Overheard: Top 10 Things Women Say While Shopping

Thuy Pham of WildBloom on what women say in her dressing room—and what they ought to say instead.

By Thuy Pham October 7, 2013

As co-owner of WildBloom Boutique in Rice Village, I get to interact with countless female customers each day. What I've come to realize is that as relaxing and fun as shopping can be, for many women it's also a huge source of stress. Unlike guys, who seem content to throw on a t-shirt and call it a day, we obsess over our appearance, nitpick our tiniest flaws, and consistently fail to recognize our own beauty. Here's a list of the top 10 comments I overhear in my store and some straight talk about how to address them.

1. "My husband said this dress makes me look too matronly." 

Recently, a woman saw a gorgeous dress in our window and had to try it on. It fit her perfectly and she looked breathtaking. But the next day she returned the dress after her husband told her it made her look "matronly." My take: Men and women see fashion very differently. Unless your significant other is the male version of Rachel Zoe, just nod, smile and let him down easy.  More often than not, you know what looks better on you than your man. Sorry, guys. 

2. "My boyfriend likes things that are short and tight." 

Of course he does! But he's not the one wearing the outfit, so he doesn't understand how you'll feel with it on. I have a saying: "Comfort creates confidence, but looking a mess leads to stress." Stick to the size that feels comfortable and looks great on you. Shorter and tighter do not equal better.

3. "I don't like how my legs look in shorts."

Shorts can be very tricky and it all comes down to length. Too short and you'll look like a teenager. Too long and you'll look like an archaeologist on a mission. General rule: Shorts should fully cover your rear and about two inches below.

4. "My midsection is too big for patterns."

Actually, patterns can have the opposite effect, making "problem areas" less noticeable. That's because people's eyes naturally notice patterns before anything else. Still not convinced? Start with a subtle pattern and gradually work your way towards something bolder. Chevron might be outdone, but it's a safe way to start.

5. "I can't wear sleeveless clothing because my arms aren't what they were 20 years ago." 

You're right. But should you really let that stop you? If everyone hid all their flaws all the time we'd all be walking around in potato sacks. My advice is to wear that sleeveless dress and own it. Nobody is going to notice your arms when your confidence takes over.

6. "I can't show my knees—I just can't."

Yes. You. Can. Try pairing that above-the-knee dress you've been dying to wear with some nude pumps. You'll be a couple inches taller and your legs will look so elongated that no one will notice your knees. When in doubt, throw on the nude pumps!

7. "What can I wear with this blue skirt? Do you have the same blue top to match?"

Unless you're trying to pull off the runway look you don't need to be monochrome from head to toe. Runway looks are meant to be inspirational, not literal. Always pair solids with prints or stripes  Have you tried mixing patterns yet?

8. "I like the color green, but isn't green kind of springy?"

It really depends on the shade of green. Sea foam or mint green is springy, yes. Emerald or olive— totally fall. Orange and cobalt, meanwhile, are year-round colors depending on how you coordinate the look.

9. "I think this top would be really cute with some capris."

So sorry to disappoint, ladies, but capris are as outdated as cassette tapes. The problem with capris has always been the same: they create the illusion that you're a few inches shorter and boxy. When it comes to bottoms you should be thinking "elongate" not shorten. The right skinny jeans or 60's inspired flared denims will add length and make you look slimmer.

10. "I had this kind of leather jacket back in the day, but now it's too old, right?"

That's the funny thing about fashion and style, it always circles back around (unless we're talking about capris, that is). Just think about skinny jeans. How long ago was that a trend? But since they resurfaced in 2005 they've been hit ever since. Leather jackets are also back in style. Pick one up and pair it with a flirty dress. Trust me, you'll look great. 


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