Trying on clothing before making a purchase can be frustrating and time consuming, but for many women it is necessary. I am one such woman. Depth and quality of fabric, the cut of the waist/hip areas and length are all major problems for me—and clothes can appear much different on the hanger than they do on a real body. So since saying “yes” to the dressing room experience is essential, I try to prepare myself by putting a few things in place to make it a little more pleasant. And I’d love to share them with you, to encourage you to say yes to the dressing room as well.
Here are 5 posh tips for trying on clothing:
1. Come prepared
Wear (or bring along) any support garments (Spanx, hose/tights, slips etc) that you’ll want to wear under your garment—particularly if you are shopping for dresses for events like cocktail parties or weddings. You’ll also want to wear the type of shoe you plan to wear with the garment (heels, flats, wedges), so you can see exactly what it will look like when you get home. This way there is no guess work, and you can look forward to fewer returns that occur because you bought something, then got home and realized that smoothing garment didn't quite work in the way that you'd hoped; or the maxi was still too long even with your highest heel (#shortpeopleproblems).
2. Skip the extras
Wear clothing that's easy to get in and out of, since struggling with layers, difficult zippers or hard to reach buttons adds major time to your dressing room experience. You can try on potential new clothes faster when you can get easily in and out of your own.
3. Bring the pretty
Often, when you look good, you feel good about yourself too. Style your hair and makeup so that you feel pretty and confident, whatever that means to you.
4. Bring Reinforcements
Why not bring a friend along while shopping and make a day of it? You'll have an immediate source for feedback, saving you some of the time you would spend studying your angles and going back and forth in your head. And if you are someone who dreads shopping in person, you have tackled it all at once and you won’t have to do it again for at least a season.
5. Get all the angles
First, take pictures. Cher Horowitz got it right in Clueless when she said that mirrors lie. Depending on how they are made and positioned, or the lighting in the dressing room, every mirror can tell you a different narrative about your appearance. But the camera lense is consistent (photos are also helpful for that 2nd friendly opinion if you have to shop alone. Send them to a friend whose opinion you trust and get a 2nd eye). Second, if you don't happen to have your smart phone with you, or can't get a clear photo, step out of the dressing room and get a glimpse in the 3-way mirror positioned at the end of the row of dressing rooms for a 2nd (and 3rd and 4th) angle. If you can--and feel comfortable doing so, step out into the regular store area for a brief moment and check a nearby mirror there--you'll have an opportunity to see what you look like in different lighting, as opposed to just the lighting in the dressing room.
These tips don't have to be limited to the dressing room; you can try these same tricks at home as well. When you are shopping your closet for new and inspired ways to put your pieces together, try them on with your desired undergarments; don’t be afraid to ask whomever lives in your home for their opinions; choose a time of day when you’re either getting dressed or undressed so that your hair and makeup are as they would be in the potential outfit; and get a glimpse of yourself in different lighting throughout your home.
What are some of the ways you make trying on clothes easier? Mama likes tips—dish in the comments!