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to be surprised by single sex changing rooms in M&S!

(234 Posts)
MrsMaturin Sat 07-Jun-14 14:56:07

There is a new M&S near us. It's pretty huge with ladieswear downstairs with a changing room and then menswear and childrens upstairs also with a changing room.
This week I took dd2 (13) to look for a school skirt which she had to try one because school are v fussy about length. We found two and headed over to the changing rooms on that floor. When we got there the man wouldn't let us in saying it was men only. I pointed out that the children's department was also on that floor with no separate facility but he was implacable. AIBU in finding this really odd? The changing rooms are all made up of cubicles and I've never been told they are single sex. If I had been shopping with my son would I be told to wait outside, unable to see how the garments looked on him? This is a minor issue of course but his officious exclusion of us really made me cross plus the ladies changing rooms were miles away. If we'd wanted the staff there to fetch us something else it would have taken them quite some time.
Or am I being weird and you would expect changing rooms to be single sex only in a major clothing shop/department store?

FatalCabbage Sat 07-Jun-14 15:00:39

How daft! Perhaps they don't expect children to try on?

Our M&S has a weird popup changing room thing near the school uniform, come to think of it.

What did he say? "Sorry, you'll have to go downstairs?"

Because frankly there comes a point where you say "Nothanks, I'll go to JL instead."

Meloria Sat 07-Jun-14 15:00:46

Aren't changing rooms always single sex, children's ones aside?

MrsMaturin Sat 07-Jun-14 15:06:21

My thinking was that they were sort of accidentally single sex in that you used the one neareast your department and if that happened to mean men and women (or kids) were in there then that's why there's cubicles! He said 'you can't come in here, it's the mens changing area' and I said 'you're kidding, the childrens area is right over there' and then he said we had to go downstairs so I turned on my heel in mega pissed off ness grin Had it not been for dd wanting the skirt I would have simply walked out. Damn things were too short anyway

Charlieboo30 Sat 07-Jun-14 15:16:46

Where I live, all shops have single sex changing rooms. You would still be expected to use the correct sex even if it was a child. TBH, I'd be hmm if this wasn't the case. Maybe I'm just used to it but I agree with the shop on this one. Sorry!

Canus Sat 07-Jun-14 15:20:20

I'm very nearly 40, and have never encountered anything other than single-sex changing rooms in stores in the UK.

Where have you seen unisex ones?

CorusKate Sat 07-Jun-14 15:20:42

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Nanny0gg Sat 07-Jun-14 15:24:17

I don't think I've ever been in a shop that caters for the middle-aged (M&S, John Lewis etc) that wasn't unisex changing rooms.

There are no buzzers in them so if you need an assistant you have to at least stick your head out of your cubicle. I don't particularly want to see a bloke sitting there.

MrsMaturin Sat 07-Jun-14 15:24:40

I've never seen a changing room that declares itself to be single sex like this one did grin I guess a lot of the time they are in effect single sex but it had never occurred to me to expect to be turned away.

AuditAngel Sat 07-Jun-14 15:24:47

So Charlieboo if I am buying uniform for DS aged 9 and DD 7 you'd expect me to queue once for DS and again for DD? Even though they regularly sleep in the same room? I'd have made my two try it on outside the fitting room just to piss him off (MrsM I know your DD is too old for that!)

beccajoh Sat 07-Jun-14 15:28:49

I thought this was fairly standard. Never really though about it WRT to children, though, as my oldest is only 23m so she doesn't even come clothes shopping with me let alone try it on.

SauvignonBlanche Sat 07-Jun-14 15:30:05

Was this Ellesmere Port? That is huge.

MrsMaturin Sat 07-Jun-14 15:32:38

No this is the new York shop. The old one at Monks cross had changing rooms at the back near lingerie and then another at the side nearer menswear. I'm sure we've used both depending on where we happened to be when trying on.

CorusKate Sat 07-Jun-14 15:33:00

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Charlieboo30 Sat 07-Jun-14 15:34:08

Audit - I've never really thought about it for kids and I can see how it would be a pain but it's the norm around here. My auntie has a boy and a girl. She sends the boy (12) in to try it on and then he comes out to show her. I'm not sure of a solution if they're smaller and can't try things on by themselves.

ChunkyPickle Sat 07-Jun-14 15:34:41

I can't think that I've ever really seen them labelled as single sex - perhaps they were and I've just never noticed?

All I've seen is that they don't want two people of different sexes going into the same cubicle to prevent shenanigans.

And supermarkets generally just have one big one in the middle of the clothes section that's definitely unisex..

I really can't say that I'm bothered by half-dressed blokes next door - and good on anyone who manages to get an assistant to get them another size anyhow, I've rarely managed it.

petalunicorn Sat 07-Jun-14 15:35:21

This has caused problems for my ddad in M&S - dmum is disabled. He selected some trousers for her to try and wasn't allowed to help her, so she couldn't try them on. He needed to try them on her because her weight was fluctuating a lot and that was why she needed new clothes. He had a wasted trip when taking mum out is difficult. I had to take her on another day.

I actually think all facilities should be unisex, including toilets and have cubicles for privacy. It would solve a lot of problems with children being accompanied and for people who self define their gender. I also think that children should wear a unisex uniform though so I'm probably an extremist or something.

calmet Sat 07-Jun-14 15:36:55

I have only ever been in single sex changing rooms. I have never seen unisex ones except in trendy shops aimed at teenagers.

And I agree with that.

calmet Sat 07-Jun-14 15:37:53

petalunicorn - I think people should have a choice. Many people like me prefer single sex changing rooms. We matter too.

NoArmaniNoPunani Sat 07-Jun-14 15:38:10

Which shops have unisex changing rooms? I've only ever seen separate ones for men and women

CorusKate Sat 07-Jun-14 15:38:21

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SantasLittleMonkeyButler Sat 07-Jun-14 15:38:49

Asda has a unisex changing room - with individual cubicles obviously. Apart from that though, I have only ever encountered single sex changing facilities in shops.

MrsMaturin Sat 07-Jun-14 15:39:06

I'm pro unisex changing with cubicles, pro husbands helping disabled wives ( I would have been LIVID about your parents' situation Petal) and anti uniform of any sort grin Probably why I was so pissed off about this. Not only do I have to buy a sodding ugly skirt of a sodding ugly length but I had to go <<whines>> all the way down the escalator and across the shop to discover said skirt was too short. It doesn't help that the ceilings are quite reflective and it's a new shop so I keep losing my bearings <,whines some more>>

calmet Sat 07-Jun-14 15:40:06

Also in Department store changing rooms you buzz for ther bra fitting service. So you have to open your cubicle to let the female assistant see you in the bra you are trying on. I am not doing taht when there could be a man standing outside.

I know it is trendy on MN to say you don't care if men you don't know see you half undressed. In reality many people do care about this.

calmet Sat 07-Jun-14 15:40:56

ASDA where I live has female and male changing rooms.

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