Why We All Need to Care About Inclusive Sizing + a Challenge.

Inclusive Sizing on the blog

Today I wanted to shift gears a little bit and talk about size inclusivity. I touched on it a little in yesterday’s shopping post and didn’t think it was the biggest deal (I was saving the bigger stuff for today) BUT you guys were into it! I’m not exaggerating when I say that I spent the entire day attached to my phone replying to DM’s. I tried to keep track at first, but lost track after 500 messages (somewhere around 3pm maybe?). Wow.

Your messages were so supportive and amazing but this post is actually an apology. I’m the first to admit when I screw up, I would say I’ve been a little (a lot?) ignorant. There is a sad truth (for me and many a “straight size” blogger):

when something doesn’t affect you, it’s very easy to ignore it.

The thing I want most in the world is for The Stripe to be a site where everyone who visits walks away feeling great. I didn’t realize how many readers I have that wear above a size 12 until we really got into it in the DM’s over the weekend. (I’m sorry.)

I worry a LOT about using the wrong words/being accidentally offensive, which is so easy in this day and age (I literally asked my friend Nicolette, “Is it still okay to say plus size? What about “straight size??”). So if I say something wrong, call me out nicely and we’ll all learn something from it. I do think it’s an incredibly important to talk about this stuff even when we feel clueless. It’s better to talk about it and feel nervous than not talk about it at all, you know? I also find those opportunities where I feel clueless and get vulnerable are the times I learn the most.

I’ve always had a “stay in your lane” approach. If I start sharing more plus-size (I got the go-ahead on using that term) options here, someone is going to be like “WHAT DOES SHE KNOW!?” And there are so many people already doing a wonderful job at it. Katie, Nicolette, Lydia, Olivia, Kellie, Sarah (and countless others) all come to mind. It’s also so easy to mess up and make a bad recommendation when you’re not speaking from personal experience.

For example:

After pulling together yesterday’s post I learned that Madewell’s larger sizes are all over the place and actually really quite hard to shop if you are over a size 12 (something that irks me as their “straight sizes” are always spot on… why can’t they figure it out!?) They also don’t carry the larger size range in stores so from what I’ve been told you have to order several pairs online and hope for the best. (Oof – do better, Madewell. I love you and you are my favorite brand to shop: you’ve figured out sizing for the rest of us so I know you CAN. I want to be able to tell ALL my readers to shop from you!)

Unlike offering up advice for a different skin type than my own or a different price point than I usually shop, this is a bit of a political thing. I know I’m so late to the party saying this but THERE ARE SO FEW GOOD OPTIONS for women who wear a size above 12. I don’t know that we’re going to get anywhere with only those women complaining about it… Also, I think we ALL need to complain, regardless of what size we wear. So yeah, maybe you are lucky and can usually find something when you go shopping but if so, let’s recognize the fact that it is an enormous privilege. I thought that the average woman is a size 14, but she’s actually a size 16 or an 18, yet so many designers don’t cater to that.

I felt so stupid writing some of this, like I’ve been living under a rock.

(I’m sure many of you are throwing me a little shade and being like DUH GRACE) but it inspired me because I’m sure so many other people will feel the same way I did. I got DM’s from readers yesterday who didn’t know what inclusive sizing was! I think my biggest takeaway is that like I said above, it can’t just be the women wearing a size 12 or higher that are yelling at brands to expand their sizing. We all have to do it, or nothing will change.

This really started watching my friend Katie’s Instagram stories. Katie is my most stylish friend (style is subjective so I should instead say that she is the friend who I get the most inspiration from and whose Instagram I shop off of the most). She was treated so poorly at Theory – I was really upset watching her story. Aside from being angry on her behalf, I felt guilty and mad at myself. I had NO IDEA that Theory only carries up to a size 12. I hadn’t even really thought about it to be honest… that goes back to not paying attention to the things that don’t affect you. Her stories (and then talking more with Nicolette and Lydia) made me do a lot of thinking. (It also made me respect Katie even more; that she is able to dress as well as she does while dealing with this.)

I’d rather acknowledge my ignorance and learn from it than pretend it doesn’t exist.

As I mentioned above it’s a huge privilege to be able to walk into any store and almost always see my size. I personally boycotted Intermix ages ago (internally, I’ve never spoken about this!) because they don’t keep my size out front. I’m a relatively small person and my size (usually a 6) is always tucked away in back – I hated having to sheepishly ask if they carry “larger” sizes. I can’t imagine feeling like that every single time I shopped. It would completely suck. Katie writes about this a lot and documents it on her instagram stories and it’s infuriating/makes me so sad.

So what to do about this. I’m giving myself a little challenge.

For the next three months (April, May, and June) I’ve decided to do a little experiment:

  • I’m only going to shop brands that offer (at a minimum, up to a size 16 or XXL – ideally larger). I realize this approach is not fully inclusive, but hey it’s a START.
  • I’m going to only accept gifted items or sponsored posts* from brands that offer at a minimum, a size 16 or XXL. I know that size 16 is not plus sized; ideally I will feature larger than that BUT it’s very hard to find a brand that is truly inclusive, offering from 0-40. (If you know more brands that offer that range besides Universal Standard; please comment below – would love your suggestions!)
  • When I wear older pieces (which I do a lot), I will always offer a plus alternative.

I would also like to challenge YOU ALL to shop inclusive.

It doesn’t matter what size you wear; let’s all try and be better at supporting the brands that are working at this. Two of my favorite contemporary brands (Mara Hoffman and Tanya Taylor) are already doing a great job at it and I’m going to work to highlight more inclusive brands like I did yesterday.

One last thing: I mentioned this in yesterday’s Spring Cravings post, but it wasn’t until I tried to shop only inclusive brands that I realized how hard it is. Usually fashion roundups only take me a couple hours to pull together. This one took almost the whole day because I had decided to follow my new sizing standards.

I didn’t want to compromise on quality and style and was whining about how hard it was, which in turn motivated me more because I realized that for all my complaining, how would it feel to be in the position of someone actually trying to shop and find the things I want in a size 14 or 16?! Honestly guys, just go to Shopbop, click on “all clothing,” and then filter the sizes to include a 14, 16, or XXL. IT IS ALARMING how few things pop up. (I love you Shopbop but let’s work on this please.)

