German vs. US fitting room nightmares

Fit matters for great style

Worldwide, clothes shopping needs fitting rooms. A simple principle of a room to try on a potential item. Straight forward, one could think. (Wo)man, it’s not that easy! Here are two examples of how vendors tackle the task and create (wo)men’s fitting room nightmares.

Fit matters for great style, but fitting rooms are often not helpful to find the right fit. Click To Tweet

German fitting rooms

In Germany, for instance, fitting rooms are often as small as a restroom at Mc Donald’s. You can barely turn around, testing a skirt sitting, moving, etc. is close to impossible, or at least difficult. Usually, these stalls have a stool, at least that fits somehow. 😉

A slimming mirror that makes everyone look great and tanned serves a salesman. The one hook on the wall can either hold your own or their clothes! You choose. A long curtain serves to give privacy, but its width is too small to actually close the view to all angles.

Ask a sales person to take photos on your phone. Evaluate all angles before buying a piece of clothes. #dress4success #fitmatters Click To Tweet

In large apparel houses covering a low to medium price range, the fitting rooms may be in a separate area of the store, blocked by a mid-age (!) sales person who will hand you a card in different colors. They indicate how many items you take into the fitting room. Often the maximum is three. You become an unpaid employee of the store; you have to hang the items back on the rack that don’t make your cut. Sounds like punishment for not buying them – at least, when you hear this as an American customer.

#fashionover50 woman in well fitting work outfit
I.N.C. chocolate brown leather pants with knitwit cashmere sweater, Hermes collier de chien bangle, layering top, statement necklace and Clarks booties (all own)

The nightmare besides the lying mirror and tight space: You have to decide whether you try the item in three sizes or three different items in the size you think that may fit. You will have to fully dress again to get another size or item depending on the initial choice, and undress again. Well, a nice exercise to burn off calories. 😉

Always try out typical movements you will make in your daily routine before buying the clothes to make sure the clothes fit and perform well. #styletip Click To Tweet

Fitting rooms in the US

Space is no issue and fitting rooms have a large bench, many hooks, and (lying) mirror inside. The fitting rooms have a door that you can lock from the inside and you can bring as many items inside as you can carry. Paradise – German fashionistas and fashionisters may think! Forget it!

The nightmare? The many hooks are overloaded with the rejects of the person who used the room before. Customers are not supposed to hang unwanted items back on the racks. In big stores, the fitting rooms are often locked like a safe. You will have to hunt down a salesperson who has a key. The door will snap locked when you leave the room like to ensure that you cannot get a second opinion from a trusted person on the fit, flattering, etc.

Hang a hanger over the handle so the fitting room door won't snap and lock you out when asking someone for a second opinion. #shoppingtip Click To Tweet

Online shopping can be a solution

None of the items in today’s outfit has ever seen a fitting room. They were all online purchases. Online shopping allows trying out clothes at home. However, you must check that they offer free shipping and free return within a certain amount of time. Otherwise you may end up with clothes that won’t fit, and/or have to pay huge shipping costs without having a new well fitting piece of clothes.

When shopping online, read the size chart for right fit, shipping and return policies. Look for free shipping and free return. #shoppingtip Click To Tweet Learn to shop online, when you hate fitting rooms. #shoppingtip Click To Tweet

What I wore today

In this outfit, I wanted a color coordinated work look and went for leather pants and a V-neck animal print sweater. I added interest with the layering top and statement necklace. The monochromatic outfit works because of the different textures and materials.

#over50fashion woman in winter office look
Side view of above outfit of INC leather pants with knitwit sweater, Hermes collier de chien bangle, Festina watch, Clarks booties, layering top and statement necklace (all own)

For the commute, I added my motorcycle shearling jacket which made it a leather-on-leather look. It works because of the different shades of brown and the different structure of the leather of the pants and jacket. Do you wear leather-on-leather? How do you style it?

#over50fashion woman in outerwear featuring leather on leather
Andrew Marc shearling motorcycle jacket with INC leather pants, 3.1 Philip Lim bag, Ray Ban sunglasses,  and Clarks booties (all own)

You can find further inspirations on styling leather pants office appropriately, wearing a long leather skirt, and how to work the leather on leather trend over 40 at these link.

When you are interested in reviews of the newest trends, and fashion and how to turn them into personal style, to look to your best in midlife, subscribe to High Latitude Style. Deep inside you know when I can do it, you can do it too.

Photos: G. Kramm

© 2013-2018 Nicole Mölders | All rights reserved

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