Sick To Death Of Shameful High Street Sizing!

9th May 2018

Hey everyone!

Another rant/fashion post today. I’m quite enjoying these, can you tell? If you’re a woman reading this, I’m more than sure you’ll relate to what I have to say here on at least one occasion. That’s if you haven’t already. Or like me, have this difficulty every damn time you go shopping for clothes. The clue is in the name, I’m going to be talking about how shameful high street sizing is.

I recently saw a tweet from someone who I honestly cannot remember for the life of me saying the playsuit they were wearing was a size 20 from H&M and how appalled they were. This girl was around the same size and had the same sort of figure as me from what I could see. I haven’t shopped in H&M in quite a while as they are known for being generally smaller sized than other high street shops and in all honesty being overpriced for the poor quality they offer. However, I saw Beff wearing a gorgeous denim pinafore purchased from them recently and it was just something that I had to have.

I headed over to their website to order it and with the girls tweet and previous changing room meltdowns in mind, I ordered a size 16. I’m usually a comfortable 12-14 in womens clothes, dependent on the store and fit of the item. I have quite an annoying figure too in the fact that I’m bottom heavy, with a smaller waist but wide shoulders. This can make finding clothes that flatter my figure that aren’t stretchy or skin tight a challenge but you’ve just got to try and work with what you’ve been given. Anyway, the pinafore arrived and I sighed.

I managed it to get it on but not without a struggle. When I say it was skin-tight, I MEAN IT. It clung to my shape like a glove and although I felt it was quite flattering, sitting down in it would’ve guaranteed a lovely rip right up the middle. Not what you want really, is it? Jake ended up having to yank it off over my head. It’s safe to say it went straight back and instead of bothering with ordering the 18 to try, I went straight for the 20. It fits nicely with a bit of room to move around in and I like wearing jumpers underneath pinafores sometimes too so I thought it’d be better for that.

Now lets discuss the jacket. I’ve recently fallen in love with Nasty Gal and some of their wonderfully weird clothes. You may have spotted this design before in my Dr Martens post as I have the t-shirt of it too. Can’t get enough of it, it’s so cute. This is a size 12 and it’s slightly too large for me. It is super comfortable though and I’ve been after a slouchy faux leather jacket for a while. My leopard print cropped shirt is also a size 10 from Primark. But where exactly does this leave me? Size 20 fits well in one store and size 12 is a bit too big in another? I thought I was somewhere in the lower middle of that.

Outfit/photo details:

All photos taken by Becky Elen

Cropped leopard print shirt: Primark
Denim pinafore dress: H&M
Pink boots: Dr Martens x Lazy Oaf collection

Black faux leather jacket: Nasty Gal

This is how high street sizing is destroying girls and womens confidence, as if we needed more ways to be told we’re not enough?! Personally I think it’s appalling that brands are even allowed to do things like this. There should be a size chart that they all HAVE to stick to consequently making it much easier for all of us consumers. I know there are things like material that need to be taken into consideration when buying clothes as some is stretchier than others but the fact that in the photographs for this post I’m wearing clothing that apparently ranges in 10 whole sizes is pretty misleading and destructive.

I’ve heard of certain brands purposely reducing their sizing because they don’t want ‘bigger people’ representing them which I think is pretty all round disgusting if I’m honest. Why start up a fashion brand that discriminates? Or any brand at all for that matter. It’s as if they’re dehumanising people for carrying a few extra lbs. Someone should never be made to feel any less of a person or any less important because of something as silly as their size. I’ve noticed more and more retailers doing it recently too and it’s such a huge shame.

The effects of this can also be really quite dangerous and triggering for anyone that has or does suffer with an eating disorder or something like body dysmorphia. Thinking you’re one size and walking into a store to have a label tell you you’re actually at least one, maybe two or three sizes bigger can set you back so much in recovery. It can also set you back massively on a journey to self-love, which is one journey I think we can all say we’re on.

Despite probably being in the best relationship I have ever been with my body, I still have really bad days. Luckily for me, they don’t come as often anymore and I feel more confident than I ever have. Because of this, the size of the clothes I wear doesn’t really bother me much anymore as long as they look nice. I can say for sure that if I was sporting a “size 20” a year back, I would’ve been in pieces and refused to buy it out of embarrassment. Not that I’m saying there’s anything wrong with being a size 20 at all but when you’re used to picking up a size 12/14 it can be a huge knock. Just like if someone that was used to being a size 20 had to purchase a size 26 or above or a size 6 lady had to purchase a 12. Also, why does the term “plus-size” even exist? That’s a whole other topic and rant I’ll save for a future post.

I’d love to hear of your experiences with high street sizing and how you feel about them. Have they knocked your confidence or made you feel bad about yourself? Which brands do you steer clear of because of their shameful high street sizing?

’Til Next Time,

37 responses to “Sick To Death Of Shameful High Street Sizing!”

