7.05.2007

How does my butt look?

This will be a shorter post, as I'm a busy girl with people to see and things to do.

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Okay, we all know that's not true! Ha ha! Ha...But I am hereby starting a conscious effort to write some shorter posts, so that we don't go for weeks with none.

Today I'd like to talk about Target. Yes, they are the gold standard for mass retail; yes, they go where no discounter has gone before; and yes, they are captivating the crowds with their cheap chic offering and uncluttered merchandising and helpful in-store messaging and, you get the point. Target does a lot of things right.

But I want to mention one more thing that they have knocked out of the park. It's a design change that could have only come from the shopper's own voice. It's a very easy tactic that provides surprise and delight, improves the shopping experience and, I'm guessing, helps the bottom line at the end of the day.

So, most clothing stores have dressing rooms. These stores give up valuable retail space because people want to try things on. But in my recent interviews with female shoppers, I'm starting to notice a pattern: women don't like dressing rooms. Either they are too busy to try it on now, or they feel uncomfortable in such a small, messy, poorly-lit, barely-private space. So they buy, they take home, they try on, and THEN they make their final purchase decision.

As you can imagine, stores hate this. Returns? Annoying! We could have been selling that shirt to someone else while it was sitting in your bedroom! Plus, why did we spend 300 square feet on dressing rooms if you're not going to use them?


Well, Target sells clothes. Target has dressing rooms. And Target wants its dressing rooms to get used. So I'm guessing it took a good hard look at the trying-it-on experience, and resolved to provide something that you couldn't get at home.

I don't know about you, but my home has it pretty good. A full-length mirror in my bedroom, a brightly-lit mirror in my bathroom, and my boyfriend to give me his honest opinion. But my home does not have one thing. Friends, my home lacks a butt mirror.

Target dressing rooms, on the other hand, have this mirror. It's surprisingly, refreshingly awesome. No more planting your hips squarely forward while you twist your neck around, catching a glimpse for three painful seconds. No more listening to a salesperson's pandering flattery. No more worrying about the question that has plagued women since the dawn of pants: How does my butt look in these?

I just bought pants at Target, and let me tell you, the butt mirror sealed the deal. It's at just the right angle to allow for a full viewing, like I was standing behind myself and checking myself out. And although I was undecided on the front of the pants, the back of the pants looked, in my opinion, well, okay. I thought it looked good.

Target, I'd rather try on clothes in your store than bring them home. Your dressing rooms are certainly no palace. But they have what no average residence contains. That infinitely wise, truth-bearing, all-knowing and all-illuminating butt mirror.

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

Great post. Now all the women out there are going to want butt mirrors at home too! Maybe a good opportunity for the mirror and glass installers. Personally, I don't care that much about how my butt looks because I'm not back there looking at it. Shorter posts more often is a great idea.

sara said...

Thanks, anonymous! I agree, this would be a great opportunity for mirror people - even home builders. It's so much more useful than that crazy "mirrors beget mirrors beget mirrors" effect where you can see 600 of your hand.

What's interesting is that instead of thinking about "the competition" as other stores' dressing rooms, we are now considering the competitor to be our homes. It's pretty hard to compete with the comfort, privacy and security of one's own bedroom. But this mirror is giving my home a run for its money.

Stacy said...

H&M has long had these kinds of mirrors, and it does make a difference to me, although I don't think I've realized it until now. (I'll wait in the incredibly long lines to try stuff on.) Even if you're not back there looking at your butt, odds are someone else is!

sara said...

Stacy, so true. You know, seeing my butt in this mirror was almost a bit unnerving. It was the same feeling as watching myself on video, or hearing my voice on tape. It's like, "Wow, that's how other people see me."

Nancy said...

Anonymous, you HAVE to be a man!!!

sara said...

Hilarious. I've just gotten confirmation that the "anonymous" post is from my dad.

We knew you weren't a woman!

Monkey and banana said...

oh and target always seemed so mundane :)

Hillary said...

the butt mirrors at H&M are good b/c they swivel but bad b/c the dressing rooms are so small - it doesn't work the way it should because you can't get far enough away from the butt mirror.

i STILL think the target dressing rooms are depressing. the chicks manning it are annoying and they still often only let me bring in 6 things (even if the store is dead). the one on addison anyway is this long, one sided hall w/ all the left over clothes clogging the way. it's yuck.

but i'll try stuff on there b/c it's not downtown like H&M or old navy - which i can return stuff to during my lunch hour.

Hillary said...

oh, and i LOVE that your dad told you to write shorter posts. like, "okay, sara, i'll read your little blog thing, but you have to write less..."

Hillary said...

i tried on clothes at target today. it is WAY to dim in there...however, the butt mirror was awesome. and, actually, a bunch of stuff looked way better from behind than it did from the front. there was this one dress that looked BAD from the front but so good from the back that i almost wanted to buy it.

sara said...

Hillary, I'm really glad you didn't buy that dress. Those pants I bought? The ones that inspired this post? Well, they did look good from the back, but the front, well, eh. They're okay. And since the purchase, I really haven't worn them that much.

The moral of the story: it's the front that counts. If it looks great in the back, bonus. But if it doesn't look great in the front, don't be fooled.

sara said...

Wow. Even better than the butt mirror: the Butt Cam. Though I'm not sure why you'd want to give other people that kind of access!

joe said...

I found this conversation while checking out whether my companies "check your butt" mirror is well situated on the search programs.

I was pleasantly surprised.

Well, I'll make all your readers an offer.
Because of all the interest, we will give you $30 off as a discount on our triple view mirror. Pay from $99.95 for white framed or $109.95 for brass framed mirror. Just mention Special JoeB discount when you check out.
website is www.mirrotek.com

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