RI Confidential: Tips And Tales From The Fitting Room

Trying on clothes yesterday. Loving the black and white printed skirt hanging on the side wall. 

Trying on clothes yesterday. Loving the black and white printed skirt hanging on the side wall. 

These days the closest I get to a fitting room is if I see something I absolutely cannot live without and I'm actually in the mood to try on clothes. (Like a lot of people featured on this blog, I'm ordering my share online and trying on at home.) In my old life, though, I spent a lot of time in fitting rooms, helping people find flattering clothes. So many hours and so many people. Now, it's too late to get those hours back, but I've used my years of experience to create a list of tips, a guide of sorts, for anyone venturing into the sartorial realm of harsh lighting, pins and needles, and three way mirrors (more on this later...wink):

  • Do wear underwear. Please. Your salesperson finds it awkward and embarrassing going in and out of your room if you're standing around completely naked. (And will most likely tell all their buddies in the store about it too.) Sure we want the best for you - We like you, but not like that. 
  • Do wear a traditional bra, not a sports one, which creates the dreaded uni-boob and definitely does not give a true idea about fit. 
  • But don't run around the fitting room area in your bra and panties. I don't care who you are - no one wants to see this. **Cringe** You're not only making your salesperson uncomfortable, you're also annoying absolutely everyone in the surrounding rooms as well. (I remember one person in particular who did this in a very MTV Real World, Joe Francis' Girls Gone Wild type of way on a regular basis. And trying to 'manage' the situation felt a whole lot like what I would imagine babysitting Britney Spears or Lindsey Lohan did back in the 90's, before each of them eventually got their respective acts together.)
  • Try on everything, but don't trash the room - aka, throw clothes all over the floor inside out and step all over them. (Same goes for getting lipstick and foundation on everything, especially white t-shirts, turtlenecks or cocktail dresses.) You may not realize it, but doing this is basically saying bleep you to your salesperson. Take 2 minutes and put items back on hangers or on the chair or bench provided. Easy enough, right? 
  • Don't insult or abuse your salesperson, especially when they are trying (delicately) to tell you something doesn't work. My fall back remark to let someone know a particular item wasn't flattering was usually "You can do better." And one of my fav stories related to this scenario involved a woman who (after hearing me say this) proceeded to berate me by replying snottily "Who are you? One of those RISD students who's working here because you're interested in fashion?" (In retrospect this was actually a BIG compliment because at that time, I was much older than any of the RISD kids. #ThankYou #Younger)
  • Do use try-on shoes, but don't take them home with you. Tacky, tacky, tacky. Question - How long do you think a pair of Jimmy Choo try-on shoes remains in a fitting room before being taken? If you guessed less than a week (way, WAY less), you win! 
  • It's ok to love clothes, but don't use the fitting room to make love to your bf, husband, significant other, etc. #GetARoom but not a fitting room dammit! This is not Wild Orchid, The Red Shoe Diaries (dating myself here I know) or 50 Shades of Grey. Think this doesn't happen? You'd be so wrong. Trust me, you don't know a case of the ICKS until you've opened a fitting room door and found a used condom. Yup, I said used condom. (Hey, at least they practiced safe sex. Dr Drew and Dr Ruth would be so proud.)

Ciao for Now,

Patty J


Photo Credits: Photo courtesy of me and my I-Phone