4 'Polite' Dressing Room Habits That Retail Workers Actually Dislike

Get out of these habits.

<p>Alexandr Dubynin/Getty Images</p>

Alexandr Dubynin/Getty Images

Every job has its challenges, and retail jobs are no exception. Whether it's at a mall, a big-box store, or a local boutique, customer service isn't always the easiest career path. So, it's particularly important to go out of your way to be courteous to those working at retail stores. However, you could unintentionally be making their jobs more difficult without even realizing it. Here are four common dressing room behaviors that retail workers actually dislike.

Related: 9 Things Your Hairstylist Wishes You’d Stop Doing at the Salon

Refolding Garments and Placing Them Back on the Shelf

We’ve all been there. We’re looking through a stack of t-shirts or sweaters trying to find our size, only to find every other size but the one we’re looking for. The once perfectly folded stack has become a disaster. While you might think re-folding the entire stack of clothing is the right thing to do, it actually is not.

According to Kaneshia Sims, who worked at a major fashion retailer and a big-box craft store during college, it’s better to just leave the stack as it is. This is because there is a specific way garments are supposed to be folded and the average shopper likely isn't trained on how to do this.

If you tried on a garment that was in a folded stack, leave the item with the sales clerk in the dressing room rather than trying to be polite and refolding and replacing the item for them.

Related: How to Politely Ask for a Discount or Reduced Rate

Putting Clothing Back on the Hanger and Returning Them to the Sales Floor

Putting clothing you're not planning on purchasing back on the hanger and then back on the rack is probably the most common polite habit that retail workers actually dislike. “The hangers and the garment have to face a particular way. Most times, the customer puts the garment back incorrectly,” says Sims. “It’s okay to leave your unwanted clothing with a clerk so they can put it back correctly.”

Most stores prefer that you place the items you try on back on hangers, but leave them with a sales associate so they can be buttoned, styled, and placed back on the sales floor correctly. If you're not sure what to do, check with the retail worker.

Hiding Items in the Store Instead of Asking a Sales Associate To Place Them on Hold

Want to try on that last skirt in your size but need to leave the store? You might be tempted to hide it somewhere, so no one takes it until you can come back later, and you don't have to bother a sales associate. But this isn’t a polite thing to do, because it can create major problems for the store’s staff. “Hiding items makes inventory count off,” says Sims. “It is not as inconvenient to ask the clerk to place the item on hold as you think.”

Remarking on Their Bodies

One common dressing room habit that truly bothers retail workers is when customers comment on their bodies, even if it seems innocuous. Sims tells me customers would say things such as, “I am looking for a dress for my daughter. She is about your size but her breasts are larger or her butt is not as big.”

While you might not think much of this because you are looking for something specific and these descriptions can help steer the sales associate in the right direction, Sims explains hearing these remarks all day long can feel personal and upsetting. “This can lead to body dysmorphia and body shaming.”

So, find another way to reframe your description, and leave the retail worker out of it. For example, “I’m looking for a dress for my daughter. She has a curvy body with a large bust and a smaller butt.”

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