One size fits (sm)all: the reality of Brandy Melville

Aly Furstenau ‘21, Photo Editor

Brandy Melville: It is the clothing store that has taken the media by storm with their trendy designs and affordable prices. Teen girls all around the world want to wear their iconic pieces and take part in the style that is plastered all over social media, but the brand fails to cater to every body type. The brand has faced a considerable amount of scrutiny for their “one-size-fits-most” articles of clothing, and for good reason. In actuality, the sizes available exclude most of the teen and adult population as you can rarely find anything larger than sizes 00-2 on their website. Where there are stores that accommodate a more “petite” audience, Brandy Melville does not claim to be one of these stores. Therein lies the issue.

In response to the controversies surrounding their “one size” clothing sizes, Brandy Melville started releasing oversized sweatshirts, sweaters, jackets, and other garments, yet it still fails to include teens who wear mediums, larges, extra larges, etc. With the brand being so immensely popular—especially on social media—their failure to include a wide variety of sizes is unacceptable. What is more, John Galt, an extension brand of Brandy Melville, also participates in the same level of exclusivity without claiming to be a petite company.  This communicates to the public that there is a beauty standard that customers must have in order to purchase John Galt or Brandy Melville clothing. 

A national report on self esteem conducted by Dove (the hair, skin, and bodycare brand) found that “92 percent of teen girls would like to change something about the way they look, with body weight ranking the highest, and 98 percent of girls feel an immense pressure from external sources to look a certain way.” With Brandy Melville having a significant social media presence on sites like Instagram and Tiktok, one would expect the brand to be more inclusive. Instead, those that do fit into their clothing feel special and unique, where the ones who do not view their bodies in a negative way. Customer Nia Bass was interviewed for an article written about Brandy Melville, and she said, “I wear a 16/18, and I quickly discovered after sifting through the racks that there was nothing for me.” She continued, “Brandy Melville’s model is based on size exclusivity and a look that is unattainable for most.”

The brand thrives off of their 90s-esque pieces and their cute, yet casual, appearance, which is why so many teens flock to Brandy Melville to influence their fashion choices. Senior Lacey Smith said, “I do really like their stuff! Their sizing is super annoying, though, because most of their clothing is labeled ‘one size’ or XS/S. The brand is basically promoting a beauty standard that you have to be skinny and pretty to wear their clothing.” 

Indirect body shaming is no better than direct, and if anything, it is leading more teens to believe that they must fulfill certain expectations in order to be beautiful, and this is not a message that should ever be conveyed. Brandy Melville only chooses models who fit their idea of beautiful, and this ideal body type is projected onto what the public should look like. Brandy Melville is a multi-million dollar company and has the means to provide clothing to a larger audience, they just choose not to. There is no excuse for their negligence, and the sooner brands like Brandy Melville can acknowledge the majority of consumers, the sooner teen girls can start to view themselves in a more positive light.

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