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Here are all the posts in our Forum/Blog on the topic of Clothing: tops - casual/day/smart...

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

Hi Susan,

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.


Kim P    Sunday 16 February 2014 at 13:13

 Post #386 

Subject: New Season NP Range

Following on from my last post I also completely fell in love the pink and black NP Top. It is gorgeous and I'm sorry my photography skills do not do it justice. Perfect length and I love the way it is cut in at the waist to flatter the waste but not cling over my tummy area. The sleeves are a great length with light ruching at the cuff. It was such a perfect shape for me that I bought the black and cream option as well.

Thanks to Anna and Olivia I had a great days shopping and I really appreciated their assistance and expertise.


 Emma    Sunday 16 February 2014 at 17:23

Hi Kim,

thank you so much for your feedback about the new NP collection. There is a bit of a story about this...

Several years ago, NP was without doubt our best mid style collection. They are a Finnish company, set up in 1925, whose expertise in plus-size fashion was second to none. They just seemed to have such an amazing ability to style the perfect fashionable, yet comfortable and flattering garment for the plus-size woman.

Then something started to go amiss. It wasn't that there was anything wrong with the quality of their clothes, which has always been excellent. Nor had the price increased (I think they have been able to keep an amazing price-per-wear ratio), and the cut was a good one in the main. No, what had happened is that they seemed to have forgotten how to produce those magic clothes that were so perfect for us.

On speaking to their agent, I found out where the trouble lay. NP had opened a series of shops of their own in Finland, and had found that they were selling more and more of the smaller items (they manufacure from a size 12 upwards). This led them to start producing the kind of clothes that small people want! Sadly, I had to face the fact that the gorgeous NP, as I had known it, was a thing of the past.

Then last year we had an exciting development: their British agent (the superb Tuula Hastings) excitedly contacted us and told us that NP had decided to bring out a dedicated plus-size range, and they had brought back one of their incredibly experienced and talented designers. Tuula brought this woman into our store to discuss the new range, and I can't tell you how excited we were to see that NP seemed to be persuing this particular path.

Sure enough, last season, NP brought out its 'Curves' range, which is what they have called their dedicated plus-size section. It has been, in every way, absolutely superb. As you say, the fit is lovely, and very flattering, and, as an extremely experienced plus-size designer, and a larger (and very attractive) woman herself, she had been able to bring her own knowledge to bear on what the larger woman will feel comfortable, fashionable and attractive wearing.

I've just bought my NP Curves set for Autumn/Winter 2014, and I can confirm that it is just getting better and better. I'm really happy that NP is now firmly back on board with its plus-size customers.


 Kim P    Monday 17 February 2014 at 22:38

That's very interesting about NP, thank goodness they saw the light as their Curve range is great!


Emma    Saturday 21 July 2012 at 10:40

 Post #303 

Subject: Spring/Summer buying...

It’s that time of year again... buying time! It’s a time for excitement, planning, anticipation... but also a time for reflection. What, if anything, have I learned from the summer of 2012 that I can take with me when I am purchasing the collection for Spring/Summer 2013?

Well, the elephant in the corner does appear to be the weather. For about three years now, in early summer, periods of lovely sunshine have been few and far between. Situated above the jet-stream (rather than the usual position of below it), the UK has been colder, wetter and windier, at least until mid-year. Things often seem to warm up only later on in the summer.

So I was thinking about the criteria I need to consider when I am doing my buying for next year. Of course, there are many of the same issues that we always have, and will continue to think about (probably) for ever more. For example, I will be thinking about summer weddings.

As long as there are human beings, there will be love - and if there is love, there will be summer weddings! Weddings are easy to buy for. Yes, I have to use every ounce of my experience and knowledge to source items that fit and suit my customers. But other than that, buying for weddings is a no-brainer. No-one is silly or wise enough to second-guess the weather when buying an outfit to wear to a summer wedding. The fact is, regardless of how the rest of the year has been, it’s always going to be sunny on that one special day! And, in any case, you are going to wear that gorgeous outfit come what may!

