One night at the end of January 2016 I was scrolling instagram because insomnia had woken me up- and what else do you do at 2am when you’re wide awake and can’t find your book?
I came across a photo of a gorgeous plus size blogger in a blazer and vest. a BUTTON UP vest. and it fit her. I instantly tracked down the company behind that piece and ordered it. The Garamond Vested Blazer was my first piece of Universal Standard clothing.
There is something magical about clothing that is interesting, fashionable, cool and incredibly well made while also fitting bodies that don’t usually have access to clothing that checks every one of those boxes. (Without a single cold shoulder or garish polyester muumuu blouse to be found! Love you Torrid, but understated and grownup are good sometimes too!)
Since 2016 I have integrated many articles of Universal Standard clothing into my wardrobe, these are quality pieces, capsule wardrobe worthy, the softest t-shirts you’ll ever realize are TOTALLY worth their 50.00 price tag. I would sleep in them if I weren’t trying to make them last for as long as possible.
I think my favorite item is the Geneva Dress, it is a giant t-shirt with an asymmetrical hem and a neckline that provides the perfect backdrop for my biggest statement necklaces. It dresses up easily and it is my favorite thing to travel in- last month I ordered a backup – it is that good.
Their jeans have pockets so deep you could lose your keys in them, most jeans you can’t even PUT your keys in the pockets.
While it was fun for a minute to be able to tell my smaller friends that Universal Standard started at a size 10, what is more fun is telling you that as of this week Universal Standard is available in sizes 6-32 with a goal of being available soon in sizes 0-40. Because what is the fun in calling your brand Universal if it isn’t?
The link is a referral and if you make a purchase they give me a discount off of my next purchase – Universal Standard almost never offers discounts – however! if you sign up for emails they send out codes for free t-shirts once or twice a year.
2 thoughts on “Universal Standard. (wherein I gush over a brand I love.)”
True Story. In 1985-1986 I worked in the Women’s dress department at the downtown Chicago Marshall Field’s store. We had some lovely things. Oprah was just getting known in Chicago, and she wouldn’t wear anything from our department. When she sent her people over, they would come into my area, choose dresses and then go to Misses in hopes of finding the same dress in a 14 or 16 without a W after it.
BTW, I still struggle with body image at 57, so O, I get it. Sort of.
At the time, her audience was not told what to wear, and they were mostly stay-at-home moms or empty nesters who, no matter their size, did wear a lot of polyester stretch (this is before leggings and Lycra) in general.
After some brushes with Oprah’s ego and her saying some weird things on her show, I wrote her off for the most part. But, one late 1986 summer night while I was up nursing Mac, I watched a repeat. She had a store representative on from a Michigan Avenue shop called “The Forgotten Woman.” The store featured sizes 14/16 and up, but back then the ensembles put together cost well over $300. In the 80s remember.
As her audience showed shock at that price point, Oprah replied, “You haven’t been able to find clothes this nice in your size ever,” and then said they should have been saving up for a time such as this. I stopped watching her altogether for years. (She also said something about how no one irons anymore in this same episode, and I truly believed she was getting a little too big for her britches and/or losing touch with reality at this point.)
Anywho, though I am not a plus size, I am a woman-with curves, I always thought it funny that larger clothes cost more money. Larger shoes don’t. A two isn’t less money than a 12 on the same shelf of jeans at GAP.
I love that clothing manufacturers are seeing real women as real women. I love that they are making pieces of quality and affordability. And maybe what Oprah meant all those years ago is that those women deserved nice things for a change, and that wardrobing pieces can cost more because they’ll be worn more than once. This is me, issuing to her the benefit of the doubt 31+ years later.
Or it’s just me up without enough sleep and knowing that bloggers like comments even if comments are crazy.
When I want another pair of jeans, expect a Facebook message from me asking for this site again. K? K.
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I have been finding Oprah problematic a lot lately, due in large part to her recent investment in, and spokespersoning for, Weight Watchers. I don’t understand how a woman who has been the richest woman in the country, who has had a career through which she proves that women can do anything, that women of color can do anything– how she’s now going to tell women worldwide that her weight held her back from anything.