  1. bethan shuff says:

    Cute pinny girlllll! I love this post!
    I find shopping in H&M so frustrating and I too struggle to get this pinny on and off! bad design! needs a zip!

  2. I can relate to this post so hard. I have a really awkward figure as well – I have quite a slim waist in comparison to my hips, a massive arse, broad shoulders and I’m also 5’8. All of those reasons mean that I absolutely hate clothes shopping, and ordering online is nearly always a no-go for me! I find that Primark and H&M are two of the worst – I can go into the changing rooms with clothes ranging from a 10 to an 18, and still find that the 10 is too big or the 18 too small. Shorts are one of the worst things I find. I always try to buy them from Primark, but I find that every year, the 14 doesn’t go over my hips but the 16 is so gappy that a belt would just gather up the material and look stupid. It’s a definite struggle, and one that every girl I know seems to face – I wonder if men have the same issues at all? ??‍♀️ I love the pictures in this post by the way, and I am obsessed with that jacket! I’m off to have a little look through the Nasty Gal website now.. ?

    • blacktulipbeauty says:

      Literally same as me but I am a short ass so anything bigger is LONG on me ? also, I didn’t realise you were so tall!! Oh gosh I know! Although I don’t mind Primark tbf as I usually just buy their stuff super baggy anyway! Yeah shorts are the bloody worst, or non stretchy skirts! They just seem to be too big on the waist or bursting on the arse/legs for me haha! I’m not too sure, I’d really love to get their opinions but I’m not entirely sure how many men read my blog… Thank you so much my lovely! I’ve been really loving Nasty Gal recently, and their sizes seem to be pretty decent ? x

  3. I wrote my whole final year dissertation on this topic – vanity sizing! H&M are 100% the worst for this in my personal experience, I’m quite a comfortable 8/10 and a couple of years ago went to try on a cute faux leather jacket in there. I tried on an 8, 10, 12, 14 and gave up after then as I knew it wasn’t happening!
    We deffo need to have it regulated, but previous petitons for it have failed becais the government can’t (apparently) get involved.
    A great and really relatable post lovely!! Xxx

    • blacktulipbeauty says:

      Oh man I would LOVE to read it!! They really are, I haven’t found anywhere as bad as them, it’s shocking! How bloody annoying, they SHOULD be able to get involved, especially as EDs are on the rise as the days go on. Thanks Gaby ? xxx

  4. Melanie says:

    What an absolutely fantastic post that needs to be out there! I’m a larger lady and this is one of the reasons I hate clothes shopping and avoid it at all costs.

    I haven’t shopped in H&M for years apart from the kids clothes but I also saw the tweet about the playsuit and couldn’t believe how crazy it was. Unfortunately I can’t see anyway the sizes could be brought into line so the struggles continue . I love your jacket, in fact all your clothes in this shoot look fab!
    Great post Alice thanks for sharing

    Melanie |

    • blacktulipbeauty says:

      Thank you so much for reading! It just ends up so unenjoyable doesn’t it? It is really shocking and quite disgusting in all honesty.
      I do hope one day something is done about it as we’re all going to end up such self conscious wrecks otherwise! Thank you so much!! And no problem ? x

  5. Ayse Merve Demir says:

    Great post lovely! This post is very accurate and so true!

    Ayse x

  6. Tiffany says:

    I’m totally with you on this! How off the sizing is in different stores is what puts me off of going shopping and trying things on. I try not to let it get to me but when you have to get a size bigger than you actually are it’s definitely a shock. Anyway the outfit looks gorgeous on you!

    Tiffany x

    • blacktulipbeauty says:

      Tell me about it, it just makes it unenjoyable really doesn’t it? I know, as hard as you try not to let it, sometimes you can’t help it! Thank you so much ?

  7. I can relate to this post. When i see something amazing and it’s too small in a certain size and too big in the next size up. Or when a 8 fits me somewhere and I can’t get in a 12 somewhere else. Having shapes and curves is not easy when shops make it like on size fits all! xx corinne

    • blacktulipbeauty says:

      It’s ridiculous isn’t it?! It’s like how are you ever supposed to know what size you really are? I do wish there was a simple solution to it! Xx

  8. I agree with everything you said and I am READY to read your post on “Plus Sizes”. I think it is so bad that clothing shops have different sizes. I have heard so many bad things about the Sizing at H&M, it is so awful that you re one size in one shop and a bigger in another and its massive knock on your confidence it is disgusting. Great post I am glad I read this and hope that lots of people do, written very well xx

    • blacktulipbeauty says:

      I am becoming more confident about sharing my experiences so that post will definitely be coming soon girl! H&M is definitely the worst from what everyone is saying, it’s such a shame as they really do have some nice things sometimes! Thank you so much, I appreciate your kind words ? xx

  9. Loved this post because this is SUCH an issue. I went into h&m and picked up a lovely skater kinda skirt in a size 6. I barley fit into size 6 shorts and skirts because my waist is tiny so usually even a size 6 is too big, this skirt i got wouldnt even button up! i was so appalled, its disgusting!

