Thursday, October 27, 2005

An Open Letter to H&M

Dear H&M,

Let me start by saying that I absolutely love your store. Your accessories are cute and your sales are admirable. Your clothes are perfect and I have made it a habit to shop at your establishment as frequently as I can. I bought a necklace there the other day for $4 and I absolutely love it. I must admit, however, that you have failed in your attempt to dress me when you made your winter trench coat.

I had been looking for a belted trench coat for the winter months for quite some time, and finding none that fit the bill, I had all but given up. That is, until the day I walked into your store and saw the beautiful, cream-colored coat you had on the rack. It was a good price, and exactly what I wanted in a coat. I took it off the hanger – it was just heavy enough for winter, but not so heavy to weigh me down. I put it on my arm – the fabric was soft to the touch. I put it on the other arm – I was going to make this coat mine! Then I tried to button it – complete failure, followed by a system meltdown. The problem seemed to be that my ample bosom did not fit into the coat. Everything else looked great, but the girls would have been left out in the cold. Then I started to cry, and my boyfriend had no idea what to do.

"Am I fat? Is this because I’m fat?"

The poor guy did what he could to reassure me, but it wasn’t until I was talking to a friend later that I figured out what the problem was. H&M’s clothes usually fit me great, and I wore your shirts and pants in my size, but the coat was another story. They cut their coats based on only one body type – European. Having a non-European body shape, it doesn’t fit me, and so I am without coat. Now I’m faced with a dilemma – either I get the coat that fits me in the chest and is enormous on the rest of my body, or I get the one that fits right but doesn’t button. Then I’d just freeze, and that defeats the purpose of having a coat on, doesn’t it?

I just wanted to say - I understand that you’re a huge corporation and you probably know what you’re doing, but maybe you shouldn’t just sell coats with a size stitched in. Maybe you should have coats that vary not only in waist size, but also chest size. Although I never knew it, I always thought I was fat not because I was overweight, but because my body didn’t look like those gorgeously-thin, stick-figure women in the magazine. I don’t blame you for my complex, but let's not perpetuate the myth.

I will continue to shop regularly at your store, however. I'll just get my coats elsewhere.

Ever your faithful customer,