Recently, Buzzfeed published a post poking holes in the “one size fits all” trend popularized by brands like Brandy Melville. The article showed pictures women of various heights and sizes trying on the same piece of clothing from Brandy, and asked them to describe the fit. Inevitably, things were ridiculously oversized on some and way too tight on others. The post was, in a way, comical, but also highlighted the problem with this “one size fits all” mentality. When the participants tried on one skirt, it fit none of them well. In fact, none of them—except the size 0 participant—could even get it to zip.
Unsurprisingly, the smaller women tended to be happier with the items they tried on, and the participants concluded that there was absolutely no way that one size could possibily fit everyone.
Having never been to a Brandy store, I decided (for the sake of research, of course), to do some online shopping. A few things popped into my head as I went:
- Why is there only one model? If you’re telling me the size she’s wearing is going to work for everyone, I want to see someone who isn’t a size zero rocking this outfit. See that slouchy sweater? That’s not going to be slouchy on everyone. How’s it going to look on you? Who knows! That’s part of the fun… right?
- Okay, maybe this could work for some things. Like scarves. Or some sweatshirts. Leggings, maybe. But a shirt??
- How is this even a good business model? Isn't Brandy cutting a substantial percentage of the population who might want to buy their clothing?
- If you want to make one size of clothing, that’s fine—just don’t pretend it will fit “most.”
What’s the point of pretending people are all the same? It’s no secret that people come in all shapes and sizes. Perhaps one could argue that Brandy’s one size policy is progressive in that it chooses not to categorize people by size. I, on the other hand, would argue that Brandy’s one size policy is just ignoring reality. What fits one body will never fit another the same way, and that’s okay. Presenting single-size clothing as an option for “most” people sends the message that girls who cannot fit into these clothes are somehow abnormal. There are many different healthy body shapes, and making only one size implies that a fashionable girl must fall into a narrow range. In the fight to improve our generation’s body image, this is one giant step backwards.
I may happen to have the Brandy body type, but... I don’t think we’re the right fit at all.
What do you think, collegiettes? Is there a bright side to one-size-fits-all stores?