Friday, August 17, 2007

The Dressing Room Question?

Ok... ok... I have heard the comments. "What about the "no dressing room" situation in the store?"

The store will be set up so that a majority will be completely behind closed doors.. no windows... no peaking in. NO BOYS are allowed.. absolutely none! Just think of the store as a giant closet (you know.. celebrity style), except that you are sharing your closet with a few other girls who love fashion just as much as you. There will be the freedom to just throw your clothes on a couch and run around the store trying on whatever your heart desires.

Ohhhh! and you see this other girl, she is trying on something really great.. she grimaces.. it's fitting a little tight.. she doesn't seem to think it the perfect fit for her - and you think wait a minute I think it would be perfect on me. You walk up as she casts it off, "Do you care if I try it?"..."Sure go ahead!" she smiles. Ahhhh! Its perfect just like you thought! A match made in heaven.

Alrighty.. for those out there that don't feel totally comfortable, I will have dressing screens!

But, once you experience the giant closet with all your girl friends... I think you'll find you don't need the Dressing Screens.


Emily said...

EXACTLY! i love your idea. it seems so fun. im looking forward to the online store, as i live on the east coast. i love the idea of the dressing screens too, you can be hidden, but still be open enough to get that big closet feeling.

Pennycat said...

I love your Vintage Society emails and blog and look forward to the store opening. I was wondering a couple things though. If your trying to build excitement and a customer base, how come you never comment on others peoples photos on flickr or make contacts back. (when someone makes you a contact) It's seems selfish, but maybe you just don't know your doing it, or in this case not doing it. Also, an obscure location with no dressing rooms sounds nice, but I wonder if it will really work? I do wish you luck, but it's time to pay attention to others a bit, don't you think?

KKB said...

i LOVE the idea of no dressing rooms. i am convinced that if women spent more time in safe places with other women naked/in states of undress, we'd all feel a lot better about our natural, diverse, lovely bodies. in europe, lots of stores are like this. good for you! i am just sorry i won't be able to frequent the store (live in toronto). all the best!! your style is rockin'.

Anonymous said...

Great Idea for Dressing Area.

Keep up the terrfic work

Pennycat.. must be her time of the month.

Best of Luck!

Victoria said...

Just catching up on all your Vintage Society weekly events.
You are beyond creative.

Thanks for sharing your drawings on the store. Blogging takes alot of time and effort in conjunction with planning for a business... let alone your job, husband and home. Don't let comments like Pennycat get you down. Takes less effort to be angry -vs- putting kind thoughts and words to work.

Keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

I'm uncomfortable changing in front of anyone, guys or girls. And I'm certain there's a lot of other people who feel the same way.

Aside from that, I've always loved stores that have that "raiding someone's big, beautiful closet" feel. I would kill to go to your store, when it opens. I just wouldn't try anything on unless there was a changeroom. What if I'm not wearing underwear? What if I'm on my period? What if I haven't shaved my legs in a month?

Anonymous said...

i would be discouraged by a store that didn't offer dressing rooms as well. just knowing myself, i would probably end up just not going to that store...cause i am sort of reserved and lots of times when i go shopping i don't feel like interacting with the salespeople and certainly not the other people shopping there. what i do feel like doing is finding a bunch of treasures and then taking them into the dressing room and discovering what works and what doesn't work without someone gawking at me or injecting their opinion and then making me feel uncomfortable if i don't agree. also, i've worked in vintage stores and a lot of girls like to come in with their boyfriends. it's definitely a novel idea but you just have to accept that it will deter some folks. not everyone is that group-minded or that bold.

The Vintage Society said...

To all concerned out there, I really have no desire to make people feel uncomfortable. I will be providing the dressing screens and hope that this will create a private space for you to experiment and be creative. But, the overall vibe of the store will be open for others to use the freedom of being behind closed doors.

I hope if you are local you will take the opportunity to stop by. I would love to meet you all in person and start a long wonderful fashion related relationship.

Katie said...

I love your blog :) And your future shop sounds incredible...If I ever make it to California, I will definately stop in!

Ashe Mischief said...

I know you mention no boys, but how would that policy work with transgendered, transvestite/drag queen folk? Gender wise, they'd identify with being female or feminine, but anatomically they'd be identified as male. It's just something that crosses my mind, as (at least in my circle of friends!), I know many anatomical-males like that, who love to shop with their anatomical-female friends.

faithzilla said...

Dressing screens sound great! Putting things on behind it and then walking out for opinions and stuff would be fun. Your store sounds like a fantastic idea.

The Happy Hippie said...

I wish so bad I didn't live on the East Coast. I'm fairly certain I'd be hanging out in your store daily. I think your "no boys" rule is inspired, and think it sounds super fun to be able to think of your store as a big dressing room, it makes me think of a big sleepover party! Not only will gals be able to find great ensembles, but possibly make a few friends!

Anonymous said...

