Student Questions H&M's Ridiculous Interpretation Of Sizes

by Maria Guido
Originally Published: 

Student posts picture of herself attempting to fit into H&M clothing

Ruth Clemens visited an H&M store and was thrilled when she found a pair of jeans on sale. She became less thrilled when she attempted to get them on her body.

“I was browsing your sale items in your Leeds store and spotted this pair of kick flare jeans. They were only a tenner – bargain! – and a size 16. I’m normally a size 14 on my hips (occasionally 16 if buying trousers) so I thought I’d try them on,” she wrote on a post to H&M’s Facebook page. “It did not go well.”

A size 16, the largest the store carries before its plus-size designation, wouldn’t go over her hips. Also, that shirt she’s wearing is a medium. A medium.

“As I’m sure you’re aware, size 16 is the largest size you stock (apart from in your plus size range, which is very limited in store and does not offer the range of styles for the fashion-conscious that are available in smaller sizes),” she writes. “I am not overweight (not that that should matter) and although I’m 5 foot 11 my body is pretty average shape-wise. It’s already difficult enough for me to find clothes that fit well because of my height, why are you making jeans that are unrealistically small?”

It’s a damn good question. Why do stores like H&M need to make clothes so ridiculously small? These jeans are clearly not a size 16.

“Am I too fat for your everyday range? Should I just accept that accessible and affordable high street and on-trend fashion isn’t for people like me?” she asks. H&M responded, “Hi Ruth, thank you so much for your feedback. We are sorry to hear about your experience in store recently.” Isn’t this great? We are so sorry you couldn’t get our size 16 jeans over your hips. “We always want our customers to have an enjoyable time when shopping in store and to leave feeling confident in themselves.” Too bad that didn’t happen for you because our patterns are clearly crafted by body-shaming elves. “At H&M we make clothing for all our stores around the world, so the sizing can vary depending on the style, cut and fabric. We value all feedback and will take on board the points you and other customers have raised.” They then linked her to this size chart.

There are thousands of comments on her post, and many people are telling their own stories of dismay at H&M’s sizes.

Clemens said H&M’s defense – that sizing can vary depending on the fabric cut – was unsatisfactory and called it a “cop-out.” She told Buzzfeed News, “If H&M thinks I’m too fat, too tall, that I take up too much space to wear their clothes, they’re the ones who need to change.”

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