Avoiding Awkward Situations Undress with Success: How to Handle Dressing Room Disasters Eliza Hurwitz

I’m sure this has happened to everyone; you are trying on clothes in a dressing room, the door doesn’t lock or it’s some pointless curtain (Why does any store have curtains? Forever 21, I hope you’re paying attention) and someone walks in on you. It doesn’t matter if you expose anything or are fully dressed, it’s still awkward and embarrassing for all involved. After my fair share of dressing room exposures, I’ve come up with some great ways to close the door on this awkward situation for good.

Make Your Presence Known:

The first thing I do when I enter a dressing room is put my shoes really close to the opening of the door. People associate shoes with human beings, therefore, upon seeing the shoes, the person in question should know not to open the dressing room door. A little rhyme to remember to do this is: “Shoes on the outside. Human on the inside. I’m in a dressing room, having a good time.” To really ensure that people outside know you’re changing you can also say this rhyme out loud. Make up your own tune and have some fun with it.

If you like to keep your shoes on when getting changed, there is no reason you can’t still make your presence known. Some ways to do this include making as much noise as possible. You can talk, sing to yourself, or just stomp about noisily. If you are a quiet person and prefer to get changed in silence, you can always pull an Angelina Jolie and keep one leg on the outside of the dressing room the whole time. However, this move takes skill, flexibility and over-the-top confidence. So, make sure to stretch and practice before attempting this difficult maneuver.

Make a Sign:

If you prefer to change as normally as possible without noise or protruding parts, a great option is to bring your own personal sign with you on all of your shopping endeavors. The sign can be as simple as a piece of paper with your name written in pen, or it can be more complicated. Maybe you’ve always wanted to try your hand at calligraphy. Well, now would be the perfect time to use it. Calligraphy looks extremely elegant and royal, so I recommend writing something on your sign that reflects this sense of sophistication. Perhaps something like, “ A charming and beautiful Queen is changing in here. Please respect your royal highness’s privacy as she tries on clothing that demonstrate her regality.”

If you’re not artistic, you can always display your creativity with a sign that showcases your wit. I would suggest, perhaps, a sign that says, “If the door is closed, I’m in the midst of a pose.” You might include a picture of yourself posing to take this sign to the next level. Or “If the door is shut, I’m in here, you nut!” I suggest drawing, tracing, or cutting out a picture of a peanut to go with this less pretentious folksy saying.

Make Your Very Own Lock:

If for some reason you are still paranoid, even with a sign on the door, or if you forgot to bring your sign along, you can always find ways to make the door lock so tightly not even a CIA agent or extremely talented locksmith could open it. This requires the intelligence of a criminal mastermind, outside-the-box creativity and a smattering of rampant paranoia. You can use a shoelace and tie it around the door, to secure the lock even more. If you are not wearing shoes with laces, a shirt, pants, necklace or bra will work.

If you don’t want to use any of your own clothing for fear of wrinkling them, well, you are in the right place. Clothing stores were flat-out made for you to take clothes and accessories and use them to ensure your safety in a dressing room. Haven fun grabbing objects you think would be the best to use in securing the door or curtain, then use them for your own locking door purposes. When making your own lock, I suggest acting secretive, as if you were on a covert mission. It adds to the fun and gives you a sense of purpose while shopping.

Make It Fun:

Also, remember that shopping and trying on clothes should be enjoyable, and if somebody does open the door on you, it’s probably more awkward for them than it is for you. I have done this numerous times, and for you people out there I’ve walked in on, I still haven’t gotten over it. So, help out your would-be changing room invaders, whether you decide to make your presence known, make a sign, or create your own lock, know that you can turn your dressing room into an impregnable fortress.

Featured image via glamour.

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  1. Throw the clothes you change out of over the door like you would a towel.

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