So I am doing this self-imposed little challenge (and would love for you to do it too).

And I’m new at it. Please be gentle. Call me out if I mess up (I probably will); but I think this is really important. XOXO

*Full transparency here: Before deciding to do this I had already bought + accepted some gifts from brands that don’t meet this criteria (they’ll show up here this month so forgive me on those BUT for those I promise to commit to finding similar items). And I have one sponsored post already committed w/contracts signed for a brand that only goes up to size XL.

PS – thanks to reader Holly for sharing this: the image above is a work by an Iraqi artist, Adel Abidin, reflecting on his first visit to the US and what people would say when they heard where he was from.

Leave a Comment

Comments

  1. This is a great challenge to take on, Grace! It’s a good way to start caring about inclusive sizes. Start small, step by step. Thank you for the constant inspiration! 🙂

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog
    http://charmainenyw.com

  2. Betsie says 3.27.19

    Love you Grace. Thank you for doing this.

  3. Rachelle says 3.27.19

    I had the same experience at Theory and I’m a 4/6, I always looked up to this brand but in store they treated me like they didn’t want me wearing their stuff. \I wish I had more reqs for you but from friends in the plus size category I’ve heard they like Torrid, New York and company, Asos has a Asos Curve line too.

    xo
    Pinksole

    • grace at the stripe says 3.27.19

      I said this in response to another reader but I have heard HORRIBLE things about their sales reps!!!! That’s awful. I have only ever bought things from them online so I haven’t experienced it but YUCK. Truly so upset.

  4. Lisa Autumn says 3.27.19

    YES YES YES! So important!

    x Lisa | lisaautumn.com

  5. Michelle says 3.27.19

    Thanks for this post, Grace! As a size 12 woman, I really appreciate it! I have so many stores I don’t even go into because, although I love their stuff, nothing in the store will fit me. I recently did a Nordstrom personal shopping appointment, and it was a game changer. I wear a lot of suits for work and had been having trouble finding suits that fit and didn’t make me look much older than I am. I learned from my stylist that although Theory goes up to a size 12, it is a “small” 12. BUT I did find a number of great pieces from Boss and have bought a few more Boss pieces since to build my wardrobe. I appreciate that I am fortunate enough that I can afford Boss (of Theory, if it had fit!). So, if you are a sized 12 woman looking for suiting, Boss might be a good place for you!

    Another issue I find with shopping for my size is a lot of the more affordable stores don’t make bigger sizes, and I often find I have to pay more to get something that fits and is flattering.

    Thanks again so much for taking this on! I already follow and love Katie and Nicolette (to name a few) but really love that you have done this.

    • grace at the stripe says 3.27.19

      Great to know re: BOSS!!!! I always forget about them (fun fact: I was the marketing manager for Hugo Boss fragrances once upon a time!!!) Really appreciate the tips!

  6. Lisa says 3.27.19

    And it really makes no sense from a business perspective either! All these big brands are reporting decreases in sales, etc. Well, maybe if you catered to all women instead of a fraction that might change, just saying. While I have always been able to shop straight sizes, many of my friends voice the same problem about limited options especially when walking into a store versus online. It’s time brands start listening and thank you for addressing!

    • grace at the stripe says 3.27.19

      Completely agree! I was talking to the Tanya Taylor PR team last week and we were laughing (because TT does such a great job with inclusivity). DO THESE BRANDS NOT WANT MONEY??

  7. Nicole Ogrin says 3.27.19

    Love this post! Especially love that you hit on something that applies to so many issues we hear about today, if the only people saying something are the people directly impacted then nothing will ever change. Everyone needs to do their part to work to address problems they see even if they aren’t impacted. Thank you for bringing attention to this.

  8. Jamie says 3.27.19

    Thanks for this Grace. I’ve put on some weight over the years, going from a size 6 to 8 to 10. It’s amazing how much trouble I have, as a size 10(!), finding clothes in stores. I also realized quickly that if I go up another size I’ll be out of luck at a lot of places, as I’m already usually grabbing the largest size/bottom of the pile. Madewell is one of the worst – they didn’t have my size in most of their jeans, so the sales assistant offered to order them for me. It made me feel awful (even though she was super nice about it) – why wouldn’t they have jeans in stock above a size 30? I also feel like I have this fear of never being able to shop again if I go up another size (which I know is being a bit dramatic), but after not thinking about it for so long, to suddenly be confronted by it is a bit shocking. I, too, feel like an jerk for not thinking about it at all until it personally affected me. And the average woman is a size 16!? What is wrong with all of these brands??

    • grace at the stripe says 3.27.19

      That is so crazy that they didn’t stock above a 30 in store. I can relate to that feeling (even when the sales person is nice) when shopping at Intermix! I don’t do go there anymore!!!!

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I really hope that the small steps I am taking will inspire others to do the same, and in turn help make a larger difference.

    • Elbe Couture House says 3.27.19

      Great work Grace… I am a newbie to this blogging world. Few weeks ago I asked my readers what they would like to see on Blog,,, and out of all the DMs I received the most difficult to reply back was plus size clothing brands. You are right it is easy to ignore what is not effecting us or in many cases not realizing that we are unknowingly not supporting a big portion of female community. Once again great job. We need to take first step, we will make mistakes ( I surely do many on my blog) but with time improvement will come.. lots of love..

  9. Nicole says 3.27.19

    I admire what you’re doing Grace, every little bit helps, even if you think it doesn’t! I am an avid shopper of QVC (my friends ALL make fun of me, but they actually have some amazing finds!), and their sizing almost always goes up to at least 3X or size 28, and most of the time their offer lengths in Petite, Regular and Tall. Isaac Mizrahi, Halston, Lori Goldstein and Martha Stewart to name a few all have exclusive lines at the Q, and I swear by their quality and comfort. I encourage you to take a look at their clothing, not everything is my style, but it is great for basics and some really fun pieces! Thanks again for posting on such a difficult and unspoken issue. I hope that your olive branch extends further than you think.

