Brandy Melville from a teen's and a mom's perspective

Brandy Melville from a teen's and a mom's perspective

Mom's Perspective-

I have to be honest, I knew nothing about Brandy Melville until my tween started talking non-stop about it and asked me to take her there because she was "dying" to shop there like her friends do.  I, of course, listened to endless chatter about how cool it was and how the nearest one was in San Diego --which is an hour away from us--(she Googled it so she could locate it). So, I did what most tween moms would do. I said, "Sure, let's take a weekend trip and check it out." 

We called the cousins to join us for our little shopping trip to the south and set out on our adventure with four eager teens in tow (ranging from fifteen to twelve).  My nieces are all beautiful young women ranging in age, style, and personality; all of them had heard about this shop and were also eager to go scope it out with us for the first time too. My daughter had mentioned in her many chats that it was an O/S or "one size" shop, but I wasn't honestly grasping that and thought maybe she was misunderstanding the sizing or the concept she had heard, but after about five minutes of walking into the store, I realized she was spot on.  

At first glance, the shop seemed cute and like any other fast fashion tween/teen retailer with fun music playing, cute salesgirls and loads of other mamas and their eager tweens. The tweens roaming around giggling and holding up shirts while heading off to the dressing rooms in hopes to find some new clothes. I quickly realized this wasn't your average shop. Brandy Melville clearly caters to a very small range of tweens and teens (who, in my best guess, would have to be under a size 4 to fit into their clothing comfortably, let alone at all)! 

My beautiful daughter is only 12. She's about 5'4" and over 100 lbs now with a budding (not yet bust). She's slim with strong legs from dancing and your average-sized 12-year-old girl. It was hard-pressed to find much that I would deem wearable for her or much that would actually fit her outside of the "oversized" sweats and a handful of tees.  She didn't even try a pair of their button pants or jeans because she said "they wouldn't fit" and I have to agree with her on that. She did find a few tops that were stretchy and cropped (not my favorite) but, I agreed to let her purchase the handful of items she found.  My other two nieces (who are twins) are completely different. One isn't really into fashion. She would rather buy Legos and games with her money than clothing any day. The other is very petite and the clothing, while it did fit her, was a little too revealing in most styles for her liking so she settled on only three items. Which included a pair of sweats, a tee, and a cardigan.  That left my 15 year old niece who's 5'4" and wears a size medium.  

We chatted together about how ridiculous the store was to only offer O/S and how even the oversized stuff wasn't all that oversized. So, it's still not a true one size fits most which was pretty upsetting, especially to a tween and teen girl. I put myself in their shoes at that age. I wouldn't have been able to wear much of anything in that shop at all, was I overweight as a teen? No, but I was surely not a 0-2 and rail-thin like Kate Moss back in the day.  

I can't help but be disgusted by a shop that offers such small, limited, and very specific sizes that are not inclusive of today's young girls. It truly makes me wonder if this isn't causing a new wave of tween and teen eating disorders to fill those "Brandy" versions they so desire to fit into? Thankfully my nieces are very body positive as is my own daughter and they laughed off the small sizes at lunch while we ate local burritos followed by The Baked Bear ice cream sandwiches. Because, hello, we were in Pacific Beach and burritos and ice cream are a must. Regardless, my mama heart still couldn't let it go. While on the drive back, I chatted with my eldest niece and asked her for her true thoughts on how the shop made her feel.  

Below is her contribution to this blog and I'm so very proud of her for coming into the office and helping me with this post. 

Teen's Perspective-

Brandy Melville has set the trend for the "ideal" teen body, but just how ideal is it really. Brandy only caters to one type of body that would have to be between a size 0-2 and have about a 24-inch waist. For me, I go into Brandy Melville and have to laugh at the sizes. Most of them look like they could fit a doll, but I know for some girls it isn't that easy.

Sierra Schultzzie did a video  about Brandy Melville and the size comparison between a size 2 and a size 12.


It was very eye-opening into the world of Brandy Melville and just how one size it really is. Looking back on my middle school-self, I know that this store would have really gotten to me. The brand is targeting girls at their most vulnerable and insecure state, ensuring that they will have to buy their clothes to "fit in". Brandy has set an unrealistic body type to imagine and it's scary that girls think that is how they are supposed to look. I feel that this store is pushing eating disorders, because how else are you supposed to realistically fit into the clothes? It is definitely aggravating walking in there and seeing that only 10% of the clothes could fit me. I can't even begin to imagine how the girls who can't fit into any of it feel. The clothes at Brandy don't take into account that we have bones, we eat, and we are living human beings. Although I am very body positive and I don't really care what size I am, it is definitely disheartening to not be able to fit into their clothes because, after all, I am a teenager. All of my friends wear Brandy and regardless of what I say, I do want to fit in. Obviously, size is just a number and it does not define you, but sometimes it feels like it does. What is very upsetting is the fact that the top question asked about Brandy Melville on Google is, "Can I fit into Brandy Melville?" It is truly sad to see that this is what society thinks a teenager should be. No girl should ever feel like she can't fit in because of her size or what she looks like. Society's beauty standards are unrealistic, sick, and twisted. I feel bad for girls walking in there, like myself. I wear a medium in juniors, and that's the average size of a teenage girl. Walking into stores like Brandy Melville makes us feel bad about ourselves like we aren't thin enough or pretty enough. As a young girl, it is definitely hard to feel confident when stores like these exist. Personally, I don't let it get to me too much because after all if my friends don't want me for me then I don't want those friends. For others though, it is hard to let stuff like that go, as a young woman it can feel very lonely and I understand that feeling. The last thing you want to do is be different from anyone else.

