March 9 12

Fact. I weigh under 110 pounds.

Fact. Most of my jeans are a size 24.

Fact. Most of my tops are an xs, on account of the lack of, um, anything in the cleavage department.

Fact. I am 5’1. And a bit. When I am wearing shoes.

Fact. I’m little.

I know this. I am sharing my sizing information because it’s important here, for perspective.

Because I am looking for some sort of explanation as to why I had to buy a size LARGE at H&M this week.

Actually, let me take that back.

I went to H&M, and bought three different shirts—in navy and white stripes—because obviously.

I brought them home and thought…wow, these x-smalls would hardly fit my 5th grader!

So I returned them and bought the smalls.

I brought them home and thought…wow, these smalls would hardly fit my 5th grader!

So I returned them and bought the mediums.

I brought them home and…

Anyone want to guess where I’ll be going on my lunch hour today?

Oh yes. To return the mediums and to buy the shirts in size LARGE.


Now, here’s the thing. I have no problems with large. It’s a perfectly lovely size. If it were, actually, you know, my actual size.

I’m just wondering what sort of woman H&M is building their clothing for when a 104-pound, 5-foot 1-inch, wee-boobed girl wears a size large t-shirt.

Because if *I* am wearing the LARGE, what are the people who normally wear a large wearing?

Oh, and just to confuse everyone a little bit more, I also recently purchased a dress and a blousy shirt in a size XS and they fit perfectly. And I also bought cardigan in a size XL and it fit perfectly too.


  1. H&M is baffling. Their sizing is worse than American Apparel. Even when I was at my model skinniest in my 20s, I could barely squeeze into a large.


    Comment by Sweetney on March 9, 2012
  2. Do not even get me started on American Apparel. Haha.

    Comment by ali on March 9, 2012
  3. Ok this might sound crazy silly, but are you sure they weren’t kid sized ones? Maybe put in the wrong section? I only ask that because it happened to my oldest at Abercrombie a few years ago. They put the stuff in the wrong place & my then 14 year old who normally wears a small or medium shirt had to get an XL that still didn’t fit her right.

    But with that being said-I would be scared to know what size I wear in that navy striped shirt because I
    Am considerably bigger than you.

    Comment by Domestic Extraordinaire on March 9, 2012
  4. You are funny…but alas, no. I was not in the wrong section.

    Comment by ali on March 9, 2012
  5. I’m a large and buy large at h&m and they fit perfectly fine on me.and I’m not skinny

    Comment by Emily on July 11, 2015
  6. H&M is insane….I think it’s the cheaper the brand that wackier the sizing…BUT – question – why don’t you try them on that store?? Just asking….:)

    Comment by Sara on March 9, 2012
  7. And now I don’t feel so bad about having to buy the largest size I’ve ever bought (matched only by the bridesmaids dress for my brother’s wedding, and we know how crazy wedding-related sizing could be, and purchased when I was larger than I am now) when at an H&M in Switzerland. (That H&Ms in Europe do have plus sizes, makes me happy. That their plus sizes are still so strangely sized makes me not so happy.)

    If you’re buying a large there, there is no hope for me…

    Comment by Suze on March 9, 2012
  8. I’ve read so many posts on the sizing issued at H&M. I feel like it’s something we have to deal with a lot. I can buy my husband stuff online and it fits. Pants are pants, shirts are shirts. Checking a size, in person or online, with women’s clothes is like clapping my arm over my eyes and throwing a dart.

    Comment by Amanda on March 9, 2012
  9. I know — they are terrible. It’s like they are made for dolls. What I want to know is what they *do* with all these clothes that won’t fit a human.

    And then, of course, I think of all the clothes being made by slaves in China, and it all makes sense. I have a feeling quality-control is not high on their list.

    Comment by Katy (KatySheCooks) on March 9, 2012
  10. The answer to that question, dear Ali, is that people who normally wear large do not bother going into H&M.

    Comment by Jessica on March 9, 2012
  11. Thsnks for the heads up..I will make sure to skip ths spot when shoppng this weekend. My post preggo body is not what it use to be and the last thing I need is a major meltdown bc nothng fits!

    Comment by Abby on March 9, 2012
  12. This is why I don’t even go in there anymore. I’ll bring in like 10 tops, all in the biggest size they have, and I can’t even get them over my boobs.

    I’m not wee, but I’m not obese. I should be able to fit in an XL shirt.

    Comment by Kristabella on March 9, 2012
  13. I have a love/hate relationship with H&M for that reason. Part of it is because I hate trying things on in the store. You have to at H&M because the sizing is so funky.
    I have the same problem with Zara.

    Comment by Danielle on March 9, 2012
  14. i’ve had the same thing happen to me.
    their sizes are way off, Zara too.
    I find the cheaper the quality the more inconsistent the sizing.

    Comment by petitegourmand on March 9, 2012
  15. uhm….i wear L and sometimes XL at Forever 21, which irks me on behalf of all women. i choose to ignore the size tags and revel in the price tags instead. and my GOODNESS you are really are an adorable midget 🙂

    Comment by Louise on March 9, 2012
  16. I picked up some new leggings the other week – and my bf seemed surprised when I said I had to try them on. I won’t buy anything without first trying it on (which makes online ordering near impossible 🙁 sad!). Ugh.

    I find that some places (Express, Banana Republic) think I must be 6′ and have a LONG torso. I don’t.

