Need Help Shopping?

| Apr 28, 2008
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Gold Mini for FedExFrom time to time, we could all use a little help. Be it finding what looks good and what fits, to overcoming the fear of looking through the women’s department. And fortunately, there are allies out there, willing and able to provide the help. Liz McGarrity is among them.

Liz GarrityLiz is, by trade a costume designer for the film industry. She’s worked on costumes for stars like Donnie Wahlberg, Rose McGowen and Cillian Murphy, and now, she’s turning her attention to the transgender community.

She’s available for hire as a personal shopper, and if you want something original, she can design that too.

But how did she make the jump from behind the silver screen to the TG community?

“I’ve been working doing costumes for commercials for the past 10 years. I made a good living and really enjoyed it but in the last couple of years I felt like I wanted to expand my horizons and find some new challenges. A producer I worked with last year gave me the idea to offer this service. He knew another costume designer who had done it and was successful.”

cm_capture_1copy.jpg“I’m interested in all aspects of wardrobe: not just the superficial of what looks good as in fashion. I like creating characters. I like looking at people in the street and seeing what their clothing says about them. Working with people that want the clothing for their “real” lives is exciting to me. In addition, there is also a theatrical aspect to dressing crossdressers and transgendered people for a “role”.

“I have a close friend who is a crossdresser and another good friend who is a MtF transsexual. I feel very comfortable and sympathetic to people in the TG world. I’ve always had many gay friends and worked in worlds where there are a lot of unusual and unique people. I have understood for a long time that we all have aspects of femininity and masculinity within us.”

“I’ve never subscribed to what is considered “normal” in terms of gender. There are so many shades and variations. I love to shop, I need to earn money and helping someone feel more comfortable and satisfied in their own life are all positive and satisfying activities for me.”

southie_still_42208.jpgYou may already know, but there’s two kinds of personal shopper services offered, and Liz offers them both.

“Personal shopping would involve me speaking and/or meeting with the client and discussing their goals. I will submit a budget for their approval with a list of everything they would like me to purchase and an estimated price for each item. The budget will also include estimated shopping hours. Once they approve the budget, I will go out and purchase those items for them. There is a return policy in case the items don’t fit or the client doesn’t like them.”

“It’s a process and the more I can work with someone and get to know them, the more successful I can be with satisfying their goals. It’s a good service for people who don’t have the time to shop or live outside of New York…the shopping capital of the world! If it’s here, I can find it…if not, I can make it!”

“Escorted shopping would also involve a discussion and budget approval. Then I can guide the client on a pre-planned shopping trip. It can be a lot of fun and then the client learns where they can look on their own.”

If you’re looking for that little something “extra” and”naughty”, keep looking. Liz doesn’t provide that service. She’s a nice girl.

But what she can do is design something special for you. Matter of fact, she loves working from scratch.

“It’s one of the most creative things a costume designer can do. In a collaboration with the client, I can design the outfit of their dreams. After discussing the client’s desires, I will show them drawings and fabric swatches. I have excellent dressmakers that I work with that can literally do anything.”

“I do have some areas of expertise….period clothing is one of my specialties. I am also a shoe designer and maker. I know how to make a pair of shoes from scratch so I can make anyone’s dream shoe come true! I’m also very happy to work with a client to create an outfit for a wedding or special occasion. I have access to incredible resources here in New York as far as materials and craftspeople.”

One of Liz’s assignments was to create costumes for action figures in a FedEx commerical:


And if she can make them look good, think what else she can do.

“I’ve been a costume designer for 20 years and worked with all different types of people. Not always models and actors with what is considered to be a “perfect” body. I’ve learned to know how to interpret a photo and sizes if I can’t see the client in person. I’ve learned to be able to visualize what will look good on any body type. Equally as important is that the person feels comfortable with what they are wearing. If it looks good but they don’t feel good that doesn’t work. Both requirements must be fulfilled. Again, it is a process but I have a lot of experience!”

Visit Liz on the web at either or both of her websites: and And tell her you heard about her through TGForum.

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Category: Transgender Fun & Entertainment


About the Author ()

Ronnie Rho has been writing for Transgender Forum since May of 1999. One of these days, she'll get it right. She's been described as the "world's most famous recluse," but only by people who don't know her very well. She is unmarried, and lives in Cincinnati.

Comments (2)

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  1. says:

    Cillian Murphy, wo. Must be nice. That guy is um…. very nice looking.

    Old enough to be his momma,

  2. says:

    Liz, I want to thank you being there for the many that you have helped. I know it’s your business, but you seem to project a positive concern for the individuals who come to you for assistance. You fallinto the field of “maybe someday” for me, but it’s nice to know there are people like you out there willing to help.

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