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Hot Fellow Shoppers Make You Less Likely To Buy, Study Shows

The Huffington Post   First Posted: 08/18/2011 8:41 am Updated: 10/18/2011 5:12 am

It's always nice when science validates what we kind of already thought was true.

Case in point: new research shows that when you feel unhappy about your body while trying on an outfit in a store and you see a hot customer or salesperson wearing that same outfit, you are definitely less likely to buy it.

ScienceDaily (our go-to site, of course) reported on the new study, published in the Journal of Consumer Research. The authors of the paper write:

"If [the low self-esteem customer] sees a dress on an attractive consumer in the store and is trying on the same dress herself, as she looks in the mirror she now thinks to herself, 'That dress is really cute and stylish on me, but compared to her, I look terrible!'"

Makes perfect sense to us. When we try on a pair of jeans that only sorta, kinda fit us and we see a super cute girl waltz out of the dressing room with wearing the same jeans to perfection... yes, we will definitely hang that denim back on the rack.

Does the same thing apply to sales clerks, who are essentially hired to look good in the clothes? The authors of the study say "yes," questioning whether it's even a smart idea to have to salespeople wear the store brand clothes-- especially, we'd add, in a place like Hollister or Abercrombie & Fitch where the sales kids are basically swimsuit models.

Then again, the study highlights, the findings only apply when shoppers have low self-esteem to begin with. If you love your body and feel great in it, seeing a lithe 15-year-old salesgirl in a size zero version of the dress you're trying on won't be so bad.

So what an easy fix -- just have great self-esteem!

Or, you know, do what we do and go shoe shopping. You can never feel fat in a good pair of shoes.

Read more at ScienceDaily.com.

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