Universal Standard: Inclusive Plus Size Fashion

For as long as I can remember being plus sized, I can also remember the struggle to find clothing that I felt good in, clothing that was on trend with what my smaller peers were wearing, and most importantly clothing that showed that plus size women do exist. 

Don't get me wrong, I was always a fashionable kid, often flowing through periods of only wanting thrifted items to only namebrand (homegirl rocked the first pair of Air Force Ones at my elementary school #runmemycheck), but in my journey one thing remained the same. The lack of access to quality clothing that fit my body without the need for an additional alteration session was scarce.

Photography by @MikeMonaghan

Photography by @MikeMonaghan

Photo from @UniversalStandard 

Photo from @UniversalStandard 

Over time, I did find a home in the new markets coming about for women over a size 14, and found solace in the community forming on social media through some of my fav bloggers & models such as Kelli Brown, Gabi Fresh, Tabria Majors, Ashley Graham, & Franceta Johnson. I also looked to all of these women as examples of unrelentless confidence in their bodies & the style that I aspired to have. For me, I was carving a lane in wanting to dress in a nod to minimalism, elevated basics, and quality fabrics that I knew I could take from the workplace to a night out. I'm growing up, what can I say? lol 

Cue Universal Standard.

Founded in 2015 by Alexandra Waldman & Polina Veksler, they designed an evolutionary brand focused on thoughtfully engineered basics for women that range from sizes 10 - 28. Can we say hell yes?!  Since they arrived on the market, they have opened two showrooms (Seattle & NY), appeared on numerous news outlets and even just recently launched a partnership with Danielle Brooks from Orange is the New Black!! #blackgirlmagic 

On their latest excursion #USacrossUS, the brand took to their vehicles, photographer in tow, and embarked on a road trip across America hosting pop-up shops and a model call for the next face of their brand.  

Now yall know, my confidence can be fleeting sometimes, but for this opportunit, I couldn't pass it up. I showed up that day, dewy skin on point, natural hair poppin, eyeglasses freshly cleaned, and struck my best pose, determined to fight all of the inner demons of my childhood that told me I could never model because I was too fat. 

Video Courtesy of @UniversalStandard

Needless to say, mama we made it!! I was featured on their site under their Houston stop blog post, and homegirl even got a facial close-up in their recap video. I did that honey. 

I screamed last night in my apartment as soon I saw the site and I screamed for a long time. To see yourself on screen is one thing, but to see yourself embracing the parts of you that you never quite rocked with is another. 

So thank you to Universal Standard for seeing me. I might not be the tallest or smallest, but I slayed, and felt amazing during the process and afterwards. 

And trust.

This isn't the last time you'll see me modeling, believe that.  

To shop these looks, click below & thanks again to US! 

Shirt

Skirt

With love <3, 

Lauren