    • grace at the stripe says 3.27.19

      That’s so great to know; I will have to give them another look!!!

    • Gentry Adams says 3.27.19

      I was about to say the same thing! HSN and QVC have undergone huge plus size initiatives and almost every single brand they carry comes in plus. A personal favorite of mine at HSN is G by Giuliana Rancic! Definitely check them both out!

  10. Angela says 3.27.19

    Thanks, as a size 12 woman I appreciate it!

  11. Jessica says 3.27.19

    Grace, I love that you’re doing this and challenging yourself. This reminded me of an article I just read about the new Hulu show, Shrill. I read that the costume designer had such a hard time sourcing great outfits that most of the costumes are custom made! The outfits on that show were so great, they should be available for people to actually shop.

    • grace at the stripe says 3.27.19

      I was just talking to someone about Aidy Bryant’s outfits!!!! I was like WHERE ARE THOSE FROM, I want to include in my roundup. Well now I know, haha.

      I think Shrill did a lot of good things. I’m still SHOOK knowing that the morning after pill isn’t effective if you are above 175 lbs. Why isn’t this talked about!?!

      • Julia Burns says 3.27.19

        What?!? I had no idea about the morning after pill!! That is WRONG.

        • grace at the stripe says 3.27.19

          No one knows this! It’s insane that I learned such a major thing from a HULU TV SHOW.

          • cy says 3.27.19

            That is crazy! I had no idea

  12. Megann says 3.27.19

    I find it especially frustrating that online stores like Shopbop and Tuckernuck will only offer sizes up to a large, sometimes an XL, when I know that the brands they sell do offer larger sizes. It’s hard not to think that they believe larger sizes are gross or something.

    • Ita Darling says 3.27.19

      Great dedication. I appreciate this so much.
      I have been a bunch of sizes up to a 16-18 and I LOVE fashion so this hits home for me..

      Most bloggers aren’t bold enough to do this. The ones who are tiptoe around the larger political issue. One of my favorite bloggers just offer a few plus size options in her straight size round ups with little notations that irritate me “a plus size find!” Like dangling a baby carrot in front of a crowd ravenous for her taste.. I asked her politely to stop making the notations- if curvier gals have to click through a million affiliate links to see over and over again that an item is not in their size range then I think the straight sized gals can be inconvenient a few times to a plus sized site.

      Everyone needs to be protesting about this treatment and policing of women’s bodies. The ending Diet culture, exclusivity in fashion and beauty culture will make us all stronger together.

      • grace at the stripe says 3.27.19

        You are a really good writer, Ita! I laughed out loud seeing the “dangling a baby carrot.”

        I can see the frustration SO MUCH and I’m just sorry I didn’t pick up on this sooner. Thank you for sharing your (so well written)t houghts with us.

    • grace at the stripe says 3.27.19

      I can fully see that perspective. Things need to change!!!!

  13. Courtney says 3.27.19

    Grace-this is amazing!!

    Thank you 🙂

  14. elizabeth e says 3.27.19

    Grace, I think this is absolutely awesome. I’m a 12-14, depending on how consistent sizes are in a store (why can we not have universal sizing in 2019 – come on, designers), and I have had a hard time finding things in store. It’s infuriating, and I really appreciate your new sizing standards. I do know that J.Crew carries up to a size 24/3x on their website, and I think that Anthropologie has a relatively new Plus Size section. Boden is also one of my favorite websites, and I believe they carry up to a 20 on their web page. Those three and Madewell make it easy for me as a size 12 woman – I hope that they soon make it better for someone that’s a size 22 or size 32. Can’t wait to see how creative this makes you!

    • grace at the stripe says 3.27.19

      Thank you so much for your encouragement!!!! (And for your suggestions for brands.) xx

  15. Jessica says 3.27.19

    Thanks so much for taking this on! I’m a relatively new reader to your site and a size 16/18 woman who loves fashion. I’ll be checking back here way more often with your challenge- I hope to find some new-to-me brands! At the moment, I do a lot of shopping at Target, ModCloth, JCrew, Universal Standard, Eloquii, Nike, and Amazon (!). There are many, many places that I don’t bother with because they don’t carry my size, and I try not to get resentful or embarrassed about that- those stores tend to have accessories and shoes that fit just fine 🙂

  16. Holly says 3.27.19

    As an art enthusiast yourself, it seems important to give credit to the artist whose work you’re using — your image is a work by an Iraqi artist, Adel Abidin, reflecting on his first visit to the US and what people would say when they heard where he was from.

  17. Sarah says 3.27.19

    Love this Grace. I do love Theory, they make some really nice work pieces (although truth be told I always shop at their outlet) however their sizing does stink. (And frankly it’s really an industry wide problem that makes shopping so impossible) I’m a typical small/medium in tops from most brands Madewell, J Crew etc and I barely fit into their size 12 dresses because I have boobs…. Their pants run on the small side for sure, I’m an 8/10 there and a 4/6 everywhere else. The industry as a whole really needs to do better

    • grace at the stripe says 3.27.19

      It is is such a bummer about Theory.
      What made me extra angry was how the person in the store treated my friend. I have heard similar stories from other people – I can’t believe it’s 2018 and the bitchy salesperson still exists!!!!

  18. WEndy says 3.27.19

    it might not be your style but modcloth and loft carry extended sizes, as does Eliza J dresses at Nordstrom. The price points for all are very reasonable too.

    • grace at the stripe says 3.27.19

      I went to a dinner with Modcloth a few weeks ago and had thought they weren’t really my style – I was wrong! They have SUCH cute things!!!! I got the best eyelet top and it’s available in ALL sizes. Thanks for the reminder.

  19. Sara says 3.27.19

    Great work! You can continue to be one of the most authentic bloggers in this space and I love how you always are trying to evolve.

  20. Andrea says 3.27.19

    Thank you, thank you, thank you.

    As someone who is a 14-16 — this means a lot. It is SO hard, and so incredibly discouraging, to shop as someone who is plus. You are constantly treated and made to feel like there is no space for you. I loved a lot of the things Aidy Bryant wore on Shrill and was pretty devastated to find out most were custom pieces that you can’t buy. Why aren’t *all* women allowed to have style?! It’s so upsetting.

