Shop With Confidence

Shop with Confidence

I was inspired to write this article after a trans woman engaged me in an online chatroom. Her opening gambit was a direct question, “How do you have the confidence to go out shopping?” I assume she’d picked up on my love of shopping from my profile on the same website.

The question got me thinking and my answers led to further questions. I will try to recall the conversation and give it some semblance of order.

It turns out the out lady lives in the south east of england, has an understanding wife and, like me, started transitioning but decided not continue with the process.

The first thing I mentioned was dressing appropriately. To use a cliche, I suggested not wearing a leather mini skirt, fishnets, 5″ heels and a long blonde wig with heavy make-up. I suggested observing other women out shopping to get an idea of what sort of clothes would be appropriate. I also mentioned wearing comfortable shoes. If extra height is required wedges can be a very comfortable alternative to stilettoes.

Secondly, we talked about initially going out shopping with another trans woman – could she find someone with more confidence, as this would boost her own self-confidence levels. The two of them could meet for a coffee, get to know each other, then go shopping. Maybe for the first few outings she could have a list of prospective purchases and decide beforehand which shops she would visit. This would give her a sense of purpose, which other members of the public would sub-consciously pick up on. When you have an air of confidence other people sense this, and because you’re not coming across as a victim they are less likely to have a pop at you – which has never happened to me.

Thirdly, “fake it ’til you make it”. Self-confidence doesn’t happen overnight, but as you get out more, so it will build. First of all you need to get your head to actively engage in an air of self-confidence, then your heart will follow until you get to the point where your heart accepts your self-confidence as natural. And this is when your self-confidence becomes part of your core belief system. Then there’ll be no stopping you.

Finally, I mentioned that clothes shop assistants have met many trans women before and in my experience treat them with respect. I love the little chats and small talk I have with assistants – and have these conversations far more than when I shop as a man. It’s a much richer experience – enjoy it.

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