65 comments

  1. mel xx

    May 4, 2006 at 1:46 pm

    coming from a female college student with a strapped budget, the real joy in shopping is all about finding clothes at an inexpensive price that fit well and that i can manipulate and incorporate into my own style. although my one time in a Prada boutique i was treated fabulously, it was honestly a painful experience since i couldn’t afford the perfect patent leather pumps i so wanted. the messes i cannot handle. i just leave and come back when it’s better, but the lack of help i sometimes find liberating, allowing me to go out and make my own decisions and really work hard if i want that shirt and my size is no where to be found. if it’s not worth the search, then it’s not worth a buy.

  2. Gina

    May 4, 2006 at 2:09 pm

    I don’t much like shopping, and I like it even less now that I’m a fat suburbanite. I do find that the H&M stores in NYC (vs. the one in Poughkeepsie) are harder to navigate for all of the reasons you listed. I am starting to snoop through thrift shops in the name of sustainability, but the suburban shops don’t seem to yield much. If the people around my have so little style to start, what do I expect to find sifting through their unwanted items? Not much.

  3. Amelia

    May 4, 2006 at 2:17 pm

    I’m not flush with cash, either, but I’ll shell out a little more if I’ve had a “good” experience. For example, if I’m wavering on an item because it’s a little too expensive, I will most likely buy it if the sales associates are nice. I avoid crowds in all cases. I don’t care how cheap/cool the clothes are. It’s not worth the aggravation. I do enjoy the hunt, though, but lately, I prefer doing it on ebay in the comfort of my own home.

  4. Agathe

    May 4, 2006 at 2:21 pm

    I actually like that there isn’t too much help to get at H&M because at other stores I feel like stuff is being forced on me. Apart from that it’s affordable and they’re quick to pick up trends they are really good on returns. I have returned things that was half a year old without a receipt that they didn’t even sell any more. They never give you a hard time, but maybe not the best time either.

    For a great shopping experience I rather go secondhand shopping at those crappy little stores where you really have to dig to find the good stuff. The reward is in the hunt (and the low price). I only like to get the extra attention from the staff when I’m really spending money, but at my budget that isn’t often.

  5. Mlle Defarge

    May 4, 2006 at 2:33 pm

    It is not just you, since the mid-90s, when I first began shopping at H&M, I have found it extremely difficult and at times upsetting to visit one of their stores. This is due to the things you have already mentioned, but I’ve always had a problem with the layout of the store itself. There is no organization, evrything is cluttered, and there is very little room for the shopper to move around, especially when it is busy. I still make trips occasionally, but only when I am feeling up for it and have lots of time, and never during peak hours!

  6. Hugo H

    May 4, 2006 at 2:40 pm

    I love H&M and that’s not because I’m Swedish. I really like when you can stroll around for free in an hour without feeling watched adn guarded be the staff. When you want to get help it doesn’t take more than a minute to find staff to help you. I like more expensive brands as well but have a hard time in their stores with staff so eager to help me (or watch me) that I feel sick.

  7. Claire

    May 4, 2006 at 2:50 pm

    I feel this way about H&M too. I live in Germany and first discovered H&M in 1997. In 1997 it was a bit more expensive and smaller. Now I walk by a store window and think something is cute but just don’t have the strength to go in and fight the crowd.

  8. Nic

    May 4, 2006 at 2:54 pm

    Naw I agree with you about H&M. i just leave annoyed and with a headache.

  9. MissPinkKate

    May 4, 2006 at 3:04 pm

    I’m with you, Sartorialist- I cannot shop in H&M. I go in, and everything is everywhere, and you’re constantly pushing past people, and the line for the fitting room is atrocious. Even if I’m in the mood to shop, it saps the energy right out of me. I need a store to be a little less crazy.

    That said, when I’m really in a shopping mood, my favorite place to shop is the huge Salvation Army near my house- getting a chance to dig through those huge mismatched racks can be really fun.

