There is nothing more brutal than a fitting room. I would gladly face monsters, ghosts, wild animals, and psychopathic serial killers as long as none of them made me try on clothes (especially pants) in a fitting room. The last time I was in a fitting room it was like a self-esteem bloodbath. My confidence and sassiness got blown to hell by florescent lights, rude retail associates, and pants that I swear to Athena were sized incorrectly.
What fitting room could possibly cause such a gaping wound? The fitting room at Madewell. It was my first time in the store and I had gone there on the recommendation of several girls I know personally and thousands of bloggers. All of these trusted sources had sung the praises of Madewell jeans and I foolishly followed them right into the gator’s mouth as they say. I entered the store and was greeted by a size -1 who looked like a runway model and spoke like a valley girl. She was nice. She pointed me in the direction of the jeans I sought and left me to browse on my own. She was exactly what I like in a retail associate. She was polite but not overbearing. So far, I was a Madewell fan. I grabbed several different pairs and styles of jeans in my size, which is 8, and headed to the fitting room. I felt naively confident as I shut the curtain behind me and began to try on the jeans. The first pair felt more like a size 4 instead of an 8- I couldn’t get them buttoned. The fitting room had fired the first shots and I was wounded. Before I could try on the second pair of jeans, I had already decided that my skin was gross, my hair color was ugly, and that I needed to begin dieting immediately. Somehow, I managed to carry on and try on the second pair of jeans. These were even worse than the first pair. I couldn’t get them over my hips. At this point, I felt like complete and utter shit. Especially because I am always, always a size 8, except when I shop at Anthropologie where I am a size 6. So, it was entirely disheartening for me to not be able to fit in my “sure-thing” size. After four more pairs of jeans with the same heart-stabbing results, I decided I couldn’t take any more and cried the proverbial “uncle”. As I left the fitting room, the polite and pretty retail associate who had greeted me at the door asked if any of the jeans worked and I told her they hadn’t. Then she said this, “Yeah, we don’t really make jeans for women your size. The jeans you tried on are as large as we go.” Bitch said what?! I couldn’t believe it. First of all, I hadn’t said they were too small, I just said they didn’t work, why did she have to assume they were too small. And second of all, how dare she try and body snark me!? I’m not even trying to shop at a store that tells me my healthy body weight is “too large” for their clothing.
Since the Madewell incident I’ve been on a fitting room boycott. And yes, I know not every store and retail associate will treat me that way but I’m also not going to put myself in the position of being treated that way again. So, instead, I buy several pairs of pants, take them home, try them on under my excellent lighting, and then return the ones that didn’t work out for me. Sure, it’s an extra trip but it’s made shopping for pants infinitely better. It’s going to be quite a while before I put myself back on the fitting room battlefield, for now, consider me a conscientious clothing objector.