For weddings, it's pretty, colourful, comfortable and suitable outfits, in ‘this season’s’ colours and styles, that my customers are looking for. Obviously the first range to look at for this kind of thing is Anna Scholz.

Then there is work-wear. Again, this tends to be largely eternal to what's going on in the atmosphere. Women are involved in every profession, and each has its own sartorial rules. However, most occupations these days do not have a proper dress-code. Most women wear smart-ish everyday clothes to work. So when I talk about ‘work-wear’ in particular, I’m talking about the kind of clothing you would only wear to work. Suits, mainly, or smart jackets and dresses. Again, this is a no-brainer. The environment in the average British office hasn’t really changed all the time that I have been in this profession. So buying it is all about finding out about the latest styles, fabrics and colours, and sourcing some great, invaluable items. I’ll be rifling through the Marina Rinaldi collection for the lion’s share of this kind of garment.

No sea-changes there then. So what will be different next summer? I think it will be the ‘everyday’ clothes that will be subtly different. In my opinion, many women will - either consciously or subconsciously - be looking at those items that they find have been the most useful during our recent wet summers, and will want to wear more of the same.

We have been selling lightweight trousers very well recently. And no wonder, because - during odd weather - it is very difficult to know what to wear, and a good pair of summer trousers, teamed with a great little jacket and lightweight top, is so useful. It also side-steps the vexed question of whether or not to wear tights! When rain is falling from the sky, it feels wrong to splash through puddles with bare legs (and, er... sandals?). Yet to wear tights and proper shoes, or boots, looks so wintry and feels so hot. A light pair of trousers worn with sandals or summer shoes is just the ticket in these situations.

I shall be looking to collections like Brand (who do super ultra-cool trousers), NP (whose trouser expertise is second-to-none), Verpass (who always have great trousers), and various other ranges to help me with the great summer trews.

A good lightweight casual jacket is a very useful thing in this weather. You know the kind of thing: neat and shapely, perhaps in an interesting colour or fabric, and made of stretch cotton. If you get caught out in a very heavy shower, it won’t keep you dry (we’re not talking about rainwear here), but at the same time it will not be ruined. And the rest of the time it looks flattering and feels summery and comfortable. It’s so useful you will not take it off when you come inside, and most of the time it will be great for outdoors, too. You put it on and you are good to go. Personally, I just adore Elena Miro's little jackets (see picture, right), so I will go hot-foot to their showroom and snuffle them out.

Underneath that jacket you will need a lightweight top. Colourful, with a bit of femininity, and cool - made from a practical, washable fabric. It will have to have a sleeve, because you may well have to take your jacket off when the going gets hot (which it could do; even in the rain it can feel uncomfortably warm).

Of course, a must-have is a jolly good raincoat. While we have been having all this wind, an umbrella offers little or no protection from the downpour. It really isn’t good enough if we are going to be getting repeated rain to have an old sports coat, or dog-walking raincoat that shows a sorry face. Nowadays, we may find a lot of use for a summer raincoat, and it had better look the part - and earn its keep.

Lastly, I have to remember that (hush, because I am whispering this now), it is actually possible that we will indeed have a long, beautiful, sunny summer next year. I have to be prepared for this, too.

This is the joy - and the challenge - of fashion!


askpreeti    Saturday 28 April 2012 at 07:36

 Post #285 

Subject: Increasing Trend of Plus Size Women’s Clothes

The women of the globe, no matter what measurement, have equal opportunities and the same goes with style declaration. Plus size fashion has spread its wings across the market.In today’s world, the fashion business has recognized that there are a huge percentage of full figured women who are looking for clothing for their type of figure.

Many full-figured women get nervous when it comes to dressing up for any occasion or party. Being attractive is about having self-confidence. Show off what you have and everybody close to you will notice it. Plus size women’s clothing isn’t as difficult to find as it was before. There is a great deal of remarkable plus size women’s clothing accessible today.

