I'd love some advice. While I was at a tailor recently, he assumed that I was male. By the time he asked for my name I felt that it wouldn't be safe to reveal that I wasn't, so I quickly made up a guy's name. I didn't have any issues, but I felt uncomfortable with the situation, and a little scared of what would happen if I'd ever revealed that I'm female. I've read your post on when to femme it up, but are there times when you have to try and pass and hope no one figures it out? Should I have approached the situation differently, or was flying under the radar the right way to go? Have you ever had an experience where you've had to do this?
Wow, scary incident. It sounds like you did the right thing: followed your gut and did what felt most safe in the situation. At an "uh-oh" time like that, I don't think there's a right or wrong thing to do; whatever keeps you safe is right. Something else to consider: make up some excuse about why you have to leave immediately--stomach flu, friend to meet, whatever--and get out of any situation where you don't feel safe. Leave the suit; it's just a suit. And when you come back, bring a friend (or have a friend go retrieve the suit for you). I'm very big on trusting my gut.
Even when it doesn't feel unsafe, a tailor's shop can be especially awkward. Here are a few things I've done in the past:
What do you think, dear readers: did Bridget make a wise choice? Have you ever had a situation where you had to try and pass and hope no one figures it out?
Hey y'all. I deliver pizzas in a real rural mountain area. I'd estimate that 99.9% percent of my customers assume I'm male, and I ALWAYS just go along with it for safety. I use a deeper voice and I've learned to talk to men the way men talk to each other (it's weird). Sometimes I worry about not being my authentic self, but I can't be any self if I become a victim.
6/12/2012 06:54:35 am
ALWAYS go with your gut. Yes it was the right thing. And I agree...people are scary.
6/12/2012 07:57:32 am
If I am looking for a suit, I always ask up front if the shop has any problems tailoring their men's suits for a women's body. If they do I wont shop there. I have found around here (NH) that Men's Warehouse and Jos A. Bank's both have no issues tailoring for a women. I dont hide who I am even though I pass fairly often. Most places want the business. I mention that I will tell my friends if I am happy with their work and how they treat me. But if you feel unsafe, leave!
6/12/2012 11:27:13 am
I have had button-down classic "mens wear" shirts made to order (shout out to CEGO shirts NYC). I called and said "I am looking for someone who can make a classic button down shirt for women, can you do that?". CEGO asked me to bring a shirt I liked, they measured me, I chose the fabric, we discussed back pleat, placket width, sleeve buttons, collar length etc. I did have to assert myself to get the shirts as baggy as I wanted. But the good thing was, that when I went in to meet with them, they were not surprised by the slightly scruffy butch in front of them. Four weeks later, I went back in and the shirts are perfect fit (just expensive), and now they know me and have my measurements on file.
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