  10. Anonymous

    May 4, 2006 at 3:16 pm

    being swedish and also a student I have to say that I love H&M. but you have to find the right stores. At least here in sweden there are always some good H&M stores and some bad. the good ones get all fashionable, limited editioned pieces and strangely, as they often are very centrally located they are always much neater..

  11. Liza

    May 4, 2006 at 3:19 pm

    I absolutely adore to have an ‘experience’ while shopping. This includes an attentive staff, finding unique and attractive pieces, and, yes, spending money. When in the right mood, it is possible to dig through racks, push through crowds, and get those deals… but, in all honesty, it’s so much nicer to shop in a clean and well-merchandised environment. There is nothing more rewarding than checking out with a sales girl that has been working with you for the past hour, helping you find all the perfect fits and styles.

  12. ES

    May 4, 2006 at 3:25 pm

    As a tall, thin male, H&M is the only place I can acquire slim-fitting shirts without spending a lot of time in thrift stores (looking for shirts made before America’s plumpification) or spending a lot of money. The experience is not stimulating and pleasant in the way that, say, shopping at Marc Jacobs is; and the joys of sifting through second-hand clothing are lost as well. Unfortunately, therefore, there is no way to reconcile H&M. Like everything else, it is a double-edged sword.

  13. Anonymous

    May 4, 2006 at 3:35 pm

    both of these stores have their merits, but neither of them are a “pleasure” to shop at. h&m is better for the quality of the design that they put into the merchandise, but the quality of the product is excreable. old navy is good for very basic things at low costs, but the design is non existent. for the best of all worlds, i shop at zara. the stores are classy and modern, the staff is harried but welcoming (as opposed to invisible at h&m, and lazy at old navy), the fitting rooms are almost always free of debris, the product is well-made AND well designed at a very manageable price.

    as far as service goes, hermes tops my list. always!

  14. Tiffany

    May 4, 2006 at 4:37 pm

    The shopping experience is important to me. I do like H&M but have found myself running out of there empty handed because the bombardement of tunes
    and crazy crowds stress me out.

    Then again when I am in the thriftstores, I am being clipped my shopping carts or cut off by unruly kids or being peeped on by dirty old/youg men while hastily trying on clothes but manage to stay in the store for hours…

    I do hate messes though regardless of where I am shopping and I love, love having someone to help me with sizes, bringing stuff for me to try on. I would pay someone cash on the side for that service!

  15. Anonymous

    May 4, 2006 at 4:47 pm

    Where are the shoes from? They are fabulous.

  16. NancyKay Shapiro

    May 4, 2006 at 5:02 pm

    Funny I never put H&M and Old Navy together in my mind though I shop both regularly. ON is like an addiction–I agree it’s always pleasant to shop there, they’re helpful, the stuff is mostly great and so temptingly cheap. And H&M is the direct opposite–chaotic, noisy, long lines, etc, but the stuff is so damn cute. I really have to brace myself though to venture in there. I wonder why it CAN’T be more like Old Navy, but obviously the crap service there isn’t keeping them from being a huge internat’l success.

  17. Carmen

    May 4, 2006 at 5:17 pm

    I love H&M!!

  18. Lola is Beauty

    May 4, 2006 at 5:20 pm

    I have that cardigan too! Some of my most worn clothes are from H&M lately.
    I shop everywhere and I like to see what places like H&M are coming up with, especially with very fashionable items that you wont want to wear in a couple of months. What’s clever about paying $250 dollars for a cardigan when H&M are doing almost the same one for $25? I love the way she has worn it the belt.

  19. Kate

    May 4, 2006 at 5:22 pm

    I agree with mel completely when she says it’s not worth a buy if it’s not worth a search. Maybe it’s because I’m in the same financial boat as she, but if I have to brave messes and loud music, I’ll do it to find a great piece. Rude sales people, though, are a deal breaker every time. I’m a fairly solitary shopper, but as soon as I feel completely ignored or condescended to, I have no qualms dropping everything and leaving.

