Sweaty palms.

E wrote…

When I buy clothes from the men’s side of of the store, my heart pounds and my palms sweat – like I’m stealing something. I expect middle aged housewives and grumpy old men and (mostly) curious five-year-olds to ask me what I’m doing, and if I know I’m in the wrong place. I get out of there as fast as I can. In front of the mirror afterwards I look more and more like myself in my new boy briefs, or loose, comfortable t-shirt, or jeans with room in front.

Do people actually comment when we bend gender norms, or do we just expect them to?

And what are you thinking about gender right now?

Posted by on March 15th, 2009 at 08:00 am

Category: your voice 9 comments »

9 Responses to “Sweaty palms.”

  1. s

    I expected a few funny looks from people when I was browsing (and buying) in the women’s side of the store, earlier this week. And I didn’t get any. Or at least, I didn’t notice any.


  2. Melly

    I wouldn’t worry too much. I used to work in clothing retail in the Men’s section, and I wouldn’t have bat an eye at a seemingly female in the men’s section. There are so many different reasons for anyone to be shopping in any section that I would never be so rude as to demand an explanation.

    Plus, men’s clothes tend to be better made, more tailored, and less expensive than women’s. It’s win-win, really.


  3. Hanna

    I know the feeling, funnily I now get that feeling both in the men and women section as I don’t pass as either man or women.


  4. Alaina

    I went to a small jeans store in the West Village to buy my first pair of men’s jeans. I told the enthusiastic salesman “I’d like a pair of men’s levi’s, size 32/30.” He brought me a women’s. I sent him back, with the same instructions. He brought me a different style of women’s. It took several more tries before he would bring me a pair of men’s, and then he kept insisting that I’d look better in the women’s. I kept saying “I know! That’s not the point!”

    It was more funny than anything. It was in the west village, after all. You can’t get much more queer than that.


  5. Richelle

    I think in general it is more accepted for women to shop in the men section than it is for men to shop in the women section, although until now I never encountered any negative reactions when browsing in the women’s side of the store. So in fact, in most cases, it is something in our minds.


  6. s

    and about the sweaty palms and pounding heart – I felt like that too. but once I was actually in there, browsing, I found that I was actually enjoying it. I felt quite brave.


  7. Principito

    wo, im glad that now i know im not the only one that have been on that situation.

    i guess the feeling when your outside the store, and fiting the clothes is great.



  8. tristen

    i feel that way everytime i shop.
    i think the only place i am clam in the men section would be at pac sun cause half the people are really cool and nice…where everwhere else people aren’t as cool or nice. and everytime i buy sunthing from the men side i feel and look more like myself.


  9. Fish Inton

    I’ve never had trouble shopping in men’s sections. IMO I get more weird looks when I’m in the women’s sections, which is just… screwwy. The guys at my local TopMan, River Island and Burton know me and allow me to use the men’s changing rooms too.

    You’re shopping for you, looking at what YOU want… there’s nothing wrong with that. I would say that in today’s generally more accepting society, anybody who would comment on you shopping in a men’s section is most deifnitely living in yesterday… and that just won’t do.

    Do what you want, look at/buy what you want. They don’t like it… complain.

    F x


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