    I will say, though: while there are certainly more options than there previously were, it’s also worth discussing how few affordable plus size options there are. I would love a Mara Hoffman dress but that’s completely out of my budget! Just another conversation point worth considering.

    Anyway. Thank you. You’re a gem.

    ps, this honesty is what keeps me coming back to your blog.

    • grace at the stripe says 3.27.19

      I’m so happy to hear that; thank you! And agreed – I am doing my best and looking for more affordable options!!!!

  21. Lauren says 3.27.19

    Fantastic. Thanks, Grace! I’ve been lingering between 12-14 for a couple years now and have had to stop using Rent the Runway as a result — I rarely fit into the designer 12 and I’m not in the plus sizes either. Sizes 14/16 seem rare!

    • grace at the stripe says 3.27.19

      Oh man I’m so sorry to hear that. A good friend of mine is a size 16 and LOVES RTR but maybe you guys have different style.

      • Lauren says 3.27.19

        I shall try again! Haven’t tried recently because I thought I was sort of in size 14 No Man’s Land!

        • Jordan says 3.27.19

          RTR has a whole plus section! You have to filter it to find it. I find looking at the photos VERY helpful.

  22. Robin says 3.27.19

    This is amazing, Grace! You are continuing to reinforce your position as my favorite blogger (by far)!!

  23. em_c_nola says 3.27.19

    Inclusive sizing needs to go in both directions! I used to swim in a 0 from Theory…”luckily” (or not?) I put on some weight in my 20s where I can now shop in a standard petite section. Unfortunately the vanity sizing that a lot of brands use now leaves out the people at the lower end of sizing…while shopping in the kids section can be a moneysaver, it’s infantilizing and hard to find work pieces.

  24. Emma Finlayson says 3.27.19

    This is an amazing post, Grace. I too was completely appalled by Katie’s treatment at Theory and I too refuse to shop at Intermix because the sales people give me side eye for being a size 10 (*face palm) I am going to take up your challenge to only shop inclusive brands. As someone who wears a size 10/12, I am constantly surprised how many brands even stock those sizes, which I would consider to be “straight” size. Its a minefield out there. Keep up the good work – it takes a very special person to admit when you have been wrong or under informed.

    • grace at the stripe says 3.27.19

      I am so happy to hear that! YAY!!!! IT’s crazy out there. Thank you for your support, Emma. xx

  25. Leah says 3.27.19

    This is extremely thoughtful Grace. I appreciate you and your blog! Looking forward to reading throughout your 3 month challenge!

  26. Sarah says 3.27.19

    You are amazing Grace, thanks for not just “talking the talk” but actually doing something positive about this issue.

  27. mary says 3.27.19

    Eileen Fisher is a great brand for all sizes and all ages. Great basics and a fun assortment of dressier items. It’s pricey, but they have great sales, and you can even shop some of their stores for their gently worn and/or repurposed clothing. All that and a great mission statement.
    (I write all of this as a fan…i’m not on their payroll…it’s a brand that I return to time and time again for so much of my wardrobe.)

    • grace at the stripe says 3.27.19

      YES! I am a die hard EF fan!!!! Her clothes are the best. One of my all time favorite brands and I love the ethos of the brand.

  28. Julia Burns says 3.27.19

    Grace, this is awesome!! I appreciate the idea that we as collective group of women need to demand better.
    Also, I feel like this reflection and challenge to yourself is totally in line with something you said about eating to push yourself to keep learning and moving out of your comfort zone.
    Another plus size brand to check out is Eloquii – they have a lot of more trend driven, forward pieces and “lower” price points. This experiment and content is also interesting to your straight size readers like myself because we can all benefit from learning something new!
    Julia

    • Julia Burns says 3.27.19

      Oops, auto correct- trying, not eating

    • grace at the stripe says 3.27.19

      I really love Eloquii! I wish they made my size!!!! Am looking forward to highlighting more of their pieces.

  29. Abby G says 3.27.19

    Love that you’re doing this, Grace. I’m a size 4 now, but in my early twenties I gained a lot of weight very quickly and at one point was a size 16… college weight gain + depression about weight gain + horrible relationship… etc. I remember starting out my career and having the hardest time finding flattering business casual clothes that didn’t make me like 10-15 years older than I was. I feel like we’ve come a long way (this was in the mid-2000’s) but it’s still so important.

    • grace at the stripe says 3.27.19

      Thanks for sharing Abby. I agree that we’ve come a long way but am excited to see us go even further.

  30. Amanda says 3.27.19

    This is a brilliantly written post that makes my heart soar! Thank you for looking forward despite the past, and not being afraid to use your platform to speak to an often-controversial topic. You are amazing and I am proud to be a part of your community!

  31. Dana says 3.27.19

    Wow, kudos to you and this post. So well done !!!

  32. Marta says 3.27.19

    I definitely agree that things need to change, If the average size for an american woman is 16 then why aren’t brands making more of that? If I had a brand, and call me money hungry if you want, I wouldn’t pass on the opportunity to offer sizes that fit most women. One thing that I’ve been noticing with brands, at least in my country, is that some of them are changing their sizing to fit bigger women, like for instance, a size 16 is now a 14, a 14 is now a 12 and so on and so forth and I think that’s good because we’re changing the mentality that anyone over a certain size is “plus-size” but at same time there’s still so much to do. Most brands I know don’t go over a XXL or 46 (I think in America a 46 might be a 16 or 14) and that’s awful and really needs to change. I’m definitely gonna accept the challenge with you and try to buy only from brands that offer plus-sizes for the next few months.

    • grace at the stripe says 3.27.19

      I know, I completely agree! Like, DO YOU NOT LIKE MONEY????
      Thanks for accepting the challenge; let me know how it goes!!!

