High street stores should do more to make women feel body confident

A story on Mail Online really struck a chord with me yesterday.

No, not the one about the American strippers who had to call their show quits early because they all got diarrhoea and shit all over the stage - one slightly closer to home.

A girl had been to H&M and struggled to find a dress that was true to size and fit her slender, size 12 frame.

Lowri Byrne posted images online of the pretty blue dress blasting the high street store for its insane sizing of clothes. She said she could barely breathe in the size 16 and asked the shop assistant if they had an 18, which they didn't.

I have had exactly the same experience, and it left me feeling so incredibly downcast and despondent about myself.

It was back in 2014, when I was shopping for an upcoming holiday. I worked in York at the time and nipped to H&M on my dinner to pick up some shorts, dresses and bikinis for my holiday.

I wasn't feeling massively body confident, but I was still wearing size 10/12 clothes which fit my well. I picked out some shorts I liked, and a couple of dresses, and headed to the changing room.

I tried on the size 10 shorts and I couldn't get them above my knees. I knew starting with the 10s was an optimistic move, but to not even be able to get them over my knees hit me hard.

Onto the 12s and I had the same problem.

I went back onto the shop floor and got a pair of size 14s. These went up to my thighs but no higher.

Out again I went and got a size 16. These came up to my bum but would never have fastened. By this point, I was stress sweating like there was no tomorrow.

Remember the scene in Friends, where Ross can't get his leather trousers back up after going to the toilet and he gets all sweaty and makes it worse? Yep, that was me in the changing rooms of H&M on that May dinner time.

I gave up then, I wanted the changing room floor to open up and swallow me whole. I just couldn't believe it. How could the trousers I was wearing that day to work be a size 10, and I couldn't even fit into a pair of size 16 shorts?!

From then on, I have very rarely bought anything from H&M.

Their sizing guides are insanely small and give me the biggest body worries ever. And what girl needs any more anxiety or hang-ups about their body? I'm pretty sure we've all got enough of those!

A few weeks after the horrific H&M incident I braved holiday shopping again. I had just about recovered from the harrowing experience.

I went to Miss Selfridge and got myself two pairs of high waisted shorts, both of which were a size 12 and fit me perfectly.

In fact, the photo actually came up on my Timehop the other day after I gleefully took a changing room selfie and slapped it straight onto Instagram.

I was no Victoria's Secret model, but hell I was definitely slimmer than the H&M sizes made me feel.

I know it shouldn't matter what the label in our clothes say, nobody else can see that. If we feel good, and look good, that's all that should matter. But high street shops, in particular H&M, could really do more to help us along the way with this.

I must stress, it's not just H&M I have had this issue with.

I once bought the exact same dress, in two different colours, from Primark because I liked it so much. One was grey, one was burgundy. Both were a size 10.

The grey one fit like a glove, it was perfect. The burgundy one was so much tighter and, when I lay them on top of one another, could see it was noticeably smaller. My mum has also had the same thing with jeans from Primark.

Come on, high street stores, start making your sizing more realistic and uniformed, and stick to those sizings.

When you order a foot-long sub from Subway, it's always a foot-long. Never a foot and a few inches, or a few inches short of a foot. So why should a size 10 dress in one place, be a size 16 in another?

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