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Here are all the posts in our Forum/Blog on the topic of Customers: general requests...

Kim P    Saturday 13 May 2017 at 19:08

 Post #493 

Subject: Clothing Alterations

In case anyone is interested the wonderful Denisa who used to do Emma's alterations is still around. She has just done a superb job repairing a Tomo dress I had purchased but had managed to rip the sleeve before even wearing it! She also did a great job shortening a couple of pairs of jeans.

I posted the items to her as I am not local to Brighton and will definitely ask her to do any future alterations. Her prices are very reasonable and the quality of work first class. She is away at the moment but her number is 01273 696410


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!

Kay    Thursday 08 December 2011 at 17:37

 Post #260 

Subject: christmas opening

Im planning on making a special trip down from London either before or after christmas for a new year outfit. More likely after christmas, as Im a busy bee at the moment.
Please could you tell me your opening hours over christmas and the new year.
thanks Kay


 Emma    Thursday 08 December 2011 at 18:15

Hi Kay!

Thank you for your very useful question: useful because it is reminding me to do something that I should have already have published on this forum!

Our hours are as follows:
Saturday 24th December 10am-3pm
Sunday 25th Closed
Monday 26th Closed
Tuesday 27th Closed
Wednesday 28th Closed
Thursday 29th Closed
Friday 30th 10.30am-5.30pm
Saturday 31st 10am-5.30pm

Sunday 1st January 2012 Closed
Monday 2nd Closed
Tuesday 3rd (onwards), normal opening hours.

Now, Kay, I am going to throw caution to the winds, and tell the readers of this blog something, at this early stage, that is normally only revealed to the lucky ones who are on our mailing list. Our Emma Plus Winter Sale starts on the 30th December at 10.30am.

I would advise coming early because those who get notice of this will be thronging to us (our sales are well-appreciated, as it is our custom to reduce everything from the current season so as to be completely freshly-stocked with the new collection, which will be in store soon after the New Year). So we always have good reductions, and this year the selection of gorgeous evening wear is particularly delectable....

It may also be worth reiterating that anyone spending over £100 in store will be eligible for two hours' free car parking at the NCP car park adjacent to our shop.

I look forward to seeing you in store, and if I don't see you until after Christmas, may I wish you, and all other readers of the forum a very Happy Holiday!

 Victoria Hollis    Friday 09 December 2011 at 12:41

I dont know if you saw this but I wrote about it in my blog.

Computer generated models - what is the fashion industry coming to when they have to create a body to display their clothes?


Marion    Monday 24 October 2011 at 19:52

 Post #250 

Subject: mother of the bride

Hi, my daughter is getting married in Paphos next Sept. The day after my 50th. I'm top heavy with a 42'' bust but slightly smaller curvy bottom half. I buy size 22 to 24 tops and 18 to 20 bottom half (from shops like Evans). I really want to wear a grecian type chiffon dress in lilac or light purple. I don't normally wear dresses...just leggings and baggy tops. I don't think halter or one shoulder would be any good due to bust. Having the bigger tummy something gathered under bust maybe a good idea?

I can't find anywhere selling this type of dress. There are on-line places where you can give measurements but you can't try on first and can't return.

I know I have 11 months but I'm really worried.

Would this style suit me? Do you do anything like this?

Thank you :o)


 Emma    Tuesday 25 October 2011 at 00:52

Hi Marion

Congratulations on the happy event! How lovely to go to a wedding in Paphos, and how exciting for you to be able to celebrate your fiftieth at the same time!

There are so many aspects to your questions that it is quite hard to know where to begin. As usual it’s probably best to start with the clear facts of the case, no matter how obvious they may seem. If you are thinking of buying a dress off-the-peg you will be looking for summer wear, which means that you will have to start looking very early in the year. The spring/summer collections start to come into the stores in January, and they do not stop being delivered until the end of April. By the time the last items have arrived, the first will have sold through. From a practical point of view this means that you will have to spread your shopping over a period of time (it’s really no good just doing a ‘blitz’, because you will not get to see everything). On the other hand, it’s tremendously important that once you have found something you like you buy it. Waiting to see if ‘anything better’ turns up will only result in the item you liked selling out - and you running around at the end of the season in a panic.

Have I seen ‘Grecian style’ dresses in the collections next summer? The simple answer is no I have not. This does not mean you will not find any. But it does mean there is not a strong trend for them next summer - so finding one off-the-peg may present problems... some degree of luck will need to be involved!

There is really only one way to identify whether a particular style suits you, and that is to try it on. Very few mature women buy designer dresses online, and those that do usually go to a designer with whom they have a lot of prior experience - and they know will fit and suit them. There are just too many variables when it comes to the fit and style of a dress, and you have to see yourself in a mirror wearing the garment before you can possibly judge whether it is going to suit you.

I can help you with style tips if you would like me to...? For instance you suggest you have a large bust. If this is the case then there are a few general no-nos. You're right that one such no-no is a halter neck. This will emphasise the size of the bust (a great idea for pear-shaped women, but not for top-heavy ladies).

Again, you are correct about the one-shouldered style. It will make underwear a problem (believe me, it may be all right to wear strapless lingerie with a larger bust for an evening event, but for an all-day-through-to-night occasion, the bra will become an object of hatred before the day is out!). Also, again, the one-shouldered style will emphasise the width of the chest area.

Gathers under the bust will present problems (I’m so sorry to continue with my catalogue of negatives!) because it will make the front look mumsy, and if you have a bit of a tummy the effect may even suggest maternity!

The main problem I foresee is that you, as someone unused to dresses, need to be able to try some on in order to really know what suits you. I would start this process right now. My suggestion would be to go into every plus-size store you can find that has a changing room and start trying on the dresses that they have in stock. It doesn’t matter that they may be hideous, left-over sale dresses for the summer, thick winter day dresses, or black sparkly Christmas numbers. You are not looking for ‘the dress’... you are looking for the style that suits you! By this I mean the shape... the line of the dress. You will instantly see which shapes suit and which can be crossed off your list!

My advice to plus-size women the world over is this: clear your head of all your preconceptions. Forget, for a moment, your Grecian dreams. Just think about yourself. Think about what suits you. What makes you look elegant? What makes you look youthful? What suits your body shape? What makes you look stylish? Then think about what is most vital. Is it important, above all things - for you as you truly are - to look lovely? Or is it the fulfilment of the fantasy of yourself as a Greek goddess on a Mediterranean island that's key?

If you think that the fantasy is the most important, and you really have to have your Grecian dress, then I would strongly suggest you consider having one created by a seamstress. Personally, I would only consider a real flesh-and-blood seamstress, who I would pay once she has fitted the dress properly, and I would have no dealings whatsoever with online dressmaking services - who could never achieve the fine adjustments necessary. Of course, you will not be able to try it on until it is made, and you will be contracted to pay for it whatever it looks like on you. But, on the plus side, you will have already established that whether it suits you is of secondary importance to the fulfilment of your dream.

If, however, you were to take this old fashionista’s advice, it would be to put aside the fantasy for a moment. Do some research into you: your body shape and how dresses hang on it. Your colouring and what makes you radiant. Your sense of style and how this can be brought into play. Then, when the summer collections start to appear, then I would start some serious shopping in real shops with real changing rooms, where you can begin to home-in on your dress. I guarantee that there are beautiful clothes out there that will make you look and feel like a Greek goddess; just not in quite such a literal way!

As I said earlier, it's worth stating the clear facts of the case, even if they are a little obvious. Anna Scholz is the Queen of the plus-size dress (see the library photograph, right, from one of her previous summer collections). Her collection should be carefully scrutinised.

I would love you to come into our shop next summer: although Grecian-style dresses are thin on the ground, we do specialise in dresses and are expecting a superb crop!

I wish you the best of luck with your journey: honestly, it’s going to be fun!

 Marion    Tuesday 25 October 2011 at 19:36

Hello Emma and thank you for your help and advice. It was really great to read it and you have been really helpful.

I talked to my daughter earlier, before I read your reply and said I would like to visit your shop. I live in Chelmsford so not too far away, she said it was a good idea.

My daughter took me to Evans and MADE me try a dress on lol... It was a plain maxi dress, black, with a band under the bust. I felt wonderful in it. When I make it to your shop I will bring it with me. I just really want to look nice, for myself but also for my daughter, but get really fed up with the pressure on larger ladies.

Thank you again for you help and advice.

Marion :o)


 Emma    Wednesday 26 October 2011 at 14:11

Hi Marion

Thank you so much for your reply. Your daughter sounds lovely, and, by the sound of it, both of you have really 'got with the programme'. I feel sure that you will have already started to feel happier and less stressed!

I completely agree with what you say about the pressure on larger ladies. However, I know that you will find something that you feel wonderful in, and then the pressure will melt away.

I love the fact that you have already identified a shape that suits you... excellent! Even if you decide to pursue the idea of having a dress made by a dressmaker, then this dress will be invaluable as an example.

I really look forward to meeting you.


Nicola    Friday 09 September 2011 at 14:37

 Post #241 

Subject: NP Jeans

Hi Emma

As you can see from the photo, Brynn was born on 23rd of August. All went smoothly with the birth and we are just trying to cope with the sleepless nights.

The reason for my post is that having had the baby, none of my clothes, especially trousers, now fit. My current NP jeans are all size 46 or bigger. Do you have them in a size 44?

We are planning to come over to the UK as soon as Brynn has a passport arranged but this isn't likely until the end of October (of course we'll be stopping by the shop). In the meantime it would be ideal if you could post some jeans over to me to tide me over.



 Emma    Friday 09 September 2011 at 16:10

Hi Nicola!!!

Hello, and hello, Brynn!! I have to say, that is one seriously gorgeous baby! Thank you so much for the lovely photograph.

You may have started the dreadful downward path towards the very bottom of our size range! We don't always have 44s in stock, and, when we do, they are our smallest size. I can't understate the seriousness of the situation, now, Nicola...if you continue to lose weight in this way, you may drop off the bottom of our size range!

