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Open Letter to Retailers Choosing Not to Put Mirrors in Fitting Rooms

I know why you do it. It’s so that your staff will come over and be all like “OMG that looks amaaaazing on you!” But don’t be fooled, you don’t pay your staff nearly enough for them to take the time or energy to muster such forced enthusiasm. So there I am alone, in a change room where you may as well just put a damn mirror, quickly opening the door, after ensuring my stomach is properly sucked in, to zip out into public with something that could very well make me look like an ancient karate master (true story).

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Did this not ever happen to you before you were a store owner? Did it not make you think “if I ever owned a store I would never do this to my fellow humankind!” But then you got a store, and you forgot the pain, just like a mother deciding to have a second child, and did it anyway….sellout.

My favourite is when there is a group of teenagers sitting on a bench in front of me waiting to give only nods of approval to their friend trying on an array of crop tops in size 0. Or even better, when their friend and I walk out with the same thing on and we both, for different reasons, slink back into our change rooms in disgust.

It’s so obvious what you are doing. Do you think you are keeping this desperate sales tactic a secret?! It’s just like the part in a romantic comedy where it looks like things are going to end poorly. I can imagine some hopeful director thinking that he may have created just enough tension for the watcher not to KNOW that everything will work out in the end. Sorry Mr. Director, you don’t have us fooled, we’ve seen 162 versions of this same movie. Just like this director, you also think your customers are dumb, and we all know it. We know we don’t look FABULOUS in everything that tempts us from the latest issue of In Style.

Here’s the thing, your store is cheap, and because of this it’s the ONLY place that I may actually try out a trend before it fizzles out five minutes later. But I am NOT coming out of the fitting room in that strapless jumpsuit, let alone one of those funky bathing suits with snazzy cut-outs. You are doing yourself a disservice…. teenagers with lithe, tanned bodies would come out of the change room regardless of the presence of a mirror, simply to squeal “isn’t this too cute?!” to their friends (note: I was too lazy to google a current slang word), whereas we (I’ve personalized this and am talking about anyone over 30) have more money….or at least more available on credit.

You need to know that I have chosen not to try something on more than once because of the lack of a private mirror. What if I want to see how body jewelry would look with my mom jeans??? KIDDING, ladies have you SEEN those things?! It’s like a bikini made out of metal….though I suppose nippons wouldn’t be a problem….but I digress. So what do you like more, trying to trick someone into spending money….or actual money?

So I am thinking that a punishment for your naughty ways would be for you to walk through your store in your underwear. And for some reason I am picturing you as an aging sleazeball, clutching onto your youth as tightly as you grasp your toupé on a windy day. I give you this image because I can’t imagine that a woman would do this to one of her own. If in fact you are a woman, I hope a tear has started to slowly roll down your cheek. I will pause for dramatic effect.

On a different note….yes, I likely shouldn’t be in your stupid store at all, maybe everything in stock IS too youthful for me, but I’m not willing to let go yet either dammit! My thirty-something brain still sees myself as someone just out on their “spare” before heading back to shove my shopping into my locker quickly to get to my English class on time….and sometimes I need a mirror to remind me that this is no longer my truth.

So please, let me decide on my own if the jumper gives me pancake butt or if the form fitting dress makes me look five months pregnant (I swear it looked flowy on the hanger) or if I can bend over without giving a show that can’t be unseen (I can never tell in these stores if they are shirts or dresses??….I think they are all dresses and my immediate reaction to roll my eyes at this again reminds me of my age). Or maybe I want to quickly shoot off a selfie to a friend for her opinion, someone who I can actually trust to simply say NOPE. Don’t worry I will call for your employee’s assistance when I get stuck in a not-true-to-size tank top which has no stretch because it is 100% polyester. Damn you and your cheap clothes!

P.S. I was able to push through my rage just enough to purchase five items….cut to me hanging my head in shame.



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