Clothes are objects, but they can serve as more than that. They can be symbols, reminding us of cherished memories. Like the friendship of someone who gave an item to us, or a fun event we wore it to.
Women's clothing has special significance to me. There isn't a garment I've touched that didn't touch me back. Having been painfully deprived of female experience most of my life, I savor every moment in the midst of female clothing and grooming. My senses and mind are heightened during those fortunate times.
At first I was excited but my enthusiasm dampened when I saw that most of the offerings were crap. Over 90% of the wares were undesirable. Who wants stained plastic dishes or ancient technology (videocassettes?!).
At one house, there was an attractive 40-something woman in charge with a husband milling around. I spotted a rack of women's clothing in the back so I headed there. On my way, the husband made an insulting crack pointing out the absurdity of me looking at women's clothing. I ignored him. His opinion meant nothing to me, whereas the possibility of adding a nice item to my wardrobe possessed real value. As I suspected from seeing the lady of the house, the rack held delights.
While I was browsing, the hostess came over and touted her clothes. "Most of these came from Lord & Taylor!", she bragged. I picked up a blue print wrap-dress from BCBGMAMAXAZRIA. It didn't have a price on it so I asked her. She said, "I was going to ask $10 for it but I could sell it for $8...". I told her $10 was fine; it's not my style to haggle; the dress is pretty. She smiled and blurted out "It will look great with black boots!" I said, "I'm sure it will." I bought it and stuffed it into my backpack. When I got home, I checked the company's website and discovered I had a steal -- the dress normally retails for $220. I'll wear it soon on the blog.
I enjoyed conversing with the hostess. If her unpleasant husband hadn't been hovering, I might have gone further with our conversation. I'm sure, from her comments, that she realized I was buying the dress for myself. I eagerly wanted to confirm that simple, important fact but I didn't want to provoke hubby into further confrontation so I kept that out of our conversation.
I always try to find ways to communicate my true gender-identity to people but I disclose it only when I feel the other person is capable of understanding. I never foist my social deviance on anyone without carefully anticipating their reaction.
Have you ever had a garage sale? How would you react if a man asked to buy your clothes?
I dig garage sales but I'm under strict guidelines not to bring home any more stuff. My house is pretty full of great garage sale deals.ReplyDelete
On your other point, I've never seen a man with women's clothes as a big deal I guess. I can give you a great example of a story that will hopefully make you laugh.
When I was little (and still now), I loved the Muppets. I always thought the girl in the Muppets band, Janice, was actually a guy that just liked girls clothes. It never bothered me or seemed strange. It wasn't until I was an adult that I realized he was a she.
I guess it's just a matter of what you see when you're growing up! Can't wait to see your dress.
Cute story. Thanks for your attitude of tolerance.Delete
What a jerk, but you handled him with more poise and grace than I would have! Glad to hear you got a sweet deal; I can't wait to see the dress. To be honest, I'd probably assume a guy looking at my clothes would be looking for his wife/daughter, but I would be eager to offer styling suggestions or other feedback if I realized he was buying for himself.ReplyDelete
I have (too much) practice at handling male rudeness. The best approach is to simply ignore it.Delete
It's been a long time since I've met anyone who didn't have some sort of quirk or some part of them that was out of the ordinary. And I've always thought of ordinary as another word for boring. I have a relationship of 25 years with a man 25 years younger than I am. He was 18 and I was 43 when we moved in together and we are happier than ever. Hooray for those of us who are a bit outside the norm.ReplyDelete
Woohoo, what a major score on that BCBG dress! Sorry to hear that the guy was making comments but I'm glad the woman was nice. If a guy was looking at my clothes to buy, I'd assume he was looking for someone else since I'm so petite.ReplyDelete
The Tiny Heart
But what if he was an elf? :-)Delete
I had a garage sale of my own a couple of years ago, and the snarky opinions of the 'customers' were a big turn-off. Maybe the husband who loudly asked, "Who the HELL would wear that?" to his wife about something I was selling was the same guy you dealt with last weekend. Some people just have no manners.ReplyDelete
I don't care who buys my shit, man or woman, as long as they seem like they're going to treat it with care!
