Polina Veksler and Alexandra Waldman: She’s Making Sure Fashion Comes in All Sizes

November 16 - On The Dot
FIRST THOUGHT: One Size Does Not Fit All

We live in a world in which advertising comes in a lot of different forms, but not too many sizes. For instance, a quick scroll through Instagram reveals some cleverly disguised ads, many of which are for clothing and accessories. Your favorite Instagram influencer tells you where to buy her trendy outfit. The picture-perfect Instagram hooks you, sending you to the website to buy said outfit. But they don’t carry anything bigger than a size large, which, by the way, looks like it wouldn’t even fit your pug, Bruno. So, not only do you not end up with the cute outfit you went in search of, you also don’t have any self-esteem for the day. I say no more! Let’s give those size-prejudiced clothing retailers the boot!


Have you had this all-too-familiar experience: You’re squeezing into a pair of jeans in a boutique’s dressing room, totally horrified by the fit, when you hear several grumbles coming from other dissatisfied women in adjacent fitting rooms? Clothing brands don’t all follow the same sizing to begin with, and many of them offer more sizes for the middle-schooler than the average adult woman. In fact, Refinery29 reports that an estimated 67 percent of women in the United States are considered plus size, defined as wearing a size 14 or larger. It doesn’t take a statistician to comprehend that average-sized women are underrepresented in the fashion world.

WOMEN TO WATCH: Polina Veksler and Alexandra Waldman, Co-founders of Universal Standard

One of the perks of women starting their own businesses is that they solve real problems that women face—like offering beautiful clothes that actually fit a typical woman’s body. Enter Polina Veksler and Alexandra Waldman, co-founders of Universal Standard, which is slashing existing barriers in the fashion world and shutting down the long-held societal size bullying we’ve become accustomed to.

The online shop features everything a fab fashionista could ask for, from luxe basics to outerwear to trend-setting dresses and even stunning accessories. All Universal Standard clothing is available in sizes 10 to 28, so every woman can look stylish in modern attire. Finally!

Let’s dive right into some of my favorite Universal Standard looks. There are the supple and sexy leatherette Potenza Pants, touted by the company as the “ultra-cool, ultra-comfortable pants your butt has been missing,” as well as must-have fundamentals, like super-soft cotton T-shirts, adorable wrap tops and, of course, the classic little black dress.

Here’s the thing, ladies: Our weight can fluctuate more than our moods, which makes curating a killer wardrobe a tad difficult. But Polina and Alexandra’s Universal Fit Liberty allows customers to exchange sizes from Universal Standard’s core collection within a year of purchase. If you’re a size 20 in January but a size 18 in August, no problem! Returned items are even donated to charities supporting women in need.

Of course, being a modern fashion brand means Universal Standard relies on social media, like Instagram, to help drive awareness and sales. But unlike most size-fixated brands, Universal Standard’s social media features real-life women rockin’ their fashion-forward looks.

By the way, Orange is the New Black star Danielle Brooks (aka Taystee) is debuting her designer prowess by collaborating with Universal Standard. Her Tria collection includes perfect-fit overalls, a lovely off-the-shoulder sweater dress and a statement-making poplin dress.

Thanks, Polina and Alexandra, for working to create real, lasting and much-needed change in the fashion industry. You’re definitely setting a whole new standard!


Let’s zip up the day with a quote from British singer-songwriter, Paloma Faith, who said:

“Curvy is something to be proud of.”

This is Melinda Garvey signing off until next time. Remember, ladies, empowered women empower other women. Share On the Dot so more women can have a voice. Thanks for getting ready with us.

To learn more about our conversation, check us out at OnTheDotWoman.com and talk to us @OnTheDotWoman on Twitter and Instagram. We’d love to hear your voice.

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