How would you know, you skinny malink!

I woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning, and immediately declined a shopping invitation from my Mam. Faith shoes are going in to liquidation and I was in no humour to watch her pick up arm fulls of beautiful, half price shoes. (If you haven’t popped over to them yet, you should. She brought me back a lovely pair of black star studded pumps, size 8 – picture below – for 15euro.) Saying I was a grumpy bum today is putting it lightly. The thoughts of going shopping send me in to an immediate anxious frenzy. Shopping has always been a very solitary act for me. What can I say, I get in and out as soon as I can, usually having sussed out the stock online beforehand. I don’t enjoy strolling around shops that don’t carry clothes in my size, or shoes for that matter. Mental torture. Pretty logical, yes?

Bye, bye Faith!

While this blog is still in it’s infancy, after only a couple of days, I’m already feeling so much more positive about myself and my fashion dilemmas. It’s such a warm feeling knowing you are becoming part of a community of girls who think exactly like you and battle the same problems day in, day out. It makes me feel better. Simple as that.

Over the last few days, lots of my little shopping/clothes habits have become very apparent. It’s not that I wasn’t aware of them before, but having read about other plus sizers and their shopping experiences, they’ve become so obvious. It was only today, after reading this Messy Carla post on rude sales assistants that the penny dropped for me. I dread dealing with sales assistants. I’m anal about knowing what I want before I get there so as to minimise my interaction with them. Of course, Carla’s post notes how rude retail workers can be, and from the comments we can see the both sides of the counter. My issue isn’t the manner of sales assistants or how they interact with me, it’s literally just their presence. I feel embaressed buying something in Evans from a nippy, size 12 girl. My blood boils when she tries to make conversation with me about how nice the shape of a top is, or how well a dress is selling. I fill with rage as she chats to another worker about what she’s wearing on a night out. I know it’s borderline pathetic, but the only thing running through my head is “How would you know? You are too small to shop in here”. (Please note I’m not a skinny girl hater. We come in all shapes and sizes and that’s probably the nicest thing about being human. No one is exactly the same. It’s purely when when it comes to departments, or stores, specifically stocking clothes size 18+ that I turn in to a mentalist. I’m working on it!)

It got me thinking about my last trip to Evans, which was last weekend, and all of the sales assistants are relatively small. Speaking from a purely fashion sense, they would be plus size – they’re not size 6-8 and they’re not models in the traditional sense. But when it comes to fashion retailing, for me, anything starting at a size 18 would be presented as part of a plus size or extended size range. I know, from personal experience, working in a retail environment is hard. Working somewhere that doesn’t stock your size is harder. I spent six months working in Miss Selfridges in Carlow and it was, to put it lightly, depressing. I had to choose my uniform from another Arcadia store, Dorothy Perkins, because the 16 in Miss Selfridges wouldn’t fit me. At one point there was talk of an Evans opening in Carlow and my manager suggested I go for an internal transfer. At the time I was mortally offended, but in hindsight she was right. Working somewhere with clothes that fit me would have made me feel better, would have made me a better employee because of my personal knowledge and most importantly would have meant my discount didn’t go to waste!

I suppose the point of this post is that sales assistants are employees, not experts in their field. Some will know more than others, but generally, I avoid them when they are half my size because unless they look like they have to sift through rails to find the only 18 in the whole shop, I don’t want to know what they think.

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6 thoughts on “How would you know, you skinny malink!

  1. God I hate dealing with shop assistants!!! I shop in Topshop and Urban Outfitters a lot, and I just feel SO sized up when I go in there! Like they blatantly look you up and down, and because of those shops’ reputations, they have SUCH a high opinion of themselves and their ‘fashion sense’.

    I just like shopping on my own so if I want to go back a look at a dress five times, I can without hearing sighs, and if I grab my usual size and can’t fit into it, I don’t have to feel embarrassed and worried that whoever’s with me things I’m getting bigger!

    It doesn’t matter WHAT size you are, sales assistants will still judge you in certain shops.

    • Thanks so much for sharing how you feel. You are totally right. It really doesn’t matter what size you are. It’s the style side of it too.
      I know this blog has kind of started out dealing with plus size issues, but I really want to include everyone. It’s just because those are my issues they are easiest to start off with. I don’t think I could actually go in to Topshop or Urban Outfitters. The stress would be too much. I spend hours on their websites and love their stock, but I just can’t get in to it. I’m not far off, mind, but I still don’t think I could even go in. You feel like the whole room stops and everyone in there is judging you. No thanks.

      I’m the same, though. If I’m going to have a dressing room FAIL, I’d like to have it on my own. Private shame, plz.

  2. I hate even setting foot in Topshop unless I’m with a thinner friend, but sometimes have to brave it because I like their shoes and bags. I would like to carry a sign with me that says ‘I’m not completely clueless, I know your clothes will not fit me, I’m just here for the accessories’. Ditto Miss Selfridge, Warehouse, FCUK…..and the list goes on….

    • I know. It’s a curse they’re so lovely. Especially the shoes. Delicious. I just check online to get my little fix!
      I always say I wish I had a giant thought cloud following me around so people wouldn’t judge me. If only.

  3. I do feel awkward around shop assistants but I’ve no idea why…. I just like them to stay away from me…

    I know how you feel about shops that don’t stock your size, I’ve got some tiny tiny friends and once they brought me into a shop and spent awhile looking and trying on clothes that only went up to a size 14 (I hate when shops only stock to size 14). Now don’t get me wrong I love to shop (love it the most out of my friends) but it was just frustrating that there was no point for me to be in that shop (and the clothes were so pretty *sigh*)…

    On a happier note…. oooh you worked in Carlow! I’m from Carlow… I live there!!!!!

    • Hehe. I’ve had two Carlow interactions this week from that post! I don’t live there any more, it was just for a short while about 4 years ago. Back up in the big schmoke now! Are you in college at home or in Dublin?

      It’s possibly the most frustrating thing a girl has to endure. I usually nip out for a smoke or an ice cream in those situations, which hardly helps the problem!
      Apparently, there are H & M stores in London stocking plus sizes. Imagine going somewhere like H & M and saying “Right. Back in a few. I’ve my own section to look in!.” Amazing. I’d just love to go in to a shop, stocking a million sizes, and talk to a chunky girl like me!

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