Dressing Room Diaries: Shopping With a Helpful Salesperson

Today’s Dressing Room Diaries is a first. I always choose what to try on based on what catches my eye. Yesterday, I had a very enthusiastic sales lady who kept bringing me what she thought I would love. Some worked, most didn’t but I do love a helpful salesperson. They frequently spot things you don’t.

I chose these pants, she brought the tunic top. I love the blue and v-neck but it’s not a good fit for these pants. Because the pants have a fuller leg I wouldn’t wear a long tunic with them. I’d choose something about 4 inches shorter.

NYDJ stretch linen pants
drapey top | linen pants

I adored these stretch linen pants from NYDJ. Obviously, they need to be hemmed! They’re available in petite but I prefer to get the regular length and hem them because I have a very long torso and like my pants at my true waist.

NYDJ stretch linen pants
v-neck top | linen pants

I always wash and dry my pants before hemming to be sure any shrinkage happens before I shorten them.

NYDJ Millie Pull-on jeans
v-neck top | pull-on jeans

These Millie pull-on jeans are incredibly comfortable! They have a wide stretchy waistband and clean front with no snaps or zips to add bulk. These are the shape pants I would wear a tunic top over. This cream colored top has a high-low hem that dips down in the back.

Nic + Zoe at Nordstrom
top | pull-on jeans

The sales lady brought me this Cloudburst top by Nic + Zoe which liked. The color was pretty but it had too much pattern for me. It’s also available in plus sizes here.

NYDJ top and jeans at Nordstrom
cold shoulder top | pull-on jeans

This Agnes cold shoulder top from NYDJ covered my bra straps and is also available in plus size here. I love that NYDJ carries regular, petite and plus size!

Vince Camuto bell sleeve shirt
bell sleeve top

This dramatic bell sleeve blouse from Vince Camuto was amazing on the hanger, fun in the dressing room but overpowering for my 5’4″ self. I pictured the sleeves getting into everything! A taller woman could carry this off much easier than me.

Finally, the sales lady brought me this Nic+Zoe sweater.

Nic + Zoe at Nordstrom
cardigan sweater | floral tank

I would never have noticed this on the rack. It’s an Eileen Fisher look alike at less than half the price!! This 3/4 sleeve, 4-way convertible cardigan is a sheer linen and viscose that’s perfect to cover upper arms without adding warmth. It’s available in 12 great colors and also available in plus size here.

Do you like salespeople to suggest items for you to try on or do you prefer to choose yourself?

Thanks for reading and have a great day!


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  1. This is a very good conversation about shopping preferences. I am both a shopper AND a salesperson at Talbots. I know at our store we always try to be sensitive to whether our customer wishes to be helped, or would prefer to look on her own. I KNOW that sometimes when we are busy some customers may slip through and not be helped, and I also know that some also give off a vibe that they would like to be left alone, and then express frustration that they were not helped. When I shop,I like to be left alone at first while I take it all in, and then I appreciate help in the dressing room for sizes and other style suggestions. I really like it when a customer comes right up to me and tells me how I can help her, and then we can get down to business. By the way, at Talbots we don’t work on commission I am there, to share my expertise and to make our customer feel great.

    1. You sound like a great salesperson! Sensitive and helpful. It’s hard to read many womens intentions when shopping. Especially when they’re not sure themselves!

  2. Your dressing room visuals are so helpful, Jennifer. I’ve come to realize proportion is paramount in everyday dressing. In my opinion, tunic tops create a horizontal in just the wrong place, cutting the average body height in half. For some reason my eye always spots this imbalance even with low contrast colors.
    Thanks for helping me continue to set clothing priorities.
    I love NIC and Zoe!!

    1. The length of a tunic is so important for proportion, Pat. My favorite are 3/4 length and stop at or just below my knees. I love Nic+Zoe too!

  3. I feel you are correct about the blue patterned top. It is too much pattern for your body type. I tend to wear almost all solid color tops. Thanks for turning me onto the Millie Jeans. I just ordered a white pair on Nordstrom. They are on sale! I never wear flared pants anymore. I cannot wear heels at all (long story) and I think flared pants shorten my legs even further. (I am 5’5″). I like to be left alone when I am shopping.

    1. I am seldom comfortable wearing pattern and if I do it needs to be subtle. You will love those Millie pants, I bought 2 pair!

  4. I like attentive sale people not pushy ones…I do like when they bring items that they think would suit me too. I hate being totally ignored when I shop as I think this is the ultimate in snobbery! It happened to me at Talbots so I rarely shop there now…
    Love that white Nic and Zoe piece and the V neck top in white…I’d buy both of those myself, great basics.

