Last week Universal Standard, a clothing company focused on making basic staples available to women sizes 10-30, launched an ingenious promotion offering their popular Tee Rex t-shirt free of charge. The shirt retails for $50 and, after receiving mine, I can see why. This shirt is cut in a flattering way and contains a bit of stretch while keeping it’s shape throughout the day. It is the softest piece of clothing I have ever owned and, this is big, it practically repels cat hair. It is the perfect black shirt.
For the past few years I have been obsessed with the idea of a capsule wardrobe. I tend to buy things I like with no real vision and end up pairing everything with jeans or black pants. Universal Standard offers kits containing some of their most popular pieces that would serve as the starting point for any capsule wardrobe. They offer a kit exclusively for active wear, a best seller kit and a few different options for work wear kits.
Universal Standard’s goal is to “making sizing irrelevant.” Next month they’ll be offering all their closing in sizes 6-30. Right now, the Tee Rex is already being offered in these extended sizes. Inclusivity is important and simplicity is underrated. My quest for a regular white button up shirt has ended.
Perhaps the best part of Universal Standard, and what ultimately justifies the price for me, is that they will replace your clothing free of charge if you change sizes (within a year of purchase). As someone currently rapidly losing weight, I don’t want to spend a lot of money on expensive clothes that won’t fit in a month’s time. I can’t stress how important this is for everyone woman. As we get older, become moms, live healthier lifestyles, our bodies change. Things that were once in one place have shifted to another and some parts might just vanish without warning. Universal Standard understands that. They support these changes in women without just trying to cater to women that have always been considered “the other” when it comes to fashion.
So, shut up and take my money.
Disclaimer: This post is in no way sponsored by Gwynnie Bee. I took advantage of their 1 free month promotion for new members. The opinions expressed in this post are 100% my own. The link to Gwynnie Bee posted is my personal referral link.
Tim Gunn’s op-ed regarding the state of fashion choices available for plus size women is spot on. So much of what is currently on the market is unappealing to a national audience. There was a demand for more trendy and designer stores which has led to over saturation. It’s not that I don’t want to wear spaghetti strap dresses (even though I don’t) because of the way I look, it’s that they’re not work appropriate and I have yet to reconcile my relationship with cardigans. I struggled this summer trying to find appropriate wear to work dresses. It was frustrating AF.
Enter Gwynnie Bee a subscription based clothing rental website for sizes 10-30 . I’ll admit that I put all my biz cash eggs in this basket. If you’ve ever tried Le Tote (sizes 0-16), Gwynnie Bee operates the same way. You create an account, browse their offerings, add pieces you’d like to receive to your wardrobe and once you have save 25 items, they’ll start shipping them out to you.
GB costs $90/mo for their three at a time option which I feel is far too much for what little options they have. I prioritized 10 of my items out of the 25 in my wardrobe, but none of the items I received were my priorities. The two sweater dresses currently headed my way are unwearable in this unseasonably warm fall. I sweat enough already.
A far as options are concerned they offer a wide variety of designers including Jessica Howard, IGIGI, Seven by Melissa McCarthy, Poppy and Bloom and Eloquii. This summer showcased a specially designed for Gwynnie Bee line from Rachel Antonoff featuring cute animal and fruit patterns. These brands can be challenging to find in stores and having the option to have them sent to you is a game changer.
There are a few issues though. Many of the items they offer are rated low by members due to fit cutting down on the number of options available. The things you really want to receive are often unavailable when you want them. This has made finding 25 items that I would actually want to wear a daunting task. I was really hoping they would offer some basic outfit staples, but it’s mostly prints, dresses and awkwardly cut tops.
Returning items is a cinch. Once you’ve decided that you’re done wearing something (which you can return dirty, by the way), you notify GB through their website and they’ll begin prepping your next item. You mail back the dirty dress in one of the prepaid envelopes they’ve sent you and wait for the next package.
Overall, I really like the concept. I fluctuate between sizes and it’s nice to have temporary options available. However, I don’t think spending $90/mo on clothing is reasonable. Especially when compared to Le Tote’s $60/mo for a greater variety. I much prefer the Stitch Fix model of surprise clothes for $20 and buying what I want.
Right now I am giving GB another shot thanks to their half price WE MISS YOU promotion. I’m hoping to find one or two things to add to my fall wardrobe and try some styles I haven’t before. I’m not expecting to continue my membership when this promotion ends, but I could be pleasantly surprised!
If you’d like to give Gwynnie Bee a try and form your own opinion, you can test it out free for 30 days here.