Wasted money on clothes that don't fit once you're home? Here's why that happens
It's what you're doing – or not doing – when you're trying on clothes. Become a smarter shopper by following these changing room hacks.
To most people, trying on clothes is a simple, straightforward task – and it should be, provided you know exactly how to check a garment’s fit to ensure your money's not being squandered.
There’s nothing wrong if your main aim is to get in and out of the fitting room in five minutes flat but it certainly pays to do a few more essential checks while you’re in there.
Don’t just assess the fit of the clothes while you’re standing still, because, well, we don’t stand still all day long. All too often, we forget that our clothing needs to accommodate our movements so that they’re functional and comfortable while being able to fulfil our aesthetic requirements too. You don't want your shirt button to pop when you sit down, do you?
Here are a few moves you can use to get the most accurate feel of the fit a garment will give you.
Twist around and walk about (go outside the room if you need more space) – this will give you a better idea of how the clothes will fit and move as you’re going about your day.
You'll also get to use the mirrors out there in the aisle, which are likely to be bigger and will provide you with a clearer view. Doing that allows you to check out how the outfit looks in a different lighting, too.
While you’re at it, look out for another clothing peeve: Fabrics that make a lot of noise when they rub together as you’re walking. Nobody needs to hear you before they see you.
The stool in the fitting room isn’t just meant for your bags – it comes in useful for checking how clothing fits too. Many types of garments seem to fit okay while you are standing but suddenly feel like a boa constrictor around your torso the moment you take a seat.
Sit down to properly check the fit of clothes like high-waist pants and skirts (if the high waist moves any higher), tight skirts (to see how high it rides up), fitted button-down shirts (check if the fabric puckering isn’t borderline indecent) and figure-hugging dresses (if anything is spilling out – arm pits, back fat and muffin top).
Remember when Lululemon recalled its too-sheer yoga pants some time ago? Well, we’ve seen women wearing (unknowingly, we hope) translucent workout tights by other brands too. Give yoga pants the bend-over test in the fitting room – touch your toes, do some squats – and see if your bum or underwear is showing through.
Don’t ever buy a fitted jacket or shirt without doing this classic test for a good shoulder fit. You might like how a snug fit looks on you while you are standing still, but move your arms about and you could risk bursting a seam.
Blazers and shirts are typically made out of fabrics with not much give – so if you can wrap your arms around yourself while wearing them, they should provide enough room for you to move about comfortably.
When trying on a bra, that is. Make sure the underwire is properly under the boobs and flat against your torso, then lean forward so that the girls are fully settled in the cups. This allows for the most accurate fit since all the bits around your bust (flesh around the back and under the arms) that can affect your bra size are accounted for within the cups.
Wear a lightweight top over the bra to check for a seamless fit. If the bra puckers or shows through the blouse then you’re better off without it.
While we're at it, always remember to road-testing a low-cut neckline by bending forward and then peering down at yourself. If everything is out on display and doesn’t pass the decency test then it probably isn’t a good idea.