    1. There were a lot of great basics in that changing room with me:) The pants and sweater fit me best but I will be back to try on more v-neck tops.

  5. Jennifer,
    first, I like help. I don’t enjoy looking through racks of clothes and don’t have a good eye for what works for me.

    I think you look great in that patterned blue top. You always seem to go for solids. It’s a fun change. Looks great with the white pants.

    Trends I am willing to kiss goodbye forever: the cold shoulder look, the wing sleeves, man buns, and shredded jeans!

    1. Finding a good salesperson is such a win! I found one yesterday and I will shop with her again. I never could embrace ripped jeans and will be very glad to see it fade away…if it does.

  6. For the most part, I prefer to make my own choices, but I do appreciate a helpful salesperson who isn’t too pushy.

    My favourite item from this post is definitely the Millie pull-on jeans. They fit well and look very comfortable and I love the colour.

  7. Helpful salesperson brought me a little black dress last week when I was trying on other dresses, I would never have considered it myself. But I bought it and love it, also it is so flattering to my body shape.
    Love that blue top on you- the first one, and the cold shoulder top looks good on you. It is a trend I don’t get, so many women in horrible stretchy tops and poor posture which the cold shoulder style highlights even more

    1. I’m not wild about body conscious cold shoulder tops, either. I think they need to flow away from the body to not look too revealing.

  8. I like help when I’m looking for something in particular. Otherwise, I like to browse unhindered by sales ladies. A suggestion is always nice but if they are pushy, I leave. I know my style, what fits my body type and what suits my laid back life. I do like someone close at hand to hang up my choices and to check back, as I try on, in case of another size is needed. Some stores make trying on clothes a good experience. Others, I have left due to lack of service.
    I really like the striped linen pants you tried on.

    1. Lack of service will drive me out of a store, faster than pushy salespeople. Those pants came home with me:)

  9. MYSELF!!!!!!!!!!!
    I KNOW WHAT I LIKE and what will WORK………….they have NO IDEA how I DRESS!
    PS.Just unsubscribed from my AOL account……..trying to close THAT DOWN!

  10. I almost always make contact with a likely salesperson when I’m shopping. I circulate fobbing off attempts to help me until I’m ready and then I pick the salesperson I think has seemed most helpful and knowledgeable. They know their products better than I do. And they can bring other items when I’m ensconced in the dressing room. Chatting and letting them know what my “fashion challenges” are, and what I’m looking for…because I almost never shop without a goal… can make shopping more fun. And you know…there are great salespeople out there who love to mix and match clothes. Just like we do.

    1. I agree with you, Sue. A really helpful salesperson continually checks back when you’re in the dressing room. There’s no worse service than feeling abandoned in the dressing room, needing another size and having to dress again to fetch it yourself. That is their job…service. If they suggest clothes to try, that’s a bonus.

  11. Where were you shopping? I think your saleslady was good! I like ALMOST everything you tried on.

  12. I never used to like sales people that were interfering in my shopping experience—but I think the age has wisened me!! Because you can’t notice everything at the store, and I find it’s so helpful to have a different perspective on items!!

    1. Exactly what I found this trip, Jodie. Some are more helpful than others and if i find they are slowing me down, I say thanks for your help, but I prefer to choose myself.

  13. I had a salesperson experience at Nordstrom several years ago. The gal pulled many pieces for me to try on but then was not available to help with the viewing. I wanted someone to explain the “whys” of what to wear, not just go around grabbing every XL top she could find. I could do that. I guess one has to pay the big bucks for a stylist to get feedback.

    1. If you want a trained, experienced opinion, your best bet is to hire and Image Consultant. They don’t work on commission.They can teach you what looks best on you so you can make future choices yourself with ease.

  14. You are right about a helpful sales person…they can open new doors for us we might not see. I really like the gray jeans with the white top…and the white cardigan is almost a must have staple for the closet…it looks great!

  15. I find most salespeople clueless, they are either part time students or sales staff who are on retainers and just want to sell you something. High end boutiques are different in as far as, the staff are better trained, but at the end of the day they are also on commission. One needs to know what suits them and I personally think most shoppers are automatically attracted to the colours that suit them. For instance I dislike autumn colours in clothing and they certainly do nothing for me. Lovely post Jennifer. xx

    1. You’re right, most earn a commission and some let that go to their head! We do need to stick with our intuition and have our own opinion make the decision to buy or not. That said, they sometimes point out things we would never have considered, that end up being winners for us.

  16. Flared trousers are my favorite. They help lengthen my legs. I love the styles you have tried on Jennifer. I’d love you to link up your style with me xx

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