What Does “Size Inclusive” Truly Mean?

It seems like the term “size inclusive” has become a trend these days.

Many brands and celebrities have announced they are launching size inclusive lines. Perfect example is plus size model and influencer Jordyn Woods, who shared the news at Beautycon LA that she’s launching a size inclusive activewear line.

The collection will be available in sizes XS to 3X. She told The Hollywood Reporter:

“There is definitely some color, some good bodysuits, and [pieces] for all body types; I decided to make the line from XS to 3X. When I first signed with my agency and started modeling, I was introduced to a whole new world of fashion and body types; in the industry, plus-size starts at a size 8!”

While we appreciate her sentiment and desire to cater to ALL body types, is her line truly size inclusive if it stops at a size 3X?

ALL bodies mean ALL and not just bodies who fit into sizes XS to 3X.

Last week, contemporary fashion brand Universal Standard launched a collection with J. Crew that’s available in sizes XXS – 5X.

Wow. For some women, this is major. But some wondered what does this truly mean for the plus size woman? This is more size inclusive than Woods’ activewear line because it goes above a 3X and under an XS.

Universal Standard prides itself on being that brand that strives for fashion freedom, as noted on their About Page:

We lived in a world in which access was limited. We couldn’t shop together; one of us could hardly shop at all. It felt unfair, but moreover, it made no sense. If 67% of women in the U.S. wear a size 14 or above, why were their options so dismal? It was clear that all women weren’t given the same level of style, quality, or even respect.

We asked ourselves the whys, and then we asked ourselves the hows. How can we participate in the change we wanted to see? How can we bring all women together in a way that no one ever has before? We wanted a size 26 to shop in the same way as a size 6 – using style as her only filter, and we wanted to be the ones to make that happen. Our goals were lofty; some may say idealistic, some may even say impossible. But we’d have to disagree.

So we put a call on Facebook to ask what the masses think and here’s what they said:

“I am glad to see more businesses expanding plus. I would love to know if the 5x is a true 5X.”

“I want to know if J.Crew plans to expand their size range into plus going forward… if it’s just this one, then it feels disingenuous.”

“Options, I need more options. Even at a 2x/3x, I cannot find something that I see in straight sizes. I know we have tons more options than we did 10 years ago but we are over 50% of the population. Eloquii has helped broaden things a lot, but their clothes, even after $40 of tailoring for one piece, do not fit my apple shaped body.”

“I’m kind of disappointed that the pieces look more like the US style than J Crew. I’d love to see actual J Crew styles in plus.”

“I feel like they were trying to lure us in (oh, see how we’re encouraging other brands to expand their sizes) when they’re really just using the J. Crew name and the plus community’s desperate desire for expanded sizes to gain publicity. J. Crew isn’t offering plus sizes. Why ask the plus community to support a brand that offers only straight sizes outside this collab?”

“Let me say, I love J Crew. I have purchased their XL a few times and made it work, also love their shoes and accessories. This collection is a great big MISS for me. YES, I’m happy they are headed this way, YES, it takes time and they are doing it with US, which isn’t my favorite but… I always fear when these companies put out a collection like this and it doesn’t sell then they don’t want to continue due to it not being financially beneficial.”

“I have my issues with US, but to me, this is a big deal. After all the collaborations with straight size brands or size inclusive lines that have come out that didn’t even bother with a size 26/28, never mind a 30/32, this is what I give them props for. I do agree that I wish the line had more of a J. Crew aesthetic and hopefully this isn’t a one time only thing. I mean the orange dress was sold out yesterday in sizes 2x to 5x so there is obviously a want. When you are above a size 24, it’s hard not to be excited that you are included, in my opinion.”

While the J. Crew collab is a step in the right direction, these comments tell the story of plus size women who are skeptical of size inclusive brands and want more. They simply want great fitting clothing in their size. They want consistency and accessibility.

It’s not just about Universal Standard but more about what this means for the fashion industry. This shows that there is potential for straight size brands to venture into plus, IF they decide to.

Today, it’s J. Crew, tomorrow it could be Zara. We hope.

But before these companies make that decision on their “size inclusive” size ranges, I hope they will remember that the average American woman is a size 16/18 and 67% of American women are plus size.

The numbers simply don’t lie.

This is more than about a term. It’s about that term “size inclusive” being used to promote any collection offering sizes XS into plus sizes, without the brand truly fulfilling on that promise of dressing ALL bodies.

Plus sizes do not stop at a size 3X.

What do you think of the new J. Crew x Universal Standard collection? Follow us on social media @plusmodelmag and let us know.