Shopping at “Our Store”

| Apr 30, 2018
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Have you ever met a fellow t-girl at a club, a conference a bar, in a mall or anywhere? You speak a few hellos and just sense the closest bond with her and she with you almost instantly. Has that ever happened to you?

That is the way it was with Judith (“not Judy, please”) and me. We met through a blind date we set up on Craig’s List. I was going to be in her city for a week so I decided to look over the ads M4T, MW4T and of course T4T. I searched Casual Encounters with a little hope of a good time and then turned to Miscellaneous Romance. There were not many ads in that section, never is. Most Craig’s Listers are taking shots in the dark seeking quick and cheap sex. By cheap I mean they do not want to invest a lot of themselves in any encounter. Some seem to just want to play a game, see how far they can draw someone in and then use an excuse to bail out.

That’s okay. I am a fisher. I know that every time one casts the rod it is not going to lead to a catch. Even when you do make a catch, it will often be undersized or the wrong species. Same goes for Craig’s List. But I digress.

Seeing Judith’s ad spurred me to action. I had to respond. She was looking for a continuing friendship and I could only offer her a few days — for now — but we were both tall, blonde, liked being active and wow, she wrote a nice ad. She seemed articulate and obviously liked to express herself. Coming off a date with a man that seemed afraid to say more than three words at a time this was just what I needed. I wrote and surprising for me I offered her the number at my hotel for her to call me. Where was my sense of security? I was letting my guard down but her words made me feel safe.

Happily for me she replied within the hour telling me she would call later that afternoon. She said she liked my reply and liked that I sent photos of me in nice dresses instead of lingerie over a hard penis. She liked that I seemed to be a true CD and not some fetishistic transvestite. She got that right!

True to her word, Judith called and we established a quick rapport. We made plans to meet that evening in the lounge of my hotel which on that occasion was their airport Crowne Plaza. Now the good thing about the Crowne Plaza and hotels like them is that they still have lounges where the business travelers can go to relax or meet clients, watch some sports on the big screen TV or work on the electronic device of their choice.

Usually when I am meeting a new male friend in the lounge I arrange it so that he arrives first, finds a place at the bar and watches for my arrival. I’ll then come in and if available I pick a convenient high top table and wait to see what happens. It is always easy to pick out who my date is and see his reaction. Once in a very rare while he will bolt for the door. That is sad. Usually he picks up his drink and comes asks to sit with me which I oblige.

This time I was going to be the one sitting at the bar. In cases such as this I bring along my tablet computer to while away the time and to pass more as a business lady out for a little relaxation than an older lady waiting for a blind date. In cases like this it is best that the two gals meeting choose similar style outfits to wear. It is awkward when one shows up in tee shirt and slacks and the other in a cocktail dress. Judith and I had arranged that we would be wearing business dresses, suitably upscale for two gals getting together at the Crowne Plaza after a day of power meetings. We could be coming from meetings or heading to dinner.

As I predicted to myself my entrance to the lounge attracted little attention. As usual my business appearance and the tablet gave the impression I was there for business and not play. Eyes that turned my way quickly diverted back to what they were doing. I liked it that way.

Having texted that she was on her way, Judith arrived about 15 minutes later. She picked a high top table and I joined her. Tall and fit, she was gorgeous in my eyes. She walked comfortably in low heels and wore a dress to die for. For sure the two of us together were going to attract attention but it would not be awkward attention. I may be biased but I think we gave off the impression of being two old sorority sisters or perhaps former college basketball teammates getting together for a 20 year — well 40 year — reunion.

“That’s a lovely dress,” I said after an exchange of a few pleasantries and compliments, “Who is the designer?”

“Do you like it? It’s a Ralph Lauren.”

Judith’s dress.

“Nice.” I know Ralph Lauren dresses well. I often try them on during my visits to Macy’s and Dillard’s. However in the $150+ price range I don’t find myself buying many. This one looked particularly attractive on Judith, sheath style with its grey and white flower print pattern, knee length and high waistline low neckline and gathered to the left waist. See it for yourself from the Macy’s online shopping site. “Where did you pick it up? Macy’s? Dillards?”

“No, I got it at our store,” replied Judith with a bit of a grin and an emphasis on the ‘our.’

I wasn’t sure what she meant by ‘our store’ but I assumed that she was telling me that she was somehow connected to the retail business.

I usually don’t poke too much in to a TG’s other life but Judith had seemed to open the door. “What do you mean by ‘our store’,” I asked. “Are you in retail?”

“No, I just shop there a lot.” Now she was smiling big time. “You know. Our store,” she said, “they have great selections of clothing and accessories. They are pretty well nation-wide.”

“Sears? JC Penny?” I continued to ask.

“No, no. The beauty of it is they arrange their clothing by size, not by designer or style. All the size 12 dresses are together but they break them out by Ladies, Juniors, Women and Petites. “

“Marshall’s, TJ Maxx?” I continued to ask.

“No, No. I mean OUR store,” Judith was putting great emphasis on the ‘our’ and smiling broadly as she pointed her finger alternately between herself and me. I just wasn’t getting it.

“And if you need a bra they have the best prices!! And unlike the big stores they don’t neglect us full figure girls,” she said with a wink as she put her hands under two lovely looking boobs that she later told me had recently arrived from The Breast Form Store. You need something special to support these girls!”

“How about shoes?” I asked, “and wigs?”

“Well they don’t carry wigs and they fall a little short in the shoes for big feet department.”

“How can they be a store for us and not carry wigs and large size shoes?” I demanded.

