“We’re thinking the best way to do this is to start with a size medium, see how that does, and then make sizes a little bigger and smaller from there”
And THAT is when we’re done with the conversation.
This is a direct quote from one of the dozen phone calls that we had with potential designers and manufacturers regarding our vision of what Sassy Pants will be. They were referring to our plan of providing a huge spectrum of sizes and shying away from the idea that women on both ends of the spectrum needed athletic apparel to fit their bodies right now. They were barely interested in dipping their toes into the waters of inclusivity.
While some might ask why this phrase was particularly off-putting to us, you first have to understand what it’s like to be forgotten and/or purposely left out.
We all wear clothes. As a society, it’s a basic thing we’ve decided is a must-have. And for quite a long time, we’ve been pushed as women to do whatever it takes to move closer to the “ideal” body type. We’ve struggled, dieted, and cruelly restricted our bodies to finally get where we’re “supposed” to be. We know the feeling of walking around a store filled with beautiful things and being told (sometimes out loud by the staff) that we’re too big for anything in the store, that our body is not worth companies making anything pretty. All of those experiences tell us our body is bad and that we are physically wrong for existing.
I don’t blame fashion retailers of the past. I know that you’ve got to make money and catering to S/M/L sizes is a simpler, easier road to travel. In the world of clothing it’s easy to just make clothes that you know will fit an overserved portion of the population.
But what about those who are underserved or even completely unserved by the current offerings of the fashion industry? It’s not easy and it’s not simple. In fact, for athletic apparel, there are specific boundaries that have been set for the size of bodies allowed to shop. Retailers and designers have a hard time wrapping their head around offering athletic apparel for women who don’t already “look” athletic. Most places that offer athletic apparel only go up to a 2XL or 3XL, with a small few going up to a 5XL. This is not acceptable.
Our vision is a road less never traveled. Our concept of changing clothes and radical sizing inclusivity just doesn’t exist. Yet. We’re committed to doing something that the rest of the industry just won’t do - making athletic apparel for a size XXS through a 7XL.
Turning this vision into reality isn’t easy.. In fact, it comes with a lot of hard work and very specific attention to detail for each size. We’re committed to learning about the shape of the body and the challenges of each size. We care about the woman wearing our clothing more than the number we sold this month.
So while our first product will exclusively be pants, we’re not going to stop there. We’ve got a queue of ideas and products ready to be created with you in mind, no matter your size. We know that you might be struggling to find all the pieces of an athletic wardrobe for wherever you are and we want to help you with that.
And to be clear, our vision is not to be the next Lane Bryant or Lululemon. We have no desire to widen the chasm that already exists between us as sisters who exist in this world with different shapes, sizes, and weights. In fact, it’s our goal as a company to empower women and to eliminate the negativity we might see when we are drawn into comparing ourselves to other people. Sure, some of us are a size 00, while some of us are a size 34. But we can and should exist together in a friendly, encouraging space.
So we’re not dipping our toes into inclusivity. We’ve jumped all in - excited to serve and celebrate you and your body just as you are.
Nancy's convinced that powerful change for good happens when you rally your most trusted lady friends and make a few dozen Google Docs. When she's not training for a triathlon or marathon, she enjoys a night at home with the world's largest bowl of popcorn, a bottle of wine, and Season 2 of the West Wing.