Hello From Chicago.Two Words... GO ONLINE... and start selling. Save yourself TONS of grief and money. My sister found your blog about a month ago and you have inspired me get out of my sweats and back to garage sales and mix and match. Thank you for your ideas. Found some pink pants (your 7/16 blog) my husband loves them on me. Also, the high waisted jeans and possibilities. My family tried for 2 years "Thrift in Chicago" - could not compete with Unique Thrift Stores even though we thought our quality was far better.
Found that almost all Vintage shoppers were really thrift store garage sale buyers that never wanted to spend more than 8 to ten $. Could not keep up with the rent, incusrance and liability. Thankfully my Dad helped pull us out and ended up loosing over $35K. You are so creative and write so well (must be educated) please look into going on-line and test your market. PLUS you could reach all your fans outisde of California! Also, write yourself a solid business plan and meet with a business advisor. We thought we knew it all and wanted our dream but reality set in and we were depressed for months on end and worse were married to 4 walls and no play time. So take those amazing creative skills and put together an on-line store and lets start a shopping.
Inspired by your ideas in Chicago.

Candid Cool said...

the dressing screens look gorgeous.

i think it's nice to have both options, not every girl is a girl's girl.

Anonymous said...

Hey Chicago to The Vintage Society,
Think you may be on to something.
Most money made on vintage clothes is when a "known" designer does a reproduction. For myself, if I spend more than ten on an outfit I am bummed.

Still cannot wait to see what The Vintage Society will offer on line.

So much reading on this blog.

Anonymous said...

it's a lovely idea on paper for the shop to be a friendly, girl party kind of experience, with clothes tossing about and one girl sharing something with the next when it didn't quite fit right... but it doesn't seem realistic to me. and i'm not trying to burst your bubble at all- i think that a lot of us are private people when it comes to undressing and trying something on, and we're not looking for a communal experience when we go out shopping for a new dress. some of s are just plain shy. so thank goodness for dressing rooms! if you are feeling confident enough in what you've tried on to step out from behind the curtain and share it with the shopkeeper and other employees, have at it! but don't expect that everyone will want to/feel comfortable doing so.

and, i must agree with pennycat on the building of the customer base comment: seems like you get loads of comments, compliments and kind words on your wardrobe remix set, yet you don't take just a little bit of time to throw out a little "thanks everyone!" on any of them?
you'd probably see that it would make you that much more approachable and come across as super friendly and when your online shop opens, people will be really excited to buy from you.

just my two cents.

The Vintage Society said...

To Pennycat and Anonymous, I haven't really known how to respond to you since reading your comments. I want you to know that I appreciate your thoughts and that you take the time to comment, but I was really disheartened when I read them. I would never want to leave the impression that I am not appreciative or thankful for all the positive feedback that I have recieved on Wardrobe_Remix or on the blog. I am so thankful and it has been so encouraging.
Regarding the store and different little ideas that I have, this is just my vision. I know it is "out of the box" and I am willing to give it a try, but I am not set in my ways that I can't be tweaked. I will have my doors open to whoever wants to come in and if I find I need to make changes - I will. My shop is not about me.. it is about all girls who love fashion and creativity - but I also know that I cannot please everyone. So I hope you will give it a chance.
I would love to continue to hear your feedback and I would appreciate the ability to email you if possible so that we could have more personal contact. Again thanks for taking the time to read and comment on my blog!

Maven said...

Just a comment in light of the hateration and naysaying that this post seems to have generated--

You have cool, innovative ideas--inspiration boards? current trend-themed collections? hell yes!--and your enthusiasm for this project totally comes through. People who do not know how to frame their suggestions in a constructive manner do not deserve to have their suggestions considered, period.

My take on the dressing room situation is exactly what has been expressed here: that some people will love the idea and some people won't. Some stores jive with my personality and some don't, and I just don't shop at the ones that don't fit me. I think most people are that way. And it sounds like your place might fill a niche that is missing from most boutiques--I find boutique shopping (even vintage) kind of alienating and hands-off, while your place promises to be very welcoming and hands-on.

If your space allows, maybe it'd be cool to have a front room for more traditional browsing, and a back room with the "big closet" vibe? Your dressing screens, a few vintage couches, some rotating handpicked collections for that sense of play and fun that you want? This might help match your vision with the needs of a greater number of customers.

Also, and I mean no offense because you're obviously doing your homework: have you investigated the legality of the women-only policy? I am *seriously* not naysaying here, because again, I think you have great ideas; it's just something to consider, especially since women have worked so hard to dismantle boys' clubs over the last century--and also because, as another commenter noted, this would complicate matters for the trans crew, who might otherwise be truly committed customers.

Everyone knows that retail is risky business, and it seems to me that you're going into this with your eyes wide open, so take what's good from your commenters and ignore the rest. (Sorry for writing a book--I just wanted to offer some more encouragement.)

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