I went to my local H&M for this project. While H&M doesn’t carry a variety of brands within its stores, it has a number of different departments with different aesthetics and sizing. The main department, Hennes, consists of everyday trendy items; Divided carries clothing and accessories for young adults/teens; LOGG has pieces with a more relaxed/outdoors vibe; and the pieces in Trend are set at a higher price point and can often be remakes of runway trends.
I tried on a variety of items, including dresses, shoes, and tees, from a few different departments. The biggest difference I found is that my size was several numbers apart when trying on pieces from Divided, LOGG, and Hennes. I had to size up in Divided items, size down in LOGG items, and Hennes seemed to fit the best (although, as I came to find out, this could change between each piece).
For example, a ribbed knit dress (see above) from the Hennes department had variations in fit/quality when I tried on different colors and pieces. From the pieces available on the rack, I found that only a few of them had the exact fit I was looking for. Some issues in the items I tried on included an uneven hem line, different sleeve lengths (sleeves for the gray and black dress in the same size can be seen below), extra fabric in the shoulder, different necklines, and poor fit within the torso. Some of the ribbed knit dresses I tried on were also slightly tight while others seemed a little big in some spots (shoulders, sleeve, etc.).
When I tried on a slightly similar style dress from the Divided department I found that a size up fit better. This exercise helped reinforce the idea that it’s important to inspect potential garments for quality and fit, especially when you’re shopping at a fast fashion retailer. These types of stores come out with new product on a weekly basis and traditionally offer lower price points. To meet these demands, it’s likely that their production standards may fall flat. With that being said, it’s likely that I would find better fit/quality if I were to buy a similar dress at a high-end store.