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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Toronto MU chapter.

A few days ago, I came across a Youtube video from Clevver Style titled, “Investigating Brandy Melville’s New Sizing“. I immediately clicked on the video while thinking to myself, “Finally, it’s about time!”. However, my reaction from when I initially read the title to when I finished watching the entire thirteen minutes of footage drastically changed …

Here’s a recap of what has changed in Brandy Melville’s sizing:

  • Most items are labelled as an XS-S instead of “one-size”

  • Some items are labelled as “oversized”

  • Some bottoms go up to a size M, the largest being a 29-inch waist measurement

So basically, nothing has changed. Oh, except for the sizing labels placed on the items! It’s as if the brand realized they had done something to upset people, admitted to it by taking “action”, and then continued on in normality.

How does a company like this still exist?

I keep asking myself, “How does a company like this still exist?”. In this generation, body positivity awareness is only increasing as businesses use diverse sizing, plus-size models, and raw photos as competitive advantages. A one-size clothing brand like Brandy Melville should be unheard of – except it’s not. Brandy Melville continues to thrive as one of the most popular stores for teenage girls in this era. Encapsulating the simple yet trendy style of “the girl next door” aesthetic, their customers cannot seem to get enough of their baby crop tops and high-waisted jeans, despite its sizing controversy.

A Self-Reflection

I was confused about how this could be … until I realized that I myself fell into the hype of Brandy Melville during my high school years. All my friends shopped at Brandy, so I wanted to too. I was never one to walk into the store and come out with a whole week’s worth of outfits. However, I do remember falling in love with this red collared crop top on their website, and I didn’t rest until I had that very top in my hands. The whole one-size thing never sat well with me, but it didn’t bother me enough at the time, as I convinced myself that owning that top would solve all my outfit dilemmas in life.

I’m not sure what changed my mind, but as I grew older, the sizing of Brandy Melville drew me away from the company completely. I realized that I didn’t feel proud sporting a cute pair of cargos if it meant I were financing a company that purposely excluded people because of their body type.

From this self-reflection, I realized that the solution is not that simple. Customers, like my prior self, continue to browse their Instagram page longing for the Brandy aesthetic, despite the distaste of the sizing situation. As a teenager in high school, I wanted to wear what my friends were wearing. I wanted to wear what Emma Chamberlain, Hannah Meloche, and whatever other influencers they hung out with during that time, were wearing. And, was it really wrong for me to feel that way?

Defending The Undefendable

Upon further research, I came across a few points that were used to defend Brandy’s one-size situation. It seemed like most people agreed that creating a size-exclusive brand for teenagers is immoral, but the excuses I found in defense of the company only fueled my anger further.

Here are a few…

1. Plus-size stores exist, so Brandy Melville shouldn’t be called out for being a petite store.

The issue with this is simple: Brandy Melville doesn’t market itself as a petite store. In fact, they market themselves as a trendy store that all teenage girls should want to shop from, even if they can’t fit into their clothes. And more notably, petite stores still carry more than one size!

2. Customers that don’t fit their sizing can still purchase other items, such as bags and jewelry.

Obviously, Brandy Melville is known as a clothing company before anyone would think to call it an accessory brand. I can’t even fathom how much it would hurt if my entire friend group walked into Brandy for a matching top that didn’t fit me, while an employee recommended I check out their accessory rack.

3. Although everything is one size, not all items are size XS-S

Yes, some items would definitely fit larger bodies than those of a size small. But, it is clear that those are the same items intended for smaller girls to wear oversized. If labeling these pieces as “oversized” isn’t enough to let everyone know, maybe a quick scroll through their Instagram feed will.

Holding Companies Accountable

Overall, this analysis on Brandy Melville’s one-size clothing is not an article to tell others where they can and cannot shop. Although I believe there isn’t a valid defense for the company’s exclusive actions, it is up to any individual to make up their own opinion. After all, it is the brand at fault, not its customers, and performative activism shouldn’t be pressured or shamed onto anyone. However, change will only come if businesses are held accountable for their decisions. So, if you are passionate about change, in terms of any company and not just Brandy Melville, a good way to hold them accountable is to stop giving them your money!


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Jessica Ho

Toronto MU '24

Hi! This is the contributor account for Her Campus at Ryerson.