Monday, December 13, 2010

The Holiday Window and A Secret Story

As I mentioned before, this is the perfect opportunity to hit the stores and pick up a little female finery.

If you've never shopped, please go out and do it.  Write to me about your experience.  If you'd like to share, maybe I can add a post or three, or a special page for y'all.

If you're uncomfortable with "I take a 12" or "is this the right foundation for me?," add a cover story.  You're not fooling anyone though.


I think there's one story that works, if you really want to shop and not be caught out.

Saying "my niece is just starting to wear makeup and her mom said a 'kit' would be OK.  What do you have?" isn't going to convince anyone.

Saying "I'm looking for a nightgown for my wife.  She's about my size" ~ forget it.

Instead, print or type a list.  Or pull a page out of a store ad, circle what you're looking for and put a size next to it, if necessary.  Get help from a sales assistant.  First off, it is fun to shop with a woman, even if the real situation is just that you're shopping and she's a woman.  Second, it takes the eyes off a male shopping alone in the ladies or lingerie department or store.

Show her the picture.  "My wife left this out.  I just think maybe it's a hint.  Do you have this dress, or something like it?  I assume the 14 is her size.  Can I get a gift receipt?  How long do I have to return it if she doesn't like it?" 

Ulta is great for makeup shopping like this.  They always have a circular in the newspaper and you can circle some items and use the same routine: this is what she "hinted" at.  The makeup counters in department stores usually have special gifts "with a purchase" and the ads aren't very general.  You'll find a kit with a variety of cosmetics free with a $30 purchase but the items in the ad are all priced at about $25, so if you pick one, you'll hafta pick two.  But the department store counters often have a poster near the counter pushing something.  If it's what you're looking for, point at the sign and say "you probably didn't notice my wife and I when we walked past here a couple of hours ago, but she pointed at that and said 'I've been meaning to get one of those, and it's on sale!'  I told her we didn't have time so I could sneak back later."

Be specific.  It works.

Or just say "I usually take an XL top.  Can I try that on?"


  1. I used to feel guilty about buying when in male mode but now I just shop and don't explain anything. I rarely get asked about why I am buying and when asked if I want a gift receipt I just say yes without further explanation. Yesterday I bought a new pair of black suede high heels and although this would be an unusual present for a man to give, the SA said nothing except to confirm that I was buying a size 9. I suppose that since coming out to my wife I have eliminated one fear, that of being spotted by one of her friends but the fear of dealing with a SA has diminished over the years of buying anyway.

    The hardest thing to do in male mode is to shop in the charity shops as it is most unlikely to be a present and the laidies behind the counter are often older and more interested in what you are doing in the shop. also, they are volunteers and have a different view of shop life.

  2. I've been shopping alone in male mode for three years and never had a single question asked about it. Rather, I've had complimentary comments about my taste (I presume they think I'm buying for someone else). I've held clothes up to my body to judge size, hem length, color, and never had a second glance...or at least not that I've noticed. I've tried on heels in Payless and Target.

    In this day and age, I don't think people pay that much attention any more.

  3. Dani, thank you. This and Pat's comment from the "styles change" post tie together with my what I'll modesstly call my quest for the holy grail. :)


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