If Dressing Rooms Could Talk: The Art of a Successful Try-On

The dressing room: a small, four-walled space in every retail clothing store that endures daily abuse. Discarded clothes are thrown in careless “don’t” piles all over its floor and its temporary tenants mutter insults at it under their breath. The truth is, there are few people on Earth who love spending time with the dressing room … but maybe that can change. We know jeans shopping can be challenging, which is why we set out to find expert tips to help you master the art of a successful try-on. We wanted to consult top experts, so we went straight to the source with our interview process — the dressing rooms themselves. Here’s what they had to say …

“You set me up for failure.”

What are your thoughts/feelings going into the dressing room? Dread? Fear? Are you already telling yourself that none of your items are going to work? Our friend Buddha says, “The mind is everything. What you think you become.” If you walk into the fitting room expecting bad results, odds are you’re going to get bad results — it can sense your fear. Strut into that dressing room with optimism and confidence.

“I know. My lighting is horrible.”

Reaction GIF: crying, Lacey Chabert, Mean Girls
Unfortunately, even the most optimistic attitude won’t improve the lighting situation. It is what it is. But you can do something about it. Take a friend! Shopping with a friend or partner you trust not only makes your whole experience more fun, but it also gives you a trustworthy opinion and second set of eyes to tell you what works and what doesn’t. Pick a shopping buddy who’s honest, has similar tastes as you and, of course, someone you enjoy being around.

 “You’re trying the wrong size.”

A survey from U.K. fashion and lifestyle club StyleCard finds 42 percent of women would rather wear denim that’s too small than go up in size. But our product designers and Style Parties have found the opposite scenario is prevalent as well; Many women are buying jeans that are too large because they want comfortable jeans or because they’ve lost weight and haven’t adjusted to their new size. Here’s a rule of thumb (or should we say, bum): Your jeans should feel a little snug in the dressing room. But just a little snug. Our designers hand-select denim that retains its shape throughout the day, but every fabric has a little inherent “give” to it and will conform to your body. After one or two wears, the slightly snug jeans will fit you like a glove. If you buy them to fit perfectly in the dressing room, they’ll likely stretch and be too loose (translation: unflattering) by the end of the day.

“Just because it’s on sale doesn’t mean it’s right for you.”


Trust us. We’re all about making great, affordable style. But you should choose something because it looks great on you, and if it’s at a great price, that’s icing on the cake. We’ve all ended up with things we bought on clearance that never make it out of the closet. Trying something on because of the price is great! Just don’t look in the mirror through the price tag filter.

“YES, YES, YES! Now get one in every color.”

Every time a shopper finds their perfect fit, a Lee designer gets their wings. But seriously, something magic happens when you zip up that perfect pair of jeans. The dressing room seems to play your favorite song and suddenly you feel the urge to jump up and dance. When it happens, stock up. Every season we try to add new color, washes and prints in our best-selling products so you can add a variety of your favorite fit to your wardrobe.

“Pssst … there’s a better mirror outside.”

Often, dressing rooms have a larger, three-way mirror, but this mirror often gets neglected. Use it — it’s there to help you! Look at yourself in various angles to get a better gauge of whether something is a “yes” or a “no.” In a rush? You can narrow down your choices ahead of time using our Fit Finder to help make this process faster.

“You’re beautiful.”

The No. 1 thing dressing rooms wanted us to tell you is that you’re beautiful. Clothes come in a variety of shapes, sizes and fits because bodies come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Not everything is going to work for you, but that doesn’t mean you have to settle for ill-fitting clothes. So your dressing room trip was a flop this time? No worries! Hold your head up and remember that you’re gorgeous. As is. With these tips, the dressing room can become your friend, not foe. Next time you shop, consider these wise words from dressing rooms around the nation and master the art of the try-on.

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