Trying on clothes in-store

Discussion of fashion elements and looks that are traditionally considered somewhat "femme" but are presented in a masculine context. This is NOT about transvestism or crossdressing.
Andy_G
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Trying on clothes in-store

Post by Andy_G »

Just wondering what peoples experiences of asking to try clothes on in-store has been? Which stores seemed to be supportive? If not unisex, which fitting rooms did you use?
rode_kater
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Re: Trying on clothes in-store

Post by rode_kater »

Andy_G wrote:
Mon Jan 10, 2022 8:37 am
Just wondering what peoples experiences of asking to try clothes on in-store has been? Which stores seemed to be supportive? If not unisex, which fitting rooms did you use?
I can only really speak on second hand stores since that's where I've tried on the most. They don't care, though I do try to go when it's quiet (just after opening). As for gendered changing rooms: no idea since I've never been in a store with them.

However, this isn't the US, so we don't have security guards at doors, people checking changing rooms, sales people following you, etc, which I understand is common there.
rivegauche
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Re: Trying on clothes in-store

Post by rivegauche »

I can only speak for the UK. I shop everywhere - department stores, chains etc but buy most of my clothes from independent boutiques. In 99% of cases you will be treated exactly the same as anyone else wanting to try on a skirt or dress. Take your selection to the counter or to an assistant and ask if you can try them on. They will direct you to a fitting room of cubicles which will usually have a curtain closure and there will be women in the other cubicles. You don't get any reactions from the staff or the customers. If you treat it as routine and a non-issue so will they. If you are in any way creepy they will treat you like a creepy person so don't go there - just be nice and smile and they will do the same. Basically if you treat staff and other customers with respect they will repay by treating you the same way. Now and again you will encounter really helpful staff and it is nice to be sure to buy something when this happens. It isn't a big deal. In many shops they will get men trying on skirts and dresses every day. Let us know how you get on.
Andy_G
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Re: Trying on clothes in-store

Post by Andy_G »

Just to qualify, I'm in the UK.
kingfish
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Re: Trying on clothes in-store

Post by kingfish »

[USA/Massachusetts here, so my experience may be skewed the remarkably liberal political climate]

It was about 20 years ago that I got the nerve to start trying on in-store. I've always had courteous and accommodating interaction with the staff. Of course, I was always made it a point to be polite and congenial with everyone from the start. Some places had gendered rooms, and I got to walk the garment to the men's side. Some places required me to be patient and defer to a quiet time when the dressing room area was fully vacant, in deference to the more timid female clientele.

We still suffer from the "False Generalization" fallacy, and get lumped in with that subgroup of males who would be up to no good in such a place. That acknowledgement and affirmation that you're not one of those through the exercise of patience and understanding speaks volumes to the sales staff you may be working with.
STEVIE
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Re: Trying on clothes in-store

Post by STEVIE »

Hi Andy
I am UK too.
Unlike Rivegauche most of my clothes come from Next or Marks and Spencer as opposed to the independents.
He is right that if you behave in a furtive manner then expect to be treated accordingly.
Otherwise all the folks are really interested in is taking your cash and you are sorted.
On some occasions you may even get service above and beyond because you will be relieving the boredom for an assistant.
They may even mistake you for a test shopper and that can be even better.
I must admit that I take my purchases to male dressing areas to avoid potential issues, see Daily Mail Rant.
My attire is always a skirt or dress so there's no likely confusion who the end user is.
One amusing situation was shopping for bog standard trousers while wearing a skirt.
The irony was not lost on me.
Enjoy.
Steve
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denimini
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Re: Trying on clothes in-store

Post by denimini »

I am in Australia and I have never seen a store where there were male and female change rooms. As said by others, if you wear a skirt when shopping there is no confusion. If there are gendered changing rooms then obviously one would choose the gender closest to what they identified with at that particular moment. Clothing has no gender. So a man trying a skirt would go into the male room ............... even if the icon on the door shows a person wearing pants :) Just think which toilet you would go into .......... no different.
Anthony, a denim miniskirt wearer in Outback Australia
Faldaguy
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Re: Trying on clothes in-store

Post by Faldaguy »

Never noticed any difference in any store or location I've used. Most of my clothes come from thrift shops and sometimes one stands in a queue which can lead to chit chat. I do find being a male shopping for skirts I get more offers of help from the female staff, and what seems like quiet approval or an underlying "wish I could do that" from make check out clerks. The ladies may make a complimentary comment about one of the skirts.

