Fashion Confessions: I Got Stuck Inside My Clothes

In the latest in our Fashion Confessions series, Fashion Police founder Amber McNaught remembers that one time she got stuck inside her clothes. And by “that one time” she means “those two times”…

shocked retro woman

I say I got stuck inside MY clothes: that’s not quite accurate. They were actually Zara’s clothes, and that’s Zara as in the store, not some friend of mine, who might have at least have been able to help me out of my predicament.

So there I was, in the Zara changing rooms one fine day, clutching a fabulous pair of skinny jeans. Now, I don’t know about you, but I always find skinny jeans problematic in the fit department, and by that I mean “they don’t”. Fit, that is. In general, if they’re the right size at the waist, the legs will be so tight they threaten to cut off my circulation, but if they fit in the legs, they’ll be so large in the waist that I’ll have a bad case of builder’s butt at all times.

I don’t know why I expected Zara’s offerings to be any better than anyone else’s but apparently I did, and that’s how I came to find myself struggling into a pair of jeans one day, and rejoicing when I managed to both pull them over my calves AND fasten the button at the waist. They fit! They were neither too big nor too small and although they were far too long in the leg, that’s par for the course with me and jeans, so I was prepared to put up with it. And as it turned out, I almost had to PERMANENTLY put up with it, because while the jeans had gone ON without too much trouble, when it came to getting them OFF again, it was a whole different story, and those jeans got as far as my ankles before sticking fast.

Uh-oh. I lowered myself onto the handy chair in the fitting room and considered my situation. I had no idea how it had happened. I’d managed to get them ON over my feet and ankles, after all, and I was pretty sure those body parts hadn’t grown any in the short time I’d been trying the ill-fated jeans on, but somehow they just refused to go over my feet.

I tried everything I could think of, which, to be completely honest, mostly involved simply tugging progressively harder and pointing my toes. There are only so many ways to remove a pair of jeans, after all, and when I’d tried all of them (including basically turning them outside-in to allow me to pull harder) and the jeans still remained glued to my ankles, I must admit, I started to panic. What would I do? How would I explain myself? Would I need to be cut out of them, and could I stand the embarrassed if so? I really didn’t think I could, which left just one solution: I’d have to pull the jeans back on, do them up, and buy the damn things, telling the sales assistant that I absolutely MUST wear them out of the store. Then I’d have to resign myself to spending the rest of my life encased in a pair of jeans that, honestly, I was rapidly starting to go off anyway. GOD.

I’m not sure what done it – perhaps it was simply the thought of never being able to wear any of my beloved dresses or skirts again – but I gave one final tug on the hem of the jeans, and miracle of miracles, they came flying off, sending me rolling backwards across the fitting room – you know, just in case I didn’t feel ridiculous enough already?

It was a lucky escape, and one I was so thankful for that I vowed it must never happen again.

Naturally, then, it happened again. Yes.

Once again, I was in the Zara fitting room, which is obviously a place I should avoid from now on. This time, however, I thought I was safe, because rather than jeans, the difficult things that they are, I was trying on a perfectly innocent looking peplum top. What could go wrong, I asked myself, as I pulled it over my head, fastened the button at the neckline, and admired how perfectly it fit around my waist. And therein lay the problem. The top was the perfect fit for my waist. My waist is smaller than my bust. I had somehow managed to get it ON over said bust – and I honestly have no idea just HOW I’d done this, because I hadn’t had to tug on it or anything like that – but when it came to pulling it OFF again? Exactly the same scenario as above: the top got so far… and then it stuck fast. This time was actually much worse for me, because when the top stuck, it managed to trap my arms in a strange kind of “pulling a top over my head” position, and for a long time I remained like that, rapidly starting to panic as I realised I was probably going to have to go out of the dressing room and seek help with a peplum top covering my face (Small mercy, I guess…) and my bra on show.

