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A Woman’s Letter Blasting H&M For Its ‘Unrealistically Small’ Sizing Goes Viral

June 16, 2016, 5:51 PM UTC
Shoppers Inside H&M During The Grand Opening Of New Flagship Store on Fifth Avenue
Photograph by Victor J. Blue—Bloomberg via Getty Images

Who gets to decide what “plus-size” means? Apparently not customers.

On Monday, after not fitting into a pair of size 16 (American size 12) jeans, a British woman named Ruth Clemens wrote a powerful letter to clothing retailer H&M calling them out for their sizing, which she described as “unrealistically small.”

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?


While some would argue that numbers are numbers and that all brands’ sizing is different, the issue lies in the fact that 16 is the fast-fashion retailer’s largest size, apart from its plus-size range. Clemens asks:

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 post has since gone viral, accumulated more than 78,000 likes, and been shared over 10,000 times.

H&M responded to Clemens offering an explanation for the small sizing: “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,” reads a comment from the company’s Facebook account.

Fortune has reached out to H&M for comment and will update this post if the company responds.