A woman who asked if a top she liked came in a size 18 says she was left to feel ’embarrassed and a bit low’ after she claims Topshop store assistants laughed at her.
Claire Jones, 30, from Birmingham, was trying on clothes in the high street chain’s Victoria Centre branch in Nottingham when she asked a member of changing room staff if they had the garment in a size 18.
Jones says the staff member turned to a colleague and appeared to laugh at her request – before telling her: ‘Topshop ‘do not stock plus sizes’, leaving Claire mortified and fleeing the store without buying the top.
Claire Jones spotted a top she liked online…but when she visited a Nottingham branch of the store to buy it, she said staff appeared to laugh at her when she asked for a size 18
The 30-year-old, from Birmingham, says she normally wears a size 16 but after trying on the top she decided to enquire about a size 18 for a better fit
However, the office worker believes the attitude is symptomatic of high street stores encouraging shoppers to aim to be extremely thin and she claims Topshop had lots of size 4, which she believes a healthy adult could not get into.
Claire, from Birmingham, said: ‘I had seen a top online and my friend suggested we go in to see if I could try it on.
‘I found the top in a 16 but as the style of the top was quite tight I didn’t feel comfortable when I was trying it on so I decided to try an 18.
‘I don’t normally wear a size 18 but because the top was a different fit to what I am used to I wanted to be a bit more comfortable.
She continues: ‘I asked the lady manning the changing room if they had any size 18s on the shop floor and she turned to her colleague and started to laugh.
‘She then turned around and told me that they do not stock plus sized clothing in store.
Confidence: Claire says that the comments left her feeling low and that stores should appreciated that the national average size for women in the UK is a size 16
Bidding farewell: The shopper says she’s unlikely to return to the store again after the experience
‘They’re customer assistants who are meant to help shoppers, not make them feel embarrassed about wanting a bigger size.
‘I just said that I don’t see how 18 is a plus size and decided to leave the store.
‘I’m lucky that I am really happy and confident in my own skin and with how I look so it hasn’t really affected me in the long run – it did make me feel really rubbish on the day and I felt a bit low.
‘I also don’t think I’ll be returning to Topshop.
I think the sizing in store makes people feel rubbish and inspires people to be smaller…
‘I’m just worried about how this would affect a younger girl who may be more impressionable.’
Claire, who says she is usually a size 14 to 16, claims she has never been treated this way before when asking for a larger size in stores but thinks that there is a lack of average sizes on the rails.
Claire said: ‘I wouldn’t say I go in to Topshop all the time but I do like going in every now and again to see what they have in.
‘I’ve never had anyone say anything about my size before, so I wasn’t expecting anyone to say anything this time.
‘When I was younger I worked in a fashion store and we didn’t even stock below a size eight.
Claire says no-one has ever said anything to her about her size before so the experience left her feeling uncomfortable
Topshop has declined to comment on Claire’s experience in store but she says she was shocked to see so many size 4s on the shelves and hardly any 16s or 18s
‘When I was looking on the shelves there were hardly any 16s or 18s but there were plenty of size fours.
‘I believe a four is the same size as an average eight-year-old. I don’t think there is an adult anywhere that is that small.
Claire adds: ‘I think the sizing in store makes people feel rubbish and inspires people to be smaller. The average woman is a size 16, why don’t they stock clothes that are for the average woman.
‘Topshop can sometimes be perceived as a shop for the younger generation but I think anyone should be able to shop in there regardless of their shape, size or age.’
Topshop declined to comment.