There are some really excellent NP jeans that I can thoroughly recommend this season; I will order you some, and send them through to you. You can tell me what you think of them. It may take a week or so to get them to you, so I hope you can hold out until they arrive...try wearing a belt!

We so look forward to seeing you and Brynn soon-


 Nicola    Saturday 10 September 2011 at 11:45

Many thanks for your reply Emma. Yes, whilst losing weight is great, it is also a worry to know that I am heading towards the lower end of your size range as this by no means leaves me within the standard size range of most womenswear retailers. Also I can't imagine going anywhere else to buy my clothes!

Please drop me an e-mail when you have them in.

I think Brynn is gorgeous too but of course I'm his mum!

Speak to you soon


 Emma    Saturday 10 September 2011 at 13:05

Nicola, I promise that I will always do my best to get clothes for you... even if I have to order them in specially!


Nicola    Monday 11 April 2011 at 13:28

 Post #207 

Subject: Advice / Ideas needed

Hi Emma

Hope you are all well over in Brighton and that you are holding on to the Spring sunshine. Here it has be over 25ºC every day for 10 days now but with Easter holidays next week it's bound to take a turn for the worse!

Unfortunately, I won’t be over to see you this spring as I currently have a rapidly expanding waistline which has nothing to do with over indulging, rather I’m 5 months pregnant.

So far I still fit into my softer waisted NP and Brand trousers and I’ve been able to let out my NP jeans but I guess it won’t be long till I need another solution. I was wondering if you could suggest some elasticated waist trousers in linen or another cool fabric which might do me through the summer and also if you have any leggings similar to the ¾ length ones you had last summer which I could team-up with a long shirt and loose camisole top for work?

Any ideas for tops & bottoms would be greatly appreciated!



 Emma    Monday 11 April 2011 at 22:52

Hi Nicola!

So good to hear from you...and isn't it wonderful about your news!

My top recommendation for trousers for you in your particular situation would be some of the Brand 'sensitive' trousers. They are a lovely soft, stretchy fabric, with a comfortable waistband, and are made from a fabric specially developed to keep the body cool. They wash perfectly and need no ironing-essential for everyday wear!

We do have other trousers (including linen ones, although I would caution against most linen trousers during a pregnancy. The problem with a lot of linen is that it has almost no stretch, so can split if too much strain is put on the fabric. Having said this, Anna Scholz has done some superb stretch linen this season, and I will try to check the availability for you). The options for trousers are wide (pardon the pun), so you will not have too much of a problem during your pregnancy.

As far as tops are concerned, there are some gorgeous ones this season. I think it would be a good idea if you could send us your waist measurement (privately; it isn't necessary to put this on the forum!), and we can pick out some tops for you. One you may be thrilled with is a variant on the linen Marina Rinaldi linen shirt that both you and I had last year (you still have the black one, I think?). This time it is a top (rather than blouse) with a gather, so it falls loosely. It really is a beautiful fine linen, and comes in a chambray colour.

However, there are so many tops, you are spoiled for choice. I think that, perhaps, five minutes on the phone to us here in the shop will sort out a pile of possibles for you to be sent!

I hope you continue well....I can't wait to meet the new addition to your family! We all wish you the very, very best, Nicola!!!


 Nicola    Tuesday 12 April 2011 at 20:10

Thanks for your reply and best wishes. I am holiday all next week so will probably ring Tuesday some time if you are around.



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!


Elaine    Wednesday 03 March 2010 at 22:13

 Post #120 

Subject: August Wedding

Hi, delighted to find your site /shop. Looks fantastic!
Is it the right time of year now to find a stunning outfit for my daughter's wedding in August or is it too soon?
ps hope this uploads..sent post last week but it obviously did not get to you!


 Emma    Thursday 04 March 2010 at 14:16

Hi Elaine

Thank you for your post, and interest in our range. The answer to your question is a simple one - yes, it is a very good time to be starting to look for an outfit for a wedding this summer!

This is because this is the time of year that all the deliveries of new clothes arrive in the shops. By the time the last items are delivered, the first things have sold through, so there is never a time when everything is in stock. Later on in the season, stock starts to get very low, and by mid-July the choice becomes quite restricted.

In our business, people come from far and wide to get summer wedding outfits, so we do tend to stock a lovely selection, and many of them are now in. You don't mention what size/age you are, or what kind of look you are seeking to achieve, so I won't mention anything in particular for you at this stage. I'm always happy to put pictures on to our forum of anything that you may be curious about.

Do post us again with any details, or you may wish to phone us on 01273 327240 to have a chat. If you live reasonably nearby, I wouldn't hesitate just to pop in straight away. I think you may well be delighted with what you find.

I was very sorry to hear that you have had some problems with placing a post. I have had similar problems myself from time to time, and have been on to my resident computer guru to sort the matter out!

 Elaine    Sunday 07 March 2010 at 13:52

Hi Emma thanks for the reply. I am in South London so not too tricky to get to the seaside! My problem has always been being short, and if I was slim, smallish frame! Most plus size ranges assume you will be tall and wide shouldered too! I guess I am an 18/20 top and 16/18 bottom. I end up looking 'matronly' because of my shape wheras I am aiming for a more stylish, contemporary look! Will aim to get to Brighton by start of April!


 Emma    Sunday 07 March 2010 at 18:52

Hi Elaine

Thank you for your reply. I'm so glad to hear you are in London - so many of our customers come from there. If you choose to come by train it's only about 50 minutes (if you get a fast one), and the station is very near our shop. If you come down by car, we have a car park right next to us!

It's interesting that you identify a common problem in the large-size market... that of size of frame. Much large-size clothing is European, and is made for an all-round larger person. Often, ranges expect us to be about five-feet ten, with wide shoulders, a magnificent bust and long legs - whereas many British women have a neater, more petite frame.

When we do our buying we bear this in mind, and we do our best to accommodate everybody. It's also one of the reasons why we have such a comprehensive alteration service. Very often it is much more than just a matter of shortening a garment. If the item is made for a taller person, usually it is too long in the waist, and probably has shoulder-width issues as well. We would tailor it to fit you perfectly, then send it to you by post. And most of the time, this service is completetly free of charge!

Certainly, I would be thinking of sharp, shapely jackets for someone like yourself. Elena Miro and Personal Choice (see picture) have some lovely ones that are sassy with a real fashion-forward feel. My only worry is that of size: we don't stock anything below a size 18, and many of our ranges start at size 20...

Nicola    Wednesday 03 March 2010 at 14:29

 Post #119 

Subject: Whatever happened to....

....Anna Scholz blouses.

I am a real fan of Anna Scholz and have invested in a number of her items over the years from kaftans to knitwear.

One of my favourite items is a black fitted blouse which I bought (from Emma Plus of course) about 10 years ago. It is beautifully tailored and has wonderful details like extra long cuffs, delicate square buttons and extra wide lapels. All in all it has become a classic staple item in my wardrobe however it is now reaching the end of it's life (the colour has faded and some of the buttons are now missing).

Every season I visit the Anna Scholz web site in the hope that she will come up with something to replace it. However I always come away disappointed. I love the kaftans and dresses but I still dream of a day when Anna will bring out a range of blouses. Be sure I will be first in the queue when she does.

Emma - is there anything your spring collection which might fill that hole in my wardrobe? I have attached a photo from the Anna Scholz website of a beautiful Silk Georgette Frill Jacket which I love.

Hoping to make a trip to Brighton in the next month.


 Emma    Wednesday 03 March 2010 at 20:54

Hi Nicola

Thank you so much for your post, which like all the best posts enlightens me about something I was only marginally aware of - the dearth of blouses created by Anna Scholz in recent seasons. I will have to discuss this grave matter with her!

Just the other day I was wearing the most beautiful Anna Scholz blouse that you could ever imagine, and it was greatly admired by all. It had dozens of tiny pleats around the shoulders leading up to an incredibly delicate gathered collar. Beautiful! However, it was at least five years old, and I have not seen such a blouse from her for quite a long time. Recently she has been specialising in tops rather than blouses.

This would probably be a very good point at which to describe to you all the lovely blouses that I have on order for this summer. Sadly, I have to admit to a weakness on my part. It is a disgrace and a scandal that I am here writing a fashion blog, when my brain is clearly not up to the job! When I first started in the business I had quite a good memory, and I could tell you everything you need to know about what is on order. However, over the years my grey cells have become used up (perhaps it’s just my age). Anyway, whatever the reason, I am no longer able to remember the first thing about what we are awaiting for the current season.

This is very annoying from a professional point of view, but for me it does have its compensations. For one thing it makes working in the shop at this time of year a whole lot of fun! Every time we have a delivery it comes as a marvellous revelation and gorgeous surprise! If you want to know what I mean, imagine that you got deliveries of clothes selected by someone who has exactly the same taste as you, and who happened to have access to some of the most gorgeous clothes available. How exciting would that be? Welcome to my world!

This does mean, however, that, although I can remember certain things that are on order for the autumn (the season I have only just finished buying), what is coming in for this summer will be as much of a surprise for me as it will be for my customers...

One blouse which we are expecting very shortly, and which I can remember perfectly (because I have a photograph of it - see above), is a gorgeous fine, blue blouse from Marina Rinaldi. It is in superb light linen, long and full in shape, but with fabulous finesse and delicacy. Do tell me if you would like me to keep you posted about the arrival and availability of this blouse.

I will also keep an eye out for blouses in general - I am beginning to get quite a lot of interest in this increasingly rare item of clothing...

 Nicola    Saturday 06 March 2010 at 11:42

Hi Emma

Thanks for the photo, the blouse looks perfect, I love the way it seems to be slightly fitted. If you can let me know when it comes in, that would be great.



 Emma    Sunday 07 March 2010 at 21:05

Hi Nicola

Yes, the blue blouse is lovely. The reason I picked it out is that Marina Rinaldi is a top design range, on a similar level to Anna Scholz, and this is an item from one of its special collections, which are fabulous. I can't wait for it to come in, and will tell you when it does...

