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

Kim P    Friday 09 October 2015 at 21:25

 Post #451 

Subject: KJ Brand Sensitive Trousers

Hi Ladies

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

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

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

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

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


 Emma    Saturday 10 October 2015 at 15:58

Hi Kim,

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

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

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


Emma    Tuesday 02 April 2013 at 17:22

 Post #346 

Subject: Idealism

I was going through the airport duty free section when I noticed an advertisement for a new type of foundation. I had wandered into the cosmetics department, looking for some top-ups for my make-up bag. It pleased me greatly to see this new formulation, which offered what seemed an almost limitless number of different shades. Gone are the days, it seems, when there were only three or four shades of human skin that warranted matching make-up. A few years ago only some lucky women were ‘worth that’ it seemed.

However, I have always known that, whatever the range, even if there are a thousand different shades of foundation on offer, I will need to have either colour number 1 (the absolute palest) in the winter, or number 2 (after I have a particularly impressive tan at the end of the summer). Yes, I really am that deathly pale!

I think it is a generally accepted fact that any skin looks a bit better with a bit of melanin in it, but I am happy to accept my ‘shortcomings’, just as I accept the fact that I do not have a waist. When I was younger, I was annoyed with my faults, but I have long ‘forgiven’ my body for not being exactly what I would like it to be.

I remember listening to a record as a child that suggested that the world would be a much better place if it comprised ‘one big melting pot, turning out coffee-coloured people by the score’. I was appalled. Of course, if there were such a scenario, then I (and my snow-white legs) would personally have a lot to gain, but I felt, even as a young child, that the world would be greatly impoverished in the process.

It seems to me that there are forces always at work that try to cajole us either into all being the same or into feeling ashamed or inferior because of our diversity. Women with whiter than white skin like mine often slap on layers of self-tan, even while some of our sisters bleach their skin to try to achieve that elusive café-au-lait beauty. Some women try to straighten their hair, and, for hundreds of years, some have squeezed their figures with corsets in the course of giving themselves the required body shape.

Actually, I think these forces are very strong, have always been there, and are probably more powerful today than they have ever been. We are continually subliminally (and sometimes not so subliminally) told we have to have one type of hair, to be a certain age, a particular height, a type of body shape, no more than a maximum weight, and yes, a certain shade of skin. If you are any different from this then you are a failure, and you cannot ever achieve beauty.

Maybe it’s just because I am a contrary type of gal, or perhaps it is because I have never personally fitted into to these ‘ideals’, that I have never accepted them. Or maybe it’s because I have observed that they have absolutely nothing to do with actual beauty. They are just a form of bullying. If you don’t believe me, I can prove it... Just sit in a coffee shop and watch the people going past. Look at their faces, their bodies, and their general appearance. Men and women; I defy you to really try to tell me that it is only those who fit into the accepted cultural norms of attractiveness (those rules about height and weight, colouring, body shape etc.) who are beautiful.

I refuse to feel badly about myself, just because my legs could be used as beacons, warning sailors not to crash on the rocks. Nor do I feel particularly ashamed because my measurements are more or less all the same - all the way down my body - so that I am always in danger of my skirt falling around my ankles.

When women come into my shop I often see a strange phenomenon. I see beautiful women dressing as if they think they are plain. When you talk to these customers they often say that they strongly believe that they are not attractive. It seems odd, because it’s hard to understand how they can avoid having noticed how lovely they look. Don’t they have a mirror? I cannot always change their point of view, but, by golly, I can provide them with the clothes they need to dress to their best.

I strongly believe in the beauty of the diversity of human beings. No matter how strongly the forces that try to shape us all in the same mould (and try to make us feel inferior if we don’t ‘shape up’) press down on us, I will do my best to make my store a haven from those pressures.

It’s my belief that is what a plus-size store should be. Because if it isn’t about this, what on earth is it for?


 Kim P    Thursday 04 April 2013 at 16:31

Well said Emma!

BTW, those two lovely grey dresses I bought for work are a great success. Had several compliments and I am so pleased I was lucky to be able to get them both. Thank you!


 Emma    Friday 05 April 2013 at 11:08

Thanks, Kim!

