General chatter - Men in Womens Fitting Rooms?

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Thighs Be Gone
09-07-2009, 01:33 AM
I want to get your opinion on this matter Ladies.

Today my hubby and I went out shopping. I found a department store that was having a fantastic sale--picked out a few things and went inside the fitting room in the Ladies section of a major department store.

The fitting room was the typical variety--the slotted door that offers some privacy but not total. The doors were maybe 6 feet high--open below the know the type.

So there I am all my clothes off except for my undergarments taking a dress from the hanger when I notice a man (very large, round one at that) outside my fitting room...I sort of gasped and then he started asking his wife (a few stalls down) how her jeans were fitting. Thats all he asked--stood there a few minutes more and then left.

I was livid. Am I old school? Is this acceptable nowadays? Should I have alerted security? How do you all feel?

Also wanted to mention--this happened last month too--at Macy's. I was seated outside the mens fitting room waiting for my hubby and a woman goes strolling past me and and into the mens fitting room talking to her hubby who is also inside.

What the **** is going on????

09-07-2009, 01:46 AM
I didn't know that was strange to do? For instance, when my guy and I are shopping for jeans for him, I usually wait outside of his dressing room so I can see what the jeans look like, and run back to get more if he needs me to. Didn't know it was weird. I guess it depends on the store/fitting room for me...

If it was one where you can see the person's face, or if it was just a curtain instead of a door, that would definitely be way too weird....

ETA: Or if the doors themselves were too revealing!

09-07-2009, 02:52 AM
I've never even considered going into the area- just sitting outside- that's what they usually have that chair there for. I have never seen anyone do this- I'd be pretty off-put if there was a man in the ladies dressing room too.
I'm sure he didn't even think about it at all though.

09-07-2009, 03:09 AM
I have never gone into the men's fitting room area except when I was shopping with my boys when they were pre-teens and needed to toss another pair of jeans over the top at them. I certainly didn't linger--they would come out of the fitting room area to show me their jeans if they needed my opinion. I wouldn't like it at ALL if a man came into the women's area. I already feel a little insecure at being in there in my undies; I definitely don't need a man hanging around outside the door. The other thing I don't like is men (husbands) lingering around the lingerie area. I don't want to be pawing through the bras looking for my size with a man standing right there and I definitely don't want to take my bras into the fitting room if there is a man standing right outside the door!

Thighs Be Gone
09-07-2009, 03:13 AM
I am so glad to know I am not completely off my rocker with this one ladies. Now, how to approach this if it happens again? Should I just alert the store or say something to the man or what?

09-07-2009, 03:29 AM
I would probably say something to the store manager. The man will be long gone by the time you alert the manager but seriously, there shouldn't be any men in there. The nicer stores around have a few chairs for gentlemen to sit in right outside the fitting room area; seriously but I've noticed that cheaper places like Penney's don't have this. I'm not sure why that makes guys think they can march right on in, though!?

09-07-2009, 04:21 AM
He should NOT have been in the dressing room at all. We're progressing in this world but we haven't arrived that far yet. Sorry but NO! They would have received a serious tongue-lashing from me! :nono:

09-07-2009, 09:02 AM
I would have put some clothes on, walked out and pretended I just saw him and screamed a little, like an exclamation scream. Then I would have said "Oh my, did you know you're in the ladies dressing room??? You can't be in here!" -- like you would say to a man who accidentally walked in the ladies restroom.

If I had already heard his voice, I would have poked my head out and said the same thing.

09-07-2009, 09:08 AM
I was shopping for prom dresses once and not only was a guy in the dressing room, but he was actually in the stall with his girlfriend helping her try on. I was appalled.

09-07-2009, 09:34 AM
:?: I dont know - I guess I dont see a huge issue with it. Had he been in there alone wandering, without a wife or gf, just in there, then yeah, I'd have a problem with that.

I've been in the mens dressing room - my husband wont walk out of it to show me something. So I have to go IN there if I want to see it. Its not like I'm there trying to get a peek at guys or something.

09-07-2009, 09:42 AM
I do not think that women should be in the mens nor the men in the ladies. I would have made some remark.

09-07-2009, 10:08 AM
As in any public place you need to be very careful but I suspect the guy was just being himself.

I have learned there are a lot of people out there that are not the brightest light bulbs in the deck. And sometimes....normal....for them is way different than ours.

