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The Fashion Industry Owes Us A Reason

by Becky

Last month, we talked about the way retailers tend to ignore plus size women even though plus size fashion has become a $20.4 billion market. But, it seems as if retailers have not really heard this fact. Earlier this week, H&M has come under fire for questionable sizing in their clothing.

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This most recent story first began over a week ago, on June 13, when Ruth Clemens walked into the Leeds, England H&M store. While browsing the store’s sales rack, she found some jeans that she liked and decided to try them on, even though they were a size 16—two sizes bigger than her usual size.

This is where the problems began.

In an open letter to the company, Clemens explained what happened: while trying on the jeans, she encountered a problem. It was not that they were too big on her; it was that they were too small, to a point where she could not actually zip them up.

In her letter, Clemens reminded the company that size 16 was the largest size they carried, aside from plus size fashion options—which she also pointed out was a rather small selection. From there, she also added that she was not overweight and that her body-shape was fairly average, aside from her height, which caused problems to begin with. She ended her letter asking why H&M was selling jeans that were “unrealistically small” and if it just meant that plus size women were not meant to wear the same fashion trends as other people, while also calling on H&M to fix the problem.

In response, H&M told Clemens that they make many of the same styles of clothing for various countries, which means sizes can vary. Other commentators, however, called the company out on their response and asking them exactly where they are getting sizes, with how small they are compared to what they should be.

In a poll hosted by Stuff, one of the news sites to pick up the story, a poll was featured asking readers’ if they thought stores were becoming “unrealistically small” sizes. A resounding 41 percent said that yes, and another 37 percent added that it has happened to them personally.

Keep in mind that that the American-based Washington State University found that the average women today is around size 16 to 18 not too long ago. Again, do not forget that plus size fashion has far surpassed regular-sized clothing sales, so it begs the question: why are H&M’s biggest sizes so small? Doing this only hurts themselves, as it is pushing plus size women farther and farther away, and making H&M lose a lot of customers.

What do you think about this story; are retailers like H&M becoming “unrealistically small” in spite of the growing number of plus size women? Regardless, it is clear that retailers are still ignoring plus size women, and it is something that is just unacceptable. Help plus size women get heard by calling out companies like H&M on their unfair sizing, and insist they change their ways!

Dear Retailers, Time to Stop Ignoring Plus Size Women

Dear Social Media Giants, Stop Fat Shaming Plus Size Women