When Mallorie Dunn says #AllMeansAll, she means it. Dunn founded her clothing company SmartGlamour in 2014 “to help combat what I was seeing as rampant negative body image being displayed by women and femmes.” It is no secret that we are inundated with very specific imagery about what the “ideal” body type is. But existing outside of that narrow “ideal” doesn’t mean that we’re not beautiful and that we can’t have high-quality, stylish, well-fitting clothes.
So, SmartGlamour to the rescue. Offering separates, dresses, and intimates that range in size from XXS to 6X, the line features handcrafted clothing that you can have customized so it fits you exactly the way it’s supposed to. If you need the torso adjusted or sleeves lengthened, they’ve got you covered. It will cost extra, but who wouldn’t pay a little more to know their clothes are literally tailor-made to fit their specific body?
As Dunn told Scary Mommy, “SmartGlamour attacks those [media misrepresentation and improper sizing] issues directly by 1) offering clothing not only XXS–6X, but then adding customizations on top of that size range, so it truly is for any and everybody, and 2) bringing in folks to model our clothing that represent every size, shape, height, weight, age, ethnicity, style, ability, and identity. So when you come upon our website, our social media, our imagery, you can find someone you relate to, see the clothing on someone who looks like you, feel at ease and more comfortable, more accepted, and also order clothes that can truly be made specifically for you.”
Dunn explains that in her experience as a seamstress and clothing designer, she found that “everyone thinks there is something ‘wrong’ with them. That’s not the case. 80% of folks, regardless of size, reported it being difficult to find clothing that ‘fits well.'” With the advent of vanity sizing, it is freaking impossible to know what size you actually wear. It changes from store to store, season to season. No wonder so many of us have body image issues.
With mass production and the one-size-fits-all mentality of most chain stores, there is little room for nuance when it comes to size. Then there are companies that use unrealistic measurements to create their “universal” sizes. On the SmartGlamour website, Dunn is quick to point out that measurements mean nothing more than the amount of fabric needed to make a garment and are by no means an indication of anything about the individual wearing them.
That’s why diversity is such an important issue to Dunn, and why it was built into the very fiber of SmartGlamour from its inception. “SmartGlamour focuses more on women, femmes, and gender nonconforming folks because we are the genders that are not held to high regard in a patriarchal society,” she explains.
It’s important for women, femmes, and gender nonconforming people to see themselves represented because so often they are totally cast aside. Thin, often white, hypersexualized supermodels are a very small fraction of society. And yet they are most often the ones splashed across billboards worldwide, sending the message to girls, women, and femmes who don’t fit their standards that they are somehow less-than. This is wrong.
Yes, we are seeing a current push for companies to make changes in their advertising, but it isn’t enough. SmartGlamour, driven mostly by social media, uses models of all shapes, sizes, and abilities. Dunn shared on Facebook during a recent segment of the #AllMeansAll campaign that she was contacted by a customer who was thrilled to see a model using a cane in SmartGlamour advertising. Until now, she had never before seen herself represented in the fashion world. Comments like this illustrate how necessary and important Dunn’s work is, and why we need more of it.
SmartGlamour is more than just beautiful clothing. It is a movement. It is a statement to the women of this country that they are being seen and heard, no matter their size or ability. It’s showing that we matter, when so many people don’t seem to believe that we do. No matter what #AllMeansAll.