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Here are all the posts in our Forum/Blog on the topic of Emma Plus: what's in stock?...

karen Docwra    Thursday 19 January 2017 at 09:44

 Post #490 

Subject: daughters wedding

Hi i am looking for a special outfit for my daughters wedding in April so i was going to pop in and look at your clothes is that still possible as have been told that you are no longer in Brighton is this true please


 Emma    Monday 30 January 2017 at 10:59

Hi Karen,

Congratulations on your great news! Yes, I'm sorry to report that Emma Plus closed down at the beginning of September last year.

I can recommend Beige Plus as the nearest walk-in shop to find designer plus-size clothes, or, if you would like to look online, both Beige and a company called Navabi provide lovely clothes.

I hope all goes well with the happy event!


Emma    Thursday 28 July 2016 at 13:58

 Post #476 

Subject: Our Sale

Well, it's that time of year again.....the time of the Great Emma Plus Summer Sale!

This year summer has come late, meaning that many gorgeous summer clothes that may usually have been sold in June are still gracing our rails. Since last month two things have changed: we now have a summer (with more to come by all accounts), and all this season's stock is at least 50% reduced.

What hasn't changed is the beauty of the clothes. Lovely vibrant colours of blue, pink, lilac and green in gorgeous natural fabrics and softly tailored shapes nestle together on our shop floor, awaiting the lucky women who will enter our cool, air-conditioned space and buy them in our Sale.

The Sale starts tomorrow morning (Friday 29th July) and Saturday, at 10am.

We look forward to seeing you in store!


 Kim P    Tuesday 02 August 2016 at 19:11

What a fantastic sale, I was so pleased I came into the shop on Saturday. So many really beautiful clothes at half price. I can't normally run to Sallie Sahne or Persona but with the reductions I was able to buy super items from these top designers. Thanks again for the wonderful service from you Emma, Anna and Kim.


 Emma    Wednesday 03 August 2016 at 13:11

Thanks, Kim!

Yes, I have to agree with you - it really has been an amazing sale so far this year!

We've actually got loads of fantastic stock, nearly all of which is now at least half price, and many items are 70% off. It's a rare situation, and I would advise anyone thinking of coming into Brighton to pop in and pick up some amazing bargains.

I think that now may also be a good time to remember that our store is beautifully air-conditioned, making it the perfect place to spend a cool hour or two!


Emma    Friday 15 April 2016 at 15:17

 Post #470 

Subject: Our Spring Range

I love this time of year-the birds twittering (there are sky larks over the field where I walk my dog every morning), the little baby rabbits scampering about (whilst I try to distract my dog's killer instincts), the trees budding with blossom....all our lovely clothes in the shop. Yes, it is truly a joy to be alive!

This year the colours are pink, cobalt blue, denim blue, lilac, greens (of all hues!), black and white, and silver. The silhouette is soft, the fabrics light and natural. Never have we had so much cotton and silk, and never have there been such a choice of lightweight fabrics. Bamboo is making its mark, as are sports fabrics that are as cool as cucumbers!

Everyone on our mailing list is entitled to have a £20 gift voucher subtracted from their purchase of clothing (not accessories, and not in conjunction with any other offer), so it's a very good time to come into our store!

For those who cannot travel into our store(or simply have other things to do), just a reminder that we are now selling online! Just click on the large pink square on the homepage of this website, or go into our 'Mail Order' page to visit our Shoptiques shop. It's always changing, so it's worth looking at it every now and again.


 Wonderful selection of clothes    Saturday 23 April 2016 at 13:02

Hi, I really enjoyed my visit to the shop yesterday and Kin and Anna were so helpful as always picking out items for me to try on. I am so pleased with my Tomo and Q'Neel dresses and KJ Brand cut offs, I am all ready for Summer just need the sun to shine now! Kim


 Emma    Sunday 24 April 2016 at 14:34

Hi Kim,

Thank you so much for your post, & kind words! I was sorry to have missed you yesterday! I'm glad that you liked the collection, and came away with some finds.

My only one regret is that I think that you have missed the best of the waistcoats this season -you know how quick you have to be to snap them up......;)


Emma    Thursday 04 February 2016 at 17:34

 Post #465 

Subject: Sale Continues

Our Sale continues from strength to strength, and we have reached the stage where all Sale stock is now at least 50% off, and certain items are 70% reduced.

As our regular customers know, we do like to clear all Winter stock before we have our full contingent of Summer season's clothing arrives, so we are now giving it away!

The Summer stock is now flooding in, so if you do pop in to take a look at the Sale, you may find that it will be well worth rifling through the gorgeous new looks.....


Emma    Thursday 09 April 2015 at 17:17

 Post #434 

Subject: Trouser Day

We are revving up for one of our exciting events this weekend - our Trouser Day!

Trouser Day is an event that brings together all the trousers that will fit all the different shapes of our customers and places them alongside all our trouser experts.

We have a guest expert (the fabulous Claire Lunnen-Kaye, from leading plus-size retailer, Larger than Life... with her 25 years in plus size fashion, what she doesn't know about plus-size trousers really isn't worth knowing), our own trouser experts (Kim the trouser queen, and myself, a trouser fit obsessive, along with Anna De Lannoy who also has years of experience as a plus-size fashion business owner).

We also have guest trousers, sent in by our suppliers, in styles and fabrics not usually found in our store.

In short, we have brought together all the elements that could possibly be required to find our customers the perfect pair of pants!

Add to this, our fun competition (win a £50 gift voucher), yummy refreshments, and a fantastic offer whereby our customers are able to buy one pair of trousers and have a second pair from a selection at half price, and you see what we mean by a Trouser Day!

We look forward to seeing you tomorrow (Friday the 10th April) and Saturday!


 Kim P    Saturday 11 April 2015 at 19:40

Disappointed not to be able to make trouser day but hope it was a great success. I never knew what a comfortable and well fitting pair of trousers were until I found Emma Plus!


 Emma    Wednesday 15 April 2015 at 19:58

Hi Kim,

You were much missed, but the day did go off tremendously well. I think I'm right in saying that we sold more trousers last week than any other week in our history!

It's always such a good laugh. ....can't wait until our next event day, which I can exclusively reveal now is going to be our Fashion Show on Saturday 6th June!

Hope you will be able to make that one, Kim....



Emma    Friday 06 March 2015 at 17:12

 Post #432 

Subject: New Images Spring/Summer 2015

Just a quick message to remind customers that the new images of our gorgeous Spring/Summer collection are now loaded on to our website.

As always, our images just scratch the surface of what is here in store. I really do recommend coming in to view the collection at the earliest opportunity - it's a sight to be seen!

This year the colours are jewel-emerald green, turquoise, lapis and amethyst, and the fabrics are eclectic. There is lace, leather, denim, silk, linens, lawns and lovely jerseys of all kinds. There are hand-painted materials, dip-dyes, raw edges... everything is about variety and creativity.

We hope to see you soon.


Kim P    Saturday 21 February 2015 at 17:18

 Post #431 

Subject: Beautiful Spring / Summer Clothes

After reading on the forum that new stock was arriving I rang the store yesterday and knew from the excitement in Kim's voice that the shop would be full of lovely new designs so decided to pay and visit and so pleased I did. The shop looked wonderful with splashes of vibrant colours, both colour block and patterned complimenting the classic designs.

I am delighted with the Tomo tunics in the waffle material, the sea foam green colour was beautiful and the black is a staple. The orange scarf purchased will go lovely with both. Kim was as usual the trouser queen and the Brand leggings she recommended are so comfortable and will get lots of wear.

I would have been so disappointed if I had left it and visited in in a couple of weeks to find my size out of stock in those Tomo tunics, I did not realise that for many styles you only have one in each size. I know you often post that new stock flies out but I saw it for myself today, it was lovely to see so many happy people leaving delighted with their purchases.

I hope to pop in again in a few weeks when more new arrivals will have appeared. Thank you again for the excellent service!


 Emma    Monday 23 February 2015 at 15:54

Hi Kim,

Thanks for your post, and lovely comments! It was lovely, as always, to see you on Saturday. You got some gorgeous things, and, sad to say, deprived other people of getting them.

The wicked truth is (as I have alluded to before in this blog) that we try every trick in the book to make our store more interesting, and create the need to buy our clothes. This means that on the one hand we try to buy as wide a variety of different styles (buying fashion in a 'wide but shallow way'-lots of styles, but low numbers of each). The by-product of this kind of buying is that when you see an item in store that you like, it's a good idea to snaffle it up straight away. It's likely to be the only one in that size, and once it's gone, will never be seen again.

I know this can be a bit of a nuisance to our customers, but it does mean a continual stream of different and varied clothes, and a healthy competition which (I am being really honest here!) is very good for business!

Some of our customers have asked us to phone them when the new collection comes in, and they dash in to get ahead of the rest of the field. Not a bad idea, and it's one that's open to everyone. All anyone has to do is phone 01273327240 and tell us what you are looking for. We will do the rest...


Emma    Thursday 04 December 2014 at 12:02

 Post #420 

Subject: Emma Plus Winter Sale

As luck would have it, just as the weather has taken a turn for cold, we will be having our Winter Sale!

This year, our sale has more knits than ever before. There are black knits, long knits, shorter knits, colourful knits, soft knits, smooth knits, light knits, heavy knits...knitted skirts, dresses, jumpers, jackets, tops....you name it! All awaiting the cold weather we have been promised, and all at incredibly low prices!

Along side these gorgeous winter warmers we also have lovely Christmassy dresses, jackets, tops and dresses for those planning on attending a smart occasion this year.

To complete the picture, we have our usual supply of lovely everyday beauties: trousers, tops, jeans etc.....again, at super-low prices.

We open the doors to our wonderful winterland Sale on on Friday 19th and Saturday 20th December at 10am.

For those with an interest in gorgeous plus-size clothing, it would be wise to attend....!


 Kim P    Sunday 21 December 2014 at 11:54

Hi, I imagine it has been very busy the last couple of days! Will the sale be continuing after Christmas?

Hope everyone has a great festive season.



 Emma    Sunday 21 December 2014 at 18:01

Hi Kim,

Yes, you're right: our sale continues with a vengeance after Christmas. We will be re - opening at 10 am on Saturday 27th December.

This year, because of the unseasonably warm autumn, we have some absolutely gorgeous knits and coats, the like of which almost never make it into the sale. They are heavily reduced, just in time for the real cold weather to set in.

I can thoroughly recommend calling in to have a look after Christmas, if you haven't done before.

Happy Christmas and a prosperous and healthy New Year to all our wonderful customers.


 Kim P    Monday 22 December 2014 at 20:43

Thanks, I may try and come down on the Saturday!


 Emma    Saturday 27 December 2014 at 00:46

Oooooo. ...It would be lovely to see you, Kim. I'll tell the girls. ...There are some fantastic bargains to be had-I hope you make it in.


Emma    Friday 14 March 2014 at 18:03

 Post #392 

Subject: Winter blues...

Having now finished my Autumn/Winter 2014 buying trips, I feel that I can accurately give an account of the lovely fashion we will be expecting to receive next winter.

First things first - and I know from experience that every conversation about future fashion always begins with the same question - will we like the colours?

Well, I am delighted to go on record to say that almost everyone will be satisfied with the lovely hues and patterns that the designers have provided for our delectation.

There is, just as there has been for several seasons now, a strong monochrome element - playing yet again on the Art Deco vibe. Black, grey and white prints snake their way across fluid silhouettes. Sleeves are stretchy and narrow, but the body is enveloped in a wide, unstructured graphic pattern. The shapes are deceptively simple, but as ever with these designer ranges, cleverly cut to be ultra-flattering. Ranges like Wille run with the idea of the black-and-white print or weave, in fabrics ranging from jerseys to silk/linen mixes - to offer bold but elegant impact.

Where there is colour, they are the most wearable and popular colours you could think of. All manner of blues... from denim-grey, through petrol to cobalt... the span of this hue doesn’t stop until it hits ultraviolet. This looks particularly beautiful in prints placed against black and white.

A special delight for me was a range of gorgeous soft fitted leather jackets from Danish brand, Jorli (see above) - one of which, in the almost iridescent hue of cobalt blue, had my name all over it. I could see myself swanning along wearing one of the aforementioned printed dresses, with the lovely blue leather jacket layered on top.

As soon as I did so, however, the old ‘clothes rage’ returned. I simply couldn’t wait to get that jacket, and the prospect of having to spend six months without it caused me to grind my teeth in frustration. I am actually gnashing now just thinking about it. But I know that September will inevitably make its way here, and by that time I will be lusting after the following season’s stock on order!

If, unlike me (very unlike me) your passion doesn’t run to a cobalt blue leather jacket, perhaps I could interest you in a lovely brick-red one? Or maybe teal green? Or rather I should say, perhaps Jorli could interest you in one, because this is what they are producing this autumn. Any of these jackets would look mighty fine layered over a print dress, or even a long T-shirt and jeans.

