According to Cal Flyn and Maurice Chittenden in the Sunday Times, “women have started to challenge high street fashion shops” which have mirrors which make them look a dress size smaller or a stone lighter.
Well of course we do, because women are intelligent, sentient creatures who don’t like duplicitous retailers. Mirrors which are slightly convex (like those in a fairground House of Mirrors, only less so) or tilted at an angle to make us look slimmer at the top, are outright bids at deception. The mirrors make as look slimmer and taller, but instead of realising the trickery, we fondly believe it is the pair of trousers/dress/skirt we are trying on that has achieved that feat, and instantly rush to the till to pay for the miracle garment. I don’t imagine many of us realise the deception, either, when we try the garment at home. We probably put it down to “having a fat day,” when what we should be doing is wising up to the trickery, returning the garment and swearing never to buy there again until they mend their ways – or, at least, their mirrors.
But in the same article, the Sunday Times appears to be criticising shops for “flattering changing rooms”, for putting warm, pale colours on the walls and lighting cleverly, subtly linking the outright duplicity with something totally different: a better environment for buying clothes.
For years, women have desired flattering lighting in changing rooms. It is one thing being flat-out deceived into buying a garment that you think makes you look skinny, but entirely another to have your skin-tone warmed from near-death to healthy, and your hair prettily highlighted when you are trying to buy a cocktail frock. We want to look our best selves, and if we didn’t have time to put on the slap before we left home, or it is the end of a long, exhausting day, lighting that makes us feel good about ourselves rather than making us want to slit our throat is entirely welcome – please don’t stop!
Have you had any bad experiences with “magic” mirrors? Tell us if you have bought something that looked fabulous in the shop and not so fab at home.