Any woman who’s ever shopped at H&M can share a changing room horror story or two.
Aside from changing in a cramped, unflatteringly lit space, trying on the ‘delicate’ pieces usually leaves you feeling hot, stressed out, exasperated, and wanting to curl up in a huge sweater.
One woman was so frustrated with her fitting room experience she called out the Swedish retailer over its “unrealistically small” sizing. She questions H&M’s sizing practice in a recent Facebook post that’s now going viral.
The open letter, posted by British Ph.D. student Ruth Clemens, comes after the young woman tried on a pair of the brand’s jeans in a U.K. size 16 (U.S. size 12), the largest size the brand stocks.
Clemens, who notes she is normally a size 14 (U.S. size 10), said the fitting experience “did not go well.”
She suggested that the company sells clothing that is intentionally too small to keep curvy and plus-size women from being able to find clothing that properly fits.
What’s really frustrating to Clemens is that she isn’t plus size, which you can clearly see from the image she posted on Facebook in which she cannot button up her pants.
“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?” She wrote. “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?”
The retailer replied in classic PR speak.
And while one could argue that H&M simply makes different clothing for their stores around the world, which is why the sizing can vary depending on the style, cut, and fabric, Clemens’ concerns raise a valid point.
When retailers don’t stick to an industry standard in sizing, it leaves customers — including children and teens — feeling insecure about their bodies.
At time of writing article, Clemens’ post has 78k reactions and more than 8.1k comments, with many others echoing her quandary.