“If I had your legs, I would wear this dress!” “I don’t know about this…” “I’m not even going to show you.” “I WILL be borrowing that from you!” “Are you in here?”
I’m sure it doesn’t surprise you that these are actual things I overheard the other day while in a dressing room. The optimistic comments, “This is super cute!” are few and far between. How can we make trying on clothes a more pleasant experience? Or at least not feel totally discouraged as we exit, arms full of ‘no’s.’
Here are some ideas that’ll help:
1. Wear makeup. This has nothing to do with how the staff will treat you. (flashback to the scene in Pretty Woman) It has to do with how you see yourself. No matter how cute you look when casual & comfortable, a lot of times, if you’re without makeup, those (harsh) dressing room lights will only magnify the fact that you forgot concealer… Remember, you are assessing how much you like the way you look in something. The ‘full face’ isn’t a requirement here, just a little bit of something that makes you feel more put together.
2. Wear better underwear. How can you possibly tell if that top fits correctly if you are wearing a sports bra when you try it on? It’s also quite disheartening to view your backside when your underwear is bunching up and visually creating bulk. Yes, yes, we know you tell yourself, ‘Well, I’ll be wearing different underwear, a padded bra, double-sided tape, Spanx’ and so on, we get it. Make is easier on yourself (esteem) and show up in your non-embarrassing undergarments.
3. Bring/wear heels. You might never wear a pair while in that bathing suit (I don’t, but would actually love to, given the right poolside environment because…) heels give you an extra lift that makes you look taller (lean) and feel sexier. Having that pair is also ideal if you are trying to match clothes to a specific shoe. Don’t rely soley on your memory.
4. Wear clothes that are quick & easy to remove. Button-down shirts, lots of layers, belts, laces—while your ensemble may be adorable, the more work you have to do to get in and out of it, the quicker you will become frustrated with trying on clothes. Also the more likely you are to call it quits (and possibly buy something without trying it on…and possibly have to return it after you’ve gotten home and tried it on.) A lot of on and off means messy/static-y hair and one hot and bothered woman!
5. Keep up with your maintenance. Lotion up those legs! Again, a simple ‘to-do’ and easily forgotten. When you’re starring into the mirror pondering what you think, flaky skin can immediately distract you from the real question. Instead of focusing on how badly you need cream or the fact that you can’t remember when you shaved last, figure out if you like what you have on, instead!
6. Bring in 2 sizes and always try the larger one on first. It’s better for the psyche and eliminates the need to ask the sales associate for a different size; it’s also efficient.
7. Take a picture. If you are on the fence about an item, take a picture of yourself in it. This eliminates the need to make an immediate decision and allows you to take a break and view how it looked, later. With anything you do, putting it aside and coming back to it with a fresh pair of eyes always helps you see more clearly.
To sum it up: try to look more like you are meeting your friend for dinner versus just leaving a yoga class. It may sound unrealistic and like too much hassle, especially if you are ‘running into’ a shop to find something to wear, but a little bit of effort upfront saves you so much time and frustration in the future.
Happy summer shopping!