Take a look at this photo. It’s ridiculous isn’t it? Feel free to laugh though – I did … after I cried a bit and then got annoyed that is. This is a classic example of when online shopping goes wrong.


when online shopping goes wrong


It’s a size 16 dress from Boohoo.com. I had been searching for the perfect Spring date dress to buy for WHEN the weather turns nicer and IF I’m still dating my current friend. Bit of forward planning if you will. I searched ‘red, floral, tea dress’, Google came up trumps, I shared the link on my blog FB page to see what my online friends thought (it was a resounding yes), so I went for it.


THAT DAMN DRESS IS NEVER A SIZE 16! I would say it would probably fit a size 12.


Now I’m a very curvalicious woman – in fact, my good friend Amanda from Ana Mum Diary calls me Katealicious for that very reason (it’s not that reason, she just likes the word) but my point is, yes, I’ve lost a bit of weight and I work out a lot, but I still have big boobs and curves in ALL the right places! AMIRIGHT? But … the rest of my clothes are now a size 16 and in fact, I bought another pair of size 14 jeans this week too that fit beautifully. IN FACT (ooh, she’s on one now), I had another wardrobe clear-out this week to get rid of the rest of my size 18-22 clothes. That dress is NOT a size 16!


Cue dramatic sigh. I know there has been some debate about the disparity of clothing sizes in the press lately but it’s only when it affects you you realise quite what a ball ache it is. I had been feeling really good about myself, more confident, and even … and I hesitate to say it because it’s been a while, but sexier. And then I bought that dress and felt like an actual elephant.


I couldn’t even get my arms in the arm holes, let alone get the dress up to my shoulders in order to wrap it around my, according to Boohoo, seemingly huge body. Is it just me? No. A reader bought the same dress in black and had the EXACT same problem.


You get what you pay for. This wasn’t an expensive dress, £25, but that’s a lot of money to me and I’m really bloody annoyed. And the other irony? It’s PLUS range. Ha! It put me on a right downer for the rest of the morning, but instead of turning to chocolate or coffee (I’m giving both up for Lent so can do neither!), I went to the gym. And yes, as you can see from this picture, I’m busting out again, but I can sort that with a better sports bra … but I felt strong and powerful as I did bicep curls with an 8kg dumbbell and I put the whole ‘dress saga’ behind me.


when online shopping goes wrong


Clothes have the power to make women feel good, or incredibly crap, and I think perhaps it’s time I invested my time and money in a clothing company that understands the power they have. I won’t be shopping at Boohoo again, but the good thing to come out of this is that lots of my online friends have recommended other, great shops that DO sell beautiful clothes at affordable prices – that are true to size, that don’t cost the earth, and that make you feel good. 


We’re not asking for much clothes manufacturers!


So watch this space. I’ve avoided shopping for years, especially shopping in actual shops (trust me, not much fun when you’re fat), but I think I’m ready to get back out there. I understand the importance of well-fitted clothes, especially after yesterday’s debacle, so maybe it was the wake-up call I needed to remind me shopping in the real world doesn’t have to be painful anymore. I won’t lie, I’m a little nervous, but I’m going to try it today. I will, of course, let you know how I get on.


Until then, I’ve got a trip to the Post Office to make and an angry email to send.


kate sutton

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Published by Kate Sutton

Writer, Mother, Dater.

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  1. No way in the WORLD is that a 16. Also, it really bugs me when clothing manufacturers make absolutely no allowance for the fact that plus-size women usually need more boob space. I know not everyone above a size 14 has massive bangers, but even a LITTLE extra space would be nice. The thing is, this is like the OPPOSITE of vanity sizing – I don’t know a single size 12 woman who would shop and Boohoo and just accept the fact that they’re a size 16 in their clothes, so they MUST lose sales over it? Idiots.

    1. I know Pepperberry cater for bigger boobs but for the love of God … this dress was ridic. Made me feel awful, like none of my hard work had paid off at all. Which is silly I know. I’m glad I went to the gym straight after this though, because I don’t want to get sucked into bad habits just because someone or something has made me feel bad about myself. Boohoo really need to step up their game, STAT.

  2. I get really mad when the retailers sell tops that fit but the sleeves are the same size in a size 20 as they are in a size 12!!! It’s not just one retailer, it’s so common it’s boring!

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