Swedish fast fashion label H&M is feeling the heat. The brand is caving to customer demands and will soon start adjusting “vanity sizing” in the United Kingdom.
H&M has been getting hit with flack in the UK about their incorrect garment sizes. Online and in-store shoppers have been complaining that the clothing is smaller than the size actually says.
On Monday, the brand announced that it’s a problem with the size conversion, but that they are correcting it.
The standard UK size 12 is equal to a EUR 40. H&M’s size 12 currently equals to size EUR 38, which obviously throws off the entire size chart, which is why shoppers often find it hard to know their “real size.”
Vanity sizing has been an issue in the apparel industry for ages. The psychology behind it is that the smaller sizes will entice shoppers to buy more when they favor a certain brand that makes them feel “skinny.” It seems that what H&M is doing is the opposite—instead of making a larger size in a smaller number, they’re making the numbers bigger.
There are a number of brands that use this (kind of smart) marketing tactic to sell more clothing. Old Navy and Gap are two famous culprits known for mislabeling their clothing with inaccurate sizes.
Another reason brands have been using vanity sizes, as the New Yorker explained in 2014, is that people (especially in America) have gotten larger as time has gone on. In an effort to hold onto these customers, brand’s have inflated their sizes in proportion to their patrons.
This mind game can be especially confusing for people who take their sizes to heart, as one UK shopper named Lowri Byrne noted in a public Facebook message to H&M last year.
“Not only was this annoying because I wanted to buy this dress, but so many women take what size dress they buy to heart,” she said.
Please sort your sizes out because this is absolutely ridiculous!I'm a size 12 and small busted and today in a H&M…
Others on Twitter have shared this same annoyance with H&M’s vanity sizing over time.
— Samantha Bell (@SamanthaJBell) August 21, 2017
Hopefully, H&M is just the first of many brands to start implementing more accurate sizing.