You looked fab in those dresses: so glad you got them!

Looking forward to seeing you on the ASD!?


 Kim P    Wednesday 10 April 2013 at 18:06

Sadly can't now do the ASD but our conference is in Brighton again this June so will be sure to pop in then!


Abbie    Friday 27 January 2012 at 16:13

 Post #269 

Subject: Anna Scholz dress

Hi Emma

I would like to ask you about Anna Scholz sizes. I live in Sheffield and found your blog/website on Twitter last night. I was so happy to find that there is couture plus size- it sounds ridiculous but I had pretty much given up on ever feeling glamorous! I've now found lots of sites via Twitter but most shops are either in the US or in your neck of the woods.

Anyway, to cut a long story short, I am going to a party next Saturday and I have seen a lovely dress on Anna's website -


I'm probably closer to a size 22 than a 20 but I just wondered if you had any comments about Anna's sizing - I really want the dress but the only sizes available are 20 and 24. I don't know whether to go for one size or the other or not get either. I really want to feel fabulous for this party though and the dress suits my budget as I don't have much over £50 to spend...

I'm going to save up for a visit to your shop, for sure!

I look forward to hearing from you.

Best wishes



 Kim P    Friday 27 January 2012 at 21:39

I've always had a postage paid returns label when ordering from the Anna Scholz website so I sometimes order a couple of sizes to try on for sizing.


 Emma    Thursday 02 February 2012 at 18:44

Hi Abbie,

Thank you so much for your comments! I do hope you can come in to our store at some point, because it would be such a very great pleasure to reassure you that there really is a lot of glamour out there available for us plus size women!

Anna’s sizes vary considerably. Or, if I were to give you a more complex answer, her styling varies with her designs. For instance, she has some designs which are quite floaty and loose (like some of her kaftans), whereas some of her dresses are quite fitted, and don’t have anywhere near as much room in them! All her styles tend to be true to size.

With this particular dress, it is quite close fitting, so I would suggest going one size up, rather than a size down. I’m not suggesting this will definitely be right for you (one can never say 100%); however, I do think she will refund or exchange if it is not right. The only thing I will mention about this dress is that the jersey is quite lightweight and silky, which means it can be a little unforgiving when on. I have a similar dress from Anna, and I wear mine with a pair of very long knickers from Evans (you know, they give a smooth silhouette with no panty-line!).

I'm so glad you have discovered the joys of Anna Scholz, and hope you enjoy your party!


 Abbie    Thursday 02 February 2012 at 18:46

Thank you so much for the speedy response .....

My boyfriend has said he will come down with me to the shop! I will need to save up but I'd really love to visit. I've never been to Brighton so I think it'd be a brilliant experience.

I just have one final question - where do you recommend for good quality tights?!

Thanks for being so incredibly helpful.



 Emma    Thursday 02 February 2012 at 18:58

Hi Abbie,

On the subject of tights, all I can say is gggrrrrrrrr! If that sounds a strange thing to say, I can explain! We have been asking this question back and forwards on our forum lately. We have found something very strange has happened in recent years. Just a little while ago, we used to stock really fantastic tights of different colours and textures. There were a number of ranges: Levee, My Size, Hue, Yoek, and others too. One by one these manufacturers have given up! I’ve sent out a request for those reading this forum to tell us when/if they find a new supplier, and I have promised that we will stock the tights, if they are available. (This would be very helpful if, for instance, there was a manufacturer who doesn’t sell to the public, but will only sell in bulk to a shop.) However, at the moment, I’m very sad to say that I am in as much of a loss for them as you may be. I guess in the meantime, it’s trolling round Evans, Simply Be, etc., online…?

Really looking forward to seeing you some time!

I just thought I would also mention, at this point, that you have had some problems in posting on this forum, and most of our conversation has been through email (you contacted me through the website to alert me of your problem). You were very kind to say that I could simply put the conversation here, so that others could read it.

The reason why sometimes it can be difficult to leave a post on this forum, is that certain key words can set off our 'spam filter', making the whole post disappear.

My recommendation would be to automatically copy any comments being left on the forum, so that, should the post be gobbled up, they could simply be pasted, and sent to me by email. I will, as I have done here, simply put them on to our forum for all to see... I have the power!!

