As much as I encourage people to wear what they like, I think there's a fine line between personal style and personal disaster. All clothing is not created equal.
An illustration of one such shopper who toed the line and unfortunately swan dived into the wrong side. A woman in her mid thirties held up a pair of gray leggings she retrieved from a rack at a store I won't name, and contemplated them about a foot in front of her face. I winced at the sight, without even considering her body type. I continued rummaging through the racks myself and picked a few tops for the fitting room. Once in line for a tiny room, I found myself directly behind the ill-fated shopper, clutching the gray leggings in her arms like a football. Inside my fluorescent lit box, nothing looked particularly becoming (as it rarely does in such lighting). I gathered my selections and exited the room (never leave your discarded pieces in the room!). To my surprise (and then immediate dismay) the misguided shopper was angling in the 3-way mirror like a proud turkey checking out all aspects of the vile leggings.
This is a rare occasion where the company of an honest shopping companion would come in handy. Such a friend could remind the poor woman that she is no longer in college, she is not dressing for a gym class, and she is not competing in a Lindsay Lohan lookalike contest. (The woman's size is not a factor in her ability to wear leggings, they don't look good on anyone, trust me. I bemoan the day leggings were made by a label other than Jockey.)
I could tell by the proud turkey's expression that she was pleased with the leggings, and into her 'yes' pile they went. What could I do? I am at least smart enough to know that no one really wants your opinion (usually this is true even when they ask.) Another tragedy in the dressing room and unfortunate purchase.