Swedish retailer H&M (H & M Hennes & Mauritz AB) opened its first store in Sweden in 1947 under the name “Hennes” (For her in Swedish), selling exclusively women’s clothing. It wasn’t until 1968 that the company acquired hunting apparel retailer Mauritz Widforss, which expanded the company's lineup to include menswear and led to the name “Hennes & Mauritz” which would eventually be shortened to H&M. Today, H&M is the second largest clothing retailer in the world with presence in 53 countries and approximately 116,000 people employed by them.
Although the company had a strong presence in Europe for years, H&M didn’t open its first store in the United States until the year 2000, with its first location situation on Fifth Avenue in New York City. Ten years later, H&M would have nearly 200 stores spread out throughout the United States.
The H&M group has grown into a family of six different brands with global presence: H&M, COS, Monki, Weekday, Cheap Monday, & Other Stories.
H&M offers a variety of styles, from European casual to stylish and chic. H&M children’s line falls into those categories as well, with sweet propositions for its younger customers and edgier, modern desgins for its older crowd.
From 0 to 14 years old, H&M covers kids’ needs from birth to their teenage years. For the youngest ones, 0 to 9 months, H&M has tops, bottoms, sleepwear, sets, overalls and accessories in soft cotton with clean lines and styles; animals themes, stripes, and solid pastels are among the brand’s favorite motifs for this age group.
Edgier designs accompany the progression into the teen styles, where kids 8 to 14 can find Harem pants with zebra prints, Tops and T-shirts in modern styles, edgy and cool dresses for girls and also basic jeans, pants, leggings, sleepwear, underwear, shoes and a variety of trendy and stylish accessories, from fedoras and infinity scarfs to jewelry and bags.
The boys’ line carries graphic t-shirts, hoodies, shirts, jeans, sportswear and also the David Beckham Bodywear, with Henleys, tank tops, pajama bottoms and long johns designed by the soccer super star.
There is so much to love about H&M designs for kids. The baby line has a very clean, classic look that enhances the sweetness of that age. We love the cotton pieces in light blue, white and the striped and polka dotted pants coordinating with shirts with baby giraffes and zebras. It just doesn’t get any cuter than that!
As kids grow, H&M offers them the chance to express their fashion sense with graphic t-shirts and pieces with the same edgy, chic design the brand uses in its grown up versions, keeping it all very “G rated,” cute and stylish but always appropriate.
But what we appreciate most about H&M is that it is a socially and environmentally conscious company. H&M has a list of 360 substances that are restricted in its manufacturing processes that is among the most stringent in the industry.
The company also established the H&M Conscious Foundation, a non-profit, independent foundation that reaches out around the globe to help people in underprivileged communities emphasizing availability to clean water, education and empowering women.
H&M has a variety of programs to ensure fair working conditions in all its manufacturing facilities, it has clean water policies established in all its factories and holds its suppliers to the same high standards it imposes on itself. The company also advocates for animal welfare and does not sell real fur or any product where animals might have been mistreated. Including its cosmetic lines, which are not animal, tested.
Fun, fashionable, chic and environmentally and socially conscious, we have to give this company four and a half out of five stars.
The H&M women's line covers a wide range of styles, from European chic to more casual. Tops include basic tanks and graphic tees as well as fashion-forward knits, henleys, jersey tops, peplum tops, crop tops, and more. Shirts and blouses are slightly more formal and perfect for wearing to work. Cardigans, sweaters, turtlenecks, and crew necks are also available--some bearing prints while others just feature patterns or designs. Moving into outerwear, you'll find a wide selection of blazers, kimonos, light jackets, and heavy winter coats.
Jeans from H&M cover all the basic styles: skinny, slim, straight, boot cut, loose, and more. Other pants include leggings, chinos, trousers, and even jumpsuits. Skirts are available in mini, mid-length, and maxi cuts, and popular varieties like pencil skirts, pleated skirts, and woven skirts ensure that you'll have an option for any occasion. Dresses similarly range from everyday options to those you might wear for a night on the town. H&M has a great line of intimates, including bras, panties, corsets, shapewear, and more. You'll also find sportswear (designed to be moisture-wicking and breathable) in addition to stylish and sexy swimwear. Other categories of apparel include sleepwear, hosiery, shoes, and accessories. With collections of jewelry, cosmetics, and more, H&M truly establishes itself as a one-stop shop for women.
The European influence on H&M is clear when you look at any of its garments, which is how the brand manages to exude a sense of high fashion while offering its clothes at very affordable prices. Almost like Ikea (another popular Swedish import brand), it doesn't really matter what your specific tastes are or what types of clothes you are looking for--H&M's selection is varied enough that it can satisfy practically anyone. With the sense of irony infused into many of its clothes (and especially the prints featured on some of its garments), H&M definitely appeals to hipsters and those looking to make a statement with what they are wearing. On the other end of the spectrum, however, the brand serves as a relatively inexpensive stand-in for much more exorbitant retailers when women are shopping for clothes that simply look nice and will be appropriate for work or school. We give H&M 4.5 stars out of 5.