Get to Know These Canadian Brands That Design for Real Bodies
The ever-growing body positivity movement has fuelled and overdue shift when it comes to fashion design, allowing women of all shapes and sizes to look just as editorial-worthy as their hearts desire.
Everyone from mainstream affordable brands like Joe Fresh, H&M, and Old Navy, to Nike, and high-end brands like Nordstrom have announced extended sizing as of late.
Naturally, designers in our home and native land have also helped the cause of countless women with their realistic sizing and design. Here are 5 Toronto-based brands that design for women’s bodies in all of their unique and curve-filled glory.
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Designer Lesley Hampton has been making headlines as of late by redefining the women who grace runways. During recent fashion shows, she has cast models based on personality as opposed to physical appearance and partnered with the Be Body Aware Project, which advocates diversity and inclusion in the fashion industry. Her recent Toronto Women’s Fashion Week show featured Boston bombing victim-turned amputee rights activist, amputee Adrianne Haslet, and models of all sizes (including one who proudly rocks a size 22), who hit the runway in the Toronto-based designer stunning eveningwear.
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Toronto-based brand Ninety-Eight designs their clothes for the 98 per cent of women who don’t fit into sample sizes, not – as the Ninety Eight website states – “women who could wear a burlap sack and get away with it” (though I am sure they could find a few fabulous finds in the collection as well). This means that owners Maggie Murphy and Michelle Germain design for women with hips, no hips, no waist, wide shoulders, etc. Their pieces lean on the more mature side are perfect workplace staples, with things like blazers, blouses, and dresses. You’ll also find comfy weekend wear, like oversized tees and tunics.
Toronto’s Miriam Baker is a godsend to the bustier set of fashion-lovers who are sick and tired of calling dress-shopping a chore. The entire collection of her timeless line is dedicated to women with fuller chests, designed using a different waist-chest ratio than found in typical sizing, and incorporating seams and details that flatter such a silhouette. Her collection is full of the types of dresses that become versatile wardrobe staples (the type that takes you from the boardroom to the bar), full of varying lengths and styles.
Toronto designer Mary Young offers an incredibly comfortable line of ethically Canadian-made lingerie and loungewear that is designed to embrace a woman’s natural body, yet still look effortlessly stylish. Helping your lazy Sunday cause (and every other day of the week), the pieces – a selection of bras, panties, bodysuits, and loungewear – is made with jerseys, knits, and soft elastics to offer restriction-free comfort in a garment that literally moves with your body.
Popular designer Hilary MacMillan sends strong messages down the runway and in press coverage with her cruelty-conscious collection of contemporary womenswear that steers clear of leathers, furs, exotic skins, or feathers. Offering a more inclusive line than some designers when it comes to catering to the curvier set, her sizes now go up to an XL, fitting up to size 14/16. MacMillan’s elegant creations have graced some of Canada’s most recognizable faces.
Do you know any other Canadian labels that design for real bodies? Let us know in the comments.
Featured image: Instagram/ @miriam_baker
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Erin is a Toronto-based writer, actor and queen of the side hustle. When she’s not writing the day away in a face mask, she’s taking in the city’s vibrant arts scene, doing a red carpet interview or brunching with her leading ladies. Follow me: @erinnicoledavis