The Huffington Post reports that shopping can be a stressful experience for women who wear any size greater than seven. A British woman and customer named Ruth Clemens recently shared her shopping experience at H&M in an open letter on Facebook. The open letter to H&M, which has since gone viral on Facebook, includes a picture of the customer trying on a pair of jeans that were on sale. According to the H&M customer, the jeans were a size 16 which is a size larger than what she normally purchases.
“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).”
The H&M customer points out in her post that this was the largest size in these particular jeans other than the very limited plus size section the H&M store offered. However, the customer is hardly overweight and doesn’t consider herself to be a plus size customer.
“Why are you making jeans that are unrealistically small? Am I too fat for your everyday range?” The H&M customer asks the store on their Facebook page.
The H&M customer goes on to let the clothing line know the top she is wearing is also from their brand, “You might recognise [sic] the top I’m wearing – it’s one of yours and it’s a size Medium.”
In the picture shared along with the open letter on the H&M Facebook page, users can see the shirt covers little more than the customer’s chest and doesn’t even come close to meeting the top of the pants.
H&M did respond to the open letter the customer, Ruth, left on their Facebook page.
“Hi Ruth, thank you so much for your feedback. We are sorry to hear about your experience in store recently. 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.”
H&M also gave a similar response to a number of other customers who left replies to Ruth’s open letter going into detail about similar experiences they have had buying clothing from H&M stores. Unfortunately, as The Huffington Post pointed out, the customer representatives did little to address the issue regarding women and body image issues.
A male Facebook user and customer at H&M pointed out that that the body image issue was not just with women, but with men too. “Doesn’t just happen to lasses, they don’t do clothes to fit me in h&m, think max size in jeans is a 34, and I’m a xxl shirt and they never have them, (that’s if they make them at all.)”
A second Facebook user points out the fact that issues like this are the very reason children and teenagers have self-esteem issues and questions whether or not H&M will ever do the right thing and sort the problem out, “Unbelievable!!! It comes as no shock that many people including children/teens have low self esteem when it comes to their body. Will H&M sort this out?? I highly doubt it, and that is the upsetting thing!!! Fantastic that you have posted this”
A third Facebook user and customer reveals that she loves H&M clothing, but hates that she has to purchase clothing from the store that is at least two sizes bigger in order for it to fit. “So glad it’s not just me. I don’t ever buy bottoms from H&M as they are TINY sizes!!!!! It’s quite disheartening to fail fitting into a pair of trousers 2 sizes above what you normally wear. Such a shame H&M because some of your clothes are really nice….. i guess you only want single figure sizes wearing them?!”
The customer ended her open letter to the clothing line with the phrase, “sort it out, would you.”
With so many other customers sharing the same type of experience as Ruth, do you really think it is nothing more than an issue of varying materials, fabrics, and clothing styles or do you think H&M actually has unrealistic sizes for women? Do you think H&M will do anything to change the body image issues so many women are facing after shopping for clothing at their stores? Will they “sort it out” as the customers are requesting?
[Photo by Graham Denholm/Getty Images]