German brand Verpass has quite a bit of the red, which again it teams with the black and white look. But there is so much more to Verpass next season than this. They are going for colour in a big way. Shocking pink, our friend the cobalt, emerald, and a pop of lime really bring this collection to life - and make it one of Verpass’s best winter seasons to date.

Anna Scholz has also surpassed herself with her bold must-have designs. Again riffing on the grey and black prints, she adds a pop of mustard, teal and (surprise, surprise) cobalt and chartreuse. It’s incredibly life-affirming and completely wearable.

In fact, if I had to sum up the whole ethos of Autumn/Winter 2014, it would be with those two words... affirming and wearable. I can’t wait.


Kim P    Sunday 16 February 2014 at 13:05

 Post #385 

Subject: Tomo Coat

Hi Emma
Sorry to have missed you and Kim yesterday but I was very well looked after by Anna and Olivia. I came in to pick up the items I had bought in the sale that needed alteration and as usual they look great.

It was great having some new season stock items selected for me by Anna and Olivia to try on. The unlined Tomo coat I would not have thought of trying on but I am so glad I did as I love it. I love the styling and the texture of the fabric. I will be wearing this coat a lot as soon as the weather picks up!


 Emma    Sunday 16 February 2014 at 18:10

Hi Kim,

Thanks for this. I hope you don't mind me making this observation: I do find your photographs excellent, because the clothes can be seen so clearly, but I do wish you would include your head! I know why you don't (you have a natural modesty and reticence), and it's not an unusual thing to do on this forum, but it's such a shame to exclude it, particularly as it is highly attractive! Somehow, I just feel it would complete the picture!

I love this coat, and I love Tomo, a Japanese-inspired German collection, which is relatively new to Emma Plus. The shapes in this collection are very simple, and slightly architectural, with an emphasis on beautiful fabrics and textures. Their knits were extremely popular this winter, and, having just bought their Autumn/Winter 2014 collection, I feel sure they will be a huge hit next winter, too.

The Tomo that has come in for this summer includes some gorgeous midnight-blue printed jackets and tops, some fantastic super-fine raincoats, and gorgeous elements of textrured linen. Fantastic, and already proving very popular with customers.


Emma    Saturday 25 January 2014 at 17:00

 Post #384 

Subject: Task Versus Job

Here I am again, contemplating my new buying season. By the end of next week, I will be up to my ears in buying our stock for Autumn/Winter 2014. The last moment before I see the new collections is always an expectant time for me, and one during which I try to think about my priorities.

If I want to really analyse what it is that my customers want, I had better do so before I go and look at the collections. This is because I am a girlie, meaning that, once I have had a glimpse of all the gorgeous, shiny new things, thoughts from before will be gone from my head. And once they have gone, they will not be coming back!

However, I do believe that if I see lovely things that surprise and delight me, and completely take over my desires, I may as well simply buy them, and forget all about the specifics of what I thought I was looking for. This would be because, if the new styles have had that effect on me, then they are bound to have the same one on my clients.

To express it as an example, let’s say that I have a customer - shall we call her Ms Smith? - who is looking for a dark grey sensible business suit. You know the kind of thing: a flat, workaday woven fabric, in a colour that’s practical, with a simple, practical cut. I promise that I will try to find her one, and I go out to look for something along those lines.

As soon as I take one look at the collections, however, I am blown away by a gorgeous trouser suit in a delicious soft tweed in a midnight blue colour, in a modern style that oozes sophistication. So this is what I buy. When Ms Smith comes into our store, what do you suppose would normally happen? Well, all my experience would tell me what to expect. This would be that she would walk in the door and ask me whether I was able to source her the grey suit she had been seeking. When I tell her I had found her something else entirely, there would be a frisson of disappointment that crosses her face. Yet when I show her the beautiful midnight blue soft tweed, a look of ecstasy would sweep from ear to ear.

Of course, it’s arguable that perhaps I should source the customer that workaday suit anyway, just to be on the safe side. However, my passion tells me that, once she has seen the gorgeous new design, that will be what she opts for every time.

I was trained that, in every occupation one should remember what is your job, and what is your task. And then you should always emphasise that your job should take precedence over your task. In this example, my task is to find Ms Smith a grey, workaday business suit. I don’t denigrate the task: it’s a very important thing to try not to let my customers down, and to take seriously my promises to them. However, my job is to find Ms Smith something that she loves, and help her style herself in a way that seriously enhances her life. This job must always take precedence over any task.

All I have to do really is look forward with hope and expectation that the designers will have found things that will delight and surprise me.

I am looking for things that are life-enhancing, and they haven’t let me down before.


 Kim P    Thursday 30 January 2014 at 22:13

This is where independent specialist retailers who know their customers come into their own. Good luck with the buying decisions, there will be nothing drab ordered I'm sure!


Kim P    Sunday 12 January 2014 at 11:47

 Post #382 

Subject: NP Trousers

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

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


 Emma    Monday 13 January 2014 at 00:11

Hi Kim,

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

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

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

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


Emma    Wednesday 08 January 2014 at 16:47

 Post #381 

Subject: SuperSale

For readers of this blog we have some very exciting news. We will be holding a SuperSale this Friday 10th and Saturday 11th January.

The SuperSale means that all Sale stock will have an extra 20% off, over and above the already significant discounts. Many items will be reduced by 75% or even more.

Our regular customers will know that our SuperSales are very rare events. It has been a number of years since our last one, and it may well be the only one for a long time to come. All our sales offer good bargains - we use them to 'clear down' before all our new stock arrives - but a SuperSale is an opportunity to get beautiful designer clothing at a fraction of what it normally costs.

In stock you will find gorgeous coats, knits, fantastic practical trousers, tops and dresses - all in the gorgeous jewel colours of this season. It's possible to get a real investment piece for less than the price of its low-cost imitation.

During these special two days, we will also be offering 10% off all new stock, and, as ever, any customer spending £100 or more and who is parked at the Theatre Car Park adjacent to our store will get 2 hours' free parking.

We look forward to seeing you in the SuperSale!


 Kim P    Sunday 12 January 2014 at 11:58

What a great sale, I am so pleased I came into the shop yesterday to see you all again and the brilliant bargains. To be able to buy such good quality clothes for no more than you would pay for an average quality, poorly fitting item elsewhere is fantastic.

It is funny how sometimes you see an item on the rail and think it's not for me but then try it on and it looks great. I am delighted with my Anna Scholz and Elena Miro dresses, I'll be wearing the latter to work tomorrow.

Thank you again, the service and hospitality are second to none even though Kim was threatening to order some waistcoats for me!


 Emma Hayes    Monday 13 January 2014 at 00:15

Hi Kim,

Yes, I'm tremendously excited at us getting in a checked waistcoat for you this spring, which Kim has especially ordered for you. Can't wait to see you in it. We aim to please!


Emma    Thursday 19 December 2013 at 16:43

 Post #379 

Subject: There's no time like the present

Now is the time for my seasonal reminder that a Gift Voucher is a true thing of beauty.

In the past, when the only gift tokens that could be bought would be from Boots (fun, but not something to get every year), book tokens (somewhat worthy) or postal orders (no imagination whatsoever), gift vouchers used to be considered to be a rather lacklustre present.

Nowadays, when there is a massive variety of companies that provide this kind of gift, they can be an expression of thoughtfulness and good judgement, as well as generosity.

Over the years, I have often had my very first meeting with a customer after they have received one of our vouchers, and this is a delight to both them and me. How lovely that a friend or member of their family has taken enough time and thought, not just to give them something that is a personal indulgence, but also an invitation into a hitherto undiscovered world: the land of plus-size designer fashion. The recipient is sometimes a quite changed person afterwards: not something that could be said from most Christmas presents!

Our gift vouchers can be bought over the phone or via this website, or instore, in a variety of different denominations. At the moment we have a special offer, allowing the lucky purchaser to receive an extra 10% added free.

Happy Christmas!


Emma    Thursday 19 December 2013 at 11:31

 Post #378 

Subject: SALE!

The time of tense waiting is over....we can now announce that the Emma Plus Winter Sale is upon us.

The Sale starts on Friday 20th and Saturday 21st December at 10am.

This year, due to the warm autumn, we have a plethora of beautiful knits and coats in gorgeous rich colours, all heavily discounted, in time for the colder weather ahead.

We also have some fantastic last-minute party clothes, just in time for the festive season.

This, along with our lovely tops and famous trousers, all add up to a bumper sale this year. Don't forget that if you are spending £100 or more and parked in the NCP car park adjacent to us, you will qualify for 2 hours' free parking.

We look forward to seeing you in store.


Emma    Friday 27 September 2013 at 11:37

 Post #369 

Subject: Fashion Show October 12th

We are very excited to announce our Fashion Show, which is taking place on Saturday 12th October.

All day there will be refreshments, a prize draw, a quiz and special offers... while the Fashion Show itself will begin at 2pm. We will be showcasing all this Autumn/Winter's most gorgeous looks. We have called the show 'Snuggle' to reflect the fact that our store is at present teeming with gorgeous knits, sumptuous tops and fabulous, practical coats, in preparation for the cold months ahead.

The look this year is all about soft sophistication, with the emphasis on lovely fabrics. The colours are varied, from aubergine, through magenta to red and terracotta... or cobalt blue, through teal and petrol to turquoise... these are objects of desire!

It's worth putting in the usual reminder: anyone spending £100 or more who is parked right next door in the NCP Theatre Car Park will get 2 hours' free parking.

These days are always fantastic fun; a real opportunity to sit back and enjoy the show!


 Kim P    Sunday 29 September 2013 at 13:13

I am away that weekend :-(

I know it will be a fantastic day, hope everyone lucky enough to go has a wonderful time.


 Emma    Thursday 03 October 2013 at 11:59

Hi Kim,

Sorry to hear that...you will be missed!

Thanks for your kind words, I hope to see you soon!



Emma    Friday 30 August 2013 at 17:32

 Post #366 

Subject: Jazz boomerang

I had mentioned in a previous post that there were two main currents in fashion for next summer, both differentiated by colour and style. I have already talked about the trend that involved colour with a capital ‘C’ (see post no.365 which dealt with the fashion for bright digital prints next season), so now I am going to address the other main style, which is markedly different.

What are the colours that are not actually colourful? The answer is black and white, of course! In everyday life, black and white are not considered colours, yet in the fashion world they certainly are - and very important ones too. Often there is a season (usually winter) when black dominates. This is frequently a time when the clothes are gorgeous, but the clothing shops seem drab. Acres of black do not make for a good retail display! Similarly, there are seasons (usually summer) where everything in-store is white. The emphasis is then on a kind of clean, modernistic (or spiritual) aesthetic, that can alienate all but the most careful wearer. I well remember watching a friend have what would have been a tiny mishap involving a glass of red wine... had she not been wearing a pristine head-to-toe white outfit at the time. The result wasn’t pretty.

Black and white together is an altogether jollier idea. Usually (as with next Spring/Summer) this bi-tone look is channelling that enthusiastic, optimistic period in the nineteen-twenties - the jazz age. Next spring, collections as diverse as Irish designers, Personal choice (who have come up with some super little jersey dresses in black/white combos with pops of coral), Danish brand Que (lovely floor-length cotton monochrome-printed dresses), German range Verpass (chevron-printed stripy jackets) and Spanish designers Jomhoy (authentic-looking flapper dresses in Art-Deco patterns) are all in on it. The look is young and jazzy. But there's also a nod to earlier re-incarnations; I could well see Twiggy wearing some of the little dresses when they were all the rage in the sixties. But then we could equally imagine Bianca Jagger draped languidly in the soft black and white deco-inspired trouser outfits in the nineteen seventies. It’s a style that just keeps on coming back, and looks fresh every time.

Still on the flapper-dress subject, there appears to have emerged an ‘it’ dress for next summer. Many of the different collections are coming up with their own versions. These are lace dresses in two parts. There is an inner base, a glorified slip, that can be almost any colour (although it's usually black or white), then there is an outer part of lace of some kind. Jomhoy had a gorgeous version, with very fine black lace over a nude backing - the lace picked out with subtle, tiny sequins. Anna Scholz (see above right: I couldn’t resist a twirl) had a slightly Japanese-inspired one, over a black base with kimono-style sleeves. Personal Choice had a lovely one with open ribbon-lace over a cream base. There are many more... which is a good thing, because I think everyone will want one of these next season. Even if you would not normally run to a dress, it is a wonderful look to have as a long top over loose-fitting trousers or snappy little leggings.

This fashion has got a lot going for it. It is stylish, flattering and easy to wear (you can dress it up for a smart occasion, or slip it on with a pair of flip-flops on holiday).

Most of all, though, this trend is marvellous value for money. The black and white look never really goes ‘out’, and it is a real top-fashion boomerang. A bit of discreet rummaging in the back of the wardrobe every four or five years will produce something that is all the rage, and looks new all over again.


