Revelle Blog

The Fitting Room: My Least Favorite Place on Earth

September 20, 2020

Ola Weber
Ola Weber

3 min read

That tiny room. That seemingly massive mirror that is staring you down. Those LED lights that highlight every bump and indent on your body.

You stand awkwardly in the middle of that dreaded room and hang your clothes up on the rack. You’re so excited because you’re convinced those jeans are going to perfectly compliment your legs, and you know that shirt is the exact cut you’ve been looking for.

If the jeans fit the way you imagine, you know you’ll sashay out of that tiny room with your head held high, hair flowing behind you, elated about your new purchase. But more realistically, you know that it’s more likely that they don’t fit exactly the way you want them to, and you’ll be propelled down a vortex of disappointment, depression, and self-loathing. Let’s face it, we’ve all been there — far too often. 

And the feeling is, well, suckish.

I’m 5’11, so from a very young age I was painfully aware that my body was different from just about everyone else I saw – both girls and boys! When my friends invited me to the mall, I always had the image of that dreaded fitting room lingering in the back of my mind. I often wondered if I was the only one who hated those rooms and the way they made me feel.

Did no one else cringe at the thought of having to put on a little “show” for the “audience” of people waiting for you on the other side of the curtain? Did no one else tremble when you inevitably had to take that walk of shame back to the rack to swap out the pair of jeans you just tried on for a size (or two) up?

I had to be missing something….right?

Foto – Pexels
Foto – Unsplash

Recently, I’ve been giving a lot more thought to the whole fitting room-customer dynamic. Major brands have taken great strides to make women feel more welcomed in the dressing room — from quotes to aesthetically pleasing rooms, it’s obvious that they’re trying to make the atmosphere less intimidating. But, honestly, no amount of ‘body positivity’ messaging is going to make me feel comfortable when I walk into that cold, sterile room. The mirror telling me “you look hot!” or “that was made for you” just feels like an artificial attempt to assuage the brand’s own guilty conscience.

Although we might not always realize it, the relationship we have with clothing is a very intimate one, filled with sensitivity, insecurity, and vulnerability. Clothing can, in many ways, be like those middle schoolers who seem to have an uncanny ability to sniff out your biggest insecurity on the first day of class and hit you right where it hurts. Think about it, when a pair of pants don’t fit you or a shirt is just a little too tight around your arms, you almost feel as if your clothes are rejecting you. Why do we take it so personally?

Well, I have my theories. But ultimately, I believe it boils down to how we feel about our bodies and the expectations we’ve set for what an “acceptable” look is for our body shape. When we find something that “fits like a glove” we feel “understood” by our clothing, like we finally got it right. We seek validation through outfits that our bodies are “normal” — that the person designing that pair of jeans did it with YOUR body in mind. And honestly that feeling, in the moment, is an incredible rush. But the faster we realize that brands themselves have inconsistent sizing, the sooner we can throw away those deeply ingrained insecurities that they themselves taught us, and stop seeking out that supposed “perfect fit” from brands that were never made to suit our bodies in the first place. As we abandon these preconceptions, we can also start to change the way we view that dreaded fitting room. Figure out what makes you feel the most confident, and don’t let one tiny room take it away from you.

Maturity comes with age, and I think my relationship with clothing is slowly becoming a healthier one. Yes, it’s about knowing my own body and the clothing I feel compliments me, but it’s also about understanding why I react the way that I do in certain situations. I wish I could go back and tell my 12-year-old self that the fitting room is nothing to be afraid of, and in fact it can tell you a lot about your relationship with yourself and with clothing. So, embrace the vulnerability. Use it to better understand the intimacy of your relationship with clothing. And know you’re not alone as you try to navigate the complexities of that relationship.

show comments on this post (2)

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

  1. Avatar

    You nailed it, Alexandra. The dressing room has always the “dreaded room. “ I know many people feel the same way. Your thoughts are so insightful. You give us something to think about regarding our self esteem. Thank you and keep these positive thoughts coming.

