over50feeling40: Behind "Dressing Room" Doors
Fashion and Lifestyle Blog for women over 50 to help achieve strength, confidence, joy, inspiration, and, of course, head-turning personal style!

Jun 25, 2011

Behind "Dressing Room" Doors

I’m going to be a nosy neighbor! I want to know everything….I want to go where usually only you go…into the privacy of the dressing room!!

No, I don’t want pictures…I just want to know what you are thinking when you get there. What thoughts are really happening when you first look in the mirror….

Do you tend to have negative thoughts first? (I’ll try this, but there is no way it will look good on me)

Do you tend to have hopeful thoughts first? (I hope this works…it’s really cute on the hangar)

Do you blame your body or the clothes if something doesn’t look good on you?

Is there anyone out there who takes items home without trying them on at the store?

Are you typically shopping in a rush or do you allow time to shop?

Do any of you make the clothes you like work by having them tailored? How do you decide to tailor an outfit in the dressing room?

I left this one behind...I will tell
you why later!

(I know I am bombarding you…but stick with me…please!) When you first walk into that dressing room, what are you really looking for? Be honest…are your first thoughts to look youthful….to look hot….to look skinny….what is going on in the mind?

I am on a quest this summer…not to get in your dressing room, but to help you once you get there!! In order to really be of assistance, I need to understand where you are…what you are processing? Gigi has patiently listened to what I am up to and she says I am on to something…so I hope we will discover some new style territory together!!

First time, in a long time
I have worn black on black!
I like it!  I really like
the neckline on this blouse
from Marshall's
Bag: Target
Shoes: Stein Mart

Now, who would like to open the door, invite us in and get the conversation going?????


  1. I only buy clothes that call me out, and we fall in love with each other.

  2. I like shopping too much to let my body image get me down in a dressing room!

    When I'm in a dressing room then I'm out to see if the item works with my body -- not to get depressed over the state of my body.

    That said, flattering lighting and a mirror that lets me see several views is a big plus. The Macy's at my local mall is a disaster, everything is a mess, the selection is limited. But I often buy things there because the dressing rooms (when they aren't full of clothes) are big, the lights are good, and they have 3-part mirrors. If I find something to buy there the dressing room helps sell the item because I can get a good idea of how it will work for me.

  3. Pam, I used to hate dressing rooms. I was stuck on a size and refused to go up and it was depressing. I used to think, "Why is it so easy for everyone else?" And it's because they would just look for what fit and didn't worry about a size tag. I'm much happier shopping and in a dressing room now. If it's too small and I love it, "I think, 'Myeh. I'll find something else fabulous!" If it's too big and I love it, I ask myself if I can take it up. But I don't mentally high five myself anymore when something is big. It's clothes. They're all different and there's no standard Size 6 or 10. I just listed a skirt on ebay yesterday that was a size 2 with a 28" waist. I've got another skirt that's a size 8 with a 30" waist. That's NOT alot of difference. We make ourselves crazy if we pay too much attention to sizes. I have gotten more of the mindset of Sacramento....there are some clothes I'm just drawn to. I wait for that! Can't wait to see where you're going with this! You are gorgeous in black girly!! ~Serene

  4. It all depends on the day for me. Sometimes everything looks great, other days I am middle aged, overweight and frustrated. xo

  5. I am trying really hard not to beat myself up in dressing rooms, but I haven't been to successful lately. I think it is easier when you are thin versus really overweight. Clothes look much better on a size 8 than a size 18W. How do you convince yourself that you look good at any size? I wish someone could give me the magic answer.

  6. First of all, I love your style. You always look fashionable! Anyhow, when I first enter the dressing room, I am excited! Excited to see how I will make an outfit, how I will bring the clothing alive, and what it will do to my figure! I must say though, that everytime I look in the mirror, I make a mental note of how I need to increase the workouts and decrease the junk food, lol. But it's nothing extreme. I do buy many things without trying them on and they always work out when I finally get home to try them. I rarely have to take anything back to the store. I know my body and what looks good on me and I know how to make things work. Shopping is an amazing experience for me, pretty much everytime. I love to do it and I love clothing. I try to buy very age appropriate clothing with a twist. I love to stand out and look different than what I know everyone else will, even if it's the most casual of outfits. Okay, I will stop there because I can go on and on about shopping! :-)

  7. I'd just like to find clothes that look good on my body. I'm usually hopeful when i try on clothes, but if the first couple of things don't look good, I get disgusted and quit.

  8. I think I go in with a hopeful, optimistic attitude. What I look for are items that make me smile and say, "Yes!" I try not to settle for anything else, though sometimes I have to. Oddly, I don't think I beat myself up if things don't look right. I guess that because I usually blame the clothes rather than myself! It's like there's a convenient scapegoat to hang the blame on, rather than myself.

  9. Oh No!
    I didn't hit 'send"!!!!!!!!!!

    Just a funny re:the mall, if there's shopping involved i'm there ;)

    I answered all the questions too so a re-cap...

    I usually don't do the fitting room (i do the thrift-store by-the-rack try on)
    When I do look in the mirror, my gaze immediately goes to my face, and think, Gosh I look so old!

    I usually blame my weight/body and i try to look thin, and i enjoy a good trend, however I am a bit like Sacramento in that a piece will call to me and i know it was made with me in mind.

    though, i don't go home and weep about much, but i am very critical of myself...

    great subject! I can't wait to see what u r up to!

