Universal Standard: Everyday Styles for All Shapes and Sizes

I’ve known about this brand for a while, but it took a me a year to really connect with them. After Universal Standard moved into their Seattle space in Belltown, they turned it into a 1:1 studio that’s open for shoppers, but also provides space for the community to host events. I fell in love with this concept and wanted to learn more about how Universal Standard is changing the shopping experience.

The Universal team invited stylists in the area to a meet-and-greet private lunch, where they not only introduced themselves, but also shared their vision of how stylists and designers can work together. That simple, personalized experience helped me click with the brand like I never had before! Meeting the Universal team showed me the side of the brand you don’t see from shopping on their website.

Why we love it at The Closet Edit

Besides the fact that my clients absolutely love the clothes, the space is open and well lit, making it feel more like a home than a clothing store. The moment you walk in, you’re greeted by a kitchenette, a desk, a large, communal table, and a cozy lounge furnished with books and green plants. The clothing is spread out tastefully along the walls, making the experience more personalized and less commercial. You try on the merchandise at the store, and the purchases are then shipped straight to your front door. Forget lugging around heavy shopping bags!

With sizes from 00-40 (They have their own unique sizing.) and mid-range pricing from $50-$200, Universal’s pieces are perfect for everyday wear. Each item is well made and features super soft fabrics, with styles totally on trend among a mix of timeless classics. It can be challenging to find items for my clients over size 14, but Universal always seems to carry a new piece that they love and wear often.

I also love the way this designer gives back! They have a staple line of basics called The Liberty Line that includes jeans and tees. If you happen to lose or gain weight within a year, you can bring that piece back and get a new one in your new size. Whatever you give back is then donated to a local charity called Dress For Success.

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An Interview with the Team at Universal Standard 

When you first started Universal Standard, did you ever dream of it becoming as big as it has?

I’ve always known that there was a great need for a brand like US simply because I was part of the 70% of women in America, above a size 14, that had been ignored by most brands.Today, we’re the world’s most inclusive brand, but our job isn’t done. We’re also helping other brands extend their sizes to include more people and it’s been a really gratifying process. 

How did you come to the decision to add the leather jackets and boots, to expand the collection?

We are all about providing our customers timeless, versatile, and effortlessly stylish pieces. A pair of boots that is cool and everyday, and a classic leather moto jacket are wardrobe essentials that everyone should have access to.  They were items that I wanted to create from the start because as a size 20-woman, I could never find styles that looked and felt good on bigger bodies. 

The 1:1 space in Belltown is open, inviting, yet modern and stylish. What inspired you to provide a space that was part retail part community gathering?

We held a series of private dinners last year for our customers and saw how much they enjoyed spending time with one another and having Universal Standard in common. They were surprised that there were so many other like-minded women, right there in their city, that they had never met until then. Seeing those friendships forming inspired us to create more opportunities for deep and genuine connections, which you don’t really get while shopping online. 

Personally, I think the showroom model is pretty genius, especially with how brick and mortar stores are struggling to figure out how to keep their place relevant to what their clients want. How did you come up with the model to have pieces ordered and shipped rather than ready to purchase and take home right away?

We think that shopping should be more than just shopping, so we’ve made our 1:1 space the complete opposite of what you’ll find in a typical retail store.  Our 1:1 concept is an elevated experience where you don’t have to worry about shopping bags because we can ship everything to you. It’s also why we’ve designed the space to feel like a home and why we don’t have salespeople, but stylists who are there to help customers find items with the perfect fit to suit their style. 

What advice do you have for busy women to take time in their self care regime?

Meditation. It’s life-changing. 



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