Brandy Melville’s Controversial Policy: One Size Fits All


Richa Sharma, Staff Writer

Brandy Melville is one of the most popular clothing stores among teenagers around the world. It is known for its relatively inexpensive, trendy, and fashionable clothing. Particularly marketing towards teenage girls, the widely known Italian brand has sparked a significant amount of controversy. Beyond their seemingly harmless and inclusive intentions, Brandy Melville has one adverse policy: one-size fits all. 

Brandy Melville’s lack of diversity, both in body types and race, seems to be an alarming problem. Almost all of their clothing items fit the sizes small or x-small. Outrageously, their pants, skirts, and shorts fit the waist size of 23-25 inches. The brand’s attempts to justify this policy by using the phrase “one size fits most,” rather than “one size fits all,” does not conceal its negative consequences. It’s no secret that most teenage girls would not fit into these tiny clothing pieces. Kit Steinkellner from Hello Giggles argues, “what Brandy Melville means when they say ‘One size fits all’ is ‘One size is welcome in our store.’” Their website and Instagram page is filled with tall, thin, Caucasian teenage girls- the brand’s ideal appearance. Brandy Melville store employees and models on the website are rarely a different race. Despite their clearly harmful policies, they still promote themselves as an inclusive brand. Amanda Prahl from Popsugar explains a 2013 interview with Brandy Melville executive Jessy Longo, in which she states, “We can satisfy almost everybody, but not everybody. The one-size-fits-most clothing might turn off somebody if they don’t walk into the store, but if you walk in you’ll find something even if it’s a bag.” This explanation does not justify Brandy’s one-size fits all policy whatsoever. Many consumers have questioned the intentions behind it. Wouldn’t the brand want to attract customers with diverse body types and races? This would heavily benefit the company by promoting it to a much larger spectrum of people. However, Brandy Melville’s intentions behind this policy are unknown. They have hardly spoken on the issue and often tend to avoid it. 

Why does this policy matter? This notion of an “ideal body type” may easily harm the self-esteems of millions of teenage girls around the world. Teenage years are already known to be a time of uncertainty and struggle with self-identity and body image, and the brand’s policy may be intensifying these stress factors. Annina Hare from Linkedin points out, “The message that this claim sends to our already judgmental society is that some girls are not good enough for these clothes. By making their products limited by size, Brandy says that their clothes are only to be worn by skinny girls who will make their clothes look the best. This twisted marketing strategy works because it makes the product a luxury that most girls can’t wear because of their body type.” 

Brandy Melville’s one-size fits all policy shows the flaws of modern society. Despite the brand’s plainly damaging effects on teenage girls, Brandy Melville continues to be a popular, successful company.