Saturday, 2 October 2010

Why I hate changing rooms

Ok. So losing this weight (38lbs so far thank you very much) has been great. I feel a little happier in myself and the gym is a slightly more pleasurable experience now that I don’t nearly die on the treadmill. But there’s one huge downside.


I’m not a girly girl. There are few things I hate more in life than shopping. The idea of a long day of aimless wandering in shops brings me out in a cold sweat. I don’t do aimless. I do planned. If I know what I want I’m sorted, “I need a pair of jeans” I can tell myself and off I will go and find a pair of jeans. Shopping trips last a couple of hours, three max, and then I have the rest of my day to enjoy.

Now I find myself in a strange situation of having lost a lot of weight but having no idea what suits me or if I can get away with wearing something now that I’m a little thinner. All too often you see someone squeezed in a bit of lycra, splurging on all sides, proudly proclaiming “I’ve lost 3 stone!” Brilliant for you but that doesn’t mean jeggings are your friend love.

Far worse than any of this however is my one true horror. The changing room. Why are they such devilishly awful places? Why do they have terrible lighting and horrendous mirrors? And why are they so freakin’ small?!

One incident more than any other demonstrates my terrible experiences with changing rooms...

Earlier in the year I was heading for a night out. My weight having ever so slowly crept up and up and up and up I realised that I really didn’t have a lot to wear and certainly nothing that I felt comfortable in. I went into Next to have a look and saw something floral and floaty. I figured it would do, and locating my size I ran into the changing room.

I squeezed into the cubicle, and got my top off, the whole time remaining completely paranoid that people could see in (why do the curtains never fully go all the way across?!) and in total fear that someone would walk in on me (that did actually happen to me once in Primark. While I was trying on bras. Seriously.)

I got the top off its hanger and tried to pull it on. It wasn’t really going anywhere. “My god please don’t tell me I’m this fat” I prayed to whichever god was listening. Then I realised that I was being an idiot and there was a zip on the side. Down came the zip and I tried again but was sweating with the exertion and nearly in tears because it really was a struggle to get on.

I zipped it up and looked at myself. Not too bad, it didn’t look horrendous, but what the hell was with this extra piece of fabric down on my left hand side, what could that be for, where was it supposed to go?

And then I realised...

It was a leg hole.

I had just shoved my whole body through one leg hole of a playsuit.

I was torn between being immensely relieved that the reason I had difficulties getting it on wasn’t because I was ridiculously fat and being immensely horrified that someone would even make a playsuit in my size. There is no way that someone of my size back then (and I would argue, my size now) should be wearing a playsuit.

As I left the changing rooms the member of staff asked me “Was that any good for you?” and I felt I could shake my head and say emphatically, “No. No that was not good for me.”

My changing room fear continues unabated.


  1. Oh dear poor u! I hate shopping too, I never know how to choose something that will suit me, I just don't have the patience for it all! Most changing rooms are horrendous I agree. I have been in a couple (can't rem where) that are actually decent - a big room, a solid wooden door to close and a nice comfy seat lol.. Not to say what I see in the mirror gets any better!

  2. As someone who has experienced the joys of all her clothes being too big can I recommend a couple of things that worked for me. If you are planning on losing more weight don't spend a fortune on 'transitional' clothes. Use this half way point to figure out what suits you. Supermarkets sell good cheap basic clothes to use as your foundation eg long sleeved t shirts jeans and skirts. If you want something better quality then eBay is your friend. If you like clothes from Next or M & S then look at their size guides on line for measurements and then search for the right size on eBay. You get the clothes so much cheaper and if you are only wearing them for one season they don't need to last forever. The good thing about supermarket changing rooms they always seem to have doors you can lock! Well done on you weight loss and enjoy the fruits of your labours!

  3. Know what you mean. AND why are they so small and hot. Bad enough on your own but taking 13 year old along for those extra biting comments certainly doesn't improve on things. Well done with the pounds off!!

  4. You and me both - and it gets worse when you nare 50 and sharing the changing rooms with skinny 20 year olds. Well done on the fabulous weight loss! Pop over to mine, I'm behaving like the Harry Enfield "old ladies" today (oooo young man!!)xxxx

  5. Good grief! No one over 5 should be allowed to wear a playsuit!
    But wow, congratulations on losing so much weight. I agree with CraftyCripple and would also suggest catalogue shopping. La Redoute are pretty good and, as far as I remember, will collect stuff you don't want, and refund pretty quickly. They're also cheap so if you do want some 'transitional' clothes you won't end up breaking the bank.

  6. Loved the way you told this story! I hate changing rooms too - although sometimes you get ones with good mirrors and low lighting which are always a relief...and doors...h&m get thumbs up for

  7. Oh I'm totally with you, I've had some shocking change room experiences. You'd think they would want to make them nice to encourage people to buy the clothes!
    Well done on the weight loss too!

  8. I can't bear trying things on. I'm always overheated and stressed out and I've yet to find a changing room mirror that is in any way flattering.

    It's tricky when you're changing size (huge congrats on the weightloss by the way!) but once you've worked out roughly what size you are in each shop, just buy the stuff without trying it on. It can always go back if it doesn't fit and at least that way you can try things on at your leisure at home.

    I found Primark, New Look, H&M and the supermarkets the best places for cheap and cheerful stuff whilst I was losing weight. Keep an eye out for things that can be tweaked to still fit when you lose more weight though - I'm still wearing things that are technically 3 sizes too big for me.

  9. Ah, but I remember the days of the Miss Selfriddge comunal changing room. Talk about true horror. It scared me so much I hardly ever try clothes on at the shop.

  10. Congrats on the weight loss! At least there aren't many communal changing rooms these days, even as a skinny 20 year old I hated them. Maybe my eyesight is deteriorating with age (not that it has ever been good) but recently the lighting seems to be getting lower and lower - I could barely see myself in the mirror in one shop last week.

  11. Ah the joys of changing rooms the bane of pretty much all women's lives. Plus when you've got small people you have the eternal debate, do I squeeze them in the cubicle with me, do I leave them outside, will they pull open the curtain just at the wrong moment and on and on it goes. Ugh!

  12. 38lbs! woah mamma! and i think you hate fancy dress more!

  13. god i hate them too! i was in a shop not that long ago, and their mirrors were so slimming it was ridiculous - like thanks, but i know i'm not a size 10, so don't try and make me think like i do, it's quite insulting actually!
    the worse are the dirty changing rooms too, those that have lots of shit on the floor and you dread having to take your shoes off - gross!

  14. Oh you've painted such a lovely picture, I can smell the clammy air! :(

    Well done on that weight loss though - wow!

    PS I saw two whippet puppies at the weekend - 10 weeks old! Have you ever seen a whippet puppy? Cutest things ever. One of them licked me.

  15. Oh I hate shopping.

    Now I buy almost everything online from one of about half a dozen shops and try them on at home.

    no shops, no crowds, no changing rooms... much better

    And WELL DONE! on the weight loss. 38lbs! That's an amazing success! Go YOU!


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