“Everyone at Aisle was incredibly kind and professional and collectively invested in creating period underwear that is not only comfortable and functional but also really cute — a wild and ambitious aspiration!” Harris says. “I tested all the garments over Zoom, and gave them my feedback on material, style, wearability, how the materials fared after being washed, and whether or not the design might be improved by minor changes.”
Harris says that it was refreshing to have the brand take her feedback seriously, even when it came to small tweaks in design and overall aesthetic.
“I tried on the new bikini cut, and they ended up adjusting the design after consulting me,” she explained. “I had mentioned that it’s kind of cool now for fat girls to wear underwear that goes over your belly, but lets the side belly peek out. They updated the design, sent me a new pair, and it worked great. I also have a relatively small ass, so it felt really good to have them care about my body shape, and want to make underwear that actually fits my big belly and small butt.”
Aisle will release their Bikini and Brief styles in sizes XS-5X in spring 2021. These releases will make their entire collection fully size-inclusive, and they plan to keep it that way. It’s worth mentioning that the brand also offers gender and trans-inclusive in an attempt to show the world that it’s not just women who get periods. Their Boxer Brief accommodates both room for the insertable pad and a packer, and the brand’s marketing is totally free of gendered messaging.
“Access to menstrual products is a human rights issue,” Harris says. “People who menstruate don’t choose to do so. Having a brand offer thoughtfully designed period products in extended sizing is, no pun intended, huge. Having any vagina-related products packaged with sterile, traditionally feminine pastels that obscure the actual function of the product has done a lot of damage in making people who menstruate feel that they have something to hide or be ashamed of. Seeing menstruation talked about in a size and trans-inclusive, neutral way is really awesome.”
Considering Aisle’s valiant efforts to improve the overall inclusivity of the menstrual product landscape, particularly with regards to size, it’s hard not to think about why other brands don’t follow suit. If a small, up-and-coming brand like Aisle can do the legwork it takes to make products that actually serve a wide range of people, what’s stopping larger, more established brands with more resources? It’s a question that, according to Beveridge, Aisle hopes to answer by setting the example.
“I think that our transparency just shakes up the idea that garment sizing is a finite and standardized process that exists without the influence of people and biases,” Beveridge says. Sizing is truly not standardized, and there are people making intentional (or very unintentional) decisions about how garments are going to fit, for each and every brand… so trust us — if it doesn’t fit, it’s not you. It’s the clothes, and the brand that made them.”
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