There may be nothing in life quite as personal as finding clothes to wear. Clothes are the way we communicate who we are and what we like to the rest of the world. Fashion can serve as a window into our souls and the means of making the right first impression. That's why it's important for retailers to keep things consistent. It allows us to feel confident in the statements that we are making about ourselves to other people.
This also explains why Lowri Bryne's experience shopping at H&M has gone viral. The fashion brand has let her and other women down where it matters most...
Dressing Rooms Are Horrible
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The stark harsh light of the dressing room puts people in a place where they feel under pressure. Squeezing into clothes to parade in front of a mirror is stressful.
The Big Issue
Women's clothing stores have become notoriously unreliable about sticking to official size guides. A size 12 can fit someone who is a size 18—or, alternatively, it might be too small for someone who is a size six.
H&M Has History Of This
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“I am not overweight—not that that should matter—and although I’m 5 foot 11 my body is pretty average shape-wise," Ruth Clemens recently shared in a social media post. "It’s already difficult enough for me to find clothes that fit well because of my height," she explained.
"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?”
This Makes Women Feel Bad
When you're a size eight and you find you can't fit into a size 14 because the store has adopted a new measuring system, it makes you feel abnormal and knocks your confidence.
Lowri Bryne Has Had Enough
Lowri Bryne lost it when she visited her local branch of H&M to find things hadn't improved after other complaints about their sizing.
Lowri Rages At H&M
“Please sort your sizes out because this is absolutely ridiculous! I’m a size 12 and small busted, and today in an H&M store, I had to ask if this dress came in a size 18—it didn’t," says Lowri.
"The dress I have on in these photos is a size 16, and I could barely breathe. Not only was this annoying because I wanted to buy this dress, but so many women take what size dress they buy to heart. If I was one of these girls—thankfully, I’m not—requesting a size 18 dress would seriously devastate me!”
The Store Staff Confirm This Is An Issue
"When I asked if this dress came in an 18, the store assistant said, 'Ahh yeah, you have to go up a couple of sizes with these,'" she continued.
Lowri Has A Major Impact
Lowri's post went viral. Thousands of women chimed into point out that it made them sad that H&M made them feel fat and out of shape.
An Explanation From H&M
H&M has made a statement in response to the post.
“H&M hugely values all customer feedback. It is only ever our intention to design and make clothes that make our customers feel good about themselves, any other outcome is neither intended nor desired. H&M’s sizes are global and the sizes offered in the U.K. are the same in all the 66 markets in which we operate in and online.”
“As there is no global mandatory sizing standard, sizes will differ between brands and different markets. Our dedicated, in-house sizing department works according to an average of the sizes and measurements suggested by the markets we operate in. H&M sizes are continually reviewed by our in-house sizing department.”
Is this good enough? Should fashion brands like H&M have a responsibility to provide sizes that match their customers’ expectations? We hope that one day they will.
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