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Does dressing room mirror reflect true you?

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Retailers may not admit it, but some shoppers are convinced their purchases are manipulated by "skinny mirrors." Retailers may not admit it, but some shoppers are convinced their purchases are manipulated by "skinny mirrors."
A secret shopper tested mirrors at a local mall, large retail stores and boutiques. A secret shopper tested mirrors at a local mall, large retail stores and boutiques.
A local physics teacher, Jody Bowie, sheds some light on the science of the "skinny mirror." A local physics teacher, Jody Bowie, sheds some light on the science of the "skinny mirror."

By Jennifer Pierce, NEWS 9


Have you ever wondered why you look better in clothes at the store than you do at home?

Retailers may not admit it, but some shoppers are convinced their purchases are manipulated by "skinny mirrors."

In 2008, thin is in.  From our favorite technology, to the fashion forward. Everything is shrinking -- the smaller, the better.

Sometimes consumers will stretch their physical limits to make a thin appearance. 
 
Even our favorite stores reflect our need to fit in...to the smallest size possible.

And popular culture has referenced the long-standing myth of the "skinny mirror." 

So, NEWS 9 put the "skinny mirror" myth to the test.  

A secret shopper tested mirrors at a local mall, large retail stores and boutiques.  

Tiffany went into several stores, and tried on a few pieces of clothing. What she experienced once inside the dressing room was eye-opening. She said the mirrors all appeared to make herlook slimmer.

"Because of the way it was positioned, it made you look a lot taller," she said.
 
A local physics teacher sheds some light on the science of the "skinny mirror."

If a mirror is straight up and down, your image will not change. But even the slightest bend can make a difference, said physics teacher Jody Bowie.

"Really it's just a piece of glass with a reflection on the back so if the glass is bent in any way, shape or fashion," Bowie said, "If you make it bend this way, the light would hit the mirror and go off in an angle so it would make you look larger. A bend in the opposite direction will make you look slimmer.

Why do some retailers distort their mirrors?

We contacted the 11 stores our shopper visited. Most did not return our calls or had no comment.
 
But shoppers who are keen on the tricks of the trade know exactly why they look so good in these mirrors.  

Because if you look good in it, you're going to buy it.

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