Dear Victoria’s Secret, Cardiff

Dear Victoria’s Secret, Cardiff.

I am a very open minded person. I rarely jump to conclusions first before trying something out for myself. I am more than happy with myself, although there are some things that I would like to change, I’m in no particular rush to look any certain way.

The bags. The signature bags. All pink and striped and fluffed-up with luxurious, pink tissue paper. So cute!

In all honesty, having not even looked at the VS website before, let alone going to the actual store, I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect. I’d definitely seen ‘plus size’ Victoria’s Secret hauls on YouTube, but had never actually clicked on a video.

Tempted by a friend, we walked in.

I didn’t go into Victoria’s Secret looking for anything in particular, I just sort of wandered into one section and into another until something caught my eye, where I’d scour the hanger for a big, old XL, and when one wasn’t in sight, I was on my way to the next cute bed shorts that caught my eye. At this point, I wasn’t bothered at all. I believe, after looking once getting home that their size L is a size 12-14, way out of my sizing zone, anyway, which is fine. I obviously did not go in with the intent of picking something up, smaller than I’d usually wear, and have it fit me. It’s the same with any store, when they don’t have your size, you forget about the item and move on. Which I was very happily doing at this point, may I add.

Stores like this don’t intimidate me. Walking around this store is the same as walking around the next. I didn’t feel uncomfortable by the lack of XL’s (I actually don’t believe that I saw one in that size, anyway), nor by the 5 X-Smalls, 4 Smalls, 2 Medium, 1 Large and 0 X-Large ratio that seemed to be a common theme on the rails around the store. It wasn’t even that, that had bothered me.

I met again with my friend, after separating in the store, her going one way, me the other, and we both spotted the exact same lacy-pink, dreamy bed shorts. they were stunning. I flicked through with determination this time, looking for an XL and flicking through again for a L when the XL was clearly one of those ‘order online’ sizes. I found my L, (the only L on the rail, may I add) and turned around to see my friend a few meters away, wandering around the bra’s.

The sales assistant, a very important looking and tall lady, walked straight past my friend and stood a meter or two away from me.

I turned around with the large lacy, pink, baggy, elasticated bed shorts in hand, and went to head for my friend to show her my ‘might-fit-me-might-be-tight-but-worth-it’ bed shorts, when..

“Hi.. Are you aware of the sizing in this store?”


“Yes, fine, thanks..”

She smiled, and it just all of a sudden looked so fake. And she had a headset on that made her look so important, and the way she stood about a meter or two away from me, made me feel like she didn’t genuinely want to help me. It was only once I had gotten home and replayed the happenings in my head that I realised, had she have said that to someone weaker, or someone who couldn’t take it, or someone who genuinely went into VS to buy something to make them feel special, things could have been different.

And I shuffled away, with my tail between my legs. I didn’t even want to hold the shorts anymore. I walked over to my friend, who was being helped by a lovely lady, and I stood there in silence for about 10 seconds. Before walking back over to the rail that I picked up the cutest bed shorts ever from, and I put them back down.

My friend knew there was something wrong, but I laughed it off. I actually said the words “It doesn’t even matter, I’m literally fine.” But it seemed that this hadn’t only mildly affected me. My friend, upon discussion once leaving the shop after making her purchase, was livid. Her experience also ruined. She wanted to ring their head office, or go back into the store to make a complaint. At the time, it hadn’t really sunk in, and I didn’t feel it was her battle, it was mine. The lady wasn’t stand-offish with her, she was with me! I didn’t want to go back to complain, I didn’t feel welcome.

I understand, working in retail myself, that things can be difficult. But if she was having a difficult day and didn’t feel like she was communicating well with customers that day, then why not just ask a colleague to approach and offer help instead? Not that any help was offered to me, anyway.

I just think that it’s important that it happened to me and not anyone else. Who knows what could have happened if this passing comment from her, had been said to someone with extremely low self-esteem, someone who couldn’t handle it?

And now I’m confused, as I write this, I’m on YouTube, watching a VS haul from a well known plus sized YouTuber, and she looks great. And more importantly, she has things in her size. Have I missed a memo?

Maybe it’s just the attitude of the staff member herself, and not necessarily the Cardiff store or even VS. But even so, why after looking at their website does it seem some stuff should have fit me? Is it because I left in such a hurry once I’d been spoken to, that it was just by chance I found nothing in my size? Why was I questioned? My friend wasn’t questioned, and we were basically the only two in the store at that time, bar one or two others.

