Rewriting The Rules: The Brands That Changed Plus Size Fashion In 2017

But Universal Standard isn't just offering an alternative to the revealing-or-conservative duality of plus-size clothing. Waldman and Veksler saw some serious room for improvement in terms of quality. “The plus-size market has had a captive audience for so many decades; they really make the cheapest, most disposable clothing you can possibly make, and there’s zero thought into the stuff that’s out there,” Waldman says. “Regular-sized clothes almost always have some form of stretch, because it’s just more comfortable. But plus-sized clothing often does not; it’s an extra expense brands don’t need to incur, because people will buy anyway."

The duo began working on the line last October, and decided early that every single piece would contain elastane. They also engineered their own fabric so it wouldn’t pill as easily as most cotton-based textiles do: “We wanted to create fabrics that don’t look like they stretch, but they actually do,” Waldman explains. Beyond a healthy dose of flexibility, Universal Standard's pieces are micro-graded from size to size "in a thoughtful way," Waldman says, whereas other brands simply add a set number of inches of fabric as sizes go up.

The debut collection is made up of eight core pieces, available for pre-order now, and shipments begin in mid-October. Expect 15 additional styles to be released later this fall. "There’s desperate need in the market for a line like this, Veksler says. "There is such huge demand and lack of supply, and we want to offer something new and different." Better quality and cooler styles? That's change we can get behind.

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