|Welcome to the Emma Plus Forum/Blog. It seems hard to believe that we have been going strong since January 2009! During this time we have been spreading the word about new developments, shop gossip, and our passion for the world of plus-size fashion. We post photographs, answer questions, try to solve problems, and provide useful information about special offers and exciting events.
For those who like stats... we have had well over 300 posts now, with over 50 generous testimonials from our customers (many of which we have collected on our 'Testimonials' page in the main part of the site). Because this Forum/Blog is unmoderated we also get attention from our 'friends' the spammers, with anything up to a staggering 1600 spam posts a day caught in our dastardly spam net – which usually makes quick work of them!
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We want this section of our site to be fun, informative and entertaining, and offer a breath of fresh air to women across the country who have an interest in plus-size fashion. We hope you will contribute with your views and questions, as well as letting us help you celebrate your significant fashion moments with your photographs and stories.
We look forward to hearing about what rocks your plus-size fashion world!
Emma Friday 18 July 2014 at 16:55
| Post #402 |
|Subject: Curvy is Sexy|
For those who haven’t read my blog before, I usually keep a journal of my buying, partly to help readers keep abreast of latest fashion trends (and we really are talking about hot-off-the-press news: these are looks that will not be seen in store until next summer), and partly to give an insider view on my particular corner of the fashion business.
I have been going over to the big fashion fairs in Germany for many years now. I used to go to Dusseldorf, where, back in the day, all the ready-to-wear fashion labels that were worth knowing would accumulate in the massive CPD Messe Centre. Just to give an idea of the CPD centre: imagine the NEC in Birmingham, and times roughly by three, and then you barely have the scale of it.
About ten years ago, this massive fashion show welcomed ranges from all over the world, and saw a huge traffic of buyers and sellers who came to one of the few venues that really had everything. Great Britain had (and has) its own big trade shows, but nothing ever like this.
However, the recession hit, and this big show began to fade away. I still visited Dusseldorf every season to do my buying (there really wasn’t anywhere in the UK that could be relied on to show all the plus-size clothing that I need to look at), but eventually the show moved out of the huge Messe and into the fashion showrooms in Dusseldorf. It began to be a shadow of its former self.
The recession had another impact: many of the small independent plus-size fashion stores in the UK went by the wall. This meant that it really wasn’t that essential for the collections to be shown over here. Putting it bluntly, the ranges did not find it worthwhile to have agents or shows of their collections in a country where there was no-one to buy their wares.
So my best option is still to go to Germany to do my buying, but I would have to find somewhere that had more to offer now than Dusseldorf. I opted for the new plus-size fashion show, called ‘Curvy is Sexy’ in Berlin.
There were some arguments against going to this show. Obviously, there was the usual type of objection when faced to doing anything new. Would I find what I wanted in this alien environment? Isn’t it going to be awfully difficult to navigate a place I was completely unfamiliar with? This kind of objection (basically, the fear of the unknown) always has to be set aside in fashion. Our industry is all about the new, and welcoming change. If I ever find myself fearing changing my long-held habits, I should start to think that I am in the wrong business!
But then there is a potential objection about this particular show.
My main worry is that I do not really want to go to a specialist plus-size fashion event. This is because, as a buyer, my job isn’t just to buy clothes for my store. Pretentious as it sounds, it is to be a person who has some level of expertise in my subject. I really should know what is happening in the world of fashion.
When going to a plus-size exhibition, there is one main drawback, in my opinion. It is that you do not get an overview of what fashion as a whole is doing at any one time. Some looks are simply not produced in plus sizes, so I would never get to see them in this kind of a show. Yet I strongly believe that I should know they are happening, in the wide world of ‘small’ fashion. This is because I have the self-belief that I am capable of finding equivalent looks in the plus-size field that may in some way ‘channel’ the mainstream zeitgeist. Putting it succinctly, I don’t want to become stuck in a plus-size cul-de-sac.
However, after visiting the Berlin show, I was happy. There was plenty here to feel enthusiastic about (I will blog later about what I found), and it was a bit of a relief to know that, wherever I looked, I would see clothes that are made in sizes to fit larger women. This is not a common occurrence, I can assure you!
And if I want to make sure that Emma Plus does not get side-lined in a fashion dead-end, it is my job to do what fashion stylists do the world over: watch mainstream retailers, look at street fashion, and continually read trade journals and fashion magazines.
In short, do all the things I really enjoy doing anyway.
