What I Wore: Universal Standard (plus a giveaway!)

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universal standard misaOnce I was interviewed by a venture capitalist looking to invest in a company I've parntered with on the blog. He wanted to know an honest, unbiased view of the brand and to hear from a long-time customer. I admitted I loved the company, but wish they would switch up their marketing to not only feature young skinny girls. He told me that those over 40 aren't looking to attach themselves with new brands. That people become emotionally connected earlier on and stay loyal, and the older we get the less likely we are to venture from what is known.  If that's so, then why is it that Universal Standard is one of the most popular brands I feature on Wardrobe Oxygen?

alison gary of wardrobe oxygen misa dress universal standard silver snakeskin ankle bootsDress: Misa Dress (S) | Bag: ALLSAINTS | Booties: BCBGeneration (similar) | Earrings: Jenny Bird | Bracelet: Had forever (budget-friendly alternative) | Lipstick: MatteLast Liquid Lip in Evening Rose c/o Pixi by Petra

jenny bird the factory earringsMaybe because Universal Standard is what we've all been wanting but what has been missing from cusp and plus sized fashion. For those of us who have wanted a bit more modern, edgy, or minimalistic of fashion over a size 10. Clothing that is well made, from quality fabrics, designed to flatter a curvier frame. Because dress size doesn't determine taste or personal style.  Universal Standard fills a hole in plus sized, offering modern and elevated wardrobe basics (and a few fun looks thrown in). The pieces look basic but they're anything but: specific cut, drape, sleeve length neckline, and fabric is carefully chosen to flatter the US customer. Started in 2015 when Co-founder and creative director Alex Waldman was frustrated that as a size 18 she couldn't find anything decent to wear even on 5th Avenue in NYC. She and Polina Veksler together started Universal Standard in Waldman's apartment with an eight-piece collection. It sold out in six days and the rest is history.

universal standard green dressAvailable in sizes 10-28, Universal Standard has a unique sizing method (I for instance wear a size Small in the brand). It's a seasonless line meaning the same clothes are offered year-round. Their clothes are made in the US, Peru, France, and China. Universal Standard's founders personally vet all factories to ensure they meet and surpass all ethical standards of manufacturing and production. One of the coolest things about Universal Standard is the Universal Fit Liberty program. Customers have the option to replace certain pieces from US's core collection should their size go up or down, within one year of purchase, for free. I took advantage of UFL earlier this year when the Siene jeans (worn in this post, this post, this post, and this post) were too large. I think this is such a cool concept as we often put off buying higher quality and priced clothing figuring/hoping we'll lose weight. Now there's no buyer's remorse! And yes International readers, Universal Standard ships to you!

universal standard misa dress greenMy Universal Standard wardrobe is slowly growing, the Misa Dress is the latest addition (and one I've been considering since I visited the Universal Standard Pop-up shop!). This dress is like wearing an oversized sweatshirt, but the tie front gives it style, edge, and shape. I've worn it like this with silver booties, wore it with black tights and chunky ankle boots, and with black knee-high boots. I think this spring it would be adorable with a pair of trendy sneakers and I've seen taller women rock it with leggings. I find all the Universal Standard clothing I own to be high quality, launder well, and transcend trends. I am so thrilled that Universal Standard wanted to participate in celebrating you, the Wardrobe Oxygen reader with a giveaway of a $300 gift card to their clothing line.

How to Enter:

Wardrobe Oxygen X Universal Standard Giveaway

A woman with curly hair wearing a plaid blazer holds a green fur coat over her shoulder on a city street.

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  1. I’ve been thinking of trying their jeans! I do wish they offered more inseam options–I’m super short and even the 27″ will be too long on me.

  2. I find Universal Standard clothing to well made and excellent quality, Would love to add some more pieces to my wardrobe!

  3. I have been eyeing the curve cardi for sometime! I had the tee Rex in black and loved it, I snagged it on a nail and got a huge hole in it, need to get a new one!

