Clothes Shopping Horrors (And Their Solutions)


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Clothes shopping is meant to be a good thing. Retail therapy, choosing to treat yo’self– there’s plenty of ways to express the simple fact that buying new clothes is meant to be something positive. You’re meant to come away from the store, new purchases in hand, already thinking about where you’re going to wear your new outfit.

Instead, so many of us walk away from clothes stores feeling angry, frustrated, and ready to give up and just wear a sack for the rest of our lives.

Okay, so it might not be quite that dramatic (even if it sometimes feels like it is), but the truth is that clothes shopping is usually more of a nightmare than a dream. Why not read through this list of common thoughts women have when shopping for clothes and see which of these thoughts you recognize– as well as a few ideas on how to overcome the issues they identify?

“Why isn’t clothes sizing standardized?”

Oh, how much easier life would be if sizing were standard across all stores! You’d be able to walk in, grab something off the rack, pay, and be out in less than 10 minutes. Instead, you find yourself frowning in the mirror of the changing room, trying to figure out why you suddenly can’t get your usual size over your hips. It’s not a fun experience.

What Can You Do?

Petitioning clothes manufacturers to actually standardize clothes sizes is about the best solution. Also try and consult size guides before you shop in a store; it’s the best way of having an idea of the sizes you want prior to wasting time trying things on.

“Why is one size too small, but the next size up is too big?”

It’s a mystery, but we’ve all been there. You try on one size, and it sort of fits, but it’s not exactly comfortable. You try the next size up, and it looks and feels like you’re being drowned in fabric. Unlike with shoes, clothing doesn’t come with half-sizes, so you’re stuck between a choice of choosing items that are too tight and restrictive and something that makes you feel like you’re wearing a maternity smock.

What Can You Do?

The best bet is to learn to alter clothes for yourself. Grab yourself a sewing machine for beginners and learn to adjust clothes; you’ll be surprised how quickly you can pick up the basics. You can then buy clothes in the larger size and alter them to suit your shape– bespoke is definitely better than off-the-rack anyway!

“Why is the lighting so terrible in here?”

Lighting in changing rooms is a menace. The lighting is usually on the ceiling — which is never flattering — and it’s also a harsh, yellow color. Everything that you try on will look terrible as a result, and you’ll leave the store feeling like your self-confidence is in tatters.

What Can You Do?

Ultimately, trying things on at home will give you a far better idea of how it really looks. Order online, try on at your leisure, and then send back the one that doesn’t work out.

While clothes shopping can be endlessly irritating, there’s no doubt there’s some fun to be found in there as well. Follow the advice to mitigate the damage of the experience, then enjoy!

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