With that said, a size is just a number and it does not define you no matter what others say. Personality and kindness will be what shines about you.

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Vanessa August 8 2021

I am quite tiny and honestly I like Brandy Melville clothes. I don’t like that it’s only one size and even though I can fit in most Brandy clothes I wish they had more sizes because even I have a hard time finding clothes that fit nicely and aren’t too big. And I hate to admit because I don’t support their ethics but I mostly buy Brandy for a number of reasons. To me it seems like after they faced a peak of backlash in 2020 they did change their sizes. I think they used to be more xs/s but now most their stuff is around a medium.

Ara Kim August 8 2021

Although I somewhat agree with you, I think that because the brand is based in Italy, and Europeans are generally very slim, I don’t think this is too out of the norm. Personally, as someone who’s 5’6 and 100 pounds and very slim, it’s nice to have a store that caters to people with bodies like me.

Ali August 8 2021

While I understand how it must be difficult to go into a shop and have nothing fit, this is a reality for a subset of the population that is very petite. There are almost no affordable stores that sell clothes in a 00 and XXS. It’s a constant struggle to find anything at all for my daughter to wear, so Brandy Melville is one only a handful of stores she can shop in. While I wish they offered a range of sizes to accommodate kids of all sizes, I hate seeing backlash every time a shop does offer clothing that caters to petite folks. It’s not an attack on larger girls or promoting bad body image; there is a population of people in this size that exist, and it’s also upsetting for them to go into nearly every store on the planet and not be able to purchase anything in their size. This disappointment is something my daughter faces regularly – she can never wear the clothes her friends are wearing. I’m also very small and face the same problem – especially with any sort of specialty clothing such as formal wear or outdoor gear. We should be encouraging stores to sell clothes in a wide range of sizes, from extremely petite to extremely plus size, instead of attacking them for fat-shaming because they are one of the only stores that actually does sell smaller sizes. Let’s promote inclusivity both ways.

Olivia August 8 2021

I totally disagree with the message they send, but I am petite, and it’s really hard to find clothes that fit me. Also, when you are 13, there are not too many stores that you can buy from, because you are not a fully teen where you can wear slightly more revealing clothes or a kid anymore. I really disagree with the message but I feel like there aren’t a lot of choices for girls my age, and I think for people my age who can’t fit into Brandy Melville, it would be even harder.

Kate May 16 2021

I 100% agree with the article, I am 14 and would DEFINITELY not fit into their clothes. I have never felt that my body was wrong, Im extremely tall for my age and a little ‘bigger’ but i never felt that it was a and thing. Till i met this company and immediately felt that i wasn’t good enough. To me it even seems insulting for their small sizes to be made to be seen as a luxury. Their clothes are adroable to me and thats the problem whey it makes me so sad/mad, because i want to wear the clothes! When it comes down to it a little blog comment isn’t going to change the world but i feel that maybe more people will help the issue of size inclusiveness and make it a better world for our new generations.

Daisy March 30 2021

In all fairness, I get where you’re coming from. My biggest issue with Brandy Melville is not that they carry only sizes XS/S, but that they equate this sizing to normalcy and trendiness. Theres absolutely nothing inherently wrong with having a store that caters to girls (as well as non binary people, men, anyone who fits into any of their clothing of course) that are naturally smaller, especially when it may be hard for them to find clothing that doesn’t sit on them baggy or outright fall off. The problem here is that these clothes and sizes are forced on us as trendy. The problem here is the mere EXISTENCE of trends and a societal perception of what is quote on quote “normal”, as well as anyone who contributes to or upholds it.

I say this as a 13 year old girl who is very small, and would definitely fit into Brandy Melville apparel, if not be a tiny bit small for it

Ami March 30 2021

Today I looked at my local brandy melville for the first time. Clothes seemed cute. I don’t wear cropped stuff our the short skirts.( I saw a lot of cute ones but I DEFINITELY wouldn’t wear them) I have to say they do seem quite small for very slender girls. I’m not fat but I’m not THAT skinny. I hope the store doesn’t effect girl’s self esteem.

Lauren February 1 2021

I agree with this article as well as the other comment here. I’m 13 and definitely not the smallest waist in the world, so I try to stick to sweatshirts, tees, and accessories when shopping at Brandy Melville. I’m 5’4 and 117 lbs and I feel fat a lot of times.

felicity February 1 2021

I half and half agree, although yes they carry clothing for a specific body type, it is comfort for girls who are skinny or small not by choice, just as there are plus sized stores; I know many girls that are upset with their bodies because they cannot gain weight. I can see how this may cause a change is societies viewpoint of beauty standards and causing issues for girls everywhere, their sizing is just more for smaller girls. Many many other teen stores carry the same styles but in foddering sizes, brandy is not fat phobic. And another thing soooooo many people forget, it is a European brand that has been in Europe for years before anywhere else, Most European women all tend to be very slim with similar flat builds and around the size 0-4, so in Europe it would be consider completely normal like all the other stores there, unlike other countries, we just have different norms.

Sara Jo Burton December 7 2020

I completely agree with your concerns. Personally, I don’t agree with the lack of sizes. I will say though that the clothes are most likely intended for older girls. I’m 16, 5’3 and a 110 lbs. The clothes are fairly stretchy depending on the piece and items I thought would never fit actually did. I would recommend waiting until your daughter is a bit older before going back because most everything is cropped.

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