Fluorescent Lights And Exposed Breasts: Why The Dressing Room Is A Girl’s Biggest Nightmare


Shopping is one of my favorite activities. Trying on clothes is my least.

There is nothing fun about breaking into a sweat after discarding dozens of knitted sweaters or standing in line with an armful of hangers only to be told it’s a six item maximum. The dressing room quickly becomes the depressing room when a pair of pants is cut so narrow that it’s borderline insulting. Hello, it’s called my ass and it’s not the width of my ankles.

Of course, there are those rare times when the fitting room is actually your friend. Like when you randomly wander into a store, spot a killer top on sale but in one size smaller, decide to go for it and it ends up fitting perfectly. But alas, the chances of that happening are about as likely as Victoria Beckham consuming carbs.

The rows of empty rooms, the sparse interiors and the attendant carefully monitoring you – a store’s fitting area more closely resembles a prison cell. Here’s why the dressing room is the devil.

The Lighting

There’s a reason we always find crumpled up Kleenexes in the corners of the dressing room – the lighting alone makes us want to cry. It’s crazy how the lighting is so terrible that it can magically erase any makeup you applied that morning (now if only it worked that way for cellulite!).

Are department stores trying to get us not to purchase the garments? It’s as if the bulbs are strategically placed to spotlight our least flattering areas. Why are we suddenly noticing how badly our bronzer mismatches our necks, instead of focusing on the task at hand?

The Mirror

Quick Meme

There’s a reason Cher relied on Polaroids instead of mirrors – they lie and they are the Devil. I wish there was some kind of torture chamber where I could do cruel and unusual things to three-way mirrors that show me parts of my body I’ve been blissfully unaware of up until this point.

Dressing room mirrors must be manufactured by a bunch of twisted individuals who assemble the glass frame in total darkness and with solely one hand. That’s the only excuse for the resulting rectangular piece of distorted reflection.

The Door

There is no proper way to construct the fitting room door. You have an issue whether it automatically locks, manually locks or is a mere curtain. Let me break it down for you:

The Automatic Locks: This is the stupidest invention ever. You know what happens when the door automatically locks? I’m left stuck outside my dressing room, waddling around in a size-too-small skirt that I can’t zip up, clumsily trying to cover my right butt cheek with my hand, yelling for the attendant to come open the door (but they all look alike) and hoping there are no children running around to witness the scene.

The Manual Locks: Although a step-up from the automatic locks, manually locking dressing room doors aren’t great either if only for the fact that you have to scream through the door to the attendant and whoever else is listening that you need a size up in your jeans. Oh, you’re currently wearing the largest pair? Thanks for announcing it, and go f*ck yourself.

The Mere Curtain: No matter which way you tug at it, there will always be a sliver of opening that bares your breasts to innocent shoppers. To all the stores that subject my boobs to indecent exposure, curtains are a poor excuse for a door, and you know it!

The Salespeople

Unless we explicitly want your opinion, please do not come knocking on our doors and suggesting we try on that hideous frock you so thoughtfully brought over. You don’t know me, you don’t know my style and you don’t know that I have a fierce aversion to cap sleeves, so back off.

It’s equally irritating when attendants preemptively peel back the curtain and ask how we’re doing. Um, boundaries please? I was doing just fine until you helped yourself to an eyeful of my bare butt.

The Music

Hey Abercrombie, can you turn up the music a little? I can’t hear it over the sounds of naked men and cologne. Just kidding.

There is nothing pleasant about struggling to hoist my pants up while listening to Jennifer Hudson belt that Weight Watchers commercial song or whatever classic light FM jam is playing. Do us a favor; stop trying to make the changing room a disco party. We’re here to get naked and try on clothes, not get naked and grind on our neighbor.