To be honest, it is real uncomfortable for me waiting outside the room for Angie.

As far as lingerie, sometimes Angie wants me to "help" pick it out....well, she used to, back in the day ;)

Shannon in ATL
09-07-2009, 10:38 AM
This happened to me three times this summer as well. One was a twenty something man helping his girlfriend with bathing suits at Kohl's - he was going back and forth with new ones and very discretely standing in front of her room door, and they had picked the one right across from the entrance so it wasn't too bad. He kept his head down looking at his feet the entire time and never strayed from that door. The second was a teenager helping his girlfriend with a formal dress at Penney's - he was annoying because they were way in the back and he was in and out of her room, made eye contact with every woman in the dressing room that I could see, and commented on every person who came out in an outfit. Seemed friendly, not too creepy, I finally asked him to leave when I saw other people getting nervous. It was a busy day so lots of people in and out, I had to wait for a room so had lots of time to watch. The third was a my age man watching their three kids (in the main dressing area where the nice three way mirror is located making it inaccessible to people who actually wanted to use it) at Old Navy. He was fine, it was the eight year old boy whom I had trouble with - he and his two sisters were climbing under the walls into the different stalls, even with people in them, and the boy would poke his head under and announce personal details of you to the other people. I asked the dad to take them out when he stuck his head under my wall and told his sisters very loudly that I had on a 'cool pink thong'. Again, not creepy since that is what eight year olds do, but still inappropriate.

Now that I've rambled, I don't think men should be in there at all, nor should women go into the men's fitting rooms, even with someone. :)

09-07-2009, 10:49 AM
it seems to me that nowadays there dont seem to be the boundaries there used to be... in some ways it's good, and in some ways its bad..

09-07-2009, 11:03 AM
I don't think men should ever be in the women's dressing rooms. Although I have been in the men's dressing rooms with my husband. At Target, they have a small dressing room, 2 stalls? If no one is in there, I will go and sit in the stall with my husband. I guess men don't try on clothes there because I've yet to see another man go into the other stall.

If it was a large dressing room or one where men were at, I would just wait outside.

09-07-2009, 11:29 AM
I worked in a women's plus size clothing store when I was in graduate school, and transvestites would come in frequently to shop. It created a dilemma, because our largest customer base was "little old ladies," pregnant women (because we were the only store in town that carried plus-size maternity) and transvestites.

If a crossdresser came in dressed as a woman (especially if they could easily "pass"), we just hoped the other customers in the other dressing rooms were oblivious or near-sighted, but if they came in dressed as men, we weren't sure what we were supposed to do. I think the customers who suspected, assumed that the guys were gay so it was "ok," but there are a lot of heterosexual transvestites, so that's not a valid assumption.

I worked in a large company with a transgendered man. (According to rumor, he had interviewed as a man, but came to his first day of work dressed as a woman). He wore women's clothing, but his body build and facial features made it impossible for him to "pass" as a woman. Not to mention his fashion sense was horrible. Men and women were uncomfortable with him in "their" restrooms (personally, the women's restrooms were so private, I wouldn't have had an issue - unless he was standing on the toilet peering over the stalls, there was no way he could "see" anything). One of the executives
offered the guy use of his private restroom, to settle the uproar it created.

Our local YMCA has a policy that children over 7 are not to be in opposite gender dressing rooms, but they also provide a "family dressing room." Maybe that's a solution for department stores as well (but it may not be feasible for smaller stores).

Being disabled, my husband and I rely on each other for a lot of things. Given our conditions, it's very likely that one of us will eventually, need to regularly assist each other in dressing or using the restroom. As of now, we've already had such occasions, but (knock on wood) we've never yet had to do so in a public situation.

We were shopping recently when I was having some issues. Not enough that I had to stay home, but enough that I was having balance and coordination problems. My solution was to try on blouses over my clothing. Hubby asked me why I wasn't using a dressing room, and I told him that I wasn't sure I could get my clothes back on again, unassisted. He said "I could go in with you," but I wasn't comfortable with that. I certainly would have appreciated a co-ed dressing room option, or even a large handicapped stall with a bit of extra privacy (many stores have that, but usually the handicapped stall is way at the back of the hall, so my husband would have had to run the gauntlet).

To be honest, I don't know how I feel about any or all of these situations.

