Redefining “Fashion”: 5 Body-Positive Brands We Love

In the age of social media, it’s easy for women to be discouraged and self-conscious about their bodies, which is why the #BodyPositive social movement has taken off in the past 5 to 10 years.  Even though the fashion industry has made huge strides in body inclusivity, some of the bigger brands aren’t getting with the times.

If you recall, Ed Razek, Senior Creative of Victoria’s Secret came under fire in late 2018 for his comments about casting plus-sized and trans models in the annual VS Fashion Show. He claimed Victoria’s Secret tried a plus-sized special….20 years ago. Due to the backlash, he later retracted his statement, claiming “all bodies are welcome.” Yeah, ok *eye roll*.

While he apologized for his discriminatory comment, it still doesn’t change that many creative directors of major brands think exactly like Mr. Razek does. According to Business Of Fashion, 40.2% of designers that show at New York Fashion Week are female, and even those designers have creative directors that are men. So even if they don’t come out and say it, their thoughts about the type of women they want in their clothing, is reflected by the company’s range. As a result, many women are forced to face a huge dilemma when it comes to fashion choices.  

More often than not, the more stylish options are usually limited to sizes in single digits. Since the average woman is not a size 2, most women are required to sacrifice style for comfort.

Although this may all seem discouraging, there is a light at the end of the tunnel! Online retailers are starting to tailor their products so women no longer have to choose! With swimsuit season coming up, I’ve gathered a list of my favorite brands that recognize ALL women deserve to feel comfortable and stylish —regardless of their size.

Swimsuits For All Related image

Photo: Swimsuits For All

Instagram: @swimsuitsforall

Swimsuits For All launched in 2014 and is known for pushing boundaries in the swimsuit category. They offer a vast selection of swimwear including tankinis, one-pieces, and swim dresses from sizes 4-26. The brand recently collaborated with model and body-positivity activist Ashley Graham for her line of swimsuits. If that’s not cool enough, they have an entire page on their website to help consumers determine their body type (ie: pear, hourglass, etc). With swimsuit season already in full swing, you definitely don’t want to miss out on their totally trendy options!

Aerie

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Instagram: @aerie

Aerie launched in Spring 2014, as a lingerie sub-brand of American Eagle. Since its inception, Aerie has become a highly popularized brand due to their emphasis on female empowerment and body positivity. Aerie prides itself on using everyday women of all body shapes as models and they don’t retouch photos. Their ambassadors include gold-medalist Aly Raisman, and body-positivity activist, Iskra. Aerie provides a variety of affordable underwear and bras in fun, flirty, styles!

In addition to their stylish clothing, they’ve previously partnered with the National Eating Disorder Association, giving parts of their proceeds to the organization.

Savage x Fenty

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Photo via “The Pool”

Nothing says body inclusivity like Savage x Fenty. As I previously mentioned, most times when women look for lingerie, the trendy, colorful, and stylishly designed pieces are limited to the smaller sizes, but Savage x Fenty boasts beautiful, intricate designs that are available for all sizes. In addition to the totally sexy lingerie, the line also carries the everyday basics!

Now my job here is to keep it completely real with you. Savage x Fenty can be a little harsh on your pockets, so my recommendation is to select a few pieces see how you like them then spend your coins on whatever you want to!

Fashion Nova

Instagram: @fashionanova & @fashionnovacurve

In the words of Cardi B, “I could wear designer but this Fashion Nova fit!” and sis was NOT lying. If you’re active on social media, follow any of the KarJenners, and/or listen to today’s hottest Hip Hop artists, chances are you’ve heard about Fashion Nova. According to Business Insider, Fashion Nova was the most searched for fashion brand in 2018, and rightfully so. They offer a wide spectrum of clothing items, an entire “Fashion Nova Curve” section featuring plus-sized apparel exclusively, and recently launched a line of nurse scrubs!

Here’s the not-so-amazing news, while I adore Fashion Nova, they need improvement in some areas. While they are slowly releasing longer inseams for some of their products, most of Fashion Nova’s inseams go to 26 inches at most. So if you’re above 5’5, those cute af skinny jeans you see most likely won’t go down your ankle. If the inseam is not listed, check the reviews and see what people have to say about the product!

With that said, I believe there are more pros than cons when it comes to ordering from Fashion Nova, and think there is a little something for everyone whether its an accessory or a cute dress for a dinner date!

Pretty Little Thing

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Instagram: @prettylittlething

Pretty Little Thing (PLT) is essentially Fashion Nova’s (slightly more expensive) twin sister. They’re a UK-based, online retailer that recently opened a headquarters in LA. Pretty Little Thing offers clothing selections for plus-sized, tall, and petite women. They also don’t airbrush or retouch as much as other fast-fashion brands do. Stretch marks, moles, tattoos, and everything that make us beautiful humans are visible! Yay :)

Caution, you do have to buy tops and bottoms separately for swimwear and other two-pieced sets. If you prefer to buy your items altogether, maybe just look to PLT for accessories and dresses!

Also be mindful that you need to select your clothing size based on their chart! You might be thinking, “WTF, Ray this is obvious. Who doesn’t check the size chart before ordering clothes online?” Based on the reviews, a lot of women. PLT and Fashion Nova (previously mentioned), are at the top of the “fast fashion” game. Their brands are damn near identical and they even use the same models! As a result, there’s an overlap between Fashion Nova customers and PLT customers, creating the assumption they both size the same way…...extremely false. A US size 14 on Fashion Nova, is a US size 6 on PLT, big difference. Don’t slack on double checking the size chart, the last thing you want is some cute clothes that are 8 sizes too small….yikes.

Body positivity in the fashion industry will be a highly discussed and even debated topic for as long as the industry exists. For years it has projected the “gold standard” when it comes to fashion, and they design their finest works based on that standard. Unfortunately, most women don’t “qualify” for it. At times it can be very frustrating and even make you feel bad, but the saving grace is that more brands are listening to us and recognizing that a number should never dictate who is and isn’t worthy of feeling confident in their clothing. Regardless of if your a size 6 or a 26, you are worthy and you matter!

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