I’m going to be frank: I didn’t think I would be doing an update on this brand, or revisiting this blog post about fat bodies and marketing tools. But, I am happy to be wrong and excited to share an update with the brand MARY YOUNG.
A reintroduction, if you will.
You can check out the full post that I linked above to get the full picture. I wrote a blog post at the end of 2020 that zeroed in on a few brands that I had personal experience with (the blog theme as a whole can apply to SO many brands and that isn’t lost on me).
Two of the brands I mentioned reached out to me: Knix, in a not-so-professional way that caused backlash against me including removing me from their lists, and MARY YOUNG, who thanked me for feedback and mentioned they wanted to expand sizing soon when they reached out early this year.
Low and behold, they have delivered. Now it’s still not an inclusive range, but it’s a step that I respect.
Meet MARY YOUNG
The Toronto brand was founded in 2014 by, you guessed it, Mary Young who wanted to fill the gap in the intimates market and empower women with different body types. The brand also has a huge focus on sustainability and ensuring the garments are ethically made. I was thrilled when my package arrived with not one piece of plastic in sight!
They are a small team (only 4 right!) and the items are made in Montreal. They talk more in-depth about their company’s values here.
Initially, when I first met MARY YOUNG years ago at the event I mentioned, they only carried up to an extra-large in some, a large in most. I was disappointed, of course, the brand is gorgeous.
As of right now, the brand goes up to an XXL/2X, but only in a select group of pieces – around 50% of the selection I think. They haven’t updated their sizing guide just yet, but for reference, the XL was a 10/12 previously – also important to note that MARY YOUNG’s XXL is somehow still bigger than the other brand I mentioned’s XXXL so that’s a discrepancy in sizing that confuses me a bit.
This is still not a huge range, but they have planned to roll out even more sizes this year — but understandably COVID-19 had affected the brand heavily.
Mary owns that the brand has fallen short on the size range and does not want to make excuses, more wanted to give insight on what goes on for their brand.
On one hand, 7 years is a long time to wait and then expand a size range.
On the other, I respect a brand owning up to their shortcomings and acknowledging that they need to do better.
I also, and I mentioned this in my Instagram stories when the package arrived, have more patience with a small brand than a world-wide brand that uses factories overseas for production.
Thoughts on what I’ve tried
MARY YOUNG sent me a set that truly is beautiful. I have never been a blue gal, but I think I found my new fave colour on me! Both pieces are from their latest MY Essential collection.
When I first opened it I was scared, they looked so tiny. I immediately got my sister to try on the bra first – fully convinced it would not fit me (now she wants one too).
The Mayes Bra in Sky Blue is COMFY. It has a good amount of stretch in it that it fit like my other bralettes, but I haven’t worn one that wasn’t a long line style in so long it threw me off. Now it’s not supportive – or rather it’s not one for like a yoga class. It’s for lounging, maybe running a few errands. I had no discomfort or anything but it’s something to keep in mind.
The Moana Hip Bikini in Sky Blue is the same super soft material that’s stretchy and breathable. I am not and will never be a fan of anything other than high-rise so that’s a hurdle for me but they didn’t fall down as I expected them to!
Since receiving these, I already have another set on the way – the Cainan Tank and Orly High Brief in Dusty Rose.
I am very grateful for MARY YOUNG’s response – I didn’t tag any brands when I shared that post months ago because it didn’t seem needed. I didn’t expect a response and then after the backlash, I thought all responses would be negative anyway.
It’s mind-blowing the difference between the two founders and how they react to criticism, and Mary’s email was every bit as supportive as it was compassionate. It opened a conversation, instead of shutting down any feelings/thoughts I had.
I still recognize that I am privileged in many ways, including my size, and this lets me try this brand among many others. I don’t think that wanting a brand to be inclusive is just about me though – it’s about friends and family. Or younger me, who hated shopping because I didn’t know a plus-sized store until highschool.
And, for the record, while they did offer to send me products when the new sizes were made, they actually don’t know I would write this. Neither did I really, until late last night while I was tapping away at my phone screen. But I think that talking about a positive outcome and growth is just as, if not more important than showing a negative one.
But I am very excited to see what MARY YOUNG releases next and to see if they continue to deliver to plus-size bodies.