Tips for buying plus size dresses
1. Avoid shapeless, over-sized clothes - Don’t choose oversized clothes that are shapeless, baggy and old-fashioned.
2. Don’t choose clothes that are not well fitted or too tight. Clothes that are too tight or bunch up will draw attention to unwanted areas.

To look beautiful and fashionable, you don’t need to be thin-bodied. Plus size women can look trendy and cute by wearing the proper style of dress. Full figured women should never have a hard time purchasing trendy and comfortable clothes that they can show off at parties or any other occasion.

Growing market of plus size clothing

Designers realized that in order to capture a larger share of the market of women’s clothing, they need to come up with trendy clothing for plus size women. With the growing market and demand for women’s plus size clothing, online stores are also enjoying excellent business by selling gorgeous examples of plus size clothing. The plus size market is now outstripping that of the regular fashion industry.

In today’s fashion market, there are many options for plus sized women. From stand-alone stores, to department stores to online fashion websites; women with curvier figures can easily find stylish apparel to fit their lifestyle.

There are a variety of trends available in the present market for plus size clothing. There is great variety of formal, informal and casual wears, swimming costumes, professional attires and a lot more other kind of clothing are available in the market.


 Emma    Saturday 28 April 2012 at 11:42

Thanks, Askpreeti, for your views, which may or may not be seen as preaching to the converted!

Over the years I have found that few customers in my store need general tips about dressing... they know what they want, but they need help in finding what they want!

However, I think that your points will very likely be of great help to those customers who do not normally frequent a plus-size designer store, but who may be visiting this website whilst surfing the internet.

I think all comment, debate, views and exchange of information is vital, particularly at this time of change in the plus-size fashion market.

diane cullen    Tuesday 29 March 2011 at 18:52

 Post #205 

Subject: shopping trip

Just to say thank you again for your help today. Only popped in to see if some summer T shirts were in stock, and as usual had wonderful range of tops to try on. So lovely to have garments chosen for you, and they always look so good on.
As usual was found wonderful tops and super new trousers. It's always such a pleasure and relaxing experience. So thrilled to have such lovely tops, can't wait to wow my friends in Germany this week end with the exquisite ''personal choice'' chiffon top and sensitive trousers. Thanks you Emma


 Emma    Wednesday 30 March 2011 at 12:07

Hi Diane!

Thank you for your lovely post...we are so lucky to have such lovely customers, and such brilliant models for our clothes!

Hope you have a great time in Germany, and look forward to seeing you again soon-!


Emma    Thursday 16 December 2010 at 16:59

 Post #180 

Subject: Snow-wear you dare...

With all the extreme weather we have been having lately, I have been thinking about what I would advise a customer to wear during the whiteout. It always makes me laugh when I hear terms like ‘functional clothing’ – as if there were such a thing as clothes without a function! Yet, of course, we do understand what this means. There are particular items of clothing that come in extremely useful, and really earn their living when the going gets tough.

If I were to plan an outfit to be worn out in the snow, I would go full-on. I wouldn’t try to battle on with the kind of thing I'd normally wear, but embrace the situation and revel in it! There are no half-measures when it comes to snow and ice.

Clearly, the greatest level of performance is needed from the outer layers. However, it is not necessary to invest in some kind of specialist snow jacket. A good wool coat will keep you beautifully warm, yet it will not be too heavy. Wool is amazingly waterproof (I say ‘amazingly’ despite logically knowing that evolution has designed wool to keep those Welsh sheep dry – and that’s no easy task!). Wool coats can be really beautiful, with lovely colours and styles (there’s no need to be a slouch just because of a bit of bad weather; we are British, after all). We’ve had a number of lovely items in this season, and we still have some treasures in stock: a notable mention goes to a fabulous cerise wool coat (pictured), made by the German designer Brand. I have a Verpass coat (quite a few years old now), which I have really appreciated on the snowy mornings, and we still have a similar Verpass jacket in stock.