If any readers would like some private advice of a plus-size fashion nature, please feel free to email me through the website, and I will reply via email, without posting it on the forum!



Emma    Monday 28 November 2011 at 17:40

 Post #257 

Subject: Shrinkage

I was channel hopping one night recently when I happened to turn on a popular TV soap, which I don’t normally watch. I was arrested by the face of an actress, who seemed extremely familiar. It appeared to be an acquaintance of mine. The thing was, I knew this television-woman couldn’t be the one whom I knew, because the actress on screen was a completely different size.

A few weeks later, I bumped into my acquaintance, and she confirmed that it had indeed been her that had starred in this episode (I hadn’t realised until then that she worked as an actress). I have to admit I was shocked, because the woman in front of me then was about five feet tall, and a size eight or ten, whereas the woman I had seen on the screen was probably five foot eight and a size sixteen. I know that the camera adds a stone of weight, but this was ridiculous. What on earth could have caused this temporary morphing from a petite person into an average-sized one? After mulling it over for a few moments, I was driven to one conclusion: all the actors on the soap were tiny, making this woman look much bigger in comparison. I couldn’t help wondering; did they have to build a special set to accommodate all those teenie-weenies…?

This is just one example of how size is a highly comparative issue, and I’m not sure if any of us really understands just how much this matters. When I was a schoolgirl, growing up in the seventies, I was huge. As a five-foot-eight and a half (the half was very important) size sixteen, with (shock, horror!) size seven-and-a-half feet, sixteen-year old, I stood out as a one of a kind. If you don’t believe me, I still have the school photograph to prove it. The picture shows our whole school year... Teenagers are lined up in three rows, in all their glorious nineteen-seventies bad hair and unflattering acrylic clothing: boys and girls looking strangely similar. And there am I, head and shoulders taller, and twice as wide as everyone else, towering like Shrek over the whole proceedings.

I often think of this scene as I drive past our local school in the mornings. There are many taller girls nowadays (we have been growing a centimeter taller every decade since the war), and a lot more generally larger and heavier people. A size 16 sixteen-year-old really is nothing to write home about now. Today, I can walk into every shoe shop and buy what I want (something I could only dream about when I was younger).

A similar thing happens in our shop every day. Women often ask me if we have flattering mirrors, because they feel they look so much slimmer. Obviously, one should take into account the effects of our beautiful clothes and fabulous styling (!), but it cannot be ignored that our shop is a plus-size space. The vast majority of people entering are larger people. Really, anyone below a size 20 looks child-sized; it's the ‘mainstream’ sized people who are out of scale - should they enter our portals.

This week the latest figures showed that a quarter of the women in our country are plus-sized (even though our TV programmes still don’t reflect this reality), and this is not something that is going to go away anytime soon. Whatever you feel about this, the reality is that we larger people are gaining in numbers all the time, and this is going to have a profound effect on how we look and feel, and how others view us. The world has changed, and is continuing to do so.


 Victoria Hollis    Tuesday 06 December 2011 at 21:49

I read this once again laughing Em

I was the 5.9 shoe size 8 and size 20 wearing 16 year old. Looking through all my school pictures I was the girl in the back row with the boys while all my petite classmates were in front.

Size is so much a matter of perception. A good example of this was Natalie Cassidy the eastenders actress I saw at the curves in couture show. To me she seemed tiny and delicate. In the press shes been battered for weight gain of late.

You can see how so many women end up hating themselves because they dont fit the so perfect shape being paraded in the press.


 Emma    Tuesday 06 December 2011 at 23:24

Hi Tori-

At the risk of sounding a bit paranoid, it does almost seem that there is a conspiracy in the media to pretend that we (as a population) are all tiny. Yet in fact we are as a nation are getting bigger and bigger.

I don't think I am alone in not feeling as large as I did years ago, because I know from personal experience that my customers are demanding and expecting a fashion-forward look more than ever before. I feel certain this is due to the normalising effect of the increase in our numbers.

All we need now is for the fashion industry to truly reflect this new reality....


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!


