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

Kim P    Friday 09 October 2015 at 21:25

 Post #451 

Subject: KJ Brand Sensitive Trousers

Hi Ladies

Thanks for posting the KJ Brand Sensitive trousers after the alterations on leg length.

I had bought the crop trousers in the Summer and was pleased that a full length version was available for Autumn / Winter.

These must be the most comfortable trousers I have worn and now surpass my previous NP favourites. The fabric is so soft and light and the waistband is excellent. It is so comfy and does not roll or cut in at all.

What I also like is that you can decide what look you want by changing the size. I can't think of many trousers where you can wear a range of sizes and each size fits beautifully. I ordered a smaller size as I wanted more of a legging look for under tunics and dresses but I could have ordered a larger size for a conventional straight trouser leg.

They are just brilliant, I have the black and blue and hope that KJ Brand bring out a range of colours in the coming seasons.


 Emma    Saturday 10 October 2015 at 15:58

Hi Kim,

Thanks for your post, and your lovely words about our trousers!

You are so right -I too have three pairs of those trousers. My normal size (18) fit me close to the leg -a great look for under the kind of tunic which one of my nieces would call a dress, but which I would call a top! I also have a pair of size 22 ones, which are more of a classic trouser shape on me. They are just so cool and comfortable!

Next summer, Brand are selling them in white as well as the black, but as yet don't appear to be contemplating any other colours. However, I am agitating for them to broaden their choice!


Emma    Saturday 05 September 2015 at 17:09

 Post #450 

Subject: Autumn Promotion

Now that we are having our lovely Autumn/Winter 15 stock flooding into store, we have decided to do a special Autumn Promotion, just to kick the season off with a bit of extra excitement.

We looked around and saw that we have some of the very best coats that we've ever had, and decided that we will promote them with a discount offer.

The offer is £50-plus off selected coats, and £25-plus off certain trousers, and is for a limited time only!


 Kim P    Saturday 12 September 2015 at 19:44

What a great offer. I picked up a beautiful Christina Felix coat last year when you ran a similar promotion and I've lost count of the number of compliments I've had wearing it.

I must try and get into the store soon and pick up my new Tomo dress. Kim and Anna were so helpful when I called today.


 Emma    Sunday 13 September 2015 at 16:40

Ooooooo......Kim! Beware! We've had some AMAZING things in!

Thank you for your kind words -look forward to seeing you soon.



Emma    Friday 26 September 2014 at 12:57

 Post #411 

Subject: Trouser Day

Have you ever bought a pair of lovely-looking trousers online, only to discover when they arrive that they look like someone has draped you in a sack from the waist down? Or gone into a chain store and tried on a pair that are supposed to be your size, only to find that you can only get them half way up your calves?

Have you ever looked at women walking down the street looking fabulous in pairs of trousers that fit them the way you can never get trousers to fit you? Or wondered whether you can pull off a pair of this year’s must-have styles? And if you could, where on earth would you find them? Have you longed to get the perfect pair of trousers to go with your favourite tops? You need long no longer!

Emma Plus is remedying these problems by holding our third Trouser Day. To those in the know, these incredibly popular events showcase every different shape, style and fabric of trousers, and bring together all our trouser-fit expertise in one place at one time. This Trouser Day is going to be on Saturday 27th September. We will open our doors at 10am.

As a special treat for our regulars, with every pair of our trousers you buy, you can choose from a selection of trousers to have a second pair half price! This half price offer lasts for the length of this season.

As with all our special events, there will be a lovely social atmosphere on the day, and yummy refreshments will be served.

Anyone spending over £100 will be given 2 hours' free parking at our next-door car park....

We look forward to seeing you in store.


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 12 January 2014 at 11:47

 Post #382 

Subject: NP Trousers

I couldn't believe how comfortable the new collection of NP trousers were when I tried them on yesterday. You could forget you were wearing them!

The straight black leg is very flattering and it's nice to have pockets that don't stick out or add bulk. Another winner, I look forward to wearing them once the length is altered.


 Emma    Monday 13 January 2014 at 00:11

Hi Kim,

It was lovely to see you at our SuperSale yesterday. Thank you so much for your kind comments about your new trousers.

