It is important to have a goal in mind when entering the clothing store. Will the clothes being purchased be used for a specific event, work, or casual wear? Having this objective in mind will help make the purchasing decision easier. Furthermore, take a look at your closet before you leave so that you know which clothing items you already have and which items could be potentially paired with new items of clothing.
If you find an item of clothing that you like and fits well, be sure to check the tag. Knowing what type of fabric the garment is made of will let you know not only if it will shrink later, but also if the garment has any special washing instructions. Some items maybe dry clean only, hand wash, or require other special laundry instructions. It is also a good idea to scrunch up a small bit of fabric to see how the clothing handles wrinkles. All these factors contribute to how the garment will look and feel and will likely determine how frequently the garment will be worn in the future.
It is also important to take note of some of the physical aspects of the dressing room design. Many retail dressing rooms like to employ the use of slanted mirrors which can give you the illusion of looking thinner. Three way mirrors are always preferred as they allow you to see yourself from different angles. At the very least, try to get an additional view of yourself from behind by using a front facing camera on a cell phone or mirror from a compact in conjunction with the mirror that is in the fitting room. This alternative look at yourself will give you a better overall impression of how the clothing fits.
When you are inside the fitting room, take a look at the overhead and wall lighting. Many retail stores underestimate the importance of fitting room lighting, and the wrong lighting can potentially cost a sale. Lighting that is too bright can wash out the colors of clothes and if the light is too dim colors won’t appear bright enough. Furthermore, the light should be centered a short distance away from the mirror and not focused on the door, racks, or bench.