The human figure comes in all sorts of shapes and sizes – curvy, tall, thin, muscular, short – and more designers are creating fashion that everyone can enjoy – no matter their size. Not only is this important for boosting self-esteem and body positivity, but it also helps our society to get away from the toxic diet culture, which has long been associated with the fashion industry.
One of the difficulties in identifying brands that are truly size inclusive is that the definition of size-inclusion can depend heavily upon who you are talking to. For example, one designer may believe that their line is size-inclusive, but those who would like to wear the brand may say otherwise. While there is somewhat of a problem of relativism while talking about inclusive sizing, there are some things that we can generally agree are inclusive – and things that we can agree that are not.
What Is Size Inclusion?
Most people at this point are familiar with “straight sizing” and “plus sizing” where plus size is generally considered anything above an XL. Setting aside the fact that this construction of sizing is problematic, it can be difficult to find plus size clothing in high fashion in the first place, as well as plus size clothing that is truly cut for plus sizes. This is especially problematic with women’s brands, as they may be operating on in-house size charting – so that a size 16 in one brand may not fit the same, or even close to the same, as it does in another brand.
Even using a size 16 as an example is problematic, as this is a size that is generally readily available in stores and in most designer’s lines – particularly as more designers carry up to a size 20 or 22. Brands that like to paint themselves as size-inclusive often stop at a size 26. This is still not inclusive. Kerasa Dimitrios Tsokas points out in her article, “The Vagueness of Size-Inclusive Fashion (+10 Brands to Shop For True Plus Size Clothes” that stopping at a 26 still leaves a portion of plus size fashion-wearers out of the fashion scene.
Thus, size-inclusion is the idea that a fashion line doesn’t stop at a 22 and call it good. Instead, brands need to go up to at least a size 28 to be considered inclusive for those with larger bodies – obviously, the larger the spread of sizes, the more inclusive a brand is.
Beyond Torrid, Lane Bryant, and Ashley Stewart – Inclusive Brands
Torrid, Lane Bryant, and Ashley Stewart are mall stores that include sizes up to 30, 40, and 36, respectively. This is great, but sometimes a fashionista wants to branch out beyond the mall store brands (and sometimes these stores don’t carry the larger sizes in their physical locations, so larger folks will have to go online to order the items they want). That said, there are some fashion-forward brands that are indeed inclusive of the larger sizes.
Universal Standard and Superfit Hero for Athleisure Choices
Universal Standard (00-40) and Superfit Hero (12-42) both are inclusive options that carry workout clothes, athleisure wear, and fashionable casual options. What’s more, is that they both use models that reflect the spectrum of sizes they wear – another boon to those wanting to show that they are indeed size inclusive.
Custom Options and an Ethical Fashion Outlook: Smart Glamour and Loud Bodies
Smart Glamour wants people to feel amazing in their clothing. Find dresses, swimsuits, and more – from XXS-15X. They ask questions on their site to ensure that those ordering from them have the perfect fit. As those of us in the fashion business know – fit is everything. No matter what your size, you will look absolutely fabulous if you’re wearing clothing that fits, and your confidence will also shine through.
Loud Bodies is another option for those looking for some really great pieces for their wardrobe. Like Smart Glamour, they’re committed to making sure you can find clothing that fits your body. They carry blazers (gorgeous ones!) to fill workwear needs that fit and make a statement. Their sizing runs from XXS-10XL, and they will create a custom garment for you at no extra cost if you do not find your size.
Find the Basics That Enhance Your Wardrobe: Snoozy Sunday
It can be easier to find fashion-forward and statement items than it can be to find your everyday basics. Snoozy Sunday understands this and goes up to a size 32 in their sizing. After all, that fabulous statement skirt is going to need a top to go with it.
Wedding Dress Designer Committed to Inclusion
Goli June has sizing up to 30 ready to ship in wedding dresses and they also have an option where you can have an item made to order. The designs are classic and beautiful, meaning that those in extended sizes don’t have to compromise glamour for fit.
Beautiful Lingerie in Inclusive Sizing
Everyone deserves to feel like they’re gorgeous and desirable. Chicago’s own Dottie’s Delights sees this and carries sizes up to a 5X and is always ready to help those with sizing questions. They too have a made-to-order option. From garter belts to gorgeous sheer robes, Dottie’s Delights has sexy covered.
A Call to Inclusion
Designers are in a position to reap enormous benefits from creating inclusive fashion lines. Not only is the demand out there, but the more inclusive we are, the more folks we have in our circle. Making sure that fashion lines go up to at least a size 30 with options to make sizes above that to order (even better if you go to a size 40!) means that more people will feel amazing in your clothing. In the words of Maya Angelou, “…people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”