Former fashion writer Alexandra Waldman remembers the time she and her friend Polina Veksler, who was in finance, were invited to a New York City networking event. “I told Polina I had nothing to wear,” recalls Waldman, a size 20. “I don’t think she believed me.” They went to department stores, “up to the furniture floor, past the pots and pans, to the plus-size section — it was really quite humiliating.” But the two saw an opportunity. In 2015, they created the e-commerce brand Universal Standard, which features clothing for women up to size 40. Their first collection sold out in six days, and Vogue deemed a recent collaboration with Rodarte one of the most important of the decade. Now Universal Standard is opening its first Midwest boutique on Ada Street. The store encourages you to call in advance so stylists can fill your dressing room with fringe blouses, flouncy jumpsuits, snug jersey skirts, and the like — plus, a glass of Champagne. “Come in with a group of girlfriends,” says Waldman. “There is no issue with size, so everyone can try things on.” 175 N. Ada St., West Town
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