H&M is increasing their clothing sizes thanks to customer complaints.
Ahh, H&M. The IKEA of the fashion world, and we’re not just saying that because they’re both Swedish multinational corporations. They also both sell simple, single bold colors on classic, timeless designs. With IKEA it’s furniture, and with H&M it’s clothing.
But have you ever noticed how the sizing at H&M seems a tad bit off? A pair of jeans might say it’s a size 14, but then you try and put it on, and it turns out it’s a very tight 14, probably closer to a size 12 almost anywhere else.
Well, you’re not the only one. After receiving multiple complaints from customers about how their sizing is completely different from other stores, H&M has decided to upsize their clothing scale. Or more like downsize. All adjacent clothing sizes will be moved a size down, so a size 14 will now be labeled a size 12, a size 16 will be a size 14, and so on and so forth.
It all started with one open letter that an angry H&M customer posted on her Facebook. After trying forlornly to shoehorn herself into a pair of jeans that said they were 14, she decided she’d had enough of H&M mislabeling their clothes. That, and the whole experience had started to feel a bit like body-shaming--as though all of H&M’s sizes were meant for supermodels and not real people.
"Why is it ok for a brand to label an item of clothing as a size which it clearly isn’t?" A good question.
And one that H&M had the answer to: "Following customer feedback, we are taking the steps to change our womenswear measurements to be in line with UK sizing.”
It’s not just in Britain either. According to Teen Vogue, the changeup of sizes will also be coming to the United States. "H&M in the USA will be updating their sizing structure for ladies’ customers starting with new summer and fall 2018 products,” the American branch of the Swedish clothing retailer said. “We always want to listen to our customers and their feedback. The new sizing will be more in line with the North American sizing standard and the retail landscape of the market."
So why the discrepancy in the first place? There are no rules when it comes to clothing sizes, and companies are free to set whatever sizes they like (although most try to stay within the regular norms of the region they’re selling clothing in). The model that H&M used to set their sizing probably didn’t have the same proportions as most people do in the US or the UK.
What this says about Sweden versus the US is a topic for another day. We’re just glad we won’t have to play the guessing game the next time we try on a pair of jeans at H&M.