There has been some hoopla in the fatshion world about Universal Standard offering extended sizes (up to size 40) in many of their clothing options – including jeans.

I have heard that Universal Standard really went all out in trying to get input for their jeans, including hiring models that could actually wear the sizes they were offering (up to size 40).  That they really listened to what the models had to say, and treated them was lots of respect.

All wonderful things.

So I decided I would try these jeans.

I haven’t owned a pair of regular jeans for quite a while.  I have some jeans from Torrid, but I don’t really like them much.

I usually opt for jeggings (denim-look leggings).  I find them comfortable and reasonably priced.

But I wanted to see what all the fuss was about with these Universal Standard jeans.

Here’s what happened:

I went to the Universal Standard website.

Found the jeans, and then checked out their size guide.

As a fat person I ALWAYS check the size guide because clothing for fat people can vary greatly (although this is usually only true when dealing with the “X” sizes – where a 4X can mean anything from a size 20 to a size 28).

I found my size, based on my measurements – Size 36.


I ordered a pair of jeans.

(And these are not cheap jeans – they are $90 a pair, but if they truly fit, I was willing to invest in a pair.)

Got my jeans.

Tried them on.

They were so loose, they literally just fell around my ankles.

Also, noted – these are not regular denim jeans.  The material is very stretchy – more like heavy duty jegging material, than regular denim jeans.

Went on the computer, and easily arranged for this pair to be returned (I was able to print the return label, but had to take the box to our local UPS store to drop off – but no cost to me), and exchanged them for a size 34.

Got size 34.

Still, way too big.

Now, I am truly frustrated.

I go to the website.  I cannot find where I am able to exchange the jeans – only return them and get a credit.

Well that would be all fine and good, except, in the meantime, my credit card had been compromised and that account closed.

I email Universal Standard and ask why (the f*ck) can’t I just do any exchange for their jeans (which apparently run no where close to what their size guide shows).

They email back that their system “can’t handle multiple exchanges”.

Another big WTF from me.

But because of the issue with the credit card being compromised they’ll manually put this through.

They also apologized about the problem with the size but that I should talk to one of their “size experts”.

I replied, that I find it disheartening that I would have to talk to a “size expert” simply to order a garment and cannot simply rely on their size guide to be accurate.

They send me size 32.

They fit weird.

The legs are tight (although they loosen up as the day goes by), but I can still pull them on and take them off without unbuttoning or unzipping them.

I give up.

I’m not particularly happy with them, but I’m keeping them.

I may (or may not) wear them from time to time.

I might care more if I was a tuck-in-your shirt kind of person, but I’m not.  Jeggings will work just as well (better in fact), they cost a whole lot less, and fit a whole lot better.

I salute Universal Standard for trying to expand their sizes.  They really do seem to be trying; but you really need to get your sizing figured out.  Especially at your prices.

When I buy clothing, I want to be able to look at a size guide to determine the appropriate size, and when the garment arrives, I expect it to fit (within the parameters of those measurements).

Right now, I am so not impressed by Universal Standard.

I just don’t understand how, after (purportedly) putting in so much effort to do it right, you got it so wrong.

us clothing



  1. Universal Standard had a wrap top recently, that looked like a wrap sweater that ballet dancers wear. I’d always wanted one but never seen one in true-fattie sizes. The picture showed a top that goes down to your hips, with ties that wrap around the waist.

    I got the top. Most wrap dresses and tops have a hole in one of the side seams at the waistline, to run the ties through, so they’ll sit at your waist and wrap smoothly around. This top didn’t have a hole. I tried and tried to put it on, but the only way you could physically do it was to mash up the bottom all around your waist.

    I wrote to customer service. Over the course of about four increasingly frustrating emails they tried to tell me that no, there should not be a hole in the side seam, and oh, there are so many ways to style this top! So they sent a video of a stylist putting it on, and no, it can’t be worn like it’s shown in the catalog picture. All you can do is mash it up in different ways. Essentially, the top they sold me is impossible to wear as pictured. Even though they sell three versions of it, in different colors, and all are photographed that way.

    I returned it, with that complaint. The picture is still up on their website.

    So, I’m not impressed by Universal Standard either.

    • I know just the top you are talking about; and yes, wrap arounds should have holes in them. In my (misspent) youth, I had a danskin wrap skirt, and I also made myself a couple wrap skirts and a couple of wrap dresses – the patterns of which ALL required holes.


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