Life and Style Writer Ella Foster discusses fashion brand Universal Standard’s launch of their Foundation Basics with sizes ranging from 0-40
We all, at any size, can understand how ridiculously difficult clothes shopping can sometimes feel. I can’t count the number of times I’ve left a changing room with no clothes, instead feeling confused, disheartened, and usually quite sweaty. Within a climate of vanity sizing, it is very difficult to shop on the high street and often online. And this is coming from me; a comfortable size 12-14 woman who in reality is privileged in experiencing the very least troubles a person can face when simply trying to buy clothes that make them feel good. To target this, the American clothing brand Universal Standard’s website is describing themselves as wanting to oppose a world of fashion in which it is ‘clear that all women weren’t given the same level of style, quality, or even respect.’ In the US the national average clothing size for women is a 14, equivalent to a UK 16, which also happens to be our national average. Looking at the website I’m immediately intrigued. The ‘About Us’ section addresses the reader ‘Dear You.’ And the website’s opening page shows a glorious slideshow of images of women of all ages, ethnicities, and sizes; advertising their ‘Foundation’ range. These touches immediately create the feeling of inclusivity the brand is trying to create which reflects in their items. The clothing is simple, base pieces such as turtlenecks, long-sleeved shirts and t-shirts in high-quality materials and pale tones.
I love it. I absolutely love it. An amazing collection of beautifully diverse people displaying the full diversity of their consumers. Everyone needs essential wardrobe pieces, we all need a t-shirt, and this foundation collection ranging from US sizes 00-40 represents the needs of every shopper. Something as simple as white t-shirts of good quality should be accessible easily, and this range finally allows this. At the beginning of October, the announcement of this line hit the news and led to the creation of dozens of news articles, focusing on the inclusivity of the range. To my complete delight and surprise, I can’t find a single negative one. The headlines label the range, ‘unprecedented’, and ‘revolutionary.’ The most used photo of the campaign is that of La’Shaunae Steward, a size 24 woman of colour wearing one of the range’s simple white shirts and her underwear. She stares down the camera in an air of complete confidence and comfort, looking incredible, and in her own words (taken from her Instagram) ‘this angle shows every part of me that people told me would have to be smaller in order to be accepted.’
This brand honestly appears to be doing everything right and is a real breath of fresh air to see the campaign spread amongst social media, which is often saturated with confusing messages about how to truly be our best selves. Is clean eating the way? Or should I be in the gym? But I should be accepting myself the way I am, right? It’s a nightmare, and the images from this campaign really battle this simply and effectively with the message that anyone of any kind deserves to be comfortable and feel good in their clothes. The one and only potential drawback I can see from this range is the price. A plain crew neck tee is thirty-five dollars; that’s almost twenty-seven pounds, not thinking about postage as well. This does seem a bit excessive however, this is an expensive brand and what’s more important than their clothes is the message they’re pushing. If even just the campaign for this range becomes popular online, retailers will become further aware of the pressing need for more inclusive clothing which accommodates everyone. Check out the range online and take their message with you when you’re next out shopping. You deserve to feel good in whatever you wear, and we both know that you look fantastic in it.