In general the kind of coat that's perfect for this inclement weather is what I would call a ‘car coat’; not full-length, like a smart coat, but a slightly more sporty, shorter length. Around knee-length is perfect, and very practical.

On the legs I would suggest a pair of narrow trousers. I do think that for the look that I am recommending, a slightly narrow silhouette is the right way to go, because it is super-practical and warm. There are very good trouser manufacturers, like Brand and NP, which produce excellent wool-mix trousers that are totally non-itchy and (unlike in the past) beautifully machine washable. These come in a number of silhouettes.

I would tuck these into a pair of low-heeled leather boots. A range I would recommend would be Duo (available online). They deliver boots that are fashionable, and that fit all calf measurements. The boots in my photograph are actually from Clarks, also with wider calves, which were easily available and reasonably priced, but with the added advantage of being waterproof. I would then (on the very snowiest days) fit a pair of crampons to the bottom of the boots. I am completely sold on these little gadgets now. The ones I have (which I bought online: there are countless suppliers) twang satisfyingly over the outside of the sole, providing an extra grip, with chains that span across the underneath. I have had so much more confidence when striding forth on icy pavements (slight exaggeration there... it’s more a case of me gingerly strolling with a mock-relaxed attitude, trying not to build up too much speed when walking downhill).

To help with this, I have invested in a snow-stick. Mine was manufactured in Scandinavia, but actually they are widely available from many different suppliers, and are usually found in winter sports shops. I know that sometimes a woman (particularly if she is of a larger size) can feel a little sensitive about using a walking stick, because she doesn’t want to give the impression that her mobility is in some way impaired. However, I am happy to report that during every day of the last period of snowy weather, I sallied forth with my trusty snow stick (with a metal spike on the end for extra grip), and the only response I had from friends and strangers alike was jealousy and admiration for my wonderful seasonal preparedness. Several people shot out to buy one after seeing mine.

Under the coat I would suggest a good long jumper, again of wool if possible. We’ve got a number of ranges that supply good long knits. Verpass produced my favourite this season: a lovely knitted dress/top, with matching waistcoat (also pictured, under the jacket). Wonderful.

So, if you will, imagine my ideal of a woman wearing her snow outfit. A lovely colourful wool car-length coat, worn with a fabulous new longer-length jumper and gilet (set off, perhaps, with a toning hat and scarf). The fashionable tighter-fit trousers tucked into leather boots, with the Artic look reflected in the functional crampons and snow-stick – essential on snowy pavements even in town. She only needs a gorgeous handbag to totally rock the look: sporty, snowy, snug and chic.


Valerie    Thursday 02 September 2010 at 16:44

 Post #158 

Subject: Autumn range

Hi Emma,

Does your autumn range include any lovely jumpers from `Simply'. I bought two of their jumper dresses last year and lived in them during the winter and they were fantastic - do you have anything similar this season?



 Emma    Thursday 02 September 2010 at 18:05

Hi Valerie!

Funny you should ask that...do you often find that you have a 'sixth sense'? We got some lovely Simply Dominique jumpers in today.

I will try to get a picture to show you, but in the meantime, I will describe them

They are quite long (actually, I think they are described as 'dresses'); they come in dark grey or cherry red, and they are in a very soft, quite lightweight knit.

The 'dress' (long jumper) has pockets, and gathers at the kneck, and there is a matching jacket (sold separately), with a lovely draped kneck and cuff detail.

There are even matching camis (in case you would rather put a jersey cami under the knitted jacket), and leggings....


 Emma    Friday 03 September 2010 at 14:44

Here is a little piccie of Jaq modelling the cherry-red jacket...

Emma    Saturday 28 August 2010 at 14:49

 Post #157 

Subject: Denim

I was chatting to one of my customers this week, who surprised me by suggesting that she was, in her 50s, ‘too old’ to wear denim. It amazed me because this point of view was itself so long past its sell-by date!

