One size fits all? No worries, this top barely holds both boobs, but all women are built the same, true?
Picture this: A wide-eyed, travel bug bitten blogger is walking through the Via Cola di Rienzo shopping strip in Rome, Italy, on a beautiful European summer day, when she notices a small sign in her peripheral vision. She asks herself “could it be? Is it really that brand that my favourite blogger often wears that isn’t available back home?”. To her excitement, there in a little nook in a wall which some may not have even noticed at all, was Brandy Melville.
I made a bee-line to the store and was ready to shop up a storm. The Italian designs, albeit simple and admittedly, pieces that appear in every basic bitch’s wardrobe, caught my attention. I picked up maybe five tops and two pairs of shorts. Immediately I noticed that there were no sizes, and looking at one of the t-shirts, I definitely needed a larger size.
I asked the cashier what the deal was with the sizing, and her response was a glance at my chest, a raised eyebrow, and a blunt “abbiamo solo una misura” (we only have one size).
So with that in mind I put down the t-shirt, which probably wouldn’t have fit over my head, and I went into the change rooms to try my luck with the other items. While I was waiting, an Italian Gigi Hadid look alike opens the curtain of her change room and tugged at her clothes, complaining that nothing was fitting her right. The shorts wouldn’t zip at her tiny waist and the silk like material of her top clung in the wrong places.
I immediately thought “if this doesn’t fit a potential super model, come cazzo will I get this top over my boobs?”
Regardless, I tried.
As you probably assumed though, I did fail.
The tops did fit, but they were obviously made for a certain body shape, one that was nothing like mine, and therefore a top that would have sat comfortably on someone else’s hips reached my waist. Surprisingly, I didn’t get self conscious or upset about myself, but I did feel like I was missing out on something.
It seems like Brandy Melville has tried to create a feel of exclusivity within their brand. Unfortunately for them, though, the large majority of their customers actually walk away empty handed because their sizing is just too generic.
What they’ve done is they’ve tried to sell size small clothes whilst marketing a “one size fits most” line, as if all women are built the same.
Personally, the thing that bothered me most about this was the fact that it is a ridiculously stupid business move on their part; Brandy Melville could maximise their profits if they catered to a larger market: the typical female body type, and not just a smaller segment.
Although I personally wasn’t completely offended by it, it does raise the topic of fashion’s unrealistic and some times unachievable standards.
You’ve not only got brands like Brandy Melville who tailor solely to an XS/S size market, but Abercrombie & Fitch who’s CEO claims he only wants “attractive, all American cool kids” wearing his clothes. Even fashion royalty Karl Lagerfeld said “nobody wants to see curvy women on the runway”, as if a curvy woman walking the runway for Chanel would be detrimental to the brand’s success .
What’s more, is that these comments and social expectations stemming from the fashion industry are becoming more prominent. As recent as the December issue, Vogue UK published an article practically boob shaming, telling women that larger boobs are out dated and the perfect figure for today’s fashion is a flat chest. In “What ever happened to cleavage?” We’re pretty much told that the body type they hyped for years, a type that made people get surgery to achieve, is no longer in fashion. “The tits will not be out for the lads. Or for anyone else, for that matter,” writer Kathleen Baird-Murray writes.
The really stupid part is that unlike a hair cut, having cleavage is something that a lot of women can’t change. So what, Vogue has declared that having larger breasts is no longer trendy so now you all have to cover up, hide, and shit, why not get a breast reduction while you’re at it?
As a society we’ve literally done a full 360 and have gone from loving celebrities who empower women of all shapes and sizes, and back to a notion where major influencers like Vogue think it’s okay to make someone’s body a trend.
If any of you are like me, wear what ever you want, work with what you’ve got, and embrace what it is to be a woman; because let’s be real, all that matters is how you feel when you walk out the door every morning, and if you’re not feeling fabulous, conforming to your insecurities isn’t going to change that.