Bravo! That's the way to think.Delete
I find garage sales hard. Often times I find the people are unwelcoming or too welcoming. Plus is just feels weird. I prefer the anonymity of going to a thrift store where I don't have to deal with the previous owners. Which now that I think about it is odd because I often like to know the history of the vintage dress or item I'm buying. I guess I prefer in my mind to "imagine" the fantastic person that wore it before me rather than the ordinary person that simply wants to get rid of it.ReplyDelete
That is too bad about the husband. Sadly intolerant people are everywhere. The dress sounds amazing. A wrap dress is flattering on everyone. And what a steal! I can't wait to see it.
This post excited me..I am excited for your amazing find and your conversation with its previous owner (despite the judgemental hubby). And I'm excited to see your new dress! I love that you feel she knew that it was for you - how could she not? Women are naturally intuitive.ReplyDelete
When I worked in a thrift store here in Winnipeg I always loved it when the previous owners of items came to do the drop off and we could hear about where the clothes had travelled and what they meant to the owner. I would be diligent to pass on that information to the future buyer. I think the provenance of clothing - no matter how humble - is so important. It's part of what draws me to wearing and owning vintage.
And I would personally be very thrilled if a man was interested in my clothes at a garage sale I was hosting. You're welcome anytime! ;)
Provenance *is* important, which is why those items whose past I know about mean so much to me.Delete
Awesome steal! I am glad to hear that the woman talked to you, despite the fact that her husband was a turd. I can't wait to see the dress!ReplyDelete
You picked the perfect word for him. Thanks. :-)Delete
I love garage sales!! I have had a couple. I do not care who wants to buy my clothes lolzzzz It is so rude that the dude said something to you!ReplyDelete
Yes, but what he was doing was revealing himself. My action was merely a catalyst for his ugliness to emerge and slime the world.Delete
I worked in retail in a retro clothing store and sometimes men came in and bought dresses for themselves, often asking for opinions. And sometimes, when I am out thrift shopping, I will see the occasional man checking out the women's clothing. So it wouldn't surprise me at all if a man wanted to buy my clothes at a garage sale. But I've often thought how hard it must be for men who like women's clothing to shop for it in public. I imagine it takes a certain amount of fortitude to ignore the looks and comments. Ignoring them and forging ahead does seem like the best way to deal with it---plus you claim power for yourself by not letting them dissuade you from doing what you want.ReplyDelete
I'll be honest -- it took me years of effort and steel nerves to be able to do what I do now. It's terrifying to expose yourself to social condemnation, which has happened to me.Delete
Never been to a garage sale- not sure we have them here. Great you got a bargain and to communicate tacitly with the woman- shame her husband was such a tool!xReplyDelete
Her Husband was a jerk. I used to help out at a friends market stall once a month and we had a regular come in, it took him a while to open up, but once he did I would love to tell him what new goodies we had that I thought he would like.ReplyDelete
It makes me alternately sad and angry that such jerks exist, and worse ones too. I envy your find as I have always wanted a wrap dress so I can't wait to see you wear it on the blog. Maybe the woman of the garage sale is a silent follower of your blog. That would be so cool only if it were me I would be way too excited to tell you that. If I were selling my clothes, especially clothes that had meant something to me, I would be thrilled to find an appreciative buyer and it wouldn't bother me at all what gender he/she appeared to be. I completely understand your being wary and not wanting to impose your "social deviance" as you call it on other people, but I do hope you don't really and truly think of it as social deviance. There are many ways of deviating from the norm and all of these differences make the world a richer place. I certainly don't want to live in a homogenized world. I want a world rich with differences and full of kindness and a world where the idea of 'normal' doesn't hold much significance.ReplyDelete
Thanks for your support. I use the phrase "social deviance" ironically because, up until recently, that was the technical term for gender-bending. By using the phrase, I hope to drain it of pejorative content.Delete
Last year I did garage sales every Sat & Sun, turned it into a side buisness which helped when I was out of work. It is a lot of work, a lot of bargaining, and it was a great way to get a lot of sun.ReplyDelete
I have already started garage sale season again, although this year it is only going to be every sunday which happens to be difficult being it is church going day so a lot of people will attend after church. ( i work sat so sunday is only day i can go)
As far as VHS-depending on the type best bet is to sell on ebay or amazon, if they are "cult classics" you can get a pretty penny for it, if they are main stream VHS you are lucky to get 25 cents for them...