Emma    Tuesday 18 May 2010 at 16:04

 Post #136 

Subject: Size matters...

Before our recent fashion show we spread out all our accessories and had a high old time selecting the right items to complete the looks that the models would be wearing. There was plenty to choose from... at Emma Plus we do quite a wide range of accessories to co-ordinate with our clothing ranges.

When I first started at the store I really wasn’t anticipating that I would be providing accessories, because I felt it was so difficult to find beautiful clothes in larger sizes, that that should take priority.

When you first think about it, buying the right accessories should be the easiest thing a larger woman can achieve for her wardrobe. After all, every street corner seems to have a shop providing beautiful handbags, jewellery, scarves, shawls, etc., yet women often have to travel for hours to get to a store that will sell them the clothes to go with them!

However, I have discovered that providing the correct accessories to go with our range in store is key. So over the years we have sourced suppliers that create exactly the right look for the larger woman... and one that is very specific to our requirements.

For instance, many of our scarves are specially made for us, to our own design. One of our designers, Jennifer Lumer, creates wonderful bias-cut scarves in a shape and unique design that is so practical for the larger woman. They are lightweight, yet quite long, and open out so that they can be worn as a shawl (essential if you find that you have to take your jacket off, yet are self-conscious about showing your arms). They are also cut very narrowly at the back of the neck, so they will not create extra heat and bulk when worn as a scarf, and will help to make your neck look longer.

For many years we have been specially commissioning necklaces from designers all over the world. This enables us to get the colours that tone with our range (and eliminates the need for our customers to adopt the time-honoured ‘trudging the pavement’ ceremony associated with trying to find the right colour of necklace to match a new outfit).

However, the single most important feature of all our accessories is that of scale. Our bags, scarves and necklaces are subtly selected to effortlessly reflect the larger scale of our size range.

I was reminded of the importance of this over the weekend. During May, Brighton has its arts festival. And Brighton festival means the ‘Artists’ Open Houses’ - a wonderful local event whereby the artists and craftspeople of Brighton open their doors to the public to buy their wares. I can thoroughly recommend it to all my customers, as I know a high proportion of them are very interested in design.

At one such open house I spotted a beautiful silver necklace, which I tried on with a view to buying it myself as a treat. When I had put it on, however, I was a little disappointed. It was gorgeous (two silver swallows, all hand made, delicately flying on a silver chain). However, it did not seem to be quite as lovely as the one being worn by the artist herself. This necklace, although identical in every other way, was considerably larger. I would have said that the chain was at least 4 or 5 centimetres longer, and the birds probably a third bigger. I asked the jeweller if I could commission her to make me a necklace just like the one she was wearing.

She looked at me with surprise, and took her necklace off; laying it side by side with the one I had been trying on. The two necklaces were exactly the same. Because I was a larger woman than the designer, the proportions of her piece looked entirely different on each of us. Although the size looked perfect on her, it was too small for me.

It was a confirmation of the need to select all aspects of one’s look with care - not just with reference to colour, fashion and style, but also with careful attention to size and proportion. Something professional stylists have known for years...


Emma    Thursday 17 December 2009 at 22:41

 Post #99 

Subject: Talking Bras...

It amazes me to realise that I have been selling lingerie for over 30 years. I first began at the age of 16, working for a very large retailer (you know - Britain’s foremost purveyor of knickers!) on the underwear department. The very first day I started, I was trained in the art of measuring for a bra, and in those days the management made sure there was always a team of sales assistants at hand to help any customer be properly fitted, should she wish.

I have been fitting and selling lingerie on and off ever since, so it is rather sad for me that from after Christmas we will no longer be stocking underwear. We have not actually been making a profit on our lingerie, but had continued to stock it as a service to customers. A few years ago if a woman was looking for a size 48FF bra, Emma Plus was one of the only places she could obtain one. Now, with the rise of the internet, I feel the time has come to leave this particular speciality to those who focus on it.

Over the years that I have been involved with foundation wear, I have always found it remarkable that it is such a poorly understood subject, and I would love to take the opportunity of this blog to express some of my opinions! In particular, I would like to explode a few myths propagated by journalists writing on this subject.

