Does anyone in the world actually enjoy trying on clothes? Because, quite frankly, I really, really don’t.
I’ve always been the girl who drags her feet towards the changing rooms, full of dread and wondering if she should just buy the item anyway then return it if it looks horrible. The artificial lighting that seems to highlight every bump is blinding, the clothes that once seemed so appealing now don’t look quite so good in your arms. Oh, and now that we’re in Australia, the changing rooms are about a million degrees.
There’s no other way of looking at it – trying on clothes is a confidence nightmare.
I used to cut my shopping trips short if nothing fit or looked right. I’d spend the rest of my day under a cloud of insecurity, snappy and tetchy with anyone who tried to make me feel even slightly better about what went on between me, the curtain and the mirror.
Recently, I’ve done something that has changed that completely.
I’ve started trying on clothes that I would never usually try on before. I figured if the clothes I think I love don’t suit me, then the chances of the ones I think I could never get away with suiting me might be higher. Sometimes the results are hilarious (see below), sometimes taking this chance works out surprisingly well.
The thing I’ve learnt from just trying anything and everything on is that I am not the problem. Some cuts aren’t meant for my body and that’s fine. Some shops seem to cater to someone with smaller breasts than me. Sometimes I’m not tall enough, sometimes I’m too tall. Again, all fine. Some seasons styles don’t suit me, some colours don’t, some materials definitely don’t… but that’s okay. There are so many different shapes and sizes and heights in this world. Finding something that fits me, that suits me just right, was never going to be easy. As soon as I realised that, my fear seemed to subside just a little.
A changing room isn’t something to fear. It’s a box – and a tiny one at that – with a mirror. Yes, the lighting is always, always terrible, but nowhere else in the entire world is as poorly lit as a fitting room. That in itself is a comfort.
My advice to any cautious shopper lacking in confidence would be to try anything on. Seriously – that jumpsuit that’s clearly for someone over six foot? Give it a go! That dress with a tutu skirt? Why not?! That 70s wallpaper jumpsuit? Work it!
As soon as we start looking at clothes as the fun, enhancement of ourselves and not something to conceal, to hide behind, the better our shopping experiences will be. And, believe it or not, the better our self confidence will be, too!