As I mentioned to you when you were having them pinned to the correct length, fabric technology has come an enormous way since I have been working in the shop. I can remember the very first pairs of trousers that contained Lycra in the weave of the fabric (which were supplied by Finnish brand, NP). As usual, the new fabrics took years to make it into the high street brands, being introduced first into the designer ranges. It sounds ridiculous now, but the idea was originally something of a tough sell to many customers who assumed that it would mean that trousers would 'look' stretchy: ie clingy, track-suity, or looking like something Max Wall would wear. There were times when I (in an uncharacteristically bombastic way) threatened to give a pair of the new-fangled trousers to regulars who refused to try them. However, once tried, there was no going back, and now the idea of having trousers without any stretch at all is almost unimaginable for most larger women.

These latest innovations-the super-stretchy, soft fabric, which allows the pants to achieve a lovely flattering, yet comfortable straight, narrow leg, and the clever new waistbands which look conventional, yet are stretch, continue the habit of invention that some of these ranges take as a given (these are also made by NP) which the designer brands do so well. I think you will be delighted by their performance in your wardrobe!

Also, I noticed that you immediately recognised them for what they offered, so I was spared from having to threaten to give them to you if you didn't buy them! Phew!


Emma    Thursday 09 May 2013 at 14:58

 Post #356 

Subject: Top three

So what would be the top three items to have in the self-respecting plus-size fashionista’s wardrobe this season?

First and foremost I would say a dress. In fashion terms this is the era of the dress, and from a seasonal point of view, this is the best time of year to wear one of course. The dresses around at the moment are a little bit retro; the influence is anything from the nineteen fifties to the early sixties, with a bit of Art Deco-meets-the-nineteen seventies thrown in. There are contradictions all over the place; they can be quite ladylike (or the inverse, girly), with a repressed-librarian look (or an over-the-top sexy minx vibe). They can be closely fitted to the body, or swirl forth with acres of full volume fabric. They can be teeny-tiny-itty-bitty minis, or they can be floor-scraping maxis.

One of the brilliant things about fashion today is that there is plenty for everyone. Don’t like your legs? Can’t bear to wear tights? Then get a long dress, worn with leggings underneath. Not girly enough to wear a dress? Then wear one of the little dresses over trousers; it doesn’t have to be girly - there are some lovely simple tunics out there. Haven’t got a waist? Then invent one with a fitted style that imposes the optical illusion of a feminine, curvy waist, which - unbeknown to the unwary onlooker - you haven’t got! There really is something there for everyone. Never has the excuse ‘but I can never find a dress I like’ sounded so hollow.

This leads us on to out next must-have: leggings and jeggings. Leggings tend to be a jersey, close-fitting pant, whilst jeggings are more or less the same thing, but with stretch cotton woven fabric. Again, excuses need not apply. You don’t think your legs are shapely enough to wear close-fitting styles? Take a good, hard look at your pins. I can tell you (in cold blood; I am a plus-size fashion stylist, so I am a kind of doctor!) that many highly insecure women out there have got perfectly good legs. They just feel negative about them. If this is the case with you, then you might have to think about the fact that every other woman in the country is walking around wearing leggings at the moment, and your legs hold up very well in comparison. Remember, just because a woman is a plus-size (with matching size legs), it doesn’t mean that their legs are ‘worse’ than slim women’s legs. Nature is more democratic than that, and has dispersed the good-looking legs around relatively evenly between women of different body shapes and sizes.

Even if your legs are, after a fair appraisal, slightly - ahem - wanting... so what? There's no need to abandon leggings. It’s just a matter of wearing them with the right accompaniment. There are dresses out there of every length. If your legs are your pride and joy, you can wear quite a short dress. If they are a little disappointing, then a dress just above the knee could look lovely. If they are your bête noire, then a dress worn just below the knee over leggings is perfect. The problem is not with the leggings, nor with the shortcomings in the shape of your legs. It’s all about context.

So what’s the third must-have item in your wardrobe this season? Well, like all of us involved in fashion, I’m going to cheat. I’m going to suggest something that isn’t clothing, and isn’t just one item. But it is definitely a must have! I’m talking about accessories.

This season, accessories have gone mad. It is no longer acceptable to think of yourself as well dressed just because you are well dressed. You now have to be fully accessorised!

And the number-one accessory this season is the necklace. Possibly because of the retro look that is everywhere, these are incredibly important right now. I think a really good necklace is a visual life-saver. Putting a necklace on an outfit doesn’t just finish it off. It can add drama, or make a look more or less formal. It can add a touch of luxury... or whimsy. It can bring the disparate colours in the clothing into harmony. It can put a rebellious tweak on a rather workaday look. It can speak of sophistication or fun. It has the power to twist a whole look into something else.