I don’t remember how I managed to get it off in the end. I DO remember that it took a very long time, and that at one point I really thought the only solution was going to involve a pair of scissors and a LOT of humiliation, but eventually I managed to ease it over my boobs: the top was mercifully undamaged by its ordeal, my ego not so much. I still don’t know how on earth that thing was supposed to fit anyone, because without a zip of some sort, and in a non-stretch fabric, the larger size might have been easier to get off, but it would’ve been too big around the waist – not that I hung around to find out, mind you.

I haven’t been trapped in a fitting room since that incident. Mind you, I tend to do most of my shopping online these days…


About the author:
Amber McNaught is a journalist-turned-blogger and the founder of The Fashion Police and Shoeperwoman. She blogs about personal style and life in general at Forever Amber. She’s still looking for the right pair of skinny jeans and a peplum top…


  • April 18, 2013


    OMG Amber, this has happened to me twice! Once in a top in Etam years and years ago (like, long enough ago that Etam was still a thing over here) and then again in a dress in Urban Outfitters – which has UNISEX changing rooms. Both times I was lucky enough to have friends with me who could come and free me, but it’s so stressful because I panic, and then I start to sweat and swell up slightly, and then it makes the sticking worse!

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    • April 18, 2013

      The Fashion Police

      Yup, same here… both times this has happened to me I’ve actually broken out in a cold sweat of panic, and then I start worrying I’ll ruin the item, which makes me panic more, and… GAH. I was on my own, too: I think always making sure there’s someone with me could be a good tactic for the future, because I know people are probably reading this and assuming I try to cram myself into too-small clothes, but the strange thing was that they both actually fit fine once they were on (I have loads of stuff from Zara, and they were the same size I always buy, too): it was getting them back off that was the problem!

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  • April 18, 2013


    I got stuck inside a dress in a souk in Dubai once. I’d tried it on over my clothes in the middle of the shop with assistance from my boyfriend and the shop owner, and when it came to getting it off again I got stuck with it halfway off, my arms trapped above my head and the dress covering my face. It took quite a lot of yanking to get it off, but the shop owner’s help seemed to mostly involve grabbing my boob! O_o

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  • April 19, 2013


    The solution to the peplum top is easy. I have a number of medieval undergarments that are made from non-stretchy material and thus had to learn to get them off properly. Here’s the trick: don’t try to get the top (or non-stretchy dress) off in one movement. That won’t work and might even trap your arms. Instead, tuck the narrowest part of the top over your bust, right under the arms. This way your boobs are out of the way and can’t trap you. Now bend over, move your shoulders together, and pull the backside of your top or dress over your head. The top or dress gets turned inside out in that process.
    Before I figured that out, I got stuck in my costumes quite a lot.

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  • April 19, 2013

    LIz Tea Bee

    l actually had to have the clerk help me when I got the zipper of a dress stuck half way down. It wasn’t far enough down that I could maneuver out of it but I also couldn’t get the fabric out of the zipper. Fortunately, it wasn’t crowded.

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  • April 19, 2013


    It happened to me with shapewear. I had tried on a body slip with a lot of bra padding. Don’t know what I was thinking, I have a rather muscular and incompressible body without a lot of secondary sexual characteristics and I wonder if I thought the thing would reshape me into a female form. It went on difficult enough, but that’s supposed to be normal. It was suffocating, but offered no improvement, the instant siren figure I had imagined was still not there. Up again, it got somehow stuck to my shoulders (in lieu of boobs). It blindfolded me and was starting to cut off my air supply. I thought I would blame the saleslady if the thing ripped apart, beacuse she had chosen the size for me, and gave a mighty tug. Now if I hadn’t been the lady who lifts everybody’s luggage up onto the overhead rack, I couldn’t have freed myself. It keeps me wondering how really well-padded women are getting into and out of these shapewear garments: Is there some sort of robotic crane you install in your home when you start wearing shaping garments?

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  • October 5, 2013


    This happened to me once. It a kimono-style blouse, and while it looked good, I changed my mind when I thought about its price. I had a hard time pulling it off because it stuck on my bust, but thankfully I escaped without damaging the blouse. 🙂

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