  20. ngozi

    May 4, 2006 at 5:42 pm

    you are absolutely right. the shopping experience counts a lot. i live in a small european town and our h&m store is a joy to shop in. with h&m, it’s best to go early and definitely not on the weekend. pick a branch in a relatively small area and you’ll get great clothes without the shopping mania.
    i recently broke these rules to shop in h’&m oxford street. NEVER AGAIN!! in fact steer clear of oxford street, london on a saturday. i totally agree with mel xx, i like the freedom of shopping without SAs constantly asking if they can help. and a good bargain is always the most important thing for me.

  21. Anonymous

    May 4, 2006 at 5:48 pm

    another young girl…..and another older man…..OK…I get it. I will kill myself when I reach 40

  22. The Sartorialist

    May 4, 2006 at 5:57 pm

    I don’t think that is fair,

    have you really looked at the wide range of ladies i have shot? please take another look before you do something so drastic

  23. amillionpieces

    May 4, 2006 at 6:16 pm

    I love H&M, they do a lot of stuff which just isn’t me, but they have huge variety and you can always find something or other. It’s a great way to get affordable additions to your wardrobe which still have a good look.

    As for the shopping experience, I quite enjoy H&M but I think that is because I like wandering around a big store and just browsing without any one pushing anything at me, there is such a range of things and no one objects to you being back and forth from the changing rooms just trying new looks.

  24. Anonymous

    May 4, 2006 at 7:17 pm

    Sartorialist loves shopping at Barneys … H&M can’t compare ))

  25. Anonymous

    May 4, 2006 at 7:39 pm

    My experiences in H&M depend on the store that I go to… The one that I went to in Zug, Switzerland was always busy and it was small, the one at the Eaton Centre in Toronto is exactly as everyone has described- loud, messy, crowded, and it makes me want to run away screaming… But for anyone in Toronto, the Yorkdale H&M is definitely the best I’ve been to.. It’s huge, but definitely not as messy as the one in the EC, and i find that it is almost always neat.

    I guess it depends on the mood that i’m in (how fast I’m going to run away if the store is crazy), but the prices and styles at H&M cant be beat- especially coming from a teenager who has limited cash flow.

  26. Hilde

    May 4, 2006 at 7:56 pm

    I bought that same exact knit on sale the other day (€20)- H&M is truly global – because it reminded me of the Burberry Prorsum, Spring 2006 line (combine with a satin bow, anyone?). The puffy sleeve is great (because subtle), but the quality is horrible… I’m afraid I’ll be resewing the buttons on soon!

  27. Hilde

    May 4, 2006 at 8:17 pm

    Oh, and by the way: I LOVE H&M. That’s partly because I’ve been strapped for cash since I have gone back to school full-time.

    I do love a store with good service, but on the other hand: I like to browse and be unnoticed, too! I always shop H&M alone, because I don’t like making people wait while I try on endless outfits until I find what suits me (something I, perhaps foolishly, believe I don’t need help with). When I shop/browse in H&M, I am in my ‘zone’, and I can spend HOURS there! And because I spend so much time there, I know which line suits me, and which doesn’t – and also which is better quality.

    The H&Ms in the Hague (there are three of them, one of which sells underwear and hosiery only) are quite well-organised, unless you go on the weekend. The largest one is three storeys, organized into the ‘younger’ (read: no hips, no boobs) fit, the mature (read: curvaceous) fit, and the sporty line. The music is not too loud, the prices are unbeatable (I like ZARA too, but their prices are higher, plus I can’t fit into most of their clothes, which makes for a frustrating shopping experience).

    The only two downsides: 1)the lines at the changing rooms on busy days and 2)the poor quality and workmanship of many of the pieces.

    Still, for my budget (about $40 a month, and that includes shoes!) there is no better store!

  28. invisible girl

    May 4, 2006 at 8:27 pm

    Just laundered a lovely H&M zippered cardigan I bought about two years ago on a trip to Manhattan!