So, just to let you know Victoria’s Secret Cardiff, I spent £100 in Ann Summers that exact day, and probably got double what £100 would have got me in VS. And besides that, besides the money which doesn’t really matter, the staff in there were so lovely and kind, and no one questioned my size once, or my friends. They were helpful and informative and actually did what they could to help. They made me feel comfortable.

I don’t actually know what the sales assistant meant by her comment, but surely theres no two ways about it. I can’t even imagine another sentence that she could have tried to say.

“Are you aware of the sizing in this store?”

I certainly am now, thanks for shedding some light.

28 thoughts on “Dear Victoria’s Secret, Cardiff

  1. Hello,
    My name is Will Hayward and I am a reporter at Wales Online.
    I just read your post about VS and wondered if I could give you call for a chat about it? No obligation to do a story if you don’t want to but would love to talk if you would like to.

    My name is Will Hayward and my contact number is 02920 243611.

    Many thanks

    Will Hayward


    • Victoria Secret/Pink Stores

      Myself and my daughter have both had similar experiences as the person that visited your Cardiff store, I have fibromyalgia, and some days it’s a lot to just get out of bed, so I admittedly sometimes leave the house not looking my best, but I do shower, brush my teeth and my clothes are clean but, I usually feel like crap! I go to the Victoria Secret Pink store in Ohio and I spend quite a lot of money there, so when I shop in ANY store I expect to be treated like ANY other customer would, I have money just like other people, so when I go to this store and am ignored like I have the plague, and the employees are looking at me and whispering and laughing, it doesn’t make for the best experience! I do realize that this is coming from a few employees but they represent the brand and it made me so uncomfortable to shop there that I didn’t go back for a long time! I finally decided that I wasn’t going to let a few employees stop me from getting something that my daughter really wanted for Christmas, so I went back, my experience, unfortunately was pretty much the same, but I bought the items my daughter wanted and also got a “special ” that was going on at the time, if you bought a sweatshirt, you would get a free pair of yoga pants, so I bought this as well because my daughter wore them so I knew she would like them. Christmas came and the yoga pants were to big so she asked if I thought she could take them back and exchange them for a smaller size, despite the fact that they were free, and I said idk why you wouldn’t be able to, I would think that the store would surely expect that like any other item, they would have returns or exchanges, so I gave her the receipt . My daughter does not like to take things back, she gets embarrassed, and feels like everyone is going to “judge ” her, so I said I could go with her, but she decided she would go alone, and went to the store waited in line for about 30 mins before she was waited on and was laughed at and told “those were free, No you can’t return or exchange them”! I’m sure you can imagine how embarrassing that was for her, with a store full of ppl returning/exchanging items from Christmas!! My daughter was aware that they were “free”, but they didn’t fit, and only wanted a different size! She returned home and called me immediately and told me how she was treated and said ” see why I hate returning things?? Because stuff like this happens !!!” I felt so bad, as a parent, my first reaction was that I wanted to go to the store and kick that employees a** that said that to my daughter, then I was in disbelief that someone could treat another person like this, and then I was pissed again! I wanted my daughter to go back with me to point out this person so that I could let management know that this was happening and to prevent it from possibly happening to anyone else, but she said the manager was standing right there and didn’t do anything, and she was too embarrassed and said she didn’t want to go back and have her “mommy fight her battles “, because this would only add to her embarrassment! Unfortunately she left the store so fast after that happened that she didn’t get the employees name, so nothing was done, but I could hardly blame her for not wanting to go back! I hope this sheds some light, and that maybe some kind of pre hiring evaluations can be implemented or something be done before ppl that do this are not hired at your store!


  2. I went in the store to look as I spend alot on nice lingerie. To be told that they hardly stock XL (which being an 18 wouldnt have fitted).
    Also that the largest cup size was DD.
    Fortunately I didnt have such an awful sales person ‘size policy’ indeed.
    Needless to say Victorias secret appears to be to cut out half of the adult lingerie market.


  3. I have had a similar experience as you. I was at a two story VS in the nearest city by me. I was on the upper floor that had the VS Pink section. My shopping strategy is very similar to yours, if it doesn’t have my size, I move on. Not a big deal. But this particular day, I was just looking around shopping with my friend. I have purchased stuff from VS before but wasn’t looking for anything in particular. As I’m wondering around, I spot out a black lacy bralette that looked so cute. I grabbed the biggest size I found, examined it, and decided I would try it on just to see if it fit. Like I mentioned before, I have purchased things from VS, but bras are a different story because my chest area is quite big. My bra size range is from 36D to 36DDD depending on the bra brand. Anyway, I made my way to the dressing room when a sales clerk stopped me and asked me too if I was aware of the sizing there. I answered yes, I have shopped here before and proceeded to the dressing room. The bra did not end up fitting but I wasn’t heart broken, since I wasn’t in there specifically looking for anything. I left the dressing room to find the same sales clerk that approached me earlier waiting at the dressing room entrance. She asked me how it went and I told her it did not fit quite like I wanted it too. She then proceeded to tell me that I’m not really the right size for the Pink brand up on this level. That maybe I should go down stairs and try the original VS brands on instead. They will have bigger sizes. She told me where I could find the bigger sized bralettes at and then walked away. I normally don’t judge or get offended right away, but she made me feel so uncomfortable and out of place there. I went and found my friend and left. I have not been to another VS since. Finding the right bra for my body is frustrating and annoying in the first place, having someone follow you around and make you feel even more uncomfortable is just unnecessary.


    • When I was in the military from 1979 through 1999, VS offered a lot of variety in bras. My favorite ones were the Second Skin Satin. Each season I spent hundreds of dollars buying those matching bras and panties. After I retired from the Air Force, I gained some weight, and needed new bras. I tend to have at least a 14 day supply so I can go on vacation and not have to wash any bras or panties. VS had changed up their line. As I gained weight, I went from a 36D to a 40DD, and VS stopped carrying unpadded Second Skin Satin bras and started only carrying those padded ones. I’ve never felt the need to wear a padded bra. They rub me in all the wrong places. I’ve gotten extremely picky about having non-padded bras and cotton panties. VS stopped carrying their cute cotton panties. That store now has NOTHING that I want and need. I discovered Olga Signature Fit bras that I can buy online in the exact size and colors I want. Sometimes retailers have them on sale. I buy JMS cotton panties by Hanes. There are other options that are comfortable and less expensive than Victoria’s Secret. Military Exchange department stores carry the VS fragrance lines for 20 percent less than what they charge in VS stores, and there is no sales tax. Sometimes if I go near a mall, I might walk into a VS just for the hell of it. I no longer have their credit card, nor do I need it. Their bras are all too padded and take up too much room and weight in a suitcase if I’m taking at least 8 to Hawaii. Weight is everything to me when I fly. A few years ago, I posted a complaint on the VS website about them only carrying padded bras. I got notifications for over 2 years about other women agreeing with my post. That was pretty wild. VS no longer caters to women who have lots of money to spend, so I buy myself fine jewelry that I really like. To hell with VS!


  4. I’m so sorry this happened to you! Some girls get a job in a high profile store and think they have to act like they’ in Pretty Woman. I work for Yours and I am a bra champion, we have lush pieces and are actually good at customer service.


  5. I can’t stand VS… I can never find anything that even looks like it will fit, & the only reason I go is to keep my nieces company while they shop for themselves (& to help them out if they need it).

    I don’t know if this store still exists, but I prefer Fredericks’s of Hollywood. At least they have large sizes.


  6. Pingback: A Size 20 Shopper’s Scathing Open Letter to Victoria’s Secret – Buzz AffCart

  7. OMG, am so sorry that happened to you! That salesperson was beyond rude! Customer service is not what it used to be across the board and it’s a very discouraging trend. Personally, I cannot stand the VS brand. I think it was ok years ago when they started, but they have become something else. Like a lot of brands, they now seem to cater to teenagers. The whole “PINK” thing is a joke. If I see one more girl out in public wearing pajama bottoms with “PINK” across her butt, I think I will scream. Sorry, but “PINK” just doesn’t work as a status brand. The quality of their regular VS brand is terrible, too–poorly made, but expensive.


  8. I also had a very similar experience in a VS store, where a sales clerk informed me that they did not have any bras that would fit me, then she moved on telling my niece the same. It really made me feel like she was telling us that we did not belong in a VS store. It might have made me feel horrible about my own body image except for the fact that I knew they did carry bras in my size (I wear a 36-38 C), as I was wearing one that very day that I had purchased previously at VS. Needless to say, even though I had already found the bra in my size I was looking for, I was so hurt by the comment that there was no way I was going to spend my money in that store.


