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Dressing Room Etiquette 101

Jeannie has been writing online for over 10 years. She covers a wide variety of topics - hobbies, opinions, dating advice, and more!


Dressing Room Basics

My, oh my, is it time for another etiquette hub? It seems like we should cover a very important topic: dressing room etiquette!

There comes a time in every person's life when they have to buy some clothes. Sadly, clothing companies are never consistent in sizing. I've had shirts that were the same shirt bought from the same store on the same day from the same shipment and STILL the sizes were different. Because of this, everyone needs to try on outfits before making their purchase. Sometimes you meet a person who is a little uptight about using the dressing rooms (and who can blame them?), so they take everything home to try it on, but since most of us hate the process of returning items, we try them on first. Let's discuss a little dressing room etiquette, shall we?

Don't Be So Lazy

Whenever you are trying on a number of clothes, not everything is going to be a winner.  Sadly, most items are not going to be great.  Guess what?  Take your stuff with you when you go.  Unless it is noted on the dressing room door, no one wants you to leave the items in the dressing room.  Even if the dressing room attendant does not want you to return the items to the floor yourself, she still wants you to at least be nice enough to hand the items to her.

Furthermore, if no one is guarding the dressing room, DO NOT leave clothes crumpled up on the floor.  Did you find them that way?  No, you did not.  Clean up the room after yourself.  Are you a small child?  Does mommy still clean up after you?  You know better and you should be ashamed.

Don't Get So Carried Away

You are typically only allowed to take about 6 items in the dressing room at a time.  If there is no dressing room attendant, this does mean you can get all carried away and take in 50 items.  Are you planning on living in there forever?  Even if no one is guarding the door and you view this as your big opportunity, please keep the numbers down to about a dozen items.  Other people do need to eventually use the room, too.

The Dressing Room is NOT a Bathroom

I shouldn't have to say this to adults.  I shouldn't have to say this at all.  However, I've worked in a number of clothing stores and, apparently, I do need to say this.  The dressing room is not a bathroom.  If you can't find the bathroom, ask someone.  If we don't have a public bathroom, then leave the store.  It is a very simple concept.  And what are you using as toilet paper in there?  I shudder to think!

It's Still Called Shoplifting Even if You're Wearing It

So you think you are very clever sneaking in the dressing room and putting on 5 pairs of panties and an extra shirt or two, then putting everything back on over top of that. Oh yes, so clever... and so dishonest and you're a total thief. Theft is not cute. It is not a prank. If your friends think it is funny or a good idea, you need new friends.

Do not go in the dressing room thinking you can steal everything easier that way. The sales associates are still watching you even if you do not realize it. Furthermore, if you walk into the dressing room with a bunch of panties and a flat butt, but you come out missing some items and looking like Kim Kardashian, we know you stole stuff. We are alerting security.

Before you steal clothes, just remember, jail is not fun. It never has been and it never will be.

Time for Checkout!

Now that you've learned as much dressing room etiquette as possible, I hope you make the dressing room experience better for yourself and everyone out there.  Dressing rooms do not have to be gross unless people make them that way.  Let's all start doing our part to keep dressing rooms clean and easy to use.

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Jeannie Marie (author) from Baltimore, MD on July 11, 2012:

You are so right! Kids are so annoying when they peek under the stall wall to say hi. No one wants to say hi when trying on clothes. Kids need to learn that at a young age. Thanks for mentioning that!

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Liz Elias from Oakley, CA on July 10, 2012:

I've got another one for you--if you are using a dressing room with your kids in tow, PLEASE teach them it is not cute, funny or polite to crawl on the floor and peek under the wall into the next door stall. It is simply not the done thing.

Gee--I'm sorry your brat got a bloody nose because my foot slipped.....

Jeannie Marie (author) from Baltimore, MD on April 16, 2011:

Yes, the dressing room is a scary place! You wouldn't think anyone would dare use it as a bathroom, but it happens. Ah, the things you learn working in retail.

Thanks for the comment!

cheerfulnuts from Manila, Philippines on April 15, 2011:

I didn't know that there are people who use dressing rooms as bathroom. If they get caught, that would really be embarrassing! I heard in the news several months ago that there were some male staffs who hid their cellphones inside the dressing rooms to capture videos of women changing clothes. That was sick and scary. Dressing rooms can be a scary place sometimes, both to staffs and customers.

Jeannie Marie (author) from Baltimore, MD on March 27, 2011:

Yes, it is disgusting indeed. Then there is always the problem of who cleans it up. Ewww! What is wrong with people? Thank you for backing me up on this one. I think some people are skeptical that this really happends. I guess maybe it is just denial.

Jeanastra on March 27, 2011:

More good advice! As a former manager at Macy's in downtown Boston, I can attest to the fact that some sickos will use the dressing room as a bathroom. This of course, leads to shutting down the entire bank of fitting rooms due to health code violations and makes it that much more frustrating for shoppers and employees alike. Gross!!!!

Jeannie Marie (author) from Baltimore, MD on March 27, 2011:

Did you have to hold her purse, too? You have my sympathy if you did. Usually there is a special "hubby chair" designated for husbands and boyfriends in that situation. If not, everyone going into the dressing rooms typically knows why you are there. As a matter of fact, sometimes other women will take advantage of the opportunity to ask the man sitting there for a man's opinion on the outfit. That must be awkward. Sorry to all the men out there that sit by dressing rooms suffering through this.

UltimateMovieRankings from Virginia on March 26, 2011:

Excellent what is the proper etiquette for us guys while we wait for our wives to come out....I ask this ...because today...I was waiting long periods of time outside dressing room areas ....for my wife to show me all the clothes she was trying on....while my wife was dressing and I was alone....I got looks like....why is this guy hanging around the dressing rooms....please

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