I recently bought some skirts from eBay. Today I was looking in Asda (the UK Wal-Mart) for a nice top to go with them. It sounds silly, but standing in the middle of the ladies clothing section checking out clothes in my size - I'm definitely not petite - can be somewhat daunting. It shouldn't be, because the clothes could be for anyone, but knowing that they were for me made me feel uncomfortably and self conscious.
Eventually I found a really nice simple V-necked jumper with long sleeves in just the right size, and available in pale Lemon or Pink. I bought the lemon one. I am really pleased with it, it fits well and it looks nice on with several of the skirts. The amazing thing is that a few months ago I would never have even looked at such a colour. I also liked the pink one and felt comfortable at the thought of wearing it. I may go back tomorrow and buy it as well as it wasn't at all expensive. I found that a necklace displayed nicely in the V-neck makes a huge difference and immediately tilts the balance of perception sharply in favour of female rather than any lingering male doubts. I really am starting to understand the pleasure all you ladies get when out shopping for clothes.
These are small simple things, but to me they are giant steps forward. My next big hurdle will be to book myself in at the ladies hairdresser's for a trim to tidy up my hair as it is now quite long. Whether or not I can face asking for a shampoo as well remains to be seen but I know a manicure is a step too far at the moment.
I think this must be several steps along the road to who knows where.