Let’s Discuss:: Tips from the dressing room

I used to be a buddy shopper. I used to enjoy require the company of a friend on my shopping excursions. I would seek the input of friends, store clerks, and passers-by if need be. I did not enjoy a trip to the stores unless I had a trusty confidant by my side. But things have changed. I am now… dun dun dun…  a solo shopper.
Nothing thrills me more than an impromptu trip to a vintage shop by myself or an after-work dressing room sesh. There are no outsider opinions to influence your personal taste, no coconspirators saying “get it! get it!” And you can spend as long as you well please picking through the sale section with a fine toothed comb or turning from side to side in front of a mirror, while your poor friend/boyfriend/mom waits impatiently.

That’s not to say that purchase decisions are any easier. Sometimes it is hard to tell whether you’re a small or a medium. Or whether that drapey top is fiercely edgy or swallowing you whole. Sometimes you can’t tell if it’s the just flattering lights and magic slimming mirrors that make you want that dress. Or whether that seam is poorly positioned (ahem, Anne Hathaway, ahem).

For these scenarios, I enlist the help of a second opinion that never lies: a photograph. I snap a photo of myself in the mirror, and somehow all of the wrinkles, underthings, or bulges come to light. The shortcomings of the clothing seem magnified, and the urgency to buy them melts away. Next time you’re facing a dressing room crisis, I suggest you try a mirror selfie with your phone.

Selfie? Eek. I know. Just the thought sends shivers down my spine, but I never said you had to send them to anyone (although that can help, in a pinch) or post them on your blog (like I, somewhat embarrassingly, have done here). Take a selfie, study it with a discerning eye, and then delete it. Honestly, this has saved me many an ill-advised purchase.

For example, although I liked both of these shirts, neither of them made it home with me. (The black skirt and sandals were what I wore to work that day, but they happen to be Zara too). I couldn’t think of an occasion to rock a kimono shirt, and the white jacquard top, though smart in person, looked unflattering in the photo.

What are your dressing room tips?
How do you decide if a piece will come home with you?
xo Cristina

ps I got a haircut

Cristina V. Cleveland

Cristina V. Cleveland is a senior beauty editor based in Austin, TX. She has been exploring personal style and decor on Fuji Files since 2009. Her work as a writer and editor has appeared in publications like Refinery29, Birchbox, TradHome Magazine, To&From Magazine, Coco+Kelley, CamilleStyles and ads in Glamour, InStyle and Lucky.

SHOWHIDE Comments (2)
  1. I’m such a solo shopper as well! I know what I like and how things SHOULD fit on me – so I really hate getting other’s opinions. Plus, it leaves more room for buying pieces that are your individual style!

  2. I really love solo shopping, too. They only other person I really like shopping with (not browsing/window shopping, but actual “I need something” shopping) is my mom. She is probably the only one who can put up with my epically long shopping sessions or my cranky moods if it’s not working out well.

    Sometimes I have a hard time letting things go even if they don’t look good if it’s an *amazing* deal or a once-in-a-lifetime find. For other stuff I just pull the old, “if you’re still thinking about it in X amount of time…”

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Rather than pushing up-to-the-minute trends and products, Fuji Files is about discovering a lasting, personal aesthetic and the journey to feeling your personal best. 

Fuji Files was started by Cristina Cleveland, the Managing Editor of NaturallyCurly, the largest hair and beauty content platform. Her work as a writer and editor has appeared in publications like Refinery29, Teen Vogue, CamilleStyles, Blavity, Birchbox, TradHome Magazine, Coco+Kelley, and ads in Glamour, InStyle and Lucky.