Kim P Saturday 05 July 2014 at 16:16
| Post #401 |
|Subject: Brilliant Long Skirt|
Just wanted to say I finally got around to wearing the navy long stretch Chalou skirt and Kim was spot on as usual, it was a joy to wear. Such an easy garment and so comfortable. The split is just right, enough so that you can walk freely but not so long that you are flashing something you don't want to flash. Best of all it can be worn all year round.
| Emma Thursday 10 July 2014 at 13:24|
Thanks for your message. ...so glad that the skirt works!
The long skirts are really in at the moment, & judging by what I have been seeing here in Berlin (yes, I'm doing my buying in Germany again), there's going to be more of them next season, too....
| Kim P Thursday 10 July 2014 at 20:06|
Great! Look forward to reading about your travels and what other goodies we can look forward to!
Maureen Kirby Sunday 08 June 2014 at 20:27
| Post #399 |
|Subject: visit to the shop|
We have just returned from our Cruise and hope to visit the shop very shortly. Spoke with Kim just before we went away and she said you sometimes have Tuesdays off so I will ring when we have a date in mind because it would be nice to see you following the very successful Anniversary Event in April.
| Emma Thursday 12 June 2014 at 16:00|
lovely to hear from you: I do hope you enjoyed your holiday.
Yes, our birthday was a fantastic day, and it was super to see you looking so well!
I do have Tuesdays off....I work Wednesdays to Saturdays. It really would be lovely to see you both again.
| Maureen Kirby Sunday 22 June 2014 at 20:41|
Will you be in this coming Wednesday 25th June as we would like to come and see you. Will hope to claim my birthday prize too!
Kim P Tuesday 06 May 2014 at 19:17
| Post #398 |
I was wondering if you had any long summer skirts in store?
| Emma Tuesday 06 May 2014 at 21:21|
Funny you should be talking about long skirts! Actually, there do seem to be more and more really long skirts coming in, both this season and next.
We've been having quite a few....one was a long black crinkle one by Verpass, which was a fish-tail style. Another was a long stretch one-perfectly straight with a split up the back-by Chalou. This comes in a number of colours, including navy and white.
We are expecting some patterened cotton long skirts in, and next season we are getting in a number of gorgeous knitted skirts that are very long. We are even getting in a fabulous leather-panelled long skirt, which I have already getting very impatient for.
To find out exactly what you would like, and whether it matches any of our skirts, do phone us on 01273327240 and have a chat to one of us....
| Kim P Wednesday 07 May 2014 at 09:54|
Thank you. I am hoping to pop in on Saturday so will have a look then!
susan mitton Friday 02 May 2014 at 10:03
| Post #397 |
|Subject: help please|
hi are you still open on Saturdays? also do you have clothes size 26/28 for a wedding I am 5 ft 10 and would like a trouser suit if possible hope to come down tomorrow thank you Susan
| Emma Saturday 03 May 2014 at 18:20|
So sorry I didn't pick up this message yesterday! I've had a little time off, so I don't know whether or not you made it into the shop today....
However, for the benefit of others reading the forum: yes, we are open on Saturdays, between 10am and 5pm. Anyone coming in before 11am on a Saturday, parking in the Theatre Car Park (right next door to our shop) & spending over £100 in Emma Plus wins two precious prizes. The first (by coming into Brighton before 11am on a Saturday) guarantees a lovely free and easy transit through town and a space in the car park (both of which can get congested on Saturday as the day goes on). The second prize is a voucher for two hours' free parking....what's not to like?
Our shop is also a stone's throw from the railway station and bus stops.
The other great news is that our stock-in-trade is wedding outfits, and most of our ranges are stocked in your size. This is a very good time of year to come, & this season's colours are gorgeous.
Emma Saturday 12 April 2014 at 15:39
| Post #396 |
|Subject: Our Birthday Celebrations|
There are moments in life that really stand out, and today is one of them. I can honestly say that I will remember it forever.
I simply couldn't believe how many of our lovely customers came today to help us celebrate our 20 years in existence.
Women were queuing at our door before we were open, and, when we swung the door wide, everyone poured in, and a kind of happy melee ensued.
It didn't take long before our ladies were perusing our gorgeous, colourful summer collection, and selecting items for closer inspection. For the first time ever, we had to give out numbers to people waiting to go into our four changing rooms. It has been one of our best days ever.
Some people brought us cards, some chocolates, some plants, flowers, and other gifts, but all brought us their best wishes.
There was a wonderful feeling of esprit de corps amongst customers who chatted to each other and to us as old friends, which most of us are.
In return, we proffered bubbly, punch, nibbles, and a birthday cake (see picture, right).
