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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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Do You Wanna Change Your Body?

  • No way! I love the way I look.
  • I'd like to change a couple things about my body.
  • I've thought about it but for the most part I like my body.
  • Yeah, I hate my appearance.

Dear Dish-It In The Forums

rainbowpoptart
Yes, purely for the fact that you should not "hate" your sister (or anyone, for that matter).  I'm guessing by "get in trouble for her", you mean she does something wrong and the blame is all put on you? Yeah, little siblings tend to do that a lot. My brother did for the longest time, until my parents found out how much a liar he is. She, hopefully, will grow out of this eventually. Either that, or your parent[s]/guardian[s] will eventually see through her. You lose your friends to her? By this do you mean your friends want to hang out with her and they want you to tag along and you don't? Or do you mean your friends chose your sister over you? If it's the latter, then perhaps you shouldn't have ever referred to those people as friends. You'll find friends who'll prefer you over your sister, I'm sure of it. The only thing I can tell you to do is try to get along with your sister. Every group of siblings has their cats and dogs moment in life, but they grow out of it (most of the time; there are, of course, circumstances where it doesn't work out that way). Please be grateful for your sister, even if you two fight a lot. You never know how much you need something until it's gone.
reply about 10 hours
liddielover
i hate my little sister because i get introuble for her and lose my friends to her.is that wrong?
reply about 11 hours
skylar245
skylar245 posted in Friends:
"rainbowpoptart" wrote: "skylar245" wrote: Teacher said to wait for the Bus Driver and the counselor, she just talks to me and doesn't tell The Princible Then maybe try telling the principal yourself, and you should also report that the driver, teacher, and counselor haven't done anything to help you. If that fails, tell another trusted adult, like your mother. I'm sure someone you're close to would do their best to get justice. This is a major problem and it's a shame no one's done anything to help. ​No one listens to me anyway but my friends
reply 2 days
rainbowpoptart
rainbowpoptart posted in Friends:
"skylar245" wrote:Teacher said to wait for the Bus Driver and the counselor, she just talks to me and doesn't tell The Princible Then maybe try telling the principal yourself, and you should also report that the driver, teacher, and counselor haven't done anything to help you. If that fails, tell another trusted adult, like your mother. I'm sure someone you're close to would do their best to get justice. This is a major problem and it's a shame no one's done anything to help.
reply 2 days
skylar245
skylar245 posted in Friends:
"rainbowpoptart" wrote: "skylar245" wrote: My bus driver does NOTHING about it EVEN IF HE SEE'S IT! he only wrote the two girls up but not the girl that hit me Then report them to a teacher or the school counselor. Behaviour like that is not acceptable in the slightest. ​Teacher said to wait for the Bus Driver and the counselor, she just talks to me and doesn't tell The Princible
reply 2 days