herald

Wednesday 18 October 2017

We don't want fake flattery, just some properly-sized clothes

It happened to me last week - changing room rage.

I had managed to get the dress over my head and shoulders before realising that it would not travel any further.

Within ten seconds I had become a parody of the girl who has to indulge in Houdini-esque contortions in order to escape from the clutches of a wrongly-sized garment.

By the time I emerged from the changing room; red-faced, panting and looking like I had gone ten rounds with Arnie, I was thinking favourably of the benefits of moving to Saudi Arabia, where I would never have to leave the house again without donning a nice big burka.

Is there anything worse that trying 
on clothes in store changing rooms? I doubt it. On the rare occasion I ignore the memories of past attempts and head into a cubicle with a pile of clothes I can be sure of one of two results.

The first is that the dress or top that seemed so pretty on the hanger makes me look like a stunted, fat, frumpy bag of potatoes.

In a tiny, hot cubicle - which helpfully has mirrors both front and back to let me see exactly how big my bum looks - I 
realise that red is not my colour and that I am too old for cleavage skimming tops.

As an extra bonus I also get to see every grotesque bump and piece of blubber that my old black sweater had hidden so cleverly.

Cellulite, red veins, badly shaved legs. Oh dear God girl, cover up before someone sneaks a picture through the badly fitting curtains and puts it on the internet!

The other result occurs when I optimistically choose a dress that I suspect may not be my style, but you know, I'm feeling lucky today.

And what's this? In the mirror peering back at me is a vision in pink. Suddenly I am taller, thinner, my waist is smaller and my skin looks brighter.

What an amazing outfit. I'm tempted to buy three in different colours. But when I get back home and try it on again in front of my own mirror, what do I see? Yep, you've guessed it; that gorgeous vision has vanished mysteriously and in her place is a stunted, fat, frumpy bag of potatoes with a red face.

Once again I realise that I have fallen for the concave flattering mirror trick.

All of us have our own "changing room experience from hell" story which is probably why a reported 75pc of us now prefer to just buy the damn dress, try it on at home and return it the next day if it doesn't suit.

However, a store in London has 
come up with just the thing to make 
trying on clothes a much more pleasurable experience for us poor neurotic 
women.

The shop Yours (whose current 
model is gorgeous Hayley Hasselhoff) has installed interactive changing rooms that compliment shoppers on their choices and sends them "supportive" messages while they try on clothes.

I'm not joking. Comments like "Wow, you look amazing" will be trilled at you by a robotic female voice as you wrestle 
with a top that surely must be sized wrongly.

And while you lie on the ground desperately trying to pull up the zip of those skinny jeans you will be surrounded by cards that say "you look lovely today", and you're gorgeous".

This, seemingly, is what we poor, 
pathetic, compliment-needy women want when we try clothes on - a disembodied voice reporting to the world what we look like when we've stripped down to our M&S undies.

It all sounds distinctly pervy as well as downright patronising.

Fake flattery isn't going to make women feel better about trying on clothes in public changing rooms. Well made and properly-sized clothes will.

Suits you Madame? No, it bloody well doesn't!

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