Women’s clothing is divided into straight and plus sizes. Here’s why that’s a problem.

The clothing brand Universal Standard has made a move it calls unprecedented: It is releasing a collection of high-end basics spanning sizes 00 to 40. 카지노사이트 The inclusive size range ensures that a vast array of shoppers — from the most petite to those on the larger end of plus — can wear the pieces in the line, called the Foundation Collection. The collection, available in the brand’s new SoHo store and online on October 18, includes turtlenecks, jeans, and dresses.

In a retail industry that has traditionally separated women’s apparel by size, requiring larger shoppers to visit plus-size clothing stores, a line as wide-ranging as the Foundation Collection stands out. In recent years, a number of retailers, including big-box stores like Target and Walmart and indie brands like Reformation and Mara Hoffman, have expanded their women’s clothing sizes.

Since 68 percent of American women fall into the plus category, meaning they wear at least a size 14, it’s a good business move. But the extended ranges that have debuted over the past few years often include only the smallest plus sizes, and many retailers that exclusively sell plus lack options beyond sizes 28 to 32.

The Foundation Collection is particularly notable because it is available to women regardless of where they fall on the straight-plus spectrum. In fact, Universal Standard’s founders, Alexandra Waldman and Polina Veksler, want to eliminate the division between straight and plus attire altogether. They believe that women of any size should be able to walk into a store without worrying whether the retailer has clothes that fit them. It’s a radical approach in an industry that has consistently underserved and isolated larger women. 바카라사이트

Plus and straight sizes are rarely sold together

Think of a mall, any mall. Chances are that if you’re a woman over size 14, you’ll have difficulty walking into a random clothing store and finding something that fits. Since the late 1800s, when ready-to-wear clothing became available for mass consumption, retailers have primarily sold apparel in straight sizes (0 to 14), excluding bigger women. This practice has required larger women to seek out clothing from the select group of retailers specializing in apparel for “stout women.”

As archaic as this practice sounds, it continues today. Larger women’s clothing sizes continued to be sold in separate stores, despite the fact that the share of such women is increasing. In the 1910s, “stout women” made up about 12.7 percent of the US population. Today they are the norm, but the fashion industry mostly continues to ignore them.

In recent years, that’s slowly been changing. In 2016, Racked reported on how clothing lines from celebrities like Khloe Kardashian and Zendaya included both straight and plus sizes, and brands like Of Mercer and Elizabeth Suzann extended their sizes to accommodate larger women. But the idea of straight sizes and plus sizes being sold together was still a novelty, as evidenced by Modcloth making headlines just for selling clothes in sizes 00 through 30 on the same racks at its first brick-and-mortar store. That establishment, in Austin, stood out as the rare store in the nation where smaller and bigger women could shop together.

But many brands, even those praised as innovators, continue to stick to traditional retail models when it comes to sizing. Vox pointed out in December 2017 how Everlane, applauded for its transparent prices and assortment of classic garments, excludes women over size 14. In a statement, the company said that it wanted to be inclusive but would need to do more than simply extending its sizes. 온라인카지

“We need to launch plus as a separate brand with new fits, new models and new fabrics to ensure that the styles fit and look great,” the statement said. “As we gain scale and get new customers, we will be able to focus our energy on launching this line.”

Everlane’s statement may have raised more questions than it answered. After all, it has introduced children’s clothing without launching a separate brand. Why would it be necessary to launch an entirely new brand simply to give women of all sizes clothing options? For a company framed as a trailblazer, Everlane doesn’t appear willing to challenge the old retail industry norm of dividing clothing by size.

Universal Standard, by contrast, has distinguished itself from other brands by expanding its clothing sizes up and down. In May, the brand announced that its apparel would be available in sizes 6 to 32, an expansion of its previous 10-to-28 size range. This week, it announced the new Foundation Collection in sizes 00 to 40. But Waldman, the chief creative officer, and Veksler, the CEO, don’t plan to stop there. By next year, all clothing available from Universal Standard will be available through size 40, according to Waldman.

“Our brand exists to basically end the segregation of fashion through sizing,” she said. “At some point, someone decided smaller women should have all these wonderful options and larger women should be relegated to less in terms of sizing and style. Instead of making plus-size brands, it’s time to start taking the two branches and binding them together. We are not plus-size. We are women. This is the size for you.”

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