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Dressing Room Dilemmas: How to Get the Right Fit

The scene: You, the dressing room, high hopes for a fabulous new wardrobe, the floor littered with clothes that don't fit or don't look good, frustration, tears, discouragement... Nothing turns a fun day shopping into a nightmare faster than a bad dressing room experience. If this has happened to you, you know how frustrating it can be. Read on for tips on how to make shopping more productive and fun and amp up your look instantly!

Style Check

We get our style cues from other people, whether they're friends, celebrities, ads or people we see every day. We note our favorite looks and then head to the store to see if we can recreate them for ourselves. While it's a great way to start, one thing often gets lost -- body type. If you're petite and you are looking to tennis star Serena Williams for her fashion sense, you aren't going to get the same look from the same type of clothing. Same goes for tall girls who love Rachel Bilson's petite look or busty girls who admire long, lean Audrey Hepburn's classic style. You know your body type, whatever it is -- your best assets you want to play up and the assets you want to play down -- so check out the styles of icons, acquaintances or store catalog models with similar body types for your best looks.

Size Check

If you're a tween or teen reading this article, your body is growing and changing all the time, so your size and fit will continue to change for a while. If you're college age or older, aside from weight fluctuations, your size will stay about the same. If your size has changed recently, ask your mom, a friend or a salesperson to help measure you for your correct size. Some brands like Land's End have size charts like the one pictured here that will help. Check your favorite brand's website for sizing suggestions.

Lands End Junior Size ChartCourtesy of Lands End

Land's End provides the following guidelines on their website to determine if you are regular, petite, tall or plus size:

"Regular describes a well-proportioned body 5'4"-5'7" tall, with hips slightly larger than bust. Petite, at 4'11"-5'3" tall, is not only shorter but also proportioned smaller, scaled down in shoulder width and sleeve length. Tall, at 5'8"-6'0", accommodates long torsos. Body length increases 1 1/2" and sleeve length increases 1" from our Regular fit. Womens 16W-26W is proportioned to flatter full-figured women 5'4"-5'7" tall. Compared to our Size 16, Size 16W is 2" larger in the bust, waist and hip. Arm girths are larger. Shoulder widths are shorter."

The other issue when finding your size is that sizes vary by store and brand. S, M, L vs. Junior sizes 1,3,5 vs. Adult sizes 2,4,6, and the occasional 0,1,2 thrown in can really throw off your game. When you hit the store, seek out a salesperson who can help you find your fit. Often they can look you up and down and have a sense of what size you will be, but it helps if you can ask them to help you with your size using a reference point: "I usually wear a Medium in tops. Do your shirts run true to size?"

Fit Check

Once you get the clothes into the dressing room and (finally!) try them on, it's the moment of truth -- how does it look on? Remember that you'll have to kiss a lot of frogs (read: potentially unattractive clothes) to find your prince. In theory things may look great on the hanger (or on Shenae Grimes), but in the mirror, it may look less than perfect, but don't despair! Finding what doesn't work is just as important as finding what does. It will help you define your personal style and give you a sense of what will look good when you head back to the racks.

Check your look in the mirror as you try on clothes and think about what features you want to play down, and what you want to play up. Balance every negative with a positive — if you have a big bust you want to minimize, do you have lovely neckbones you admire? Hate your nose but love your sparkling eyes? Show yourself some love and for every part of you that you pick on, think of another asset to love. Keep these in mind when you put outfits together.

Looking great is all about balance, so if you want to move the eye away from one area, draw it toward another using detailing, cut, and pairing items that balance each other out. Try on whole outfits, even if you’re just buying the top or bottom and you have something to go with it at home to make sure the piece you are buying works well with what you’ll be pairing it with.

Checkout Check

Let's face it, even adults with their own credit cards need to keep an eye on the price tag, and you should, too. Know your budget before you go, and keep an eye on the price tags of the clothes you take into the dressing room. Keep the off-limits price tags out of your dressing room so you won't be tempted when you try on something that's way out of your league. Top budget shoppers like to start with the clearance racks first -- those items are marked down from full price, either because they are out of season (leave those alone), overstocked because the store bought too many, have a weird fit (leave those alone, too), or are for exactly right "now" because they're clearing the way for next season's clothes. This is a great way to shop for swim suits in the middle of summer, for example. For full-price items, keep your spending limit in mind and weigh your options before you head to the register. You shouldn't get any surprises when the cashier rings up your total bill.

Have Your Say

What's your biggest dressing room dilemma and how do you solve it? Share your thoughts here!

