Women’s clothing sizes can seem almost arbitrary, as every single one of us has experienced. The popularity of what Time magazine calls “vanity sizing” means labels are meaningless.
According to the publication, “a pair of size-6 jeans can vary in the waistband by as much as 6 in.” between brands—a matter that makes shopping that much more confusing, confidence-shattering, and annoying when we consider that oftentimes size labels vary within brands, as well.
Twitter user @chloemmx recently tweeted a photograph that illustrates this universal dilemma perfectly. She lined up seven pairs of jeans from different brands to compare their vastly different waistlines.
“In case you’ve ever wondered why women get so frustrated with our clothing sizes – every pair of jeans pictured, is a size 12,” she wrote.
The message resonated with so many others on social media that in less than four days, the post had garnered over 1,200 comments, 113,000 retweets, and 271,000 likes.
She followed it up with a subsequent tweet underlining the absurdity of the jean-sizing dilemma.
“And you know what’s even funnier, the very bottom pair fit me perfectly, the 2nd pair from the top, are too small,” she wrote, adding, “how does that even make sense when the top pair is bigger????”
And replied to another tweet about how damaging vanity-sizing could be for women’s self-esteem.
“No wonder women feel so insecure,” Chloe wrote. “I’ve had size 10 dresses, fit fine, then I’ll try on size 14 jeans that won’t even go past my hips, it’s not right”
Needless to say, women on Twitter related…HARD.
Many tweeted that jean-shopping in particular is a thankless, frustrating, and often-futile activity.
“No wonder we all just live in leggings and yoga pants now,” wrote one Twitter user in reply.
Not to mention…POCKETS. What’s up with pockets/lack thereof on women’s jeans?
This is a question I’ve been asking my entire life.
“And it gets worse the larger the size, except the options are fewer” pointed out @Lutherliz.
This isn’t the first time clothing brands—particularly fast fashion brands—particularly H&M—have been called out for their lack of standardization when it comes to women’s clothing.
In August of 2017, a woman named Samantha Bell took a picture comparing a pair of UK size 16 jeans (US size 12) from H&M with a pair in the same size from the budget British retailer Primark.
“I know I’m not the first person to raise this, but holy s—t, H&M need to do something about their sizing. This is a size 16 from H&M (blue) vs a size 16 from Primark (black),” she wrote in the caption of the post, which quickly went viral as publications began to pick it up.
— Samantha Bell (@SamanthaJBell) August 21, 2017
H&M responded to INSIDERat the time by saying: “H&M’s sizes are global and the sizes offered in the UK are the same in all the 66 markets in which we operate in and online. As there is no global mandatory sizing standard, sizes will differ between brands and different markets.”