The varying size of ready-to-wear clothing is tiresome for one main reason: you can’t order things online or pick up something in a shop and know that it will actually fit.
It’s been happening for ages — brands create pieces to be smaller than the 'acknowledged' size (e.g. when a size 8 actually fits a size 10-12) to flatter buyers and encourage sales. This is pretty inconvenient when something’s too big (a case of classic and seemingly kind of pointless 'vanity sizing') but it happens the other way round as well — when you're forced to buy bigger sizes. It is FAR worse when you’re made to feel bad by teeny weeny clothing.
That’s what happened to Ruth Clemens when she was trying on jeans at the H&M in Leeds, so she did what any sensible gal would have done and wrote an open letter to the store on Facebook…
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. It did not go well.
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).
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? 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?
You might recognise the top I'm wearing - it's one of yours and it's a size Medium. Sort it out would you.
Also vote remain'
Our sentiments exactly — on all accounts.
H&M responded to Ruth explaining that all the clothing varies in size, which didn't go down too well with the internet public who seem to find the Swedish store a particular offender when it comes to small sizing.
It's not just H&M though, the high street sizing charts are all over the place. In fact, according to Pinterest, H&M is pretty average.