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Old 13th Aug 2013, 12:50 PM   #1
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Default ftm, shopping for clothes, in panic

Hello,

I have been sitting here for three hours already, shopping online for clothes (office fashion).
It was fun in the beginning, but now I am almost physically sick and in panic. That it won't fit, that it won't match my current clothes, that I will look laughable and that I am pathetic for even trying to wear men's clothes.

I don't mind shopping for sport shirts. But business shirts... I mean, I can't buy ten of them and five pairs of trousers to match everything. I can wear a sport shirt alone, but for a business shirt I would need a jacket, a waistcoat, a cardigan, simply something. I feel like I will never manage to match those three pieces together Not to mention that I am almost sure the trousers will not fit, I am too slim at waist.

Anybody could give me a tip how to start? Please? I am ready to quit and I hate myself for being such a coward
I know it would be the best to buy a shirt, put it on and go to a shop and try on different clothes to make them match with the shirt. But when I think about asking a shop assistant for help...well, I am sure the Earth would swallow me

I know this web already The FTM's Complete Illustrated Guide to Looking Like a (Hot) Dude It has sort of encouraged me to try, but it seems that it's just too hard

Thank you
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Old 14th Aug 2013, 11:19 AM   #2
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Default Re: ftm, shopping for clothes, in panic

Hello, I am a mtf but I do shop for clothes. I have never asked for help at the store but going to buy them definitely makes me feel like I am making positive advancements in being who I am . It's not easy for me but I feel better after . My catch is getting the nerve to wear them in public. I hope I helped at least a little . Have a great day.
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Old 14th Aug 2013, 11:54 AM   #3
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Default Re: ftm, shopping for clothes, in panic

Hey.

I'm a bigger guy myself, able to comfortably fit in a men's small/medium so I'm afraid I'll have little in the way of substantial, first hand advice. Merely just what I've heard from other guys and their experiences.

So first things first, feel you'll find this useful: Hudson's Guide: Men's Clothing for Short and Small Guys

Hardest thing about being an FtM shopping for clothes- the fit. I mentioned earlier that I fit into a men's small, well... For the most part. I'm curvy myself and often have problems with how the clothes hang off my body.

Layering, and I can't stress this enough, is the key to the game.

You'll have a binder (or compression sports bra), I assume. Probably, above that, there'll be a tank or t-shirt. And still, above that, a button down shirt. Cold weather, might as well throw in a jacket.

What you're aiming for, as in the style guide you posted (all time favorite resource, by the way) is the shape. You want to create the illusion of a masculine body shape.

Now, so part of it's just the mindset. The point of buying clothes- obtaining something you'll be comfortable in. As they say, clothes make the man.

If you like a piece and can't get a perfect fit- tailoring is always an option. And asking a shop assistant? It's their job. Now I can understand if you're worried that they'll judge/nose around- I myself probably wouldn't have the guts. But if you have to- worth biting the bullet. They give you shit, they don't deserve your patronage.

So hope this helped. Here if you have any additional questions and whatnot.
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Old 21st Aug 2013, 04:20 PM   #4
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Default Re: ftm, shopping for clothes, in panic

Well, bear in mind that most young men are pathetically ignorant when it comes to dressing in men's clothing as well so you aren't to far behind on the curve!
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Old 21st Aug 2013, 09:14 PM   #5
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Default Re: ftm, shopping for clothes, in panic

I bought my first skirt last week, which, of course, makes me an expert ;^), but here's what made it possible: The key thing for me, and where I think you might be getting stuck, is it was just one item of clothing, not a whole wardrobe at once. Continuing, it was a store I typically didn't shop in, and I knew had cheap clothes/prices, i.e. if it was a horrendous mistake, then it only cost me 7 bucks. I sussed my size by getting a pair of mens shorts that I knew fit, and matched the physical waist to the skirts. So, again, start small to figure out what fits, and then spend the bucks only when you know what works. That's me, at least.
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Old 21st Aug 2013, 10:18 PM   #6
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Default Re: ftm, shopping for clothes, in panic

When I bought guy clothes the first time, I did go into a store and ask for help--but I told the assistant that I needed them for a costume party. A bit of a cowards' way out, but gives a place to start until you're more comfortable buying them as yourself.
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Old 22nd Aug 2013, 10:02 AM   #7
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Default Re: ftm, shopping for clothes, in panic

Thank you very much. I let it simmer for several days, but it didn't help Perhaps because I am looking at not so cheap clothing because it is supposed to be for the office...

I gave up at one point and clicked at women's section to buy business trousers, because I am familiar with the size system, but uh, no... It seems that during the last year I made a big leap and I can't shop for women's clothes anymore. Not even as a last resort.

