Nerves and the Men's Section

Anonymous asked: I’ve been wanting to shop more in the men’s sections, but whenever I try I end up getting so freaked out and scared that someone’s going to look at me strangely or say something to me and my heart starts beating about a million miles an hour. How do I get over this and just get some shopping done (or at least find out what my sizes are so I can shop online)?

Anonymous, Anonymous. How I feel you. I wish I could tell you that as soon as you calm down you’ll find that no one ever looks at you strangely or says anything, but this might not be the case depending on where you live. For me in Boston, it’s been relatively NBD, but not everyone has had the same experiences. Bren Cole also lives in Boston and her account wasn’t as smooth sailing.

Speaking from personal experience, it does get easier. I used to only be able to do it if I felt like I was pretending to shop for my dad. I slowly got more confident and realized that I had just as much reason to be in that section as everyone else, and now it’s just second nature to me to immediately go to the men’s or boys’ section whenever I enter a store. The worst that’s happened has been for sales people to be overeager to show me their acceptance. (Check out this post about the time I shopped American Eagle Boys and this post from when I visited the Mens Wearhouse!) I can’t promise that you will always have as much success as I do, but I can promise that it won’t be as bad as you are anticipating. It will probably just take some getting used to and some reassurance that people aren’t staring at you. And when in doubt, bring a friend! (or as Bren calls it, a “shopping wingfemme.”)

But like you mentioned, it IS the 21st century, which means you never have to leave your house! If you have the financial means to do so (as suggested by a transfeminine friend) you can just order a bunch of shit, get free shipping, try it on in the safety of your home, and then return whatever doesn’t fit. In terms of figuring out your size, check out Dapper Q’s sizing guide.

Cover photo from: us.suitsupply.com

As Qwear's Founding Editor, Sonny’s work centers around envisioning a future in which the clothing people wear does not dictate their chances of survival. Sonny was awarded 2015 dapperQ of the Year and was the first trans blogger to be sponsored by Topman. In March 2016, Sonny spoke at South by South West's first official queer fashion panel.