Disappointments and successes of shopping as a plus size woman

Today, I went on a spending spree in Westfield shopping centre in London and I had a lot of fun browsing clothes and trying on different outfits. I wear a size 16 in most UK clothing stores, but sometimes I need a size 14 or a size 18 depending on the store or the item of clothing. I find shopping very difficult at times and it can have a massive effect on my self confidence when I don’t fit into a particular size. It’s for this reason that going to a fitting room can fill me with dread.

By recently comparing my measurements to online size guides for several websites, I was told that I was a 16 for most stores and an 18 in a couple. I’ve lost some weight recently and I’m always a bit unsure about what size I actually am, as my weight has fluctuated up and down through the years. So when I went shopping I wanted to have a good idea of what sizes I need. These measurements should have, in theory, been enough to base my shopping trip on. However, this wasn’t the case.

The first place that had some sizing issues was Primark. This has happened before, so I was expecting it and I’m never quite sure what size to pick up. It just happened that this day was the day I was wearing a size 14 maxi dress from Primark that fits me perfectly, but I felt like picking a size 16 was a safe choice. I was wrong. All of the tops I picked out were awful, because they did not fit me properly. I thought it could have been the style, but I tried on 6 different tops of varying styles and none of them looked right. The only thing I ended up buying besides underwear and pajamas was a raincoat (desperately needed for my visit to Thailand in the rainy season!), which fit comfortably over my clothes. It was a size large which states it is suitable for sizes 14-16. I’m very confused by this sizing situation, but I wasn’t discouraged in the same way my less confident self a few years ago would have been.

Then, we went to H&M. I have had a lot of issues with H&M in the past with regards to sizing on my top half. I am a size 40DD in the boob department so I understand that not all clothes are going to suit me or fit, but why do I fit into sizes 14-16 in other stores and not here? I thought I would go try on some size 16 clothes, but I was very upset to find that they only stock their standard clothes in sizes 4-14. Their “plus” range seemed to go from 8-18, but there wasn’t a great selection. We ended up leaving H&M disappointed and annoyed. I thought that size 16 was supposed to be the average size of a woman in the UK and yet the majority of the clothes in the store were only available in a size 14 or smaller.

At this point in the day, we had given up on finding clothes and decided to have a bit of fun in the fitting rooms. I tried on a £150 dress from Coast that was a full length sparkly masterpiece. I didn’t get a picture unfortunately, because I couldn’t get my boobs into the size 18 gown and nearly got stuck in it while trying!! Thankfully I didn’t break it and we called it a day on the shopping.

Luckily, before all of the disappointments in the day I purchased some wonderful clothes from New Look. Most of my clothes are from New Look and it is my favourite place to shop. Even though some of the items didn’t look right, it was due to the style or the colour rather than the size. I was very happy with my purchases and I have something fun to wear to London Pride on Saturday that I will show you all later in the week. My theme for the day was purchasing rainbow items of clothes and I had a lot of fun trying them on (even if the rainbow stripe trousers in Primark made me look like a clown ready to join the circus!!).

Have you had any similar experiences? Where is your worst place to shop? Share your stories in the commebts.

3 Comments

  1. foundationsandfairytales

    I think H&M are definitely the worst place when it comes to sizing but I wish all high street stores would just decide on one measurement for sizes and stick to it as it’s so annoying never knowing what size you need, I hate having to try things on while I’m shopping (I’m always in a rush) and shopping online is a nightmare when you don’t know how it’s going to fit! I remember a few years back I was a size 12 jeans and I tried some on in H&M couldn’t fit in the 12 or 14 and I was so disappointed I was scared to even try on the 16 incase that didn’t fit either but I’ve heard so many people have the same problem! I also have so many jeans from Primark that are all different sizes one is a 10 and baggy on me, some are 12s and super tight and some are 12s which fit nicely I just don’t know how sizing works at all!

    Jess // foundationsandfairytales.wordpress.com
    xx

    1. sullialice

      When asking others, every single person has said that H&M are the shop they find it most difficult to find their size. It just makes shopping trips so frustrating. I don’t understand why there aren’t just standard measurements for each size that all retailers follow.

  2. julietlylillyrose

    I hate sizing. Different stores have very different concepts of what a size is. I’m quite petite and everywhere I go every thing is meant for people like 5’5 or taller.

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