  4. Thanks to you I discovered Universal Standard! I recently purchased the wonderful black overalls you featured on your blog, and would LOVE to try the Geneva dress in Marine. I am a solid size 12–one of those in-betweeners.

  5. I just received my first order from Universal Standard and loved everything! I think I would try the Seine jeans or the Talfer cocoon coat!

  6. Oh lordy the jeans look great and the fog dresses would make basic wardrobe pieces muuuuch more interesting for me, so at least one of those!

  7. I want to try all the fits I’ve seen you in. I like the idea of a “starter set” to create a capsule wardrobe, a concept I want to try but get stalled on every time.

  8. I borrowed my sister’s Geneva dress and it’s so comfy and flattering. I’d probably get one of my own plus a Rubicon dress as well.

  9. I love that dress on you Allie….I have the same one! I’d love to try the overalls and some of the sweaters — so happy this line exists, as I feel I can really be confident ordering and getting high quality and high style.

  10. I love this color green on you! I haven’t tried Universal Standard yet, but their fit liberty program is intriguing.

  11. The comments have pretty much convinced me to order the Moro ponte pants I’ve had my eye on, and also a pair of jeans and the dress you have on–love green, and it looks fabulous on you! Thank you for introducing me to this brand!

  12. I LOVE THIS BRAND SO MUCH and I turn 40 this year, which makes me just giggle at what that VC said. I have been slowly buying Universal Standard pieces over the past year and have been SO happy with them but one splurge piece I have been eyeing that I would love to get is the Hudson knit cape.

  13. This dress looks great on you!!

    I’ve had my eye on another dress that ties in the front similar to this one and now I might take the plunge!

  14. Usually I am drawn to dresses, but I find myself preferring the tops at Universal Standard. I’d love to try the Volga Jersey Capelette and rhe Marano Wrap Top, as well as the Jersey Knot Top.

  15. I have a pair of Universal Standard jeans I enjoy, and liked getting to try on different styles at the Nordstrom pop up shop this summer.
    I really like their outerwear- I covet the puffy coat with such a fresh shape.

  16. Love this dress on you and hearing the story behind the brand. I purchased one of their tops via a GB rental and love it! Would love to explore more styles!

  17. Love US! Currently craving the kanda puffy! Or the overalls, or the over the shoulder sweater dress…so many great Things!

  18. I love the dress you are wearing — so pretty and so flattering! I love wearing dresses but as cusp size I have not been able to find anything that fits, is flattering, and is stylish. I love the range of dresses offered and would like to try the Geneva as well as the Misa. As someone whose weight fluctuates frequently, I am intrigued by the Universal Fit Liberty program.

  19. Interesting writeup!

    Your autocorrect gave you “reasonless” in paragraph 3, where I’m sure you meant “seasonless”.

  20. What I love about Universal Standard is that you can check the look of the clothing in your own size! I can see the Geneva as a real asset to my wardrobe. Dress up, dress down and so many colours!

  21. I own four of their dresses and agree with Ally that they’ve held up well to washing and wearing. They’re perfect for relaxed business environments and taking casual up a notch. I’m holding off on pants with them until they offer petites as the rise on my 5’5” self has me ending up with baggy crotch. I have a growing wish list for their site as their style is pretty spot on for me.

  22. I just placed my first order! All inspired by you! Im excited to see how they look on me….I’d love to also try the jersey skirt.

  23. I love their jeans so much! I’m 6 pairs deep with those and I have 2 pairs of leggings (and I have a few t-shirts and a dress). There’s some sweet pants I want to try and a really chic coat dress. The quality is impeccable!

  24. I absolutely love this brand. It’s everything I want in plus size clothing, and it would be great to have the opportunity to explore some of their options. Thank you for the giveaway!

  25. I took the plunge and bought a dress and t-shirt in November. As an international customer, it took a while to get to me, but the wait was worth it. Everything is amazing. The fit, the fabric, the quality, but studio the marketing is all on point. They’re story the investment for sure.

