Crying in a Changing Room: Why the British High-Street Needs to Sort Out their Sizing

Written by Perry Wyatt |

For me, shopping for new clothes can be a fun pastime that you enjoy with friends or a traumatic experience that leaves you with exactly zero confidence as you adapt to your new purpose in life as a human-sized potato. Shopping is a case of hit-and-miss as it is, yet one woman’s tweet this week has fired me up against the ridiculous difference in sizes between clothing stores.

Twitter user Chloe Martin ( @chloemmx ) shared a picture of seven pairs of size 12 jeans from different shops with the caption “In case you’ve ever wondered why women get so frustrated with our clothing sizes – every pair of jeans pictured, is a size 12.”

As a tall woman who has worn sizes that range from a 10-16 I, like so many others, can empathise with Martin. Shopping for me is like a wild hunt for what will fit and actually look nice. So many shops neglect to think about taller individuals or on the other end of the scale people with more petite frames. I know people who have to look in the child’s section for jeans that will fit them.

Notorious for their sizes, H&M still come under fire for having fitting guides that blow my mind. The likes of Gilly Hicks and Hollister have the same affliction. Some brands are even recognised for being different when it comes to sizes. Victoria’s Secret is a luxury lingerie, lounge-wear, and active-wear brand who highly recommend that you get remeasured before you buy any of their lingerie purely based off the fact they differ so much from the sizes of other companies.

Online shopping has this problem too. When the size 14 you order might be a size 10 somewhere else what kind of message would that give to someone who might be struggling with their body image? Online giant ASOS seem to have a maze when it comes to sizes and in my own experience, the system of ordering new clothes shouldn’t be this complicated.

We shouldn’t need to worry about which size we are but for the sake of ease we really shouldn’t have to put up with the variety of sizes of clothes in UK stores.

We need a standardised, legally-binding set of UK sizes for our shops to abide and not this nonsense. Shopping is hard enough if you lack confidence so this has to change.