You may also like

10 Best Jeans For Pear-Shaped Women (and why we hate that phrase)

7 Things The Revelle HQ Is Buzzing About This Month [October]

12 Ways To Style Ripped Jeans

5 Ways To Style Light-Wash Denim

How to Distress Your Jeans: A Step-By-Step Guide

10 Of Our Favorite White Wide Leg Jeans

5 Ways To Stretch Out Your Jeans

7 Things The Revelle HQ Is Buzzing About This Month [September]

10 High-Waisted Wide Leg Jeans We L-O-V-E

8 Tips For Styling Mom Jeans

10 Black Jeans We’re Loving Right Now

6 Best Jeans For Women With Big Butts

Q&A With Revelle’s Social Lead (& Thrift Shopping Guru), Katie Paganelli

On Career Shifts & Building Confidence With Storytelling Coach Carolyn Stine

17 Flattering Blue Jeans For Women In Various Styles & Washes

8 Best Bootcut Jeans For Women

7 Things The Revelle HQ Is Buzzing About This Month [August]

12 Of Our Top Plus-Size Jeans For Women

Q&A With Revelle’s Product Lead (& Classically Trained Actor), Brianne Wilson

12 Best Maternity Jeans On The Market Right Now

How To Wear Ankle Boots With Jeans (+10 of our favorite pairs)

This Is What The Small Pocket On Jeans Is *Actually* For

17 Most Comfortable Jeans In Our Closet

8 Ways To Tell If Your Jeans Fit Properly When You Try Them On

Around The World In Jeans: The Best International Denim Brands (& Styles) By Country

7 Things The Revelle HQ Is Buzzing About This Month [July]

10 Classic Straight Leg Jeans For Women

Representation Should Never Be “Revolutionary”

8 High-Waisted Ripped Jeans We Love

16 Best Jeans Under $100

12 Movies Starring Strong Female Leads

7 Cream-Colored Jeans We’re *Swooning* Over

21 Tweets That Perfectly Encapsulate Our *Complicated* Relationship With Jeans

12 Cropped Jeans We’re LOVING This Summer

7 Things The Revelle HQ Is Buzzing About This Month [June]

The Best Women’s Jeans On Sale Right Now [Updated 6/10]

8 Animal Print Jeans That’ll Spice Up Your Wardrobe Big Time

Discover The Fascinating History Of Women’s Jeans In The U.S.

22 Best Skinny Jeans For Women

Q&A With Social Intern (& Model, & Owner Of A Clothing Line) Madison Whittaker

15 Best Mom Jeans (2021)

8 Best Butt-Shaping Jeans

3 Revelle Updates To Get Excited About

7 Of The Best Travel Jeans For Women

7 Things The Revelle HQ Is Buzzing About This Month [May]

How To Fold Jeans: A Step-By-Step Guide

Q&A With Imani Ribadeneyra, The Marathon-Running, Social Media Maven Behind Revelle

Please Don’t Conflate A Pandemic With A “Creative Retreat”

How To Wear Jeans To Work & Still Look Professional

10 Tips For Buying Jeans Online That Fit (The First Time)

Model-Turned-Poet Ngozi Kemjika Opens Up About Her Self-Love Journey

8 Feminist Podcasts On Gender, Inclusivity, & Body Positivity

10 Best Jeans For Women With Strong, Athletic Thighs & Calves

7 Things The Revelle HQ Is Buzzing About This Month [April]

How To Pull Off The Classic Jean-on-Jean Look

10 Best Tummy-Control Jeans

Cutting Through The Oversimplified Archetype Of “The Parisian Woman”

Q&A With JoAnna Hartzmark, Founder & CEO Of Revelle

How To Properly Wash And Dry Your Jeans

12 Books With Strong Female Characters

12 Best Jeans For Petite Women

7 Things The Revelle HQ Is Buzzing About This Month [March]

Yes, You Can Wear White Jeans In Winter. Here’s How.

Q&A With Samantha Guidoin, Revelle’s Paris-Born, Florida-Bred Graphic Designer

7 Types Of Jeans For Women: A Complete Guide

Navigating Pandemic Pressures Around Weight & Body Image

TikTok Doesn’t Have to be Toxic

The Fitting Room: My Least Favorite Place on Earth

6 Best Jeans For Tall Women

Best Brands for…Small Waists and Big Hips

You Can’t Sit With Us

What’s Your Size?

Does Size Matter?

The Origin Of The Size Chart

Living Life To The Fullest

How To Waste A Life

Clothes Case: Bodysuits

What Our Closets Say About Us (Behind Our Backs, Of Course)

Would You Like To Try A Size Up?

Where Do Brands Get Their Size Charts In The First Place?

Greetings from Revelle

show comments on this post (0)

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.