Friday, December 4, 2009

A Few Thoughts on Shopping

I've been doing a lot of shopping recently. I've been really happy with the way I've been able to build my wardrobe. One of my first concerns about making the transition to living full-time as a woman was having enough to wear; I didn't want to wear the same things all the time. I'm very happy that I can now go weeks, if not months, without wearing the same thing twice :)

Not suprisingly, I never was much of a shopper as a guy. Guy's clothes just don't really interest me that much. I was always interested in women's clothes, of course, and always wondered how interested I would be in shopping if I was actually given the chance to dress how I want. I always had a feeling that I would be a bit of a clotheshorse.

I had the thought yesterday after buying a couple of new sweaters at Target if I've been spending too much on clothes recently. Again, shopping as much as I have been for clothes is still new to me, even if I am enjoying it. Then I paused and remembered that much of the shopping I have been doing these past few months has been out of necessity, not just a desire for something new to wear. I didn't buy those sweaters yesterday just because I felt like spending some money but because it has been chilly these past few days and I don't really have much to wear when it's cold.

I've been almost stubbornly open and public as a crossdresser. Unlike many other crossdressers, I was never really satisfied with just dressing up alone in my house. As a practical person, it was hard for me to justify spending money on clothes that no one else would ever see me wear. That's why I chose to focus on cosplay costumes because at least I would get to wear them at a convention. So when I decided earlier this year that I wanted to start dressing full-time as a woman, I literally had two outfits that I could wear. Two! Pretty much everything I have in my wardrobe now has been purchased since March.

I 'm happy with the progress I've made in such as short time but there are still some holes that I'm trying to fill in my wardrobe. I'm to the point where I can get by on a day-to-day basis (I'm not wearing the same outfit every other day) but each new situation reminds me of what still needs to be added. When it gets cold, I have to buy sweaters not because I'm tired of my old ones but because I don't have any old ones! Thankfully, though, those situations are becoming fewer and fewer as time goes by.

Bargain-hunting has been a blessing for me in building my wardrobe. Most of the clothes in my closet are from Target; their clothes are reasonably priced (they even have a good clearance section) and they fit my style. My style tends to be a little on the conservative side (I like the descriptors elegant and professional that friends have used) but that's just out of personal taste and not any feelings of how women should or shouldn't dress. Audrey Hepburn is my style icon and I love the styles of the 1950's and 60's.

Charlotte Russe is another store that has proven very fruitful, especially their clearance section. I've had the most luck there with tops; dresses and skirts haven't fit as well. I've purchased a few things at Wal-Mart, mainly because of the low prices, but the clothes there tend to be a little too casual/country for my tastes. I've also purchased a couple of dresses from Chadwicks and will definitely be purchasing more from them in the future because they have very stylish clothes and great bargains! And while I do love JC Penney's and especially their Worthington line, I haven't always had the most pleasant shopping experience at the store here in town, but that's a story for another time.

The next challenge will be next semester, which will be the first time I will teach an entire semester as a woman. I feel much better prepared to face this challenge, in ways beyond just clothing, than I felt back in March when I first made this decision.

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