Lessons Learned: Part X – Things when out & about

Hi,

With luck and confidence on your side, just maybe you’ll be stepping out into the world. That might be to a support group, social event, a day out, etc. Whatever it is, there’s a few key items that can help.

  • Brolly – a fold up umbrella can help keep dry, save your wig, and provides a handy privacy of the weather turns against you.
  • Change – have a few quid in loose coinage for parking meters, snacks, beverages, etc. Some of the fancier toilets may require you to pay, so don’t be caught short. 🙂
  • Exit Kit – a ‘bug out bag’ with makeup removal wipes, nail varnish remover, spare male clothes, and somewhere to store your fancier clothes. More on this below.
  • Nails – not for DIY, well, in the construction sense. 🙂 If you’re wearing false ones, do you need spares? If you’ve painted yours, what about emergency top ups or even a file/clipper if one breaks?
  • Phone – even if you set it to silent, having a phone with you means you can call someone in an emergency (hello, car break down cover) or take photos of your time out if you wish. Make sure your mobile is fully charged and there’s some notes on apps later on.
  • Quick fix make-up – lipstick, perhaps a miniature pot of foundation, some pressed powder, and a hair brush can help you keep on top of any emergency top ups should you need them.
  • Spare tights – even our trusty opaques are not immune to snags or holes, so keeping a spare pair in your bag can be useful
  • Tissues – always a must have, IMO. Wipe your fingers, mop up a spill, dab off any marks on your outfit, and, of course, useful when it comes to make-up removal.

You don’t need to take all of the above and clearly getting all of the above into your handbag may be tricky. Welcome to the world of no pockets and all your belongings tucked into one bag. 🙂 IMO, there’s nothing wrong with keeping a few key items in your car, if you’re driving in.

Phones

If you’ve got a smartphone, it can be handy gadget to have with you. If you’re concerned about it ringing, set it to silent and check it when you’re safe to do so. That’s nothing quite like the oddness of being out, presenting as female and answering the phone as “yes, this is Mr Jones speaking” 🙂 Bizarreness aside, there’s a safety point of view too. Firstly, you’ll be distracted while on the phone, and secondly, anyone nearby will hear your male voice quite clearly.

If you are concerned that your location will be picked up and tracked, set the phone to airplane mode or turn it off completely. While that probably isn’t enough for tinfoil hat readers 🙂, it’s likely to be enough to keep your location away from Google, Facebook, Strava, etc. That and avoiding the risk of having to explain an answer to “Dad? Why were you in M&S on Wednesday for two hours? I thought you were at work.” 🙂

Apps

Privacy issues aside, having a phone with you I’d very handy for emergencies, particularly if you’re traveling. Breakdown cover and/or ringing for a taxi, etc.

If you’re heading somewhere new, Parkopedia is a clever little app that lists parking locations and their costs. I’ve been using that a few years to avoid being stung with -ahem- shopper unfriendly rates. Plus, parking a little further out can mean a bit more exercise and a chance to see more of where you’re visiting.

At some point, you may need to spend a penny – that’s using the loo, to overseas readers 🙂 I’ll not go into the debate around loos, other than to say use the room that works for you gender. Alternatively, the app and web site, Refuge Restrooms, helps you find both gender neutral and/or disabled friendly loos in your area. As a dad about town, finding a gents with baby changing facilities used to be a pain, although things are improving these days.

Exit Kit

If you’re heading out from home and coming back, that’s all cool. Likewise with a hotel or similar. What your Exit Kit, or ‘bug out bag’ as some call it, is for, is emergencies. If you break down in the car, the hotel is suddenly packed with guests…

The lobby is comprised. Abort and walk calmly to your alternative safe zone…” 😉

Having a bug out bag means you’ve enough male clothes change into or put on enough to cover your female garb. Likewise, make-up remover and nail varnish remover – see the previous post on nail pots – can either clean you up to sneak in, or completely deprincess as required. If you’ve been wearing perfume, don’t forget wet wipes and possibly a scented deodorant. A small hand towel can be useful to dry your face after cleaning up. Oh, and I don’t mean a towel for small hands 😉

Just, don’t forget some bloke shoes. It’s a difficult look to pull off a just been to the gym vibe with loose sports bottoms (hides your curves) while wearing heels 😁

All your worldly goods on your arm

Closing

So that wraps up this post on useful things for getting out. They are just experiences and certainly not rules. Some may work for you and you may have some you swear by too.

Stay safe and stay fab. ♥️

L x

6 Comments

    1. That seems a little extreme, Anon, even if practical in theory. 🙂 Where would you stop to use one of those? A handy wardrobe shop? 😁

      I think I’d take my chances with a gender neutral loo. There’s quite a few around the days.

  1. Small makeup mirror. Essential. As is the hairbrush. Otherwise you pretty much caught the essentials of Susie’s out bag.
    I might add a pair of tried and comfortable flats, if you’re going out in heels, and a pair of sneakers for the bug-out bag, if you don’t want to cart a pair of size 10 brogues around all day. Don’t forget socks unless you are wearing dark opaques you can get away with in male mode.
    Micellar wipes are a godsend.

    1. Thanks for sharing those suggestions, Susie.

      Re shoes – whatever you decide to wear on the day, make sure they are broken in. Tights won’t give you much protection compared to socks.

  2. Very useful. I recall your mentioning a bug-out bag in a previous post. There came a point when I decided that since I was really a woman I’d dispense with this safety net and would pack only female clothes in a weekend bag. That, in many ways, was liberating. I appreciate it may not be an option to many and so it’s a good piece of kit to have.

    As Susie says, you should also have a folding makeup mirror, unless your foundation has a good one in the lid. You can then check your appearance every five minutes 😀 I also take spare house keys and ensure I have a pocket for them somewhere in my clothing (I feel I should patent the key garter !) in case my handbag is lost or stolen.

    Sue x

    1. A spare key is a good idea, Sue. Talking of keys, taking the minimum, rather than a bunch, makes them easier to pocket. Not that all clothes have pockets, so you need to be inventive as you suggest.

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