I don't normally advertise for clothing stores, but I recently had an amazing experience that I would like to share.
I had recently heard of a new store, that specializes in new and used 70s, 80s, 90s (and whatever) fashions for men and women, called Hungover Empire, that is located at 357 Langside, two blocks west of the University of Winnipeg. I had checked out the website (of the same name) and it looked pretty interesting. The idea is that they have clothing for any lifestyle, and that they do not bow down to "what's hot this week" fashions.
So I decided that I would check it out. I was nervous going in, because I was dressed in male clothes (and I have a mustache) and I knew I was going to be looking at dresses. When I walked in, the owner, Melanie (or Mel) says hi to me and introduces herself. I say hi back and start looking around. When I located the area where she kept the dresses, I went straight for it, and started looking at what she had. There was a few that I had found interesting, but one caught my eye more than the others. I told Mel that I was going to "try this on" without showing her what was in my hand, because I was still unsure, and she directed me to the changing area.
I tried on the dress, a gown really, and just loved it. (I have recently posted some photos in my profile with this green dress), so I took it to the counter where Mel was and told her I would take it. I had then noticed another dress that was hanging high on the wall, that I had recognized from her website, that I liked as well, and asked if I could try it on also. Mel said sure and went to take it down. I held it in front of me and said that I didn't know if it would fit, but she told me to try it anyway, because you never know. Alas, it was a tad too small, so I didn't get this one.
By this time, I was feeling very comfortable in her presence, because she never looked at me strangely, or roll her eyes, or anything like that. She treated me like this was nothing out of the ordinary, (I may have been buying a T-shirt at Sears). So when I went to pay for the dress I bought, we talked a bit about the one that was a bit too small for me and she said that she has a lot of larger women size clothing that she could bring in. I told her how much I liked her store and, because I am still closeted, that she made it easy for me to try on clothes and buy what fits, as opposed to other stores I visited, where you buy what may be in your size, without trying it on, and hope it looks good. Because she had said she had a lot of larger women's size clothes, I suggested that she advertise with the local TG community. She said that this is something she will consider.
So, the long and short of this story is, Mel had treated me like any other woman trying on dresses and it made me feel very relaxed. So if there are some of you out there in this area that are still closeted, like I am, and you're looking for new (as in other) clothes, I would recommend visiting this store. I will definitely be returning.