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Everything That's Wrong with Store Fitting Rooms: An Exasperated List


Photograph, White, Dress, Style, Hair accessory, Bridal accessory, Sitting, Headgear, Monochrome, Headpiece,
Getty, design by Betsy Farell

Why are there never enough hooks?

Why would I want to put my '70s sapphire-blue suede jacket on the floor? What if I put *your* clothes on the floor where retail workers casually find USED TAMPONS all the time? And even when there *are* hooks, why are they always personal-pizza-size wooden circles you can't even get your bag strap around? Why?

Why only put one stool in there?

Given the first problem, the sole non-hangable surface has probably already been occupied by your bag and your other bag and your outerwear, which renders it useless for sitting, which means you might have to kneel on the menstrual-blood-and-god-knows-what-else-contaminated floor to put your shoes back on. The best is when they've got a built-in bench or multiple chairs, but that's like finding a Treskilling Yellow on a sheet of Forever stamps.

Why is the lighting so sad?

Not asking for a Caravaggio miracle here—though shoutout to Mango for giving a girl as much chiaroscuro as Judith Light had covering Alanis Morissette at the end of this season's Transparent🙏—but I would like not to have to choose between "Guantanamo interrogation room" and "the burn-y end of a Searzall." I would be cool with "standard office fluorescent" because, let's be honest, that's how you and your clothes are seen most of the time anyway.

Why do the mirrors lie?

That's about right

Scientific fact: The thinner the mirror, the less accurate it is. That would make store mirrors, then, the reflective-surface equivalent of a Snapchat selfie. I've found & Other Stories to be the worst offender, where a silk slip dress looks bespoke in the fitting room, then never again quite as well-fitted outside. Though that could be some ~retail magic,~ which means never trust a place that plays Hot Chip *and* Carly Rae and leaves baby succulents strewn around.

WTF is WITH the curtains that don't close all the way?

When the mirror extends past the curtain, anybody passing by can view you squirming to extricate your head and arms from a velvet dress, panicking like "THIS WILL NOT BE HOW I DIE, DAMN IT." Or just you in your rattiest period underwear. Solution: Measure enough fabric to pull the curtain *all the way across* the rod or install doors that swing shut in the middle so customers can burst through like they're John Wayne about to start a gun fight in a saloon. But then again, it'd probably end up more like this.

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