 Sharon Cross    Friday 30 August 2013 at 22:33

So exciting - i love lace. I think it was all those teenage years wearing lace fingerless gloves! And do i spy stripes at the back in the photo? I'll take any excuse to wear stripes. Do we have to wait until next year?

Ps Kim was v naughty when I visited last - she showed me far too many lovely new season things that I had to buy.


 Emma    Saturday 31 August 2013 at 14:22

Hi Sharon,

Thanks for this.....yes, Kim in a naughty girl!

I can feel your interest in black and white beginning to grow as next season approaches! Yes, there are stripes, spots, various patterns and combinations. Fab.


Emma    Saturday 17 August 2013 at 15:30

 Post #365 

Subject: A thing of beauty...

Having almost completed my buying for the Spring/Summer 2014 season, I am taking an overview of what I have found.

Although there are many micro-trends, the overall direction seems to be split into two main currents - both based on colour and style.

The first is for colour, and it is this particular fork that I am going to discuss in this post.

To mention that there will be colour in a Spring/Summer collection does seem rather a ridiculous observation. Of course, every summer has some kind of colour, even those seasons where shades are muted or neutral. However, I think that anyone who sees the palette on offer for Spring/Summer 2014 will realise immediately that I am talking colour with a capital ‘C’.

I am often asked (particularly in the summer season) what colours we should expect? Well, the answer this time is ‘all of them’! I am old enough to remember vividly (what an apt adjective) the colours that flooded the fashion stores in the early eighties. They were gorgeous - but far from subtle. A rude person would reference a children’s TV presenter when describing them, but an aficionado of design would really appreciate the joie de vivre and beauty of the vibrant combinations.

There are pinks, purples, lilacs, blues, turquoises, greens, yellows, oranges and reds. In this trend the whole rainbow has been drawn down and woven into what we are about to wear. My personal belief is that the innovation of digital printing has arrived at the very moment when the late nineteen-seventies (also a time of colour experimentation) and the early eighties were in vogue, and the impact resulted in an explosion in the paint department.

This movement transcended international borders: I found it everywhere. For example, the chic and understated Italian range Elena Miro produced a beautiful story of delightful separates based on a watercolours theme. The lilac, pink and turquoise patterns had a subtle, yet definite kick, even as they were delicately traced over the surface of jackets, dresses and trousers.

New to Emma Plus, the German range Twister tantalised my 'tastebuds' with a sweetshop full of juicy printed T-shirts and casual T-shirt dresses. Just the kind of thing to wear in the sunshine.

Q’neel, part of the Danish Godske group, provided lovely broad-brush prints in lime and emerald green, cobalt and black.

But it was at German range Brand that I found the motherload. There were gorgeous, joyful, colourful digital prints everywhere. I ran amok and bought heavily into their lovely T-shirts (see picture, right) - knowing from past experience that what they display in attractiveness is equally reflected in their quality and durability.

And this is very important. When I get a beautiful, colourful garment that is a joy to wear I want it to last. A thing of beauty really should be a joy forever.


 Kim P    Sunday 18 August 2013 at 18:24

Roll on next Summer! I like Brand, the items I have from that range wear well and were reasonably priced which is always a bonus!


 Emma    Monday 19 August 2013 at 12:04

Thanks, Kim...

There's certainly nothing drab there!


Emma    Saturday 03 August 2013 at 15:07

 Post #364 

Subject: Workwear Summer 2014

It’s buying time of year again, and I am up to my neck in choosing the collection for Spring/Summer 2014! When going buying, I like to keep foremost in my thoughts what it is that my customers want. I know this sounds obvious: after all, if I am not stocking what my customers want, then what am I here for? Well, it is possible to argue that I should just buy the most beautiful items that I see, and keep my head completely clear of all other considerations.

In real life, of course, one does not have to be so ‘all or nothing’. I will go out and buy the most beautiful items that I see, but I will also strongly bear in mind the clothing that is being sought and asked for by my customers. And a whole lot of the requests expressed across my counter come under the heading of ‘workwear’.

Before I start to go out to buy, I really don’t have much of an idea about what it is I am going to find. Years of experience have only served to help me know some very small pieces of wisdom, which I use to the best of my ability...

One such piece is that no season comes out of a ‘clear blue sky’, even though it may seem to do so. Each season carries forward themes from what has gone before. So when I am trying to anticipate the new looks, I spend a bit of time contemplating the way the fashion wind has been blowing over previous years.

For instance, one of the very strong influences that we have been seeing for some time now (and which I have referred to before in this blog) is the return to the ladylike looks of the nineteen fifties and sixties. This started some years ago, and mirrored other cultural influences - such as music (the singer Amy Whitehouse was an example), TV (Mad Men is a reference here) and interior design (who hasn’t noticed the vogue for fifties and sixties modernist furniture at the moment?). One of the results of this has been the return to the type of glamorous workwear that used to be ubiquitous, yet which had all but died out a few years ago.

The problem was that the look, in its original incarnation, was not practical or comfortable - not a good thing for workwear, you may think. It was often a pencil-skirt and fitted jacket, or a fitted pencil-skirted dress with jacket. These were uncomfortable garments to wear, as when you sit down in a fitted jacket or dress, they suddenly become a lot tighter around the waist, and when you walk along in a pencil skirt, you soon realise that you are not going anywhere fast. The lighter summer fabrics were fragile, clingy, transparent and had no stretch - so had to be lined, making them very hot. In the winter, in order to be warm enough for the chilly office, these garments had to be made of stiff, scratchy wool. Workwear of the period had to be meticulously laundered, starched and carefully ironed, or continually taken to the dry-cleaners. These were not clothes for the fainthearted!

This didn’t really seem to worry women in our mother’s and grandmother’s generation. These were doughty women who went through the War, and were prepared to spend 18 hours a day in a bombproof corset.

With modern technology the look has become a lot more accessible. Fabrics have a much better handle, and are incredibly practical. Often natural mixes, they nevertheless are far easier to care for - being machine washable, non-iron, non-clingy (even when, as they usually are, unlined). They don’t crease anywhere near as much, and, with modern, warmer office spaces, need not be made out of anything that is either stiff or hot. No wonder so many of us women have wanted to re-imagine those looks again, but this time with comfort and practicality in mind. Because, after all, those wonderful vintage silhouettes were sexy and business-like... a dynamite combination.

So when I have sourced the classic fitted dress and jacket work combo like the one pictured, right, I jump at the chance to get it. It is in the Spring/Summer 14 Sallie Sahne collection, and comprises a navy blue dress and jacket. The fabric is light, stretchy, washable and non-crease, with a lovely diamond-shaped texture running through it. The dress is very fitted, with tiny silver piping at the neck. The jacket is lightweight and slightly boxy. I tried it on, and found that I could stride all over the showroom, bend and stretch, sit down and generally do physical jerks in it in great comfort... ideal for the woman who leaps up from her desk and clears the corridor with a single bound, beating everyone else to the lift.

It’s one of the new breed of workwear that I have been sourcing for next spring. I’m about half-way through my buying now, and I have been delighted with what I have been finding.


 Kim P    Monday 05 August 2013 at 19:45

Such a lovely outfit and it looks like it was made for you Emma! These investment pieces are worth the extra initial cost, they are classic enough in design to keep in the wardrobe for years.


 Emma    Monday 05 August 2013 at 20:48

Thanks, Kim!

Yes, it is bizarre how Sallie Sahne manages to get the fit so perfect! I felt as it I could have walked straight out of the Sallie Sahne showroom wearing their sample, and onto the board of some major international company!

It's also true about these being 'investment clothes'. I have a bit of collection of Sallie Sahne items going back some years, and I cannot remember anything actually wearing out.


 jamesbrodylevi    Monday 27 October 2014 at 07:06

Actually, I am very much interested to purchase the Salwars. The images which you shared was good to buy. Is there any price reduction is available on those dresses.


 Eliza Lowrie    Friday 23 January 2015 at 12:05

It was great reading your post. I style a tee under my elegant resolution jacket with my fluid pant which I bought from ginger&smart and naked heart heels for an elegant look.


Emma    Friday 02 August 2013 at 13:50

 Post #363 

Subject: Super Reductions

It's worth mentioning to the readers of our blog that we have a slightly unusual situation here in our shop.

Our Summer Sale has moved into its final stages-the extra reduction stage-when many of our items are either half price or 75% off. So much so usual....we always clear all our season's stock before the next collection comes into store. This is how we keep fresh and new all the time, and why we end up giving items away towards the end of our Sale.

The big difference this year is that this lovely selection of light and bright, practical summer clothing is all being sold at the VERY MOMENT THAT IT IS NEEDED MOST. In other words, anyone finding that they need some cool clothes to wear in hot weather will be able to find them now substantially reduced. After all, it is still only the beginning of August.

Regular readers of this blog may not need to read the rest of this post! It consists of the two reminders that usually accompany my comments. The first is the observation that we have 'total climate control' here in the shop, and would challenge anyone to feel anything other than super-cool and comfortable in store.

The second is to mention the fact that anyone parked in the NCP Theatre car park (adjacent to our shop) who spends £100 or more will be given 2 hours' free parking.

We look forward to being deluged by bargain-hunters as of now!


 Kim P    Monday 05 August 2013 at 19:48

How long will the sale be on for?


 Emma    Monday 05 August 2013 at 20:44

Hi Kim,

The Sale will continue until the end of August, but stock does sell through as time goes on!

The 'final reductions' that we have at the moment are some of the most radical we've done: I'm keen for customers to have some of the fantastic summer Sale clothes whilst they can be enjoyed most!


Emma    Wednesday 24 July 2013 at 09:45

 Post #362 

Subject: SALE!

The time has come again for our wonderful Summer Sale!

This year, more than ever, we have all been wearing our lovely cool summer clothes, and now there is an opportunity to top-up our summer wardrobe at substantially reduced prices.

This is a very colourful season, and the summer clothes in our sale are a rainbow of gorgeous shades. Of course, they look even better now some of them are half price or less.

There are two important facts to cogitate about our Sale. The first is that if you spend £100 or more in store and park in the NCP car park adjacent to our shop, you will qualify for 2 hours free parking.

The second is that Emma Plus enjoys an airconditioning system to beat all others, and any customer choosing to spend a little time in our store will leave relaxed, happy and as cool as a cucumber.

Our Sale starts at 10.30am on Friday 26th and continues at 10.00am on Saturday 27th July.

We look forward to seeing you in store!


 Sharon    Thursday 01 August 2013 at 14:44

Marvellous! I have booked a day off Friday next week for some bargain hunting and hopefully a peak at some new season stock.


 Emma    Friday 02 August 2013 at 13:36

That's fab, Sharon!

I think you will be coming at a very good time. We've already had some gorgeous A/W 13 items delivered, and our sale stock is up to 75% off, so there are some fantastic bargains to be had.

Look forward to seeing you soon-


Emma    Wednesday 17 July 2013 at 15:03

 Post #361 

Subject: New new new

I am feeling the sensation of tingling excitement that I always get on the run-up to the new season.

The first excitement is caused by the sight of new stock. It is always lovely to have the first deliveries arrive in our store. Of course the advent of winter stock does not have the same connotations as the delivery of spring stock. The spring/summer collection usually arrives in the middle of winter, and the bright colours light up our store - just as they light up our expectations of the longer, warmer days ahead.

However, receiving the first of the ‘winter’ season, which is what is happening now, is also a positive event. This is because the very first deliveries are designed to be received in the middle of the summer, so tend to be colourful and light, with just a tinge of autumn sophistication.

To give you two examples of new stock delivered this week... We have had some truly gorgeous denim jeans from Elena Miro. These are real ‘fashion’ jeans: superb cut, edgy, with great denim - the perfect thing for high summer (which will also carry you forward into the autumn). The other item I have chosen to mention, also labelled ‘Autumn/Winter’ - yet which is precisely appropriate for this time of year - is the lovely textured linen tops that have arrived from Q’Neel (see picture). Cool, colourful and easy to wear; perfect for right now.

My other tingle of anticipation is for the new buying season that is looming ahead. I will shortly be putting in orders for next summer. In a nutshell, I just can't wait to see all the shiny new things! Every range - every designer - is going through my head right now. What have they got to show? What are the colours? Can they possibly improve on this year (which was fantastic)?

On Friday I will be rising at the ungodly hour of 2.45am to start my journey to Germany where I will kick off the Spring/Summer 2014 buying. I hate to get up early, and this super-early time is particularly bad, but I am thoroughly looking forward to it. I will keep readers of this blog up to date with what I find.

It’s a sensation of childish glee, like the feeling I used to get when I was six years old and looking forward to Christmas. Bring on Spring/Summer 2014!


Emma    Saturday 20 April 2013 at 16:14

 Post #353 

Subject: Anna Scholz

I have been cogitating on the designer, Anna Scholz. Not surprising, because next week we are hosting our third Anna Scholz Day on Saturday 27th April, where the designer herself will visit our store, meet her customers and bring much of her range with her.

It’s always a great day. We have lots of scrummy nibbles and drinks, oodles of fantastic Anna Scholz clothes, loads of happy customers and, of course, the lady herself - a beautiful, charismatic presence.

Many times I have had people ask me why I love Anna Scholz and her oeuvre so much. In order to explain this phenomenon I will have to go back to the beginning...

I started working at this store 23 years ago. It was then, just as it is now, a proper plus-size shop. When I say ‘proper’, I mean that it has never been one of those irritating shops that call themselves ‘plus size’ but start at a size 12 (why?) and go all the way up to a size 22 (surely, this doesn’t even count as a plus-size these days?). When I first came here we stocked fashions from a size 16 up to a size 26; nowadays we stock mainly between size 20 and 32.

Back then, it was very difficult to find really lovely clothing in those ‘proper’ plus sizes. The main reason was good old-fashioned prejudice. Against all the available evidence it seemed that our own plus-size industry had decided a number of things about its customers. It had decided that we were elderly (or middle-aged in a particularly frumpy way). It had decided that we were dowdy (dull and lacklustre). It had decided we were sexless (heaven forbid that we showed a bit of femininity). It had decided we were shapeless and wanted nothing more than cover-ups. We were supposed to lack the energy to bother about fabric care (there was a disproportionate amount of ‘drip-dry’ clothes). We weren’t prepared to spend on our clothing. And, more than anything else, we hated colour.

I’m not saying that it was impossible to find lovely clothes back then. It was just very, very difficult. And they were few and far between. It was a difficult time for our shop.

I will never forget the first time I saw Anna’s collection. It was at the huge clothes fair that used to take place at the NEC in Birmingham and it was in February 1994. I had seen a picture of one of her dresses, and I had already decided that I was going to look her up if I got the chance. I walked on to her stand at the exhibition, and the rest is history: my shop has never been without an Anna Scholz garment from that day to this.

Anna (as far as I know) was the first plus-size woman to have her own fashion line, and it showed. She didn’t need anyone else to tell her what larger women wanted. She was young, vibrant, attractive, driven, enthusiastic, uncompromising, skilful, and anything but apologetic about her size (she is still all of these things). Her clothes were a revelation, and we couldn’t get enough of them.

Looking around today it’s easy to think that she is just one among many designers producing fashion-forward, sexy, joyful, colourful clothes. Yet she was the first, and still the best. And she has been a powerhouse, turning out fabulous items that have been a joy to consumers and an education to our industry for the past almost two decades.


 Kim P    Wednesday 24 April 2013 at 18:43

I hope everyone has a great day on Saturday, so many beautiful designs to choose from! They are always great fun and I am sad to be missing it.


 Emma    Thursday 25 April 2013 at 13:18

Hi Kim

Thank you very much... We're sorry you can't make it.

We've already had the delivery in and we're trying it all on, stomping up and down, pouting, squatting, swinging our hair around and posing girlishly - just like the models in the photograph!

Emma    Saturday 02 March 2013 at 17:40

 Post #342 

Subject: Fall 2013

So, now I can officially say that I have finished my buying for Autumn/Winter 2013. If there is anything out there that I should have bought, I neither have the time nor the budget to get it now.

I do think next winter is a very strong season. As many regular readers of this blog will know, fashion doesn’t usually jump forward with a sudden jerk; it tends to evolve in a logical progression over a number of seasons. And Autumn/Winter 2013 is no exception. The looks are simply evolutions of the last winter’s lines. This means the retro-nineteen-fifties/early nineteen-sixties styles are still holding sway.

If you referred to them (and wore them) as 'tops', they would be considered long, but if you referred to them (and strutted around in them on your gorgeous legs) as 'dresses', they would be quite short. These are the garments to invest in. The look is simple, with little tunics relying for their charm on their beautiful, soft, detailed fabrics. Often there is a kind of twin-set of tunic with matching coat/jacket - which smartens up what is rather a sporty feel (see picture, right, of a lovely Marina Rinaldi set of coat and dress). Like it or not (and I love it), this is the signature look of the season. Many women will be rocking the look by teaming these items with leggings or even tights, while others will opt for a more conservative look with trousers.

The correct trousers to wear with the dress/top are, in the main, quite narrow, but some slightly wider ones are being produced that are bit more accessible for the woman who doesn’t like to show her legs off in too much detail. Then, at the other end of the spectrum, there are the really wide strides, which counter-intuitively can actually look very good with a tunic top. This is because they ‘turn’ the look a little - introducing a kind of Art Deco aesthetic.

Skirts are dirndl (please don’t expect me to buy these for my shop; I cannot bring myself to do so... yes, they are very fashionable, but I find them extremely unflattering to all larger body shapes), or pencil. Both these looks would be worn with rather grown-up looking vintage blouses and little jackets.

As far as fabrics are concerned, we are talking about luxury - with materials falling in soft drapes around a minimal silhouette. There are very soft tweedy weaves, knits, cashmere mixes, silks, jerseys, faux-furs (and real furs: but we don’t stock those!), even the odd velvet and devore. In fact, there is quite a lot of sheepskin and leather next winter, and, although the embellishment is subtle, beading and sequins give little splashes of interest here and there (and not only in eveningwear). Leather in trims and sleeves gives an edgy feel. We are increasingly seeing the use of digital printing, more often than not on jerseys, with the inspiration being the very futuristic production method itself. Many of the patterns are op-art, modernistic designs, in beautiful jewel colours.

The colours are teal, petrol and deep turquoise, mustard, cobalt, purple, grey, red, cerise... but most of all, black and white.

From both a retailer and a fashion enthusiast’s point of view it is a lovely season: so easy to buy and such a delight to introduce my customers to. In fact, I can only see one down-side. It is the fact that, even though the weather is so cold now (and, of course, I would love some new knits and coats), I still have to wait another six months to see the clothes come into store!


Marguerite    Sunday 27 January 2013 at 22:30

 Post #332 

Subject: Beyond help?

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


 Emma    Monday 28 January 2013 at 16:16

Hi Marguerite,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


 Kim P    Tuesday 29 January 2013 at 20:13

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


 Sammy    Friday 19 June 2015 at 17:21

Hi Marguerite,

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


Emma    Wednesday 23 January 2013 at 14:42

 Post #331 

Subject: Almia

This morning I was going for my customary dog walk on the hills above Brighton. It was beautiful: everything was white and the trees were describing abstract shapes against the sky, with their two-tone black and white branches. However, looks can be deceptive, and the weather was anything but hospitable. The air was cold, and there were occasional flakes of sleet being carried by the ‘lazy’ wind (so called, because being too lazy to go around you, it wants to simply go through you). All I can say is, thank heavens the roads are clear now!

Luckily, I didn’t have to worry about the weather because I was wearing a wonderful old stalwart coat. Made from thick wool, it was from a collection that we have not seen in the UK for at least five years. It is from Almia of Sweden. Coming from Scandinavia, this manufacturer knew how to make a good coat, and this old friend is no exception. It is almost military in style and has a lovely wide revere that can be drawn up and done right up to the neck. Although recognisably a fashionable ladies’ coat, nevertheless it is easy to see the heritage that leads in a straight line back to the coats that defended Leningrad.

It does sometimes bewilder me that, when asking for a ‘waterproof’ coat, many women avoid wool. The very word ‘waterproof’ seems to imply one of the modern, scientifically designed fabrics, of the type found in sportswear stores. Don’t get me wrong: I love those fabrics (and we are awaiting a delivery of raincoats from the Fransden collection, many of which have just such qualities). However, this does not mean that wool is not in itself waterproof, as well as being extremely good protection against that lazy wind!

Such collections as Almia can disappear from the British market at the drop of a hat. In this case it was because the company lost the lovely agents, Todd and Hilary Acker, who retired after they had managed the range for years. One thing led to another, and the range vanished from our shores. I have always really missed it, because Almia was not just about coats. Far from it, their look ranged far and wide, from gorgeous chiffon summer dresses and jackets, through tailoring, knits, trousers, and just about anything that you may wish to see in your wardrobe.

I shall shortly be winging my way (with any luck) over to Germany, to do my latest tranche of buying, and, after the cold winters we have been experiencing lately, I will be looking around with a beady eye at really lovely, warm coats. This year there is one particular collection that I am going to have a look at, in the hope that it will be able to offer me something beautiful, stylish and practical.

The collection? Almia. They have decided to return to the UK market, and for the first time in years I am able to see what they have on offer. I can’t wait.


 Sharon    Wednesday 23 January 2013 at 20:30

That is excellent news Emma - i adored Almia's trousers when they were available over here.


 Emma    Thursday 24 January 2013 at 14:38

Hi Sharon!

Yes, it's always very good news when we are able to source a different 'fit' of trousers!

Years of experience has helped me to understand how we all need a different fit. Not everyone understands this, and I know that some ranges spend a lot of effort trying to get the perfect shape for their patterns. This is largely a waste of time, as it actually gives a far better service to the customer to try to have as many different cuts of trousers as possible.

I, for instance, have got absolutely no bottom, thighs or hips (hooray, you may say), yet I've got a very wide waist, and am extremely long in the rise. Getting trousers that actually fit me, and don't fall down every time I move can prove a challenge. Another woman may have a tiny waist, yet a more magnificent bottom than mine, so will need a completely different shape, even though she is the same size.

This is where knowledge of the different ranges comes into play. Almia tends to have a somewhat narrow hip, that doesn't suit everybody, but the women who like them, love them! So a 'trouser queen' like Kim will be able to guide customers towards the correct trousers.

I would love to know what, if any, particular type of trouser you would be looking for this autumn, Sharon, so that - if Almia has them in their collection - I can snap them up for you... No obligation to buy!


Emma    Saturday 20 October 2012 at 16:58

 Post #318 

Subject: Wisps of hatred

I think it’s a Honda advert that says in effect ‘hating is good’, but I am not copying that idea in this blog. In fact, I think I had this philosophy long before they broadcasted it. The reality is that I do believe the application of a little bit of hatred now and again can be useful.

There are people who are average height, small in size, and with ‘normal’ length (and width) legs. They don’t have any particular allergies or reactions to fabrics. They can wear most colours, and they don’t get too hot. They can be relaxed about their style; if they wear an unflattering garment they will never end up looking like the business end of a bus. This lack of jeopardy may result in them not noticing other people’s fashion faux pas either. It’s possible that these people have no fashion frustrations whatsoever.

However, fashion - for me - is full of wisps of hatred, which - when judiciously applied - I believe can have a positive effect. For instance, I like to make a little list of fashion stuff that I really, really hate, and I try to use this list when I am doing my buying. Part of it goes something like this...

I hate trousers that lose their shape. It’s not nice when any garment does that, but trousers seem to be worse than anything else. If the fabric is too flaccid, then there are just so many things that can happen. The trousers can bag at the knee (horrible). They can gape at the back of the waist (annoying), they can fall down (inconvenient), but - and this is much, much worse - they can develop a droopy bottom without any help from me. This is Not a Good Thing. No, seriously, it really isn’t.

I can wear wool, but a pet hate of mine is when wool touches me anywhere on my neck. The second it reaches my skin in this area I develop a very embarrassing red mark. No-one else in the world notices it. But I just hate it.

I hate (and I am now becoming quite passionate) trousers that are low in the rise. I have a pair of very spritzy trousers that would be perfect were it not for this incredibly irritating feature. They are uncomfortable, my stomach bulges over them in an ugly fashion, and every time I bend over they fall down. It’s not that I want to donate them to charity (or even put them into landfill). No, it’s gone much too far for that. I want to ceremoniously tear them seam from seam. Then I would like to burn them, and throw the ashes off the end of Brighton Pier. I’m still not sure that would be sufficient though.

On other people, I hate it when things are not the correct length. It’s easy to see when a skirt is designed to be knee-length. So when it is on a shorter woman, it should be shortened to be on her knee, not hanging around, being neither one thing nor the other. The situation becomes even worse when sleeves are involved.

Similarly, we all know if a pair of trousers is styled to be that ‘ankle-grabbing’ design. If you are tall, pretending that your trousers are ‘meant’ to be this short doesn’t fool anyone. Yes, there is a current vogue for youngsters to wear jeans far too long (and have them fray on the ground), and that’s all well and good. But if a shorter lady is wearing trousers too long for her, they just look scruffy, and I find that very annoying.

I hate what I call ‘leggings worn as trousers’. In my opinion, leggings should be worn with a longish top. With a bottom and legs like mine, it’s essential to watch the length of a top, but even if you are my niece’s age, when the top can be very short indeed, it should nevertheless always cover one’s bottom. This is because leggings are a half-way house between tights and trousers, and if they are worn with a (for example) waist-length top, it simply looks like the unfortunate woman has left her house in a hurry and has forgotten to clothe her bottom half. Even if the woman concerned has the most beautiful pert and well-toned derriere (and even if she is very young), there is a scintilla of embarrassment there; surely the whole look is just far too much information?

