You know the scenario. You walk into a shop and see a dress you must try on immediately.
You grab your size, and head to the change rooms full of anticipation and thinking budget smudget.
It’s not fitting the way you’d like, so you pop your head out to ask the sales assistant for another size.
And – bam! Just like that, you’ve opened the floodgates to a lengthy discussion about your body.
In my literally decades of shopping, I’ve been told everything from “The ten will be too tight on your arms”, to “Perhaps you should go a couple of sizes up”, to “We don’t normally carry your size.”
(Keep in mind that whilst I’m not thin, I have also, at my absolute largest, been a sixteen: that is, I have a typical body.)
Yesterday, when I went to try on a size eight maxi dress, which I had in my hand, the sales assistant tried everything to stop me. For a good couple of minutes.
“That won’t fit you. You’re normally a 12, aren’t you? Trust me. You won’t be able to put it on.”
She went on and on about it, as I awkwardly stood there holding the hanger, replying that I know how it will fit me as I have other dresses of a similar shape. Which is why I wanted the size eight.
But what I was actually thinking was, how would she know what will fit my body? I was wearing a big puffer jacket – did she have x-ray vision?
I know she was trying to be helpful (perhaps), but seriously – what difference did it make to her? Was she afraid I was wasting her time? Did she know something about my body that I didn’t?
I finally had to explain to her that the dress was a maxi dress, and because I’m so short, I need less material around me, so I don’t look swamped.
That’s something I know about how clothes fit me because of the DECADES I HAVE SPENT WEARING CLOTHES.