In the meantime it's worth mentioning that last week there were quite a few deliveries of lovely blouses from other collections. I'm showing here a picture of another linen blouse that came in. It's by a collection that's relatively new to us - Dominique. I've focused on the lovely delicate pin tucks at the front - beautiful. This top is also gloriously long and generous.

It's starting to look like a very good time to be coming back in to see the Spring/Summer 10 clothes...

 Emma    Friday 19 March 2010 at 13:48

Hi Nicola

Just a very quick post to tell you of our blouse situation here at the shop. We've had some fantastic deliveries from most of our suppliers, and there really is a lot for you to choose from now.

The ones I have pictured are from Marina Sport (as you know from the Marina Rinaldi stable)... and they are gorgeous. They are both 100% linen, yet the fabric is incredibly fine and light. You may get awfully hot in the summer in Spain, but these blouses will not make you any hotter - they are as cool as it gets.

Although the ones pictured are quite large (you would take a smaller size) the style is fitted, with a lovely feminine shape and a good length.

We are still awaiting the Voyage blouse, and I imagine it will come in any minute now. Either way, I think it would be a good time for you to start thinking about flying north for the summer!

 Kirsten    Wednesday 10 March 2010 at 23:07

Emma - I love this blue MR blouse! I tried to order it from the Marina Rinaldi store in Chicago but they do not have it. Also loved reading your post about the new looks for A/W 2010. I love to check in on you now and then and read your thoughtful posts. Sometime maybe I will make it across the ocean to your wonderful shop!


 Emma    Friday 19 March 2010 at 13:57

Hi Kirsten

If you like the picture of this Voyage blouse, you would love it in real life! The fabric is absolutely lovely, and the fit is sophisticated. However, we don't have it in yet - I'm speaking from the memory of seeing the sample last year!

There is still hope for you to get this blouse. I think it's likely that your local store will get it eventually. If I, in Europe, don't have it yet, then you would not expect Chicago to have had their deliveries. I think they will be getting them in soon.

Thank you for your kind comments about our blog - I do hope you make it into our little store one day. I would really love to meet a fashionista from across the pond.


 Nicola    Saturday 20 March 2010 at 10:44

Hi Emma

Thanks for posting all the photos and by the way I love the new design of the forum.

I have been looking for flights recently but the combination of Easter and the BA strike means that Easyjet flights are really expensive at the moment.

I am planning to come over in early April and will let you know as soon as I have a date fixed.

See you soon


 Emma    Tuesday 23 March 2010 at 12:57

Hi Nicola

Thanks for your comments about the new-look forum. It has been a lot of work for our website guru, who has worked tirelessly to make it fit our exact needs.

It goes to show that it is not only in the fashion business that people understand the necessity of an excellent fit, and go to great lenghts to achieve perfection!

Angela Brown    Monday 01 March 2010 at 20:04

 Post #117 

Subject: Summer skirt

Hi. I am after a little summer skirt. I am after easy care, plain colour (preferably). Can you help?


 Emma    Monday 01 March 2010 at 22:59

Hi Angela

Thank you for your enquiry, and congratulations for being an early bird in your shopping planning! This is indeed the right time to be thinking about those must-have summer items that you realised you needed last year, only to discover they were already sold out in the shops!

I would always suggest starting to look at the beginning of the season, just as the first deliveries are coming in. Even if the thing you crave has not yet arrived, it does mean you can ask our staff to keep an eye out for it, and phone you when it comes in!

It may be a good idea for you to call 01273 327240, and speak to one of us about exactly the kind of skirt you are looking for. We will be able to talk you through what is on order and, if necessary, phone you to tell you when it comes in...


Diane    Sunday 28 February 2010 at 19:23

 Post #116 

Subject: mail order

Hi Emma, Found your website and after browsing through ticked five of your beautiful outfits to order and then found you do not do mail order. I am shocked that you have decided not to offer this service. I am a retailer and after umming and ahhing I eventually decided to offer mail order and was amazed that the orders are pouring in and overtaking the shop orders. I hope you one day change your mind and will keep checking back just in case. If I ever get to Brighton I will of course come and see you, but like many women do not have much spare time. Kind regards


 Emma    Tuesday 02 March 2010 at 09:22

Hi Dianne

Thank you for your post, and interest in our range. This is a very big and complicated subject for us, and one which I am sure will run and run.

We would indeed like to do some internet selling some time in the future, and if you do, as you mention you may, look at our blog every now and again, you will be one of the first to get notice of what we will be offering.

The sad fact is, though, that what we will be able to offer as a mail-order service will be only a tiny part of what we are able to offer in our actual store! There are many reasons for this - so many and complex that I could probably write hundreds of words on the subject, and still not come close to expressing it clearly!

Over the years I have had this discussion many times with customers and, in the main, it has been very difficult to convey what makes a real-life living and breathing large-size designer store so special. Usually, the customers involved in these discussions have eventually come into our store, and have exclaimed that only then have they finally understood what I meant!

Our shop has thousands of different styles, bought in tiny numbers. This means that a customer will rarely see the same thing twice. It also means that there is a wide choice, and the look that is put together by them is usually quite unique. Our sales staff are experienced stylists who not only help with the selection of the outfit, but contribute hugely with their knowledge of body shape, and how this relates to the stylistic choice. Many of our customers mention the fact that they had ended up looking at their best in items that they would not have initially been inclined to try on.

Obviously if the customer wishes to be left alone by sales staff they are free to make their own selection without being bothered by unwanted attention, but in the event most customers make use of our styling skills.

When the selection is made, the majority of our clothes will then be tailored by our alteration service to fit the individual customer. It is a rare woman who is a perfect 'stock size' and shape! This alteration process can be a revelatory experience. Many larger women will have never before had a garment that has truly fitted them, and shown off their figure to best effect. After the alterations have been completed, they are usually sent on to the customer by post, and neither the alterations nor the postage are charged for.

This all takes place in a social and comfortable space - it is like a club, and most people report really enjoying just being in the store.

I do appreciate that it is very difficult for customers to travel so far to get to us. In fact, it used to be a matter of amazement to me that customers will come from all over the country to reach our store. However, I have come to understand that this is because it is the only way that many women can get the really beautiful clothes they really want. It is incredible that there are so few stores that stock excellent larger sized clothes in this country.

When we do our mail-order range, we will focus on excellence of clothing (we hope to do some gorgeous knits and jerseywear in the future), but there will be no question of anything like the variety, fit, individuality, tailoring, or personal service that we can offer in the store.

These are characteristics of a special and rare shopping experience. The internet is a fantastic, precious resource in the larger-size market, and it is the way that Emma Plus has been able to grow into what it is today (to the benefit of all our customers). However, the internet is not good at providing individual, tailored, personal, special and rare clothing for larger women.

Rosa Worgan    Saturday 20 February 2010 at 17:03

 Post #114 

Subject: Shirts/Blouses

Desperatly trying to find traditional long sleeve shirts/blouses for size 28-30. Need these for Office wear to wear under ladies traditional suits. Any material apart form jersey. I am getting desprate


 Emma    Saturday 20 February 2010 at 17:39

Hi Rosa

Thank you for your post. I hear you loud and clear!

It’s at times like this that I wish I were a designer! There does seem to be a dearth of this kind of blouse around at the moment. We always order them (and sell them extremely quickly) when we can get them, but I suppose that it’s the classic nature of this kind of garment that fails to inspire many designers. Yet a really lovely classic shirt/blouse is a gorgeous item to possess.

Because we have just come back from buying for next season, and it’s very fresh in my mind, I can tell you happily that we have some on order for the autumn. In particular we have a lovely one in white and several other colours (long sleeved, cotton) from a collection called Verpass. These come in generous sizes.

At the moment we have some great linen blouses, but I wouldn’t necessarily recommend them for the use you have in mind - i.e. under a business suit. It’s not that they wouldn’t look nice - I just think they may be a bit ‘high maintenance’ in the business environment. Some offices can be fairly hot, and linen - though beautifully cool - can end up creased by the end of the day.

However, you may like to give one a try, and we do have some in your size in stock at present (see picture). This blouse comes in a variety of colours - beige, pink (as shown) and lilac, and the sizing is generous. A word of warning about all our stock, though... our items sell through extremely quickly, and these blouses are already disappearing!

If this is not what you are looking for, then I think the best thing I can suggest is that we keep your request in mind and put a post on the forum when the perfect ones come in.

Emma Wakefield    Wednesday 20 January 2010 at 14:28

 Post #107 

Subject: dresses

Hi Emma. So sorry to have missed your clearance sale, but I hope to pop in to see you soon. I'm after 2 dresses - something fabulous for forthcoming hunt balls and a sexy but warm and comfortable jumper dress for cosy nights in with my boyfriend. I expect I have missed the season for both of these but thought I would check. I'm a size 20.


 Emma    Wednesday 20 January 2010 at 19:41

Hi Emma

Thanks for your post. There is good news and (a little) bad news in reply to you.

The bad news is that the winter collection tends to sell through by Christmas, so any warm and snuggly clothes that are still in the shops at this time of year tend to be few and far between - we have not now got any cosy dresses or knits in general, I'm afraid.

But it is a very good time of year to be thinking about getting a gorgeous going-out dress. Although it is a little early (we are just beginning to get our first deliveries in), we are expecting some absolutely stunning dresses this season, and some of them should be making an appearance very soon. It might be a good idea to phone 01273 327240 and chat to Jaq about what you are looking for. She could keep you updated when your perfect dress comes in.

In the summer season (i.e. the collection that is presently coming in) we do also often stock lovely comfortable jersey dresses. Obviously, these will not be in the same vein as the snuggly knitted dress you desire. But the weather won't be cold for ever (I have to believe that!), and a lovely, chic and stylish jersey dress may end up being a good substitute...