    • blacktulipbeauty says:

      Isn’t it just!? Exactly!! It’s not just an issue for average or bigger sized ladies, it really can knock anyones confidence and cause confidence issues! X

  10. Bexa says:

    Yess! Everything you said here is spot on Alice! I have so many frustrations with H&M and experienced many moments feeling fed up in their changing rooms. I dunno why they size everything SO small, it’s annoying as they do some pretty cool stuff. Great post girl, very well written ? xx

    • blacktulipbeauty says:

      It’s the worst, isn’t it? It makes you feel so crap! I totally agree, I look at some things and just sigh because I just know i’d never get it on haha! Thank you ? xx

  11. Florence says:

    I’m obsessed with that denim two tone pinafore dress! I can picture it being worn in so many different ways – and with the leather jacket it looks amazing!

    Florence |

  12. I’m quite lucky in that I don’t think I’ve ever had this issue, only varying one size depending on the store or the fit of the item, and I’m only 5ft tall so if something is ever a little small I can usually make it work because there’s a fabric surplus everywhere else. I have an extremely hard body to dress though so that gets frustrating. The thing that annoys me most when shopping is letters for sizing. I get that it works for a few things but when they say a size XS fits 6-10 who does that actually fit? If it fits a 6 it surely can’t fit a 10?! x


    • blacktulipbeauty says:

      Yeah it’s the same with the whole “one size fits all” thing? Like HOW is that even possible, no material stretches that much hahaha! X

  13. Francesca says:

    It’s so annoying how one size will fit in one store but then you’ll be a totally different size in another! I adore your style, you look amazing in anything you wear!! Adore those shoes as well! ?

    Francesca | Francesca Alice ?

  14. Clothing sizing is literally appalling these days! Topshop Joni Jeans for example, I could rant about those for years.. I’m a typical size 6 to 8 girl and both of those sizes of their jeans are too small for me – there is absolutely nothing wrong with being a size 10, but I am nowhere near that size and it’s just frustrating that clothes are being made smaller and smaller and then they wonder why young girls today have so many body issues.. It’s horrible! I loved reading this post and I think you look absolutely amazing in these photos 🙂 xo

    Char |

  15. […] last one isn’t the most common for a lot of people but hey, what would this post be without some authentic Alice style thrown in? Hope you […]

  16. Liz says:

    I completely agree with you! I’m an 8-10 with small waist and big hips so clothes are so hard to find! I recently went into Primark to get shorts to go to Italy and had to buy a 14! I nearly cried as it makes you think you’re bigger than what you are! I loved this post though, so we’ll written and you look banging in the photos!!
    Liz xx

  17. Meg says:

    Completely agree! It makes you feel so crap, doesn’t it!
    This is a great post Alice! A very important topic

  18. Alice says:

    YOU LOOK SO ADORABLE IN THAT LAST PHOTO. Mate, clothing sizes have become the bane of my life! I just really don’t get how they’re so different, not even just across different shops but within the same bloody one! Surely it should just be the same measurements? It definitely has a massive effect on my body confidence when I have to get something in like a size 20 whereas other times I can fit in a 12. I’ve just had to do my best to stop caring and realise it’s a thing but I know other people would definitely be affected so badly by it! Something defo needs to change x

    Alice |

    • blacktulipbeauty says:

      Hehe thank you!! I have learned to love it ? they’re truly awful aren’t they? I picked up 3 items from New Look recently, a size 10 top, a size 12 jumper and a size 16 dress and they all fit me… Yeah I think that is the best thing to do as I don’t know how or when it will change. It really does suck that it’s a thing though! X

  19. jazziepickles says:

    Can totally relate to this! In Newlook im a 14, in Primark I can range from 12-16, in H&M I’m a 16, Asos items seem to fit better on a 12. So hard to actually know what size clothes to buy, and also incredibly frustrating.

    • blacktulipbeauty says:

      It’s SO annoying isn’t it?! Can be to do with shape aswell as size, womens sizing is so complex! X

  20. Is The Term Plus-Size Problematic? - blacktulipbeauty says:

    […] and whether it’s a problematic and confidence-killing phrase. I recently uploaded a post on how high street sizing was failing us ladies and affecting us negatively and it really seemed to resonate with a lot of […]

  21. Kim says:

    This was such a great post and it’s not just different brands. I’ve been in the same store and a size 10 pair of jeans wouldn’t get past my knees. Even though I had a size 10 pair on from that store walking in! Then both the size 8 and size q0 jumpers fitted like a tent! It’s rediculous and something needs to be done to bring sizing in line both for other brands but for clothing lines in the same store. I also tried on a skirt in the same store and needed a 16? I don’t understand how brands can do that, it can be demoralising.

Leave Me A Comment!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Follow Black Tulip on

Subscribe To Follow Black Tulip Beauty!

Join 3,355 other subscribers.

Sign Up To Our Mailing List & Newsletter!



Privacy Policy

%d bloggers like this: