"IT’S discrimination!"

That’s the message from a Hampshire mother who was asked to leave a store for dressing ‘inappropriately’.

Leanne Kennedy, 30, of Fareham, visited The Range in Gosport on Tuesday to buy gardening equipment.

After picking up some items, Leanne was approached by a member of staff who told her to leave or cover up because what she was wearing was “inappropriate”.

Leanne, who is married to husband James, said: “It must have been about 2pm, and the weather was 24C. I’d just gone in to buy some gardening supplies to spend the afternoon with my daughter in the garden.

“All of a sudden I was approached, not very discreetly, and told, in front of other customers, that what I was wearing wasn’t appropriate, and that I had to put a top on or leave. I thought she was joking, I was wearing a normal summer outfit.

“When I tried to laugh it off, she said that if a man came in without a top on, they would say the same thing. I can understand that, and if I was in a bikini, I would also understand, but I wasn’t.

"What’s the difference between my back showing and another person’s legs on display?”

The member of staff pointed out to Leanne that the store’s policy on clothing was displayed by the entrance, and that she had to leave the store.

After returning home, Leanne made a formal complaint against the shop. She was then given an apology for her experience.

A customer service representative from The Range said: “I can advise that we do not have a specific dress code in place that would prevent you from shopping with the photographed outfit. I apologise for any inconvenience caused on this occasion.”

Leanne is originally from Southampton and has worked as a professional singer, but says she is now focusing on raising nine-month-old daughter Athena-Mae.

Leanne said: “I was humiliated, traumatised. It’s discrimination. 

"I’m a person who takes care of my appearance, I’m fit and healthy.

"People were staring at me, I felt like I was being followed and had no choice but to put my things back and just leave the store.

“I don’t feel as though an apology is enough after what they’ve put me through. I don’t know what could fix this, but I wouldn’t wish this humiliation on anyone.”

The Daily Echo has approached The Range for a comment.