Thursday, August 6, 2015

One size fits all? -- The problem some women face when shopping for jeans

Image source: Daily Mail
Before I left Norway to study abroad I had trouble finding just the right size jeans for myself -- for years! Some of my most fondest dreadful experiences involve wearing jeans I either had to tie really tightly around my waist (and they would still slip off), the ones that hung really low in the back region (which in turn made it look like I'd missed the toilet and just gone in my jeans instead) or the ones that hung really loosely above my ankles. Ankle swingers in other words (or like my mom would refer to them, "Jump ups").

You could probably imagine why I never considered shopping to be a delightful experience, let alone my teen years. Anyway, I ended up moving to England in 2008, in relation to my studies, and there I got to experience all types of jeans in -- you guessed it -- my size!! River Island, Top Shop and New Look used to be my go-to stores for jeans because they never had my size at H&M and Primark (UK brand) at the time (and I was never really bothered by putting in the extra money as long as I got good quality jeans), but I guess Primark started expanding their horizons because, just a few years later, I found my size in their stores.

So, fastforward to the future, about eight years later. I'm back in Norway and the problem still consists. I can't find my size jeans in regular clothing stores like H&M!!! My sister, who's currently studying Fashion Design and Technology at MMU, told me that the cost of material is higher the more of it you need. This means that it would be more expensive to cater to both taller and bigger women since twice as much material would be needed.

When it comes to large clothing businesses like H&M,  that information is in way over my head. It's just as bad as when I was still at Uni trying to land myself a part-time model job and was told I'm too tall. Come again, please. I couldn't quite hear you the first time!!!!

Image source:

The owner of the clothing store H&M alone has a net worth of $28 billion. That's right, billion. He's considered the 17th richest person in the world. And you're here to tell me that it would be "impossible" to have H&M consider larger, petite, more curvy, or taller women? (Regardless of their mass-consumers being "regular" sized?)

I think it's wrong of well known clothing businesses to serve us with images creating the illusion of models with long legs just to have our jaws drop as soon as we discover that they haven't at all considered taller women in their size range. If you're going to show models with long legs in the first place, shouldn't your collection reflect something of the sort?

On the contrary, I feel regular size women are women of all sizes. We shouldn't be made to feel like we're different because we can't find our sizes in regular stores like everyone else, or like we have to pay much more than our counterparts because they take up less material when these businesses can clearly afford it!!! Okay, let's say some women are willing to pay more, shouldn't their sizes at least be available to them if that's the case?

When I say regular size women, I'm talking about big and curvy women, I'm talking about tall women and petite women. Why should they still have to shop in the children's section????
Yes, when I look around, the average woman isn't anywhere near my height (6"1), but that doesn't mean that there aren't women out there who are tall -- and there are many of them. But why should these women be made to feel like they have to shop abroad or at "special" stores?

For some years back it was unheard of to find pretty shoes in a size 8 (UK size/str 41 NO), now pretty shoes in a size 8 are almost everywhere. Why can't the clothing stores learn from these stores and just expand their size selection a bit? That can't be too much to ask for, right?