Actually, I could go on all day about my fashion hates. But there is one thing that makes me very happy about this whole subject. It’s that I am in a position to do something about these issues when it comes to stocking my shop. And my own pet hatreds can inform me in my approach to my customers.

For instance, if someone tells me that they cannot wear any man-made fibres, I am the very last person in the world to try to fob her off with excuses. How would I feel if this was the response when I was trying to get something that didn’t make me look like I was wearing a red polo-neck under my clothes? From personal experience, I know that when people say they really need something, they mean it. And this has to be remembered at the buying stage. So when I'm buying I am always looking at the fabric composition of garments, and trying to hunt down the correct mixes. There are so many different garments on the market that it is not beyond the wit of a shop-owner like me to find what my customers need.

So when a particularly tall woman comes into my store, I don’t try to sell her trousers that could pass for long enough. Even the thought of doing such a thing makes me furious! No, I will do everything I can to get the correct, long lengths of trousers. Suppliers will nearly always be found that produce the differing lengths we need, so the problem can usually be easily solved with a little bit of effort. No compromise, no irritation!

I like to wallow in my fashion hatreds partly because it feels so good to be able to eliminate as many of them as I can. Every time I find a solution to a particularly irksome fashion hate, it feels extremely satisfying - like scoring a direct hit in a game.


Emma    Saturday 25 August 2012 at 19:25

 Post #308 

Subject: Spring-Summer 2013!

I am half-way through the buying season (which for some reason seems to be going on for rather a long time this year), so I feel that I am beginning to get a bit of a view as to some of the trends that are appearing on the horizon for Spring-Summer 2013.

I love the look that is beginning to prevail. There is a softness and luxury to it. For several years now the emphasis has been on an easy, luxurious look, with beautiful printed and patterned fabrics and elegant silhouettes.

This is the era of the dress, and the summer season I'm seeing really does seem to be providing plenty of choice... and I haven’t even seen the Anna Scholz collection yet! The two basic types of dress have remained the same now for several years: the maxi-dress and the on-the-knee dress.

The on-the-knee dress comes in a number of different permutations. There is what I coyly call the ‘short dress, long top’ look - by which I mean a dress that a young woman would wear with a pair of sassy coloured tights or (in the height of what will hopefully be a summer next year) tanned legs and plenty of attitude. Whereas women of – ahem - my kind of age would call it a long top, and probably team with a really lovely pair of trousers.

This dress also comes in a more demure grown-up version (see image, right, from the French company, Alain Weiss, worn with a matching chiffon jacket...; as ever, please excuse my hair - it's an occupational hazard when you are on an overseas buying trip and have to try on a hundred different garments), where the dress is somewhat short, yet entirely wearable without causing blushes either to the wearer or the viewer. As this dress is sized up, the length also grows, and it can be shortened to fit.

Clearly the maxi dress, by definition, comes in just one form: it starts at the top of your body and keeps on going until it hits the floor! In olden days one needed to be going out somewhere quite posh (and most likely in the evening) to wear this kind of thing. If you walked down the high street in the middle of a week-day wearing one, heads would turn - more with curiosity than admiration.

Now, the maxi-dress has beaten down the wardrobe door and is dashing around all over the place. These days you can see it - accompanied by a little cardigan and some colourful beads - wafting down the road in the spring sunshine, on its way to lunch with friends. You can catch sight of it in the middle of the day, teamed with flip-flops, floating along the seashore on holiday. Or you can spy it, teamed with a slouchy designer bag, chunky gold necklace and sunglasses, jumping out of a sports car in a county town, ready to do a little ‘retail therapy’. No-one now thinks you are overdressed.

What all these dresses have in common now is that, with a little bit of application (of lipstick and mascara that is), and a bit of attitude (a few well-placed accessories), these dresses can still be dressed-up to do all the posh things that we have always expected of them. Summer weddings, Ascot, evening events, the opera, parties, etc. And then afterwards, we can wear them thoroughly dressed down and integrated into our everyday lives. This is the true joy of living in the era of the dress!

Colours, of course, are essential. The shades I've seen so far for next summer are cerise, emerald, lapis, slate, and black and white. For dresses, it really is all about the prints. Next summer is going to be a riot of the most feminine, gorgeous pattered fabrics that we have ever been lucky enough to find. All in all, really gorgeous, wearable clothes... roll on next year!


Emma    Saturday 11 August 2012 at 14:28

 Post #305 

Subject: Simply divine

I am just so excited about the new collections that are starting to come in. This week we had some gorgeous Elena Miro (fabulous jersey tops and dresses, jackets etc), Verpass (knits to die for), and the very beginning of the Anna Scholz consignments.

It’s fantastic to see the wonderful life-affirming colours. Fashion works in mysterious ways... by the time the new colours arrive in the store we are longing to get our hands on them.

These two box-fresh Anna Scholz dresses are simply divine.


Emma    Friday 27 July 2012 at 18:30

 Post #304 

Subject: Whirlygig

It has to be said, I am quite an argumentative person. Who could be more argumentative than someone who, even when re-reading her own words, disagrees passionately with them? That’s me!

When I was re-reading my last post about buying for next summer, I found that I just didn’t agree with me, and felt the urge to put the opposite point of view.

In my last post (to jog your memory or save your time if you have not read it yet), I was talking about what you could call ‘practical’ fashion. I was looking at the weather we have had so far this summer (and the last, and the one before that), and thinking about the kind of clothing that has recently proved to be the most useful. Then I was intending to get more of those kinds of hardworking, everyday items. You know the sort of thing... lovely, comfortable trousers, teamed with smart little jackets and pretty tops. How very practical, comfortable - and sensible!

Oooeer. That’s a word that brings me up short. Sensible? Has it really come to this, that we (calling ourselves a fashion store) start thinking about buying sensible clothes? How hideous! How very pedestrian! Isn’t fashion about something a whole lot more than simply dressing yourself? Isn’t it really about beauty, passion, gorgeousness and lust? Aren’t the clothes we wear a whole lot more than simply covering us up in a practical, workmanlike way? Aren’t they transformative? And if they are transformative, wouldn’t it - on the whole - be so much better to be transformed into something stylish, lovely, individual and original, than into something sensible?

What if news of my awful lapse got out? Gather round, everybody, and see the Emma Plus Spring/Summer 13 collection... it’s wonderfully sensible! It would ruin our reputation.

So how have I suddenly recovered and seen the light? In the week or so since I wrote that last piece, three things have occurred to make me regain my usual fashion mojo. The first thing (the elephant sitting in its familiar spot in the corner) is that the weather has completely changed. Walking down the road just now, I felt like I was abroad. The golden sun was filtering down, and there was a kind of summer spirit shimmering in the air that made Brightonians look different from a few weeks ago. Back then we appeared thoroughly British: damp, earnest, nose-to-the-grindstone folk, manfully struggling through the mizzle to get to work. Today, we all looked like sophisticated, relaxed, suave Europeans, stylishly sashaying down the avenues, casually selecting a picturesque roadside café in which to start our torrid affair with a handsome Gallic... sorry. Starting to get carried away there! Still, I think you get the overall picture. What a difference a bit of sunshine makes!

Another thing that has happened since I wrote my last blog is that I have started to receive brochures from the various collections I buy from. It’s early days (I haven’t, for instance, seen the Spring/Summer 13 Anna Scholz brochure yet), but the omens are good. More than that, they are exciting!

Looking at the brochures I’ve had so far I’m seeing colour; beautiful turquoises, cherry pinks, emerald greens and cobalt blues. There is texture: soft, tiny crinkle linen weaves, chiffons, rich swirling jerseys, and delicate lacy effects. In dresses there are drapes that swirl around the body as if caught-up in a summer breeze, and gorgeous tops and jackets with plenty of volume. There are prints (some of the best I have seen: abstract, or near-abstract sophisticated flower designs) in bold, life-affirming blocks of colour.

Suddenly, looking at the pictures, I realised that (for example) what I really needed in my life right now was a pair of stretch skinny cherry pink jeans. Who knew that? Luckily, Brand did.

The final reason for my abrupt change of heart is that the buying season has crept up and is now thundering down on us like the tornado in the Wizard of Oz. I am caught-up in the whole fashion whirligig that spins us rounds and deposits us in a completely unexpected place every season. It’s better than any fairground ride.

Funnily enough, a close look at many of these exciting items also reveals something quite odd. Many of them - like the aforementioned skinny Brand jeans (seen above right with a sleeved, pretty little top) - also happen to fall into the ‘sensible’ clothing category. On second thoughts, perhaps I’d better not mention that.


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 19 July 2012 at 18:16

 Post #302 

Subject: Emma Plus Summer Sale Starts 10.30am Friday 20th July

It’s not every year when the stars align to the advantage of the British consumer, but this year does seem to be one of them!

We have been waiting for summer for so long (and almost giving up hope), when along it comes - just in time to take advantage of summer clothes at super-bargain prices!

As our regulars already know, we clear all stock every season to make way for the next tranche of goodies. This means that all current stock has to go. In this instance, that opens up a gorgeous collection of summer clothes at truly wonderful prices.

I have mentioned before that, in my opinion, the best possible option for the stylish plus-size woman who is thrifty (either by necessity, or by nature!), is to buy designer clothes in the sale. The difference in price between designer and high-street clothing, even at full price, is nowhere near as great as the difference in what you get for your money.

Designer clothes are fashion-forward (in the main, the style of a designer item will look band-box fresh for at least two years, and usually considerably longer); the quality means they are a delight to wear, and the fit is superb. Adding that to the fact that designer clothes tend (these days) to be easy-care and incredibly durable, the only possible argument against buying high-end clothing is the price. However, if you are lucky enough to source items that are correct for you in the sale, then even this disadvantage melts away. And this season, not only are the prices fantastic, but the choice is brilliant.

I really would recommend any plus-size woman interested in looking good to hurry along to our Sale. She will not be disappointed.

The Sale starts tomorrow (Friday 20th July) at 10.30am. We look forward to seeing you in store!


 Sharon Cross    Thursday 26 July 2012 at 13:55

I've booked a day off work tomorrow to come down and have a good attack on your sale stock. Hope the weather holds up :-)


 Emma    Thursday 26 July 2012 at 23:05

Hi Sharon!

You are indeed a very discerning woman, if you don't mind my saying so!

I can't think of anything better to do with a lovely day than come down to Brighton, park in the NCP car park next to Emma Plus (to get two hours' free parking), have a spot of lunch in one of the North Laine's gorgeous little cafes in the sunshine, see a few of the sights of Brighton, and find some goodies in the Emma Plus sale, in the air-conditioned cool......what's not to like?

I do hope the weather holds up, and that you have a lovely time on your precious day off....


Emma    Friday 15 June 2012 at 17:04

 Post #298 

Subject: Sporty?

I have had occasion, recently, to cogitate on the question of sportswear (as you do!). In my younger days I could never have been described as any kind of sportswoman. In fact, I have to say that my experience of sports was nearer to aversion therapy than leisure activity.

When I was at school - although I was reasonably fit and very healthy - sports just weren’t my thing. They were just about as far from being my ‘thing’ as it is possible to get on the same continent. I became very hot the minute I started to run; I was not particularly well-co-ordinated; and, post the age of 11, the school sports uniform was not big enough for me, so I had to wear something that made me stand out even further from the crowd! The fact that I stood a good foot above just about every other girl gave me a theoretical advantage in netball. But disappointingly I was unable to convert that into any kind of success in the sport.

So it has to be said that the word ‘sportswear’ is a bit of a challenge to me, even to this day. What on earth would I even need it for? I don’t do sport. And - after my early experience of not finding sportswear large enough - I am very concerned that it would all end-up far too small... after all, sport is for skinny people - right?

Well, as it happens, while I still eschew sports, I do undertake active occupations. For example, I really like walking. I do yoga (where I fail to excel, but enjoy it all the same), and I find myself generally huffing and puffing, dashing around all over the place. As readers of this blog will already know, I’m not one of nature’s slobs, so I would always like to have clothing that is suitable, comfortable, high-performance, but with a ‘put-together’, sassy look. You know the kind of thing: one minute you could be walking the dog, then, shortly afterwards, you could be meeting friends for lunch in town and popping off to a cinema matinee - without having to mess around getting changed.

So I was delighted when I found out about a new range called State Of Mind, which provides beautiful plus-size sportswear (see picture, right). A UK company, that emphasises manufacturing in Britain, it has developed fabulous sport-to-casual wear in sizes up to 26. The fabric is gorgeous - really soft, with a subtle drape and stretch, but developed as a proper sports fabric to keep you cool and perspiration-free.

The range encompasses little sporty ribbed jackets, jersey pants, tank tops, and sleeved tops... there’s something useful and gorgeous for everyone. Sporty girls will think all their birthdays have come at once (proper plus-size sportswear is as common as hen’s teeth), and the - shall we say - sportingly challenged like myself will need the whole collection, too.


Emma    Friday 08 June 2012 at 11:39

 Post #297 

Subject: Tights, camera, action!

I was so excited to receive the new Cette tights this week. As regular readers of this blog and forum will know, we have had something missing at Emma Plus for too long... tights!

I would like to paint a picture of something that really happened to me. Something that I am not proud of, and, I am ashamed to say, in my youth has happened to me many times.

Imagine the scene (those of you of a delicate disposition should probably not, because it isn’t pretty)... I am running towards the ladies’ toilet, I dash into the privacy within, I bend over and pull off my tights in a positive hysteria of rage! I drag the items off my feet, then, holding them in my hands, I attack them, ripping, pulling and tearing at them - all the while growling like an injured tigress. Anyone witnessing this would conclude I was quite mad.

I then throw the tights in the bin, gathering together all the ladylike dignity I can muster, and issue forth with bare legs - trying to look like the whole incident never happened. Why did this occur...? Because my tights were nowhere near big enough. And wearing uncomfortable tights is the quickest way to insanity that I know!

Eventually I realised that I was going to have to bite the bullet and stop buying cheap hosiery. It's a false economy, and it wasn’t very good for my sanity.

Many of my customers have had similar experiences and tell me that they will never, ever, wear tights. The wounds run deep, and without counselling on the NHS, they simply couldn’t envisage ever being able to get over their aversion to hosiery. However, it doesn’t have to be like this. Believe it or not, tights can be your friend.

So, at Emma Plus, we have begun to stock really good quality tights. From time to time over the years we have stocked many different tight brands, and they have all been excellent. The only problem is, every time we get a really good collection of tights, the company only lasts a few years and then goes out business. I think I know why this is - but more of that later.

Until you have tried 'designer' tights, it's easy to think that they are expensive and probably not all they are cracked up to be. However, each time we have been lucky enough to stock proper designer tights, they have been a joy. At about £14 a pair, they may well be twice the price of high-street brands, but they tend to last so much longer.

I personally have beautiful designer tights in mint condition, which have been used over and over again, that I bought ten years ago! Sadly, I honestly believe this is the inherent problem with the industry. Once a woman has bought all the tights she needs for her everyday life, she may not buy any more for years! The business model for this industry therefore seems to be flawed. As consumers, all we can do is snaffle up the lovely tights when we get the chance.

A really good quality pair of tights will have certain characteristics. They will be smooth, and may well feel a little thicker than other tights (although the yarn is particularly fine). The colour will be entirely consistent: there is no question of the areas where the tights have to (ahem!) increase the area of coverage, like over the thighs or calves, looking any different from any other part of the leg. This gives perfection of tone, which really helps create a sophisticated and polished overall image, and is very flattering to the legs.

Although tights of every type (even the good quality ones) can - and will - go into holes or ladders, the chances of this happening to the best tights is massively minimised; the main reason for their longevity.

Vices associated with cheaper tights have been done-away with in the quality varieties. For instance, they will not pill (those nasty little bobbles that can develop on the surface of garments), they won't stretch out of shape, they won't fade (and the colours are wonderful), they will have a lined gusset for supreme comfort, and they have enough lycra content to ensure that there are no 'Nora Batty' incidents!

But there is one thing about designer tights beyond and above everything else. They are big enough. Properly big enough.

Need I say more?


 Kim P    Thursday 14 June 2012 at 10:40

Hi Emma, that's excellent news. I am sure we can all relate to tights behaving badly! I will be very interested to see the new hosiery when next in the store.


 Emma    Thursday 14 June 2012 at 11:23

Hi Kim!

yes, it's good to have them again. There's plenty to choose from, from 'footless tights' which are actually more like leggings, to opaques, to hold-up stockings, and sheer tights.

The colours (see some of them, right), are also lovely!

 Kim P    Friday 15 June 2012 at 17:25

What lovely colours! Ideal for summer and winter.


Emma    Saturday 02 June 2012 at 14:23

 Post #296 

Subject: Red, White and Blue...

I don't know whether it is the 'nautical' look, or whether it's the jublilee, or the olympics this year, but somehow that red, white and blue look seems so fresh right now.

It's funny how all the fashion planets seem to go into allignment every now and again, creating a perfect fashion moment.

We do our best (as you may be able to see in the photograph, right) to capture those moments in our windows.

It can be dangerous investing in designer fashion that captures the spirit of a particular moment, because good quality clothes are made to last, and are absolutely not just for one season. Luckily, in this instance, although it is absolutely a look-du-jour, in fact the whole red, white and blue image is a very durable one. It seems to make some kind of an appearance every summer.....


Emma    Friday 20 April 2012 at 17:18

 Post #282 

Subject: Anna Scholz Day 12th May

I have to confess to being extremely excited... we have managed to persuade the gorgeous Anna Scholz to come to our store again, to celebrate another Anna Scholz Day!

For those who attended our last Anna Scholz Day, I don’t think I will have to say anything about this event in order to encourage them to attend - other than that we will be participating in all the same enjoyments as before.

We will have - specially delivered - the cream of Anna’s Spring/Summer 12 collection, many items of which have not been seen in any stores. And the collection itself will be far more comprehensively represented than one would usually find in one place. There will be items that neither I, nor any of my team, have even seen before (so you can imagine the heightened atmosphere that we will be in the shop when the deliveries arrive; a heady mix of fashion-obsessed women bursting open a delivery of fantastic Anna Scholz fashion).

There will be a competition, where the first prize is £250 worth of Anna Scholz fashion, and second prize a beautiful Emma Plus necklace of the winner's choice.

We will have refreshments, and Anna herself will be coming into the store to meet her ultimate customers, answer questions and get feedback.

There will be a sociable, happy, festive atmosphere... this is truly one of the happiest days of the year - and well worth calling in to the store to join us for.

Anna Scholz Day at Emma Plus is on 12 May. We open at 10am, and are expecting Anna in our store around noon. All are welcome!


 Anna    Saturday 21 April 2012 at 08:05

Hello Emma,

Well I can not wait. Came into your shop with my friend Tori, but that day you were in London, I think. I love Anna's clothing. Looking forward to meeting.



 Emma    Monday 23 April 2012 at 14:29

Hi Anna!

When I first saw your post, for a moment I thought it was from Anna Scholz, commenting on her Anna Scholz Day...it wouldn't be the first time she has posted on this forum!

I was sad I missed you the time that you came into store with your friend and mine, Tori, so I look forward to seeing you next time. I don't know whether Tori should go in for the prize draw this year: as last year's winner, she may find that winning it two years in a row may create 'Anna Scholz clothing envy' amongst the other customers!

Having said that, the chance to win another Anna outfit would certainly be worth it..it certainly wouldn't put me off!


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!

NICOLA    Saturday 17 March 2012 at 17:29

 Post #275 

Subject: Elena Miro

Hi Emma

Just a quick question to see if your Elena Miro Spring/Summer stock is now in. I really like this tailored blouse from their current collection.

See you next week


 Emma    Wednesday 21 March 2012 at 17:12

Hi Nicola

Good news... I will be in on Saturday to see you, after all!

We don't have that particular blouse coming in. I love the style, but there are a few danger points to a blouse like this. One of them is that it is quite short. Most of our customers would rather, if they mix a blouse over trousers, wear it outside, and not tucked in. This casual check-style blouse is a little too short to do this - yet it is probably a better look with trousers than a skirt. Great style for smaller women (like you!), but it tends to exclude the larger women who make up the majority of our customers.

The other flashpoint is that the sleeves are puffed, and they have a band (ending above the elbow). Again, this is great for women with slim, toned arms, but it is more problematical for most of our demographic!

I am not in any way denigrating this blouse - actually I think it's gorgeous - but merely pointing out the thought processes that tend to govern why we don't always buy every style we like!

If we stocked some of these kinds of styles, you would put them on and look fantastic, Nicola, but there would be other women who would love it on the rail, but be very disappointed when they tried it on.

We have had some lovely tops, trousers and blouses in, however, and I have already got busy putting some of them aside for you.

The blouse I have pictured is also gorgeous and by Elena Miro. It's a lovely linen, with a panel of a kind of broderie anglais lace in the front. The sleeves are just on the elbow, and the tiny cuffs, although trimmed with the lace, are straight. The length is excellent for wearing over trousers. I've hung it over a pistachio green Elena Miro cami to show up the lace detail.

The style of the blouse, being Elena Miro, is more fitted than many of the other ranges we stock. The item also comes with a belt, which most people will throw away immediately!

 Emma    Wednesday 04 April 2012 at 13:12

Hi Nicola

Just a little heads-up about some more blouses that we have had in. This one is a lovely Verpass pure cotton blouse with an appliqued lace-like texture.

It's machine washable, and can be worn either on its own or over a vest-like a jacket.

There are other designs which I think I may email to you directly.

As ever, we are more than happy to send these items out to you in Spain!

 Nicola    Wednesday 04 April 2012 at 17:26

Hi Emma

I have just replied to your e-mail. If you could find me a blouse which will go well with the waistcoat I bought that would be ideal.

I have posted a quick pic of me in my new Anna Scholz kaftan however, as in the UK, the weather isn't ideal for wearing it yet (snow expected here tomorrow).

Thanks for a wonderful day when I came over last week, as always I was spoiled for choice and am looking forward to receiving all the lovely things you are altering for me.

Happy Easter to all

 Emma    Thursday 05 April 2012 at 18:34

Hi Nicola

You've probably seen my email to you - before you read this post!

You look gorgeous in the Anna Scholz top... really lovely colours.

I can't believe you are going to have snow - isn't that weird? We've had bad weather threatened this week, yet every day has in fact been lovely (albeit in parts: it's been a bit of a curate's egg of a week). Now they tell us the weather is going to warm up.

It has been a really busy day. There have been lots of customers through the door, clutching their 'trouser day' offer cards, and we have had wall-to-wall deliveries (see picture of some of the new Marina Rinaldi blouses). The clothes this season really are fantastic.

 Nicola    Friday 06 April 2012 at 11:55

Hi Emma

I thought I'd just upload this photo you sent me of the Marina Rinaldi blouse. I looks absolutely beautiful and would be perfect for hot weather (hard to imagine at the moment as we have a foot of snow outside here).


Emma    Thursday 02 February 2012 at 19:59

 Post #270 

Subject: What we really, really want...

Well it’s here again... buying time! It seems ridiculous (even to me) that I can still get so excited about an event that comes round every six months and that I have been involved with for the best part of the past twenty years, but there it is. It really is something that I never tire of!

This weekend Jaq (the store manager) and I will wend our way to Germany to visit the fashion houses in Düsseldorf. This is where most of the designer clothing companies rent showrooms where they set out their stall to sell to us retailers. We can trawl through dozens of collections there, buying the best, and taking note of the rest.

Before we go, we really have no clue as to what to expect: fashion can turn on a sixpence, and even having an encyclopaedic knowledge of what has gone before doesn’t give you any kind of a head start.

For example, Spring-Summer 12 (the collection that is now hitting our shop) has got beautiful bright colours, and quite modernistic, fresh styles, much of it inspired by holiday wear. If you turn to our ‘Our Range’ page on our Home Page, you will see what I mean: the new images are in. The looks are very current, and the colours are what I call ‘Barcelona’ tones... young, vibrant, joyous and artistic.

Yet the season that preceded this collection (the Autumn-Winter clothing that we are just selling through now) was all about the retro look. There was a palette of vintage colours, reminiscent of 'Mad Men', and more structured shapes that spoke of a sophisticated, bygone, ladylike era. This was grown-up dressing.

There had been a sea-change between these two seasons, so there may yet be another one in the pipeline! Who is to say what the new Autumn-Winter 12 looks are going to be?

Perhaps now I am conveying something of the excitement that can accompany a buying trip...?

All I can do before I see the new collection is to cogitate on what it is that I am looking for. One must - first and foremost - remember that I will be buying a winter collection.

Yet again, I will be looking for knits like a heat-seeking missile. We have had so many cold winters of late, that it really does seem that I can sell each and every beautiful jumper, knitted cardi, jacket, sweater-suit or knitted dress that I can lay my hands on. So I will go out, hell-for-leather to get the best available.

It’s a tough job, but someone’s got to do it... That’s my way of saying that I adore knitwear, and I could stare at gorgeous knits every day and night from here to next Christmas - and never get bored. I love my job.

I would adore to get my hands on a really, really long coat! What is it with designers, that they seem to make lovely mid-length coats (good!...take a look at this lovely wool version for Winter 12, by German designer, Brand, right), but no really long coats (bad!)? I know there is now a pent-up demand for the long coat, and I will try my best to satisfy it.