    It was a desperation buy and I am happy to say, the sweater has held up quite nicely all these years.

  29. scouts

    May 4, 2006 at 10:18 pm

    I’ve been to H&M stores in 6 different cities – toronto, nyc, prague, vienna, salzburg and budapest and I’ve gotta say the european stores have, for some reason, cuter clothes with (?) nicer cuttings

  30. Max

    May 4, 2006 at 11:21 pm

    I don’t like salespeople hovering over me and trying to sell me things because I don’t buy very much and always feel like I’ve wasted their time.

    I do love h&m, a lot of my favorite clothes are from there. I just wish they stocked 38w pants with any regularity.

    If it’s worth buying, it’s worth finding.

  31. Anonymous

    May 4, 2006 at 11:42 pm

    The sartorialist should open a H&M second-hand shop since many couldn’t shop in H&M… you gather the old clothes and sell.

  32. Anonymous

    May 4, 2006 at 11:53 pm

    i agree, the lines at H&M dressing rooms suck. it doesn’t make much sense how old navy can have no lines but H&M can be so backed up all the time. however, i do not begrudge their lack of sales help. for one thing, that’s what your money is going for in a more expensive store. i personally am more than happy to get a bargain if that means i don’t have multiple salespeople hovering around me the entire time, making me feel pressured to buy something. or if i have to find my own size.

    also, i haven’t found that the H&Ms i’ve been to have been any less organized than other discount clothing stores (ON included). and i’ve been to quite a few (nyc, boston, zurich, london, paris, sf…) i don’t know if that’s just me. i have noticed, however, that when they have multiple stores in a city, the merchandise can vary greatly from one to another, even if they supposedly (according to the “lines” they carry) have the same merchandise. that’s kind of an annoying thing about H&M, i think, but i agree with the comments that you have to seek out the ones that are perhaps a bit more out-of-the-way, etc.

    regarding the young women/old men topic: sartorialist, i think you have to admit that you take a disproportionate number of photos of younger women, compared to your photos of men. in particular, many of the women seem to be (or are) models. i love your photos, and i love your commentary, and you clearly have a great eye. which happens to also perhaps love the way young women look. there’s nothing wrong with that – but it would be nice if you admitted it! :-)

  33. ivete

    May 5, 2006 at 12:04 am

    I’ve lost count of how many times I found something but left without buying it because the check out line is too long (even when the store isn’t packed — then they only have one register open and they’re unbelievably slow, both in NYC and in the Bergen County/Rockland County malls, it’s all the same).

    I was just talking to my friend about how hard it is to shop there. Now, when I brave it in (only on weekday afternoons, never the weekend!) I never try anything on, I know what size I am after several tries (actually, that’s another complaint, their sizes are nuts, I’m busty with small hips and I wear a bigger size pants than top there!), I just snatch it up and try it on when I get home.

    Sometimes things don’t fit, but if they were cheap enough I just give them to a friend instead of having to wait in line again to exchange, it’s not worth it when the top costs $9.99!

  34. AnastasiaC

    May 5, 2006 at 12:10 am

    I wish we had H&M here in Sydney, Australia – I know lots of girls are hanging out for it!!!
    cheap and cheerful stuff!

  35. rettchen

    May 5, 2006 at 4:01 am

    Shop H&M on weekdays at 10 am! The only time I go there. The store is empty and tidy. Even the stuff is still relaxed and friendly…

  36. Anonymous

    May 5, 2006 at 8:55 am

    I love/hate H&m..In torornto anyway the staff are so distracted by the disorganized nature of the store and the bratty teenagers who occupy it that they know nothing about their inventory. On the flip side they are nice and the clothes tend to be great. The big issue I have with ON is the sizing. I fit nothing in that store and am forced to shop in the kids section! H&m actually has sizes that fit skinny people !!! Down with vanity sizing!!!!

