Cut To Size: YITTY By Lizzo Is The Brand Reinventing Shapewear For Every Body


yitty cut to size lizzo

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What will it take for fashion to become a more size-inclusive industry, from runway to shop floor? ELLE UK shines a light on the designers, models and advocates reimagining the body in fashion and pushing for a more size-inclusive industry for all.

Shapewear and body positivity are anything but natural bedfellows. Rather, they seem to lie at completely opposite ends of the spectrum, verging on the mutually exclusive. The former finds its (alarmingly ancient) origins in restrictive, constraining, girdle-like garments constructed to achieve some idealised body type – most often by painful, or at least uncomfortable, means. The latter, on the other hand, does away with perceived ‘imperfections’ altogether; instead celebrating all bodies, in all their unique beauty.

Lizzo, however, has made it her mission to bring the two concepts together once and for all – and as we imagine she might put it herself: ‘It’s about damn time’.

‘I have spent the entirety of my life trying to change the way that I look or reshape my body,’ explains the 35-year-old singer, four-time Grammy award-winner and former ELLE UK cover star. ‘I felt this pressure of constantly being told through what I saw on television or what I saw other women do to their bodies, that my body wasn’t good enough and I had to inflict some sort of pain upon it to fit into an archetype or a standard of beauty. I’ve been wearing shapewear – tight pinching corsets and underwear bottoms – for a very long time; since I was in fifth or sixth grade. It was really painful and I really felt that it shouldn’t be this way; we shouldn’t be ashamed of our bodies and we shouldn’t have to wear these contraptions to feel beautiful.’

I have spent the entirety of my life trying to change the way that I look or reshape my body.

Tired of squeezing herself into ill-fitting garments – an inevitability given most brands design exclusively for a narrow range of ‘straight sizes’ – and being made to feel ‘lesser than’ by mainstream society, the ever-trailblazing Lizzo decided to take matters into her own hands. ‘I was waiting for someone to change the conversation around this article of clothing that so many people wear,’ she explains. ‘It’s not comfortable. It doesn’t look like us… Eventually, I started to create my own shapewear pieces based on where I felt I needed to be shaped or hugged. But over time, because literally no one was addressing this, I realised that I needed to do it. I would drive the change.’

And so, YITTY was born. Taking its name from Lizzo’s childhood moniker, the brand launched in collaboration with Fabletics in 2022, offering a new concept of shapewear for every body, running from sizes 6X to XS.

‘The hardest part of creating a size inclusive brand was making sure that we were truly representing everyone in how we were designing and fitting the product. Believe it or not, that is extremely unusual,’ explains Lizzo. ‘We decided out the gate that YITTY would design and fit our collections differently; we would not design for “standard” sizes and then scale up nor would we design for “plus” sizes and scale down, like other companies do. YITTY actually designs and fits for all sizes and body shapes simultaneously, so our collections will truly fit every body. That was really important to me. It takes a lot of extra work, but it’s important!’

yitty cut to size lizzo

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Evidently, the hard work paid off. YITTY’s first collection launched to widespread acclaim and excitement, with many pieces selling out almost instantly – and the momentum hasn’t stopped since. Sales of the just-dropped SS23 collection are booming thanks to new stretch denim options, fun colourways and constantly-improving fan favourites; a cutting-edge gender neutral line is on the horizon, and sales are predicted to hit the $100 million mark this year. ‘We literally saw YITTY bring tears to people’s eyes,’ recalls Lizzo. ‘To see the level of emotion our story creates, and the passion people have for it shows that YITTY was needed, that people have been waiting for an inclusive brand like this.’

Though, by Lizzo’s own admission, YITTY’s creation was initially ‘a very selfish endeavour’, it has grown to be an important tool in the fight for size inclusivity, representation and body positivity across the spectrum. ‘From the start, the vision for YITTY was to make sure nobody felt ashamed, that nobody felt left out and that everyone could be a part of the brand,’ Lizzo explains. ‘We want to make people feel sexy, confident and beautiful in their own bodies.’

We literally saw YITTY bring tears to people’s eyes.

So besides investing serious time and effort into getting the size and fit of each garment right, YITTY also goes big on eye-catching designs – helping to firmly distinguish the brand from what one might associate with ‘shapewear’ in the traditional sense. There are ‘shaping’ items in the classic flesh colours for those who want them, of course, but as a brand YITTY is more about the bold, bright, and proudly worn. As Lizzo herself puts it: ‘It’s like wearing a piece of confidence.’

‘Shapewear is not for everyone,’ she continues. ‘But with YITTY, our vision is to redefine it and make it something people want to wear, because it makes them feel good. Some pieces have light or medium compression and some have none at all… We’re giving our customers the power to decide how they want to highlight their body and decide how they want to feel and that is a good thing for the inclusivity movement. YITTY shapewear is not designed to change your body, it’s designed to give you a hug, a snug, that extra confidence. Confidence is everything. It makes you feel empowered.’

yitty cut to size lizzo

Courtesy of brand

Having one of the most overtly confident, outspoken and downright inspiring pop stars not just fronting the brand, but wholeheartedly living and breathing it too, undoubtedly helps the cause as well. But, there is still a long way to go. As Lizzo sees it, achieving real size inclusivity is about normalising the size range: ‘When we talk about things and make it for the sake of size inclusivity, or make it for the sake of having “plus size” clothing, that negates the point. YITTY is so great because we literally make every design for EVERY body… We design on our 6X model and our XS model so that EVERY body gets the same experience, and can have the same piece of clothing. They don’t have to click on a link that takes them away to a separate room on a website that’s just for plus size so they can find their size.’

And frankly, it’s up to everyone else just to do better. ‘As a big woman who has been wearing what people would describe “plus size” my whole life, I don’t think I’m the person who you should be asking “what can we do better?” because I am doing better,’ states Lizzo. ‘I have created a brand where people like me can feel included while not excluding people who are in the XS, S, M, L sizes. I’m doing what I can do, it’s the brands and the people and the gatekeepers who aren’t changing that you need to ask. I’m showing improvement over here.’

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Cut To Size: YITTY By Lizzo Is The Brand Reinventing Shapewear For Every Body

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