 Emma    Thursday 11 February 2010 at 00:07

Hi Emma

Just a quick note to tell you that you were right on the money about the need for a jumper dress! Visiting the fashions fairs (that are showing the collections for Autumn/Winter 10), it's interesting to see how the look is all about knits, and the sweater dress in particular.

We have chosen some beautiful ones. The good news is that there is a tremendous variety of them, so we are bound to have one you will love. The bad news I'm afraid is that they won't start to come in until July at the earliest.

The image is from the Sallie Sahne Fall 10 collection and features a fabulous printed cashmere sweater dress (it's far longer than this in real life), which is available with either an animal print or plain matching long jacket.

 femmeluxefinery    Saturday 31 March 2018 at 05:59


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Angie    Wednesday 02 December 2009 at 23:03

 Post #96 

Subject: leather coat.

I have searched the web far and wide to find a decent leather coat in the U.K.
I am looking for a hooded 3/4 length parka, or duffle style, and although I found just what I was looking for in America, do you think I can find one here?
We have places like Simply be, who offer fashionable leather jackets that end just under the bust. Could you imagine what I would look like in one of those, with my size 48 boobs???
I am a good size U.K.22


 Emma    Thursday 03 December 2009 at 15:13

Hi Angie

Thanks for your post. The simple answer to your question is no, I am not aware of anywhere in the UK that you could rely on for buying a coat like the one you describe - or, in fact, any really nice leather items in larger sizes - and I find this very disappointing. If an online supplier of good leather coats in larger sizes exists, then I have not heard of it. Perhaps if any other user of this forum has some information on this subject, they will reply to this post...

You really would think that what you are looking for (a good, useful, stylish leather coat, in what is actually not a very large size) would be readily available in the UK. I guess the Americans are ahead of us in some areas!

Designer stores like ours are one of the only ways to source a really good leather coat, but they are a fringe item in our ranges. We would commonly only stock a very small quantity of styles, and finding the one that ‘lights your fire’ and is available at any one given time, is a bit of a long-shot. We don’t have any leather coats in stock at the moment, I’m afraid.

In general terms I do feel that you have touched upon a real difficulty - i.e. the problem one encounters when trying to get something quite specific in larger sizes. When customers contact us with this kind of enquiry, the way that we deal with it is to try to source something specifically for a customer, but I would be the first person to admit that this is a far from perfect system.

What we would do is find out exactly what it is that the customer wants (it could be anything from a corset to a leather coat to a sweater dress), discuss details such as price point, colour, size, etc., check our stock, and then, if we don’t have it, note the item down in our ‘Wish List’. Then we would see if there is anything similar available from our suppliers.

Sometimes it can take up to two seasons to actually get the desired item, so it is a good idea to opt for a belt-and-braces approach, and still actively search online even while you are waiting.

I would give a word of warning, though. With items like a leather coat it is best to buy a very good quality item, spending as much as you can reasonably afford. Mail-order items are often a real let-down in this area. This sounds like the kind of thing a designer shop-owner would say, of course, but truly, I think it is all too often a false economy to choose the mail-order option.

I think you may have already pinpointed one of the problems of mass-availability items: design. Many of the larger companies show a shocking ignorance as to what suits a larger woman (no, by the way, I don’t think a short jacket usually looks good on a larger bust!). The other thing that is supremely important in an item made of leather is the quality of the hide. A stiff, cardboardy leather is never going to be a pleasure to wear, no matter how many times it gets an outing. In fact, it will only usually look worse with wear.

Alternatively, if you were able to wait, reach out to your favourite designer large-size store, and buy a really good quality item as soon as it is available, it will be worth it. A quality leather coat is a real investment. It’s a very practical piece of apparel that's wonderful come rain or shine. A designer coat will be fashion-forward - giving you a great deal of aesthetic satisfaction, and is likely to be in a classic or individual style that will not date. Best of all, unlike other materials, the leather will improve over time.

Unfortunately, I am only too aware this is one of my replies that goes all round the houses without actually helping you with your specific problem - for which I apologise! The only bright spot is that I truly believe that availability of a wide range of items in our size range is improving. It is up to all of us to keep on asking for what we want - we need to drive home to the manufacturers out there that the demand for these kinds of items exists!


Angela Brown    Saturday 21 November 2009 at 21:35

 Post #92 

Subject: Nango top

I have the nango key hole top (black background with lilac, blue and brown print) pictured in your daywear collection but there are no instructions for washing, ironing or cleaning. Can you help? Thanks


 Kim P    Sunday 22 November 2009 at 15:49

I have the same top. The label (well hidden down the side) says 40 deg machine washable and the iron symbol has two dots. I washed mine yesterday on a 40 deg general wash cycle, hung it on a hanger and its dried with no need to iron at all.


 Jaq    Monday 23 November 2009 at 11:36

Thanks Kim for coming to our rescue and replying to one of our customers. I've got that top too; it's fab isn't it!



jackie    Saturday 14 November 2009 at 02:01

 Post #90 

Subject: clothing for the larger women



 Jaq    Saturday 14 November 2009 at 20:22

Hi Jackie

Thanks for your enquiry. Yep we've got some great clothes in your size. In saying that we are now late in our season - so you've already missed a fair amount of the stock. But on Thursday we're having a top-up delivery and we have chosen quite a few pieces in your size. So if you fancy a trip to Brighton it would be lovely to meet you, and I can show some things that will suit you. Alternatively call us on 01273 327240 - I'm in most days.



 Kim P    Monday 16 November 2009 at 19:14

Hi Jaq

I hope you have some stock left for when I'm hoping to visit on 11th Dec!

Do you have any of the Nanso roll neck tunics in chocolate sz L in stock. I bought a black one last time and it's a delight to wear.




 Jaq    Wednesday 18 November 2009 at 12:48

Hi Kim

So glad you're pleased with your latest addition to your growing Emma Plus wardrobe. It's lovely to get such positive comments. There is good and bad news regarding your request though. I've had a new delivery of Nanso, which is selling like hot cakes. In that delivery was an even longer tunic in the same fabric as the top that you mention, but it's only available in black. I will try to reorder the original brown one you mentioned. If they have it, I will save it for you for the 11th Dec. I will let Kim know your request too, just in case I'm off that day. We look forward to seeing you soon.



 Kim P    Wednesday 18 November 2009 at 20:31

Thank you so much! Fingers crossed that Nanso have one in stock.


Tracey    Thursday 12 November 2009 at 22:43

 Post #88 

Subject: Caryn Franklin


Could you please let me know if you stock any of the Caryn Franklin dresses?




 Jaq    Friday 13 November 2009 at 00:28

Hi Tracey

I'm afraid we do not stock Caryn Franklin designer dresses. Does she produce a designer range? I have never seen them at any fashion shows. I would be interested in her merchandise, as I remember the clothes being very stylish on the BBC shows from years ago.



 tracey    Friday 13 November 2009 at 16:36

She does a small range for the catalogue SimplyBe. Am looking for a nice dress for xmas - anything below knee-length that has 3/4ish sleeves. Do you have anything like this in stock at the moment. Also - will you be opening on Sunday's nearer xmas?



 Jaq    Saturday 14 November 2009 at 20:48

Hi Tracey

It's yes to your question about lovely dresses with 3/4-length sleeves. I've just had a delivery from one of my favourite suppliers, Anna Scholz, that had quite a few such dresses. I'm also expecting another delivery with a selection of beautiful items on Thursday, so your timing could be good. It is always the luck-of-the-draw with sizing and availability, but hopefully there will something in the collection that you might love.

At present we do not open on a Sunday, but if you would like to have a one-to-one chat do call us at the shop on 01273 327240.

Many thanks



Carina    Tuesday 10 November 2009 at 21:15

 Post #87 

Subject: More of the same please!!

Hi Emma
After my hugely successful visit to your shop earlier in the year for my sister's Mamma Mia wedding I have another wedding to go to in a few weeks time. It is an evening one this time and I wondered what you had in for me to look at, possibly next week?
Let me know, thanks and very best wishes and look forward to seeing you.


 Jaq    Wednesday 11 November 2009 at 23:16

Hi Carina

My name is Jaq and I run Emma Plus's shop floor. Emma is indisposed for a short while, so I thought I would respond to your enquiry. We have had a few new deliveries this week - including some absolutely stunning pieces from Anna Scholz. Anna specialises in evening wear and her items are just wonderful for making you feel fabulous. Her clothes really have to be tried on, as she gets the fit superbly. I would suggest that you call me at the shop so we can have a chat about what sort of thing you're looking for. Please phone 01273 327240 - I'm in most days.

Good luck



 Carina    Friday 13 November 2009 at 09:43

Hi Jaq
Thanks for your message, unfortunatly I am unable to call you today as I have to be somewhere that I can't make phone calls from! Anyhow, the sort of thing I am looking for is the very attractive 'duster' coat I bought from you in the summer. It is a sort of silk chiffony fabric with beading and an under shift/dress. I bought a realy simple black stretchy one I think it was EXcell, very slimming I think! Anyhow, I am planning on coming to Brighton on Tuesday next week if you think it is worth while. Let me know, if you need my phone number - or I might try and ring tomorrow, but again very hectic here with daughter's birthday party! Thanks. Carina


 Jaq    Saturday 14 November 2009 at 21:07

Hi Carina

So pleased that you've enjoyed your purchases from Emma Plus! The Exelle black dress is extremely versatile and can be dressed up or down depending what you want it for. It's a great base and could easily be worn again for an evening function.

Why don't you bring it with you when you come down to the shop. Tuesday is a good day to come in, but if you can wait until Thursday you might find we have even more choice, as I'm expecting quite a large delivery. We look forward to seeing you in the store.

Warm regards



Terri Lambert    Wednesday 14 October 2009 at 20:28

 Post #83 

Subject: limited budget but high hopes

Hi i am new to your webite. I am a 5'2" size 20/22 50 year old woman. I have recently been made redundant and have a limited budget to update my look to feel confident to get my next job. I have always felt intimidated in small shops and have had the usual expereince of finding clothes that fit in the usual high street retailers. I was planning to go to london at the end of the month in the hope of finding a wider selection of larger sizes but i think i know that my search will be as dissapointing as it usually is. I am looking for a stylish but smart 'capsule' wardrobe that will take me from interview through to day to day office wear - should i forget London and come to Emma Plus?


