Saturday, 16 January 2010

Does It Really Matter How You Dress?

know that fashion is one of the most important things in my life, and I live to shop but I can also acknowledge that other people don't feel the same way as me, but these people do still need to wear clothes. I just had to write this blog post because I was appalled at something that happened to my friend while we were out shopping this afternoon, has happened before when I was out with her and according to her, happens all the time.
We were in Topshop, and we went to the fitting rooms with practically armfuls of clothes to try on (what's new there?). The guy at the fitting room entrance asked me how any items I was holding (4), I told him and he passed me one of those little plastic paddle things with the number on and even helped me find a fitting room. My friend went in next, holding 6 dresses. She was asked, and she told the woman. The woman told her "I'm sorry but I'm afraid I'll have to check that" and went through ever single hanger to make sure she had exactly that many items, even peering through the lace dress to make sure nothing was hidden inside.
Why? Because of the way my friend was dressed. I always make an effort whenever I leave my room to make sure I look presentable and nice, but thats a personal choice on my part. My friend doesn't care what she looks like and why should she? I asked, and she doesn't mind me liken her to one on my blog, but my friend was dressed like a tramp. The long and short of it is because she looked like she had no money for clothes, the woman in the shop thought she was going to try and shoplift. Because I dressed like I usually shopped in Topshop I was treated like a usual customer. To add insult to injury when we left the fitting rooms together the girl took the dresses from us, and taking a white lace number from me asked if it didn't fit; she really liked it. It had actually been tried on by my friend, not me, and I told the girl this. The look of horror that was on her face at this was just disgusting. Despite the treatment we both brought something (Topshop is just about the only store where I wouldn't be able to live if I had to boycott it), so why should we be treated any different?
Errm... what sort of world do we live in where this happens and where the girl in Topshop thought this was acceptable?
I remember in September we were in Fenwick (the department store) together in the perfume department (I wanted to change my scent) and the woman at the counter came up to my friend and asked her very firmly if she needed any help, the tone of her voice clearly indicating she didn't think my friend could possibly want to be looking at anything in such an expensive store without wanting to steal it.  We laughed it off at the time but we both remembered that day very clearly when we were walking home from Topshop.
I just can't believe this, and I am so shocked and horrified by how my friend is treated. Do any of you or have any of you worked in shops? Have you had any colleagues who've judged anyone by their appearance? Have you ever looked twice at someone?


  1. O yes, this has happened to me so often... I suffer from depressions and when I am down the drain, looks are really not that high on the agenda, it is already an act of bravery to get out of the house. But I definitely notice the difference in treatment. I have been stalked by suspicious workers many times, first I did not understand (what is it with all these people constantly asking me if I need help, how odd) but than I figured it out. Yes, you are judged by the way you look. And true shoplifters are probably getting away easy because they dress sharp...

  2. People who work in shops can be so up themselves

    It is truly appalling what happened to your friend

    I remember when I worked in some crappy sports outlet my manager would always sidle up to me and tell me to "keep and eye on" any one that he deemed to be shop lifter material, when it seemed perfectly oridnary people who may simply be in a rush that day or even (god forbid shoppers from a sports outlet!) had just been to the gym!

    I've felt dirty looks from shop assistants myself on a bad hair day or when I simply couldn't be bothered with what I looked like when I've popped into town to buy new clothes. It gives an otherwise reputable company a really bad image!

    After all shouldn't shopping for new clothes make us feel better about ourselves and not like a "tramp"?!