Ever left a store feeling surprised by what you bought? It happens. The retail store, especially fitting rooms, are designed to invite you in and influence your purchase. Did you really look that much better in the fitting room than when you tried it on again at home? It’s the magic of retail experience design.
You may not be aware of this before but the details in the fitting room–from the lighting and the temperature to the volume of the music and the fragrance in the room, has been designed to improve your sensorial experience in the store. Let’s dive into some common tactics retailers use to influence spending and what you can do to avoid buyer’s remorse.
1. Strategic Lighting
It’s a fact. In most stores, fitting rooms are staged with better lighting and mirrors than the sales floor. This shouldn’t dissuade you from trying out outfits in the store, but you should definitely be aware of how and what kind of light is being dispersed to flatter your body so you can avoid making purchases you’ll regret later.
Strong overhead lighting will cast strong unflattering shadows so many stores have now added vertical lights along both sides of a mirror to make you look evenly lit and slimmer. It fills in any unflattering shadow with soft, even lighting. Some lighting displays are so well-placed that it makes your skin glow and look air-brushed! Cue that mirror-selfie!
2. Angled Mirrors
We have all heard about the skinny mirror that makes you look instantly slimmer with clever angles and use of light. While you can’t control or change how a fitting room experience is designed, you should be aware of the mirror was angled to make you look slimmer or flushed to the wall and neutral before you make that buy. Be a savvier shopper when you know how lighting and mirrors flatter your body in a store.
3. Curtain vs Door
Noticed that some retailers use a curtain rather than a full door in the fitting rooms? Don’t be alarmed. It’s a matter of decision-making speed.
With a curtain-covered space, there is a heightened level of anxiety and vulnerability wondering if someone might walk in on you while changing, which can then prompt fast decision (impulsive shopping, much?) and less line-hogging.
On the contrary, in a private fitting room with a door, you feel naturally at ease and this gives you time and space to try on clothes, send text messages and deliberate on the outfits.
While we can’t say all the fitting rooms are bad, here’s how you can avoid having regrets about purchases you thought you’d love when trying them on in the fitting room.
Tip #1: Get a friend. It’s really much easier with a second opinion that’s not from a salesperson.
Tip #2: Try full outfits. Looking to buy a skirt? Try it with a complete outfit that you can see yourself pairing that skirt with. Even better if you’re trying them with your heels on–like you’d would if you bought that ensemble.
Tip #3: Avoid trying clothes on after a meal. That food baby doesn’t help make that decision easier.
Tip #4: Get mathematical about it. Trust your measurements and know your proportions. Find pieces that don’t pinch or sag at any angle.
Tip #5: Know your body. Don’t make it difficult on yourself by trying styles that don’t flatter your body shape and find yourself looking at the exchange & returns policy. Learn about your body shape and which silhouettes fit before you shop.
While you can shop smart and make good style decisions, why not shop without the anxiety of ill-fitting clothes or the commitment of a purchase? Unlock unlimited styles to try without worrying about the incremental cost.
Rely on Style Theory‘s fit score recommendations to try styles you always wanted to try (but never thought to buy) and expand your style’s horizons!