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In Saudi Arabia, women are not allowed to try on clothes in most retail stores. 

Female fitting rooms are non-existent in the majority of shopping outlets across the kingdom and this is mainly due to the fact that most sales staff are male. 

Even though things seem to be slowly changing, with several huge outlets in the kingdom opening female changing rooms in recent months, many women in the country are understandably still frustrated over the issue. 

We spoke to a few, asking them to share their opinions on the matter. Here's what they told us: 

"It's as sexist as anything can get"

In a statement to StepFeed, Lara, a Lebanese expat who lives in Jeddah, weighed in on the matter. 

"It's truly one of the most frustrating things I've ever encountered. Imagine going into a store, having to actually buy clothes without even trying them on. In what world does this make sense? It's not enough to just have fitting rooms in stores run by women, they should be in every outlet regardless of who works there. A changing room is a private, closed space, so what does it matter anyways?" she said. 

However, she also stressed that things seem to be changing for the better. Even though no official statement on the matter has been issued, more stores across the kingdom have been opening up fitting rooms for women.

"Honestly, in recent months, I've been to two or three stores that have fitting rooms, so I can say things are getting a little better. This is especially true in cities like Jeddah. However, the majority of places still don't have them," she explained.

"I've been to so many stores where there are men's fitting rooms but none for us. It's as sexist as anything can get and it needs to change in cities across the kingdom, not just in a few. What's the big deal if there's a fitting room for women in a store?" she added.

"I avoided buying clothes here as much as I could"

27-year-old Saudi illustrator, Nouf, also spoke to StepFeed, expressing her viewpoint.  

"I dream of the day when I can walk into every single store in my country and be able to try clothes on in a fitting room. It might seem funny to you, but to me, yes, unfortunately it's a dream. Even though there are a few exceptions, most places still don't have fitting rooms for women and I find that so unfair," she said. 

Nouf added that while some of her acquaintances are now used to the fact that they have to try on clothes at home most of the time, she was never able to come to terms with it.

"So many of my friends actually got used to it and think it's fine now. They buy tons of clothes at once and try them all at home before going back to return things they don't want to keep. But personally, I think that's a huge waste of time and I can't imagine doing it every time I need to buy clothes," she added. 

When asked what she used to do to avoid the hassle, Nouf explained: 

"I avoided buying clothes here as much as I could and resorted to online stores. I more or less know my size and used size charts to keep track of things. It worked most of the time. However, now that more retailers seem to be open to the idea of providing us with fitting rooms, I can say things are starting to get easier."

"Go try things at home, then come return them. Absurdism at its worst"

Rania, an Egyptian expat who lived in Saudi Arabia for five years before moving to Dubai in 2016, said she was shocked to learn there were no fitting rooms in the majority of stores she went to when she arrived in the kingdom. 

"Before I moved there I had no idea there were no changing rooms in stores. My husband laughed so much at how shocked I was. I just didn't get it at first. Go try things at home, then come return them. Absurdism at its worst."

When asked how she dealt with having to try things on at home and then return outfits she didn't like, Rania said: 

"It was so hard at the beginning, but I honestly got used to it later on. There are several malls that had fitting rooms designated for women outside stores. Even though that's better than taking outfits back home to try them on, it still meant I had to pay for everything, then have to return or exchange it." 

"Of course if in-store fitting rooms open in more places that'd be incredible and such a huge improvement. I think this change is already starting to happen." 

"Hopeful about this given all the latest improvements in our rights"

Speaking to StepFeed, Rima, a Saudi master's student, said she's hopeful that more and more female fitting rooms will be opening across the kingdom soon. 

"I am hopeful about this given all the latest improvements in our rights. I mean after huge changes including the lift on the women's driving ban and several other decrees allowing us to work in fields previously limited to men, I think this shouldn't be as big of a deal anymore," she said.

2017 proved to be a triumphant year for Saudi women as it saw the kingdom lift a long-standing and highly criticized ban on women driving and in recent years, the kingdom has been making significant strides when it comes to women's rights in general. 

"It's a period of time when as a woman I can feel the change in my country. I hope that it expands to cover everything that stops us from leading normal lives," she added.