When you really think about it, the difference that one simple item placed on the body can make is quite extraordinary. Choosing not to wear one suggests an unforgivable lack of imagination: a valuable missed opportunity to express your own personality.


Marguerite    Sunday 27 January 2013 at 22:30

 Post #332 

Subject: Beyond help?

After extensive surgery that went haywire I am left with these measurements 56'' 57'' 60'' yet all the weight on my hips is on my bum so I go out and the waist and in at the groin (Tummy was removed but massive hernia makes me stick out at waist) and then I have massive thighs. I am getting to the point where I am getting housebound as the only way trousers or skirts will stay up is if I pin wide elastic to my bra and then pin it to the elasticated waist. When I was 20'' bigger all round I could buy clothes now Im 58 and feel almost suicidal as all my clothes wear out I cant find anything to wear it will get to the stage when I have nothing to go out in. I need good casual trousers then I can survive if not dress up. Any ideas please?


 Emma    Monday 28 January 2013 at 16:16

Hi Marguerite,

Thank you for taking the time to post on our blog, raising issues that I happen to know that other women will wish to read. This is because, although it may not seem like it to you now, these problems are very wide-spread.

For the benefit of other readers of this blog, a hernia is usually a tear in the layers of muscle that hold our internal organs inside. Through this tear, very often, the organs start to push, much like shopping emerging through a split in a carrier bag. This is actually rather a common occurrence amongst larger people. I myself had a 20cm abdominal hernia successfully repaired (for which I consider myself very lucky: many woman find it a struggle to get a successful repair, so have to learn to live with their hernias).

Because a hernia can alter the figure in such a way that one becomes a ‘non-standard’ body shape, this can become very inconvenient and embarrassing. Often, other people seem to accidentally make the situation a bit worse by their reactions. I remember, for instance, a customer asking me four times during one visit if I were pregnant! She just couldn’t imagine any other reason for my body shape!

The other problem is one that you highlighted: the practicalities of clothing! Often, if the hernia is around the middle, keeping trousers or skirts in place can be an issue. In my own case, keeping a waistband on my ‘waist’ presented the kind of problem you would encounter if trying to put an elastic band around a football.

As a specialist shop, we have dealings with all manner of ‘non-standard’ body shapes, and, on the face of it, your measurements do not appear to present us with anything that is unusual for us. I hope you will come to understand that you are not alone in experiencing hernia problems, which, along with many other issues, like severe curvature of the spine, or oedema, make up our everyday clientele.

If you are lucky enough to live locally, it would be a very good idea to come in and simply start shopping! There will probably be a need to have items altered to fit you, but again, this is quite routine for us. We do this work ourselves, and don’t normally charge for the service.

If you have a disabled badge, you are welcome to park right outside the store, or otherwise we have a very good car park directly next to our shop.

Things become a bit more complicated if you live too far away for it to be practical to come. I will be blunt about this, though. If there is any possibility of your coming, even if it is quite an effort and journey for you, you should really consider doing this, although I would suggest phoning us (on 01273 327240) first if you are travelling a distance. Putting aside one day out of your year to come to a specialist store that understands and provides for your needs may well make a huge difference to the quality of your life. People do not realise the massive importance of having suitable clothes for their lifestyles, until they cannot get them. If, as you say, you are beginning to feel that you cannot leave the house, this is also not unusual.

I hope that, after coming into the store, you will find that, as a 58-year old woman, you have an enormous lease on life, and once you start to get looking good in your clothes, you will feel your confidence and optimism returning.

Now I have to consider the possibility that, for some reason, you just are completely unable to come into our store! If you live in a distant part of the country, I would suggest the long, hard trawl of the internet to see if there are any really good speciality stores like ours. Then, if they don’t have an alteration service, find someone who can do it for you. Don't be embarrassed: many alteraton people spend a lot of time dealing with special requirements, and I can assure you that any experienced alteration person has dealt with many hernias in her day! Build a relationship with this person, and develop a particular type of alteration that works for you, that can be applied to all your clothes.

Keep old clothes that are wearing out, where the fit is good, and get them copied. You will be amazed how, when done in a number of different fabrics, you will have several garments that, even though they are identically cut, will look completely different.


