The fight to find stylish plus-size clothes is still very real, and one that I know all too well. I have never experienced walking into a shop and buying a piece of clothing without having to worry about the sizing. There are few brands that cater to a size-inclusive audience, and even fewer that do it well. Which means my wardrobe is limited to a small number of brands that dare to include me in their consideration.
Instead of simply extending the straight sized collection of fashion-forward, highly coveted pieces, brands will offer extended sizes with a wildly different aesthetic to their main line. An aesthetic that is often undesirable, frumpy, boring and ill-considered.
In case you missed it, Universal Standard is the US-based label that gets size-inclusivity and representation right. (Other brands, take note). Founded by Polina Veksler and Alex Waldman, it stocks US sizes 00-40 (UK 4-44), with no compromise on style. The offering is a series of wardrobe basics: denim crafted with fit in mind, athleisure, casual dresses, tailoring – a capsule collection of wardrobe staples. Universal Standard’s unwavering commitment to every body shape was mobilised in the brand’s initiative: Fit Liberty.
If your size changes within a year of purchasing an item, Universal Standard will replace it with your new size, for free, allowing consumers to change sizes without fear, anxiety or added expense while the swapped pieces make their way to the charities First Step and Dress For Success.
Today, Universal Standard launch its collaboration with British designer, Erdem. Earlier this year, Erdem, known for his stunning, hyper-feminine, red-carpet-moment masterpieces, announced that he was extending his own line up to a UK size 22. One of the only luxury British brands to offer diverse sizing, he has now taken a leap further in creating an accessibly priced collection (starting from £108.99) for a range of sizes.
“For my pre-spring/summer 2021 collection I extended my size offering to a UK 22,” he says. “This is something that I will continue with every collection moving forward and is very important to me. Extended sizing is something I had wanted to do for a long time and when I met Universal Standard last year our ideas aligned.”
The seven-piece collection brings into focus Erdem’s pretty aesthetic: shirts in ditsy florals with playful ruffles. It also explores denim, a relatively new direction for the designer who previously focussed on luxurious fabrics, by way of wide-leg pieces, slimline fits and a jumpsuit.
“The industry so far has been slow to adapt to a broader range of sizing for different body types, and although I do think there’s been a positive shift in fashion celebrating different sizes and shapes recently, much more than there has been in the past, we still have a lot to do,” says Erdem. For many British women, this will be the first time they see themselves reflected in designer clothing and that is certainly worth celebrating.
Shop every piece from the Erdem x Universal Standard collection here.
Erdem x Universal Standard floral shirt dress
You’ll most likely want to wear this with white kicks for an off-duty look that’ll never fail.
Erdem x Universal Standard dark denim jeans
The perfect pair of jeans don’t exis…
Erdem x Universal Standard short-sleeve floral shirt
Wear this short-sleeved shirt on repeat with the patchwork jeans and chunky sandals.
Erdem x Universal Standard slim-leg jeans
Jean shopping needn’t be stressful now this dream pair has been designed.
Erdem x Universal Standard long-sleeve floral shirt
The shirt to beat all shirts – try this ruffled style out with white jeans and strappy sandals.
Erdem x Universal Standard cream wide-leg jeans
A loose-fit jean is what everyone needs right now and this pair is a winner all round.
Erdem x Universal Standard denim jumpsuit
Yes, yes and yes to a denim jumpsuit at any time of year.
Images: Courtesy of Erdem x Universal Standard