Thursday, November 3, 2016

Tales from the Dressing Room

I can't be the only person who dreads dressing rooms.  It's by far the worst part of the whole shopping experience.  And yes, I'm factoring in mustering up the energy to go shopping, forcing your unwilling kid to go with you to buy them pants, scouring the parking lot on a crowded Saturday at the mall and paying the outrageous bill for pants that fit your really skinny kid with really long legs into the equation.

I think it goes without saying that one only heads to the dressing room after thoroughly combing through the entire store for things to try on.  It's not somewhere you want to have to go twice, because it's not even somewhere you want to go once.  Somehow, my kids haven't learned this very basic shopping rule yet, even though I repeat it every time.

When you manage to find the fitting room way back in the bowels of the store, it is policed by a dressing room attendant.  You'll tell her you have six items and even space them out for her to see clearly there are indeed six.  But, she'll insist on touching all six of them while giving you the eye because you kinda look like a shoplifter.  And you know she's multitasking and also judging your selections.  "Really, she thinks she can pull that look off?  I don't think so.  That trend is way too young for her!"

There's a curious relationship between the stores that are expensive and the ones that are cheap and the condition of the dressing rooms.  Inexpensive stores like H&M tend to have tiny, bright, relatively clean dressing rooms.   Pleasant, except for the fact that there is a fabric shower curtain where a door should be.  And the fear of someone pulling back the curtain to reveal you in your underwear mid-change is worse than any horror movie.

Conversely, the pricey department stores, like Dillard's for example, tend to have large dressing rooms with carpet from the 80's in colors like mauve, with mysterious stains on it that looks like someone attempted a do-it-yourself clean-up from a bloody crime scene.  Combined that with the twenty articles of clothing with 20 more empty hangers strewn about it's very CSI-meets-Hoarders.   But, it gets worse.  Because it smells like feet.  Not just ordinary stinky feet, rotting feet like someone died there.  And it just might be the dressing room attendant, because you didn't even see her, you just walked right in.

That's when you look in the mirror.  And you look like a cadaver, with sallow skin and circles under your eyes so dark, Satan wants them back.  Is it the law that every fitting room in America be fitted with  fluorescent lights?  Because it just doesn't make any sense.  Nothing looks good under that light.  Except maybe pies in the display case at a diner.  Because pie.   But, people are best displayed in a dimly light room, with a slimming mirror and a diffuser burning lavender oil wouldn't hurt either.  Why has no one figured this out yet?

Inevitably, when you're ready to try on your selections you'll be wearing clothes that are a total pain in the ass to get off.  So, you'll try to take the fewest things off as possible.  I think I can slide my jeans off over my sneakers.  But chances are you can't.  And you'll spend more time figuring that out the hard way than it would have taken you to just untie, then retie, your sneakers.  Trust me on this.  If you're anything like me, when you do finally do get the item on, you'll hate it.  However, if it's an item you didn't come shopping for, don't need and have absolutely no occasion to wear it, then, of course, you'll love it.  Either way, you lose.

CLOSE-TO-THE-END-OF-THE-POST RANT:  You might even get stuck in a dress you tried on and can't get out of without asking for assistance.  Totally a true story.   Also, your size is completely subjective depending on the store.  Like, in H&M you will wear two sizes larger than you do in any other store.  It's not you, it's them and their warped European sense of proportions.  Contrary to popular belief, Swedish women won't keep you warm at night because they have no body fat, apparently.  After all this you'll need to console yourself with a pretzel dipped in butter or ice cream.  Depending on whether you're a sweet or salty person or if it's your time of month, in which case, it's both the pretzel and the ice cream.  Also, never try on clothes when you have your period.  It never ends well.  Ever.  

When you emerge from the dressing room the attendant will take your ticket clearly marked with the number of items you took in with you.  But, she won't count the clothes you came out with.  I mean call me old fashioned, but isn't that the entire point of the ticket?  I mean, what was the point of making me feel like a shoplifter on the way in, if I don't get to prove that I'm not on the way out?

Bottom Line: Save your sanity and shop on-line.
Try things on in a dimly light room with a bottle of wine, but not when you have your period.


Janine Ripper said...

I'm always terrified of falling out of the change room with my pants around my ankles and horrid underwear as I battle to get off a pear of jeans that don't fit right...

angiericketts said...

I had a toddler who loved all things pink and once shoved three pink bras into my diaper bag while my back was turned taking care of the baby in the stroller. Alarms went off. I kept walking. Because screw it. I had no idea. Alarms in the next store also went off and then I looked to see if I had something by mistake. Gulp.
By the way, great blog, as always!

Mackenzie Glanville said...

haha you always make me smile! It is true though that the changing rooms are often better at cheaper stores. I had never thought of that until you write that though. Like at Target there are loads of change rooms and they are big enough to get me an my kids in. But when we go to our expensive department stores you can barely find the change rooms, sometimes they only have a couple open and a massive queue and I squeeze in trying to try on a dress or jeans with 3 kids with me aka nightmare! Great post!


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