As most people know, from the beginning of the 20th century denim started out as a simple work-wear material, but at some point items made of this fabric started to take on a stylish image, and denim has from then on always lurked somewhere in the world of fashion.

Early on it was the fabric of youthful rebellion, with a hard edge. As the denim-clad James Dean famously said: ‘What am I rebelling against? What have you got?’

In those days, denim was for teenagers, and was an expression of a rejection of their parents’ smarter clothing aesthetic.

As the century went on, however, the spread of the denim look became wider and wider. There were the echoes of the manual work-wear look, with baggy dungarees and jeans, but there were also sophisticated disco-influenced designer denims, adorned with sequins, beads and embroidery. And there were stylish fashionable dresses that women-about-town were happy to be seen in, and soft and feminine chambray blouses.

Denim has so many advantages. It’s a strong, long-lasting fabric, whose texture improves with wear and washing. The colour flatters most skin tones. It is a natural fibre that breathes with the body and it is often seen as egalitarian and non-pretentious.

The denim look continued to mutate, and today is incredibly diverse. To take an example, we are now expecting a delivery of ‘jeggings’ a denim legging, from Anna Scholz. This is a real ‘fashion’ look: the ultimate take on the ‘skinny jean’, which is the perfect item to team with the ‘short dress/long top’ look.

Women come to us for wide-leg jeans, classic-leg jeans, and every now and again we still have the bootleg shape (which is coming back into fashion). We often do dark denim, washed denim, and coloured denim jeans. However, jeans are not by any means the beginning and end of the story for denim. As is now usual with this material, some of the new looks push the envelope into whole other areas.

For instance, in stock at the moment we have a wonderful Brand dress, (pictured) which, although it looks like denim, is actually made from Tencel, arguably a better fabric from which to construct such a garment, as it provides a flattering, cool fluidity.

But it is next season (Spring/Summer 11) that our denim looks really take off, and we have some fabulous items on order. We are expecting long shirts, with a gorgeous drape. We will have wide-leg trousers, and little soft denim dresses. We have ordered lovely long skirts and soft pleated jackets. Many of these items are not made from the classic ‘denim’, a cotton fabric that takes its name from Nimes, in France, where it originated. Some of them are Tensel, some Cupro, and much of it is linen. But the look is ‘denim’.

In the meanwhile, there have been technical advances in the classic cotton denim. New mixes of Lycra, which by adding stretch make denim so much more comfortable. The German range, Brand, has added its ‘sensitive’ fabric to denim; a new development designed to provide a much cooler wearing garment.

There are other advances, such as the innovation that LauRie, a Danish brand, has developed, with its clever tummy-support panel that makes its ‘magic Slim’ jeans incredibly flattering to wear.

So next summer, there is going to be a riot of different denim looks erupting on to the fashion scene. With the exciting designs, diversity of styles and aesthetics, innovative fabrics, and clever ideas, there is something here for just about everyone.

I’ve already got this season’s Brand dress, and I will be buying into the lovely Verpass linen denim looks for next season. In particular, I am looking forward to seeing a gorgeous Verpass linen soft jacket, which I have my eye on. It’s stylish, flattering, unique and sophisticated, and – like much denim – will slip very comfortably in among the other looks in my wardrobe.

It’s probably not a garment a teenage rebel would want to wear; but so much the better for that.


 Kim P    Monday 30 August 2010 at 14:46

Denim! That reminds me, have you got any of those pull on Brand jeans I like in stock at the moment?


 Emma    Tuesday 31 August 2010 at 12:38

Hi Kim!

Thanks for your question...the Brand jeans are on order, and we are expecting them momentarily! They may well come in today.

We are also expecting the new 'Magic Slim' Jeans from LauRie in shortly, which we are quite excited about. I would certainly be very interested in your opinion of them...

