Today we are off to Chicago for the first live show of our little summer tour. I am so excited. SO excited. I have not been to Chicago in years and years and years (I ran the Chicago Marathon in 2007 and that might be the last time I was there!?) It’s going to be a fun night and I’m also so excited to see + catch up with so many of my blogger girlfriends. We have the show tonight and are staying an extra night to see a little more of the city and spend time with friends.
So it seems that I am a creature of habit as I realized I shot this exact outfit (almost – different tee, different shoes, shorter hair) for this post last year – almost exactly a year ago. That made me laugh!
Today I wanted to give a little update with how the inclusivity challenge is going so far. If you are new here, two months ago I decided to challenge myself for three months to only shop brands that offer extended sizing (at least a size XXL or 16 – it doesn’t sound like much but it’s shockingly hard!). I gave a little update after the first month… and today marks two months. So there’s a month left, and we’re going to talk about how it’s going!
White Blazer (from last year but this is similar and this goes up to an XXL) // Madewell Tee // Paige Jeans // Gucci Belt // Strappy Sandals // Palmgrens Bag (cute knockoff here) // Celine Sunglasses (my exact pair) // Estee Lalonde x Daisy Jewellery Necklace
This month was harder than last month.
Last month it was fun and new and I discovered a lot of new favorite retailers. The thing is, last month, I didn’t actually have an occasion or any specific item I actually “needed” to shop for. This month I did and it was a lot harder! These are privileged, champagne problems but they are still annoying.
For the podcast live show, the silver sequin dress of my dreams (I like to do a short sequin dress with sleeves for our live shows) went on sale but it only went up to a size 12. So I couldn’t buy it. And while I found a few options for the shows nothing was perfect. Everything was either too long, cheaply made, frumpy, or just.. WRONG. Here’s the thing though: I have TONS of dresses. I just wanted to wear something new that I hadn’t already photographed. But I am wearing something old to tonight’s show (my beloved Rixo dress as seen here in this post) and will probably wear older dresses to the rest of the shows.
It isn’t a big deal and yes it’s sort of a made up problem as a part of the challenge for the blog but it really highlighted how annoying it can be to shop when you have the money, want to buy something nice, and can’t. I won’t pretend to know what it’s like to shop as a plus-size woman but this was the first time I’ve had an occasion where I wanted to treat myself to something new and couldn’t find anything that would work. I would imagine this happens all.the.time. if you are above a size 12.
Also, I turned down one of my dream brands.
I have been a DVF fan for as long as I can remember but I’ve never had the honor of working with them! They reached out to dress me for polo this coming Saturday and I had to say no as their size range is so limited.
Here’s what I wrote:
“I’d love to work together (seriously, your band is one of my all time favorite FAVORITES – the prints, the colors, all of it) but am actually doing an inclusivity challenge where I only shop at / partner with brands that carry at least a size 16/XXL. So unfortunately this won’t work out for me (the saddest as the Breeze dress is a DREAM).I am really curious though as to whether you guys plan to expand your size range (please say yes!!!) I know that a lot of my size 12+ readers are big fans of DVF so I really hope so!”
Crickets. I hate throwing them under the bus but I was really, really surprised that no one from the brand responded to me. DVF is (or so I thought!) such a forward thinking, progressive brand, and Diane herself is a true icon; she was even the CFDA president. I would have figured they’d at least have some sort of plan. Maybe I was naive. Or maybe my email just got lost. Who knows. I want to give them the benefit of the doubt.
Again, CHAMPAGNE problems (for me) and I am working with a brand I love just as much for the polo match (don’t be sad for me, this isn’t what that’s about – my dress is amazing!) but their lack of response still made me really sad!
I really loved this article in the WSJ.
Fashion isn’t just for tall thin women. I’ve been a big fan of Justina Blakeney forever and ever (her aesthetic is just so good. Alllll the botanicals!)
The article does a great job highlighting Universal Standard, which has become one of my new favorite places to shop. There are a lot of things to love about the brand but aside from the cute clothes I love their commitment to being truly inclusive (stocking a size 0-40) and to incorporating that in everything they do. It’s really impressive. First of all, their size medium is a size 18-20 (which is the size of the average woman). Secondly, their “see it in your size” function is AMAZING. They shoot every style in every size (what!?) from every angle (front, back, side). I’ve actually never seen my size represented on a retailer’s site (the closest thing is Anthro plus models who cannot be over a size 10!) so that was pretty awesome.
That’s this month’s update!
I’ll report back at the end of next month which will technically end the challenge. A lot of people have asked if I’ll keep the challenge going after this. The answer is yes! For the most part, at least! I believe in voting with how I spend my money and will always prioritize retailers and brands who are making an effort to at LEAST offer extended sizing. Nothing is going to change if we don’t all encourage retailers to extend their size range (and support those who do). There are some brands who I’ve realized are downright snobby and nasty. I won’t be shopping with them again ever. And then there are gems like Universal Standard and Veronica Beard and Tanya Taylor who now have a life long customer in me. Brands who are making the effort will be prioritized over brands who are not.
I am sure there will be exceptions; like that silver dress for example, if it’s still around post-challenge (if I can’t find a version of it that comes in extended sizes, that is – let me know if you see something similar!!)
photography by Carter Fish.