5 Comments

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Dear Dish-It in the forums

astucieuse331
astucieuse331 posted in Friends:
I've always felt the same way. My one best friend gossiped behind my back, used me, all that girl stuff. She took me for advantage and we had a bunch of fights because of her finding a new friend and completely acting as if I didn't exist, and I told her to give me at least some attention every once in a while if she can't even continue to talk to me daily. And.. I lost her. Well, she lost me. We both lost each other. But then I realized.. it's the people that you least expect to be nice to you you'll find kindness in. Why? Based on personal experience, and I'll tell you the story: For my gym class, me and my peers were supposed to make a group for a dance. This was when my best friend had found a new friend already, and the time at which we had a few fights because of that. Of course, I relied on my best friend to count me in her dance group. At lunchtime, I sat together with my best friend, and we ate our lunches in silence. All of a sudden, I brought up the dance groups and asked her straightforwardly: "Can I join your group?" No reply. "Kelly, can I join your group?" No reply. "I mean, since our class is uneven, I found it fair that there'd be a group of five, you know?" None at all. Kelly ignored me straight off the bat, leaving me speechless. My mind raced with thoughts, and I thought, maybe it's not worth having Kelly as a friend. A few days later, we were playing Dodgeball for gym. I was on Kelly's team, and overheard her talking with her new friends about who to pick for the dance group. One of her friends mentioned me, and Kelly said: "Oh no, we shouldn't pick her because _____ (I don't know what she said then)." I was shocked, but was anticipating it, so when the time came to choose groups, I saw my friend, Luke, ask two girls, Cher and Bridgette, to join their group. Surprisingly, Cher and Bridgette actually accepted him, and so I thought, "Wow, if they accepted Luke, they might accept me aswell!" and so built up the courage to ask them if I could join. Even though Cher and Bridgette were mean to me sometimes, I knew that I had to risk it and see what'd happen. Afterall, rejection is just another opportunity to find a better group. Little did I know, it'd be the best choice of my life. They were so happy, and even thanked me for joining them! I was speechless once more; I never knew that the peers that I thought I would never be friends with would actually be my friends!  So yeah, that's what I learnt, and I never regretted learning that fact. Ever since then, though, I've learnt not to trust people as much as I used to anymore. I learnt that independency is what works for me, what I was meant for in terms of socializing or working. But, other things may work for you. If you still want a friend, you can be independent and wait for the right person. However, if you still want a real friend, you can wait, but still mingle (hang out) with other people! I I'm not going to make fun of you because I know how you've felt, just as I stated in my past problem before. But you can move on from those friends, they're not worth your time and certainly don't deserve you as a friend. Trust me, if it's meant to be, you'll definitely find a true friend. But if it's not, you may become like me, finding happiness in my own way. I want to remind you though-- you don't need someone to stay happy, or keep you company. This may sound silly, but you can even have your own invisible friends! I've had one, but that's very rarely for me. It's not silly though if you see the general idea; usually these friends are made from different dimensions of your personality or just because of will. There's a lot more fish in the sea, though, so I'm sure you'll find a true friend that's meant for you  :) Take care, and I hope you'll find a true friend soon!
reply about 10 hours
ts01
ts01 posted in Friends:
im so sorry you girls feel that way.true friends are there, its just easier to find users because they are more plentiful. dont give up, you will find real friends eventually
reply about 11 hours
lolflowergirl
lolflowergirl posted in Friends:
i feel alone too
reply about 13 hours
kayme123
kayme123 posted in Friends:
i know the feeling. but i got taken off a website instead of my friends. i can assure you they probably feel the same and are missing you, BUT its not worth dwelling over it. friends come and go without any choice in life and trust me, i lost the love of my life and my two of the best friends in the world. The thing is, you have to move on, because they wouldent want you feeling sad over them right? they'd want you to be the happy person you were when you were with them! for starters, i'll be your friend so your not scared to make some new ones. To be honest, i went through the exact same thing as you did and it DOES hurt very bad. But once you find some people that are willing to make you feel better, you know you've chosen the right friends again
reply about 22 hours
Irene_love
Irene_love posted in Style:
"1.am.3m0" wrote:Hey. Im also turning 15 soon. So dont worry you arent alone hahah. Start dressing for your shape and also find whats comfortable.  Because if you wear something that is uncomfortable you wont be happy and happiness is the best look :) Most of the time I wear jeans with a graphic tshirt or singlet and a cardigan or light jacket. Hoodies are great for winter. And I wear combat boots like doc martins and converse. Hope I helped somehow! :)
reply about 23 hours

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