Londoners spend an average of 11.8 weeks of their lives in changing rooms, trying to find the next perfect addition to their wardrobes. Yet, over half say that they find the entire process a hassle, according to new research from retail property group, Hammerson.

However, trying on clothes is an essential part of finding key fashion items, with the majority of Londoners stating that they will commit to a purchase immediately, if they like what they see when they tried their items on first.

Britain is a nation that loves shopping. In fact, from April to June this year quantity retail sales saw an uplift of 2.1%, the largest since February 2015. Brits have proven that they want to stay on trend and make smart retail purchasing decisions.

Londoners are more likely to shop solo than the average Brit, or with a friend. In fact, they are the least likely to shop with a spouse or partner that any other part of the UK. So, what is it about the changing room experience that gives the majority of Londoners the jitters?

The curtain gap is the biggest cause of angst according to over half (57%) of those questioned, while for some, a glance at the queue is enough to get garm-alarm and be put off.

In the midst of a sweltering summer, the temperature in the fitting rooms is a well-documented element that makes the changing process more uncomfortable, and just under half (46%) of Londoners questioned feel the squeeze when they try on, saying the cubicles are too small.

These little niggles add up, with two thirds of Londoners likely to skip the fitting room altogether and head straight to the tills if the hassle gets too much.

Centrale shopping centre in Croydon has teamed up with celebrity stylist, James Yardley, to provide Londoners with the insider tips on the ‘Ultimate Shopping Outfit’ to make the changing room as stress free as possible when you are on the hunt for the perfect items.

James’ secrets include:

Do… Plan your outfit before you leave the house for your spree. And be comfortable. Some women prefer to wear flats, but if you have a go-to pair of heels that you can last in all day, throw them on and strut your stuff.
Don’t Wear something for the first time. You don’t know how it wears, if it rubs etc. A crucial shopping trip is not the time to find out.
Do… Wear over the head tops and stylish joggers with stretch waistbandsto make changing easier. Avoid tricky fastenings.
Don’t… Wear skin tight outfits. They might seem like a good idea but after one trip to the fitting room, you’ll wish you wore that-breezy top and trousers instead.
Do… Embrace prints this season. Especially in menswear, exotic prints are huge this summer. Just because an outfit is functional, doesn’t mean it can’t be fashionable
Don’t… Wear anything that fastens in the back. There’s no panic like the panic of not being able to do your top back up in a sweltering changing room.


James Yardley said: “As a stylist, shopping is one of my favourite things to do, but I wouldn’t dream of hitting the shops in a ‘high maintenance’ outfit. There’s no reason people can’t bring the spark back to their shopping experience by planning ahead and nailing their outfit beforehand.”

  • Fashion conscious Londoners spend 11.8 weeks (83 days) of their lives trying on clothes
  • Over half (59%) of London shoppers dread the changing room experience
  • A gap in the curtain is the biggest fitting room fear
  • Celebrity stylist James Yardley shares tips on Ultimate Shopping Outfit

For more information on the stores that are available at Centrale, your local Hammerson centre, visit