She’s a size 14 that couldn’t even squeeze into a 16.
Last summer, Swedish clothing retailer H&M came under fire for having mannequins in their U.K. stores with the unbelievable waist size of 23.5 inches. In a country where the average woman’s waist measures 34 inches, why would they display their clothes on a mannequin with the waist line of a seven-year-old child? Now, H&M is under fire again after a 25-year-old student had a very hard time in one of their fitting rooms.
Ruth Clemens, a PhD in Comparative Literature at Leeds Trinity University, was recently looking for some affordable pants at her local H&M when she took a pair of size-16 jeans into its fitting room. But after scrunching, twisting, and pulling the jeans, the size-14 woman couldn’t come close to buttoning them up. So she snapped a selfie in the fitting-room mirror and posted it on Facebook. “Why are you making jeans that are unrealistically small?” she asked in her post.
Here’s Clemens’ full post:
“Dear H&M, 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.
“#whatdoesplussizeevenmean #bodypositive #fashionforall
“Also vote remain.”
After Clemens’ post was shared over 8,000 times, a spokesperson for the Swedish retailer wrote a response in the comments section. “We are sorry to hear about your experience in store recently,” she said. “We always want our customers to have an enjoyable time when shopping in store and to leave feeling confident in themselves. 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.”