Q: I recently tried on an purchased clothing at a retail store. As I left the fitting room, I left some tried-on and rejected clothing in the room. The sales associate on the floor questioned me about it and indicated with a wave of her hand that I should bring the clothes out and place them on the rack for her to re-shelve them.
I was stunned at her non-verbal request and immediately complied, though not happily. If it had been a polite request with a ‘please’ I might have been more sanguine. But I was under the impression that clearing the fitting room and removing rejected clothing for re-stocking was part of her job, and not a part of mine, as I am a customer and not an employee.
What is the Emily Post Institute’s opinion on clothing left in fitting rooms? Is it rude for the customer to leave the clothing behind?
A: Yes, what you take in, you should also take out. There are not enough employees in most stores to restore a fitting room after every customer and it is not thoughtful to leave your discarded clothing lying on the floor, on a bench, or even hanging back on their hangers, for this means the person who enters after you has to deal with your rejects before trying on her own clothing.