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07th Apr 2023

When will clothing stores learn we don’t all have small chests?

Ellen Fitzpatrick

I just want a pretty top…

Last week I walked into Zara to find some summer dresses for a holiday. Like every other woman on the planet, Zara has been my go-to for clothes since the first lockdown.

But over the last few weeks, or even months, I’ve noticed something different about Zara’s sizes, something I had never had an issue with before.

And I’m not the only one who has had this issue recently, friends have been saying the same thing, and people on social media have had the same complaints. And it’s not only Zara with this issue, it seems almost every mainstream, popular clothing brand is in on this.

But what is this I’m talking about? The issue anyone with a big, or even just a not so small, chest is facing, we can’t find anything to fit it.

I have medium size boobs, nothing too big, but not small. After a shop in various different clothing stores aimed at people in their teens and 20s last week, I genuinely Googled “breast reduction surgery.” And that’s no word of a lie.

No matter what I picked up in store, I could immediately tell what would fit my chest and what wouldn’t. I was picking up my usual sizes, and while every other aspect of the clothes looked like it would definitely fit, the chest area was tiny.

Over the last few months, I’ve bought trousers in my normal size and it’s been no issue, I’ve even sized down in jeans recently. Initially, when I noticed this, I started thinking it was me, that I just must have put on weight. But when I saw others having the very same issue, I quickly realised it was an industry issue.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with having a smaller chest, in fact, I wish I had one, but suddenly having to go up a size in a top only for it to be baggy on my waist and still too tight on my chest… when did that happen?

Finding clothes to fit anything bigger than an A cup seems virtually impossible if you’re shopping on the high street. And that’s of course no fault to anyone who is that size.

It’s down to these brands to understand that there are hundreds of different body types, and that includes boob size and shape.

The body positivity and inclusion movement is getting there, we’ve seen so many improvements in the fashion industry over the last 10 years, so why does it feel like we’re going backwards in this area?

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