09-07-2009, 11:35 AM
:?: I dont know - I guess I dont see a huge issue with it. Had he been in there alone wandering, without a wife or gf, just in there, then yeah, I'd have a problem with that.


09-07-2009, 11:44 AM
Most places that are nicer have a "Men's" restroom, a "Ladies" restroom and a "Family" restroom. Why not "Family Fitting Rooms" that are maybe so much further away. I have kids, but I think that listening to kids argue with their mothers are the most annoying! When I go to try on clothes, I want a nice, calm experience... not have to listen to other people trying on their clothes and fighting or crying over everything. I am not saying that at my weight trying on clothes is the most "fun" experience, but it could be as peaceful as possible!:angel:

09-07-2009, 02:25 PM
I've never seen a guy in a woman's dressing room that I've been in. I wouldn't be comfortable with that. I'd probably ask a floor worker to say something to him (keeps things neutral). At the Lane Bryant I go to the dressing rooms are along a wall in a large room (with full doors). I've come out for bf to see what I've tried on; he's felt uncomfortable hanging around that area.

I say it's always good to err on the side of caution, I get that spouses and couples can become oblivious to others in their habits, but you're out in public and people deserve their privacy. That said, if I got the impression that a couple had special needs, I would be willing to cut them slack. Life is give and take.

09-07-2009, 02:46 PM
I wouldve gasped loudly shreeked A MAN!!! and ran out of there like a crazy person just for dramatic effect lol

09-07-2009, 02:49 PM
Eh, I don't mind as long as they are there with their dw/gf. I occasionally go into the dressing room with my dh if its not too busy. Mostly because he is a PITA with shopping and won't come out and show I know when we needs another size...

09-07-2009, 02:58 PM
There is a Target in our area that only has one set of coed fitting rooms. Old Navy usually has only 1 set.

09-07-2009, 03:06 PM
I work a second job in a department store and we had this come up a couple weeks ago. A man was in the women's dressing room with his wife and someone else complained. The associate in that department told him he had to leave. He came up to customer service (where I work) and raised ****. He and his wife 'Spend a lot of money in this store!' so evidently there were allowed to do whatever they wanted *Rolls eyes*. We all thought he was being pretty rude about the whole thing. Obviously the other customers were uncomfortable and he should have respected that.

We hear stories from our security department all the time about men peeping in the womens dressing rooms, so I don't think its at all out of line to be wary of having any man in there.

09-07-2009, 03:31 PM
I like the idea of "family" dressing rooms. It is such a common-sense approach! When my boys were little, I would take them into the women's dressing room so they could try on clothes. The boy who was not trying on clothes had to sit quietly on the bench while his brother was trying stuff on. Once I was in a dressing room in my underwear and a little boy stuck his head under the wall. He was just a curious little kid and probaby had no idea that he shouldn't do that, but I said, "Hey, I'm trying on clothes, keep your kid out please!" I could tell his poor mother was horrified--I felt kind of bad after that.

But husbands? No. I don't need your husband or boyfriend lurking outside my door while I'm in my undies. As far as special needs go--our local Macy's has a small sign in each dressing room advising shoppers that if they need assistance, an associate would be happy to help them. So that would be my first preference, but if it wasn't available, I would rather have a discreet husband helping his wife rather than have her not be able to shop at all.

09-07-2009, 07:36 PM
There is a Target in our area that only has one set of coed fitting rooms. Old Navy usually has only 1 set.

I was going to say... don't most smaller stores have same sex dressing rooms? I'm pretty sure Banana Republic and Express is coed also, I remember when I was with my bf we were allowed to walk in and out of the dressing room to check how stuff looked on each other.

09-07-2009, 08:34 PM
I don't think I'd care that much about co-ed dressing rooms if they were quite private. But so many have doors that aren't all that high or have slats or have gaps around the door. That's just not OK.

09-07-2009, 09:53 PM
you know now that i think of it there are a few co-ed dressing room stores that i've been in. The Eddie Bauer outlet is one of them - just a big row of changing rooms - but the doors actually give you some cover.
I think the worst one I was in was Mervyns back in the day. I'm 5 foot 2 and could see over the doors and into the stalls. THAT IS NOT OKAY! lol.

side note- some amazon lady tried to help me OVER the door in Torrid once, while I was trying on bras. Wouldn't have been such a big deal but we rode the bus together every day and she got a nice full view of my rack. lol. awkward!! I wish that there was more coverage in some dressing rooms, that's for sure! it's bad enough that I'm big and they're tiny for the most part.