This winter we stocked some gorgeous business suits from the likes of Marina Rinaldi, Elena Grunert, and others, and they sold like hot cakes. In fact, I would say that this is one particular requirement that never goes away. Even those customers who have been lucky enough to have already bought business suits from us, still want more! In fact, the one thing that really seems to stimulate the urge to buy a suit from us, is to have just bought one! It seems they are addictive.

And there are those women who didn’t get a look-in with the suits... they want some too! I refuse to buy a boring suit, and finding the really interesting and super ones is always a bit of a hunt, but I am packing some comfortable walking shoes, and I will not give up until I am successful.

Of course, I am canvassing opinions from my customers, and would love to hear any requests on this blog, or in the shop.

What do you all really, really want from next winter’s collections...? How can I make your day...?


Emma    Wednesday 28 December 2011 at 20:25

 Post #265 

Subject: Sale starts Friday 30th December at 10.30am!

For those scanning this forum in the hope of quickly picking up vital information about our sale, I can confirm that the Emma Plus Winter Sale starts this Friday 30th and Saturday 31st December...

This year promises to be a superb sale, with many items half price and others marked at even greater discounts. This is because we like to clear all current seasonal stock before the bulk of the new deliveries arrive for Spring/Summer 12.

This year there are gorgeous knits, coats, blouses and tops (I could go on!) - all of which must go in order to make way for the new. As the Winter 11 season was particularly gorgeous (with lovely colours and beautiful soft, natural fabrics) this represents a fantastic opportunity to acquire a significant prize from this collection at a very modest price.

Those who have attended our sales before will know that the first two days of sale is also marked by a 10% discount off new stock - and, as we have already had some lovely new items delivered, customers will have a very unusual opportunity to sample the new season with a bit of extra seasonal cheer, courtesy of Emma Plus.

Another 'sweetie' that may interest those thinking of attending our store, either during the sale or (subject to availability) at any time during the next season... if you spend £100 or more at one time in our store then you can park in the NCP car park adjacent to us, for two hours, completely free of charge!

We look forward to seeing you in store.


Emma    Friday 09 September 2011 at 16:21

 Post #242 

Subject: Snuggle

So what would I suggest are the ‘must have’ items this season? The autumn/winter 2011 collections are flooding into store now (see 'Our range' in the main section of our site), and with every delivery I am reawakening the excitement I felt when I forward-ordered these clothes six months ago. In more ways than one, this is a vintage year for design.

Generally the items that are ‘must haves’ for any particular season fall into two groups: those which you personally have a need or a yen for, and those which the industry has provided that are so good at the time, that just about everyone should snap them up.

Luckily, the rules affecting what you need (or want) and what the fashion industry suddenly comes through with are the same this time. For anyone suffering from amnesia, last year we experienced a very cold winter, where all bets were off as far as our normal wardrobe staples were concerned. Out had gone those trusty yet suddenly inadequate and flimsy cotton jumpers that had been our go-to items when the weather got cold in previous years (I say previous years: actually the winter before was also quite extreme if I remember correctly). Out, also, had gone the notion that you ‘really don’t need’ a winter coat. The rules had suddenly been rewritten.

Many women are normally perfectly warm, no matter what the weather, and to suddenly feel the cold blast of extreme winter was an unexpected and unpleasant wake-up call. It sent numbers of my customers into my shop in the pursuit of all things snuggly. They wanted coats, wool jackets, woollen trousers, jumpers, cardigans... let’s face it, they needed the part of their wardrobe that was missing: the winter part.

This was particularly noticeable because larger women in general tend to feel the heat and do not often feel cold. So some of us have decided to simply ignore warm clothing and rely on the fact that most of the time we live on quite a temperate island. In a nutshell, there was an area of our wardrobe that had been long neglected, and suddenly was desperately needed. To make matters worse, when we really started to think about it, we realised this neglected part of the wardrobe was often quite necessary!

The problem with the fashion industry is that it is always ahead of itself. Regular readers of this blog will know that my advice is always to ‘buy early’. I try to make it a habit not to use saleswomanship or hype in these writings (I can’t expect people to want to want to regularly read this blog if it is nothing better than advertorial for the designer clothing industry), and I try to give honest, logical advice to consumers. So when I recommend buying specific items early, I do so with good reason. Generally speaking, by the time you find you really need to wear the clothes, the best examples will have already sold out. This is as true for winter coats as it is for summer dresses.

So last winter, during and after the worst of the cold weather, we had a stream of customers wanting items that were simply not available for love nor money. I had women virtually crying on my shop floor, so desperate were they for at least one really good jumper, or knitted jacket, or winter coat. Yet the cupboard was bare; they had long since sold through.

So now, the fashion world (which in an uncharacteristic attack of realism, has taken collective note of what happened in the last two winters) has woken up to the possibilities of gorgeous warm clothing. And this has happened at the same time as many of my customers, scarred by last year’s disappointments (please note that I, too, bear these scars; there is nothing worse for me than sending droves of desperate customers away without the very things they had come in for), have decided that they ‘must have’ some really lovely winter wear. For once, we have a lucky and happy confluence of minds. We may all actually get what we want!

The looks this season are soft, warm, fluid, sophisticated and subtle. Everything is about knits or fabrics with a soft, generous handle. Despite everything I have just said, there are still cool knits (mixtures of cottons, silks, cashmeres, etc.), and as many different levels of weight of jersey, plus opportunities of layering, as there are degrees on a thermometer. It’s all about versatility: designer clothes last a long time, and it is necessary to get the maximum use out of them. So items that can be layered in cold weather and stripped back during the warmer times, are key.

All the collections we bought have acquitted themselves well this season: my favourite for knits? Verpass (see dress and jacket, right), with its subtle nineteen fifties aesthetic. Now that we have had many of their beautiful jackets, knitted dresses, coats, jumpers and gilets in stock, we are already finding that the fashion-hunters are in, snapping up their must-have pieces.

These women know that in order to get what they really, really want, they had better come before the cold weather hits. Because in Britain, we may sometimes not get a summer, but we do generally get a winter.


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!


caroline stevens    Friday 26 August 2011 at 00:55

 Post #237 

Subject: Daughters wedding 24th September!!!

Help! Im a size 24....apple shape...looking for an outfit. I think I am going to wear trousers.. I do like floaty type tops....just discovered the cowl neck which seems to disguise a multitude of problems ..there is a bit of a 20`s theme going on. Im 60....just! Any ideas very welcome


 Emma    Friday 26 August 2011 at 17:13

Hi Caroline

Thank you for your question! It does sound as if you are well on the way to not needing any advice.... As an apple shape, your choice of a floaty, tunic-type, pretty top over trousers is an excellent idea.

I also endorse your views about cowl necks. Anything that will take the eye away from the centre of the body is going to look flattering. Either an interesting neck, or some kind of embellishment on the neck or shoulder area, will draw the eye. The top that I have pictured (see right) is from the latest autumn/winter Anna Scholz collection, and has beading around the shoulders and neck. I am a fellow apple-shaper and I have this top (it's gorgeous).

Even though it is quite early in the season, if you are able to get into the shops quite soon, I think you will be pleasantly surprised by the choice of new items that have already made their way into stores.

With a wedding in late September, it is a good idea to be looking now, so that you can find something lovely, and put your mind at rest. You really don't need to worry; as someone who's a size 24 (our average size), and is interested in getting something with a bit of a fashion look, the world's your oyster this season!

Emma    Saturday 06 August 2011 at 12:41

 Post #229 

Subject: Spring/Summer 2012

So here I am writing my blog, fresh from buying some of the new collections. I was in Germany last weekend, and have visited several London showrooms since, and was able to see enough of the Spring/Summer 2012 styles to begin to form an overview of the looks of the season. I have still got a few designers to visit (for instance, I haven’t seen some of the Italian ranges like Elena Miro or Marina Rinaldi).

The last time I did my buying (about six months ago, when I bought the current Autumn/Winter 2011 collection), I was struck by the influence of the early nineteen-sixties and late nineteen-fifties looks. The fashion press uses the shorthand ‘Mad Men’ to describe this style, and I think that many people feel that this single American TV programme has been responsible for the whole sea-change in fashion that we have seen in the run-up to this autumn. I don’t go along with it myself: the TV programme, in my opinion, was just part of the tide that was running in this direction.

Personally, I love this era of fashion. The fabrics are key, with the use of texture, subtle colour and highly creative materials. There is a kind of sophisticated 'luxe' look to the clothing. I love the way it plays with volume: the contrast between tight clothing (narrow cigarette pants worn with minimal boots, for instance) and wide, draped areas (say, a large, sumptuous knit).

This is a look perfectly suited to winter wear - particularly with the clever woollen woven fabrics and wonderful knits. I was wondering how it would translate to the summer. With their emphasis on sleeveless styles and tight fitting waists, those nineteen fifties and sixties summer dresses were a bit scary for us larger women.

So it was with something of a relief that I saw the Spring/Summer 2012 collections had not gone for full-on vintage. Actually, although there was a great feel of art and mid-century modernism, the look was kept well under control. The designs, instead of being fusty and pedantic, look fresh and accessible.

The colours for the summer are gorgeous; they remind me of the celebratory, jewel-watercolours that I saw in a recent visit to Barcelona. An explosion of colour erupts, often from a black background. It’s an unsophisticated, celebratory palette: something incredibly suitable for summer looks. In the main, I love sophisticated minimalism and subtlety for winter looks, yet for summer wear I long to see exuberance, playfulness and colour. For the next two seasons, my wishes have come true.

Elena Grunert (the German range famed for quality and fit) had a gorgeous range that included a wonderful ‘nautical’ look that I was delighted to buy into. With a navy base, the designer had played with the spot motif: most of the spots were white, but the occasional one was pink. The jacket to match was particularly scrummy: navy blue, edged with a fine white stripe.

As ever I got very excited on viewing another German collection: Sallie Sahne. We are their only stockist in the UK, and have been steadily building up a group of customers who are obsessed with the fabrics, drape and cut of this unusual collection. This time I was blown away with one of their dresses in particular. It was made from their signature digital-print fluid, yet substantial jersey. The bodice was snuggly neat-fitting to the body (low-cut and sexy, of course) and yet under the bust it fell like a column to the floor with generous drape - all flatteringly sleek. It was like a kind of alchemy; I have never discovered how they achieve their effects. How does one make a garment with that much fabric, yet which has no added bulk? After examining previous designs under the microscope to see how they work, I suspect that this designer is just obsessed with ‘getting it right’.

Everywhere I looked I saw sumptuous colour, nowhere more so than in the Kirsten Krog room. This Danish range from the Godske stable has made a name for itself with its beautiful prints, which are usually produced on gorgeous silk chiffons and satins (see picture, right). We frolicked our way through the frothing silk jackets and dresses, and spent an enjoyable few hours choosing the outfits that happy wedding guests or Ascot attendees are going to be sporting next summer.

As ever, my biggest excitement was reserved for the Anna Scholz collection. She is a British-based, German-born designer who ploughs her own furrow. Often she is years ahead of her time, and when she isn’t that, she is at right-angles to the prevailing look. Her clothes have a way of making everything else look pedestrian.

Next summer, she has gone full-pelt into dresses. I was chatting with Anna about the growth of her dress line, and she told me that she enjoyed huge demand for this form of clothing. I was happy, as someone at the coal-face of plus-size fashion retailing, to tell her why I thought this was: putting it succinctly, other designers seem to have difficulty creating dresses that fit, are beautiful and are flattering. Anna has the knack of producing these with apparent ease.

I love her quirky, humorous and joyful take on nineteen seventies-style fashion. As one who lived through that decade, I know that the clothing available then (especially for larger women) was anything but joyful. However, Anna has re-written history, and I think that some younger women will look at her designs and think it was a golden era!

Next summer, her dresses seem to have achieved the impossible: they are even more wearable than before. I was particularly taken with a lovely blue and white china pattern shirt-waister dress that came in two lengths - on the knee or to the ground. I again suffered from 'the anger' (see blogs passim)... I desperately wanted to walk out of her showroom wearing that dress. I don’t want to have to wait six months for it!

The Anna Scholz collection was, as ever, refreshingly eclectic, with many different colours and styles: dresses with sleeves, or sleeveless. Dresses mid-calf, mini or full-length. Sophisticated or casual... you name it. And that was just the dresses; as ever her separates were stunning. I was happy to see that she had continued with her stretch linen - surely an inspired idea that the world has been waiting for.

Every now and again, when looking at her collection, I spy something that makes me go weak at the knees. One that comes particularly to mind is a fabulous hand-dyed silk chiffon kaftan. Absolutely gorgeous!


Emma    Saturday 23 July 2011 at 11:26

 Post #227 

Subject: SALE STARTS 29th July

Well, it's that time of year again... bargain time! I am wondering if this year may be a very good year for the bargain-hunters among us?

I say this because so far our summer has been somewhat (ahem) lackslustre, meaning that many of our high-summer clothes (which are particularly beautiful this year) have been overlooked by customers, and are still hanging on our rails.