 Kim P    Tuesday 29 January 2013 at 20:13

Hi Marguerite, I have had several trousers and dresses altered at Emma's and it makes such a difference. I hope you are able to travel to Brighton, all the ladies in store are very friendly and respectful.


 Sammy    Friday 19 June 2015 at 17:21

Hi Marguerite,

I can see this is quite an old post from you! In case you are still looking for a quality and good-looking clothes, which will fit you, I can recommend Dea London. I know Jelena, chief designer, she is very good at tailoring for plus size, so you might find what you are looking for. By the way, all items ordered from Dea London website can have free alterations. So in any case the item you will purchase will perfectly fit you. You can search in google Dea London.If you have any questions you can contact Janie, she will help you


Anne Worms    Friday 09 November 2012 at 12:55

 Post #321 

Subject: Joy

What joy to find a new pair of soft black Brand jeans in the back of my wardrobe! Bought last year, or the year before and put away in the summer.


 Emma    Saturday 10 November 2012 at 16:03

Hi Anne!

Yes, isn't it lovely when that happens...it's like putting on your winter coat for the first time in the autumn, and finding your favourite ring in the pocket!

I'm incredibly into my 'Brand' at the moment. We've had some wonderful jeans from them that are soft and narrow with a superb fashion look. Of course they sold out straight away, so we've had to send for fresh supplies!

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!


Emma    Thursday 12 April 2012 at 11:39

 Post #279 

Subject: Trouser Day 21st April

We've decided to burst forth this spring (actually, we always burst forth, not just during springtime but at any time of the year... but I digress) and ‘go for it’ with an emphasis on really fantastic events.

I feel sure that any right-thinking plus-size woman would agree that one of the great struggles of modern life is the eternal quest for the perfect pair of ‘good trousers'. Trousers are a particular problem, not just for plus-size women, but for all of womankind (and perhaps mankind for that matter). There are so many variables in the proportions of the lower portions of the human body that it’s a bit of a wonder that anyone would ever undertake the thankless task of creating a pair of good trousers. I use the term ‘good trousers’ to mean not the kind of trousers that are bought in a sale, or picked up in a budget-priced high street store, or online, scooped up amongst the bewildering array of styles - all of which are displayed in photographs on generically-shaped models. These are simply ‘will-do trousers’, which will spend a short but useful life providing leg-coverage during the routine tasks of one’s everyday life... shopping in the supermarket, walking the dog, housework, doing a spot of gardening - that kind of thing.

No, ‘good trousers’ are quite a different beast, and cannot easily be picked up in such ways. I can honestly say that I have never heard the phrase ‘these trousers fit me beautifully, are incredibly flattering, lasted for ages and feel gorgeous... I picked them up online’. It’s not that I don’t think such an occurrence is possible; one look at the internet will immediately make you understand that, with the vast scale of humanity, virtually anything is possible - from a cat that speaks to a man capable of summersaulting from the top of one building to another. It just means it isn’t really all that likely.

Good trousers are a treasure. You slip them on and feel confident about your nether regions. You can put them on and forget about them. But if you were not inclined to forget about them, then thinking about them would give you nothing but pleasure. They look good, they feel good, and they have no vices (like a visible panty line, showing your cellulite, riding up, being baggy on the bum... the list of ‘trouser problems’ goes on).

A really good pair of trousers will take you into the office on an important day. You can wear them on a date, or out for lunch with the girls that you haven’t seen since you left school. They will see you through the tough times (when you don't have time to do the ironing, but still have to look 'put together') and the good (effortlessly looking smart at a moment’s notice). They will be your secret weapon, and your quiet, useful little friend that will stay around for years. They are quite literally worth three times the price that you'd pay for your high-street trousers - and a whole lot more!

And, of course, if you choose to also wear them to walk the dog, do the gardening or suchlike, then there will also be life left in them for that when they grow old!

A pair of good trousers should, first and foremost, fit you superbly. Until recently it was a bit of a mystery why this presented such a problem. The top designers were doing their best. They were cutting the trousers as perfectly as they could in order to fit the body shapes that they had identified. And yes, for the lucky women who enjoyed these body shapes, there were always superb trousers to be had. Yet there were very many women who found those trousers unsuitable. Routinely women would tell me that they just ‘didn’t suit trousers’.