I have put up a picture of Jaq and I on our way to a party on Saturday, given by a dear friend to mark his 50th birthday. Jaq and I felt resplendent in our Anna Scholz!

 Kim P    Tuesday 31 August 2010 at 20:47

All sounds very exciting stock wise and what a swell couple of gals you look! The dresses are so nice on you and how clever of Jaq to have a necklace design that compliments the horsey print on the dress!


 Emma    Tuesday 31 August 2010 at 21:33

Thanks, Kim!

Yes, Jaq is indeed the accessories queen!


 Emma    Thursday 02 September 2010 at 16:33

Hi Kim!

Really looking forward to seeing you this Saturday...the Anna Scholz tunic top is here (and put by for you), as are a number of other tops that Kim thought you would like.

I'm glad to report that nothing dreary has come in this season....

 Kim P    Friday 03 September 2010 at 02:04

That's super!


 Kim P    Sunday 05 September 2010 at 11:50

Had a lovely time in the shop yesterday, lots of beautiful clothes it was very hard to choose which ones to buy! You have so many new things in store it was a real Aladdin’s cave. It was great to see some lower priced items too such as those Dominique trousers, they are ideal to mix and match with the more high end lines. The curved handles on the new design carrier bags are a big improvement, as you said they are more comfy to carry in the hand or arm. Like many others I now await the Brand jeans to arrive!


 Emma    Sunday 05 September 2010 at 17:04

Hi Kim!

Thanks for your kind words....I think you are getting the measure of our modus operandi now! We rush around, serving our customers, showing off all our clothes and generally being very business-like...then, once all the customers have been served, and all the clothes tried on, out comes the tea and cake!

Our cake on Saturday was wonderful: supplied by one of our long-standing customers, Lisken, who had baked it in a charitable cause (so it was OK to eat it!).

I loved those leggings on you. The way they fit is very flattering. It just goes to show that you never know what is going to be a favourite buy until you get to try things on!

I look forward to your next visit (once the Brand has come in).

I have put in a random picture of Pickle, for no particular reason...


 Emma    Wednesday 15 September 2010 at 16:24

Hi Kim!

You will be delighted to know that we have had the Brand trousers in.

Our Kim suggests you may be interested in a pair that is in the same style as one you had before, but a different colour. You had a purple-aubergine pair, and this new pair is a lovely turquoise-denim colour (it sounds not-so-good, but it's a lovely, subtle colour)....

 Kim P    Wednesday 15 September 2010 at 21:59

Thanks for letting me know! I will ring Kim, would def have to see the Turquoise as it's difficult to visualize them.


Liz Rylance    Wednesday 18 August 2010 at 16:42

 Post #154 

Subject: What a success!

Hi Emma & Jaq

I just had to drop you a line ('FINALLY' I hear you shout) to thank you for the 2 wonderful floaty tops and the absolutely stunning hatband that I bought from you recently. What a wonderful way to spend a few hours - thank you!

Needless to say, the hatband and top were a huge success at the wedding, worn with the lovely jade/turquoise wide leg trousers that I bought earlier in the year and a gorgeous turquoise swimming cossy to protect my modesty! Yes, believe it or not, I AM modest ;-)

Please ring me (as usual) if you get anything in that is 'me'.

Love to you both
Liz x


 Emma    Wednesday 18 August 2010 at 19:18

Hi Liz

Thank you for your post. You looked lovely in that outfit; I'm not surprised it went down well. I'm really glad you had it.

I will always think of you in turquoise... it really suits you!

Darker versions of this colour are the 'in' shades this autumn/winter, so I think you will love this season.

It's a very dangerous thing to ask us to phone you 'if' we get anything in that will suit you... expect to get called some time soon!

Kim P    Wednesday 18 August 2010 at 16:42

 Post #153 

Subject: Anna Scholz again!

I see the AS A/W 2010 black label collection has been released so was wondering if you can recall whether you will be getting the print jersey cowl neck tunic in stock? I may well be tempted!