 Emma    Thursday 15 October 2009 at 15:27

Hi Terri

Thank you for your post. It often happens that the first time we meet a new customer is when she is on the lookout for her next job! We like to think that we are able to be the ‘secret weapon’ to give her an unfair advantage at interview.

We do have a lot of customers travelling down from London to buy from us. I think it is because we can offer help and advice, as well as a wide choice of items. To know that you have really found the right thing to wear is a tremendous boost to confidence at this time.

It’s great to feel sassy and fashionably dressed, but for an interview I would always suggest an effortless, comfortable businesslike look - the emphasis should be on choosing your outfit, then forgetting all about it. The last thing that should be on your mind during an interview is a concern about how you are looking.

Some seasons we have many work suits, yet at other times separates seem to be the in-thing. At the moment there are a lot of work-style co-ordinates. The good thing is that this means that an interview outfit will effortlessly turn into part of the 'capsule wardrobe' required to do the job!

You need have no concerns about your height. Although many of our clothes target the taller woman, we have a free alteration service which will ensure your outfit fits you perfectly.

My only worry is that you don't leave it too late: the clothes come in throughout September, and then start to sell out. By the end of November our choice starts to get quite restricted.

This year, I’m proud to say that we had 100% success in our interview outfits, so the omens are good - you’ve stumbled upon us at the right time!


 Terri    Friday 16 October 2009 at 09:51

Thankyou so much for your response. Can you tell me if i need to make an appointment to get the most from my visit?

Many thanks again!


 Emma    Friday 16 October 2009 at 10:44

Hi Terri

No, it isn't necessary to have an appointment, although it's vital to know our opening hours if you are travelling to us, because we are closed on Sundays and Mondays!

The rest of the week we are open between 10am and 5pm - and you can always phone us on 01273 327240. We look forward to seeing you in the store!


Jane    Friday 02 October 2009 at 14:26

 Post #80 

Subject: Pink Dress on Homepage


The pink dress shown on your home page is fantastic. Do you have them in stock still? Who was the designer?




 Emma    Friday 02 October 2009 at 15:24

Hi Jane

Thank you for your post - I'm glad you like the dress on our homepage.

The picture is an 'historical' one... it's a dress by Anna Scholz from a couple of seasons ago. We will usually have an iconic image on our homepage that remains unchanged for a while to help communicate our brand values to new customers.

We sold that particular dress very quickly, as we do nearly all Anna Scholz dresses. We do have some from the latest collection in now, but as usual they are already selling through.

We generally find that if you discover you like one item in the Anna Scholz range, then you will love many others. I would recommend, if you are interested, that you track down a stockist and try them - they are every bit as gorgeous on as they are in the photographs!


sally    Saturday 05 September 2009 at 12:20

 Post #73 

Subject: winter coat

I am looking for a long winter coat size 36 - if I have to face another english winter looking like a bag lady will go mad - any ideas?


 Emma    Saturday 05 September 2009 at 18:00

Hi Sally

Thanks for your post. You will be glad to hear that we have some superb winter coats on order this season, and now is the time to start looking.

This is because the winter season’s stock starts to come in through September and October, but items really sell quickly. There’s never a time when everything is in stock - by the time the last things arrive, the first things have already gone!

I think it would be a very good idea for you to start phoning us on 01273 327240, and we will keep you updated as to what has come in. Alternatively, you could speak to one of us about what it is that you are really looking for, and we could add you to our ‘wish list’. This means that we will call you when what you are wanting arrives in the store.

I have included a photo of a couple of the coats that we have already. The burgundy coat is from last season, is by a supplier called Chalou and is reduced in the sale. It’s a size 34, but Chalou is quite generous. The purple coat has just arrived from our supplier Exelle. These coats are selling like hot cakes, so if you are interested, do call us!

I’m certain that you have never looked like a bag lady. I also have no doubt that your days of feeling like a bag lady are rapidly coming to an end...

Nicola    Wednesday 12 August 2009 at 12:16

 Post #70 

Subject: Autumn - Winter 2009

Hi Emma

Just a quick question on when we can expect to see some examples of your new season's stock on the web site.

I can't get over before late September but would love to have an idea of what's coming up.



 Emma    Wednesday 12 August 2009 at 22:28

Hi Nicola

Thanks for your post. It's interesting how you seem to have read my mind, although I suppose (to someone interested in fashion) it is perhaps a question that was begging to be asked!

Jaq and I were just discussing the new images for the website today. It is frustrating for us at the beginning of the season before we have received them all. As soon as we get them we collate them to find a representative selection, and then send them to our technical department (i.e. my brother John, the genius behind our website), who arranges them on the site.

I have noticed before, Nicola, that you have a knack of giving me a little jog now and again (for other readers, Nicola is a customer - and friend, I think I can say now - of long standing). You’ve just set me thinking that now I have the blog, it is not necessary to await all the new images before I can start putting some of them up for customers to see.

I promise, as soon as I get some really good ones, I will put them on the blog and explain what is coming in. In the meantime I will photograph some of the new deliveries myself, so you can have a taster.

These are two fantastic jackets that have just come in, but are already selling. The black one is Sallie Sahne, the red Anna Scholz...

 Nicola    Thursday 13 August 2009 at 13:48

Hi Emma

Thanks for the reply. I'll keep an eye out for the new images.

We're off on holiday next week for our annual trip to Galicia just keeping my fingers crossed that the weather will be fine as the climate has more in common with Cornwall than it does with the rest of Spain.

Speak to you soon


 Emma    Thursday 13 August 2009 at 18:23

Hi Nicola

I hope you have whatever weather you wish for on your holiday! I only say this because, living in Spain, you may not be praying for the kind of really hot weather that most Brits long for on holiday. You may actually be wanting typical Cornish weather!

Here are some more new deliveries. The knitted parkas and waistcoats are by Elena Miro - and are made from incredibly light, soft yarn. This season's colours are particularly good.

 Emma    Saturday 12 September 2009 at 15:49


Hope you are well. You may or may not have noticed that our new images for the Autumn/Winter collection have now been put on to the 'Our Range' pages on the main part of the site...


 Nicola    Tuesday 15 September 2009 at 18:13

Hi Emma

Sorry not to reply sooner. Yes I saw the photos of the autumn winter stuff when I got back from holiday last week. It has really whet my appetite for popping over for a shopping trip.

I am trying to find a cheap flight for this Saturday (19th) otherwise it will be the week after.

Looking forward to seeing you all!


 Emma    Friday 18 September 2009 at 16:39

Hi Nicola!

I wonder if you have managed to get a flight - it would be so great to see you!

We have had some lovely things in - hope to see you soon.

 Nicola    Sunday 20 September 2009 at 15:49

Hi Emma

I'm just arranging a flight to come over next Saturday (the flights this weekend were really expensive). Looking forward to see you and Jaq on the 26th.

I should arrive around 9:30am so have a cup of tea ready!



 Emma    Monday 21 September 2009 at 13:33


Excellent! We will have the kettle on. It will be so good to see you...



 Emma    Saturday 26 September 2009 at 17:40

Hi Nicola

So sorry to hear that you couldn't get in today - oh the problems of a jet-set lifestyle!

Hope to see you next Saturday...

Have a great week.


 NICOLA    Monday 28 September 2009 at 09:48

Yeah I was really gutted when I arrived at the airport at 6:30am to find the flight had a 4+ hour delay. As I was due to return on the same day it would only have left 1 hour in Brighton for all my shopping (impossible).

Easyjet have changed my booking to next Saturday instead. I just hope they have a plane next time!



 Emma    Monday 28 September 2009 at 16:35

Hi Nicola!

I can't help feeling that it is a cheek - you were put to so much trouble!

I look forward to seeing you this Saturday - the only problem being that Jaq has got a day off, so you will miss her this time...


 Nicola    Friday 09 October 2009 at 20:52

Hi Emma

Just a quick note to thank you for last Saturday, it was lovely to see you and as usual I came away with some beautiful clothes. It was just a shame to miss Jaq.

I wore the Elena Miro shirt and Verpas trousers to work yesterday for an important customer meeting and felt great. Unfortunately the rest of the new things will have to wait a bit longer as it's been 30 degrees C all week! I am praying for cold weather so that I can get out the new coat. I absolutely love it, it's wonderfully tailored. I will try to remember to post a photo on the forum when winter finally arrives.

As I mentionned, if you see any cardigans or jumpers which you think I'll like please let me know.

Lastly I must apologise for not thanking you for the lunch, I only realised when I was on my way back to the airport - put it down to jet lag :-)

Thanks again!


Elizabeth Stredwick    Wednesday 29 July 2009 at 16:14

 Post #67 

Subject: Outfit for party in the garden(Ruby wedding celebration)

Hi Emma and Kim, thank you for all your help on Saturday.It was so good to have advice from kim on the sort of outfit I wanted. It was also so refreshing to have such excellent customer service. I soon forgot the rigours of the journey across London with every other line not in service! It was all worth while to find your service so good. Now I have had a little time to read your forum I realise that you expertly guided me towards the exact outfit that apple shapes look good in! I am now looking out for that chunky necklace that is not too short!! I know that I will be visiting your shop again as I have found the perfect activity for me when my husband goes walking on the South Downs!
Best wishes Elizabeth


 Emma    Wednesday 29 July 2009 at 22:43

Hi Elizabeth

Thank you so much for your post - it was lovely to meet you on Saturday. I’m so glad you found what you wanted for your celebration.

I couldn’t believe your terrible luck with the trains - but, as I said at the time, it did end up being worth it!

We look forward to seeing you again soon.


Joani    Tuesday 12 May 2009 at 22:22

 Post #42 

Subject: trousers

Do you do Chalou and Sempre Piu trousers and tops ?


