LOS ANGELES (CBS) — Deciding what clothes you’ll buy when you’re out shopping comes down to more than just the price and how you think it looks on you.

The psychology of the dressing room plays a big part in your decision.

Sometimes you leave the mall empty-handed – other times with more than you can handle.

It all comes down to different factors– like how much money you have to spend or what kind of mood you’re in.

“If I feel in a pretty mood or relaxed mood. Or stressed.”

And perhaps one you didn’t bargain for — who’s in the dressing room next door?

“It’s all a mental game.”

Psychology shaping the shopping experience? Researchers say, absolutely.

They say shoppers who don’t feel good about their bodies are less likely to buy something they try on if they see someone else — in their mind — who’s more attractive trying on the same thing.

“Just our self esteem. We don’t like to see someone else looking better in something.”

A mother of four recalls her last fitting room fit.

“A girl next door to me came out with the same thing I was wearing and she looked like a bombshell so I dropped everything and left,” she said.

She’s not alone.

“Sometimes I’ll be like, ‘Ugh! Why does it look better on her? Or on her legs? Or why does it look better like this? Why can’t I wear it like that? I don’t think I want it anymore.’”

But not everyone buys that idea.

Retail experts say models, mannequins and yes, even “Miss Bombshell Next Door” can actually help sell an item.

“When they do see customers trying on our clothes in the fitting rooms they wanna try on the same outfit,” Kaniya Chauy, a store manager, said.

“We’re not all equal. We all have different sizes, shapes. We just have to believe in our own style and just look hot in it.”

Some women say it’s not always easy — but when you outfit yourself with more self-confidence all that browsing is more likely to pay off.

More Consumer News

Watch & Listen LIVE