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Trying on clothes in shops

(70 Posts)
Hebdenali Tue 18-Aug-20 12:35:05

In the small town where I live there are two lovely independent clothes shops both allowing the trying on of clothes. They are steaming any clothes not bought before putting them back out. The other shops in the town don’t allow this but say that the purchases can be returned. I am refusing to buy any clothes unless I can try them on first. By buying the items with a view to returning them feels like making an interest free loan to the store and that they will make a refund when they feel like it. I’m not sure that my bank balance would allow me to buy everything that I wanted to try on but not sure whether I wanted to buy. I needed a number of items to take away with me.
However I’m now at our apartment on the island of La Palma having flown out via Gran Canaria. We had a lovely time shopping there and I can go shopping at our local town on the island and try on whatever we feel like. Masks are obligatory but life has almost got back to normal.
If the high street in the UK is to survive the shops need to change their policy on clothing. I know no one who would buy clothes without trying them on first.
I have just received an email from Seasalt inviting me to book for a private shopping experience where they will “allow” me to try on clothes. This approach is NOT the answer. As far as I am aware no one has succumbed to the virus through trying on clothes.

Jaxjacky Tue 18-Aug-20 12:38:43

I order all clothes online, so never have the problem.

Hebdenali Tue 18-Aug-20 12:44:19

I refuse to buy clothes online. I Like To be able to feel the material for quality and to see how they fit before buying. Also returning items means queuing for ages outside the post office. Not fun in the rain. Also I’m not prepared to pay out for things that I will probably be returning.

anna7 Tue 18-Aug-20 12:57:27

It s not the shops fault that corona virus exists. I don't want to try clothes on that may have just been tried on by someone else. I am happy to buy online and return if necessary. I think we all have to accept that many things have changed if only for the short term. If no one has so far succumbed to the virus by trying clothes on that is perhaps because it is not possible to try clothes on in the majority of the clothes shops. I agree it is probably highly unlikely to catch the virus in this way but the shops are only trying to keep everyone safe and follow the guidelines.

Calendargirl Tue 18-Aug-20 13:19:49

Re online clothes buying. We assume returned clothes are all steamed/sanitised before being posted out again to the next unsuspecting customer...?

SueDonim Tue 18-Aug-20 13:21:33

You say your bank balance wouldn’t allow you to buy and return items, yet you have a second home? I’m a bit confused about that.

I’m not sure I’d want to try on items, which may have been worn by someone else, in a fusty changing room (they’re always airless, ime) and nor would I want to buy items that had been steam cleaned.

BlueBelle Tue 18-Aug-20 14:42:26

Just sounds like a post to brag about a holiday if your not in UK why are you worried ?carry on with your shopping in La Palma, problem solved
Oh and working in a shop that isn’t allowing trying on we are still selling a lot so not everyone shares your problem

Hebdenali Tue 18-Aug-20 15:00:34

I’m certainly not bragging about a holiday. I’d rather be in the UK at the moment as I’m really concerned about getting stuck here. However I did get separated from my wife (civil partnership) for the duration of the lockdown and it was the only way to be together again after a very (extremely) difficult time.
Answering another comment, I own my house in the UK and have a pension of £500 pm until I get my state pension next year. So subsidising clothes shops is not an option for me.
My wife owns the property on la Palma and has always lived and worked abroad. We split our time between being together either in the UK or La Palma and spending time alone in our chosen abodes. Unusual maybe but it works for us.
My concern though is the survival of the small independent shops in my town. The ones that allow you to try things on are doing well, the others are empty most of the time. I am friendly with many of the owners they are not really doing well. I am not in the slightest bit bothered about trying clothes on in the shops and am not convinced that online shops will be steaming or quarantining items at all.

GrandmaMoira Tue 18-Aug-20 15:41:22

I am surprised the OP knows no-one who would buy clothes without trying them on. I would sometimes try things on but more often than not, just buy them. You can feel the material and get an idea of size without trying on when in a shop.
Trying on clothes in a changing room is quite uncomfortable. First, you often have to queue, then they are uncomfortably hot and also usually have glary lights which can give me migraine. Hence, I rarely use changing rooms. If you can afford the outfit, you can afford to buy it and possibly get a refund later by returning to the shop if it does not suit.

Randomactsofpurple Tue 18-Aug-20 15:48:14

How lovely that the virus knows not to go on clothes in Gran Canaria, it must be such a relief, we all know that in the UK the virus is just waiting to pounce on us.

I order from Next usually ( not at the moment because we are trying not to buy anything new) they collect from you if the goods arent suitable and probably sell the stuff on rather than repack etc. So no queueing at the Post Office.
In the old days there were shops that sold ex catalogue clothing because the Companies couldn’t repackage the stuff, so possibly they are doing the same now.

Esspee Tue 18-Aug-20 15:54:30

I never buy clothes without trying them on. Sizing is so non standard these days and even when something is the correct size sometimes a garment simply doesn’t look good on.

sodapop Tue 18-Aug-20 16:11:22

Same here Esspee for the same reasons. I often look like a bag of washing in a garment which looks elegant in the picture. Conversely some things look better on than on the hanger.
I don't enjoy the shopping experience so much any more even without Covid issues. I get all hot and bothered getting dressed and undressed. I used to be able to shop until I dropped but not any more.

