Author and blogger-come-clothing-designer Constance Hall has captured the mood of every woman who’s felt the excitement of clothes shopping snatched away from her under the two-harsh lighting of store fitting rooms.
“Is that really no longer my size?” the woman wonders, hand clutching the dress, top, shorts she was oh, so eager to try.
“Will I have to emerge and ask for a bigger size in absolutely everything I so hopefully gathered within my quivering arms and brought into this brightly-lit hell?”
Hall’s label, ‘Like A Queen‘, runs with a “size down” policy, Hall explains, so women can shop the way they feel as opposed to cowering under the confusing and ever-intimidating size ranges of bigger fashion houses.
Size down means you should shop a size down from your typical size, suggesting her label runs slightly bigger than traditional clothing retailers. As her website states: “Never size up! If in any doubt, size down.”
“Some of my friends have asked me about my ‘size down’ theory. ‘Why don’t you just make your sizes more ‘normal’ so you don’t have to say size down’ they say,” the mum-of-four, who is currently pregnant with her fifth child, posted to Instagram last night.
The answer, she said, is simple.
“Last year I went shopping, I left my husband and kids in the car and I ran into one of my favourite clothing shops. I quickly tried on some things and bought nothing,” she captioned an image of herself, sitting on a curb, her heavily pregnant stomach wonderfully exposed.
“I got back in the car and I asked my husband…. ‘When you see me, do you see an extra large woman?’ He laughed, ‘you’re five-foot-three and petit’. So I asked the kids, ‘When you see me, do you see an extra large woman?’ They too laughed.”
While in the store Hall – who carries some “excess body fat to keep me cuddly” but says she is “generally not an Extra Large person” – was told there was nothing the label carried that would fit her. That they don’t stock sizes bigger than ‘Extra Large’.
It’s not so much about the size, Hall said, it’s about the stigma around it.
“I asked the shop assistant, ‘Do you have anything bigger than the extra large?’ She recognised me and didn’t want to answer, eventually looking down she softly said ‘No sorry they don’t exist, extra large is the biggest.’
“They don’t exist? ” Hall wondered.