 Emma    Wednesday 13 May 2009 at 09:57

Hi Joani

Thank you for your enquiry. We certainly do have a lot of people interested in Chalou and Sempre Piu! This is a subject already touched on in this forum. The situation is that because another shop near us stocked these ranges, until recently we were not able to stock them.

Now the other shop (Cinnamon, in Burgess Hill and Brighton) has closed down, we will be able to start stocking them. As everything we have is 'forward ordered' (meaning that it is ordered six months in advance), we have not yet had the chance to order them for this season.

Because of the real interest, especially on the forum, we promise to do our best to order this range (Chalou and Sempre Piu are actually from the same supplier).

We have a new member of staff who worked at Cinnamon, and she suggests that if you are interested in the Chalou trousers with the cut-out section on the leg, you may also be interested in some of our Brand trousers, which are very similar.

We do have a lot of lovely trousers, which - although different from the Chalou range - are well worth having a look at if you are able to visit the store...


Michelle Hearn    Wednesday 06 May 2009 at 10:21

 Post #38 

Subject: NP Jacket and jeans/trousers

Hi Emma,
I have sent you an email at your shop address and wondered if you have received it yet.
Many thanks and look forward to hearing from you.
Michelle Hearn


 Emma    Wednesday 06 May 2009 at 13:56

Hi Michelle

Thanks for your post. I did receive your email message and thought I had replied to it. However, it is more than possible that (through sheer incompetence!) I actually sent the email intended for you to my other email address!

I have sent you a copy of that email, forwarded to your address - if you fail to get it, please contact me again and I will try something different!

It's a sad fact that, although I really love contacting customers using these new-fangled technologies, I am actually completely rubbish at anything IT. I put this down to being the wrong generation - I have never had any training in computers, and they didn't even have calculators when I was at school! That's my excuse, and I'm sticking to it...


Michelle    Thursday 30 April 2009 at 16:56

 Post #34 

Subject: Chalou Clothing + NP

Hi Emma,

I've been looking everywhere for Chalou jeans/trousers to replace my 2 pairs (trendy black ones, and cream ones) they both have a feature on one leg!
Was wondering if you will be stocking them very soon as I cannot find any shop (in Sussex!)that does since the shop I purchased them from has since closed down in Burgess Hill.

Many thanks.

Regards, Michelle

PS. From the pictures of clothing on your website is there anyway you could provide the make/style no. of them as I'm after a certain NP black linen jacket (+ pattern) (half sleeves) in a certain size?


 Emma    Thursday 30 April 2009 at 20:39

Hi Michelle

As you’ve mentioned, there was a business with shops in Brighton and Burgess Hill that stocked the Chalou range. It was called Cinnamon (I think this was the shop that you bought your beloved Chalou trousers from). When more than one shop in an area stocks large sizes, they usually try to avoid selling the same ranges. This gives the customer more variety - it would be narrowing the field of consumer choice if all the large-size shops were to sell the same outfits!

This is one of the reasons why, in the past, Emma Plus did not stock the Chalou range. Now that Cinnamon has sadly closed down, there is no store in this area the sells it. As we have had numerous requests for Chalou, we have decided to look seriously at stocking it in the future.

We have been asking interested customers to contact the shop (on 01273 327240) and place their names on our ‘wish list’ for whatever it is that they would like us to source. In your case it sounds like the Chalou trousers! We would then keep you up-to-date with developments, and phone you when the range comes into stock.

I would like to find out if there is any chance of getting Chalou this season, but if this is not possible (it’s likely to be too late), then we would hope to do so in future seasons.

It may be worth mentioning, at this stage, that we do have some gorgeous (non-Chalou) trousers in stock at the moment - for example the NP range, which is very strong this season.

If you are interested in a particular NP jacket it would probably be best for you to phone us, on the above number, and we will supply price and availability information...


 Emma    Thursday 07 May 2009 at 10:12

Hi Michelle

We have a new member of staff, a woman called Kim (right), who used to work at Cinnamon as the manager of its Brighton marina branch. She is now our assistant manager, and she tells me she remembers you!

She says she also owns the same trousers that you have mentioned, and so has been able to give me the heads-up as to what it is that we should be buying from Chalou!

Emma    Wednesday 15 April 2009 at 20:23

 Post #28 

Subject: Young and stylish wedding wear for a larger 30 something

I have been asked to speak at my sister in law's wedding in June - so I need to look fab! I have seen a beautiful green and gold Anna Scholz kimono dress - do you have it? I have been having dreams about wearing it with some killer gold heels Or alternatively the black and pink dress in the evening wear pictures = with Killer pink heels?

Would love to know so I can come and pay you a visit.




 Emma    Thursday 16 April 2009 at 10:44

Hi Emma

Great to hear the news about your family event! I know how how you feel. I was asked to speak at my sister's wedding two years ago in front of 250 people. I too chose an Anna Scholz dress, and I felt superb!

I think it would be a very good idea for you to call the shop (01273 327240) and talk to Jaq or me (Emma). We have had the dress in... and it sold out. It really is gorgeous. There may be availability to re-order, but we would have to find out your size, etc. There are other related things available from Anna that may interest you as well.

It's worth mentioning that Anna Scholz items often sell out very quickly, but can be re-ordered for specific customers. However, as time goes on, what we can re-order does diminish. There is a real cachet about designers like Anna Scholz - we never really get enough to satisfy all the demand. The last customers of the season do tend to miss out on their first choice. It's a cruel reality, but this is one of the reasons why you will never turn up to a wedding and find anyone else there wearing your dream Anna Scholz look....


Carina    Saturday 11 April 2009 at 22:28

 Post #27 

Subject: Mama Mia Wedding

Hi Emma
I wonder if you can help. I am going to my sister's wedding in June in Greece!! It will be fairly hot, but not baking and I want something to wear!! I am 5'8 and about size 24/26 (american 2x on top and 3x on bottom)
I was hoping to find a sort of duster coat with a skirt and tank underneath - if you think you may have something along these lines, I will come and see you - I'd love to come anyway as am in need of a wardrobe makeover!!
Look forward to hearing from you
PS do you stock an American designer called Eileen Fisher?? We have been living in Chicago for a number of years and I had great success with her clothes.


 Emma    Tuesday 14 April 2009 at 13:10

Hi Carina

Your sister's wedding in Greece sounds fantastic! I do hope you have a wonderful time....

I have to say, from what you have written, I think you will find a great selection of what you are looking for here at the shop right now. We have lots of lovely longer, soft, lightweight jacket/coats that would be suitable for a wedding. As you suggest, we usually team this with a 'tank' (we often locally refer to this as a 'camisole'), and either a skirt, or a pair of smart, soft trousers. It's a wonderful trendy, younger look.

You're particularly lucky with your height and size. As you are in the middle of our size range, you will get the pick of all the looks, and most of the clothes in the store are based on a height of about 5'8'' or 9''.

The choice of a duster coat style for a taller woman is an excellent one: you will look and feel cool and arty, and will be able to carry off the longer length perfectly (but you already know this!).

I do not at the moment do any American ranges: a few years ago we did, but then suddenly the American designers seemed to leave the european marketplace, I assume for economic reasons of some kind. I am not aware that this range is available to be bought over here at the moment (from a retailer's point of view). At some point in the future I will try to travel over to the states to source them - if I can't get them here, I will try over there! Thanks for giving me the heads-up about Eileen Fisher - this is exactly what the forum is for!

 Kathy    Sunday 12 April 2009 at 07:42

I would like to add my support for Eileen Fisher's range - David Dart is another US designer who has easy to wear quality fashion.
My biggest quest has always to find the perfect Tee or cotton Tunic - good weight - not too thin or fitted-long enough.
I am also quite fond of the Dutch designer, Cora Kemperman - I like that quirky lagenlook.
Emma and Jaq have always been at the front in showcasing on trend clothes that flatter and suit.
Now off to get the Easter roast in the oven and munch on the lovely Easter egg!
Enjoy the day!


 Emma    Sunday 12 April 2009 at 20:31

Hi Kathy

Uuurgh! I've just eaten an entire easter egg, and the chocolates inside, in one sitting...

I am so excited about the way the forum is going... this kind of information about recommended ranges is invaluable. I would always be interested to hear about what you are looking for and why. Some businesses spend thousands on market research, but we have you guys...!

I too am obsessed with the perfect T - and I can tell you it is one of the most frustrating things you can imagine. Some ranges have got beautiful colours, but not the length. Why oh why do they think anyone will want a T-shirt that stops half-way across their stomach?

Then we find lovely ones that seem perfect until we realise that some genius has decided to make them fitted (it's a lucky and rare woman who can wear a fitted T-shirt over a size 12 without showing her spare tyre!). Then we strike gold and have an ideal solution, which the manufacturers only produce for one season. We then get tormented with customers who want more of them!

I think there would be a very good market for someone to simply make gorgeous large T-shirts - and nothing else - in every imaginable colour, fit and length, and in a choice of different weights - and run them every season.

The two main T-shirt ranges that we have at the moment are Exelle (which do lovely long, A-line T-shirts in gorgeous colours), and Deluca, which do very reasonably priced soft cotton T-shirts. We also generally do tops from our regular ranges - if we see a top that we think will interest our customers, we always buy it.


 Carina    Tuesday 14 April 2009 at 17:52

Thanks for the reply Emma, I am going to try and come to Brighton next week, I see that your trouser days are on then, will you be too busy do you think?? Most likely day is Tuesday I think.


 Emma    Wednesday 15 April 2009 at 18:30

Hi Carina

Great to hear that you may be coming down to Brighton next week. We certainly won't be too busy to help you, and it may be a good idea to get in before the Trouser Days. This is because a lot of people come in looking for a pair of trousers, and leave, for example, with a lovely duster coat as well - so it would be best to get in first!

I do envy you with your Mamma Mia wedding - I'd love to be contemplating something like that.... Beautiful sunshine, the sea glinting, lovely summer clothes. Sounds just like Brighton actually. We can but dream.


