7 Sep

POLL: Do You Wash Brand New Clothes Before You Wear Them?

Travis and I met a couple of college friends for a double date on Friday night.  We hadn’t seen each other much this summer, and we were catching up on our respective jobs.  One of my friends works in Loss Prevention for a major department store, and a horror story she shared from work has forced me to re-think the way I shop.

Before you read on, answer me this…



Full disclosure: I don’t usually wash brand new clothes before wearing them, but thanks to this little anecdote, that will no longer be the case!  Here’s her story…

Essentially, my friend’s job is to keep an eye on customers for any suspicious activity.  One day, she saw a woman acting strangely and collecting a bunch of expensive clothes, so she followed the woman to the fitting room and peeked through the door slats to see if she was actually trying the items on.  (Don’t worry— she promises that they only do this when they have a reasonable suspicion that a customer is stealing merchandise.)


Sure enough, the woman stuffed the clothes into her purse and exited the dressing room.  My friend followed her up to the second floor, where she went into another dressing room, carrying a skirt.  Peeking again through the slats, my friend watched the woman urinate in the corner of the fitting room!  As if this wasn’t bad enough, she then used the skirt in lieu of toilet paper.  When she was finished, she left the dressing room, put the skirt on a hanger, and HUNG IT BACK ON THE RACK!!!

I honestly don’t even know where to begin.  The fitting room was cleaned, the soiled garment was removed, and the woman was arrested and will serve time for her horrifying action, but I can’t help but wonder: what if she hadn’t been caught?!

Do you wash brand new clothes from a department store before you wear them?  If the answer is yes, will you continue to do so after reading this story?  Have you ever heard of anything like this happening?  Share your thoughts in the comments!

{ posted: Tuesday, September 7, 2010 }


Comments: {8}

  • Michelle Anna writes:

    I always wash my clothes before wearing them…not just for cleanliness, but also to wash out extra dye and chemicals that can rub on your skin!

    P.S. I don’t know if this is true too, but I heard that if you get a stain on your brand new unwashed clothes, it’ll be harder to wash it out.

  • Noel writes:

    After this story I will wash everytime before I wear. Gross!

  • Sara writes:

    Literally two minutes before I read this, I put on a new skirt that I have not washed. …I am horribly uncomfortable now.

  • Mariposa writes:

    There has been a LOT of TV news coverage about an epidemic of bed bugs (creepy parasites!) in the New York, and elsewhere. They are widespread in hotels, but recently they were found in a movie theater in Times Square, and in a Victoria’s Secret retail store. All in NY, I think; but people travel, and carry the little buggers with them. My mom taught my sister and me to ALWAYS wash new clothes before wearing them. I’ve wondered if this was a bit obsessive, until I heard a whole lot about bed bugs!

  • Lara writes:

    aaaaaaaahh! that is awful! and it reminds me of the ross in san luis obispo, that closed their fitting rooms during the farmers market (essentially a drunk street fair every thursday) after repeatedly finding the rooms used as toilets for those too drunnk to care/find a restroom. gross.

  • Amelia writes:

    I always wash my undies… but never thought of the other items. Now I will!

  • kris writes:

    ummm eww! definitly washing EVERYTHING that i buy now… thats just gross! bleh im completely grossed out by this

  • Mariah writes:

    Oh no!! I’ve never heard of anything like this! I normally don’t wash them because I’m too excited with getting new clothes that I want to wear them right away… guess that’s going to change.

To prove you're a person (not a spam script), type the security word shown in the picture. Click on the picture to hear an audio file of the word.
Click to hear an audio file of the anti-spam word