Ask Bee: The (far from) Perfect Fit
“If you’re a woman, and into clothes, Jeddah’s buzzing mall scene is truly its most attractive highlight. With a new one sprouting every other week, the wares on offer keep getting more numerous and more sumptuous. If your wallet is well-beefed and your shopper’s mania soaring, almost nothing can bring your spirits down, except, maybe, the absence of fitting rooms. For all we know, in the long run, the situation might change soon! Until then, let us not keep you from spending those hard-earned riyals.
Bee pools in her two cents of wisdom on how to get past this last hedge….”
Bee is a 30 something mother, wife, corporate consultant and a bona fide prodigy in the art of shelling out unnecessary, unsolicited and often useless advice. The kind people at her office actually pay her for doing this on an hourly daily basis and she returns the kindness by making them lose sleep over random pointless issues. She currently lives in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia with her very sane husband (he takes after his mother) and her two not very sane children (they too take after their mother). Her own personal hell would be to have nothing to do with no-one paying her for pretending to have nothing to do.
I moved to Saudi Arabia this year and have so far loved it. I enjoy shopping here, especially for my home and my kids. My biggest problem is when I have to shop for myself. I find it difficult to buy clothes without trying them on first. Clothes always look different when I try them on at home. The sales are amazing, as is the variety of shops and malls, but how do I shop for myself in the absence of fitting rooms? Please help!”
Dear Shopaholic in-waiting,
I lost my will to shop and to drown all my sorrows in shop receipts after I moved to Saudi Arabia and discovered the sad truth about no fitting rooms in shops. If you are a woman (or have an appetite like mine) you are always in-between sizes or your size varies on an hourly basis. Getting the right size off the racks therefore is a virtual impossibility. So what do we do…what do I do? Here’s what.
The staff at the outlets are mostly friendly and understand the limitation of their outlets. See if you can talk to them about taking 3-4 pieces and trying them on in the mall restrooms. Some staff will let you take the pieces without paying and even if you have to pay, you can come back and get it exchanged on the spot if the pieces don’t work for you.
Dedicate one day only for shopping. This works only if you don’t work or if your working hours are not determined by certain short, snotty and very loud people. Spending one full day only on shopping takes the pain out of going back and forth exchanging pieces that don’t fit or look ugly. You can get it all done and over with in one day where you can shop, go back home, try on the pieces and get them exchanged/ refunded the same day.
Look for the gems:
There are some places here in Jeddah where you do have try rooms. Salsa in the Red Sea Mall has one and so does Etre. Also the Ana Special Mall. Ask around for other outlets/ places who have try rooms and I am sure you will find a few more.