My late Mother used to say “mirrors never lie”. But they do. Items that look fab in the changing room might look disappointing in your mirror at home. I used to think I was imagining the existence of “skinny mirrors”, but sadly, I wasn’t. Some stores have mirrors that give a distorted impression to make you think that their garments are magically removing ten pounds.

I’m sure that the skinny mirror phenomenon is fueling the return rut. No doubt retailers that employ this tactic have done a calculation showing that the additional sales generated by the skinny mirror compensate for the extra costs associated with the returns. This means that some of us are not returning the items we purchased under “false reflection”. Instead, they are probably becoming wardrobe orphans because we’re never quite satisfied with them when we put them on.

I would like to magically fold up our full length mirror and pull it out when I need it in stores. That’s not going to happen, but the next best thing is to try on your purchases when you get home. Look at them with a critical eye in the mirror you use every day. If you’re in doubt, return the item immediately.