We are often told that it is important to be ‘measured’ for a bra, that many of us are wearing the ‘wrong size bra’, that we should be re-measured every six months, and various other platitudes fed straight to the fashion journalist from the bra retailer. The impression given is often that the ‘underwear professional’ is the great purveyor of wisdom.

Actually, I think there is something of a danger of going for a bra fitting, particularly these days. Time and time again, I have had customers in my store who have had such a fitting, and have emerged, not just with an uncomfortable bra, but with the conviction that they are a size that they almost certainly are not.

One of the problems of being fitted for a bra is the complexity of what is happening. Unless you have worked with women for a very long time, and have been able to see the wide variety of human body shapes, it is unlikely that you will be truly able to understand the problems involved.

For example, one of the classic techniques in bra fitting is to measure under the breasts to give what is called the ‘band size’. Then a measurement is taken across the widest part of the bust (the fullest part of the breasts). These two measurements are used to achieve the cup size.

Although this is a good way to start off a bra fitting, it is only the beginning, because an over-reliance on a measurement is often a sign of a poor fitter. If I were able to place two women in front of you right now, I could easily demonstrate the problem with simply relying on numbers.

One of the women would be a customer who has a somewhat barrel-shaped rib cage. There is nothing strange or weird about this: she looks perfectly lovely, and it is just that her ribcage does not get much wider towards her thoracic area. When putting the tape round the widest part of her bust, all the increase in measurement is in the size of her breasts.

The other woman is me, and my back gets much wider towards the top of my torso. Again, there is nothing particularly unusual with this; many apple-shaped women carry a lot of weight on their back. To be frank, the weight I carry on my shoulder-blades is almost equivalent to my bust!

The two of us have the same measurements, yet my cup size is actually two sizes smaller than the customer’s. This fact is not to be discovered by wielding a tape-measure. It can be seen by an experienced professional, or, failing that, can be demonstrated by simply trying on a number of differently-sized bras.

This is just one of literally thousands of reasons why a tape measure turns out to be a very blunt instrument indeed when it comes to divining bra size. And this is only the differences in human body shape...Once you factor in the differences between the various makes and styles of bras, you can imagine how complex the subject is!

So when a customer walks into a store such as Rigby and Peller in Knightsbridge (surely, this country’s foremost lingerie specialist), for example, she may not be too surprised that the tape measure is not overly-relied on. The sales consultants will most often just look at a woman and estimate by eye what size she needs. Then there will be a proper trying on session. It is this part of the process that I call a ‘bra fitting’. It can only be when a bra has been demonstrated to fit properly that the fitting is performed.

My big worry is that there are many stores that do not have the wide range of sizes that Rigby and Peller boasts. A store which has the full range of sizes will have nothing to gain from supplying a poorly-fitting bra. However, a new problem seems to have arrived on the High Street.

In the past few years, I’m sorry to say, I have lost count of the number of times I have come across the ‘band size’ issue that seems to have reared its ugly head. This is where customers of mine who have a somewhat larger band size than average (no surprise there - we are a large-size store after all), seem to have been shoe-horned into a smaller band size than they require.

Many of the new companies that are supplying bras on the high street boast that they supply ‘large size’ bras. By this they actually mean ‘large cupped’ bras. Although there has been an increase of bras going up into the larger cup-sizes (hooray!), few collections seem to wander far above the size 38 band size. This is a great help to those of my customers who are a small band size but a large cup size (a significant minority). However, it is very frustrating for those of my customers who also need a larger band size.

For my largest customers, these new 'large size bra ranges' are completely irrelevant.

Most irritating of all is when I see customers who have been ‘professionally measured’, and who seem to have magically morphed into a size stocked by the shop they are in. Thus a woman who is a size 42c becomes a 38dd. This is somewhat fortunate for the shop she is in (which doesn’t actually stock a 42c, yet has a wide range of 38dds).

The unfortunate woman finds the band size underneath uncomfortable (although the widest part of the bust is big enough), but has been told that ‘it is just a matter of getting accustomed to it’. She has ‘been wearing the wrong size bra so long that she has got used to it feeling looser’. And all of this must be true, because she has been ‘professionally measured’ by a woman wielding a magic measuring-tape!

