who cares what anyone thinks. Just be."

    That singular thought slowed my breathing (and, consequently, my over-analyzing brain) down and I decided I just had to enjoy it. I knew I could come up with alternate reasons for the purchase, too (this seems to be a common tactic by other girls here) but -- for the first time in my CD'ing life -- I realized that all I wanted was to move the proverbial ball forward just one time in my life. As the title state: so small a step, but a truly liberating one.
    Last edited by Marissa Q; 10-04-2021 at 02:34 AM.

  20. #20
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    Well done!! What a great step to take and such an exciting time in your journey!

    Had a very similar moment myself recently looking at shoes in a store that stocked larger sizes. The SA asked if I needed help and we chatted about sizing for a bit (her clearly thinking they were for someone else). Then in the moment a just took a big gulp and asked if I could try them on in the fitting room. She looked stunned for a second but then hit her stride again and said of course?walked out of there feeling like you did.

    Now do we get a picture of the pumps

  21. #21
    Member Linda K.'s Avatar
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    Marissa - Congrats on that step! You may look at it now as a "teensy weensy" step, but at the time it probably felt humongous! That's how it would feel for me. I am hoping I can do the same thing soon and your story is very encouraging!

    Lilly - You are right, I'd love to see the pumps too!!

  22. #22
    Platinum Member
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    Marissa, happy to see your confidence develop. Yes, this forum helps greatly. When I was young there was no internet. Public acceptance did not exist. My initial forays into the real world of buying women's clothing was at Halloween and Christmas. I don't know if I fooled anyone in the early 1970's other than myself. I always made it a point to suggest the "present" was for my wife. I asked for a gift box. My first wig was bought at a K-Mart under the ruse of a Halloween party. The same with heels. I remember making multiple trips to different Payless Shoe stores to stock up.

    The funny thing about buying women's clothing was if I was actually buying something for my wife I had zero apprehension. If the clothing was for me, and, at some time in the past our sizes intersected, it was difficult. I remember when some of the stores had hours set aside for guys to buy lingerie and unmentionables for their wives or girl friends. Help was available.

    If you have a lot of apprehension about venturing out into the world I would suggest you consult the calendar. Halloween falls on a Sunday this year. Typically, when that happens there are Halloween parties Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Those are the times I felt confident enough to interact with fellow humans. I did not go to any parties. I went into grocery stores to buy refreshments of the type one would take to a party. I found those Halloween forays satisfied a lot of pent up frustration. Halloween was a confidence builder for me for future forays into the unknown.

  23. #23
    Junior Member RebeccaS's Avatar
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    Marissa i was thinking about this thread today. I had to go do a return today at a local mall and I figured I'd buy a dress while i was there there using the cover story "for the wife"
    Well while i was there at the return line I could see the women's section right up front and started getting nervous, it was fairly busy since weather isn't great today I guess more people decided to go shopping. I could see some dresses that would work for me but totally chickened out and didn't even walk into the women's section. I was so afraid of bumping into a friend or neighbor and having a guilty, nervous look on my face or it would get back to wife that i was at store buying a dress for her and then I have to scramble. I guess things haven't changed much for me since my shopping trip years ago(still paranoid) and I will have to travel out of town and try again to shop comfortably....In my opinion your step was definitely bigger than you think
    Last edited by RebeccaS; 10-10-2021 at 12:48 PM. Reason: grammar

  24. #24
    Just finding my way.... StaceyJane's Avatar
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    I remember going to a shoe store with the goal of trying on a pair of ladies shoes. It took a lot of courage but I did it. Such a big step. Now days I cheat a bit. My daughter wears the same size shoes as me and she lets me wear her shoes when I want. Father daughter sharing ladies shoes is a different but still a good way to bond.
    Stacey

    I'm not a doctor, I just play one on TV.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wob7zmvVTb8

  25. #25
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    Rebecca, I've been using JCP.com and ship to store for a year or so, awesome results so far but planning on going to a JCP, Macy's, etc. for an in-person trip again. Last time I was out I took a few items to the dressing room at Boscov's, more formal wear but an awesome experience. I didn't need a formal gown for $100+ but it was fun to put on and spin around in front of the mirrors!

    I obviously could not do that as a guy, but the biggest thing I noticed is that almost no one noticed anything at all, they seemed to just not care! Get an hour away and just go for it!

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