Why I'll be staying out of New Look until further notice

oxford street, shops, christmas shopping, busy

I always worry that deeper posts like this are going to alienate some of my followers, but recently I've been starting to feel like I'm really finding my voice and my place when it comes to body confidence. Despite the fact that at my heaviest I only border on plus size , I've always identified strongly with self proclaimed 'fat' women. The prejudices I feel, the struggle to relate to the media, the constant preoccupation with mine and other's opinions on my body I imagine I share with many. We're still in a place where fat is an insult, and connotes being lazy, greedy and slovenly but I did genuinely believe we were going in the right direction.

That was until I heard the news that New Look will no longer be stocking their 'Inspire' range in stores, and it will only be available online essentially telling its loyal customers that they no longer have a place in their shops. Knowing the frustration I feel when I rifle through rails looking for the illusive 14's and 16's which are only stocked minimally in most high street street stores, I can only imagine how much this is amplified when you know before you've even started that those beautiful clothes don't even exist in your size. If you're above a 16-18 there can be no last minute dash for a dress, no day spent in the mall with friends being overwhelmed by choice. The only place you're allowed to exist, is your computer.

This didn't occur to me until I had an international plus size friend come to visit last year and took her to what I thought would be a great girls day out finding NYE dresses at Westfield Stratford until we realised there was no where that stocked a dress for her. Even the stores she was used to finding her size in at home (H&M, Forever 21) there was nothing to be found. Until we reached New Look. Here we found here not 1 but half a floor of dresses that not only resembled the straight sized clothes, but made her look and feel great. Mentally that day I thanked New Look for saving our day (and NYE) and had so much respect for them for welcoming young women of all sizes in. It might have only been half a floor, but that was half a floor more than any other store in that shopping centre.

As if women who don't conform to traditional ideas of beauty aren't already consistently bombarded with messages that they don't have a place in society and our high street, New Look are now adding themselves to this overwhelming chorus. In a four floor store full of endless concessions stocking identical (tiny) dresses and coffee- their Inspire range is not worthy of a single inch of space. I've long though New Look were losing their originality amongst all the concessions but this just confirms it for me. I can still find my size in New Look but on behalf of all the amazing women who can't, I will no longer be shopping there.

Where before I felt New Look were brave and forward thinking, I now see them as cowardly and that is not the kind of business I want to lend my money to. I will be consistently hoping that stores like River Island, Topshop and H&M will one day fully stock all collections in a full range of sizes in their stores, New Look have gone out of their way to take that away from women and away from the progression towards acceptance. In good news, Simply Be have recently (with their male counterpart Jacamo) opened an IRL store on Oxford Street so at least someone is moving in the right direction. To all you beautiful plus size honeys who made the trip to see the revamped New Look store only to find nothing you could buy, take yourself across the street to a place you can find beautiful trend led clothes in a range of sizes.

Thanks for reading.

EDIT: In quite unexpected news New Look have done a U-Turn and stated their Inspire range will be returning to their Oxford Street store soon - great news! It's nice to know our voice can be heard.

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4 comments:

  1. Ash Horton18:26

    D: I adore New Look as it is one of the few shops that stock my size. I mostly do my shopping online but I liked that I could pop into the store for some last minute shopping if I felt like it. I'm really dissapointed that they don't consider clothing for plus sized women as worthy as the other sizes they stock. I think I may just shop somewhere else from now on.

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  2. I love New Look, but I agree all stores should have a section for plus sizes. Hopefully this will change soon. x

    Speaking Beauty UK | Nars, Urban Decay, YSL GIVEAWAY

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  3. Nicola Simmons12:34

    Yeah I think it's a really poor show from them, and makes affordable fashion even more exclusive. :( x

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  4. Nicola Simmons12:35

    Yeah I used to love them, I hope they reconsider! x

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