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Universal Standard Is Making Sizing Less Stressful

The brand is letting shoppers trade in stuff they’ve grown out of.

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Two models with blonde hair in purple Universal Standard sweaters Photo: Universal Standard

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In many ways, clothing sizes make no sense. On top of the lack of standardization across brands and vanity sizing, it can be tough to figure out which sizes you should take with you into the dressing room, let alone which you should bring home.

Now, factor in what we tell ourselves about the size we are and the size we either hope or intend to be. How often have you passed on buying something because you’re planning on losing weight, or anticipate gaining it?

Universal Standard, which makes clothing for sizes 10 through 28, decided to do something pretty cool to solve that problem for you. Its just-launched Universal Fit Liberty program lets shoppers trade in items from the core collection within a year — if you no longer fit in what you bought, you can swap it out for a size that does.

“Regardless of size — 6, 15, 26 — you do go up and you do go down, and it puts you in a certain frame of mind that makes you look for a future self,” says co-founder Alexandra Waldman. “So how do we get rid of that? Why don't we try this? You can just not worry about that thing, and really see yourself in the mirror as you are.”

On top of that, the brand will be donating all of the returned clothing to charities supporting women in need.

Waldman adds, “We're hoping that other brands will take this as an example and test this with their own audiences.”