  37. Anonymous

    May 5, 2006 at 9:52 am

    I think shopping is a combination of a good buy and a good experience. I remember I went to Barney’s once dressed like a total slob and I got no attention, no service whatsoever and of course, I walked out and headed to Bendel where the service was better and they got my $350 business for a pair of Gucci sunglasses. I never want sales people fawning over me, but when I need help I need them to give it to me. I personally think H&M is great, I love shopping there, I have never had to face that much of a crowd at H&M. As for service, it’s available if you need it. All you have to do is ask. I would rather not have ten difference people keep watching me and asking “do you need help?” every five minutes. I don’t know if I have been successful at getting my point across but service has nothing to do with whether it’s a high end store or a high street store. Sometimes the shopping atmosphere at H&M beats that at Barney’s by a landslide.

  38. Anonymous

    May 5, 2006 at 10:44 am

    I do not own a single thing from H&M because of the mess, the crowds, the disaster. As a previous visual merchandier for a retail chain, I do not understand the mess considering they hire full-time people specifically to keep the stores attractive.

    I do not mind the lack of assistance – usually the staff in stores like these lack any product knowledge. I like to be left alone to play with the clothes and not be pressured to buy something. However when there are inside-out clothes on racks, clothes on the floor, lines everywhere, overflowing fitting rooms damaged clothing on rounders, I am put off.

    In college I scoured the racks at big box retailers and discount marts (TJ Maxx, Filene’s Basement) but now in my 30′s I have lost my pateince. I’ll pay a bit more to not have to walk on clothes to try on a $12 sweater.

  39. Anonymous

    May 5, 2006 at 10:50 am

    I love H&M because it offers some cute things at quite affordable prices. It’s like candy. Since I don’t have a store nearby, I’m always happy to take what I can get.

    That said, I’ll admit that certain things about the store are annoying. In almost any H&M dressing room, I inevitably get really, really hot. Why is this? The weird lighting? And the lines for dressing rooms and to check out are dreadful. But will I go again when I next go to a place with a store? Why, of course.

  40. Anonymous

    May 5, 2006 at 3:37 pm

    I’ve never found that H&Ms are like that but maybe that’s because I don’t live in america. The best ones are european H&Ms (after all they started in europe, (the country name escapes me) Nice calm atmosphere, none of the hype, none of the rush. The staff seemed helpful but I couldn’t speak french or dutch

  41. Anonymous

    May 5, 2006 at 3:55 pm

    The Old Navy experience many of you describe is foreign to me. I find ON to be often crowded and messy, and with a long line for the dressing rooms. But then, there are no H&Ms here (Seattle), which may explain it.

  42. Monica Powers

    May 5, 2006 at 5:30 pm

    Old Navy has more attentive customer service and is better organized, but there is no comparison when it comes to style. Old Navy has very little style at all! H&M fans shop there because they like original looking pieces that could pass for high-end designer and also are shorter runs, so you won’t see yourself coming and going as you would in any of the GAP brands. GAP/Old Navy should really take a cue from H&M…or else I really hope H&M keeps opening more stores around the country. The lack of service and order is just a tradeoff some of us will accept to get the goods cheap.

  43. kittenpie

    May 5, 2006 at 7:40 pm

    I have never had success in an HMV for anything but hair accessories, quite frankly. You’re right. It’s a mess, there are never sizes in what you want, and I frankly can’t stand around for half an hour waiting for a fitting room to see if it MIGHT work. Regretfully, I’ve pretty much stopped shopping there.
    I’m all about Winners (like Filene’s/Daffy’s) these days. It’s still a hunt, but relatively organized, tidy, and with good prices.

  44. Anonymous

    May 5, 2006 at 8:35 pm

    As a size 14 woman I wish H&M had more larger sizes. Strangely enough, when I was in Europe 10 years ago I remember that they had a plus-size line called “big is Beautiful” or some other poorly translated name. anyway, very few items come in any sizes larger than 12 or I would shop there all the time.So I wind up at ON where they have a much better size selection, but not as much style.That said, the 59th & lex H&M is much better than soho(mess) or 54th& 5th (crowds!!)