My best advice to women who at present take a band size in excess of size 38 is to try to be measured in an environment which stocks the widest range of sizes. These are the stores that can be relied upon to give a truly impartial service. This may also go some way towards persuading those stores with a limited size range to get real and start to stock the range of sizes necessary to reflect the size of real women today-surely not too much to ask from a specialist lingerie store...


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.


Rosemary Milmine    Wednesday 04 November 2009 at 20:28

 Post #86 

Subject: Skinny Models

Why are all the models on your web pages skinny and young? Lets have some real women strutting their stuff! I am planning to come in and spend my £10 voucher soon..Thanks very much


 Emma    Thursday 05 November 2009 at 10:40

Hi Rosemary

I have a feeling this issue is going to run and run!

Actually, someone else has also posted a remark very similar to yours (see post 84), and I have to say, I heartily agree with it!

If you read my reply to that post, you will see why we put these images on our website.

However, I really feel that the more comments like yours the better - any kind of pressure on our suppliers to provide more realistic images has got to be a good thing! I would love to be able to get my suppliers to take one look at our forum and then try to explain why they continue to use small models!


Susie Grant    Friday 23 October 2009 at 21:07

 Post #84 

Subject: Size

Just found your site - your clothes are fabulous but surely your models do not reflect the size of ladies that you are catering for.


 Emma    Saturday 24 October 2009 at 15:11

Hi Susie

Thank you for your post. You make an interesting point that I have always felt would arise on this forum sometime!

As with a lot of interesting questions, although on the surface the subject appears simple, it is in fact quite complicated.

The images that we have on our site fall into two groups. One comprises pictures that we or our customers have provided, and represents the clothes that we have had in our store. These photographs are mainly on our forum, and are usually of either happy shoppers wearing our outfits, or our own shop window mannequins modelling our styles. We have two mannequins, one of which is a size 20 and the other a size 24 (and so are at the lower end of our size range). However, by definition these images are of clothing in plus sizes.

The other set of images that we have on our website are those provided by our suppliers, and are posed on professional models. We have little influence over our suppliers in their choice of women sporting their looks. (It would not be practical for us to take our own photographs on models-we can only really do it on our mannequins.) If you have not already done so, it may be a good idea, at this point, to check out the pictures that are on our ‘Our Range’ pages. Believe it or not, these women (in the main) are considered to be ‘plus-size models’!

This is because the models for any particular size range are always far taller and slimmer than the average woman. Thus for ‘mainstream’ fashion, the models can be six feet tall and a size eight (surely no-one can deny that is a freak of nature). In the plus size range, the models would be size 16 or 18, six feet (or more) tall women. These plus size models often do not have a single scrap of extra flesh on their frame, and are perfectly proportioned.

I know that some doubt that these models are in fact a size 16 or 18 (they certainly look very slim). For most of the speciality plus-size ranges, however, I can personally vouch for the fact that these extraordinarily perfect looking women must actually be this size, because the clothes they wear in the photographs are. I have seen and checked over the sample clothes provided to the models, and I promise they are ‘plus size’. That is always supposing that you consider plus size to be 16 or 18.

Which leads us on to a whole other can of beans! I personally think it is ridiculous (and a scandal) that women who are size 16 or 18 are considered ‘plus size’. This is patent nonsense, because the average woman in Britain today is 5 feet 4 inches tall and a size 16. By definition, size 16 is average-sized, and in no way 'large'. In fact, taking the models' height into account, they are actually much slimmer than the norm. (You may have gathered by now that this is a bit of a hobby-horse of mine!)

This is, in a nutshell, where fashion and ‘real life’ collide. It could be argued that the fashion industry is at present living in cloud-cuckoo land. One day, I feel sure, larger women will be considered just another current in the mainstream. All we can do for now is to express ourselves as the women we are (beautiful and fashionable) and ask over and over again to be realistically represented in this industry.

So I applaud your question, and hope that you continue asking it of every fashion professional you encounter! I will certainly continue to bring this up with our suppliers, and - as I know for a fact that some of them read this forum - am very happy that you have raised it here!

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