    Comment by Katie on March 9, 2012
  17. I stopped shopping at H&M when my size 6 body could not fit into their size 12 shirts. Any of them. I’d rather pay more for something else and not have to wonder if it will fit or not.


    Comment by heidikins on March 9, 2012
  18. In December, I bought 2 of their super thin tutlenecks in XS. One in grey and one in navy. The navy fit just fine but the grey was so incredibly tight on my arms that I could barely bend them. Same shirt, different colour…apparently different size?

    My husband and I have just accepted that when we go into H&M, we will be there for at least an hour and will need to try on every single item. I guess it is the price you pay for such cheap clothes.

    Comment by Amy on March 9, 2012
  19. This is why I’m not sad that we don’t have an H&M here. I feel like Goliath when I shop there.

    Comment by Angella on March 10, 2012
  20. i guess leprechauns make the clothing.

    Comment by gorillabuns on March 11, 2012
  21. Dear alimartell,

    Welcome to the plight of someone who is roughly 100 more pounds than you. It’s not fun, it’s very confusing, and it’s very frustrating no matter our sizes.


    P.S. Can we ban together and ask the clothiers to standardize sizes like they have for men? Or should we assume this is just another way The Man is keeping us down?

    Comment by Angie [A Whole Lot of Nothing] on March 11, 2012
  22. Silly, really. It would give me a complex!

    Buying my wedding dress was the worst for giving me a complex. I’m not a large person (though growing wider! gah! must stop!) and that was the largest size purchase I have ever made. Or will ever make. I will not buy clothing that size, even if I need it. Or something.

    Comment by Heather on March 12, 2012
  23. I remember having to do the same thing with a pair of jeans from Old Navy, except I kept having to go smaller! This was after the birth of my first child too! Um,as someone who couldn’t fit into a size 4 before baby there was no way I should have been wearing them just 4 months after giving birth! Something crazy going on there!

    Comment by Martha on March 12, 2012
  24. One word for you: haaaaaate! 😉 Also love! I’ll be the same size as you again…one of these days! xo

    Comment by Haley-O (Cheaty) on March 12, 2012
  25. I buy mine online, being in Australia. I’m the proud and confused owner of a size 2, 4, 6, 10, 32, 34 and 36. And they all mostly fit. The 36 is a bit big. They’re all different colours, but the same plaid/checked divided short sleeved shirt. I think some must be UK sizing and some must be US sizing, but there is nothing to tell me. So I have no idea what size I am. I’m also 5’1″, but 94 lbs, and inconveniently with a bust. This stuffs everything up. The 2 fits exactly, as long as I don’t breathe. Singlet is required. And Aus is all excited that H&M are opening stores down here soonish. Hmm. Poor Aussie women, I reckon!

    Comment by Tess on April 22, 2013
  26. I’m 5’9 and I weigh around 115 pounds. I usually wear anywhere from a size 1 to size 3 in jeans. When I went to H&M, I bought a size 29 in jeans. 29 is equivalent to like a size 8 I believe? I’m not sure, but I was really shocked. I don’t care as long as it fits me, but it makes me question how the hell are they choosing to size their clothes?

    Comment by Kiddest on August 18, 2013
  27. I recently ordered an XL sweater because that’s what I’m normally forced to wear due to my bust size, not because I’m of a heavier weight. Not that there’s anything wrong with people who are, but I am not. I opened the package and pulled out the sweater… wow. I could probably swim in that sweater. I know XL is supposed to be big but wow. My five year old could use that sweater as a blanket if she wanted to. So if you, like me, usually have to buy XL because of your boob size or for whatever reason, go with a L because you’ll probably have better luck with that.

    Comment by Amanda on September 13, 2013
  28. I just got a haul online from H&M, so far I am relieved. I am a size 3 Jeans, loose. I ordered 2 skinny jeans in size 10 and they were just a tad you big, which I will have taken in. That’s my point. I ordered large knowing it wouldn’t fit exactly, with the plan to get it all altered, because honestly, NOTHING fits me properly. I have a bosom, a small waist and a high butt and long legs and it is really difficult to find anything at all that fits as is. Save some dough on the clothes and use it to give to your local taylor. Doesn’t matter what size you are, if your clothing fits properly to YOUR body, you will look and feel way better. 🙂

    Comment by Gwen on October 8, 2013
  29. I know this post Is old but a few weeks ago I went to Rome. Rome is practically Mediterranean but I didn’t realize that and the clothes I packed were too hot. I saw a cute dress in the window of the H&M near our hotel for $25! (I’ve never been in a H&M but this had lots of empty space). I go in and try it on. I am a med, 6-8 always. I had to get this dress is size 14 to allow me to move my arms freely. Anyway, it’s called a flare dress so it didn’t have to fit very well and I ended up wearing it with leggings for about 2 weeks straight because it was so lightweight and cool. Now that I’m home, I’ve been looking online at their site. How do they make their clothes so inexpensive???

    Comment by Hi on October 30, 2015
  30. H&M have crazy sizing!! Yesterday I bought size six (UK) tops and a size 14 skirt. Every where else I am 8-10 top and bottom! I am sure they make their clothes for the dummy’s based on teenagers with no hips and no boobs! Sort it out H&M!

    Comment by Janey Day on June 2, 2016
  31. THANK YOU for this post. I just came from a shopping trip there yesterday and my mind has been reeling since.

    Like, “When did I move up 3 sizes in jeans?!”. And the tops? I couldn’t believe the strain in the chest area. So good to know it’s not only me.

    Comment by Allessandra on April 20, 2017

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