The Importance of Being Size Inclusive

 
There is a certain bit of humiliation when shopping and being a curvy woman. At a department store you might see an adorable blouse with the best print or a perfect summer dress.  You take a deep breath and start searching the rack for your size. Of course, you start at the back because that is where the largest sizes are placed and the largest size is a 10 or 12. The sales attendant confirms that this brand only goes up to a size 12. Resigned, you make your way to the land of shapeless, boxy clothes with boring prints, the ‘plus size’ section.

When a brand makes a mission statement to be size inclusive, it’s empowering to all women. It affirms that you have worth and should be visible and seen in society.  A designer who cuts a flirty swing to a dress that flatters a woman’s hips or who selects a fabric with a luxurious weight and structure that perfectly hugs and drapes your curves, is a designer who appreciates the female form and the woman living her best life in that body.
— Katherine, Size 16/18, Teacher
 
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Did you know...

- Modern day sizing rules for American women were established based on women’s bodies from 1940

- The average size of an American woman today is considered anywhere from 14-18

- The typical luxury clothing brand stops sizing at or before a size 12

 

With the facts above it’s no wonder that women constantly struggle with their body image. Despite a very different world today vs. 1940, the image largely portrayed by luxury companies remains on women size 4 or below, with few sizing for today’s average sized woman.

By creating size inclusive lines for women no matter if they are short, tall, athletic, curvy, straight size, or plus size and shooting on models of various body types, companies allow for a wider representation of what defines beauty; this not only helps empower those women who now feel included but studies have shown exposure to varying bodies can make us as a society more accepting.

With Shayne’s inaugural line, we wanted to do our part in changing this paradigm. We offer every piece in size 0 to 18, through the "average size" of an American woman (with hopes to expand further quickly!), and where possible we incorporated design details that allow for flexibility for various body types. For instance, we use a lot of ties at the waist and sliders on the straps to allow for easy adjust-ability of length.

 

 
 

Still, we know there is much more to be done! Over the last year, we’ve spoken to a lot of women about being size inclusive and its importance; a few women have offered to let us share their stories below.

 

 
 

What does it mean for brands to be “size inclusive” and why is that important to you?

 

Being petite is so tricky. I feel like I’d be able to fit into friends clothes or even a size XS when buying online and upon trying an outfit on it looks terrible. It’s so difficult to look cute and fashionable when nothing fits. When I fall in love with something I have to pay extra to have it taken it to for appropriately. When buying clothes I have to figure in that extra fee to see if the item is even worth it. Being size inclusive is so revitalizing for me. I finally feel included and that I too can be trendy and chic and not worry about an extra expensive and wait time to get it properly tailored to me because it already is!
— Kristen, Size 0/2, Teacher

When I heard Shayne was a size inclusive brand I was thrilled. I struggle with finding clothes that are unique and different from what you would find off the rack in my size. I always hated showing up to an event wearing the same thing as someone else at the party seeing as I could not fit into the brands that you would typically find at a boutique. Shayne has allowed me to wear a dress that I am comfortable in all while standing out and feeling confident in what I have on. With my Shayne dress I am no longer showing up to events with the fear of looking like all others and or feeling uncomfortable with what I have on.
— Liz, Size 16/18, Advertising

It means the company is forward thinking and that they believer their customers are worth the extra time and care it takes to create all sizes.They are giving their customers the freedom to buy any style at any size! All women should feel like their size does not hold them back from being fabulous and dressing how and in whatever they want!

As a designer I know the commitment it take to create sizes for all people and when companies do that the commitment, care, and hard work is not lost on me. The thing that comes first for me as a designer is the idea that my customer will never feel scared or impressed to shop or try something on, buying and wearing clothing should be in powering!!

It also means a lot when a women owned company does it! It shows that they are looking out for women and have a clear message!
— Sara, Size 2/4, Clothing Designer

Size inclusion matters because shopping should be fun; not frustrating or upsetting, which it too often is. When a clothing line makes the effort to fit every body correctly, it feels like they actually care and are in tune with the world around them. Which is why I am so grateful when I find clothes that feel like they were designed for me personally!
— Elizabeth, Size 0/2, Law Student

Being in the fashion industry, both in design and in retail, you become aware early on how unfair the sizing is to all women. Not only do most retailers and brands stop their sizes at an 8 or 10, maybe a 12 if you’re lucky but vanity sizing also becomes a huge issue. You go to one store thinking you’re one size and then you head to another store only to find the size you just bought is 4 times smaller here. You become completely discouraged. This is especially why it’s so much harder to shop online, I like to try on everything before I purchase it since it’s impossible to know how it will fit. However, not all sizes are usually available in stores. It’s a catch 22.

It’s so important that brands realize that the average woman comes in all shapes and sizes and that we all deserve to look our best. Certain styles shouldn’t be only for some people. This is why Shayne is so special not only is everyone included but it’s so beautiful and thoughtful. I love the way I feel in my Elsie.
— Danielle, Size 16/18, Designer/Retail Associate

 

Do these stories resonate with you? What is your biggest fit issue when dress shopping? Adjustable ties & straps are just step one for Shayne; if there is anything you’d love to see incorporated please let us know in the comments below!

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Xx,

Rebecca & Samantha

 
Samantha LanmanComment