    • cy says 3.27.19

      It’s even more difficult in Europe. Years ago when my sister lived in London, I remember a 12 was like a 4 or a 6? I was probably an 8/10 and then I gave up trying to find any clothes. There are obviously larger women there where do they shop? I think Grace too, we live in the coastal cities I think generally people are smaller or more obsessed with being fit/thin? A friend told me the mid west has more options for larger sizes

  33. Kayla Whitter says 3.27.19

    I appreciate this post so much, I’m honestly crying right now. I’m a size 18 and even though that’s on the “lower” end of the plus size spectrum, it can still be so hard to find clothes that fit and fit well. Not to mention the up charges for those items. Thanks for noticing.

    • grace at the stripe says 3.27.19

      Thank you so much Kayla. Really appreciate the comment and I hope I can be a better ally.

    • Megan says 3.28.19

      My husband didn’t believe me that larger sizes cost more for women, but usually not for men.

  34. Stephanie says 3.27.19

    I think it’s so great that you’re taking this step to champion size inclusivity. It’s SO important that people on the smaller end of the size spectrum advocate for broader size ranges! I will echo ModCloth, J Crew, Universal Standard, Madewell, Loft, and Anthro as places for more selection, but I think it’s really important to note that all of those brands, aside from Universal Standard, don’t offer their entire line in plus. As a plus size woman (size 20-22), it’s so frustrating to shop at these stores (only online) and find that the really cute item I want to buy is not offered in my size. At Nordstrom, they’ve started mixing plus and straight size in store, but again the limited selection in plus makes shopping a bit frustrating. I think what Madewell is doing with their denim bar is a step in the right direction – at least I can try my size on in the store – but I wish I could walk home with the item I tried on. Another brand to check out is Smart Glamour – she does clothing XXS to 5XL and custom sizing as well.

    • grace at the stripe says 3.27.19

      Thank you!!! I have to check out Smart Glamour! Trying to find product that comes in a full range of sizing is SO HARD!!!!

  35. becca says 3.27.19

    I FEEL HEARD.
    Since I started following lifestyle bloggers/influencers years ago, I have considered influencers an extension of the fashion industry – thin women who look GREAT in beautiful/fashionable clothing…but they are women who don’t look like me (and I’m one of those size 10-14 “in-betweenies”). That being said, I’ve looked at your and other influencers’ outfit pictures to use them more for inspiration than a tool to buy clothing directly from (does that make sense?) because I’ve been conditioned to assume that the article of clothing that you are wearing won’t look good on me/come in my size.
    That is why I’m excited for your challenge! It would be great if you could find influencers of various sizes to be photographed in the same outfits as you (maybe that could be The Challenge 2.0).

    Thanks!! becca

    • grace at the stripe says 3.27.19

      I love that idea. I have a few ideas brewing 🙂

      I’m so happy this post resonates; thank you for commenting!

  36. Way to go Grace! I’m excited to be introduced to new and better brands that make clothes for all.

    xoxo Logan
    http://www.habitsandhues.com

  37. cy says 3.27.19

    Thanks Grace! I love this. Yes, I mostly shop online and hope for the best or go to a store where you know they have larger sizes and see that all are gone and you are left with XS and S. If they know those sizes are the first to sell out, why don’t they stock more? I mean huge rack with all small sizes with one or two M, maybe. Hello? 🙂

    • grace at the stripe says 3.27.19

      I can’t imagine how frustrating that is!
      I’m a mostly online shopper (simply out of laziness – the stores in New York can be totally crazy!!!) and don’t mind ordering a few sizes (I always have to with ASOS) but I think women should at least have the option.

  38. Norma says 3.27.19

    Hello Grace!
    Recent follower over here… I’ve enjoyed reading your posts SO MUCH! and this one is so honest and genuine. By reading it, I feel you REALLY care and that is awesome.

  39. dana mannarino says 3.27.19

    This is a true testament to who you are. Such an inspiration, Grace. And I am going to be way more aware now while shopping. THANK YOU!

    The Champagne Edit

  40. Jordan says 3.27.19

    Oh man. So many thoughts!

    Grace, you know I have been a LONGTIME fan since the day you launched the side a million years ago. I am so glad this issue is coming up now because if I’m perfectly honest, over the years I have wondered if I was ever going to be able to shop your beautiful and carefully curated roundups if it was clothes and not shoes/bags!

    As someone who has been a size 8 to 18 and have fluctuated due to weight gain + loss and pregnancy and new mom life, I am very impressed with this commitment! I am really looking forward to seeing what you find. It is SO hard and so demoralizing when all you want to do is look cute 🙂

    A few tips would be to read the reviews when featuring a piece – sometimes people will write that it runs big or has an oversized look or is a “boyfriend style” and that usually means the cut is generous. That’s usually how I find my best straight sized pieces when I’m not shopping plus.

    I see lots of my favorite brands have already been mentioned in your comments but I’ll add my voice: Loft, Eloquii, Eileen Fisher (BEST pants and leggings), Old Navy (straight size XXL and plus size, which runs large), Seyjour + Caslon from Nordstrom, the occasional BP or Leith piece at Nordstrom, Who What Wear at Target, Rachel Roy, City Chic (although their prints can be… rough) and ASOS Curve are where I have the most success!

    Really excited for the next few months!

  41. Jessica says 3.27.19

    Intermix thinks size SIX is too large to carry in the front of the store….????!?!?!?!?! YIKES. That’s not a cute look from them. At all.

  42. Diana Pearl says 3.27.19

    I am so impressed by this post. I agree — it’s something that’s easy to ignore when it doesn’t affect you, but the lack of size inclusivity is SUCH a problem. When the majority of American women can’t buy what you’re selling, you need to take a serious look at your business and make some adjustments. So glad you’re using your platform to take a stand!!

  43. Amy says 3.27.19

    Thank you, thank you. I so appreciate this. I’ve recently been frustrated by Madewell and Loft Plus for not carrying their extended sizing in stores. I mean, heaven forbid we take our fine ass curves into a store and shop for clothes. *face palm emoji*. Grateful for your attention and awareness. I hope this is a start for many bloggers. xo Amy

  44. Sarah says 3.27.19

    Thank you for doing this! For me it is hard to find bloggers that understand my size. I love Katie and the others but it’s rare to find those awesome ladies. Me being a size 14 dress, 16 pants and size medium top it’s so hard to find the best pieces. I can’t shop at “straight sizes” often cause of my hips, but I can’t shop at universal standard or torrid because of my top. It’s a lot of work to shop and buy pieces that work. So thank you for being open to adding us all into the mix. Love and appreciate you more than you know for opening up! Keep up the amazing work!