Christina    Saturday 28 March 2009 at 18:45

 Post #22 

Subject: Young, Short and Curvy

Hi there,

I found your site some time early last year and always tried to make it down to Brighton, but I have never managed it. I think part of the reason is that I am afraid I will not find anything that I like. I am 33 years old, short (5 ft 1) and very curvy - size 18, big boobs, defined waist. I always struggle in stores that cater specifically for plus size because the clothes are too long and not really suitable for someone in their 30's as the styles are more for older women.

Can you recommend any items from your collections for a young and modern girl? I would also LOVE to wear jeans. I only tend to wear them when I have lost weight, but rather than hold off for weight loss again, I would love to find some nice, flattering, comfortable jeans for my short legs and big bum - any suggestions?

Many thanks


 Emma    Monday 30 March 2009 at 23:02

Hi Christina

Thank you for your post. I totally understand your predicament, and get behind where you’re coming from!

I think that you are suffering from several disadvantages. One is that really beautiful clothes in larger sizes do tend to be geared more towards women in their late thirties and upward, and the another is that many larger-sized clothes are designed for taller women.

Your problem is compounded by the fact that you are curvy, by which I mean that you have the kind of shape that really benefits from fitted clothes, rather than drapy ones.

Many companies that sell mail order specialise in more drapy styles, which are easier to fit a wide range of women, so minimising returns. To be honest, though, even if you were able to buy fitted styles by mail order, they would probably not fit you properly. This is because you would need to get the correct waist-to-hip ratio in the right place - not a particularly easy thing to do when you have to make your choice by looking at photographs of the clothes on six-foot tall, straight up and down models!

What really annoys me about your situation is it is not as if you are alone! The average size of a British woman is 16 (not a million miles from your size), and the average height is 5’4” - closer, in fact, to your height than it is to the aforesaid 6’ model. There are literally millions of women like you!

We have many customers who are in your predicament, although you may be a little small for us. We tend to specialise in size 20 or above - we do some 18s, but the selection is not so great. It’s true that we do have many middle-aged and older customers, but we also regularly have women in your age group, and younger, shopping with us.

The most important thing that we do is to offer an alteration service. This means that when you have selected the clothes that you want, we will fit them to your shape, and then send them on to you. This service is usually completely free.

I know that in the beginning some women don’t really want to have clothes altered. I can understand this. If it were possible to walk out of the shop with all your gorgeous clothes straight away, we would all wish to do it. Also, the first time that you have this done there is always an element of concern. What is involved in the alteration process - will it really work…?

However, after having clothes altered to fit their shape most women are completely hooked, and it’s one of the major reasons why women travel miles and miles to come to us.

I think that over a period of time you will come to find a selection of ranges that will suit your personality and body shape. The obvious choice for you would be Anna Scholz. Her look is young and sassy, and it is also fitted and sexy. It’s not cheap, though, and it will almost certainly need alterations (Anna Scholz herself is about 6’2”, and some of her clothes are long). Virtually every week that we have Anna Scholz items in stock we sell one to a curvy woman, and alter it to fit properly. This is how our seamstress earns her living!

When it comes to jeans, I would just find a pair that you like the look of, and get us to alter them so that you really like the fit. Then wear them every day until you get another pair altered for you, because when you have a pair of jeans fitted to you, you will not want to wear any other jeans.

I would always suggest that you - and women like you (i.e. young women who want plenty of choice) - should come in early in the season if you are able. Right now is a good time, and for the winter season, September/October is also good. What people don’t realise about small shops like ours is that we tend to get most of our collection in all at one time, and as the season goes by it sells through. This leaves a much-diminished choice later in the season. If independent designer clothes retailing were a game, the object of the game would be to sell everything before the end of July, and have a completely empty shop just before the winter season’s stock was delivered! Obviously this doesn’t happen, but the choice in July cannot be compared with the choice right now.


Susan    Saturday 21 March 2009 at 13:22

 Post #20 

Subject: Sempre Piu

I was wondering if you stocked the Sempre Piu brand of basic camisole tops in a size 26/28?


 Emma    Saturday 21 March 2009 at 17:58

Hi Susan

You've really got me there! Not only do I not stock this range, but I don't believe I've ever heard of it. Do you know what country it is made in? It would help in trying to track it down.

One of the reasons why I started the forum/blog was to find out what women wanted and see what I could do about it.

I would certainly be happy to look at any ranges that are recommended to me by customers. I won't necessarily be able to stock them all, but it's very useful information to know what people like and why....


 Emma    Monday 23 March 2009 at 11:32

Hi Susan

I have now found out that Sempre Piu is part of Chalou - a range that we have not handled to date.

I have been looking at Chalou and we may stock them at some point in the future. If I do end up stocking the Sempre Piu camis I will mention it here, on the forum/blog.

In the meantime, good luck with your search...


Sally    Monday 16 March 2009 at 00:03

 Post #18 

Subject: Red White and Blue

Hello - help! I am going to a very special charity event for an old friend who has Motor Neurone Disease. It's a black tie 'do' but the theme is 'Red, White and Blue'. I have been trawling the internet for days and have just discovered your wonderful website. As luck would have it, I will be in West Sussex for a few days at the end of the month and can definitely come and visit you. I have a wedding and two parties to attend in addition to the main event, so I am looking for a 'killer' outfit that will fit all occasions! I saw a super red trouser suit displayed - would that be available still and in a size 22?

Thank you so much - what a relief to find such a great website.

Best wishes - Sally


 Emma    Monday 16 March 2009 at 11:31

Hi Sally

Thank you for your kind comments about our site, and congratulations for your support of such a worthwhile charity event!

We do have quite a few beautiful items that would fit into the red white and blue theme. Blue is a particularly strong look this year, and red and white are staples that nearly always make some kind of appearance in our collection, summer or winter.

I worry that the jacket you have seen on the website may have sold out in your size. We still have one in stock, but I fear that it may be a bit too big for you. However, I was considering trying to re-order this style, so you may still be in luck.

We have an unusual way of buying, in that we buy a wide range of items, but nothing in any depth. What this means is that we tend to have 3 or 4 of any particular item, but we have hundreds of different styles. There are advantages and disadvantages to this. On the plus side, it means that when you come into the store, you'll find a choice of hundreds of different looks, and you'd be very unlucky ever to see anyone else wearing what you have bought. On the minus side, once the item has gone into stock it sells out very quickly. Many times, sold out items cannot be re-ordered.

I think that when you get to the store you will be spoiled for choice. We look forward to meeting you when you come in at the end of the month.


 Sally Matson    Sunday 05 April 2009 at 00:10

Dear Emma - your hatred of clothes shopping mirrors my own and for all the same reasons! Imagine my delight, therefore, on entering your shop last Saturday 28th March, to find that none of the usual irritations and frustrations applied. You and your team are amazing. The 'Emma Plus' experience was so positive and uplifting; what a contrast!
Thank you for your warm welcome and your extremely valuable advice and input. I will be back!


 Emma    Wednesday 08 April 2009 at 18:07

Hi Sally

Thank you so much for your kind words! I have to say, I do really enjoy coming into work and spending quality time with like-minded, and lovely people like yourself!


 Sally Matson    Sunday 12 April 2009 at 15:34

Hi Emma - here as promised is a picture of me wearing The Outfit, along with my husband Tom, taken in the No. 1 Court Debentures Lounge at the All England Club just last night. We had a great evening. Thank you for all your help and advice.

Best wishes to your and your team. See you later in the year.


 Emma    Sunday 12 April 2009 at 21:00

Hi Sally

I can't tell you how happy you have made me, posting your photograph! You and your husband look superb. I'm very proud to have been a small part of this story!

One of the reasons why we started the forum (as I explained to you in the store) was that some women have had difficult experiences in trying to find really lovely clothes in our size range, and have begun to doubt that they will ever really find something gorgeous for a special event.

We wanted to share some of the stories of women finding a lovely look for a significant moment, and illustrate them so that people get to see the end result.

What the photograph is not able to illustrate, however, is what a lovely woman you are, and how supportive you are towards your friends and good causes (I've embarrassed you now!).

I hope to see you again in the store in the future!!


Sharin    Tuesday 03 March 2009 at 19:08

 Post #13 

Subject: Mother of the Groom

My son is getting married in May and I have been trawling the internet for plus size outfits for weeks. I have been getting more and more depressed thinking I will not be able to find anything smart, different but reasonably trendy. Having only just come across your site, I would be really grateful if you would advise if you have anything suitable.

Being under 50, I would really like something colourful, preferrably a trouser suit, that I would be able to wear again (not everyday, but on special occasions). Living in Winchester I would be able to make the journey down to your shop if you are likely to have anything suitable.

Thank you so much.



 Emma    Wednesday 04 March 2009 at 17:36

Dear Sharin

Congratulations to your son on the forthcoming wedding! I am glad to hear that you have found us, and are interested in our range.

You do not mention your size, but if you are in the range between a large 18 to size 34, we do have a lot of wedding outfits that are beautifully colourful and trendy. This is the time of year that we are particularly well-stocked, so you are in luck.

Our look is quite young and fashion-orientated, and we find that our customers are looking for versatile clothes. Most women now would want something they will wear over and over again, rather than a really over-the-top look that would only be worn once.

I would recommend that you phone us on 01273 327240 and talk to us. We do have a lot of customers coming from over your way. I know it sounds ridiculous, but in comparison to many of our customers, you are really close to us!

It is very important, though, if you are having to travel to get here, to make sure that we have got plenty of options in your size range, to make the journey worthwhile, so we do recommend phoning first.

 Sharin Meharg    Wednesday 04 March 2009 at 19:59

Thank you for your response.

As soon as I sent the message I realised I'd not put my size, which is 22/24.

I will ring the shop tomorrow to check as you suggested, and if you have any suitable stock, would like to come down on Saturday.

Thank you again for your help.



