In 2017, my 31st birthday happened to coincide with the day Prince Harry and Meghan Markle confirmed their relationship, by appearing together for the first time at the Invictus Games opening ceremony. Markle wore Mother Denim frayed jeans, Sarah Flint black pointy flats, an Everlane tote bag, and — the day’s spotlight piece — the aptly-titled Husband Shirt, designed by her close friend Misha Nonoo. I immediately coveted the classic white button-down and then realized, as has happened many times before, that it wasn’t available in my size.
Such is the life of a plus-size fashion writer. I’m the editor of What Meghan Wore, a site that examines the work and wardrobe of the Duchess of Sussex. Time and time again, history repeats itself: I report on an outfit Markle is wearing, I try to buy it, and my hopes are dashed because I’m above a size 14.
But across the fashion industry, the size inclusivity movement is gaining speed, and in May, Misha Nonoo added extended sizing to her line, taking iconic pieces like her Husband Shirt up to 4X. And it was none other than Markle herself who helped Nonoo venture into the market.
Here, Nonoo talks to Bustle about how the additional options are contributing to the brand’s success and how Markle inspired her to embrace the plus-size shopper.
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What initially inspired you to launch extended sizing?
It had been in the back of my head. And then I was doing all of these personal appointments with women, and they would come in and talk about their body shape and how they couldn’t find things that fit them. It made me feel it was a disservice — not only to these women who wanted to dress in my clothes, but also to my collection.
How did you dip your toe into extended sizing?
When we did the SmartWorks collaboration with Meghan Markle, she was adamant that everybody who was doing this had to go up to U.K. size 24 and U.S. size 28. She really wanted that, and it made perfect sense that we do this for everyone and be super inclusive — that’s very much her philosophy, her ethos, which I share. So we made it happen.
It was easy to begin with one style, and we had a lot of success selling it. It stuck with me that there was a customer who wanted our iconic collection. And I was like, “OK, this is a bit of an investment that we’ve made that’s really paid off, and we definitely want to move forward with it.”
Many brands cut their extended sizing during the pandemic, yet you were moving in the other direction.
It was always on the docket, and it actually ended up being pushed back due to the pandemic, just because of reorganization across the company in terms of production. And, frankly, people weren’t shopping in the same way. People didn’t want to think about a piece of clothing — they really wanted to think about their health and how to make sure they saw their loved ones again. Obviously, there were more pressing things to worry about.
But it was always really important to me. We say that we’re a women’s apparel brand — well, that should be for all women. At first, we launched with sizing that started from 0 to 12, then 00 to 16. As we started to see all these sizes really being consumed, we were like, “OK, now we really feel like we’re ready.”
Why was it important to add to the full collection rather than create a standalone one just for plus shoppers?
It never even crossed my mind to do it any other way. I don’t see any differentiation just because your body shape is different from another woman’s. By the way, every single woman’s body shape is different — two women can be a size 10, and they can be completely different. If people want to come to Misha Nonoo for a piece of clothing in any size, I’d assume it’s for one of our more iconic designs and styles.
Three months in, how is adding extended sizing going?
Really well. We have seen a lot of people buying the Husband Shirt in our extended sizing and other pieces as well. The demand makes me so happy because it’s our iconic piece, and for that to be able to be worn by everyone makes me proud.