Then of course there was the problem that one range tended to vary in shape from another. Some suited the slim-waisted bigger-bottomed woman, some the snake-hipped lady with the wide waist. How on earth was the customer to know which range was going to suit her best?

During the past 20 years the plus-size industry has expanded and improved immeasurably. More ranges have come on to the market, there is more choice, with the look becoming more directional and varied. Suddenly not only were there a host of different ranges from which to source trousers, but there was a greater selection of looks. It was all only serving to become more bewildering - but luckily, at the same time, independent stores were also improving and trying to develop an expertise in the whole area of body shape.

Recently, some manufacturers, like Finnish company, NP, for example, did widespread studies of body shape as it applied to trousers - and the reality started to emerge from the gloom. Not only were we in the plus-size industry able to identify what shapes of trousers would suit women with any number of different body shapes, but we were offering the differing shaped trousers to satisfy these requirements.

Hence the advent of our ‘Trouser Day’. We have had a couple of these events before, and they have been some of the most successful days we've had in our store. We assemble the biggest selection of trousers we can, and we identify which body shapes will suit which trouser styles. Then we train our staff and ensure that the most knowledgeable will be in the shop on this day.

Trousers are sorted into different groups, and our customers are fitted properly with trousers that many could never imagine would look as good.

On this day there will be refreshments and a prize draw, where a lucky customer will win a pair of trousers. Moreover, when a customer buys one pair of trousers they can then purchase a second pair at half price (exclusions apply). This generous offer is almost unheard-of at this end of the season - when choice is so wide.

The atmosphere buzzes on our Trouser Days and most customers find it a sociable and pleasant way to pass a Saturday!

Anyone spending £100 or more on the day will also get a ticket for two hours’ free parking at the NCP car park, adjacent to our shop.

Emma Plus's Trouser Day is on 21 April 2012, between 10.00am and 5.00pm. We really look forward to seeing you in store!


 Kim P    Friday 20 April 2012 at 19:10

Good luck with the day! A fantastic opporunity to buy flattering and comfortable trousers which as you mention is not something easily achieved in larger sizes. Some of my best buys fron you have been various wonderful trousers by Brand. I know the Trouser Queen aka Kim will be in her element! Can't make tomorrow but hope to pop in again soon.


 Emma    Saturday 21 April 2012 at 17:03

Hi Kim

Thank you for your lovely words of encouragement! I am here at the end of the day in the shop, tired, but very happy!

We had a wonderful Trouser Day... We were very busy and sold dozens of pairs of trousers to very happy customers.

I love these events; we always have a really lively, pleasant atmosphere here.

Now, the next event to look forward to is Anna Scholz Day...!

 Kim P    Saturday 21 April 2012 at 23:02

So pleased everyone had a great time, very hard work for the Emma Plus ladies but must be so satisfying seeing the joy on customers faces when they have found their perfect trousers.

I noticed the Anna Scholz event on the 12th May. Very exciting news!


 Emma    Thursday 10 May 2012 at 18:16

Just a quick update...we held our 'prize draw' for our Trouser Day event. All those who went in for it were placed in a jar, and a friend of Emma Plus (my old schoolfriend, Clare!) pulled the winner out. The winner is Debbie Bright.

Debbie is now the proud owner of another pair of Emma Plus trousers!

Emma    Thursday 03 November 2011 at 16:05

 Post #251 

Subject: Dark energy

I was chatting to a lady today about how much black we wear, and in that kind of vague, fashion-brained way that things reverberate in one’s head, the conversation seemed to resonate with something I had heard in a programme on TV. It was a science programme, and it revealed that there was an enormous amount of ‘dark matter’ in the universe: it’s unseen, and went unnoticed for a very long time; no-one really knows what it’s there for, or really understands it, but it is pervasive. It influences everything, and our cosmos would be a completely different place without it. How very like the ‘dark matter’ within my own wardrobe!

Working in fashion, as I do, I find that over the years I have accumulated just about every ‘must have’ item of black clothing (and then some). I’ll tell you a fashion secret that we all know, but which is never alluded to by the fashion writers: not everyone has the time, space nor money to have all these ‘must have’ pieces! However, each item is extremely useful, and ultimately no-one regrets investing their money this way.

