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Fitting Rooms 101: Are you getting dressed in one?

Learn all about proper dressing room etiquette
fitting room

Department stores and other retail clothing outlets have one..that's right, we're talking about a dressing room. That special place where you can try on those expensive pieces of clothing that your heart desires without the loss of your hard earned cash. From the outside these rooms may have a few different looks, some are fully closed with a door and others can just have a curtain but it's generally the same. A private room for you to change your clothes in.

Using a fitting room: There are a few things you're expected to know when using a changing room at a clothing store. At some shops you may find a small notice or sign with them but if you don't you should know these unspoken rules of etiquette that you should follow when using one.

    Quick Tips
  • Ask yourself: "Does the garment require special care, hand-wash or dry-clean only, and am I willing to follow these instructions?"
  • Move Around: Simply posing in front of the dressing-room mirror isn't enough to get a feel for fit.
  • Seek out natural lighting and mirrors

Occupied rooms: Always assume that if the door is closed or the curtain drawn that the dressing room has someone in it, if you're not 100% certain most rooms have a small opening where your feet remain visible. Take a look below for feet, if there is no opening politely knock and wait for a response to see if the room is free before entering. Never barge in as the occupant may be undressed and you will be invading their privacy.

On the phone or with a friend: Keep in mind that the walls of the fitting room are thin and your conversation can be easily heard to those in the rooms around you. With that being said gossip or comments about others should't take place here...do keep your voice down.

Don't take your underwear off: You're in a store trying on clothes that doesn't belong to you when others may have tried on before you, do you really want to take the chance of having these pieces of clothing touch your private areas? Wearing underwear when trying on new clothes is the right thing to do.

Clean up after yourself: Just like your parents may have told you to clean your room, this is no different. The dressing room should be left in the same condition it was before you entered it. So if you have to take a little time to put the clothes back on the hangers do it. This is especially true if you have no intention of making the purchase. A little courtesy can go a long way.

Be kind to the staff: Those working at the store are there to help you. If you like a certain piece and you find you may need it one size smaller or larger, don't rudely demand it...be nice.

How to use a changing room quickly If you're shopping for a lot of new pieces of clothing it would be wise to dress light so you can save yourself some time when you're in the fitting room. Wearing too many layers just means that you will have take off and put on more clothing each time you visit the changing room.

Remebering your size per brand Nothing is more annoying than having to go back and forth to find your right size when trying ona new piece of clothing. If you're not lucky enough to have one of your girlfriends with you. You should double your effort to know your size for each brand of clothing you wear. Sadly sizes do vary among different labels.

Taking pictures in the dressing room A favorite to many girls, you can keep the memory of wearing your favorite fashionable pieces without having to spend a dime. The picture can also serve as a reminder that you must go back to make that purchase. outfit in a fitting room in Victoria's Secret dressing room fun in the dressing room inside Juicy Couture's dressing room

Frequently asked questions about the fitting room

Why do some people look better in clothes they try in the dressing room? The answer to this is a simple one, it's the lighting and in other rare cases some stores actually use slightly convex mirrors to give you a more pleasing appearance.

How many mirrors does a dressing room have? For most dressing rooms you will find only 1 mirror but some of the better boutiques have a mirror on each wall allowing you to see the fit of the clothing from all sides.

Do dressing room mirrors make you look better? The answer to this one is tricky, while it's not really the "mirror" that usually makes you look better it's more about having proper lighting. But! there is a type of mirror that does just this, it's called a skinny mirror. You can learn more about this mirror here.

Are there cameras in the dressing room? Usually the answer to the question is no, but you may see a security camera watching the doors of the fitting rooms from the outside. If you don't feel comfortable; do speak up as there should not be any security or spy cameras in a fitting room. If you discover one you should report it to the stores management as soon as possible.

Is it legal to have a security camera in a dressing room? Depending on what state you are in by law in certain states actually allow it. You can read more about that here or here.

When it comes to fitting room etiquette, little things can go a long way. They may be written or unspoken rules, but they are all important and will ensure that your next visit to a fitting room is a welcomed one.

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