“Come on. They are not just for us. I just like the name as it sounds like they are for us.”

“The name?”

Cross Dress for Less: surely you’ve heard of them?”

Discount haven for bargain maven’s.

“My name is not Shirley,” I said lamely, “Oh you mean ROSS Dress for Less? Of course I have heard of them. They are pretty well everywhere in America.”“Of course I mean Ross but I like to call them ‘Cross Dress for Less.’ I like that wherever I am I can just walk in to the store, look for the overhead sign that says ‘Dresses,’ head there and find something for me to try on. And their store policy seems to be that if she looks like a woman then she is a woman and point her to that try-on side. If ‘he’ wants to try on some dresses then that is okay, too, but go to the other side. But in either case it is no more than eight items at a time.”

“So you found a Ralph Lauren at Ross? How much did you pay?” I was estimating that her dress at Macy’s would have cost somewhere in the $150 range, as little as $100 if it had been marked down.

“$39.95.” she replied with some glee, “And yes it is the same dress you would find at Macy’s or Dillard’s for three to four times the price. But they have lots of nice dresses for less than $20. I have even found Ivanka Trump designs there marked down to $22-$23.”

“Go on. How do they do it?”

“Well first pretty well everything on the racks is made off-shore, China mostly. If the big guy’s made in America policy kicks in that will be the end of low prices at Ross and of his daughter’s clothing line.”

I didn’t feel comfortable engaging in political discussion so I let that one pass.

“But with the Lauren and Trump lines I think they are also picking up overstock from the big guys, putting their price tags on them and moving them through the racks very quickly,” Judith continued. “There are a few ‘Cross Dress for Less’ stores that I visit regularly. Yes, you get the shoppers looking at the low end bargains but there must be lots of us looking for the designer selections sprinkled in because once they come in they don’t seem to last long. I’m guessing there are a lot of us t-gals out there looking for bargains.”

“’Cross Dress for Less,’ I like that,” I pronounced, “I’m going to pay them a visit.”

Our conversation moved on. Judith and I found lots to talk about but already I was making plans in my head for my next evening. I would visit the nearest Ross store.

It so happened there was a big mall not too far from the hotel. The hotel had a shuttle service to the mall and with a little persuasion I was able to get the driver to divert to the power center across the road and to the huge distinctive blue on white Ross Dress for Less sign. I swear I saw that big ‘C’ in front of Ross but I guess it was just my imagination. I still do imagine it every time I visit a Ross store.

As Judith had told me there were rows and rows of dresses arranged by Misses, Juniors, Petites, Women and even Clearance. My size bounces between a 14 and 16 and 14W. There were yards and yards of dresses in those sizes, more in the more popular sizes. In no time I found close to a dozen dresses I wanted to try on, including one Trump and the same Ralph Lauren dress Judith had been wearing the night before. Sure enough; it was $39.95. I was only allowed to try on eight dresses at a time but that was fair. What I liked was that the fitting room attendant referred to me as ma’am and had not the slightest hesitation in pointing me to the Ladies side. In the end I picked out two dresses in the $16-$17 range. Of course I didn’t really need them but they felt so good and I thought I looked so good in the three-way mirror. One lady who was in the fitting room helping a friend with her choices told me of one dress, “Oh that looks great on you.” Then she added, “But of course you could wear pretty well anything.” I swear she said that!

“Thank you,” was all I could softly stammer. Of course that dress was one of my purchases. A little black dress with a low neckline was the other. I could see my cleavage enhancer was going to get a good work out.

So I still visit Dillard’s and Macy’s, JC Penny and Sears, Bealls when I’m in Florida and I still browse the bargains on line. Of course I’m regularly checking out The Breast Form Store ads. However more often than not, whether I need something or not I find myself heading under the sign with the big blue lettering and while my eyes read one thing my mind seems to see ‘Cross Dress for Less’, our store.

Postscript: I told this story to a friend. She told me that perhaps there is a chance the Ross items are counterfeit knock-offs of the real labels. I can find nothing online to suggest that is happening but I swear that if they are being knocked off it must be being done in the same garment factory. The dresses have the feel of the real thing, the labels look identical.

Happy shopping (at least until the big guy starts his tariff war)!

Wikipedia Note: Ross is an American chain of “off-price” (i.e., deeply discounted) department stores headquartered in Dublin, California, officially operating under the brand name, Ross Dress for Less. It is the largest off-priced retailer in the U.S. As of August 2015, Ross operates 1,412 stores in 37 U.S. states, the District of Columbia and Guam, covering much of the country, but with no presence in New England, New York, northern New Jersey, Alaska, and areas of the Midwest.

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Category: Transgender Fun & Entertainment

Linda Jensen

About the Author ()

Canadian writer Linda Jensen is a long time contributor to TGForum. Before the days of the Internet Linda started her writing with the Transvestian newspaper. Her writing ranges from factual accounts of her adventures to fiction although frankly sometimes her real life adventures are stranger than the fiction. Linda is married to a loving partner who upon learning about Linda said, "she was part of you before I met you. Although I didn't know it she was part of the package I fell in love with. I don't want to mess up that package." "Does it get any better than that?" asks Linda.

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  1. j2emily j2emily says:

    the Ross secret is out! & as Linda writes–you don’t need to rummage through numerous racks –everything is lined up by size so you can make many quick visits to find a bargain that slips through. Enfocus brand dresses are very femme even in large sizes.
    Ross must be catching on as while many retail outlets are hurting their stock in booming even though you cannot shop online