I sang the praises of Universal Standard back in 2017, but they deserve another spotlight because they are now the world’s most size-inclusive fashion brand. Since my first spotlight they’ve added more sizes to their clothing assortment, and opened a showroom in Seattle which is a five minute walk from our loft. I’ve taken clients there and we always come back smiling after a delightful experience.
Universal Standard believes that style should be the only filter when you shop. As a result, they offer elevated wardrobe essentials, wardrobe basics, workwear, and workout wear in good quality fabrics from US sizes 00 to 40. You’ll also find petite and pregnancy clothing. The brand hopes to empower the rest of the industry to embrace the same inclusion.
Their website has the most model diversity that I’ve seen, and I encourage you to follow their instagram account for an even more size-inclusive representation of the brand. The integrity of the clothing is solid, simple, comfortable, current, and well-engineered with an emphasis on good fit. Items are usually structured and fluid in all the right places. At times the design details are quite architectural and playful. Colours are generally neutral and earthy, but every so often you’ll see a splash of colour that is awfully energizing, like tomato red, purple, turquoise, and cobalt blue.
The brand is committed to offering a quality product. Cotton is sourced from Peru, merino wool from Italy, and satin-back crepe from France. I’m not sure about the company’s sustainable and ethical goals in terms of manufacturing, but they started a “reset, recycle, refresh” programe, which is wonderful. You can order a pre-labeled recycling bag for $4.50, fill it up with up to four pieces of your old clothing, and send it to Marimole. Instead of ending up in a landfill, your old clothes will become yarn used for manufacturing new pieces, or turned into pellets used for manufacturing plastic household goods.
Universal Standard believes in what they call “Fit Liberty”, which is unparalleled in my experience. It allows you to buy for the size you are right now to create an optimum fit — after all, you should always dress the body you have now — but if your size changes over time, the brand will replace your clothes and send your new size for free. This gives you the freedom to change sizes without fear, anxiety, or added expense. Impressive!
The brand is available online, and sometimes at department stores like Nordstrom. If you live in NYC, Seattle, Houston, Portland or Chicago, you can visit their showrooms and have an effective, caring and comforting experience. The Seattle showroom is a beautiful space in an old brick building, and the service impeccable. Our Yorkie Sam has visited and he’s always welcome.
Their showrooms have samples you can try on, but you can’t take them home. Items you purchase will be shipped to you. If they don’t have your size in the item you like at the showroom, you might be able to make a good decision based on the samples they do have in stock. Showrooms are currently closed due to COVID, but will reopen later in the year.
When I have a curvy or very curvy client who is battling to find a pair of flattering jeans or pants, Universal Standard is top of the list of brands that I recommend. Clients also rave about their dresses, tees, shirts, skirts and jackets. I plan to try the brand myself when I’m in a neutral mood. There are some simple and crisp white and navy items that are on my radar.
If you have experience with Universal Standard, please share your thoughts in the comments below.