That scary shop lady from the Nice'n'Easy commercial
We've all been there: a nice day out shopping in a city. Up until now, you've stuck mainly to mid price range shops, but now you're keen to have a look around a swanky department store. Perhaps just for fun, or perhaps you're considering making an investment buy. Either way, once there, you just can't escape the gaze of that snobbish-looking sales assistant. They're not all like that, but it's just your luck that you've ended up with the stare that makes you feel like Andy getting a dressing-down from Miranda in that scene from The Devil Wears Prada. But why should you have to feel like that? Even if you're not legitimately serious about buying, they don't know that. You have the right to have a look. So how do you deal with it?
Turning rude in defense is highly unlikely to earn you anything more than a more riled-up sales assistant who might even have an excuse to turf you out if you get aggressive. The best policy is to kill them with kindness. Be calm and smiling, respect shop rules (e.g. not eating or smoking inside), and counter every bit of their hostility with more friendliness. Maybe you'll shame them into treating you a little better or at the very least you'll know you've behaved with the utmost propriety.
Know your stuff
If you know that you can't do a half-loop stitch on low-viscosity rayon, then you won't be missold anything, and neither will you be patronised by someone who thinks they know a lot more about designers than you do. Whether you're genuinely in the market for a designer piece or just fancy some fantasy-browsing, it can't hurt to be up-to-date with what's going on with the big brands right now. Brush up on the hottest materials and colours to have and you'll be fine.
Ask for their help
Even if they ignored you as soon as you walked into the shop, it is still a sales assistant's job to, well, assist with sales. Don't be afraid to ask for a high-up bag to be brought down to you so you can feel all that buttery-soft Marc Jacobs goodness, nor should you hesitate to enquire about the location of the fitting rooms. In some cases, a grumpy shop assistant can actually brighten up once you involve them in your quest. Turns out they didn't hate you in the first place - they were just bored.
And if all else fails, just remember Eleanor Roosevelt's eternal - and rather overused, but in this situation I think appropriate - words of wisdom: "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent."
Images from Youtube, Pinterest and The Guardian