Getting Caught In The Shops...
It doesn’t matter if you’ve been dressing up for years or if you started yesterday; we’ve all had the same fear. The fear that the cashier knows you’re really buying the dress for yourself, that those heels look dangerously your size and not your ‘girlfriends’, that it’s strange that a man would spend ages looking for something simple - as though he was browsing.
Some of us (myself included) have grown out of this fear, but that doesn’t mean we’ve never experienced it, or ever been caught in fact. However, sometimes being caught does more good than bad, but I’ll explain that later.
So, here are some of my favourite tips that I (used to) use to not draw suspicion to myself when looking for dresses/underwear/heels etc:
1. “It’s for my girlfriend”
The easiest and most common trick in the book, and I feel it doesn’t need that much of an explanation; just pretend it’s for your ‘girlfriend’. This is easier to pull off when you don’t have anyone with you because then they can only imagine what size your ‘girlfriend’ is.
- Can get away with buying nearly anything, provided you’re alone.
- Easily believable.
- Going-on about your ‘girlfriend’ too much will look suspicious.
- Retail Assistants aren’t stupid. Some will figure out that you and your girlfriend are similar sizes.
2. “Help me I’m stupid and don’t know how to do girl’s clothes”
Another common one, especially useful when browsing. It’s not right to stereotype, but let’s face it some are true, and men very rarely know how to browse for clothes. This is perfect though, as you can simply play the role of a typical man who doesn’t know the difference between peplum and skater.
First, make sure you write down your measurements and what style of dress/skirt/whatever you want. This will come in useful for later.
Ask a Retail Assistant to help you find a dress/underwear/heels/whatever. Don’t give away too much information at once (who it’s for/their size/what they like), just say you’re looking for a dress/skirt/whatever in a certain colour/style. Chances are the Retail Assistant will ask the extra questions. This is when you pull out your note from earlier with all the details, and simply read it out to them. This all adds to the idea that you have no idea what you’re doing and you’re just doing the shopping for someone else.
Alternative Method: Go in the shop once and take a picture of what you want. Return to the shop later and show the Retail Assistant the picture. They’ll simply assume you’ve been sent on an errand.
- Much lower risk of getting caught, especially if you do it right.
- Allows you to browse without risk, plus Retail Assistants generally give good advice.
- Very time consuming, especially if you already know what you want.
- Not for the prideful.
3. “Yep, those heels are for me. The dress as well”
Here’s a method which I learnt a long time ago: simply being honest. I’ll walk you through how I discovered how it works:
I was buying a pair of heels with Moon. You might have already guessed that we don’t share the same shoe size (I’m size 9, she’s something like 5) but we were hoping the Sales Assistant wouldn’t notice. Funnily enough when we get to the checkout, the cashier looks at the size and then at Moon’s feet, quickly adding “I think there’s been a mistake, these shoes look way too big for you dear.”
Without missing a beat, and definitely before Moon could speak (because she would definitely try to think of an excuse which most likely wouldn’t make sense) I replied “That’s because they’re for me.”
Sounds like a nightmare right? Being caught trying to buy clothes and getting exposed, horrible right?
You can make up any story you like, as long as it involves you wearing the clothes. My favourites include:
- Stag party
- Genderswap party
- Charity act
As long as you don’t give specifics, you can get away with it. I’ve even had occasions in the past where Sales Assistants have offered to let me try on the clothes before I buy.
- No lying involved, so suspicion flies out the window.
- The Sales Assistant can help you more if they know it’s for you.
- No-one really cares if the dress is for you.
- Ironically, can take a lot of balls, especially the first time.
- You might be unlucky and run into someone narrow-minded. This won’t really make a difference except for maybe a snide remark.
Added Bonus: I’m now at a point where I can straight up tell a Sales Assistant I’m buying dresses for myself without feeling the need to explain it.
So What One Do I Use?
Whichever one you feel most comfortable with. I started at 1, moved on to 2 and then eventually got used to 3. It doesn’t really matter as long as you get what you went shopping for. In some shops I’ve genuinely said “I’m a crossdresser, so what’s gonna make me look pretty?”. So far, I’ve had no trouble, just the occasional question.
Sorry again for the lengthy post, but if you need any reason to shop in-person rather than online, just remember that some of the best outfits come from browsing through racks, not webpages. For example:
Everything in that outfit: the dress, the heels, what’s underneath, I bought them all from a shop, not online. It’s one of the my favourite outfits and I would have never got it by simply searching online.
Hope this has helped some of you! Just give it a try once in a while and you’ll get used to shopping the right way!
Any questions? Feel free to drop me a message! :)
-Jessica Blaise x x