This Aussie Activewear Brand is Changing Sizing Labels for the Better


If activewear wasn’t already popular enough, lockdowns have definitely seen its demand surging. Wearing something both comfy and cute that allows for versatility in your day is so necessary.

Activewear is a new must-have for me. I’m the kind of girl who likes to dress up to go to the supermarket, so I’d never really considered activewear as something beneficial for me outside of exercising.

I also have a curvy body and find that many activewear brands aren’t flattering on me, which doesn’t make me feel inclined to wear them outside of the house or gym.

It’s not that I don’t like showing my body off – trust me, I do – but activewear never seems to fit right on a body that has a bit of extra fat on it. Sometimes, I feel as though activewear is only made to suit athletes or athletic bodies, which feels really discouraging if you’re wanting to get fitter/exercise more.

Thankfully, we’re witnessing a change in Australian fashion brands, as we’re beginning to embrace size diversity. With this, activewear brands have focused on becoming more inclusive, offering more sizes and cuts to suit different body types.

This has been a game-changer for me and so many other women like me who previously felt that they didn’t look their finest in a pair of cute leggings and a sports bra.

Aussie activewear label Duke the Label is taking it one step further. Its decided to eliminate the size ‘large’ from its chart, in a move to support their brand ethos of inclusive sizing and ridding the labelling of women as ‘large’.

The brand’s sizing now ranges from ‘small’ to ‘extra extra extra curvy’, with it believing to be a better representation of Australian women’s bodies. Its modified size guide allows women of all shapes and sizes to feel empowered, beautiful, feminine, and confident.

Personally, I feel like this is huge. Sizes labelled ‘large’ or ‘extra large’ have always had a negative connotation to them, as being ‘large’ as a women has systematically been an undesirable aesthetic.

This narrative has been spun by past decades of fashion, only showing women below a size eight to be the ‘ideal’ body type, regardless of genetics, ethnicity, height, health issues, etc. We’re starting to see a change in body representation, as ‘real bodies’ are becoming more prevalent in media and consumers desiring a more relatable product.

We need more brands like Duke the Label, whose range of super-flattering activewear caters to all shapes and sizes and is crafted with every woman’s body in mind. 

“So many activewear brands do not cater to the reality of Australian women’s bodies,” found of Duke the Label Rhiannon Duke says.

“Women should be able to wear clothing that is both fashion-forward yet fits and is functional. Our bodies shouldn’t have to fit into society’s preconceived notions of what a ‘fitness physique’ is, instead, we should all feel empowered to get active, no matter what size we are. 

“The description found on a clothing tag should never size-shame you nor make you feel bad about yourself. At Duke the Label, we celebrate body positivity and aim to empower women to feel good and look good whilst working out. We encourage being active, no matter the fitness level you are, or the type of body you have.”

Rhiannon started Duke in 2018, after her sister, who had just had her second baby, was turned away from a store by the staff who explained the garment she was trying on was “the biggest size available”. The size of the garment was an Australian size 14 (considered to be the average size of an Australian woman).

It would be a pretty notable experience if this was to happen in a store in 2021. In a society where social media and instant communication are so prevalent, this experience, if shared to other consumers, would tarnish the name of a brand – and rightly so.

So, if you’re looking to get fit and look cute while doing it, regardless of your size or fitness level, it’s amazing to know that there are brands that are stepping it up to cater for everyone.

Duke the Label’s first collection, which took over 18 months to design and produce, is currently available online. Sizes range from XS (Australian size 6-8) to XXX Curve (Australian size 22). Duke the Label’s new range launches later this month. Stay tuned.

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