J.Crew extends size offerings

J.Crew is making moves — and one that will benefit all of their shoppers.

According to Glamour, the retailer has just unveiled a “collection of tops, dresses, skirts, and pants that’ll be available in sizes up to 5X, a first for the brand,” with sizes starting at XXS. To do so, Glamour reports that J.Crew worked with “size-inclusive minimalist fashion label” Universal Standard to create the collection, which is filled with fashionable styles and modern fits across a much more inclusive size range. The already-inclusive line adds to accessibility in terms of price as well, with Glamour reporting that pieces from collection retail between $50 and $150.

The move, says J.Crew chief merchandising officerLisa Greenwald, acts as a follow-up to the company’s previous efforts to add more sizes to their denim offerings, says Glamour, which began last spring.

“We knew we had more work to do,” Greenwald told Glamour. “We wanted to be thoughtful about our approach to sizing, and part of that meant working with experts in this field to glean best practices as we work to perfect our approach to fit moving forward.”

Thus, Greenwald says they paired up with Universal Standard and set about creating a collection that was “tailored for the real, diverse spectrum of the American woman.”

“We wanted to create a collection of stylish, well-made, great-fitting clothes, engineered to fit the new range of sizes perfectly and Universal Standard offered their expertise to do just that,” Greenwald said to Glamour, looking to “Universal Standard’s expertise for help grading designs for larger sizes, manufacturing, and problem-solving anything that might come up along the way.”

The beginning of much more to come from J.Crew in terms of size inclusivity, Greenwald made sure to explain to Glamour that the hope is to make all feel welcome to their brand.

“It’s a dedicated strategy to bring millions of American women into the fold and make them feel part of the style enjoyed only by the smaller women until now.”

Click here to shop the collection.

Gunn shoots down fashion industry’s sizing

Between being a mentor on Project Runway and serving on the faculty of the Parsons School for Design, Tim Gunn certainly knows a thing or two about fashion. But in a recent piece for the Washington Post, Gunn says that the very industry he’s been a part of for decades is severely at fault.

According to the Huffington Post, Gunn released an article on Thursday, Sept. 8, taking the fashion industry to task over its lack of size diversity. Pointing out the many women disserviced by the industry, Gunn wrote:

“There are 100 million plus-size women in America, and, for the past three years, they have increased their spending on clothes faster than their straight-size counterparts. There is money to be made here ($20.4 billion, up 17 percent from 2013). But many designers — dripping with disdain, lacking imagination or simply too cowardly to take a risk — still refuse to make clothes for them.”

The Huffington Post says Gunn argued that such a dearth of sizes and styles available for plus-size women makes for — at best — an unpleasant shopping experience. “It’s a horribly insulting and demoralizing experience,” he wrote.

Gunn even named designers and brands who have openly disavowed creating designs — or even showcasing women —beyond a certain size.

“‘No one wants to see curvy women’ on the runway, Karl Lagerfeld, head designer of Chanel, said in 2009. Plenty of mass retailers are no more enlightened: Under the tenure of chief executive Mike Jeffries, Abercrombie & Fitch sold nothing larger than a size 10, with Jeffries explaining that ‘we go after the attractive, all-American kid,'” he wrote.

While he admits that the problem is “difficult to change,” Gunn wrote that it is not impossible, citing “Eloquii for actually getting trendy clothing above a size 12 right, Christian Siriano for stepping in to dress Leslie Jones when she revealed that no designer would dress her for the Ghostbusters premiere, and Lane Bryant as his go-to spot for women above a 14  (although he admits ‘the items aren’t fashion with a capital F’),” in addition to ModCloth, the Huffington Post reports.

Gunn wrapped up his argument by saying that the fashion industry needs to let go of its antiquated standards in order to serve the diverse needs of women today.

“But this is now the shape of women in this nation, and designers need to wrap their minds around it,” he wrote. “I profoundly believe that women of every size can look good. But they must be given choices. Separates — tops, bottoms — rather than single items like dresses or jumpsuits always work best for the purpose of fit. Larger women look great in clothes skimming the body, rather than hugging or cascading. There’s an art to doing this. Designers, make it work.”

There you have it, fashion industry. Now go and “make it work.”