I think we are very lucky to be able to work in a place where we deal with such lovely people, and I hope that we will be able to serve our community of like-minded plus-sized fashionistas for many years to come.
| Kim P Sunday 13 April 2014 at 12:49|
Big thanks to you and all the super ladies at Emma Plus for hosting such a great event yesterday. The window display was lovely and the food and drink provided very much appreciated. The cake was delicious! It was exciting to enter the shop and be greeted with a goody bag; I am delighted with the contents! What an achievement it is for an independent retailer to be in business for 20 years and still going strong. I can honestly say the day I first walked into Emma Plus drastically changed the way I dressed and viewed clothes shopping and all for the better. Here’s to the next 20 years!
As usual the shop looked beautiful with so many wonderful clothes to see and try on. I think this must be one of the best seasons’ collections and with new designers complimenting the tried and trusted it was fun to look through all the displays. The event was so popular I was in awe at how hard everyone was working to make everything run smoothly. The shop was buzzing and everyone had a super time. Kim even had time to show me the latest collection of waistcoats.
It was lovely seeing Jackie and Jaq again, both looking great. In fact seeing Jaq trying on a gorgeous linen coat prompted me to try it on myself and I ended up buying one! I am also delighted with the gorgeous Verpass and Nanso summer tops purchased. I can’t wait for the sun to start shining so that I can wear them.
Thank you again for your generosity and hospitality; it really was a fabulous day.
| Kim P Sunday 13 April 2014 at 14:53|
Just putting my purchases away and I didn't buy a Nanso top at all, it was KJ Brand haha! I'm not very good with labels, the "Verpass" tops I was talking to you about yesterday were NP! Never mind, whatever the label they are gorgeous tops.
| Emma Tuesday 15 April 2014 at 11:14|
Thank you so much for your lovely comments. Yes, I am still recovering from the weekend, which was amazing.
I can't help feeling that we should have a birthday party every year!
I'm so glad that you found some lovely items: yes, I do think it's the best ever summer season. The colours this year are unique and beautiful.
I am looking forward to-perhaps not the next 20 years: that may be a bit too much, even for me-the next 10 years of Emma Plus!
Emma Friday 11 April 2014 at 13:57
| Post #395 |
|Subject: Our Pearl Anniversary|
I wish I could have a clearer photograph to show our lovely pearl anniversary window, but our problem is that there are reflections of our sunny street that obscure our picture. This is because the sun always shines in Brighton!
We are now putting the finishing touches to our party: the gift bags and tokens are ready, our fun quiz is devised, drinks are bought and food is ordered. The cake is on its way! We are all party girls, so we are really looking forward to a lovely buzz tomorrow. We hope you can make it.....
| Maureen Kirby Saturday 12 April 2014 at 14:23|
Hi Emma and the girls
Really enjoyed being part of your day and came away with some lovely things. Good to see Jaq as well. Hope the rest of the day goes well and you can have a bit of a relax over the weekend. Nice to see Kim again and meet Anna. See you soon.
| Emma Tuesday 15 April 2014 at 11:17|
So glad to see you again: you were looking amazing!
The day was a wonderful one, and it was so unique to have an environment which was essentially a party involving all my good friends, at the same time as showing off all the lovely clothes!
Everyone seemed to have such a wonderful time, and I loved it......
Emma Thursday 10 April 2014 at 11:21
| Post #394 |
We are up to our ears in gift bags right now, making the final preparations for our birthday celebration on Saturday.
We will be giving our first 50 customers a fantastic gift bag stuffed with fantastic goodies, and our first 20 customers a fantastic free gift worth £69.
We don't expect to see all 50 customers on Saturday, which means that we will in all probability be giving gift bags to customers for at least a week. So, even if you can't make the first day, it would be worth calling in to the store to pick up the gift bag if you happen to be passing soon-
We look forward to seeing you in store!
Emma Saturday 29 March 2014 at 11:51
| Post #393 |
|Subject: Our 20th Birthday|
We are so excited to be able to announce the celebration of our 20th birthday, here at Emma Plus.
Our store openened in spring 1994, and, although it does seem to have gone in a flash, that means we have been here a whole two decades!
To mark the occasion, we have decided to have a fantastic party, to which everyone is invited, and provide lovely presents for all.
The birthday party is going to be on the 12th April...all day, starting at 10.30 in the morning, and ending at 5pm. There is going to be extremely yummy food, and lovely drink (both alcoholic, and non). We are going to have a competition, with a prize, and there will be fabulous gift bags for all.
Most important, though, is our wonderful gift that we have especially commissioned, and which will be given free to the first 20 customers in our door on or after the 12th April. We are not going to tell you what it is, but it is limited edition, beautiful, hand-finished, unique, of the best quality, and will retail at £69...
