I know the tape says inches, but H & M thinks it's centimeters.
I was warned by my cohort that H & M clothes are small, but this was ridiculous. I couldn't get my real size up to my waist in the first place (and no, it's not because I'm in some sort of size-denial). The next size didn't help much either. I went back and looked for my size +8, but at the time that size wasn't on the rack so I left. I went to a department store in the Montgomery Mall and bought two pants in my normal size without issue. This begs the question, why are H & M clothes so much smaller than their sizes? Perhaps something is lost in the size translation from Europe. I don't know. If anything, I'd make clothes a little larger than the printed size so everyone feels better about themselves.
I know how ya feel.