However, nothing can really replace actually going out the store and seeing the clothes first-hand. Not to mention getting the chance to get a closer look at the material and cut of the clothes. You might even be lucky enough to try on the things before you buy.
All these things can save a lot of time and effort in having to return something bought online because it wasn’t the right size or it didn’t live up to the pictures.
You will probably be understandably nervous the first time you head into a store on your own. Indeed, my firstforays into the feminine side of the stores were frought with nerves and palpitations
It felt as though everyone was watching me, wondering what the hell that bloke was up to as I browsed the vast array of women’s apparel.
Of course, after a while, it became glaringly obvious that this was just my over-active imagination at work. No-one was the slightest bit interested in me but it was difficult to stop being a little self-conscious.
If you’re like me and you’re on the shy side, then you’ve probably experienced similar feelings.
Beating the nerves
There’s no easy answer, I’m afraid. I wish there were, but it all depends on you.
Some people get over this by developing their own little stories or devices to appear like the inept husband / boyfriend looking for a present for their loved-one. You might try carrying a list and trying to look slightly frustrated.
Me? I lost that initial shyness and honestly don’t really care much what anyone may think if they spot me checking out that satin skirt or the gorgeous ball gowns. I will always mention to any shop assistants who may need an explanation that I’m shopping for myself and they’re always quite helpful.
I guess what I’m getting at is that you should try not to feel like it’s your problem. It isn’t.
Obviously I know that this isn’t easy … it took me a good few months of forcing myself to not care until it got to the point that it became second-nature. I could relate tales of the times walked away from a purchase because of some bigoted comment or a dirty look. I always felt bad afterwards, as though I’d done something wrong. I had, of course … I’d let the small-minds win.
Be brave, girls, and prevent your male side running for cover.
All the major retail stores nowadays are very accepting of men buying themselves pretty clothes – after all your money is just as good as anyone else’s. Most of them provide their assistants are with specific training in how to ‘deal’ with us and they are more understanding than they used to be.
There may be some out there that can’t fathom why you may want to purchase that dress, but they need your money so they’ll overlook it. If the store isn’t too busy you may even be offered the use of the changing rooms.
Try starting off shopping somewhere some distance from your local town. You should feel less embarrassed, mainly because there’ll be less chance of bumping into someone you know.
There’s also less chance of bumping into the sales assistant in the local pub later – it’s happened, trust me!