If you’ve got younger teenage sisters, chances are you’ve heard of Brandy Melville. Known for their affordable hipster-chic designs, this Italian company is a fashion retailer that offers most, if not all, of its clothing in only one size. Since I’m not really their target demographic, I only found out about the brand on a recent trip to the local mall. Admittedly, what drew me in was the fact that I had never seen this new store before and the décor seemed cute from afar. But as I walked up to the window display, I was stopped dead in my tracks by several signs that read: “One size fits most.”
“In what world?” Those were my exact thoughts at that moment. You don’t have to be overweight to know that this is a ridiculous statement. Very few women, or humans, are built proportionately, so to assume that one size fits all sounds like a joke. I was so turned off by those signs at the entrance that I didn’t really feel like going into the store, but I needed to explore what this nonsense was about—to see if this could actually be real.
What I learned is exactly what I feared—this fashion company has been developed around the idea that one size fits most or all. And they’ve got signs ALL over the store to prove it. But what they’ve actually done is create an entire line of clothes for petite young women under the guise that they’re not being exclusive with their extremely limited sizing philosophy.
Why lie to consumers? We all know you can’t be everything to everyone, and there’s nothing wrong with catering to certain body types—hey, tiny girls need to shop, too! So why not be transparent about it? It’s so obvious as soon as you look through their selection of clothes that they were made for skinny, high school girls, so why even try to make it look like they’re serving all young women?
What’s crazy is that the brand remains quite popular despite all this. There are plenty of fans of the brand who’ve taken to the Internet and Twitter to express that even though they aren’t “big” girls by any stretch, they, too, can’t fit into some Brandy Melville pieces.
Considering how much insecurity young women go through on a daily basis, the worst thing is to get their hopes up to discover stylish clothes that they inevitably have no chance of fitting into. It’s such a disappointment and just leaves them feeling like their body isn’t perfect enough, when in reality, it’s Brandy Melville being irresponsible by claiming that one size could actually fit everyone!
Fashion should be fun and inspirational. It should flatter women and make them feel good about themselves. If a company wants to make clothes that are only made for a small group of the population, that’s fine—it’s a free country after all. But they shouldn’t cop out by perpetuating this lie that only makes their customers, who are at one of their most vulnerable stages of life, feel bad about themselves. Brandy Melville should be honest about who they are as a brand and what their values are. There’s no need to put up a front since all they’re doing is misleading many young girls into thinking they might possibly have a chance to wear what they actually can’t.
One size most definitely does not fit all here, and it’s clear that this is not for everyone.
Image courtesy of the author
Self-proclaimed purveyor of words, Ana Montoya, has been smitten with the written word ever since her dad bought her her very first Hello Kitty diary when she was five years old. In the years to follow, you could’ve easily found her at her school’s book fairs, writing for the campus paper, or editing the class yearbook. Today, when she’s not heading up editorial and social media for a fashion accessories magazine or freelance writing, she’s usually somewhere in between reading her favorite blogs and trying to catch up to the current season of Mad Men. Lover of Coldplay, the ‘80s, Europe, and chocolate, Ana’s always searching for the next interesting place to explore, whether while traveling the world or simply wandering through her beloved streets of Manhattan. Follow this media junkie struck by wanderlust on Twitter at @missanamon