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Mirror, Mirror: Are Consumers Ready to See How They Look in Jeans IRL?

Shopping for jeans typically takes more than one turn around the mall—especially now that quality increasingly trumps quantity and consumers are much more selective when it comes to their denim. That’s why it’s paramount consumers like what they see in the mirror.

Retailers are responding to this pressure the best way they can by incorporating technology into the fitting room experience. To tackle the issue, Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom enhanced their fitting rooms at select locations. The retailers installed Memory Mirror, a full-size smart mirror that—with the shopper’s consent—takes photos and videos of their outfits so they can see how they look from the back and in motion.

Likewise, Topshop tried its hand at augmented reality with a virtual dressing room that gave shoppers the ability to superimpose a 3D image of a garment on their body.

With all of the innovations in dressing room technology, it seems almost too simple to incorporate an enhancement that doesn’t require a WiFi connection. But what if the solution to discovering the real way shoppers see themselves in jeans—sans filters, lighting and special effects—is by looking into a mirror that promises just that?

Artist John Walter created True Mirror as a way to introduce people to their true selves. It joins two front-surface mirrors at exactly 90 degrees to form a seamless, 3D, non-reversed image. Basically, it shows a person their actual appearance, as opposed to just their reflection.

“A standard mirror is essentially an inauthentic version that has been looking back at us—unquestioned, ubiquitous and solitary—since childhood when we first used one,” Walter said. “A True Mirror creates the experience of looking at yourself without being backwards.”

True Mirrors
True Mirrors Courtesy

Because the mirror provides a view people aren’t used to, they often perceive the image as a slightly more crooked version of themselves—but since it’s the most precise portrayal, what the customer sees is what they get in store and out in real life.

“A lot of people are not ready for such a strong change, but it’s just a matter of getting used to it,” Walter said. “At the end of the day, on the other side is a more ‘normal’ version of you; the one that everyone else is seeing.”