We look forward to being able to thank our wonderful customers for all their fantastic support over the years. Without that, we would not be here. In many ways Emma Plus belongs to you.
| Kim P Sunday 30 March 2014 at 21:30|
Wonderful! Congratulations, I bet the 20 years have flown by!
I will be there!
| Emma Thursday 03 April 2014 at 15:01|
It promises to be a fantastic day. Our gift bags are causing a bit of excitement, and our free gift really is amazing.
More than anything, though, I think it will be the people on the day that will really make the whole event so special.
I am so glad to hear that you will be one of us!
| Maureen Kirby Thursday 03 April 2014 at 16:51|
hi Emma and Jaq
Remember me! We used to live in Surrey but now live in Hampshire and due to a lot of circumstances I haven't been able to get to Emma Plus for over 2 years - but guess what I am hoping to come and see you on the 12th. Will you both be there - hope so it would be lovely to catch up with you both.
| Emma Friday 04 April 2014 at 16:52|
How could we have ever forgotten you!? How are you? I often think about you and hope you are well...
I will definitely be here on the 12th. It's a big day for us, and I am so looking forward to it. It would be fantastic to see you again. You should see it here now: one week to go, and the excitement is brimming!
Jaq has become a lady of leisure, and no longer works for us in the shop. However, she is a dear friend, both to me, and to Emma Plus! I have every hope you will see her here on the day.
| Jane Thursday 10 April 2014 at 08:59|
Happy 20 years and many more of them.
Good luck for Saturday
| Emma Thursday 10 April 2014 at 11:14|
Thank you so much for your kind words of support!
I hope you have a lovely weekend: perhaps we will see you?
Emma Friday 14 March 2014 at 18:03
| Post #392 |
|Subject: Winter blues...|
Having now finished my Autumn/Winter 2014 buying trips, I feel that I can accurately give an account of the lovely fashion we will be expecting to receive next winter.
First things first - and I know from experience that every conversation about future fashion always begins with the same question - will we like the colours?
Well, I am delighted to go on record to say that almost everyone will be satisfied with the lovely hues and patterns that the designers have provided for our delectation.
There is, just as there has been for several seasons now, a strong monochrome element - playing yet again on the Art Deco vibe. Black, grey and white prints snake their way across fluid silhouettes. Sleeves are stretchy and narrow, but the body is enveloped in a wide, unstructured graphic pattern. The shapes are deceptively simple, but as ever with these designer ranges, cleverly cut to be ultra-flattering. Ranges like Wille run with the idea of the black-and-white print or weave, in fabrics ranging from jerseys to silk/linen mixes - to offer bold but elegant impact.
Where there is colour, they are the most wearable and popular colours you could think of. All manner of blues... from denim-grey, through petrol to cobalt... the span of this hue doesn’t stop until it hits ultraviolet. This looks particularly beautiful in prints placed against black and white.
A special delight for me was a range of gorgeous soft fitted leather jackets from Danish brand, Jorli (see above) - one of which, in the almost iridescent hue of cobalt blue, had my name all over it. I could see myself swanning along wearing one of the aforementioned printed dresses, with the lovely blue leather jacket layered on top.
As soon as I did so, however, the old ‘clothes rage’ returned. I simply couldn’t wait to get that jacket, and the prospect of having to spend six months without it caused me to grind my teeth in frustration. I am actually gnashing now just thinking about it. But I know that September will inevitably make its way here, and by that time I will be lusting after the following season’s stock on order!
If, unlike me (very unlike me) your passion doesn’t run to a cobalt blue leather jacket, perhaps I could interest you in a lovely brick-red one? Or maybe teal green? Or rather I should say, perhaps Jorli could interest you in one, because this is what they are producing this autumn. Any of these jackets would look mighty fine layered over a print dress, or even a long T-shirt and jeans.
German brand Verpass has quite a bit of the red, which again it teams with the black and white look. But there is so much more to Verpass next season than this. They are going for colour in a big way. Shocking pink, our friend the cobalt, emerald, and a pop of lime really bring this collection to life - and make it one of Verpass’s best winter seasons to date.
Anna Scholz has also surpassed herself with her bold must-have designs. Again riffing on the grey and black prints, she adds a pop of mustard, teal and (surprise, surprise) cobalt and chartreuse. It’s incredibly life-affirming and completely wearable.
In fact, if I had to sum up the whole ethos of Autumn/Winter 2014, it would be with those two words... affirming and wearable. I can’t wait.
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