09-07-2009, 09:58 PM
some stores i shop in even have unisex dressing rooms. doesn't bother me as long as it's known it's a co-ed dressing room.

09-07-2009, 10:13 PM
As long as he was there with his wife and not being a pervert trying to look under or over doors I don't see a problem. Now if he was lurking, peeking and being rude and obnoxious of course he shouldn't have been there.

09-07-2009, 11:09 PM
A lot of stores do have unisex dressing rooms. Even when they don't, I think it's less of an issue when they're dressing cubicles with solid doors. I would feel comfortable bringing my husband into that type of women's dressing room (as opposed to those that have only curtains). In the 80's, I was in a mall store in which there were stalls, but no curtains or privacy barriers at all (except the single curtain separating the dressing room from the store), and half walls separating each stall on two sides. The stalls were doorless and had no mirrors, the only mirror was outside of the dressing stalls in the "common area" of the dressing room. I don't know if such dressing rooms still exist, but if I encountered one, I would choose not to shop at such a store, rather than bring in hubby.

I don't know that I'd be comfortable asking a sales clerk to assist me in dressing. I'm ok in a large locker room, even open showers, because I avoid eye contact and keep my mind on the task at hand, rather than on whether anyone is paying attention to me. To actually have someone, especially a stranger (and especially, especially a thin, attractive, young woman) help me dress and undress, I'd be physically ill from embarassment (and I don't embarass easily).

I know that most women would cut us a bit of slack if they knew our situation, but it's not like I have a sign on my chest that says "cannot lift arms over head, and falls over when standing on one foot." And unfortunately, my husband is not a man likely to go unnoticed in a women's dressing room (He's 6'2," 350 lbs, with long graying auburn hair, a full beard and mustache in shades of gray, auburn and brighter red, with such a booming voice that even his whispers are loud). I've often described him as my "biker-viking," even though he's never owned a motorcycle, and has no norse ancestry.

I do have an interesting story on the topic of "women's privacy." I was having lunch with co-workers in a mexican restaurant (known for good food, but in a run-down section of town). The restaurant was clean, but shabby. There was a single restroom (like a house half-bath room), and there was a huge (head sized or bigger) hole in the bottom third of the door. I didn't like the hole any more than anyone, but it's position was such that for anyone to see anything they would have had to get down on hands and knees or on their belly and then look up in the direction of the toilet (while in view of the entire dining room). I had to use the restroom and I did (as quickly as possible), but felt fairly secure that no one was going to go through those kind of acrobatics with an audience to see ME with my pants around my ankles.

Later, while we were eating, a woman at another table must have "had to go," and took her husband with her, and made him stand against the door, facing the dining room so that no one could possibly "peek." It was so funny that we (and some other diners) couldn't help but laugh. I felt badly for her, because when she came out, her face was beet red, but I couldn't help it, it just made me laugh harder because I couldn't help but picture (I'm a very visual person) one of the other customers or wait staff on hand and knees, or crawling on their belly to get a peek of someone on the can. I still laugh thinking about it.

09-07-2009, 11:35 PM
This thread is totally cracking me up.I have never dated, or been married to a man that had any interest in what I was purchasing as far as clothing goes....I am clueless about all of this.The men I have "dragged" into a clothing store generally work their way over to the nearest bench complaining that their is no electronics department to catch whatever sporting event he is missing.....:)

09-07-2009, 11:53 PM
I can't say hubby is interested in fashion, or that he wants to assist me, but I've had to force him into participation not only because I occasionally need physical assistance, but because I'm color-blind, as well (and luckily, hubby is not).

Hubby actually has good fashion sense (though he doesn't often use it himself). His idea of "dressy" clothing is a pair of black jeans, and a "new" t-shirt. If it doesn't have stains or holes (in vital areas, at least) he's happy enough.

He's learned to be helpful and give input, only because it speeds up my selection process, and means we can move on to a "man's store" sooner.

09-08-2009, 12:01 AM
I guess I don't see a problem with it, in places like Old Navy and American Eagle, men and women use the same dressing rooms. Like another said, had he been in there just wondering and not waiting to see someone in clothes they were trying on, then I'd have an issue with it