Confidence, Part 2

Last Sun-Dee I wrote about my latest visit to my favourite Dangerfield store in downtown Melbourne (not the Melbourne in Florida), and my infatuation with a red and black corset top that sales angel/store manager Kira was wearing. About trying on the tops, loving them, and making arrangements to walk to a nearby store to buy one in my size (and I’ll finish that part of the story a little later on).

But first I need to do a detour (or maybe that should be a “Dee-tour”).

Another infatuation of late (at least since my swimsuit photoshoot with Michelle in summer 2020) has been swimsuits. Last year, following a review from (the fabulous) Hannah McKnight, I bought a cute one-piece black and white swimsuit from En Femme, and had a chance to wear it one time last August in Milwaukee. 

Fast forward to 2021. A couple of weeks ago my wife and I traveled to Barwon Heads, an hour south of Melbourne along the ocean. While my wife spent the day visiting with her relatives who were also staying there, boy me put on the swimsuit, put on some boy clothes over it, and headed to the beach. Once there, I stripped the boy clothes, put on a swim cap, and did a 40 minute swim in the ocean (a little more enjoyable training swim than my normal 30 laps at the local YMCA). Finished my swim, walked back up the beach (yes, a few people there, but not too many), happy I had taken another baby step forward. 

After a brief rest, I put on my boy shirt (a “rash” Vest to protect against the sun), and walked for about an hour along the surf, with nothing other than the bathing suit as a bottom. No one noticed, and I was smiling about being out in public in my suit, although it was mostly hidden. I did pay a price later, as my now exposed thighs got more sun than they’re used to, and I spent a couple of days dealing with sunburn (I truly had the “red-ass”, to use a Southern expression).

Satisfied with my “trial run”, the next step was to hit the beach in girl mode. Two days before my visit to Dangerfield–a day after I found a blue cover (on sale) at Savers, I donned my swimsuit, did some light make-up with a touch of lipstick, and put some boy clothes on over them. I packed the cover, my wig, and other assorted items into my backpack and headed on my bike for a beach about 12 miles away.

After I reached a suitable spot, I locked the bike and headed to the beach, and found a spot next to a retaining wall. As surreptitiously as possible–the beach wasn’t crowded, but as it was a nice sunny day in a popular part of Melbourne it wasn’t empty either–I removed my boy clothes and added my wig. No one appeared to notice.

My next task (after the obligatory pictures to prove to myself I was actually doing this) was to hit the water. With the wig (and makeup), I couldn’t fully immerse myself, but I did spend about 10 minutes enjoying the cool water on a hot day. Left the water, donned my cover, then walked the beach along the surf for about 15 minutes, enjoying the sensations of being on the beach en femme, a goal for many of us. 

Before I left, I went in the water again, then packed my stuff, and found an empty men’s restroom, where I found a stall, removed my swimsuit and makeup, and dressed for the bike ride home (and treated myself to a Costco chocolate Sundae along the way).

End of the Dee-tour, and back to my Friday at Dangerfield. 

At the beginning of my visit, when I was showing Kira the blog post at their main sales desk, I happened to notice a rack of bathing suit tops and bottoms behind Kira. 

Besides buying the black and white swimsuit, I have been jonesing for a bikini, and a Princess Highway bikini to boot. The styles are cute, and they are cut with a little extra fabric than many I’ve seen, which is important for me, because I have extra parts (and breast forms) to hide behind that extra fabric. While I was asking Kira and Hannah to find me the corset top, I also asked them to pick out a swim top and bottom for me. They asked if I preferred a style, but I just said the largest they had (if it fit, the style was secondary). 

Hannah pulls a matched set and adds it to the hanger in my change room (which now has about 12 items for me to sort through). I try things on, take a few pictures, get the reaction from Kira and Hannah, try something else on, rinse, lather, repeat. I save the bikini top and bottom for last.

I try them on. They fit. The style is cute. I sheepishly half hide in the dressing room and take a picture (there is someone in the next dressing room and I’m not sure I want to step out wearing the bikini). Kira comes back and says she wants to see how it looks. I step out, and she likes it.

I walk out to the main area to get Hannah’s opinion (“the girlfriend experience”). She likes it too. Kira asks me if I feel confident, because “clothes should make you feel confident”. I answer by saying “I’m standing here wearing this”, which is my way of saying yes. Another sales angel, Lu, reaches into a box and finds the matching pattern scarf that goes with the suit. I wrap myself in the scarf, Kira takes the picture–I am definitely buying the set, and mentally picturing my next trip to the beach.

I buy the bikini top and bottom, another red and black top that Hannah pulled for me and I loved, and I get the scarf for free as my purchases exceeded a certain amount. Hannah asks if I’m going to the other store to get the corset top that they have held for me, and I answer yes.

I walk to the other store, get the top from the sales desk, try it on, and it fits. I return to the desk, and buy the top. While doing so, one of the clerks, who knows Kira, mentions my blog post, and how much Kira liked it. That adds to my day.

One last task before I go. Walking back to the main store, I notice a couple of relevant signs (me, a superhero?) and take a couple of selfies. I walk into the store, and Kira is somewhat surprised to see me. I hand her the corset top, and ask her to cut off the sales tags, because I’m going to wear the top home. I walk to a dressing room, put on the top, and arrange my pinafore dress with the straps down, so it sorta/kinda looks like a skirt. I pose for one last picture with Kira–Sistas!–get her Instagram details, and a hug. 

I rearrange my dress, tell Kira thanks once again for a great day, and walk out the door, wearing my new corset top.

With Confidence.

Great story, Dee!!

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