Dressing Room Drama.  Have you ever been stuck in a dressing room?

As I strolled through Saks Off 5th in Woodland Hills, California, (pre-covid) Suddenly, sirens, bells and buzzers were going off.  Instantly, I was back in a tiny claustrophobic mirrored box, reliving a dressing room drama.  Here’s how it went down 12 years ago when I got stuck in a dressing room at Nordstrom Rack.

trying on clothes

stuck in the dressing room

Know The Clothes

New clothes are amazing and for some, an addiction.  For me, I hate looking for new clothes because that means trying them on and seeing if they fit.  For one thing I’m not a small person.  In fact, I’m taller now due to my double hip replacements and possibly a little wider in the hips from menopause, lovely!  Fashions today are sleek, whimsical, sexy, modern and creative.  However, for me those styles will never be on my back. I look utterly ridiculous in most of them, so I stick with the classics.

To clarify my body type a little further, I have shoulders like an Olympic swimmer and biceps that can rival…well let’s just leave it at that.  My athletic build shoved into a long dress with skinny straps, cinched at the waist and breasts would be an utter fright-mare (my fav word from my fav client Kim Basinger).  However, I have two red carpet events with appearances in between and something black tie is required.  “Can’t I wear my fancy cozy activewear? ” No!  is the loud answer from my team.  So let the shopping begin.

stuck in a dress

where did everyone go

How To Try On Clothes 

I’m at Nordstrom Rack.  My clothes hunt is a little less complicated because I only look for classic styles and I know the color of clothes I like.  Anything in black, faded black, onyx, dark grey, charcoal…did I mention black?  Rack after rack, I finally end up with a pile over my arm and head to the dressing room.

With barely enough room to turn around, mirrors glaring from every angle, I take off my sweats.  Secondly, I pull off my favorite t-shirt and my (never leaves the body) Target wanna be Spanx camisole.  All that is left on is my g-string, horrifying.  As I try on dress after dress, I begin to get hot and sweaty.  Additionally, I can’t bear to look in the mirror.  My face is red, half of my hair is stuck to my cheek and the other half is sticking straight up, held by a clip.  Not a pretty site and not a pretty clip.

Finally success, a gray, simple classic dress.  So far this was the only thing hanging on my “possible buy” hook.  Next up, a sparkly black number.  So far all my choices have come on and off easily, until this one. Equal to the gray dress, this one was nice.  It had ideal arms, 3/4 length, a great neckline and some bling, perfect for the red carpet.

By the way, before I ever enter a dressing room I check the tags for the price and size of every item.  Typically, I can find a good fit in sizes 8 to 12.  I don’t consider myself obese, however in the world of modeling, television, magazines etc.  size 8 IS obese.

stuck in a dress

stuck in the dressing room

Check The Size

Anyway, I pull the sparkly number over my head and wouldn’t ya know it, the dress gets caught in my hair clip.  Blindly, I get the clip released and discover the dress has two zippers.  My legs and arms went through one, but my right shoulder is sticking out of this weird side zipper and my left shoulder is coming out of the neck.   To make matters worse, my hair has now tangled itself in the sparkly “bling” crap.

I turn to where I think the mirror  is, and fearfully peek at the disaster taking place in this tiny cubicle. The g-string is slightly twisted, one boob has decided to join the exposed shoulder in the side zipper, the dress is cock-eyed stuck at the waist and both of my arms are up and over my head.   I can’t see a thing and when I try to pull this damn thing up or down, nothing happens.

How on earth can I ask for help from the dressing room attendant looking like this.  And to make matters worse, a hot flash shows up and sweat begins to drip down my torso.  I’m more stuck now than I was before.

I take a shallow breath and exhale. I close my eyes and try to relax.  In that moment of calm, I attempt to shimmy my way out of this fashionable straight jacket.  No luck.  Exasperated, I say out loud, “Why doesn’t this dress fit, it’s my size, dammit!”

Frustrated, I power my arms up and out, real hard.  Over my head goes the dress.  Within seconds, I realize I’ve ripped off the security tag with my aggressive disrobing.  Loud sirens, bells and buzzers are now going off.

stuck in a dressing room

ugh trying on clothes

Alternate Ways To Shop

I’m sure the clerk who oversees the surveillance cameras alerted the staff.  “Crazy lady in dressing room #13 stuck in a dress she needs help!”  I immediately grabbed my beloved sweats, my favorite vintage black t-shirt and the grey dress.  In the other hand, the side zipper “fright-mare”.  I hand it to the not so happy clerk, when I caught a glimpse of the label in the black sparkly dress trap.  It was a size 2!

Moral of the story.  Don’t rely on the price tag for the size, look at the label.  Or bring clothes home so you can be more comfortable trying them on!  Keep what you love, take back what you don’t.  Skip the dressing room drama.  Trust me, being stuck in a dress in a dressing room is no laughing matter.