  45. Katie says 3.27.19

    and.comfort is a great made in the usa brand that caters to plus sizes! They are very minimalist and the quality is outstanding!

  46. Maureen says 3.27.19

    Many stores don’t stock petites either, even if they carry them on-line.

    • Maggie says 3.27.19

      I came to say the same thing about tall/long lengths for pants. The opposite problem, but equally frustrating!

    • grace at the stripe says 3.27.19

      That has to be so frustrating!

  47. Emmie says 3.27.19

    Thank you for this post, and for taking on the challenge. As a size 26 plus size blogger, the fashion world can be pretty isolating because of the lack of awareness from those who have never had to shop plus. I receive collaboration offers and get invited to events from brands and stores that don’t carry my size, which is downright frustrating. Even brands that start getting press praise under the flag of “body positivity” or “inclusivity” are stopping at a size 18/20 or at best a 22/24. (With the exception of Universal Standard. And props to Anthro for up to 26 – just got some of those styles and the fit is spot on) Or if a new plus collaboration comes out, the items are offered in very few extremely watered down, basic options (now-defunct White House Black Market plus sizes.) Or online only. If there’s a last minute occasion where I need an outfit or specific piece of clothing, it’s not as easy as popping by the nearest store to grab something.

    My friend Sarah wrote a good piece about some of the more problematic parts of inclusive/bopo sizing: https://rascalhoney.com/fashion/every-body-marketing-scam/

    In addition to those already mentioned, Rachel Pally is another brand you may want to look at. XS (2) to 3X (22/24). I keep a directory of some plus favorties here: https://authenticallyemmie.com/plus-size-clothing-directory/

    Thanks again!

  48. Ilona says 3.27.19

    Did you see the news about the NASA all female spacewalk planned for this week being cancelled because they didn’t have appropriate sized space suits for the women? This issue stems far and wide!

    https://www.vogue.com/article/hillary-clinton-nasa-female-space-suit-space-walk-cancelled

  49. Jess says 3.27.19

    Grace – thank you so much for making this commitment. As a follower of your blog and a plus size woman, I am looking forward to seeing some pieces I may be able to twin with you in in the next few months!

    As many others have mentioned, it is also extremely frustrating when brands that do offer more inclusive sizes don’t carry them in store. I live in NYC too and you’d think with the thousands of shops here there would be loads of options, but there really isn’t. I’ll never forget the time I was looking for a black tie appropriate dress at the big Lord & Taylor that used to be on 5th ave. They probably had a floor the size of a city block full of gowns and only a handful that could have worked for me. I felt so deflated leaving there empty handed.

    I really appreciate you supporting this conversation on your platform. I hope others are inspired to take on this challenge too!

  50. Kiera Evans says 3.27.19

    I’d encourage you to take a moment and even think beyond that shopping experience- think, if you spent your ENTIRE life having stores tell you you’re size isn’t “right” or that your only clothing options are tented, drapey, shapeless crud, what would that do to you? To how you think about yourself? To how you manuver through the world. We set these barriers for plus size women and then expect them to be like every other straight sized woman. And when they don’t or can’t, they aren’t “brave enough” or “strong enough”.

  51. Alexandra Sowa, MD says 3.27.19

    Brava, Grace! We come in all shapes and sizes, and I’m so excited to see the content you come up with!

  52. Hilary says 3.27.19

    Can you reccomend, or some of your reader, suggest wear I can find plus size wedding dresses under $2000? Thank you for supporting us girls and our curves !!

    • grace at the stripe says 3.27.19

      Hi Hilary,
      I am sorry – wedding dresses are so out of my wheelhouse I wouldn’t even know where to start (for plus or straight size!) Maybe talk to Katie Sturino, she is engaged!

    • Jordan says 3.28.19

      @Hilary – there are a few plus size wedding boutiques in the US! I live in LA and there’s a store here called Della Curva that is entirely stocked with plus size wedding gowns!

  53. Mollye says 3.27.19

    Grace,
    I couldn’t love this post more. It’s so important to think about how we make people feel! I love that you’re taking a stand and I’m going to try and follow your lead. Eileen Fisher, a brand you have featured, is also great about inclusive sizing.

    Mollye

  54. Meghan says 3.27.19

    Thank you!! It makes me so happy that others are starting to see the need for inclusive sizing and not just us bigger girls!! Thank you thank you thank you for helping to bring awareness! you will slay this challenge!

  55. Kelly says 3.27.19

    I’m all for inclusive sizing, but one of the reasons I relate to your sense of fashion is that we have similar body types so what you wear gives me ideas for things that wouldn’t necessarily be in my wheelhouse naturally (particularly longer dresses that aren’t typically the first thing if pick up.) I recently discovered a blogger — See Anna Jane — whose style I love, but she’s like so so rail thin, I know that what looks awesome on her is unlikely to be so great on me. So part of me is like if you can find cute stuff at brands with wider ranges of sizes, great, but keep doing *you* rather than dilute that to be something for everyone? Does this make sense?

    • grace at the stripe says 3.27.19

      Hi Kelly,
      Totally hear your concerns.
      The blog is still about me and my style – I’m just going to do a better job at tracking down inclusive size options. Without even realizing it, a lot of the things I feature here only go up to a size large.
      I’m not trying to be someone for everyone (my style is my style after all!) BUT I am making sure that if someone wants to buy something (or something like that thing), there is an option.

  56. josie g says 3.28.19

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! I loved your post. As someone who loves clothes, blogs and is a size 16 – I applaud this approach. Why can’t we all work together to include every body type and make them all beautiful! There was a time when larger women were considered the beauty standard and that has switched so that only very skinny women are considered beautiful. But there are so many people out there who would love to walk into Madewell or Loft or any of the stores that carry plus size on their website – and buy off the racks instead of waiting for the items to ship. Bloggers like you could be a huge influence in the fashion world to encourage stores to be brave and stock the larger sizes or carry them to begin with. So thank you!