Hebdenali Tue 18-Aug-20 16:13:57

I totally agree about not buying clothes without trying them on and that was really the gist of my comment. Something can look great on the hanger or on the page and be a disaster on. As for bras I wouldn’t know where to start with choosing a random size without trying on a large number of styles and sizes. Impossible to do online.
I also think that it’s highly unlikely that an item of clothing in a shop would contain a high enough viral lode to infect anyone whether that’s a Canarian virus or a British virus.

BlueBelle Tue 18-Aug-20 16:26:21

I buy online if I see something I like and you can’t try on there I would buy from shops where you can’t try on then take it back if I didn’t like it, not nearly as much fun I agree

Surely the independent shops aren’t supposed to let you try on either I though it was government advise for ALL shops

However I’m now at our apartment on the island of La Palma having flown out via Gran Canaria. We had a lovely time shopping there and I can go shopping at our local town on the island and try on whatever we feel like well why not just buy your stuff there then you don’t need to worry about U.K. shops at all

TheFrugalPiggy Tue 18-Aug-20 16:40:04

I rarely try clothes on before buying them. The only exception is jeans.
I really can't understand why we can't try clothes on before buying them. I have been out shopping over the past few days, taking advantage of lots of sales. I have noticed other women picking various clothes up, holding them to their body, popping them back on the rail and then picking up something else. No one is running over to these items, giving them an "emergency steam". What is the difference?

Hebdenali Tue 18-Aug-20 17:15:58

Precisely Bluebell, I can buy clothes here but it’s not keeping my local high street alive and sustaining local independent shops. I would have loved to have been able to pick up a couple of cheap linen tops or dresses in the UK and supported local businesses but sadly I was unable to do that.
The local shops that do allow me to try on say that they would rather see exactly what is happening to their clothes than allow them to be taken to an unknown house with maybe several people trying them on and in what conditions. They are steamed immediately and put aside for several hours.
I have never bought anything without trying on first. Well maybe knickers....but I would always try on pyjamas, swimwear etc and every other item that I consider buying. I really can’t imagine buying clothes that I had no idea if they fitted properly. I can see no difference between trying on clothes and handling them, holding them up to the body etc. Surely good hygiene as in using gel before and after being in the shop should be adequate.

BlueBelle Tue 18-Aug-20 17:34:55

Well you can’t have it both ways at the moment heb Support your high street, the way they ve been told to or shop at your holiday town, that’s it I m afraid, you’re only two choices Take it or leave it for now
I don’t agree with it at all think it’s all over hyped to cover up for total bad management by the government but it is what it is so we go with it or shop elsewhere

lilypollen Tue 18-Aug-20 18:21:21

sodapop thank you. You made me laugh out loud with "bag of washing" quote. I've only used 'sack of spuds'!! I'm still laughing after Baga Chipz was on Celeb Masterchef recently. Anything that gets a giggle is greatly received at the moment.

Back on topic I agree with espee about the non standard sizing and the difficulties it poses. I have M & S garments in sizes from 10 to 18, each fits my 'average' size 14 figure well. Have also bought 2 size 10s from Tu which is usually pretty accurate.

DiscoGran Tue 18-Aug-20 18:56:09

I watched a programme recently and it seems that some companies treat
returned items as waste, and they go to charity or even straight to landfill.

Millie22 Tue 18-Aug-20 20:13:18

Before coronavirus I didn't try anything on in a shop as I can't be doing with all the faffing about. I just buy something if I like it and take it back if it doesn't fit or I change my mind. I'm doing more online shopping just now though.

Curlywhirly Tue 18-Aug-20 22:18:43

I hate buying clothes online - I am only 5' tall and lots of things don't suit me; I can try several items on before finally finding something that looks ok. In recent weeks I have bought a few things online, all have been sent back. I feel like I am wasting my time and the various companies' time, not to mention the cost of posting and packing and then ending up with no garments! I have visited the shops in the last couple of weeks, but as I can't try anything on I am reluctant to buy anything. I so wish I was a standard size (my husband is and buys most of his clothes without trying them on first, I'm so envious!).

Bixiboo Tue 18-Aug-20 22:46:54

I’m in the same situation as you Curlywhirly. Even if I by shorter length trousers they still need to be taken up which frustrates me no end. It’s just a hassle buying online then having to send things back because they don’t fit. It could be quite a long time before we’re allowed to try clothes on is shops again so think we’re stuck with online shopping for the foreseeable future.

MawB2 Tue 18-Aug-20 22:52:17

Curlywhirly if they are still in business BonMarché do trousers in 25” and 27” lengths. Have you tried them?

Eloethan Tue 18-Aug-20 22:57:57

I find it difficult to believe that steaming clothes makes a lot of difference anyway - unless it is absolutely thoroughly done and I very much doubt that that is the case.

Fenwicks in Colchester is allowing customers to try clothes on. I don't know what the policy at the Bond Street Fenwicks is.

I usually need to try clothes on. I don't like having to buy several items to try on at home and then take them back if they don't fit or don't suit me. There is the same hassle with online buying. I'm sure these restrictions will have a very bad effect on all clothes shops.

SueDonim Tue 18-Aug-20 23:56:57

Maybe it’s expecting to be able to buy cheap clothes in independent stores that’s the issue in the High St, not changing rooms. If you want cheap, go to the chain stores.