How Do The Mirrors In Clothing Stores Manipulate Us?

Companies design fitting rooms to give an unreal picture of how clothes fit us.

Marketing and the use of strategy are fundamental elements when selling a product. 

In order to obtain the greatest possible success in sales, it is necessary to take into account all the psychological aspects necessary to please the buyer or consumer, something that most establishments know. Clothing stores are no exception. But … what tricks do they use to make us buy? In this article we will see some of them.

The editor’s experiment

The fact that stores try to manipulate customers in order to enter them and buy as much as possible is something known to all. Clothes and accessories stores also have the particularity that apart from other tricks, they place special emphasis on enhancing the figure of the people who try on their products  and making the customer feel attractive and favored by the most of the clothing available.

It is not uncommon for an item that in the store has been to our liking, when we put it on at home or when going out on the street, it does not fit as well as we initially perceived. And it is that in the testers of the stores it is played with different effects in order to make the product more attractive and make it appear to be better than it does in reality.

An editor of the Russian publication has carried out a kind of quasi-experiment in the changing room of a total of 11 stores, taking a mirror photo of herself to observe the differences between the image from inside the changing room and in real life. wearing the same clothes. The results reflect that our own image can be partially distorted by different mechanisms, especially light, color contrast and the use of mirrors.

In the changing room: elements that “beautify” us

Both the previous experiment and many others have shown that the changing rooms of the stores are designed in such a way that the customer can feel favored with the products of the store. Some of the main elements that we can observe are the following.

1. Use of lighting

The lighting in the changing room is one of the elements that most affects the perception of whether or not a product favors the wearer. Generally, lights are used that transmit warmth and that make the person visualize himself with a healthy skin color and tan. Side lights and a soft to moderate intensity also favor this fact, allowing the silhouette to be stylized. On the contrary, a frontal light is not adequate, because it tends to transmit a somewhat wider image.

2. Shape and placement of mirrors

Where the mirrors are placed and even that they have a certain shape will also modify the image that we see reflected. The mirror in question must allow the person to look at himself from eye level. 

If the reflective surface is inclined or forces the customer to see their image from a different position than usual, the image may be modified. Some mirrors can also be slightly concave, making the image seen in them slightly smaller and thinner.

3. Color contrasts

The curtains or the walls of the dressing room also have a certain effect when it comes to perceiving ourselves in front of the mirror. The presence of marked contrasts between the environment and the figure that is observed can cause the characteristics of the product to stand out more. Depending on how it is combined with the light, the resulting appearance may be better or worse than what would be observed in reality.

4. Available space

The space and comfort that the dressing room in question transmits also favors the purchase or the perception of our own image in the mirror.

Having a spacious and comfortable space can make the person have a positive attitude and this affects their perception, as well as encourage them to return to the establishment in the future. In addition, the perception of the silhouette itself can be dwarfed when compared to a wide space, which can make us appear smaller and thinner.

The opposite case, that is, a small receptacle without too much space, can be counterproductive by inducing a stress reaction more easily . However, it can also favor a quick purchase in which only some superficial details are observed before making a decision, while the effects of the previous points are focused only on the silhouette itself.

Other aspects that favor the purchase

Apart from the aspects we have seen, the stores employ other strategies in order to attract our attention and favor the purchases of their products. Among them we can observe the following.


Lighting and contrast effects don’t just apply to the changing room area. Shop windows are also an essential element when it comes to attracting the public, since it is not for nothing that it is the first thing that the potential customer sees from the outside. That is why it is very useful to display garments that are highlighted by the lighting and decoration of the store, so that they attract attention.

Placing the garments

Inside the store, the location of the products is another very important element to take into account. Placing the most expensive products in a visible position and requiring some searching to find the cheapest makes it easier to make larger outlays. It is also important to place the novelties near the entrance to the premises, so that potential customers are attracted by what may be inside.

Using music

Most stores use some type of music in order to motivate their customers to stay and consume. The type of music in question has to depend on the type of product or establishment, as well as its potential audience.

Exclusive clothing and temporary offers

The idea that something is sold out generates in the potential customer the urgency to acquire it before it is too late. Similarly, the fact that there are usually exclusive items or limited offers can often mean that customers who have previously visited the store may return to inquire about a specific garment.

Soil type

The type of soil is another aspect that, although it is ignored by many, can influence whether or not you end up buying. Soft and comfortable floors make customers stay longer in the store, being more likely to end up buying something.

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