 Emma    Wednesday 18 August 2010 at 19:03

Hi Kim

Thanks for your post! I think this is a picture of the aforementioned cowl-neck top, and I can see why you would be interested in it!

We are still awaiting our latest Anna Scholz delivery, but it is due any moment now. We will call you when it has come in.

As you (and any regular readers of the blog) may well guess, because of the pitiful performance of my memory, I just couldn't tell you whether we have ordered this particular top, although it's very much the thing that we would normally look to have.

However, this doesn't matter unduly; I can usually order items in from Anna that you like the look of, so you can try them on in the store and decide whether they are 'you' or not. So even if it doesn't arrive in the next delivery, we would be happy to get you one in.

We should also be having some gorgeous Nanso tops in soon, that you may well be tempted by... it's a dangerous time of year!

 Kim P    Wednesday 18 August 2010 at 23:37

Yes, that's the one! Thank you for taking the time to post the pic up, gorgeous isn't it. Fingers crossed you have it and you are right in saying having Nanso in stock is a dangerous time for me lol!


 Emma    Wednesday 25 August 2010 at 16:52

Hi Kim!

There's dangerous news aplenty! We've had in some fantastic Nanso tops, much of our Anna Scholz, and some gorgeous knits from the likes of Elena Grunert and Verpass (jacket pictured).

I will email you a selection of photographs....

Clare Ovenell    Tuesday 10 February 2009 at 13:49

 Post #7 

Subject: Thanks

Just wanted to say thank you for your help on Saturday. I got exactly the trousers I was looking for. Perfect material - nice and cool - and now I have some colour. Really looking forward to wearing them once they have been taken up. You had so many lovely things. It is so rare to have a choice and not just take the one thing that fits even if you are not too keen on it.

As you know I am now looking for the perfect white top - that covers that 'difficult' area. Please keep me updated as I know you have your new stock coming in.

Why is it that most designers for larger sizes never make tops long enough? They always cut them off at exactly the worst possible place.

Thanks again... I'm already looking forward to my next shopping trip.


 Emma    Wednesday 11 February 2009 at 12:35

Hi Clare

It was so good to see you on Saturday and I was particularly delighted that you ended up buying the cobalt-blue linen trousers I mentioned on the forum!

The subject of the length of tops is a vexed one. Everyone needs a different length, and most people need different length tops for different functions. For example, tops need to be longer over trousers than over skirts. This is because trouser tops have to skim over one's bottom (and sometimes thighs), not just one's tummy.

We solve this problem in two ways. We try to get a wide selection of different lengths (all long enough to cover at least one's tummy), and then we offer a free alteration service to tweak the selected top to the perfect length.

The one thing that many of my customers seem to agree on is that the High Street does not seem to have understood the need for longer tops for large women. I have a confession to make - although I feel just as aggrieved about this as everyone else, we do benefit from the situation. Women often travel some distance to come to the shop, often because they can't get long enough tops, shirts, jackets and jumpers. It's actually very good for our trade!

The question of why the big chain stores don't seem to have understood this touches on what I think is a fundamental problem in the large-size fashion world. The serial failure of the buyers to understand what we larger women require! Sometimes when I look at what the High Street stores are offering in our sizes I have to draw the conclusion that if they had just one larger woman involved in the selection process they would have a radically different range.

 Emma    Saturday 13 March 2010 at 15:29


You mentioned that you didn't mind me showing a photograph of the lovely long(!) blouse that you bought from Emma Plus this week.

Actually, we have had quite a few beautiful blouses in lately. This one has everything you were looking for: a lovely, slightly thicker, creamy linen, with generous pleats which didn't look too blowsy. It's got three-quarter length sleeves, and is a length that particularly complements trousers. It's by a company called Ellbi.

I know it was a white blouse that you were particularly looking for, but it's worth mentioning that this one also comes in several different colours.

I hope you are very happy with it - a really good blouse is a precious thing!

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