I am not sure about you, but I know for me, trying on clothes for the first time in the fitting room of a store can be a little overwhelming. The decision making process to purchase an article of clothing is not in the most ideal of places: stuck in a little box of a space, surrounded by mirrors, with usually really bad lighting, oh and no air flow (I always get really hot in the fitting room).
For many years I was very self conscience about my body and would get very upset when things did not fit me properly. I felt like it was my fault that they did not work, so in turn I would berate myself with insults in my head. Finally after a breakthrough, I came to realize that the problem was the clothes, not me. Now when I enter a dressing room I have a series of questions I ask myself that make the shopping experience uplifting and knowledgeable.
As a precursor to these questions, I have already established my personal style (vintage boho) with a list of broad and specific details I look for when I shop, I always have a running list of specific items I an looking for, and I prepare myself for shopping as I explained in my shopping tips post. Think of all of these things as homework and shopping is the test that I am about to get an A+ with extra credit on.
- What do I like about this garment? (not how it fits, the details of the garment: V-neckline, color)
- What do I not like about this garment? (too long, too short, the way the fabric feels)
- If I dislike a detail, can it be remedied easily with alterations? (hemmed, flower at neckline removed)
- How is the fit? (not how your body looks, rather does it fit properly: too tight to sit or move, so loose it will fall off)
- If the fit is off, is there another size up or down available? (if I am in a straight size shop, I am typically at the highest end of what they have to offer, so if it is too small, I take it off immediately and move on)
- Where do I see myself wearing this? (will it fit your lifestyle)
- Do I have anything in my wardrobe already that will go with this?
- What can I pair with this to make this an outfit? (necklace, skirt)
- Does this fit my current personal style?
- Is this just a different version of something else I already own?
- Is the price of this garment worth the amount of times I will wear it?
- Will I be able to maintain this piece? (washable, ironing)
- What can I learn about this piece of clothing for future reference? (fabric, color, brand)
- Am I comparing how this looks on me to a model/friend/blogger?
- What does this garment look like outside of the confines of this fitting room? (Remember the before mentioned bad lighting? You may need to take a step outside of the fitting room to look it that three way mirror just outside)
The biggest piece of advice I can give when trying on clothes is to try on a lot of pieces. I often will take items in the fitting room that I am unsure of, but am curious about what it will look like on. I also will sometimes take two sizes of the same thing if I am unsure of how it will fit (sorry ladies who work in retail that have to put all that back).
I have gone shopping with other ladies and they will pick an item up, comment how they like it, then quickly dismiss it because they claim it won’t look good on them. How do they know that? Even if I have tried on similar items (like for me faux fur vests), I still will try on other ones in hopes I will find just the right one for me. Not every fur vest is made the same way. Has it damaged my life by trying on all those vests? No! TRY IT ON! It is the only true way to know if something is going to work for you.
Question #14 above is a biggie. Comparing your body to others is so detrimental and I am sooooo guilty of doing it time and time again. We all have our bad days. I wanted to share an example of this because I am constantly viewing my fav bloggers and seeing models on fashion sites wear clothes I would love to try on. One fashion and style blog I love to follow is Ask Suzanne Bell. Take one look at her and you will notice she is a very different body type than me, yet I still enjoy her style and how it relates to my own. Suzanne recently tried on two items at Target that peeked my interest because of her.
One was this Adam Lippes vest:
I fell in love and ordered it online because they did not carry the collection at my local stores:
The next was this pink furry vest:
I tried it and passed (but still had fun doing it):
Remember, shopping for clothes is a time to judge the clothes, not your body. I leave many stores empty handed and also leave with more knowledge. One tid-bit of information I always walk away with is styling inspiration. My phone is loaded with store displays because why not take advantage of the expert eye of the visual team that put it together. I do not know how many times I will see a mannequin and realize I have all the pieces to put together a similar look, I just have never thought to put them together before.
I hope that this information has been beneficial to you as it has been for me. Every woman deserves to have a personalized wardrobe that fits her style and body. When all of this “homework” is done, the mornings will become an enjoyable moment to select what you are going to wear. It sets the tone for the day ahead.
Today’s Postivity Note
What screws us up most in life is the PICTURE in our head of how it’s SUPPOSED to be.