As far as shopping for women's clothing-Who knows you could have been shopping for your wife or what not, so his attitude regardless of who you were shopping for was uncalled for. Ignoring them is the best bet, as long as you don't beat yourself up for their stupidity.
Great deal for the dress!!!!! You go Girl! Total victory...love bargains like that....
I will say where i work now I get a lot of men who buy cosmetics, and womens accessories and for some reason i have a nice following that usually asks my opinions on shades, colors, scents, lotions, and other items normally reserved for women. I guess they enjoy the comfort that I can have a discussion and tell them which shade will accentuate their features :-) I am good that way.
Sorry to hear about your being hectored (I can never understand why people go out of their way to be mean to others), but at least you got a pretty new dress to wear! I consider my DVF wrap dress the star of my closet, so I'm excited to see how you wear yours. :)ReplyDelete
i love a good garage sale- that said- i agree that theres seems to be more junk at them these days and you have to be out on the beat alot before you come across a good find. I CAN NOT wait to see this newReplyDelete
...dress ( i got cut off ;). and you are so amazing- i dont know how i would have handled that situation. you truly are an inspiration!ReplyDelete
what a jerk of a husband. steal on the dress, tho! i agree most of the stuff is crap, but once in a while you hit the jackpot. i wouldn't think twice if a man was looking at my clothes. honestly, i'd assume he was looking for his wife or girlfriend. sorry that you didn't have a chance to finish your conversation with the hostess. who knows...you may run into each other again??ReplyDelete
Possibly. We live in the same neighborhood.Delete
I'm glad it was at least a mostly positive experience anyway. You have a special knack for not letting things stay under your skin too much, and I am proud of you over and over again every time you reach a new height in comfort with yourself in public. I love that she advised you on boots. And what a deal on your purchase. You are making huge strides, my friend!!!ReplyDelete
Oh the thrill of a good find! nothing beats that.ReplyDelete
I am glad you found something you liked.
As for selling my clothes to a man, yes, actually at the flea market I sold some stuff and this guy picked up several tops and a bag :)
It was part of my family thing going garage sale-ing every summer.. We held them and shopped them every year. I think it's totally bizarre that people comment on what you (the general you) buy. I've bought surfboards in a landlocked state, sold gameboys, bought antique mirrors (it's still waiting in storage for me!), and sold all sorts of clothes and shoes.ReplyDelete
I'm glad you're getting braver. If there's one thing I admire it's the love people can have for things that make them feel good. I don't think we should be ashamed of the things that transcend us.
My coworker, she has such admiration for beautiful things - whether it's a piece of jewelry or a well designed advertisement, I'm constantly in awe of HER because of the way she sees the world.
You lucky! The dress sounds perfect and I'm looking forward to seeing you in it.ReplyDelete
That man sounds like a complete idiot.ReplyDelete
I wouldn't have a problem with a man buying my clothes. I'm pretty tolerant of others, a friend of mine liked wearing ladies clothes and I know of someone, let's call her Marilyn, who was once upon a time a Martin. Martin had 'the operation' and now lives happily as Marilyn. A few friends were lost which is sad, but what I love is that I called Martin one day to get advise on something and on our doorstep appeared Marilyn and it wasn't odd at all as I could see how happy Marilyn was and she even brought me flowers which confirmed how lovely she is and those people with no tolerance are just missing out. That garage sale man is likely missing out on all sorts of wonderfulness because of his attitude.