  45. Moni Fashionista

    May 5, 2006 at 10:25 pm

    I live in Uruguay now but used to live in NY. I have to say that one of the things I miss the most about NY is H&M. I love the idea of democratic clothing. I don’t believe in buying very expensive clothes… maybe because I have NO way of doing it, I’m still young and trying to make it in life. So I really love being able to dress things that make me feel me without having to spend a lot of money. And H&M has the best style, better than Zara and much better than Old Navy.

    Love your site.

  46. Max

    May 6, 2006 at 4:18 am

    In the Men’s sections you’d have no problem finding clothes for the super skinny. H&M is the only store I’ve ever seen that regularly stocks size 27 pants and XS shirts.

    I do wish they sold more larger pants (they usually have 1 or 2 pair of 38 in the store), but I guess I’ll just get addicted to coke and reggaeton so I can shop there.

  47. Anonymous

    May 7, 2006 at 12:32 am

    Discount shopping is an adventure! I work in retail, and the store is always a mess, because the customers are completely disgusting. For instance, 75 percent (no joke!) of customers leave the beautiful clothes on the floor in the fitting room after they try them on instead of at least putting them back on their hangers. With the store’s insane traffic, I only have two hands and can’t enrich every customer with an uplifting shopping experience! The store can’t hire more people without significantly raising their prices, which would clash with their whole fashion philosophy: cheap and stylish. Moral of this story: stop being a sloppy diva and your experience will improve. I’m sorry if that sounds mean, but come on, the customer is not always right!

  48. Anonymous

    May 7, 2006 at 12:34 am

    It’s the music in there, I tell you!

    I live in Minneapolis and our H&M is a zoo on the weekends but relatively empty during the week. And yet, I can’t stand going in there whether it’s crowded or not…the music they play is always on full blast and it just makes the place *feel* frenetic even when it’s not. Is it just the crappy music they play at this outpost???

    But I’ve been to H&M stores in a handful of other cities too (NY, Boston, London, Paris, Zurich, Vienna) and I could swear that it’s the frighteningly “upbeat” mood that the soundtrack sets which drives everyone into that frenzied H&M state.

    So I brave the H&M environment when I forget why I don’t like it in there because I have found some great pieces there. But it’s always the music drilling a hole into my brain (or the music+crowds) that forces me out of the store feeling stressed and annoyed.

  49. Anonymous

    May 7, 2006 at 1:53 am

    I like H&M. At least a size 2 is truly a size 2 and they don’t feel the need to call it size “00,” as they do in Old Navy, which I think is ridiculous and the reason why I haven’t shopped at Gap/Old Navy/Banana Republic in ages. There are certain rules I follow for the NYC stores – I try to go on weekdays, I avoid the 5th Avenue store since crowds are the worst, and if you go about an hour before closing on a weekday, that’s when the staff gets serious about organizing, and the different sections start to look neater. I don’t find the salespeople all that bad (the staff at Soho are probably the nicest and seem to have the best sense of humor of all the stores), they do try to answer your questions, but most of the time they’ll be tired and grumpy, which is understandable considering the crowd control and piles of clothing they have to deal with. But I’d take grumpy H&M folks over snooty better-than-thou boutique saleshelp any day. If you go in with a decent attitude, without high expectations, bop your head to the loud music while you sift through the racks, you might just find a hidden treasure.

  50. Anonymous

    May 7, 2006 at 10:40 am

    I’ve been to one H&M, and it was not pleasant. For one thing, I did not see much of the great stuff I always see on their website and on people on the streets, and the salespeople were downright rude. I asked someone where to find a certain pair of jeans and they pointed me to the area where I’d just been looking, and where they were most certainly not. And then the dressing room attendant… christ. She was a bitch and literally did not know right from left (long story).

