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September 10, 2015 / Posted by:

Sandra Garratt’s Multiples!

In the very early 80s, fashion designer Sandra Garratt created and started selling Units, which was a line of affordable one-size-fits-all cotton pieces that were interchangeable and could be worn alone or together. The line was made up of leggings, tunics, bikini tops, t-shirts, etc… I’ve never heard of Units, but I have heard of Multiples. Sandra and her money partners got into some kind of disagreement in 1987 and that led to her selling her percentage of Units. Units was later sold to JCPenney.

When Sandra sold her piece in Units, I guess she didn’t sign some shit saying that she couldn’t put out a competing product. Because in 1987, she created Multiples, which was pretty much a clone of Units. This is how People described Multiples in 1988:

Garratt’s unisex, one-size-fits-all clothing consists of 22 pieces, including jumpsuits, coats, turbans, tube tops, leggings and headbands. Square cut like surgical scrubs, the cotton-and-polyester garments can be layered, rolled, tied, turned upside down or inside out and transformed in dozens of ways. The tube triples as a short skirt, a sash or a body-clinging top. The stretchy leggings can be worn on the arms, as well as tied around the waist.

Multiples was sold in Macy’s and other department stores and it was everywhere. I witnessed a glorious mall fashion show in the 80s where the models wowed the audience by showing us how to use the pieces in Multiples to take you from day to night. You could easily go from looking like Clair Huxtable’s spiritual healer to looking like Norma Desmond if Norma Desmond was in that cult from The Leftovers. In other words, Multiples could take you from glamorous to more glamorous.

Sandra left Multiples in 1989 and the line still exists, but it is nothing like the original. The pieces are expensive and look like something a cat therapist would wear (no shade to cat therapists). But Sandra has given Units its third life. She’s selling another version of Units and Multiples under the name ModBox on her website. That’s really good news, because fashion would die a quick death if we weren’t able to buy a pair of leggings that could also be worn as a shrug. Long live Multiples!

Pic: Pinterest

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