  10. Being a seamstress, I know that a couple alterations or a different cut can make all the difference, so whatever goes astray, I blame it on that! Makes it easier in the dressing room--in other words, it's someone else's fault. lol. Really, for me, its only clothes--and what I shop for is usually a choice--ie, need casual skirt, red shirt, dress for party, etc. And as Sacramento--things call out to me too. But nothing that goes on in the dressing room has anything to do with my self-esteem. Even bathing suits. Hey, its the mirrors, right?
    You are looking so SVELT lately, GF! Kudos :~)

  11. I make most o my own clothes, this way I can be more adventerous because I get a better fit. When I buy I always try on first. I am not looking to hide my curves, but to make th best of what my body, and cover what I dont like

  12. Pam, thanks for asking these questions! Before I had weight loss surgery, I usually shopped online because even Lane Bryant rarely had plus-size petites in the store near my home. Now that I've lost 120 lbs., I have no idea what will look good on me so sometimes I'm pleasantly surprised and sometimes not so much. I look at it as a fact-finding mission, I guess. I still do a lot of my shopping online because I'm still short (of course) but I can at least try on something close to my size, then order the right size online.

    I have a pile of clothing that needs to be tailored, most of which I wouldn't have bought if I'd been able to try the items on first. (I live in a rural area of Hawaii so all returns have to be mailed, usually at my expense). If I were trying something in a store that would need tailoring before I could wear it, I would probably skip it unless I loved the item and knew I couldn't find something comparable that would fit off the rack. That's an attitude I'm trying to get over, though, because almost everything in my closet could use a bit of tweaking.

  13. Hi Pam - i hate dressing room you never look good in them, what i do is i close my eyes take my clothes off and put the one picked in the store and voila i open my eyes to see how it looks like, does it fit, does it look good, is the color good for me ect...Yes i take clothes home without trying them especially at H&M where it is crazy and long line up for the dressing room. H&M gives you 30 days to return no matter what so you have enough time to decide in the comfort of your home with adequate lighting that will make it look good:)
    Thanks Pam for the comments on my post and happy you liked Montreal - I love Montreal it is just crazy these days constructions everywhere.

  14. camomile (melbourne)June 26, 2011 at 3:03 AM

    Whenever I go into a dressing room the one emotion? I have is ....dread!

    I can wander through a shop and pick up a few pieces that I think may? look ok, I get into the dressing room, try on the clothes, and as each one goes on, my thought process goes along these line....................
    "OMG, what have you done to yourself! You look disgusting! Look at those rolls around your belly! Don't bother wasting your money. Nothing is going to look ok on 'THAT' "

    I'm carrying 40lbs more than I want to, and as you can imagine, with my state of mind, I don't have a wardrobe.I just keep wearing (out) what's left that fits.(Sorry, this wasn't meant to sound so negative. It's just that its a topic that I try to avoid thinking about.)

    I would love to lose the weight, but being winter here, it's easy to hide and it's oh so hard to do.Any suggestions to help me change my mindset?

  15. i go in hoping everything will look good, but when that's not the case, i'll usually blame my body, get depressed, and think of all the crap i need to stop eating! i'm usually shopping on the run, and there are many times i take things home without trying them on. wish i had time to get things tailored perfectly (and professionally), but sometimes i will make minor adjustments myself.


  16. I usually thrift shop. That said, it's always a pleasant surprise if something fits and looks good on my body.

    I have one store that I stick with and that is Christopher and Banks. Their clothes fits my body. I usually can even order online! Other stores I enter with a hopeful attituded and leave disgusted.

  17. I usually take my purchases home and try them on with pieces I already have. This way I can see how the piece(s) will mix with the stuff I already own. Besides, if I had to try each piece on throughout my shopping trip I become depressed because to many pieces don’t work for me. And, when something doesn’t work it is usually because, I think, I have a weird body… to wide here, to short there, to unshapely there, etc…

  18. Great topic, Pam. I'm pretty optimistic, or deluded, when I head into the dressing room. I usually believe I'll find something great that day.

    That said, I try very hard not to focus negatively on my face or hair, under the harsh lights. I can always find fault with something, and that diminishes the fun of shopping. So as with most things in life, it's a matter of choosing my thoughts : >

  19. Firstly, Pam, I wanted to say that I just read your Twitter Tuesday interview on Statements in Fashion and I've always thought of you as a classy lady. It was a pleasure learning more about you.

    Secondly, some answers to the questions you ask, in order:
    1- Sometimes, but not usually. I have a sense of what tends to work on me so I don't even get near things that I know just don't work on my body shape.
    2 - Mostly.
    3 - Lol! Both sometimes but usually I just think that the cut is not right for my shape, no one is to blame.
    4 - Yes, if I know the brand and their cuts.
    5 - I take the time I need but I only shop in one or two stores. Any more and I start to burn out.
    6 - Sometimes but only if the price + the tailoring still makes it worth it or is feasible. For good work pants, I often do.
    7 - I'm looking to be happy with how I look in whatever I'm trying on. When I smile without even trying to, I know I have a winner!

    Honestly, I listen to my negative thoughts and try to remember to put it into perspective. It's a dressing room not my bedroom. It's cramped and the lighting is usually a little weird, too close to the mirror. No one ever looks their best there.

    Great questions, I hope the answers help.
    :) f
    The House in the Clouds

  20. I never try anything on in a store. Have always had the impression that the space of a dressing room is too confining, the lighting bad, and the privacy abysmal. When I try something on I'm primarily concerned with a good fit. Cannot tell out of context whether I really like it or not...hence I take it home first.


Thanks so much for joining in our conversation today! I appreciate your time and love hearing from you!