Well, nobody promised me it would be easy... But I can't wear jeans all year round, so I will have to risk it or bite the bullet and go to a department store.
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Old 22nd Aug 2013, 11:55 AM   #8
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Default Re: ftm, shopping for clothes, in panic

Hiya OP. I'll try not to repeat any ideas people have already posted, as I know that can seem redundant.

Depending on where you happen to live, you could always try looking for stores like H&M or Zara, kind of trendy not so large stores. The men's clothes they have sometimes have a slim fit option, so it might be easier for you to find something as being too thin in the waist can be a pain.

If you're shopping online, usually they have a size chart somewhere on the site that gives measurements for women and men. If you have the time, you could always find a guide for measuring online and see where you would best fit in sizes for men's clothes at specific stores.

Another thing you could do is try to buy a size you might think is a bit bigger and possibly get it tailored to fit you better.

Just a few suggestions. Hope that you find you way, I know the first few times can be difficult.
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Old 23rd Aug 2013, 06:31 AM   #9
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Default Re: ftm, shopping for clothes, in panic

Following up, please don't call yourself a coward, OP; as you already said, you made good progress in the last year. This is big stuff.

When I talk about this with my therapist, I joke that the world should have swallowed me up, too, but for some reason didn't. And not only should the same be true for you, but you'll most likely be stronger as a result.

About the clothes, themselves, I think you're over thinking it in a couple different ways: 1st, buy just one complete outfit, either in-store or online, as practice. 2nd, Even though this is for work, don't be afraid to shop for less expensive clothes to start, again, as practice. Then, with confidence, confidence, you can start investing in quality clothing. 3rd, ask for help. If you're out to anyone, ask them to help somehow, either by just talking about it or actually going with you. And if you do ask a clerk for help, try to choose a shop that, for professionalism alone, will do what they can to not make feel uncomfortable.
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Old 23rd Aug 2013, 09:13 AM   #10
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Default Re: ftm, shopping for clothes, in panic

Thank you. It's comforting to know that somebody understands. I usually end up so stressed that my stomach starts hurting like if I am facing some kind of test.

The truth is, I am putting too high hopes in the clothes. Like if I have only men's clothing and all perfectly fitting, the people around me will finally get it.

But deep down I know that it won't happen and on top of it I feel like I can very easily look laughable in the clothes.

So, it's always the same - joy when I start to shop, then doubts, frustration, and after an hour or so I leave the computer with hurting stomach or head, feeling mad and hopeless at the same time.

The clothes are a symbol for me and that doesn't seem to be healthy.
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Old 24th Aug 2013, 06:43 AM   #11
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Default Re: ftm, shopping for clothes, in panic

Actually, the clothes may help a ton; I've heard countless actors (mostly portraying alien spieces in Star Trek or similar) describe that they only "knew" their character once they saw themselves in full costume and make up. Not exactly the same, of course, as you are trying to take off your costume.

In fact, I've perceived a tiny change in my behavior the few times I've worn my skirt in public-ish; a little less guy, and a little more girl, I guess. It's equally un-Earth shattering, but it's there.

QUESTION: What kind of shoes are you wearing? Using plain-old, unmistakably men's shoes as a foundation may help set the image for folks.
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Old 24th Aug 2013, 07:33 AM   #12
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Default Re: ftm, shopping for clothes, in panic

I had started to wear men's shoes many years before I got to know that something like trans* existed. Which, to tell the truth, I find pretty creepy. Like if I subconsciously knew something that I wasn't supposed to know. Because I had no idea about the possibility and I didn't doubt my gender at that time.

I have no problem feeling like me even if I wear wrong clothes. I mean no skirts *horrified* but some almost unisex shirts are ok. I have already gotten over body dysphoria. But what I don't know how to handle yet it the reaction of the people around. I have no one around who would accept it. That's why clothes mean so much. It's pathetic.

I admire you, rudo. You are probably in harder situation than me. I just wish I could go through hormonal therapy. But I don't see that ever happening. It's been quite a few years since I was a teenager full of hope.
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Old 24th Aug 2013, 07:46 AM   #13
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Default Re: ftm, shopping for clothes, in panic

Dude, shopping for clothes sucks.

One thing I do is when I go the store I look at what they put on the mannequins, or on the posters, and try to get something like that. I figure that has to have some sense of matching.
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Old 24th Aug 2013, 05:54 PM   #14
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Default Re: ftm, shopping for clothes, in panic

If there's a Goodwill in your area, they're useful. At least at mine they don't look at the clothes you're bringing in, and they have slightly-worn versions of expensive brands, so you can try it cheap before going into the 'real' stores with confidence.

