Take A Number: How To Survive 5 Dreaded Women's Dressing Rooms

by Danielle Page

There's a reason we ladies shop together.

Alright, fine, there are a bunch of reasons.

It doesn't hurt to have a girlfriend with you to help you sift through the racks, and shopping with a buddy is obviously more fun. Real talk, though, trying on clothes in a ridiculously lit dressing room that's barely big enough for you to maneuver in is just not ideal.

To make matters worse, stepping outside your changing room subjects you to that uber pushy dressing room attendant, who will either hurry you along, or try to convince you that the obviously-too-tight tank top you're trying on actually accentuates your waistline (not to mention, adds to the quota of items she's helped sell that day).

Having your gal pal along for the ride thwarts the best efforts of these salespeople, and provides you with some real talk when it comes to the outfit you're trying on. The tiny mirror and dim lighting just isn't doing it for you.

Does this struggle sound familiar? The good news is, you're not alone.

If your BFF isn't available for a shopping trip, here are a few ways to survive these five common types of dressing rooms, solo.

1. The Item-Limit Dressing Room

You just finished tearing it up on the clearance racks and have an entire season's worth of discounted clothes to try on.

The problem? You can only bring eight items in with you at a time. And yes, one bikini counts as two items.

You understandably start to panic at the thought of leaving your precious finds with the dressing room attendant, even though she promises she'll keep an eye on them.

You start to wonder how fast you could possibly try the first eight items on, and if that's fast enough to get back to your haul before some other chick gets her sticky fingers on them.

How to survive: First of all, calm the eff down. It's going to be okay.

Ask the dressing room attendant if you can have a room near the rack where you're leaving the rest of your finds, and peek out at your stash occasionally while you're trying everything on.

Even though it's tempting to leave the last outfit you tried on when you're exchanging out your items for new ones, slipping your actual clothes back on will allow you to take in the max amount, so suck it up and change back each time you come out to trade in for more.

2. The No-Mirror Dressing Room

This type of dressing room is normally found at independent boutiques, where pushy attendants are out to make commission.

You'll try to look down at your outfit and gauge how you look, but you really won't be able to tell unless you step out into the open store to stand in front of the only mirror available.

You won't get a chance to fully take in how you look anyway, since you'll immediately be bombarded with empty compliments from the salespeople working the floor.

As much as you want to believe them when they say that romper makes you look like a Kardashian, you know they've got ulterior motives.

How to survive: Shop these stores on a busy Saturday afternoon, when you won't be their only target.

You'll still probably get slightly accosted, but with other customers to hone in on, it will be easier for you to get a few minutes of uninterrupted mirror time to evaluate your new potential threads, sans commentary.

3. The Overlit Dressing Room

You'll see these in stores like Express or Gap. Not only do these dressing rooms give you a completely unnecessary 360-degree view of yourself, but the lights are also so bright you're actually squinting.

You contemplate putting on sunglasses to accurately get a feel for how your butt looks in those "buy one get one half off" denim jeans you so desperately want, but there's just no sure way to tell if you're looking bootylicious or not.

How to survive: Find another mirror. I know this is obnoxious, and the last thing you want to do is draw attention to yourself while you're checking your badonkadonk out in those new threads.

Unless you're cool with making a return trip to the store to exchange them for the size you really needed, it's a necessary step.

4. The Locked-Up Dressing Room

You have to track down a dressing room attendant to open the room for you, and from then on, it's like you're constantly trying not to let him or her down.

Sure, it's great to have someone checking on you and asking how everything is going, even offering to grab you a different size.

Eventually, though, it starts to get embarrassing, like when you're not sure how the sizes run, you've sent the poor attendant back five times and you're still not sure if those size mediums are doing it for you.

By the end of it, you feel obligated to at least buy something for all the trouble you've caused -- even if you haven't found an item you absolutely love.

How to survive: You don't have to buy that less-than-stellar pair of booty shorts just to make the dressing room person happy. Sure, if he or she is working on commission it would probably help, but honestly, just being a decent human being and offering a sincere thank you is more than they're usually used to getting.

Retail life is no walk in the park.

5. The Neglected Dressing Room With All The Things In It

When you first enter, you might think you've hit the dressing room jackpot.

There's no dressing room attendant, no skin-penetrating lights, and there's even a mirror of your very own. But, then, you look down at the floor or on the hanger rack, and it's chock full of clothes.

In fact, that top is actually kind of cute. So you try it on, and in doing so end up opening Pandora's box of discarded clothing. In fact, you're not even sure which clothes were your picks, and which were here when you entered. 

How to survive: It's tough, but you need to fight hard against the FOMO of not digging through the clothes that are conveniently already here.

Would you want some other girl's sloppy seconds? Then you probably don't want her discarded outfits, either.