  26. I love the Seine jeans in terms of fit, but to my surprise dislike the feel of the blend. I’m hoping a few turns in the laundry will soften them up. They DON’T bag out, however, which I appreciate. I also have a T Rex black crew which I find useful. I’d like to try the dresses, but have the same issue with US as I do with most brands–I’m a size bigger on top then on the bottom, so if I size up for my boobs, a garment tends to be huge from the waist down! Maybe the stretchier fabrics will work better. In any case, I need to get a job before I buy work clothes.

  27. I would give this gift card to my Plus Size friend who could really use some help with her work wardrobe. I did not see Petite sizes on the website. How do you find clothing to fit your petite frame? And no, petite does not mean skinny. It is defined as having a short torso, short arms and short legs.

    1. Some of the items are too long but in general I have had success. I link in the post to my visit at the pop-up shop where I tried about a dozen different pieces and was pleased with the fit!

  28. I love this dress. My first though was it looks like an sweatshirt tied around your waist. I love that you could go casual or dressy with it too.

  29. I remember hearing about the jeans orogram but I don’t wear jeans,much these days. But the universal fit orogram and workwear sound great!

  30. You’re right Allie! Women over 40 want quality stylish brands that cater to women of all sizes. I’ve had my eye on the Seine Jeans and the Geneva dress for a while, but haven’t been able to decide on a color so I haven’t committed. I just saw they launched a workwear line – so exciting! I hope I win. 😉

  31. I’ve only ordered the jeans and I was not as impressed as I hoped to be. They were SO high waisted to the point where they pinched when I sat down and my belly was raw from being rubbed by them. The fit so nicely when standing up and I am sure I had the right size. The fabric was thick, but I would have liked a bit more stretch. The black fabric seems to be a magnet for lint and pet hair. I will try them again, but maybe not the pants.

  32. I have been on the fence with Universal Standard, especially the “kits” you can buy. I think the colors are great (though I’d love some navy!), and they seem easy to mix and match.

  33. Love this brand. I’d never heard of them before your blog. 3 dresses I would have a trouble choosing between if I won the gift certificate are the Geneva (first item I ever looked at on their website), the Rubicon and the Katy. Thanks for the opportunity!

  34. I love Universal Standard. I have been looking at this dress for quite a while. I have a bit of a belly so I was concerned how it would look on me. I just purchased the tunic and culotte/cropped pants and I am looking at the jump suit that is in their workwear line. You look great.

  35. This dress is just great on you. I know exactly what you mean about the desire for edgier looks. They’re hard to find. It’s as if once you reach a certain age or size, you’ll pine for flowers and ladylike tents when they never appealed previously! I would love to try the dress you are wearing, but am also a HUGE fan of the Geneva dress. Thanks for featuring the brand and all of the lovely giveaways you’ve hosted this month.

  36. LOVE Universal Standar and love this dress on you. I’m headed to NYC in April and will book an appointment. In need to start saving!

  37. I tried their jeans when they were doing the swap thing with old pairs before Christmas. They are a bit high-waisted for me but I love the way they fit through the hips and thighs, so it makes me want to try other things in their line.

  38. I’ve been looking for a line like this moving into my new office job. I don’t know how I’ve missed checking them out before! I was hoping for the loft collection to meet some of these needs, but I’m not sure how that’s going to go, since the reviews aren’t great on a lot of the pieces.

  39. I love some of the pieces in the latest offerings. The Geneva dress, in particular. I’ve wondered if the jeans are worth the investment. Also curious if Universal Thread at Target is an off shoot of this brand.

  40. I would also like to try the Curve Cardi, and I have a pair of the Seine jeans in a size 12 and would also like to try them in a size 10 for a closer / slimmer fit.

  41. I would love to try the Curve Cardi. Who doesn’t love a good cardigan, but I like the look of the construction on this one. Simple, but with a twist!

  42. The universal fit liberty program is an interesting concept, and makes me more likely to buy from Universal Standard in the future.

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