Thursday, June 20, 2013
The Right Light
Over the years I've seen A LOT of change rooms. Sometimes I feel like the change rooms of the shops, stores and boutiques in the cities I visit are the places that I spend the most time. Since the dawn of vanity sizing I must try every thing on. Did you know that size inconsistency has existed since at least 1937 (wiki). I have my measurements (bust/waist/hip) for my vintage on-line shopping always at hand but current garment sizing varies by designer/brand so if I'm shopping live I must try on!
This past weekend my stylish partner in fashion crime and I decided to go to Tj Maxx. The intention was to get my husband a few items for fathers day but I always feel compelled to look for myself as well. What I left with was a Cobalt Michael Kors bag and ONE dress a highly unusually small haul for me.
I took probably 10 items to the dressing room and to my shock and HORROR there it was ... cue slasher film music.
The dressing room, complete with florescent lighting AND a carnival calibre mirror straight from your neighborhood travelling fun house.
To say the least it was less than motivational to buy. I think I tried everything on at Olympic level speed and got the hell out of there, leaving all but one dress with the dressing room police. The lighting made EVERY flaw in my skin become visible and the mirror made me look shorter, wider and doubled as a magnifying glass for above noted flaws.
It is not just Tj Maxx but I have seen my fair share of hideous dressing rooms. I'm baffled at who at their nicely lit corporate offices sign off on these? and who exactly are the dressing room designers?
The bottom line: Fashion is a fantasy and a form of self expression. In reality I KNOW what I look like. When I try on clothes I want to see myself in the most fabulous light. I don't want to have the purple vein in my leg magnified so it can be seen from the moon, or the stretchmarks from carrying my two precious babies projected onto a giant mirror like a topographic road map.
They even posted this obnoxious sign:
The sign may have been true, I DID want to buy. I couldn't bring myself to buyt based on the non-motivational change room climate.
FYI to retailers: I would have purchased all of the items in my cart but I left with ONE. Retailers need to be aware of how women FEEL when they step into those rooms because if the customers don't see themselves in the right light they can kiss that precious revenue goodbye. I wonder what the figure actually is on LOST revenue and sales all because they didn't put the effort into the changing space? I would rather try things on in the dark or by candle light quite frankly. Pot lights, event natural lighting would have been better.
Retailers should put the effort into their changing spaces and provide an environment to promote women to feel good because they perceive themselves as cast in the right light. We all know what we look like and are not looking for some lighting enhanced version of photo shop. A chic chandelier or some softer light would suffice accompanied by a correctly shaped/angled mirror. Speaking for myself and my shopping partner, these small changed would inspire customer's to have an amazing shopping experience and always return for MORE.