Rosy Elliott    Sunday 15 February 2009 at 16:25

 Post #9 

Subject: Help, my son's getting married

I am a 5'4'' tall size 20 and have to find an outfit for my son's wedding in July this year. I am an apple shape and am really struggling to find anything to wear. I like colourful clothes and all the outfits I have seen are either designed to be worn in sizes 10 to 14 and look ridiculous in a size 20. Also the colours are so bland. I may be large but I'm no shrinking violet and love strong jewel colours. Do you have any advice on what I could wear (my preference is for trousers by the way!). I don't live anywhere near Brighton otherwise I would call in and see what you have to offer but I found your website and your clothes look great.


 Emma    Sunday 15 February 2009 at 22:38

Hi Rosy,

Thanks for asking for advice about wedding outfits - I’m so glad you have brought up the subject of trouser suits for this purpose. Many women feel they cannot wear a trouser suit (or smart trouser outfit) to a wedding and I’ve found that this can lead to frustration.

This is because a lot of women feel much more comfortable in trousers, and wear them virtually all the time in their everyday lives. Then, when such a woman is going to attend a wedding, just at the very moment when she wants to look her best, she feels she has to leave her comfort zone and buy a dress or a skirt suit. A long, anxious search ensues, during which she sees several gorgeous trouser outfits that she would like, but feels she is not allowed to wear. Eventually she finds a lovely skirt suit that looks good but nevertheless is something she feels rather alien wearing, and which she knows she will never wear again. The whole experience is capped off with arriving at the church or registry office and seeing that so many of the other guests are strutting about in trouser ensembles!

The whole issue of what you are ‘allowed’ to wear to a wedding is fraught, and I do think these days we should just wear something smart, comfortable and flattering to our own physique.

Which brings me on to an apple shape woman wearing a trouser suit! I think it is a particularly good choice. I am an apple shape myself, and I find that a really nice, well-cut trouser combination really suits our body shape. The most important thing about being apple is that you try to get as much elastication as you can in the waist of what you are wearing on your bottom half. It is a really good solution to find a pair of straight-leg trousers with plenty of elastic in the fabric and the waistband, and take a smaller size than you would normally have. This is because if it is a good quality waistband it will stretch enough, and you will get a snug enough fit on your bottom and legs which are probably smallish.

Then you will need to team this with a tailored jacket (not necessarily the traditional 'suit' option of exactly the same fabric. This year suits can comprise toning fabrics of jackets and trousers), which will give your waist a shape. Please don’t worry if you can’t get the jacket done up comfortably. It won’t look good buttoned up on an apple shape; it will simply draw attention to your worst area, your waist. The jacket should be worn open over a contrasting coloured top. This will cut your body in half widthways (always a good thing), whilst at the same time elongating it.

Whereas the jacket and the trousers should be rather tight, the top underneath should be somewhat loose. It doesn’t matter if it is slightly shapeless in itself; the jacket will give you a feminine shape if it is a good one. The main point is that your top must not cling to your tummy. Make sure not to choose a shiny fabric, or one that creases a lot.

I am sorry you are not able to get into the shop: we do have women coming from all over the country to visit us. Just the other day a woman drove down from Hull (and back-in a day!) to shop with us - such is the dearth of good clothes shops for our size.

I think that your worries about colour this summer should be unfounded, at least. The colours this year are wonderful: beautiful purples and lilacs, lime greens, cobalt blues, orange and pearl greys. A strong look for summer this year is black and white - super smart for a wedding. If there is a halfway decent shop in your area, you should find the colours a joy.

I get what you are saying about the clothes available on the High Street not being suitable for the larger woman. It’s an extraordinary thing that the average size of women in Britain is 16, yet this is usually labelled as ‘large’. It should be medium. If the fashion industry made any sense all the clothes should be graded from a size 16, up towards the large sizes and down towards size zero. Then we would get clothes that would suit a size 20 - which is really not so far off the average!

 Rosy Elliott    Monday 16 February 2009 at 12:06

I'm coming to Brighton after all!

Thanks for your very helpful reply. My elder son is moving to Brighton next month and so I shall have just the excuse I need to come and visit both him and your shop! He is temporarily living in a street near the centre of Brighton - Tichbourn Street/Road. Is that anywhere near you?



 Emma    Monday 16 February 2009 at 16:59

Hi Rosy!

Oh the dear boy - he's moving just round the corner from us, so you will just have to come in when you come down to visit him. It's a tough job, but someone has to do it!

Please remember that we are closed on Sundays and Mondays - I would hate to find that you have had a wasted journey.


Nicola    Friday 06 February 2009 at 17:39

 Post #4 

Subject: Jeans

Hi Emma and thanks for the forum, great idea.

I was just surfing the net and came across a jeans brand called Svoboda. According to the details you stock them. What are they like and has anyone got them? I normally wear NP Jeans.



 Emma    Saturday 07 February 2009 at 10:04

Hi Nicola

Thanks for your enquiry about Svoboda jeans. Yes, we have stocked them (and actually we still have a pair of size 28). Whether we will continue to stock them is a bit of a contentious issue - all those we had ended up in the sale!

The problem is the fit. These jeans are uncompromisingly trendy - they are like thin women's jeans - full of attitude, very varied... real fashion items. I love them. But when our customers have decided what to buy from our selection of jeans, they have ended up choosing other ranges that make more of an effort to fit the larger woman. In particular, Svoboda do not have any elastic in either the denim or the waist.

Although I personally love them, even I didn't end up buying a pair for myself! In an ideal world I would like to stock them every season, because they are so trendy, and look good on the shop floor. Unfortunately, they are also required to look good and feel good on the human body.

However, I really believe that in the future Svoboda will want to maximise its sales, and will introduce a more 'larger-woman-friendly' ethos, and I will be the very first to stock them again.

So what are the jeans most chosen by our customers? Actually, your old friends NP! They've really improved their fit and I think they are some of the best shapes and styles available that also are comfortable and wearable.

We will be doing some 'trouser days' soon, where a consultant will come to the shop to assess your body shape with the aid of her trusty computer (it's great fun), and show you which style of NP trousers suit your own unique shape. These are being held on the 24th and 25th April. If you are interested, do call or email us and we will send you an invite....


 Nicola    Saturday 07 February 2009 at 17:23

Hi Emma and thanks for your reply

I'm quite happy with my NPs but its always nice to try something new. Would be interested in your trouser day but as you know I can only make it over from Spain a couple of times a year. Let we know the dates and I'll see.



 Emma    Monday 09 February 2009 at 11:32


I don't know whether you have seen the new posting - the trouser days are on 24th and 25th April (please click here to see post).

I know that you are not always able to travel over at a specific time, but you may be interested to know that the huge consignment of trousers that will come in specially for trouser day will remain in stock for at least a month afterwards. Hopefully, this may give you another bite of the cherry if you are interested in trousers, but unable to come in late April.

I myself will be looking forward to seeing more of the NP jeans. I know you were interested in jeans from other makers, but I do think it may be quite infomative to see more of the NP range - perhaps jeans that we have never seen here before...

For the purposes of choice, we are also pursuing jeans from other ranges, and will keep you posted as and when we have any news.


 Nicola    Monday 20 April 2009 at 14:27

Hi Emma

Glad to hear you will keep extra stock of trousers in after the NP trouser event this week.

I have just booked with Easyjet to come over on May 2nd for the day so hopefully I'll have lots to choose from! I am desperate for jeans as my current pairs of NPs are almost worn out.

See you soon


Jane Hummerston    Wednesday 28 January 2009 at 14:00

 Post #3 

Subject: evening outfits

I have an important evening event to go to but would like a dress or outfit that you need to feel confident in, but also wear again in the future.


 Emma    Thursday 29 January 2009 at 13:03

Hi Jane

The subject of eveningwear is a complex one, and I would normally advise you to come into the store to have a look through what is available. You don't say where you are – if you are planning to drive some distance in your quest for an outfit then I would advise you to always phone the retailer first, just to make sure they have enough of the right thing in stock to make your trip worthwhile.

At this time of year you can give yourself a lot of unnecessary stress by trying to buy too early. The fashion business is very seasonal, of course, and you may find that there isn't much available at this time of year (January). We large girls can then get depressed and even paranoid, thinking that we will never find what we are looking for in our size! Yet in just a few weeks time the shops will start to get a really good selection of the most beautiful event wear imaginable.

The evening and occasional wear this season is particularly good, with the most lovely colours – including pinks, purples and blues – and will be in most fashion boutiques by the end of March. Some early styles are already in, and being snapped up, because the truth is there never is a moment when you will find everything in store. By the time the last items are delivered the first will have sold out.

So the best advice for those women lucky enough to live near a shop is to call in regularly to make sure they don't miss anything. Women who have to travel some distance should optimise their trip by liaising with the staff in advance about the range of choice on offer at the time they plan to visit.

Clare Ovenell    Tuesday 27 January 2009 at 08:38

 Post #2 

Subject: Trousers


I'm hoping you can help. I am looking for some trousers in linen if possible. I work in a very hot office so nothing too hot. I usually go for a dark colour but it would be nice to get some colour in my life! Would be great to hear what you have.



 Emma    Tuesday 27 January 2009 at 17:22

Hi Clare

Thanks for your enquiry. You will be happy to know that the kind of trousers you are talking about are something of a speciality of ours! We do a lot of cotton, linen and stretchy fabric trousers, and we always make sure we have plenty that are cool - in summer and winter. Many of our customers work in warm offices! It's quite early in the season (we get our new stock in around now), but already we have some in black, some in gorgeous deep cobalt blue and in beige, all in linen, and we are steadily getting deliveries of cotton in as well.

It's worth knowing that you can put your requirements on our wish-list, either by emailing us on emmaplus@btconnect.com, or by phoning 01273 327240, and we will find out exactly what size and style you want. I don't need to mention that the shape of trouser that suits your body shape is essential. We will then call or email you when they arrive in store.

You may also be interested in attending one of our Trouser Days, on the 24th and 25th April. If you would like to know more, please click here to see post...


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