    Granted, this was a Harold Square store, and I visited in the evening. On my trip, though, I passed many other locations and was not inclined to go in after that experience.

    And to clarify, I prefer stores where the staff doesn’t follow you around and try to help. But when I have a question and need help, I’d like to be helped!

    Maybe I just like to torture myself, but I now think I’d go back. Damn you, H&M! You make everything look so good in print. Then I get to the store and the sizing is all wonky and the quality questionable.

  51. Catherine

    May 8, 2006 at 10:34 pm

    I hate shopping, and I hate spending money, but I LOVE H&M!! I was so excited when it finally came to the states…

  52. Sara

    May 11, 2006 at 5:01 pm

    Since I am from Boulder, CO… visiting an H&M store in New York was an oasis. We do not have H&M in the west, and you all should consider yourselves lucky. The Old Navy stores here are always a complete mess with way too loud (and annoying) music. I found H&M to be a fun experience while in the city. Visiting the design houses in New York is to me like visiting museums… I go there for inspiration, but cannot afford to buy (especially on my Colorado cost-of-living!) It is nice to walk into a store like H&M to find great styles that fit well and are made well. Old Navy is quite the opposite to me… terrible quality and fit! I enjoy the hunt and love to discover things I did not see on the first lap… I also spend a lot of time here at Nordstrom Rack at which I have found the occassional Michael Kors, Franco Sarto, Via Spiga, etc. at great prices!

  53. Frida

    May 12, 2006 at 8:38 pm

    Being swedish I adore HM, they’ve got great one-of-a-kind cheap clothes. I agree that the stores can be a little bit messy but I think they’ve approved a lot over the last few years, atleast here in Sweden.
    For me it’s always a joy to check out the latest things at the HM store =)

  54. Anonymous

    May 13, 2006 at 9:16 am

    i think H&M is horrible. the construction of their clothes is only a step above really bad (like forever XXI or whatever it’s called – so bad!) quality. unless you’re really thin and tall, the clothes won’t fit you properly (true of most ‘inexpensive’ retail) and if you do think they’re fitting you properly… you probably don’t know what fits properly. i know women love H&M because they’re “cheap” and “up on trends” but this is the sort of ‘fashion’ bullshit that causes masses of people to race to look like one another every season! gah! let’s open our eyes to good fit, quality, and construction. what looks good on your unique body! don’t stuff your closets with trends that’ll be out in a few months! (p.s. i am a female college student with a small budget! i shop thrift. thrift can be hard, it takes time and vigilence… but it really pays off. and sometimes you can indulge in an expensive, well made garment.)

    • Liza D.

      November 5, 2012 at 4:17 pm

      Amen, sister. Email me and I’ll send you a coupon code for some quality vintage goodies…

  55. The Sartorialist

    May 13, 2006 at 10:28 am

    to 9:16am Anon

    I think if you actually look at the photos I have taken of women wearing items from H&M you could not possibly say are following the masses and they definitely know about fit.

    are you saying a college student wearing vintage is not following the college masses.

  56. Claire

    May 28, 2006 at 2:40 pm

    i completely agree with the first poster on the shopping experience for a 20-something on a budget. You definitely get the most satisfaction when you find a great piece on sale. HnM is only crowded and unbearable on Saturdays here in the UK. But I love that it has MORE than just ONE STYLE and therefore, pieces that can be incorporated into any look. They have great stand-out pieces with cool prints and their colours are always warm and rich, which I love [mustard yellow instead of flourescent or pastel, rusty orange, maroons, aubergines, khakis and hunter greens]. It ranks as one of my favourite stores.

  57. Tracy

    June 15, 2006 at 5:30 am

    My friend and I call Old Navy, Beirut as it looks like a bomb went off in there and there is always some screaming kid.

    As I age I am starting to see why boutique shopping is just easier: less noise, less drama, easier to find what you need.

  58. Anonymous

    July 2, 2006 at 8:29 am

    The more attention I get from sales staff, the more I’m going to purchase. If I don’t get any attention from sales staff, I won’t buy anything.

