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Why sizing is still a problem in retail outlets

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Newcastle chapter.

Shopping online is so tricky – you think you’re a size 10 so you buy a size 10, but lo and behold, it doesn’t fit. Even shopping in a store is difficult – shops like Zara and H&M may have beautiful clothes, but they’re sizing is so completely different to everywhere else. Why is it like this? Who are the offending retailers? And most importantly, how do we fix this?

I recently needed to buy some black smart trousers for work, and being permanently on a very tight budget I decided to head to Primark. I found their work range, saw some perfect, size 12 trousers for £5 and took them to the changing rooms. Surprise surprise, they didn’t fit. I then tried on sizes 14 and 16, and neither were anywhere near the correct size. I was annoyed and shocked – what is the point?! Instead, I had to go to H&M and buy a size 14 (again, a size 12 was nowhere near right, even though in Topshop I’ve been a size 12 for years) for over 5 times the price.

I’ve previously emailed H&M about their sizing but never got anything back, and I’ve also joined the hosts of people who posted on their Facebook page complaining. There is nothing wrong with being a size 8, 12 or 18, but they need to be labelled right. If not for our self-assurance, but also for convenience. Who on earth has time in their life to remember what size they are in what shop??

However, although online shopping sites such as ASOS, Missguided and Pretty Little Thing are a minefield in terms of getting the right size, they are slowly doing something right. Missguided have recently started to make their models realistic. In their few shops across the country and with their models online, we’re starting to see freckles, stretch marks, an array of skin tones and all sorts of sizes. This is massive, amazing, so important. Finally, we’re starting to see a bit of equality in the clothing industry – no one has to feel discriminated against when they go into a shop. Hopefully, more and more retailers will start to join in on this.

So what can we do to improve the sizing situation? Ideally, we need generalization – we need all shops to have the same measurements and stick to them. Keep emailing and posting on social media, make sure attention is drawn to it. Not everyone is the same size 12 – size 12s can come in all shapes and sizes and this must be acknowledged.

Journalism, media + culture student // wannabe journalist // Geordie at heart