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The first time I stumbled upon Universal Standard was in 2015 when they made headlines for showcasing women of all shapes and sizes in their campaigns. A luxury basics line for women sizes 10 to 28 (now sizes 00 to 40) was a revolutionary concept at the time. It was the first time many had ever felt seen by the fashion industry. Today, it's quite normal for us to see a diverse range of models on billboards, runways, and online shops -- thanks in large part to the inclusive efforts Universal Standard pioneered.
As the world opens back up, I’ve been in dire need of clothing that screams “she got her life together during the pandy!” -- and thankfully Universal Standard delivers on that front. I’ve always had a difficult time shopping for basics like jeans as I’m constantly between sizes, so the promise of stretchy, size-inclusive, comfortable basics really appealed to me. For context, my pant size is somewhere between 8-12, and I usually purchase a medium in tops. But according to Universal Standard, I’m an XS -- a size I haven’t squeezed into since pre-puberty.
Tee Rex - $50
As a maximalist, I’ve never owned a quality plain black tee before. Everything in my closet is sequined, neon, or impractical, but as I get older I’m learning the importance of staple pieces that can be worn throughout the years. The Tee Rex is made of peruvian cotton, meaning it gets softer after each wash. No more $9 fast fashion tops that shrink in the wash in 2021! The shirt is versatile enough to wear to both the office, in the great outdoors, or to a happy hour. My only complaint is that the shirt is a little longer than I’m used to, but that probably has more to do with my affinity for crop tops than anything else.
Jersey Jogger Pants - $78
These jersey joggers aren’t your regular depression sweatpants, no ma’am! These are my “I have my life together, I just dropped my (metaphorical) kids off to lacrosse practice” pants. They’re comfortable enough to lounge in but elevated enough to not feel embarrassed running into anyone you know in public. The pants are flattering, rare for a jogger, thanks to a waistband that holds everything in. Fair warning: they hug your body at the top so you’ll need some no show undies.
Next to Naked Bodysuit - $95
I am never taking this bodysuit off. Initially, I felt a little insecure wearing something so skin tight (you can see every curve), but once the buttery fabric touched my skin all my insecurities faded into the distance. Similar to Outdoor Voices’s workout dress, you can do everything in this sweat-wicking antimicrobial getup — go on a long hike, hit a pilates class, aimlessly lounge around your house. There’s no built in bra, but the straps are adjustable and the neckline is high enough for secure coverage. I guess I’m now someone who wears an adult unitard! (They also sell a bodyshort version.)
Kate Stretch Cotton Twill Jumpsuit - $185
I’ve always wanted a good utility jumpsuit, but unfortunately this wasn’t the one for me. It’s supposed to have a loose fit, which would look great if I was a model off duty, but I just look like I’m drowning in a tarp. The material is unexpectedly stretchy, so I’ll be wearing it to run errands.
Joni High Rise Curve Skinny Jeans Midnight Blue - $98
Online jean shopping is a true nightmare! Unfortunately, with the closure of fitting rooms due to COVID it’s become our new reality. Thankfully Universal Standard offers free shipping and free returns, making it easy to try everything on at home before committing to poorly fitting jeans that rot at the back of your closet (here’s looking at you, Zara jeans). I ordered a size 10, which ended up being too loose for me, but they were super comfortable. They’re stretchy enough to be jeggings, my favorite early aughts fashion trend, so you can size down without worry. My main concern, however, was that midnight blue is too blue for me -- I'll be sticking to light wash denim.
Raising the Standard
High quality basics are an investment that pays off in the long run. While it costs more initially, you'll get more wear out of each piece which is better for your wallet and the environment. Universal Standard offers the perfect pieces to build a capsule wardrobe, and upgrade your closet from teeny bopper to responsible adult who pays their taxes on time.
5 More Reasons To Love Universal Standard:
- Reset, Recycle, Refresh and get up to $100 off: Universal Standard has paired up with Marimole to incentivize all of us to recycle. Simply send in up to 4 items of clothing you haven’t worn in a long time, and you’ll get $25 of US credit for each item.
- If you buy any piece from the Fit Liberty collection and your size changes within a year of purchase you’re eligible to exchange your pieces for your new size. All the pieces they get back are donated to First Step and Dress for Success.
- All of Universal Standards pieces are incredibly versatile which makes them easy to style and perfect for layering.
- Universal Standards clothing looks great on every body type, because they place such an emphasis on inclusive sizing.
- Most of their clothing can be taken from day to night with the addition of a few accessories.