  59. Anonymous

    July 31, 2006 at 9:48 pm

    Hello,
    Without much luck, I was searching for blogs about ebay when I happened across yours. It’s a cool blog. Evidently you like telling it like it is! I have a really great ebay website that is easy to use that you may like. If you get a chance, check it out http://www.licensedbrandsclub.com.

  60. Chicago2007

    January 26, 2007 at 1:36 pm

    H&M doesn’t pay much and has no guarantees about your hours. I would not recommend this company for employment, unless you are desperate and can’t find a job that gives you 20+ hours. 5 hours a week after week – at H&M is not unusual.

    Chicago2007 01/26/07

  61. Birte

    August 27, 2007 at 6:35 pm

    H&M is a store I definitely love: sophisticated, chic style for a girl in her twenties on a budget (me!). I agree that the mass amounts of people and messy store are a bit off-putting, but I try to go in with an image of what I want in my mind, pick it off the racks, and don’t bother waiting in the mile-long line for the dressing room. It’s affordable enough so that if things don’t fit perfectly, it’s not a big deal, and I’m usually pretty true to their size 4, which is very convenient.

  62. Anonymous

    February 17, 2010 at 11:21 pm

    yes yes yes yes yes. If the shopping experience is bad, say the store has way too loud music on then after a while I will just think to myself 'I don't care if the best piece of clothing in the world is in here, I am getting out of here' Another thing that can influence whether or not I spend is the level of help. If the salesperson completely ignores me (i.e. doesn't say hi) then I'll feel a bit neglected, however, if the salesperson won't leave me alone I'll feel pressured and won't want to try anything on for fear I will end up buying it for the sake of the salesperson.

  63. Gigi

    March 13, 2012 at 12:16 pm

    The shopping experience is definitely important. I’ve stopped shopping at several department stores because the crowd they are now attracting has changed. Now roving groups of loud people with screaming, running kids roam the stores dropping items all over the floors. I’m talking about Macy’s, BTW. They may have an increase in their volume of sales, but at what cost? I’ve also noticed they are now carrying more “blingy”, tacky merchandise. I don’t mean to sound like a shopping snob, but I’m willing to pay a little more to have the luxury of a calm, quiet environment and clean fitting rooms (Nordstrom or Saks). This seems like a basic. I’ve tried H&M but the only way I could shop there is on valium.

  64. Liza D.

    November 5, 2012 at 4:10 pm

    Hi,

    H&M stores are that way for a reason — to attract their target consumer. It’s no accident. Young and hip people with limited funds but unlimited time and energy aren’t put off by jarringly loud music, long lines into cramped dressing rooms, and departments seemingly arranged by a blindfolded drunkard. It’s the fashion-retailer equivalent of an over-loud trendy restaurant.

    But I find it intolerable. Not because I don’t love a good treasure hunt (hey, I sell vintage, after all), or enjoy finding something “totally now” at a super-low price (which is exactly how much disposable, “non-classics” should cost).

    Fact is, I’m just too old. My time and patience are limited (by work, children, and the exhaustion both create). I need shopping to be as stress-free as possible.

    TJ Maxx and Loehmann’s are about as much bargain-related stress as I can handle nowadays. I even avoid my most conveniently located Macy’s (just 2 miles from my door) because the fluorescent lighting is out of whack and buzzes like a gigantic mosquito (really, it’s super-loud).

    I do like that H&M hasn’t succumbed to vanity sizing, which, rather than fooling me into thinking that somehow, without gaining or losing an inch or a pound since 1983, I’ve miraculously gone from a size 6 US to a size 0-2 US. If I’m a 2, what size is an actually skinny person? It’s crazy. At H&M, I’m an 8 or 10, I think. Sort of humbling, in a good way.

    Then again, I can’t wear much of what they sell (don’t like too-far-above-the-knee skirts on women of a certain age).

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