We wish there were more brands that offered plus sizes, but the truth is that designing for larger bodies is not as simple as adding more fabric. Perhaps no one knows this better than Shanna Goldstone, founder of the plus-size fashion brand Pari Passu. “I spent about 18 months just doing research and development before we even launched our first product,” she told me recently.
Pari Passu has its own unique sizing system that takes into account not just your waist, hip and chest measurements, but body type as well. Because woman carry weight in different ways, and those differences become even more pronounced for larger sizes. Goldstone’s solution is to take one design and reconfigure it three times over to fit the three most common plus size figures, thereby creating what should be the best-fitting plus-size leggings of all time. And based on what real Pari Passu customers have to say, she comes pretty damn close to perfection.
Pari Passu’s best-selling Goldie leggings come in 21 sizes, seven for each of the three plus-size body types Goldstone landed on after analyzing research from multiple studies and demographic information. Shape B refers to a classic hourglass. Shape C is for women who are more or less straight up and down on the sides, carrying weight in their bellies with thinner arms and legs. And Shape D is what Goldstone calls a modified hourglass—about even in the bust and hips with a slightly smaller waistline.
And while this sounds all well and good, the best way to demonstrate its real-world meaning is by getting reviews from actual plus-size women who’ve worn Pari Passu’s leggings—so that’s precisely what we did. Here, four fashionistas of varying body types give their honest opinions on what it is that makes Pari Passu stand out from the sea of black spandex.