For instance, I would always recommend that you have a smart pair of black trousers for daytime. You know the kind of thing... crisp, tailored black trousers which, for instance, can be worn with a contrasting jacket for a job interview.... or teamed with a fashionable blouse to go out to lunch or a work meeting. This is the kind of trouser that is kept ‘for best’ and should last years. There are women out there who can rock the ‘crisp white shirt, gold necklace, smart shoes, handbag and black tailored trouser’ look, and it will take them anywhere!

Then, of course, there are ‘evening’ trousers. These could be any interesting, pretty, occasional trousers. They could be a fluid jersey, velvet, satin - even brocade - as long as they are cool and comfortable. It’s a terrible mistake to buy clothes so smart that they are actually uncomfortable.

Then you have the casual black trousers (dear me, who knew we needed so many pairs!). They may be really casual (black denim, say), or a step up - perhaps a stretch viscose mix with a bit of smart-casual style. Or even ‘leggings’...

Then we move on to dresses. These could hardly be described as ‘must have’ items, because so many larger women have to learn to live without them - as they are difficult to find. A good, plainish black day dress is a fantastic item. It could be worn to work on its own, or under a work jacket. It could be teamed with a smart jacket for a wedding, or it can be worn under a super-smart little jacket for Ascot - or a hundred other summer (or winter) events. It’s a wonderful foil for a superb piece of jewellery or pretty scarf.

This is not to leave out the ‘little black dress’, which is all about eveningwear. A good black evening dress comes in many incarnations - from the full-on ball gown to the minimal base over which a beautiful jacket shimmers.

Obviously, we all need a tailored black day jacket (obviously!). This could be a blazer or a traditional suiting jacket. Then there is the smart evening jacket. I know we don’t all really need one of these in order to live, but life is so much easier if you have one! Popped over a little cami, and teamed with the aforesaid black evening trousers, you are good to go at a minute’s notice.

These black items nestle quietly in my wardrobe. They are not the show-stoppers, and (for me at least) lacking in colour, they are always in the background of my look. When I am seeking out the ‘outfit du jour’, I don’t usually notice them; I’m thinking about my coloured pieces. The black supporting acts are just there. They are understated, and their utility and excellence are just taken as a given. Yet they provide my wardrobe with enough ‘dark energy’ to look smart at a minute’s notice, and without any stress. They may not be screamers, but they are vital and pervasive.


 Victoria Hollis    Thursday 10 November 2011 at 16:52

I read this with interest as I'm sure with many ladies I have a lot of black in my wardrobe. I went through a phase in my late teens/early twenties when all of my wardrobe was black as I had such poor self esteem I wanted to hide into the background.

Not so anymore lol I have a number of black items which I call into service to act as a foil to the large number of brights I have. I also have a love for prints which mix black with brights for example Anna Scholz's lumencent leopard print of a few years ago to this seasons stunning snake print items.

I refuse to restrict myself any longer. With my cool colouring pastels look dreadful on me I need stark clolours.

So (hoping to get a heads up here lol) what kind of prints can we look forward to S/S 2012 Emma?


 Emma    Thursday 10 November 2011 at 17:42

Hi Tori!

Thanks for your question, and thanks for, as always, really understanding what I was trying to get at with my piece: the fact that we all wear black items, but they don't have to rule our lives!

Sometimes, it seems that we larger women can go to either one extreme or another.... we drape ourselves in acres of black, or we can rebel against it, and wear no black at all!

Yet the best course is to use black for what it does best....as you say, as a wonderful foil with which to set off colourful or printed garments.

When I do my buying, (I have to admit) I do tend to buy a lot of colour, but mainly in plain fabrics. It's not that I don't like pattern (I love it). It's just that, quite often the patterns that certain companies think are suitable for larger women are mumsy and uninspired.

Over the years, however, we have sourced some wonderful collections that have superb fashion-forward patterns. Next summer has a plethora of such lovely items. The colours are varied: proper 'summer' colours. There're blues, purples, greens and a lot of different pinks.

Many of the prints are rather 'paintily', as if they are original art works, and are not like the run-of-the-mill patterened fabrics, A good example of this is the Marina Rinaldi Spring/Summer 12 T-shirt I am modelling here....to look at it you would think it was individually hand painted. It's gorgeous.

 Victoria Hollis    Thursday 10 November 2011 at 20:49

That top is gorgeous it looks very impressionist and the colour is gorgeous on you. Umm sounds like we have a lot to look forward to next season. I have to say your heads up on Anna Scholz's AW11 was right as always the black label is to die for this season.