But I feel the pain- I've only bought men's clothes in a real store once, and I pretended they were for my 'boyfriend' (b/c the store did waist sizes by inch). You can do it!

Last edited by GeorgeGabriel; 24th Aug 2013 at 05:57 PM.. Reason: wanted to add sympathy/encouragement
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Old 25th Aug 2013, 10:04 AM   #15
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Default Re: ftm, shopping for clothes, in panic

Actually, I don't think I have it harder, clothes-wise, at least. I am still comfortable enough as a guy, whereas you sound like you absolutely need to do this. I have only just reached a place where I am comfortable exploring these issues publicly, but I still have a "safe zone" I can retreat to.

I think it's true that western society is more accepting of a woman in mens' clothes than vice versa, so, in that, I may one day find significant struggles. But you, in your journey, as of now, have more pressing issues.

Be strong. Be the light at the end of of the tunnel you want to reach.
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Old 25th Aug 2013, 10:11 AM   #16
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Default Re: ftm, shopping for clothes, in panic

Also, hope is not exclusive to teenagers. As long as you're asking questions today, there's hope for an answer tomorrow. When we let fear of rejection prevent us from asking asking the questions in in the first place, that’s when we lose.
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Old 25th Aug 2013, 11:35 AM   #17
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Default Re: ftm, shopping for clothes, in panic

Thank you so much.

I will go shopping tomorrow. The plan is to go in, pick some clothes, try them on, pay and proudly walk out of the shop LOL I mean, sheesh, how hard it can be, right?

yeah, all right I'll do my best. The last time I tried, the shop was almost empty and I felt like all the shop assistants were watching me. Umm, no I didn't buy anything


I have also found this:
Susan's Place Transgender Resources for Transsexuals and Crossdressers: Library: Opposite Sex Size?

Perhaps it will be useful for someone.
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Old 25th Aug 2013, 12:17 PM   #18
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Default Re: ftm, shopping for clothes, in panic

Good luck shopping. I'm not trans, but I do buy and wear men's clothes and boxers. Shopping for them in public the first few times was extremely anxiety producing. But I got through it, and one improved wardrobe and several shopping trips later it doesn't feel quite as scary anymore. I'll dig through a discount bin of boxers in the middle of a store without shame just to find a pair in the color I like!

Do you have a trusted friend you can take shopping with you? I had a very good friend that came with me the first time I shopped for boxers in public (before that it was online), and I felt so much better knowing she was there. Her acting like everything was normal made me not feel judged, and slowed my anxiety.

But, again, not being trans I really realized I'm coming from a different place on this one. I just wanted to let you know that the shopping got easier for me, so that even if this shopping trip is hard you aren't too nervous to try again. Good luck. I hope you find clothes that make you feel amazing, as all the best outfits on one's wardrobe should.
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Old 25th Aug 2013, 01:56 PM   #19
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Default Re: ftm, shopping for clothes, in panic

The only thing that can be a real pain is finding something in my size since I'm such a little guy (I'm at least a foot under the average height). If you feel you need to, bring a friend along to help you out.
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Old 25th Aug 2013, 02:38 PM   #20
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Default Re: ftm, shopping for clothes, in panic

I'm a little guy. I'm 5'4" with a 28" waist. It's really hard for me to find things that fit, so I usually end up in the boys' section. I fit into a boys' extra large normally. It sucks because it seems like everything in boys' is festooned with cartoon characters or cheesy graphics. Target, I've noticed, has some pretty OK boys' stuff, which is comforting. If you do end up having to go to boys' like I did, don't go crazy and buy a whole bunch of shit just because it fits. There's a line to be drawn between looking like a boy and looking like a man. It's kind of hard to sort through the different details other than cartoon characters and cheesy graphics that need to be avoided though. It's a process of trial and error. Boys' clothes are also cheaper, which is nice, but they can also look cheaper. As a general rule, I avoid anything in a loud color or pattern. There are also 3 suits every man should own (and admittedly, I don't own any). You should have grey, black, and navy. They go with everything, although they go with some things better than others. Then you can buy shirts pretty freely. Khaki is also a good neutral, but I'm not sure I'd like it in a suit unless it's specifically for spring and summer. Subtle patterns are great as neutrals, too, especially if you have another article of clothing that picks up one of the colors in the pattern. Once again, if you absolutely must buy from the boys' section because you're small like me, I recommend Macy's. They have great brands known for producing good quality products. It can be a bit pricy but well worth it. You don't need to have a lot of clothes to have a great wardrobe. You just need ones you can mix and match and play with.

Good luck.

PS, This is probably going to make you feel worse, but the size charts online are not always accurate. Make sure you're buying from a site that has a good return policy.
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