Strong visuals are a necessary tool for storytelling and selling in today’s image-driven world.
For Universal Standard, the New York City-based size inclusive women’s brand, visuals are also a way to help eliminate consumers’ sizing woes.
The direct-to-consumer brand, known best for denim and elevated basics, recently introduced “See It in Your Size,” an online visual tool that shows every one of the brand’s jeans styles on a model in every size from 00 to 40. Universal Standard’s denim collection includes 22 sizes of jeans and a myriad of washes and fits including bootcut, skinny, slight flare and overalls.
A visual representation of garments for every size has been a long time coming, says Universal Standard co-founder, COO and Rivet 50 member Alexandra Waldman. And the fit guide reinforces the brand’s mission to help normalize fashion for every size through representation.
However, developing the tool—which Waldman described as an “expensive” and “time-consuming” undertaking—did not come without its challenges. “There’s a reason why people don’t jump to do this,” she said. “It is difficult on every conceivable level, but we believe in changing the [apparel industry] for consumers.”
While retailers like Carrefour and Bloomingdale’s have experimented with virtual fitting rooms that allow consumers to try on clothes without ever putting it onto their body, and other e-tailers like Mott & Bow promote home try-on programs and free shipping to help ease the difficulty of shopping for denim online, the tactics lack a realistic and human component.
“We think that direct-to-consumer is the way many people are shopping and we want to make it as interesting and relatable as possible to whoever is making purchases online,” Waldman said. “Customers have been delighted by the representation and the ability to see their body size in their garment.”
For Waldman “See It in Your Size” is the way forward for Universal Standard. And she’s encouraged by other brands experimenting with similar concepts.
“We hope that this is something that the industry adopts because it is tremendously beneficial to the consumer,” she said.