 Emma    Friday 11 November 2011 at 15:43

Hi Tori-

I noticed that you have been known to wear Marina Rinaldi yourself, and look lovely in it. So I think you will be really excited by what's comming in next season.

This Italian collection (as you know, the plus-size range from the Max Mara stable) really is superb. It isn't cheap, but it is beautiful, is fabulous quality, fashionable, and a wonderful fit.


 Victoria Hollis    Friday 11 November 2011 at 19:36

I love the Max Mara stable of labels. Marina Rinaldi and Persona are my absolute favorites. I have a black wool and cashmere coat from Persona which is stunning, gorgeous and as warm as toast and I have a feeling I will be needing it this winter. The fact is yes the items are expensive but the quality is VASTLY superior to anything on the high street they are made in the EU and on a cost per wear basis they work out far better than other items I have bought, worn once and then languish in my wardrobe.


Julie    Sunday 28 August 2011 at 09:38

 Post #239 

Subject: Autumn 2011

Has the new autumn stock come in yet? I am particularly interested in stocking up on autumn/winter fabric trousers and short jackets. Also are you having in any of those lovely knitted dresses that you had last winter?


 Emma    Tuesday 30 August 2011 at 10:53

Hi Julie

Thanks for your question! The answer is yes, we've already had quite a bit of our beautiful autumn/winter 11 stock in... I will be putting some images on to our website very soon.

Many of our trousers are already in and this season there are some different and particularly lovely fabrics. I have special affection for the Elena Miro pinstripe trousers with clever stretch panels in the sides (on the right of the picture). We haven't had many short jackets in yet, but it's early days!

If ever there was a season for knitted dresses, this is it! We have already had some lovely soft jersey knitted dresses by Marina Rinaldi (pictured on the right), and some proper knitted dresses from Verpass (pictured, with matching gilet, on the left). However, we are expecting loads more designs!

Emma    Sunday 26 September 2010 at 21:53

 Post #166 

Subject: Fantasy fashion

We’ve all heard of fantasy football, but how about fantasy fashion? Very few people ever get the chance to design their own fashion range, but that shouldn’t stop us dreaming...

What if I were to formulate my own unique collection of larger-size clothing? Say that somehow I was given the resources and talent to produce my own designs from scratch. What would I create?

Of course there are an infinite number of answers to this question, so if I am to develop this idea I had better concentrate on a single criterion: what kind of clothes have I always wanted, yet never found to my own personal satisfaction in the shops?

In other words, what are the clothes that I have been longing for? This, of course, is a very different collection of clothes than I would be creating if I were a real designer - where I would be producing a look that was fashion-forward and relevant to one particular season.

Instead, I’m talking about the eternal wish-list items that I have wanted but always been denied; a kind of clothing anti-autobiography, whose title would be ‘The Clothes I Never Wore’.

So, with so many items to choose from, I will edit my choices and just throw out a few random ideas...

Let's get the ball rolling with casual trousers. I would love to produce a pair of super-soft stretch leather leggings - the sort that one never sees in larger sizes but which would be incredibly useful under long tops or short dresses.

I would also love to get a really gorgeous long stretch-denim dress. Comfortable and practical, it would be a wardrobe staple that would still be fashionable decades after it was produced. When was the last time you saw a larger-size garment like this in the shops?

For outerwear, I would design a top-fashion raincoat. It would be 100% waterproof with a proper hood. And I’m serious about it being waterproof; mine would be functional enough to sail across the Atlantic in, yet incredibly funky and in a lovely colour... deep Atlantic blue, perhaps.

But I would go really nuts with my knits! In fact, I find the whole subject of knitwear in larger sizes both a great inspiration and a cause of real frustration. It’s true that one can get wonderful larger-sized designer knitwear this season, but there are still huge gaps in availability. Why, for example, is it so difficult to find patterned knits in our sizes? I would take Missoni as an inspiration and create gorgeous stripes in subtle yet unusual colour combinations. And I would design a line of soft, super-long dresses, supported by plenty of stretch (so there would be no sagging), with luxe layers of jackets, coats and capes.

One of the wonderful things about fantasy clothes design is the incredible optimism it engenders. I have been in the large-size fashion industry long enough to realise that many dreams do actually come true. Wait long enough (admittedly in the world of plus-size fashion, often rather too long), and you will eventually find items like these.

