Dressing Room Secrets: Shopping For a New Body Image
Shopping is not just about buying pretty clothes. But you already know that, right? It's about sizing up our curves in an all-angles mirror under harsh dressing-room lights and reaching for that unfamiliar zipper, praying it goes up. The experience can be unnerving. Sixty-four percent of women say shopping negatively affects their self-confidence.
No matter if you embrace the number on your label or fib about it, one thing is certain: Shopping can be a huge reality check, both good and, well, not so good. See what other women have to say about their body confidence in the results of our telling 1,001-woman poll.Shopping Makes Me Feel ___ About My Body
Nearly two-thirds of adult women (64%) say clothes shopping negatively affects their self confidence. This is especially true among those wanting to lose more than 30 pounds (80%).Favorite Time to Shop?
- 44% "Anytime is a good time"
- 30% "No good time"
- 20% "Early or late, when dressing rooms are least crowded"
Most women prefer to shop "solo" (61%). Just one in 10 like to shop with a guy (10%) or their mom (8%).Which Body Part Would You Change?
If women could magically change one body part, most would opt for their waist (42%), followed distantly by their legs and hips (23%). Just one in 10 would change their rear end (10%) or chest size (9%), and fewer still would change their arms (4%).
Similarly, one in 10 would not change a thing (12%).Shopping Inspires Me To...
In fact, a shopping trip has inspired 2 in 5 (41%) to start working out.Dressing Room Debacles
- Over half (53%) have trouble finding their size when shopping in a store.
- Just one in five (22%) women feel comfortable trying on clothes, regardless of the dressing room situation. Most will only try them on in a private dressing room (50%). Fully one-quarter prefer to buy the size they think they are and try the clothes on at home.
- When asked about using communal dressing rooms, fully 59% say, "That's never going to happen!"
- One in six women admit to having accidentally ripped or gotten stuck in a garment they were trying on (15%) or calling a friend from the dressing room to ask for outfit advice (15%).
Comfort seems to rule when it comes to clothes shopping. For 73% the deciding factor in buying clothes is that "it fits fine and the price is right." When buying exercise clothes over half (54%) look for comfort first and foremost. A mere fraction -- 4% -- regularly wear Spanx, or control-top hose or undergarments; another one-quarter wear Spanx only with certain garments.What Size Are You...Really?
Over three-quarters (79%) say they have "never" lied about their size -- and that goes as well for those needing to lose over 30 pounds (76%).Skinny Outfits...
One-third (34%) have a "skinny outfit" that they wear only when they're at their ideal size....and Fat Days
Meanwhile fully half (51%) have an outfit they wear when they're feeling flabby or bloated.
It's not the number on the scale, nor how they feel physically or emotionally as much as the way clothes fit that has the most influence on how women feel about their weight.
Originally published in FITNESS magazine, September 2008.
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