Last week, I had the privilege of experiencing a behind-the-scenes look and styling session with the innovative company, Universal Standard. Founded in 2015 under the concept of being a “the fashion brand for all women,” Universal Standard has been at the forefront of inclusive sizing with stylish pieces that work for ALL women, from size 00 to 40. Why shouldn’t we all have the same access when it comes to style choices? The concept isn’t farfetched….make clothing that fits everyone. Yes, please.
Founders Alex Waldman and Polina Veksler were shopping in advance of a gala event, and they soon discovered they couldn’t shop in the same stores because of their size differences. The dismal range of sizes was eye-opening to them, and so began a mission to bring the fashion world up to a more inclusive standard. (A universal one, as it were.)
Around two-thirds of women do not wear clothes in the 00-12 range. Waldman and Veksler realized that not only was money being left on the table…the majority of women were being left out in the cold. They left their jobs and created Universal Standard, which started with a small capsule eight-piece collection that sold out in six days. Nowadays, the brand has expanded to include activewear, undergarment basics, workwear, outerwear, and includes their revolutionary Fit Liberty Program. Fit Liberty allows customers to purchase the size that fits best now, and if that size changes within the year, Universal Standard will replace your clothes and send your new size—for free.
The brand has just announced Fit Liberty Mom, curated in partnership with actress and soon-to-be mom Danielle Brooks. Fit LIberty Mom eliminates the need for specialty clothing that expectant moms won’t wear again after having their babies, and comes with the same return policy.
Universal Standard has collaborated with other brands as well, including goop, adidas, and Rodarte, opening up the conversation to big brand names about what it means to offer their products not just to a select group, but to everyone. In June 2019 the company launched Universal Standard 1:1 in Seattle; a light and bright retail space that looks like you stepped into a chic yet cozy condominium…one that also boasts a fabulous closet. One part shopping space and one part community space, it is also available for private parties and events, and the company also hosts its own community building events. In late October, Universal Standard Seattle hosted a networking party and panel with four Seattle based business women that focused on conversation about women in the modern workplace.
During my personalized tour with Jessica Branning, Director of Retail and Curation for Universal Standard Seattle, I learned more about the concepts behind Universal Standard’s fashion freedom and inclusiveness that is at the core business model of this company. That fit matters and choices should be for all is just part of their conversation. The clothes are also meant to last and fill the needs for not only closet basics but stylish, modern pieces that build a wardrobe.
Here is how it works: Customers can peruse the product samples that live in the showroom and choose their styles and sizes. A Universal Standard stylist like Jessica is on hand to help you find what your looking for, discover something new, and find you the perfect fit. Once you have chosen your pieces, the store will order them for you and they arrive on your doorstep in a few days. My pieces arrived within 48 hours of my visit. You can also shop their Instagram or online. It is a lot of fun to work with a stylist like Jessica; her incredible knowledge made my shopping experience so fun. I am hooked.
Here are a few of my favorite Universal Standard looks from my visit, and trust me, there was a lot to love. Check it out.
Not only is this cropped moto jacket made from 100% butter-soft genuine leather, it is a closet staple that is so timeless cool and under $450.
These pants! So on trend and super fun with white sneakers and a chunky knit or cropped leather jacket.
This super soft cashmere sweater looks good with literally everything. Same goes for this gorgeous bias cut skirt. Say hello to your new favorite not-so-basic basics.
This Samantha Dress caught my eye the minute that I walked in the showroom. It’s in the details, like the black silk stripe up the front and pockets, which all dresses should have. I’ll be wearing it with a cropped leather jacket and some over-the-knee black heeled boots.
Universal Standard 1:1 Seattle
2228 1st Avenue, Suite 220
Seattle, Washington 98121
Office: 206 403 1818
Images courtesy of Universal Standard.