Nary an issue for me anywhere that I can recall. I've used changing rooms in NZ, AU, KE, US, CA, PE ,TH & CR that I can recall. I've used a proffered blanket in GT, and nary an enclosure in TO! :cheese:
STEVIE
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Re: Trying on clothes in-store

Post by STEVIE »

In the UK there was, (currently uncertain) an exception to sex discrimination rules regarding the use of male employees in female changing areas in shops gymnasia or swimming pools etc.
That was on the grounds of "public decency". Don't shoot the messenger, I am only reporting.
As a thought, I wonder if the Anne Summers, UK lingerie chain employ any males at all? I have never darkened the doors of the local branch but I do see the staff shutting shop most evenings.
I have never seen an obvious guy that is for sure.
The legal beagles may want to toss this one around?
Steve,
New-in-Skirts
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Re: Trying on clothes in-store

Post by New-in-Skirts »

Ive never had nuch of a problem. My first experience was at Layne Bryant. They alowas seem to have two ses of dressing room one to the back with several and one to the side, side my sde each other. My go to store had been Christopher & Banks. The one I went to most of the time had 3 or 4 right beside each other another one I went to had an aread with 5 or 6 both of thise stores were very accomodating but to due COVID the brick and mortar stores in the malls closed down last July. After them I went to Maurices again I found them to be very accomodating no problem trying something on. I've also been to Torried just looked aroound did not try on but got the impression it would be not problem to do so.
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moonshadow
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Re: Trying on clothes in-store

Post by moonshadow »

Assuming the fitting rooms aren't closed for covid, I've not faced many issues in fitting rooms. Places that have male and female rooms, I always use the male [0].

The only refusal I've had was at a local Cato store... that was six years ago, and I haven't returned since... and I believe I'm no worse off for it. There are plenty of other places to purchase skirts.

[0] With one exception, at a Bristol TN Goodwill, the attendant opened the women's fitting room for me (I didn't request this, but didn't mind either way) she seemed very friendly about it and I gathered she was a trans-ally.
-MS
KiltedintheValley
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Re: Trying on clothes in-store

Post by KiltedintheValley »

Most of the skirts I have purchased have come from either Goodwill or Plato’s Closet. Neither one in our area have gendered fitting rooms. If I happen to be in a store with gendered fitting rooms, I would use the men’s fitting rooms.

As stated several times, being kind is key. The staff does not care who tries on what.
"Be weird. Be random. Be who you are, because you never know who would love the person you hide." - Alan Watts
"Never take counsel of your fears." - Stonewall Jackson
partlyscot
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Re: Trying on clothes in-store

Post by partlyscot »

I don't believe I've ever had issues with changing rooms. When I've been in charge of the changing rooms, I have in fact sometimes suggested the customer try the same item from the other side of the aisle. Sometimes because of fit, (guy with short legs, woman with narrow hips) or maybe simply because we were out of stock in their regular choice. Of course that would be pants...and we're talking about outdoor technical clothing, not so much fashion stuff.

Our store never seemed to be concerned whether the changing rooms were attended by any specific gender, I don't remember any complaints or problems when I was looking after the women's section. People would usually end up in the changing room that went with the clothes, but ladies in the men's was not uncommon, as the lady's section was sometimes busy.
STEVIE
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Re: Trying on clothes in-store

Post by STEVIE »

Hi PartlyScot
I got a pair of Colombia hike trousers from a local hiking shop in a ladies size. That was at the suggestion of the assistant too.
In that instance there was only one changing space so gender was irrelevant.
Interesting about the women jumping into the male space too. I wonder about a potential reaction had the situation been reversed?
As for those trousers, they were fine and nobody ever remarked on their provenance.
Steve.
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moonshadow
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Re: Trying on clothes in-store

Post by moonshadow »

STEVIE wrote:
Mon Jan 17, 2022 6:07 am
Interesting about the women jumping into the male space too. I wonder about a potential reaction had the situation been reversed
Men are not allowed in women's sacred spaces. No exceptions!

Thankfully, men's fitting rooms are usually nowhere near capacity, and we can pee behind bushes (regarding bathrooms).

As much as I hate to admit it, I can kinda understand the sacred places double standard... cis-gendered men do tend to be somewhat sleazy when it comes to women. [0]

It's a shame that trans-women have gotten caught up in that stereotype.

[0] I already know someone's going to take me to task for that... save it. I've heard way too many stories over the years from the women in my life, from my wife, daughter, sister, mother, and others regarding men who were always trying to cross the line.
-MS
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