  9. I’m sorry you had to deal with this, as a plus size 57 year old woman, I have dealt with the body shaming also. I’m like you, I’m happy with myself, Nancy is a good, kind hearted human being, that happens to be on the plus size. Yes, I know there’s health issues from being plus sized, I’m not unintelligent. How did the rude salesperson know you weren’t shopping for a gift?
    I must say now that I’m older, I would not have been nice to that salesperson like I would have been in my younger years. Thank you for writing about your experience.


  10. Here is the thing that makes me so mad – not only her RUDENESS with her one-liner, but doesn’t she realize that NOT everyone that goes into VS is looking for something for themselves! I go in there plenty of times for gift cards for my daughters (maybe I should save my $ though, after reading this).

    What if you were in there to shop for your daughter/niece/friend who was a size 2? Would that have made her shut her mouth? Also, they sell way more than clothes – perfumes, gifts, etc., and the last time I checked, I didn’t have to be a size 2 to buy perfume! Really! Where does it end?

    What makes one person think they can be so RUDE and humiliate another human being? Kindness goes farther in life – that employee needs to learn THAT! I pray her children never become overweight to where other people ridicule them in public. The nerve of some people! I am sorry she did that – not all people working in retail are rude! BRAVO on your open letter! Get ’em girl !!

    It all goes back to “If you don’t have anything nice to say, BE QUIET.”


  11. I don’t know why anyone is surprised at a horrible experience at VS. They’ve been awful for decades across America too. Abercrombie used to get a lot of flack taking overt steps to be the place only the “cool kids” shopped, but VS has played the same nasty game all along.

    What VS doesn’t get, and what will be their eventual downfall, is that the world has changed on them. It is a much more open and inclusive place than it was and their kind of toxic exclusion won’t last.


  12. My first time in the US for vacations and i was super excited to go buying my first Victoria secret. When i arrived i couldn’t find any xl bottoms so i asked a girl who worked there where could i find them and she said they didn’t make them that big. Only upon large size, maybe you could find some at walmart she said. Never coming back made me feel awfull.


  13. I worked as a sales associate at Vs for years..never would I treat a customer with the lack of respect that you were met with. It truly bothers me. I hope that corporate takes a hard look at this and the other times that customers had issues with staff ( the associate that descriminated based on race) and makes the appropriate changes. The company has been losing money and will continue to do so until they change.


  14. I had a similar experience years ago and I wasn’t even plus size. I did, however, have breasts larger than the salesgirl thought was acceptable and she actually backed away, stared at my chest with a repelled and disgusted expression like I was a freak, and told me to get breast reduction surgery. I wound up fleeing the store in tears. A call to VS was spectacularly unproductive as their response was to suggest that the salesgirl was being super helpful and I was just looking to take offense. I have never shopped there since. Fortunately, there are plenty of other lingerie purveyors in the sea, and I have happily given them the coin that VS couldn’t even pry from my cold, dead hands.


  15. Pingback: Woman Pens Powerful Letter to Victoria's Secret After Being Size-Shamed - Femalista

  16. Hi Abbie,

    We were saddened to hear about what happened to you and believe that all shapes and sizes should be treated equally and with respect. We’d love to send you something something from our collection. Please email me on the address given in the comment and we can sort this out for you.



  17. Pingback: Victoria’s Secret is accused of body-shaming a customer | Samsu Ng's Blog

  18. Pingback: Victoria’s Secret is accused of body-shaming a customer – News to Watch

  19. The comment I received at the VS I went to, without asking for a size. She looked at me and said “the Large panties are in the bottom drawer, because nobody wants to see that”


  20. Is anyone aware that VS will NOT produce bras for women who have had breast surgery and are looking for a pretty bra tot make them feel special–a little lace and nice fabric goes a long way!!!
    VS insists upon having these horribly expensive shows with models wearing bras and panties encrusted with thousands of dollars worth of diamonds on their underwear, but cannot give breast cancer survivors beautiful bras so they feel better about their surgical scars!! I am larger than a VS purchaser, but if I were able to wear their “stuff,” I would NEVER give my money to VS!


  21. I have rallied 267 girlfriends so far. Every one of them are branching out and their friends branching out and so.
    We are getting together to start a boycott towards your stores. Also getting it out on twitter.
    I just wanted to give you a heads.


  22. I’ve had a similar experience at Victoria’s Secret on 2 occasions. I though maybe the first time was just a fluke. But after the second time an employee made me feel less than because I’m not a size 2, I’ve taken my money elsewhere.


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