Its Just Not Working Out Topshop


Oh Topshop.

I think we have to break up.

It’s not you, it’s me. Well, actually, it is you.

I’ve loved you as soon as I was old enough to start buying my own clothes. My most treasured possession as a 13 year old was the checked night shirt my godmother bought me – I wore that nightdress to every sleepover I went to until it was so worn, my mum confiscated it.

When I was old enough to buy my own clothes, I’d stash the meagre earnings from my waiting on job somewhere safe so I could afford a top or some trousers. I’d come home from Aberystwyth each holiday and run straight to your tiny Chester store. You were known for stylish clothes normal girls could afford and look good in.

As a 5’7″ girl, I lived my school life with trousers a couple inches too short. I was a nerdy kid anyway, so that just added to the teasing. When you started your Tall range, I was so happy! I could wear trousers and not be ashamed that I was showing off my ankles!

But the love affair is dying, Topshop. The Tall range is still there, but still only counts for a standing rack and a rail or two on the wall, hidden away in a dark corner. The prices have risen, as is natural, but the quality seems to have gone down. Indeed, so has the sizing. It’s a rare occasion you find a 16 on the rail – and since a 14 is sometimes too small for this 12/14 sized girl, it usually means I have to walk away. As for clothing for girls with boobs, the lingerie section which just about goes to a D cup shows you don’t think about them. The orange dress I wore for graduation proves that as well – the pictures are almost indecent!

Is it too much to ask that at least one of the models smiles once in a while?

Yes, fashions change. (I know that I for one do not want to wear platform trainers ever ever again. Even as a fancy dress costume.) And yes, its admirable that you are bringing designer clothes to people who can not usually afford it. But at the same time, why ignore girls who are slightly above average (bearing in mind that the average UK woman is a size 14 (source), it seems unfair that this is the largest size available in most Topshop stores) For those girls who are a size 14 or more, Topshop can make them feel like outsized freaks, forced to shop in places like Evans, which has only recently started to be a little bit more “fashion forward” but honestly, still has quite an older generation “air” about it.

Am I alone in this lack of love towards Topshop? I can’t be the only one who finds it difficult these days to shop there!


  1. Daisy says

    I liked reading this, well written and I can understand what you mean. I am not on the tall side. Not in anyway ! More a little shortie really ! But I have noticed they do not have a big range of clothes for taller people, their prices have rose a lot ! I feel they have got a little too big for their boots. Jeans range from £40.00 up now I think … I remember the days when they were £25.00 to £30.00 !

    I still like Topshop but I stay away sometimes as many things you see EVERYONE wearing ! I also feel they need to make sure they cover all types of bodys !

  2. Emma says

    I worked in Top Shop for about three years in the mid nineties; we only ever received one size 16 in each line delivered, and one 8, for every six size 12s, 3 10s and 3 14s (or thereabouts. I always grabbed the size 16 so apologies are due to the people of Shrewsbury who thought TS didn’t sell size 16s back then! I can remember the shock we all had when our first size 6 arrived in about 1995. I despair about nowhere selling nice things for busty ladies – you’re right about Evans being more fashion forward (although terribly vanity sized, their 16 would be an 18 or 20 in DPs) but their prices are shocking – £25 for a basic print t-shirt!

  3. Wildfire198 says

    I never used to like Topshop and have only (fairly) regularly been buying things in there in the last five years or so. That said, every time I want something in there, they *never* have my size – I’m a 14, and as you rightly said, it’s the size of the average UK woman, so why do they never buy in more of that size???

    I don’t get why clothing brands seem to think a 14 is a large and don’t even do 16’s – they’re alienating and cutting off a huge proportion of their potential audience/customers, and it annoys the hell out of me :(.

    Yay for places like Gap that actually do a decent size (although they are a tad pricey – gotta love the Gap VIP discount every so often…)

  4. pinkjellybaby says

    I LOVE TopShop, but the only thing I can buy in there is dresses… I’m a 16 and I’m a little 5ft2…so I have NO chance.
    Petite doesn’t go past a size 14 and it’s a small one at that, so I have no chance.
    Now they do size 4’s it’s all getting a bit silly.

    And you know what…I blame their merchandisers.. when you look at the sale stuff, it’s always the same sizes left…and it’s always the bigger sizes 12 and 16 most noticeably – that fly off the shelves first. If the merchandisers were doing their jobs properly, the sizes in the shops (and the amount of) would reflect this much better.

  5. Bel says

    Fab post! So true as well, I remember when all my jeans were from Topshop (the only place that used to do longer lengths), they fit like a glove and were only £25, now the fit is all wrong as they are accommodating for muffin top (just make people buy jeans that actually fit!) and the prices are ridiculous!!!

  6. Sian says

    So true.
    The quality of everything I’ve bought in Topshop recently has been rubbish. I don’t mind if a £4 cardigan from Primark starts to fall apart after a couple of wears, but not if I’ve paid £30 for it from Topshop.
    And I went in pretty much every week over the summer trying to get a size14 in a certain pair of denim shorts with no luck – very annoying.

  7. The Girl says

    So pleased someone else thinks this way too!!

    I used to live in Topshop, it was all I bought from. After a few years of uni life however I suddenly grew boobs and hips and all the drinking caught up with me in one fail swoop and I reached the dizzy heights of being a size 16. I’m 5’10” so it doesn’t massively show but since then I’ve never been able to buy a sausage from Topshop.

    Actually I lie I bought a vest top this summer. Only one though. I wanted to buy 2 to take advantage of the 2 for £9 but guess what? Nothing in a size 16. I had the only one on the whole rack in a myriad of colours that was a 16. Absolutely ridiculous.

    Add to that the fact that they’re more interested in producing something high fashion that you could only ever wear if you were a size 8 and my love affair ended a many moons ago.

    Sorry. Rant over. So pleased you wrote this though! Thought I was the only one!


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