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MeUndies is the latest brand inching into inclusive sizing.
On Monday, MeUndies launched the “FeelFree” women’s collection, with five silhouettes made in sizes XS to 4XL. They’re made without an elastic band to make the product stretchier and more likely to fit a wider variety of body shapes. MeUndies created “FeelFree” out of customer feedback, specifically asks for a more diverse range of sizes. Prior to this launch, MeUndies underwear only sized up to a 2XL for women.
For those outside the collection’s size range, MeUndies rolled out another solution: a tool on its e-commerce site where shoppers can request larger or smaller sizes. On product pages, rather than click on one of the eight sizes carried full-time, shoppers can request a larger or smaller size, made just for them. From there, they are taken to a request page to enter their name, email, requested style and desired size. Once the request is submitted, it will take MeUndies anywhere from three to four weeks to make and ship the underwear, free of cost. Extended sizing for men will begin rolling out in September.
“In terms of the industry at large, FeelFree is important because it’s celebrating authenticity, which is especially timely given the cancellation of Victoria’s Secret runway show. What we’re saying with this line is that women’s underwear can be so much more than pastels and nudes with lace to make you look ‘sexy’ or ‘lifted’ or ‘flirty.’ We’re shifting the way the whole industry approaches women’s underwear,” said Greg Fass, senior brand manager at MeUndies. Other brands, from ThirdLove to Lively, and even Everlane with its recent underwear launch, have taken similar approaches with their collections, stressing that their products are designed to be more than just sexy.
Sizes made above a 4XL won’t cost the customer; while a single pair of underwear from the FeelFree collection retails for $14 for members and $18 for non-members, sizes outside that range will be free of cost. Price consistency was important to the brand, especially as some retailers do still charge more for extended sizing, a spokesperson for MeUndies said. Old Navy, for example. has been known to charge more for its women’s plus-size clothing, and the industry has continued to debate whether larger sizes merit higher costs.
With the addition of this extended-size request button, MeUndies hopes to gauge how many shoppers are buying sizes larger than 4XL before going all in by making the sizes readily available. However, the process does make it that much harder for shoppers who don’t fit in the XS-4XL size range, as it necessitates extra steps to place an order.
If there’s a high demand, MeUndies will roll out those sizes more permanently for this collection, the spokesperson said. If not, it will still keep its size-by-request feature so as not to exclude any potential customers.
Dana Todd, founder and CEO of made-to-measure marketplace Balodana, said that while the move to include more sizes is a good one, it’s not exactly a solution, considering the discrepancies in size charts across brands.
“Brands are still putting so much of the effort to navigate the sizing system onto women. Why is it my job to navigate this goofiness? Why do I have to spend my time trying to figure out sizing charts, now that everyone has just basically invented their own size chart. The lack of standardization has become chaos,” she said. While MeUndies is giving women the option to request a larger size, it is still up to that individual shopper to do most of the guesswork and figure out what size they think would best fit. It does, however, provide a size chart for the sizes it currently offers.
MeUndies may be one of the first brands in the underwear space to roll out a feature like this, but others in the fashion industry at large have tested the idea. Bridal gown brand Pronovias, for one, has opened its entire catalog of gowns to women of all sizes and is also not charging extra to produce perfect-fitting gowns in larger or smaller sizes.