Monday, December 19, 2011

Land of Shopportunities!

I hope you all are taking advantage of the season.  There's only one week left and you can buy anything you want from the women's side of the store.

Go when you feel most comfortable.

Go on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon or any evening and you'll find the cover of other shoppers and everyone is rushed and they won't even notice a man buying a bra or makeup remover or a dress that happens to be in your size.

If the crowds intimidate you, or you're afraid you'll run into friends and neighbors, take a break from work and go to the mall during the day and you'll find quiet stores and helpful sales associates.

And you can buy anything with the right story, if coming out, even a bit, to a pretty stranger in a random store makes you uncomfortable.

You know my "no stories" philosophy.  When I bought a bra, tights, and a slimming camisole last week the woman said "I hope she likes them!" and I said "she?  They're for me!"  She laughed and said something about "whatever works for you" and we had a nice little chat about tolerance for dressing and such.  When I left, I think she was still trying to decide if I was joking or not.

But you can cover anything with a story, if you feel the need.  And I have felt the need.  "I hope my wife likes it."  "What's your return policy, if it doesn't fit her?"  "Can I return this?  I know she likes this style but she might have an identical one."

Jewelry is easy.

Clothing is harder, because you're likely to be the only guy in the department. 

Intimate apparel is tricky ~ it's easier to buy the really sexy things than the more practical things you need day-to-day because that's what other guys would buy.  Sexy nightie: a snap.  A Bali Passion for Comfort Pretty Underwire bra... not so much.

Makeup can require a bit of finesse.  Shoes, well,....

But there are a couple of tricks.  Feel free to supply others in the comments.

Bring a list.  Or a picture from an ad or a website.  If there's a specific item you want, have that item on a printed list, or grab a photo and you can say "this is what she wants" or for items like panties, bras, hose, and other items a woman would have many of, "I saw this in her drawer.  I know she likes this style and I know what she has is getting worn out."

Bring a scribbled note.  If you're intent on getting some unspecified bra or panties, scribble a little note like "bra: 44D" or "undies: 7 or 8" and you can proudly show off that you were clever enough to dig around, figure out "her" size and you're ready to shop!

Get gift sizes.  If you want eye shadows, you can get a big selection of shadows.  That looks more like a gift.  If you buy a single shadow, or a targeted pair or trio, well, not so much.  But if you have a list or scribbled note ("she's almost out and she loves this stuff")....

Be creative.  Shoes are tricky.  Does anyone buy shoes as a gift?  No.  So buy a pair and ask about returns.  "I've never bought here before.  She likes my taste in shoes so what I do is buy a pair I like in what I hope will fit.  She generally brings them back for a pair that fits better.  It's almost a tradition."

Know who you're shopping for.  If you're buying makeup basics, it's for your daughter.  It's just you and her, and you're trying hard and "what did you need when you just started wearing makeup?"  You'll get a little sympathy from a young lady as well as help.  The "daughter" is also useful if you really want some clothing that's kind of young for you.  If you're looking for cheap jewelry (guilty) say it's a gift for your wife... from your young child.  "She" asked you to "get a nice bracelet for mommy but not too expensive."

I'll be buying some items from Ulta today and I'll probably see what's on sale at Penneys (I have a 15% off one-day pass) later in the week, but it's for me ~ and that's my story.

One final note: no matter what your story is, or how good an actor you are, or how you present yourself, on some level she'll know it's for you.  And that's OK.


  1. I have never had a clerk question me (either verbally or by facial expression) when buying makeup or jewelry. The only comment I ever got about lingerie (in this case, hosiery) was a clerk who said, "How nice to see a man who knows how to buy stockings."

    As for shoes, go to the self-serve places like Payless, Target, Kmart or Wal-Mart. I've even tried on shoes at Payless...easy if there's no one in the aisle with you.

    Basically, they don't care--you're a sale, that's all that's important to them.

  2. Sounds to me like you've tried most of these at some time in the past, personally I think that where you are now is easier, tell them what you want and if it helps why - you may even get some tips or special offers.

  3. Great advice, Meg. I always get excited when shopping for lingerie, but I must confess I always say it's for my wife and "she's a big girl...almost as big as me". The next time I want to tell her up front it's for me...can't wait to see her reaction.

  4. Go for it Francie! It's incredibly liberating! After a couple of times you'll feel like shouting it to the world.

  5. I was dressed Enfemme at Target bought 2 gel bras. The check- out girl did a double take when I used my male charge card. Then she asked me a question to hear my voice. I got a have a good holiday Miss. The voice is tuff for me.

  6. Voice is tough for many of us, Diane. And I use my male card, but you can often get a card with just your first initial if you ask.

    I'm more likely to cover my name from a companion when dressed ~ it has my Real Name on it!

  7. Hi Meg,
    I am writing this sitting in a long gown I purchased from JC Pennys just hours ago. To top it off I was shopping in male mode.
    I asked one of the clerks how the two potential dresses to purchase looked. She replied she thought the were very good. Then I said on me? I caught her off guard! Then I asked here if I could use the dressing room to try them on.
    In minutes I was trying on my potential acquisitions. I was wearing a body suit under my heavy jacket and male pants.
    At one time I was terrified to do anything like this.
    Today's haul two dresses, one pair of killer heels and MAC cosmetics. The women at MAC loved my pictures of me dressed and loved one of my outfits in the pictures. She made my day!


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