  57. Katie Kubitskey says 3.28.19

    This makes me so happy to read! Currently between a size 16-20 and shopping anywhere but online is impossible. Thanks for spreading these ideas.

  58. Kb says 3.28.19

    Thank you for this! I’m a 16 and don’t shop plus size brands because they don’t fit me correctly, so I’m forced to find brands that carry size 16 which is usually the highest. I find most of my clothes at Anthropologie actually. ASOS used to have nice options but their quality has gone way down. I have been thinking about sending an email to madewell, I love their clothes but I have actually ordered the largest size they carry and it still doesn’t fit right. Their tops seem to get wider not longer. It becomes a huge hassle, either pay the fee to return or find a madewell close by, which is an hour away.

  59. Katie says 3.28.19

    Such a much needed and appreciated post- thank you, Grace!! I have found Asos, Boden, Boss, and a few other brands to be much more size inclusive. I follow Emily/FFG @emilyjanejohnston and love seeing the brands she finds. She also had a rough fashion week experience with a designer who wouldn’t cater to her size and documented it

    • grace at the stripe says 3.28.19

      I am obsessed with Emily!!! We met in London a few years ago – she has the best style.
      Love her. Thanks for the tips, I forgot about Boden!

  60. MaryPat says 3.28.19

    I’m a new follower now via Katie Stureno – your initiative is rad, and I am here for it!!!!!!! Katie has been such an inspiration to me for so long, and I love that her friend (you!!!) would take up this important issue. So thank you for your solidarity and standing up for an important issue we “plus size” ladies deal with. Bravo and can’t wait to read your upcoming content!

    • grace at the stripe says 3.28.19

      Aw, welcome!!!! Thank you. Agree that Katie is such an inspiration. She is one of my favorite humans!!!!

  61. LaVon Napoli says 3.28.19

    You should give Intermix another try. I’m probably your size or a little larger and I find the store associates very helpful. I am usually at the West Village location and they are great.

    • grace at the stripe says 3.28.19

      That’s good to know! To be fair, I’ve had great luck buying accessories there, and they often have my size in back, but I hate that they only keep mostly the zeros and twos out front, as if a four or a six or (gasp) an eight or a ten is embarrassing!

  62. Danielle says 3.28.19

    Really moved my this post, Grace. There’s nothing bigger than someone admitting a mistake they’ve made (though an understandable one for sure), and taking action to fix it. And THRILLED you’ll be featuring more pieces I can buy.

    Also, Anthropologie’s new plus line is great — though haven’t purchased anything yet! Nordstrom also has a great selection of brands.

  63. Lauren says 3.28.19

    Love you Grace! You are so refreshing! I stopped shopping at Intermix for the same reasons. I felt so uncomfortable to ask for a large and was made to feel embarrassed about my height and size. Luckily our thirties are about embracing and acceptance of ourselves. I love my 5’9, size 14 self and so does my husband and friends. Eff their standards and any company that wants to exclude plus sizes. Ultimately it’s their financial loss! You’re the best

  64. M says 3.28.19

    Thank you!

  65. Shira Rosenbluth says 3.28.19

    I think it’s so cool of you to be this thoughtful – so many straight size bloggers don’t think twice about this. I’ve been up and down from straight to plus and that’s the reason I feel personally the need to make sure i’m offering plus size options to my followers. It makes me a little sick to see brands like shopbop and revolve literally only cater to thin white women. It’s gross and unacceptable. Thank you for taking this on as a straight sized woman. It gives me hope.

    https://asequinloveaffair.com

  66. Jennifer says 3.28.19

    Not sure if this brand was mentioned but AYR just recently launched inclusive sizing of their clothes. Thanks!

  67. Meg says 3.29.19

    Love this post! Thank you for making us think about fashion from a different angle.

  68. Courtney says 3.31.19

    Thank you so much for being willing to learn and stepping out of your lane, so to speak.

    I would like to kindly ask you, and all other straight size bloggers, to not say that certain outfits/styles flatter “everybody”. The vast majority of the time I’ve seen straight sized people do this the style or outfit in question would absolutely not flatter someone who was plus sized (the best example I can think of is a jumpsuit that was cut down to the navel that was being described as flattering, appropriate office attire for all sizes/shapes. The low, wide v would be borderline pornographic on someone my size and while it could be fun for a night out, would NEVER be office appropriate for someone plus size. I can’t remember which blogger this was but it’s always bothered med).

    I don’t think it’s done maliciously or anything. It’s just that if you’ve never worn plus size clothes, it’s hard to fully understand the difference in how clothes fit on a larger body. It seems like a lot of people think that straight sized clothes can just “size up” and fit the same way on a plus size person when that just isn’t true. The end result isn’t an inclusive look, it’s plus sized people feeling invisible once more.

    All of that being said, I wanted to end by saying thank you again. Thank you for actually being willing to learn. Thank you for helping lend your voice–designers/brands have long ignored plus sized folks because they thought they could so having straight sized voices making the call louder encourages me that things may one day actually change. It’s also just nice to feel visible and have someone who isn’t plus sized acknowledge how real this problem is.

    • grace at the stripe says 3.31.19

      Hi Courtney,

      Thank you so much for the thoughtful comment.

      I’ve actually learned from a friend just not to use the word “flattering” at all, as it generally assumes that it means thinner, which then assumes that thinner is better.
      I totally see your point and will do my very best here. (Also laughing at borderline pornographic).

      I think that the things I can help most with are:
      1 – Offering plus alternatives to the things I’m wearing. So hopefully they will work on any body type (my style is pretty conservative; I’m not a twig so I can’t/don’t want to wear those low cut jumpsuits either so I think it will!).
      2 – Encouraging my audience (straight size and plus) to shop inclusive brands. I hope that by doing this, and by taking a stance it will help to move the needle and encourage more brands to expand their size range.
      3 – Putting my money where my mouth is and only shopping at brands that are inclusive (or at least up to a size 16, it’s still very hard to find brands that are TRULY inclusive – but I’ve found a few – loving Reformation, Madewell, and Anthro’s new line.)
      3 – Highlighting different bodies here (more on that to come, it’s something I’m still thinking through as this blog has always been about me and my style).

