Fashion Blunder. Look Like a Million Bucks When You Shop, or Be Ignored.

June 17, 2010 • Shopping


I was out shopping recently in my neighborhood, and I noticed that the salesperson wasn't as accommodating or friendly as I thought she should've been. After all, in a gloomy economy, shouldn't retail outlets alike be overjoyed with anyone who spends their hard earned money in their stores? I begin to think about an article that I read awhile back that stated most people who aren't "dressed up" or "look" like they have money to spend don't receive stellar (gasp) service! My clothes weren't wrinkled, baggy, or messy, but I wasn't wearing a ball gown and tiara, either. So what was the problem? I purchased a pair of jeans, and decided to illustrate my own test.

I waited two days and returned to the same retail store, this time dressed in a BCBG dress and 4 inch stilettos. All 4 sales associates were vying for my attention, checking on me every two seconds to see if I needed anything. I left the store without purchasing a thing – and the very next day, I returned the jeans, dressed in sweats.

I pose the question: Do you believe shoppers who "dress up" receive better service than the patron in sweatpants? Let's hear it…

– Nicole L. Townsend



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6 Responses to Fashion Blunder. Look Like a Million Bucks When You Shop, or Be Ignored.

  1. samantha says:

    They say money attracts money. But I also think it is the attitude you have when you walk in and browse.

  2. Marie says:

    I think it has so very much to do with training. For instance, I have received amazing service donned in sweaty post-practice spandex. Kudos to J.Crew! And I have fallen victim to snobbery while dressed to the nines. We’ll keep names out of that one.
    There are many factors that come into play here – obviously. But if an employer simply won’t retain an employee that displays a bad attitude towards anyone, it won’t happen regardless of dress. And in an economy like this one, I am sure it isn’t hard to find someone willing to work with a sunny disposition.

  3. Miko says:

    I totally agree. And particularly if you are in a high end store. On the flip side, there’s a such thing as “dressing down” but still exuding “money” think: Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen with the grunge, extra large clothes.
    Like Marie said, I also think that it depends on a variety of other factors, but typically if you are dressed up or at least “dressed down” but in clothes that are clearly designer labels, you will likely receive better service–unfortunately.

  4. belle says:

    also helps to be thin and blonde.
    i was in a macys in the bcbg section looking for a dress for my boyfriends graduation. actually, 2 dresses – one for the ceremony and one for the dinner afterwards. bcbg is usually a good bet for me – proms, benefits, bcbg does the trick. i had a few dresses in hand and walked by the counter a few times. one of the sales associates was busy helping someone but the other one wasnt really doing anything. was not on the phone, writing down anything, sorting anything, was just kind of idly in the area.
    i was dressed well; nice jeans and a dressy top, black patent flats and a leather handbag. but i am pacific islander and a size 12, i was willing to spend more than a grand on these dresses if they were perfect. a couple of dresses can get to be heavy in the hand and usually someone asks if they can help get a fitting room started. not this time. a few minutes later some thin blonde girl looking for an easter dress under 100 (really, under $100 at bcbg? i dont consider bcbg high end or anything but a decent dress will still go about 150 – 200). she immediately gets help and the sales associate even shanghais another associate to help her. so thin blonde on a budget gets two people helping her and ive got none, until the other associate who was previously busy decides to help.

  5. superfilthy says:

    Yes. Especially if you’re so friggin hot.

  6. Lauren-Second City Style says:

    Hmmm. I have some varying thoughts on this. When I was in grad school I worked at Ann Taylor in Arlington, VA. Back then it was a pretty cool place to work. My co-workers would ignore the shabby dressed, plus-sized and trannys (yes, tranny because back then AT was the only store to carry a 14). Anyway, I would always swoop in and help them and guess what? I usually sold more than my co-workers. I decided you can’t judge people’s wallets by the clothes they wear. However, the handbag is usually a giveaway (little tip). Besides, I am known to pop into a store in workout gear once in awhile.
    Not too many years ago I worked couture at NM and let me tell you, some of the women who were dressed to the nines were the WORST costumers. I can’t tell you how many hours I wasted helping these demanding divas who would return everything the next week. They had shopping addictions and just recirculated the same money through the store week after week. Argh. I learned to ignore them. Some of my biggest sales were from women you never would have suspected.
    That being said, I do feel if you put a little effort in to your appearance you will get better service. Not just in shopping, but in life. I’ve been upgraded to business class because I have dressed well for flights. Just sayin’

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