This is what the job of the clothes designer is all about: making people happy. For example, I have written in a previous blog about how I dreamed for years of a gorgeous sheepskin coat - and then James Lakeland created one so much better than I had ever desired. And this is far from an isolated case. Many times I have looked at an Anna Scholz item (like her long stretch-silk wrap dress from last winter) and thought ‘at last’!

Somehow, by osmosis, our personal clothes wish-list seeps into fashion’s collective subconscious. Keep looking long enough and you may well surprise yourself. And the deep satisfaction of finding the item that you always wanted, rendered in such a way that it exceeds your wildest expectations, is a source of great joy.

In fact, one of the things you have always wanted is probably in a store somewhere right now!


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.


Elizabeth Shaw    Tuesday 30 March 2010 at 01:34

 Post #126 

Subject: wedding outfit for lady size 22 in wheel chair

Looking for mother of the groom outfit In a wheel chair
looking for trousers and a nice bright top and jacket with out looking like an American football player. As I will be sat in the chair the whole time. The trousers can not be too tight down leg due to tube. The wedding will be in June, i hope you can help by suggesting what to get and what to wear with it on my head Hats get in the way of the person pushing me. Thank you


 Emma    Tuesday 30 March 2010 at 12:15

Hi Elizabeth

Thank you so much for your enquiry, and congratulations on your happy event! You will be glad to know that you have come to the right place! We have many customers who use wheelchairs, so we always make sure to have just the right kind of outfits to suit their needs. The size you mention (size 22) is towards the smaller end of our sizes, and all our range is stocked in that size.

If you were thinking of visiting us by car, the good news is that (with your badge) you will be able to park right outside our store - and access into the front of the shop couldn’t be easier. We are an easy shop to navigate, and - should you require assistance in accessing anything at any time - our staff are experienced enough to give you all the help you need.

We have several ranges of beautiful, brightly coloured jackets at the moment - some plain, some patterned. I would hesitate to recommend a particular one to you without seeing you first - the choice is simply too great! From what you say about American football players I’m guessing that you have problems with wide shoulders (like most of us). The good news is that we have sourced a number of items with narrower and/or less padded shoulders. In any case, we usually ensure items are specially fitted to you, so the fit is perfect.

A perfect jacket for a wheelchair user should be soft, with some structure and shape, but not too nipped-in at the waist. It should be of a minimal-crease fabric, and the shape should not be too full. We have a great selection to choose from that meet these criteria.

When it comes to trousers, I have found that three particular aspects should be borne in mind. Firstly, it is best to have a slight 'stretch' fabric. I’m not talking about anything too stretchy and flimsy, but a good medium-weight fabric with enough stretch for them to keep their shape and fall well from the knee. Then I would select trousers with stretch at the waistband for comfort. I would also be looking for trousers that are not too narrow (this can be unflattering on the legs as you rightly observe), but not too wide and floaty (which can foul the wheels).

To match the outfits that we have in the store, we have a fantastic selection of 'fascinators'. These are like hats, but much easier to wear, as they fit to the head like a hairband (see picture). They are light, so do not disrupt one’s hairstyle, and are not too large - so will not get in anyone else’s way. Those we have selected have proportions that particularly suit larger women, and are in colours that go with our range. They have been very popular, so I feel sure you will be pleased when you get the chance to try one on.

I would urge that you try to come into the store as soon as you can. Even if you leave visiting us to later in the season we have so many items that there will always be something lovely for you, but some styles are already selling out. In order to get the pick of everything, it is a good idea to be the 'early bird'...

Nicola    Saturday 20 March 2010 at 11:01

 Post #124 

Subject: Jeans

Hi Emma

As you know, I am a real jeans addict and can't do without a least 2 or 3 pairs in my closet.

I have lost some weight recently (like you I had a health issue which mean't an unplanned stay in hospital) and now find all my jeans are too big (I have done my best to take them in but the result hasn't been altogether successful!)

I was wondering what the styles are for 2010 in jeans (cut, colours, detailing etc) and what you have in at the moment. I am now probably a 46 or 48 in NP.



 Emma    Saturday 20 March 2010 at 17:22

Hi Nicola

Thanks for your enquiry. Actually, it's well-timed, because we have just had a delivery of NP jeans (including those in your size) in a lovely mid-denim.

I'm glad you saw the further 'blouse' replies, and look forward to seeing you in April!


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