Cross Dress for Less
Growing up a boy, I never really enjoyed shopping for boy clothes that much. My mom of course just wrote it off to the typical boy ‘lack of interest in shopping, but it went deeper than that. I would have loved to go shopping for girl clothes, I was just too afraid to admit it.
Most people build their clothing wardrobe continually over many years. They donate or get rid of old items that are worn out, or they don’t like anymore – but nonetheless they have a closet full of clothes that they have purchased or received as gifts over time. For transgender individuals though building a wardrobe can be very difficult. First if you’re not ‘out’ it can be difficult to go into a department or discount store and try on clothing of the opposite gender which means you’re way more likely to take your chances with stuff online. Second, if you’re not going to wear those clothes on a regular basis, especially if you just consider yourself an occasional crossdresser you might feel bad about spending money building a wardrobe at non-discount prices; especially if you have a partner and kids you’re supporting.
This is especially true if you’re new to crossdressing, or just building your wardrobe for the first time. There’s quite a bit of trial and error at the start as you find the styles and the sizes that work best for your body. So you’ll be glad you’re not paying top dollar during this learning process.
Here are some of the best ways to build a feminine wardrobe over time on even a limited budget.
– Use “Alerts” Effectively. There are a number of “deal” websites now that allow you to create a “deal alert” for specific keywords you type in. My personal favorite is SlickDeals.net, but there are others out there that allow similar things. By setting up a deal alert with items you are looking for (like “dresses”, or “skirts” or “shoes”) you’ll get an email whenever someone finds a great deal on those items. Much of the clothing in my femme wardrobe was purchased for $5.00 or less per item (including shoes, dresses etc) just by watching for these sales and going for it. If you purchase from a retailer like Sears or Target you can even return items back to them for a refund (unworn and with tags still on of course) if they don’t fit.
– Discover Your Local Thrift Store. Thrift sores are a great place to find inexpensive items of clothing and accessories for cheap. On top of this, the majority of thrift stores are accustomed to men shopping the women’s clothing section and most won’t bat an eye at it. If you’re concerned, bring a female friend along who can help you shop for your clothing items (if you’re out to her). Or just do your shopping in October (when everyone is going to thrift stores looking for halloween costumes). Don’t forget, Halloween is the national transgender holiday.
– Watch Your Favorite Stores. I’ve been able to find many great deals by subscribing to the newsletters of my favorite stores. If you subscribe to their newsletter you’ll be notified of special sales or clearance events and can go to the website to check prices. Target, Sears, Amazon, and even some of the more specialty retailers like NYC & Company have been good to me, and I’ve found some very nice items like sweater dresses for $5-$10.
–Ebay! I’ve gotten some great deals on ebay too. If you watch the clothing section here you can pick up some great deals from time to time. There are some pretty high prices on ebay so you have to be selective and not get overly caught up in the bidding process. Watch for shipping prices too. But taking all this into consideration, some great deals are still to be had on this site. I’ve never had any problems buying clothes here.
– Use Coupons! Before you make ANY purchase online you should always do a quick search to see if there are any coupons out there for the store you are making a purchase from. A lot of times just a quick search for “target coupon” for example will give you an extra 5% or more off your order. If you’re ordering from the clearance section this can mean even deeper discounts. Additionally, some sites like ebates.com and fatwallet.com have programs where if you shop at these merchants through their sites you can get an additional 2% or so off. When you add up all these discounts you really can save a quite a bit of money over time. It is well worth your time to take a moment and look for coupons before you purchase.
– Makeup and Beauty. Many of the same rules apply for makeup and beauty products. Watching for sales and coupons, or setting alerts for yourself through deal sites are great ways to purchase makeup at deep discounts. At the start, sometimes it’s helpful to buy one of those big makeup kits you can find on discount for around $30 that has tons of different colors, brushes, etc all in one kit. It’s a good way to experiment with a lot of options and learn the ropes. Once you learn your favorite colors and what goes best with your look, you can get more specific in your deal shopping. If you’re not put off by going into your local department store, this is a great place to watch for coupons and make a purchase too.
Even if you’re not out about your crossdressing, you can still build a great female clothing wardrobe on the cheap. It just takes patience, and a willingness to search for the best value. In the end, you’ll end up with a variety of clothing at a fraction of the cost. It does take a little longer, but you don’t have to live with the guilt of overspending on clothes that you don’t get to wear very often.
Have you found any other tips for building up your wardrobe on a budget? Do share!
Image Credit: abbyladybug