Wow, props to you, Grace! Must’ve been so hard turning down one of your favourite brands. Thank you for the update, you’re a true inspiration!
Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog
aw thanks charmaine! It wasn’t a huge deal; I just wish they replied to me!
When I was younger and skinnier I dreamed of owning a DVF dress. Unfortunately it was out of my price range. And now that I’m older and have more disposable income I’m outside of their sizing. And, while I know not everyone is looking for flattering styles some of the DVF dresses are classic wrap dresses that would look great on everyone, despite size. It makes me sad that they couldn’t be bothered to respond. I supposed I should let my dreams of owning a classic DVF wrap dress go…(but seriously, that’s awesome you turned them down!)
Thanks for sharing this Jenn. It really feels crazy to me – DVF offers such beautiful pieces that truly look good on everyone. They could make so much more money by extending their size range!!!!
Grace, you rock. I’m seriously impressed by how you handled the DVF situation, and that you shared it with your readers. I will think twice before supporting their brand knowing they didn’t respond. Such a shame!
Thank you so much for the support! xo
Grace – I would have LOVED to see you in the DVF Breeze dress, I was going to buy it! Thanks to their lack of response to you, I will no longer purchase it. Thank you for being so transparent.
Aw thanks Shannon!!! (I’d recommend Tanya Taylor if you’re looking for a splurge dress instead – her designs are ABSURDLY beautiful and also in extended sizes!)
This challenge has been so inspiring and challenging to me as I’m shopping! I recently had a difficult time finding a swimsuit for my disproportionate although not extended size body type and it was incredibly eye opening for me! I’m looking forward to sharing my experience too in the next few weeks. Thank you so much for bringing attention to this!
Have you checked out Summersalt? I just got the CUTEST yellow stripe two piece from them. Swimsuit shopping is hard all around
I think it’s so amazing how you handled the DVF partnership, and awesome that you shared it with us. Disappointing that they never responded, especially given the brand’s reputation as empowering and for the modern day woman. Thanks for being so transparent and for voting with you money, as you put it! It’s encouraged me to try to do the same – I have been trying to shop more socially/environmentally conscious brands, and now I’ll be looking out for brands that offer inclusive sizing too.
Thank you so much Mackenzie! I hope they will respond but yeah, I’ve always thought of DVF as such an empowering brand who’s doing great things and blazing ahead – so why are they stuck in the dark ages with sizing!
Hi Grace, I’ve been a long-time follower of your blog (and am a new listener of your podcast!), and I can’t tell you how happy I was to learn about your inclusivity challenge. I actually first saw it on Katie Sturino’s IG stories! It is so wonderful to hear that others have the same challenges I do with clothes shopping. I am sorry you are having to deal with these frustrations, but I truly appreciate your shining more light on the struggles that so many of us have when it comes to finding clothes that not only fit, but that we like! Generally I don’t bother to click through links on a blog’s fashion post because I know it’s so unlikely that the item will be available in my size. With your posts, I have been clicking through like mad! Keep up the good work.
Aw thank you so much!!! I really appreciate it. Please let me know if you have any further feedback on how I can do better! xx
This challenge seriously highlights just how much of an ISSUE this is. Loved your approach to DVF, but I really hope you get a response.
Dana | The Champagne Edit
Thank you so much Dana!!!! Hope to see you at polo this weekend!
Thank you for remaining committed to your inclusivity challenge. I’m a side medium and I’ve never really had to deal with this issue before so this has really opened my eyes. And thank you for sharing your response to DVF. Hopefully you will get a response from them at some point!
It’s so eye opening right!? (And I hope so too!)
So I’ve been reading your blog for a bit, and it wasn’t a huge deal to me in the past that I couldn’t buy a lot of the clothes (I’m a size 18) in part because you do so many things beyond fashion. And nothing about your posts and how you talk about bodies and clothing ever made me feel bad about my size (not true of all blogs). However I’ve been really enjoying the last two months and I was wondering what would happen when the 3 months are up (and feeling a little sad about the possibility of not being included anymore.) I think your solution is great, and I’m excited that I’ll be able to consider buying some of the things you post moving forward. Thanks you for this!
Hey Charlotte! Thank you so much for taking the time to comment!!! I really appreciate it. And I promise I will continue to support inclusive brands and always at the very least provide a cute plus alternative if I’m wearing something old etc. I really appreciate comments like these as I can’t always tell if I’m actually being helpful (or annoying)!!! Xo
I’m guessing it is extremely rare for someone to turn down DVF and they likely don’t have much experience responding to this kind of note. 🙂 As always, I admire your integrity and the diplomatic way you responded. I am holding out hope that you will hear back and that they will take this as an opportunity vs. a negative thing. They are a brand that represents many positive empowering attributes for women. It took them a lot of time and effort to build that brand, and they are better than this.
Thank you Kathleen, really appreciate it! I hope I hear back too!!! I completely agree, they’re such a positive, empowering brand HOW are they stuck in the dark ages on sizing!?
Oh I love this blazer!
x Lisa | lisaautumn.com
More resources for your challenge, just in case 🙂