20-40-60 Etiquette: It's okay to fold on this etiquette quandry
QUESTION: Are we expected to hang clothes back up in a store after trying them on?
CALLIE’S ANSWER: COME ON! Yes, be kind and courteous! Don’t be lazy; it takes two seconds!
LILLIE-BETH’S ANSWER: Yes, hang the clothes back up. Even if you don’t get things put back perfectly, at least make the effort so the salespeople can fix it easily. The people who work in these stores aren’t there to clean up your mess but to help you find your style and outfits. It is inconsiderate to pile them on the floor when you leave – both for the next person who would like to try on new clothes and not rumpled ones and for the salespeople who already are helping you.
In talking to people who work at clothing stores recently, I was surprised at how many people leave the clothes strewn about the dressing room instead of attempting to hang them back up.
HELEN’S ANSWER: It does not take too much of your time to take clothes you have tried on and hang them on the hangers. How rude it would be for the sales person to come in the dressing room and see all those clothes on the floor. It is selfish to think someone should clean up after you, and if you have ever worked in retail, you know how hard it is to keep clothes straightened up for the next customer. Hang them up!
GUEST’S ANSWER: Linda Miller, Fashion Matters blogger: Hang them back on the hanger? Absolutely. No excuses. Hang them back on the racks throughout the store? I usually return them to the sales person who was helping me or one who's nearby.
Some stores have a small rack in the dressing area for unwanted garments. Boutiques offer more personalized service and are quick to grab clothes from the dressing room. Other stores are slower to sweep through the dressing rooms. Who among us hasn't walked into a dressing room already overflowing with clothes?
And, yes, I sometimes will return a garment to the store rack — only after the item has been zipped or buttoned and looks appealing for the next shopper, and only if I can remember exactly where I got it. Not sure what salespeople prefer. Perhaps I'll ask next time.
Callie Athey is 20-something, Lillie-Beth Brinkman is in her 40s, and social columnist Helen Ford Wallace is 60-plus. To ask an etiquette question, email firstname.lastname@example.org.