Universal Standard

Do you know about Universal Standard?

I did not until very recently. Somehow the JCrew x Universal Standard capsule that I saw on the JCrew website several years ago failed to register. I thought it referred to a revolution in sizing, not a brand name. An opportunity lost.
Universal Standard is a relatively new, internet-based women’s clothing start-up based on three basic ideas: (1) that stylish clothes should be made across the size spectrum; (2) that quality clothes should be thoughtfully fit and fabricated with premium fabrics for a cost that, while not cheap is not prohibitively expensive; (3) that easy customer service should be an integral part of the clothes-buying experience. These are my words, not Universal Standard’s. You can read their words here. Read the whole page; it’s very interesting.
This shirtdress reflects all three values

I think I may shorten the dress by a couple of inches
Behold this charming shirt dress in a lively, irregular navy stripe on white.
The fabric is a cotton sateen that is still lustrous and silky after one machine washing. According to the care instructions, one could tumble dry, but I don’t know about that.
Is anything better than a loose shirtdress for late August heat and humidity? Don’t puzzle over this question. The answer is NON.

I cannot retrace the steps that led me to this dress, but as soon as I saw this photo, I was hooked. Can you see why?
The model is wearing my hideo-marvelous Dr. Marten sandals.
Said I to myself, “She looks great and I, too, will look great.”
In these photos, I am wearing my black patent leather sandals because they were handy. I did realize, however, that my white DMs are in the apartment. Purchased last summer, they were never “put away” at the end of the summer because the seasonal footwear swap (closet-to-storage bin) never happened.
She looks great!

Did you know about Universal Standard and keep it from me?
No, The Directorate wouldn’t keep something this important from me — even if you thought you were acting in my best interests

If you visit Universal Standard, be sure to check out the Erdem collaboration. Just search for “Erdem” and you will see charming floral blouses and denim pants.
This dress will be perfect for travel, including diplomatic dressing on international vacations, if I ever leave the United States again.
It will also transition well to fall, with hideo-marvelous loafer slides and a short denim jacket.
Mandarin collar, hidden placket covers all buttons except this perfect navy blue button at the neck

The self-belt is the simplest belt option, but I tried it with the weight securing system and a skinny leopard print belt just to test its range.
The options boggle the mind.
The self-belt is an opening bid

The Photographer and I need to finish our Berkshires entry, but to tide you over, I’ll share this.
The Clark Institute has several John Singer Sargent works.
Of all the beautiful and striking Sargent portraits of women, at the Clark and elsewhere, this is the woman I want to be. Doesn’t she look merry?
Bon soir, Madame Escudier

Dress: Universal Standard Santorini Fine Cotton Shirt Dress, currently on FINAL SALE

11 thoughts on “Universal Standard”

  1. For the uninitiated, Universal Standard is a wonderful resource for women of all ages, sizes, and shapes. I’m 5’3” (maybe) and short-waisted, so I do wish they had more petite tops, but I have sweaters, jeans, shorts, shirts (blouses and tees), and pants from US and love all of them. The quality is very good. They ship quickly and returns are a breeze (with immediate refunds). You look wonderful in that dress and of course have chosen one of their most interesting items. I may have to buy it now!

  2. That dress is gorgeous but yes, it does need to be shortened. I am on a new-clothing fast, having read a lot of disturbing things about the impact of fashion on the environment. So I’m sticking to consignment shopping at the moment. Here in the preppy South, there is no end to the JCrew and Banana Republic and Loft and Talbots to be had.

  3. I love the midi length! I wouldn’t shorten it, unless it’s hard to walk/stride in. How do you find sizing to run at U Standard? Their fit finder is putting me a full size below what I usually wear. I do remember their J Crew collab had some nice pieces.

    • I think US is generously sized. In the things I have tried, I am the smallest or second smallest size — but for many other brands I am a 4 (not a 0 or 2). I am not sure if they have specific fit charts for each item — but if they don’t, they should as it makes sejecting a size so much easier.

  4. This is a marvelous dress. The feel of the material alone is a tactile delight. The blue and white stripes always a visual pleasure. And last but not least so very comfortable!

  5. I agree with JT – I would not shorten it. There’s a kind of charm and modesty I really dig. I’m thinking you need to wear it with the shoes sported by the model. “If you have’em, show’em!” as my momma used to say…

  6. While I did peruse the J.Crew x Universal Standard collection when it was offered, I never took the time to visit the Universal Standard website to see their whole line. You definitely got the best of their dresses! I love the texture of the stripes and their gentle waves: straightish but not straight.
    Ignoring the fact that I probably never need to buy another pair of jeans in my lifetime, I’m intrigued by their selvedge jeans. I love the look of selvedge denim, but rarely see women’s styles.

  7. That is one super-sweet dress! I see so many classic striped shirt-dresses with self-belts and I am always attracted to them; seeing the slightly wavy stripes on this one makes me realize a lot of those others just feel a little bit overrepresented. (Which raises the question, when does “classic” become “overrepresented”?) A very tempting morsel, thank you for presenting it. Also, it looks absolutely great on you.

  8. I would shorten it to the top curve of your calf – the small point just below the knee. It retains the feel of the dress, but is a more flattering length.

    • My recommendation exactly. It keeps the overall proportions and “mood” correct but eliminates the stumpifying widest-part-of-the-calf hem.

  9. I agree about not shortening it.
    I think longer dresses are more comfortable to sit and move around in. You can bend over to examine the produce at the Farmer’s Market without concern.


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