      That being said, I will probably mess up at some point: as you said I haven’t ever worn plus size clothes. But I’m going to do the best to learn as I go!

      For tomorrow’s post I found pieces in my size and plus sizes. I think it’s a look everyone can wear but will be interested in your thoughts!

      Thanks again for the comment and for challenging me!!!!
      Grace

  69. Kandice says 3.31.19

    Hi Grace,
    New reader/follower here. As a plus-size woman who loves fashion I really appreciate what you’re doing. It’s one thing to recognize the privilege and relative ease of shopping that comes with being thin. It’s another thing to recognize that privilege, acknowledge it and actively work to promote brands that are inclusive to share with your readers. All women regardless of size want to look and dress well. I often get compliments on my style and I am the first to tell my friends it is not easy. Most plus-size clothing falls into two categories grandma floral print tent muumuu or polyester embellished monstrosity. Neither of which I have any desire to wear. To add to that I’m tall (5’9) so I tend to pay more when it comes to pants and dresses to get the length I need. The thing is plus-size women want to look good, have money to spend, and we would all benefit from bands expanding their range.

    • Thank you so much Kandice. Hopefully small steps can get us pointed in the right direction!

  70. Meg says 4.1.19

    As a size 14 I get so frustrated, maybe just ten pounds, maybe if I got a spanx for that skirt could I actually fit into something from x brand. It can be tireless to shop for a fancy outfit. One of the things I’ve learned is that you buy ASAP. For example today April 1st – try to find something on Sezane in a size 12 even, just a week after their new collection launched. It’s a “maybe” on fit and it’s almost fully sold out in L, let alone offering larger sizes, so you know they run small. The only things left are backless, and let’s just say no one wants to see my minimized bra that would be necessary to pull off the size 12. Thank you, you set yourself a huge huge challenge. Finding plus size is hard, mid non plus I find sometimes extremely hard. I’m lucky that these mid sizes are usually stocked online at madewell, jcrew but never in store, but there are more options for myself than many. Keep us updated!

    • Sezane is so hard; their clothes run so small!!!! I have a few clothing pieces from them (all one or two sizes bigger), and have found their sweet spot is accessories – love their bags, hats, and scarves!

  71. Vanessa says 4.1.19

    Just the other day, I heard from a friend that Levi’s is doing great work when it comes to offering more inclusive sizing options to its customers. This particular friend hasn’t worn jeans IN YEARS because she either couldn’t find any in her size or the ones she *did* find in her size were way too constricting and made her feel uncomfortable. Over the weekend, she decided to check out Levi’s new range of plus-size jeans and she ended up finding a pair that fit her perfectly and didn’t make her feel uncomfortable. So yeah, if you’re looking for inclusive brands, Levi’s comes highly recommended!

  72. Aurora says 4.2.19

    Just came across this post. I’m a size 10/12 for jeans and my favorite brand/only brand that worked with my body type is going out of business. It is so hard to find clothes nowadays that fit. I am a size 8/10 top/dress and sometimes don’t even fit in to some of the tops due to my breast size. So many brands are refusing to make a change to their sizing and/or are getting worse. I used to fit in H&M clothing, but not it is too small and the fit isn’t right.

  73. A Girl, A Style says 4.2.19

    Just when I thought I couldn’t love you any more. Thank you for doing this, and encouraging all of this – even if it doesn’t impact us personally – to think more about this, to be questioning when we shop, and to speak up to brands we like and shop who don’t do this properly.

    Briony xx

  74. Ulrica says 4.3.19

    I live in Sweden and it’s interesting to hear what people have to say about the clothing sizes or the lack of them. I’m tall (180 cm) and by EU-measurements I’m a 46 or 48 (is that 14 or 16 in US measurements?). My experience is that when a brand have a clothing line with bigger sizes the patterns and fabrics changes for the worse. And when it comes to trousers it’s like I not only have the bigger bum I also for some reason get shorter. What study shows that you only can be short and big around your bum? It would be very interesting to read what a designer have to say about all these things.
    /Ulrica

  75. Nicole M. says 4.5.19

    Oh, Grace. As a years-long follower of your blog and a size 16 woman, I am so very grateful for your new intention. Thank you for making a space for us on your blog…there are so many bloggers who don’t.

  76. Allison says 4.9.19

    No offense, but I don’t see the point of refusing to shop brands with a limited “straight” size range. I’m all for inclusivity, but it seems like you’re just swapping one type of exclusion for another.

    I’m pear shaped and have a difficult time finding clothes that flatter my figure. While I’m fortunate enough to wear a size carried by most retailers, it takes a lot of hunting to find clothes that are fashionable and well fitting. Because my hips are so much wider than my waist, I often need to have my clothes custom tailored.

    Some of the brands I have found that work for my body don’t carry extended sizes. While I agree with you that the lack of options for women in this category is alarming, I don’t see the purpose of limiting my already limited options simply because they don’t work for everyone.

    I admire your mission to be more inclusive, but you seem to be ignoring other factors that go into purchasing decisions.

  77. Sofia says 4.15.19

    Please Please Please give a shout out to Lane Bryant at some point. While they ONLY sell larger sizing 12 (sometimes 10) and above – they understand the curvy audience and make it fun to dress everyday. Im basically a walking model for their clothing, but Im confident in everything they sell.

  78. Tracy says 4.26.19

    Grace, I cannot express how much that I love that you are doing this. I read a lot of blogs and have always loved fashion. However, as someone who is a size 24 when I scrolling through the list of blogs I read daily I almost 100% of the time skip over fashion related posts because typically they contain pictures of and links to clothing that there is no way I could possibly wear. It not fun being constantly blasted with images of clothes that are clearly unattainable. Thank you for taking the initiative to reach out to more women who love clothes and want to look stylish just like their slimmer counterparts.