No need to take clothes off in Macy's Magic Fitting Room

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two young women in a dressing roomTouch screen mirror on the wall, what looks best on me for Fall? At Macy's Herald Square store in New York, there is a new miracle on 34th Street: the Magic Fitting Room, a temporary, Jetson's-style space that allows shoppers to "virtually" try on clothes without messing up their hair.

Equipped with a large, 72-inch digital mirror boasting 1,024 touch points and connected to an iPad, the Magic Fitting Room encourages fashionistas to scroll through the store's latest looks and "flick" the pieces they'd like to try on. Voila! The virtual clothes are transposed over the shopper's reflection in the mirror. Need a different size? Don't grow old waiting for a sales associate, 'flick" again and the image will be resized to suit your shape. Sort of an E-ticket ride for the style set.

Imagine a world without a glut of dressing room hangers? Or eliminating the need to gather items sherpa style throughout the store only to be forced to count them and discard a few before being granted a place to try them on? Nirvana!

Need a second, third or fourth opinion? Undecided shoppers can bring as many "virtual" friends as they'd like into Macy's Magic Fitting Room. The mirror is connected to a camera and the internet -- which, after securing a password, can transmit the image of a stylin' shopper to her entire Facebook posse or be e-mailed to dozens of her closest friends. Sort of like taking a photo with a cell phone, only, um way cooler. In return, their immediate comments and critiques will appear upon the mirror. Love it? Hate it? That's what friends are for. Save us from ourselves!

Web-based publication, Internet Retailer, also noted that by using the digital dressing room distant friends can suggest alternative fashion choices to their shopaholic sisters-in-style via Macy's.com.

"If the shopper likes something her friends have suggested, such as a dress, she can enlarge the image of the dress to appear life-size in the mirror and impose it over her reflection to virtually try it on," wrote Paul Demery. "If she still likes it, she can fetch the real item in the store, put it on, and use the mirror again to share her new look with her friends." Shopping by committee. Depending on our friends we may be inspired to buy more -or less.

Macy's spokesperson, Orlando Veras, told WalletPop, "It's a fun, easy way to see how an outfit may look on you and have your friends and family give you their virtual opinions on it, all done virtually."

Still, having one's reflection "try on" a pair of skinny jeans, and having one's own three-dimensional figure shimmy into that same darling denim are two different experiences. In spite of technical advances, there remains no substitute for mustering up the courage to schlepp swimwear (Lord have mercy) -- or other snug-fitting apparel into the dressing room and wiggle it on under ghoulish fluorescent lighting ... but I digress.

If the Magic Fitting Room is indeed "the future of retail" as Macy's suggests, then the future is only here for a few more short weeks and will be closing its digital doors November 1. Veras told WalletPop the concept was part of Macy's Find Your Magic campaign for Fall and the store does not have plans to put it in other locations.

"This virtual fitting room is a fairly new concept," said Veras, "we will have to wait and see how it develops before we could comment on its future use."

May I suggest future installations that also make us look younger and thinner while assuring us we are definitely the fairest of them all? Now, that's a dressing room line worth waiting in -- we might even buy something. Or at least seriously consider it.
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