Why you should never try on clothes at the store.

I can’t remember the last time I tried on clothing in a change room. Clothing store change rooms are the seventh level of hell as far as I am concerned and there is no way in hell ANYONE can look even half-decent standing that close to an enormous mirror with lots of bright light.

It’s so bad, one of the UK’s biggest retailers, Hammerson, has found three-quarters of their female customers (71%) are turned-off  buying clothes by their reflection in the change room mirrors.

In response? They’ve just announced their plan to remove all mirrors from change rooms, forcing customers to walk out of those tiny little demonic boxes and view themselves from a longer distance in better light, in that little hallway that (hopefully) makes you look tall and slim.

Not much of an improvement as far as I am concerned, but at least they are thinking about it somewhere in the world. Almost makes you forgive the Brits for Brexit.

This hilarious scene from the movie White Chicks perfectly demostrates the trauma of trying clothes on in a change room. Article continues after this video.

Video by Columbia Pictures

Clothing store change rooms are like an instant “ugly box” in which no item of clothing can ever look good. So why use them? Don’t do that to yourself. For God’s sake, RUN!

I am convinced that majority of us – after making the fatal mistake of trying on clothing the change rooms of insanity – buy some of the items of clothing anyway, despite how horrible they look in there.


Sometimes we probably buy them to save the embarrassment of having to hand everything over to the disappointed sales person who so enthusiastically asked you, “How are you doing in there” and “Do you need any different (bigger) sizes?”

So you decide to buy the dress or the top or the pants that looked “okay” and hope that, in the ten-minutes it takes you to drive home, the item of clothing that previously looked hideous on you has magically morphed into something quite flattering.

It’s new look will be revealed when you try it on at home (standing a bit further away from the mirror)… In the right light (in dim or semi-dark lighting), of course.

'Clothing store change rooms are like an instant "ugly box" in which no item of clothing can look good.' Image: White Chicks, Columbia Pictures.

The truth is, we are all beautiful and look great and who cares what we wear anyway? To me, comfort is key.

We know this. But, unfortunately once you brush aside that cheap curtain and enter that tiny little box of hell, insanity takes hold.

You go from being a perfectly happy person with a healthy body image to someone with bulges in all the wrong places and self-worth that has just been shot to shit by the very close, too-well-lit image of you standing awkwardly with the wrong hair, the wrong makeup and no shoes, looking pretty crappy.

Maybe it's deliberate. Maybe the evil shopping centre managers, not unlike the Wizard of Oz, sit there in a room filled with cameras watching you walk out of that store, trying (but failing) to hold your head high and then watching smugly as you walk straight to Muffin Break for an over-sized muffin (cake shaped like a muffin) and a doughnut chaser.

Because the perfect solution to a body image that has just taken a battering is delicious pastries, right?

Oh logic, where for art thou?

That's why I refuse to try on clothing in changing rooms anymore. I just can't do it to myself.

I KNOW that any item of clothing, no matter how perfect and flattering, will look foul in there and I KNOW that same item of clothing will look awesome when I put it on at home.

'That's why I refuse to try on clothing in changing rooms anymore. I just can't do it to myself.' Image: White Chicks, Columbia Pictures

That's why a few years back I took the time to try on some clothes in the change rooms of my favourite clothing stores, biting my lip and sniffing back tears, and figured out which size I am in each of them.

Now I do all of my shopping online or I simply swan in to retail store (looking smug) and grab anything that looks good in my size. I make the purchase without trying anything on.

I then walk out of the store, with a bounce in my step, knowing that the clothes I've chosen will look awesome in front of my bedroom mirror at home. And, even if they don't. I am only a drawer away from the right underwear, flattering belts and shiny shoes that will transform this new item into an outfit I can leave the house wearing.

Body image safely in tact.