As we are hammering towards our sale (which starts at 10.30 this Friday 29th July), it looks like we will be heavily marking down our high-summer styles. This means that, unusually, beautiful blouses, dresses, trousers etc, in gorgeous natural fabrics and superb colours will, in every probablity, be on sale for ridiculous prices.

What would that matter, one may ask, if the summer is as good as over? Well, I would reply that we are not into August yet. And, those among you who, like me, make a particular study of the weather, will know that it often follows the American experience... only shortly afterwards. This is because we tend to find their weather travelling towards us 'across the pond', following the prevailing winds.

And what kind of weather are they having in the US right now? It may still end up being a very hot August, by which time our beloved bargain-snafflers will have, in all probability, had all the gorgeous summer wear at very good prices. Anyone rushing-in to buy a summer dress in August will probably be faced with our (beautiful) autumn/winter collection of knits.

We look forward to seeing the wise and well-informed on Friday or Saturday...


 Kim P    Wednesday 27 July 2011 at 21:16

Good luck with the sale, it will be hardwork for you all! I know from previous sale vists how great the reductions are. There will be plenty of lucky ladies picking up fab bargains!


 Emma    Friday 29 July 2011 at 15:17

Thanks, Kim!

Yes, the first day of our Sale has been very busy....the reductions this year are quite radical, and I think word got out about that (we are famous for our sales).

All I can say is, thank heaven for the air conditioning!


 Emma    Saturday 06 August 2011 at 11:00

Just a quick update...we have now had a round of 'further reductions', and, true to form, have placed a whole new group of items onto our 'everything must go' rail....

We love to clear all summer stock in order to make way for the new autumn/winter collection, and we are quite ruthless with our reductions!

Emma    Sunday 17 July 2011 at 17:58

 Post #226 

Subject: Wish List

At around the end of the ‘buying’ time of year (towards the end of the season when we forward-order our stock) I usually write a piece in my blog about what we have seen and bought from the new collections.

All forward-ordered items have to be purchased at least six months in advance because they are specially made for us, which takes time. This means that we will now be ordering for next summer... Spring/Summer 2012!

As regular readers of the blog will know, we visit fashion showrooms and we do a little bit of travelling abroad. We usually fit in a trip to Germany, where there is a large fashion presence in the city of Düsseldorf. It’s a very good place to go to find new collections, and to get an overview of what the new looks are like.

This time on the blog, I have decided to try something a little different. Before we do our buying, we always build up a ‘wish list’ of items that we really hope to find, and which we would like to come home with (metaphorically speaking). After 21 years in this shop, my wish list has grown to humungous proportions: there are literally hundreds of things that I look for.

So, for a bit of a change, this time I would like to write a post before I go buying - listing the clothes that I want.

I’m not talking about those items that I know I can get. For instance, the perfect black casual trouser (or smart trouser for that matter), or an excellent black dress. No, I’m talking about hunting down those things I know I - and my customers - want, yet the fashion industry doesn’t necessarily know we want!

Such a list of general ‘wish list’ summer items would include:

Beautiful cotton blouses, which are long enough to cover the derriere, yet snug fitting on the shoulders, with a good, practical sleeve that really covers the top of the arms.

Summer dresses, suitable for a wedding, or some such event, which again have a good sleeve, and which are feminine, colourful and sexy.

Casual cotton jackets that have a feminine silhouette.

Really super printed cotton jersey tops... one step up from a T-shirt.

Work suits, the jackets of which are fitted, stretchy and smart, with an edge, plus a choice of either trousers or a skirt.

Proper rain-proof summer raincoats.

I could go on... almost endlessly! However, I wanted to leave some space in this blog to list the things I am particularly looking for this year. By this I mean the kind of items that have the right fashion edge for right now.

For example, this time I would just love to have some summer dresses with that nineteen-fifties vibe. You know, those beautiful, sophisticated coloured prints - and feminine shapes that have been brought to the fore with TV programmes such as Mad Men. I need fancy dresses (for day events, evenings, etc.), plus simple ones (to wear around town doing the shopping, or for work).

I would like to get some stretch narrow cotton trousers in interesting colours, with some gorgeous, pretty long shirts to wear with them. You know, that Beatnik look.

As always, I would just love some summer knits. I mean knitwear made from cotton, linen, silk, viscose, or any such cool fabric. And I would like a great variety of shapes, in lots of lovely colours! Again, with the retro look that gives them a bit more structure and femininity.

I need (and I really mean need) some good summer wedding outfits. I refuse to come home unless I am able to buy some lovely dress-and-jacket combos or separates. They have to be (guess what!) colourful, easy to wear, sassy and super smart. I'm also looking for a touch of that nineteen fifties or sixties edgy style.

I’m desperate to see some gorgeous, wearable skirts. I’m open minded: they can be long, short, flowing or narrow. But they have to have ‘that look’: elegant, sassy, colourful, retro. They are also going to have to be properly adapted to the plus-size market. Skirts from the fifties and sixties tended to be either very bulky or incredibly tight and figure-hugging, so the designers will have to know their stuff to get it right.

At this time of year I get incredibly excited, because I haven’t seen anything yet of the new looks being prepared for next summer. The designers who dream up those styles are amazing - I really never know what to expect. They may produce items that fit the general description of what I am looking for, but they are always different from the designs I have in my own head.

Ironically, the fact that I am not going to come home with what I am expecting is the very thing that makes it all so exciting. Because those designers will have created clothes that are far more fascinating, artistic, fashionable and chic than anything I could ever come up with. That's why I am a fashion store owner and not a designer.


 Victoria Hollis    Friday 22 July 2011 at 23:37

Oohhh Wishlist....
There are several things that are on my DREAM list that I woule love to find but I think they must be somewhere in my shangri-la

* A soft fitted leather jacket in black falling over the derriere but with a feminie finish subtle but timeless the kind you could wear with jeans and boots or throw over a cocktail dress for an edgy feel.

* The perfect pair of indigo blue bootcut jeans - alas I have never foud any jeans that work on my figure

* Cotton blouses for summer as you have stated - cant find any that work for me anywhere...

* The perfect black worksuit I think must be a figment of my imagination

And there are a few other things but these are my most pressing wishes.

I for my sins am an autum and winter girl with my cool colouring the colours of winter suit me much more than the atypical brights and pastels of summer. My eyes are glues for when we get pics of the autumn and winter collections up from what you said at the Anna Scholz day I am waiting with bated breath to see the black label items and when they are available another sojourn to Brighton will be called for I think...


 Emma    Saturday 23 July 2011 at 11:11

Hi Tory!

Thanks for your suggestion! Yes, a gorgeous, soft leather jacket, that has feminine style, yet covers the bottom! Is there some reason why the designers won't do this? Anna Scholz does some very good leather jackets, but they are what I call 'outdoor' leather jackets...full-on coats, if you will. That's not what I am thinking about.

The best we have come with in this field are the Sallie Sahne suede-effect jackets...soft, feminine and draping. However, they are not real leather!!! On the plus side, the faux-suede is thoroughly washable, so there is always an up-side.

I think the nearest we usually get to a perfect work-suit is with the Italian company, Marina Rinaldi. There are big down-sides (why the shorter skirts? And the price...), but the jackets are incredibly feminine and wearable.

As usual, there is a mental note to self when doing my buying for next summer: more variety in jeans....always more variety!


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 19 March 2011 at 13:31

 Post #202 

Subject: Spring / Summer Collection

Hi Emma

As spring is just a few days away now I am dying to see what is in store in your new Spring/Summer Collection.

Will you be updating the pages showing your range soon or if not how about giving us a sneak preview via the blog?

I have attached a photo from New Year but as Comic Relief was last night I thought it was rather appropriate!



 Emma    Monday 21 March 2011 at 18:29

Hi Nicola!

Thank you so much for your post. I love the picture of you supporting such a good cause.

How right you are...spring seems to be in the air, now. We have prepared our Spring/Summer 'Our Range' page images, and they will be on our website very soon.

I've also been taking some of my own pictures of our new stock (which is incredibly beautiful, by the way, probably the best summer season ever), and I will be putting them onto the blog.

We've been very lucky over the last few days...warm sunshine, beautiful new clothes, Brighton in the spring-it's all good!


Emma    Thursday 03 March 2011 at 15:19

 Post #198 

Subject: The Fabulous Ms Scholz!

I am dashing to my computer to give my forum/blog readers some super-exciting news! Anna Scholz and her team are paying a special visit to our shop, and they are bringing their current range with them!

The date for this event is Saturday 7th May, on which day we will be open between 10am and 5.30pm (as usual), and our shop will have a different look... we will be stocked with the full Anna Scholz Spring/Summer 2011 range, and will be welcoming the cream of her sales team, who will advise us about the collection. More exciting still, during the hours between 2.00pm and 5.00pm we will be graced with the presence of Anna herself, who will be joining us for the afternoon!

The day promises to be a fantastic experience: we will have the Anna Scholz range in a width and depth that can be found nowhere else. Although we usually have a superb collection of Anna Scholz designs, we could never hope to cover the range in its entirety, so this is a wonderful opportunity. That this is happening during the best-ever collection is particularly exciting!

We will be offering refreshments, showing-off the clothes, and consulting with the designer herself. Our customers will have a unique opportunity to meet their favourite designer, hear her views and inspirations and give feedback. For anyone tempted by the gorgeous items, we will have our own dressmaker on hand to undertake alterations to ensure the clothes fit like a second skin.

For those who would like to register in advance, there will also be a superb prize draw, the winner walking away with £250 worth of Anna Scholz clothes!

Everyone is more than welcome to come along at any time during the day, but customers who would like to enter the prize draw should call 01273 327240, or contact us through our website. We will send you an entrance card... no purchase necessary!

I do hope you will be able to come... our special days are a fun, social way to enjoy a day in town, and this one promises to be the best yet!


 Vikki    Thursday 10 March 2011 at 15:28

This sounds great, I shall register to come along!


Emma    Saturday 19 February 2011 at 13:53

 Post #196 

Subject: Fall 2011

Here I am again, writing about next season’s collections... plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose!

We go to see the sparkly-new fashions and developments, and in order to do that we go to the same old airports, stay at the same hotels, visit the same fashion houses and shows, and meet all the same people! We could be forgiven for getting jaded and feeling that nothing has changed in half a year.

However, that’s the wonderful thing about fashion: although it seems that we are settled into our usual routine - having ‘just another day at the clothes rail’ - in fact the experience is radically different every time! Which, of course, is the whole point of the exercise.

It goes without saying that the huge difference every season is the look of the gorgeous new clothes. I suppose it is in my nature to get excited about new collections. If I didn’t, perhaps I would not be suited to this industry. Actually, I think that many of us who work in fashion tend to get a little over-excited when we see pretty things.

The look for Autumn/Winter 2011 is certainly a gorgeous one. In a continuation of the theme for this summer, the emphasis is on fabric and quality of construction and tailoring. There is a luxe look, with the use of different textures and handles. There is a lot of draping, but the shape of the body is never overwhelmed. A soft, fluid jacket will envelop the figure in generous folds, but would be worn over a pencil skirt, or narrow trousers. A wide, relaxed pair of trousers will softly fall from a snug, tailored felt blazer. The overall effect is of lushness and elegance. Ironically, infinite care is taken to look effortless.

A big part of the look is a nineteen-fifties aesthetic, but we larger women shouldn’t be too worried about this. Of course, we know that many of the looks from that decade are all about exhibiting a show-stopping figure, and for those of us whose physiques may draw less than admiring glances, this can be very intimidating. However, there is so much to this new take on the look that mitigates the need for a perfect hourglass silhouette. The best designers (Anna Scholz, of course, Marina Rinaldi, Elena Miro, and - rather a surprise here - German brand, Verpass) are able to create the most beautiful draped clothing which gives a larger woman somewhere to disguise her less alluring features whilst showcasing her best assets.

The colours are varied. Yes, there are the dreaded animal prints (creatively and subtly used, they have proved they can be tamed), which showcase nude, taupe, grey, tan and brown. And there are also all the nineteen-fifties-inspired colours you would expect: coral, turquoise, deep green, lipstick pink, purple and cobalt. There is a mass of gorgeous vintage monochrome looks. Because of the lovely, varied prints to be had next season, though, the range of colours is actually rather wide. There is something there for everyone.

What were my favourite collections? Well, I really felt that Verpass had come into its own. Who knew that they had a nineteen-fifties inspired designer working for them, just waiting to get their big chance? Their knits were an inspiration, and, after two very cold winters, will be received by a grateful nation. However, the prize goes to the Black Label by Anna Scholz, as the best collection for Fall 2011. This is her reasonably priced selection, and year-on-year it has been getting stronger. These new looks need a masterly hand in tailoring: cutting a tulip-shaped skirt in a dress for a plus-size woman takes know-how! And what a treat it is to see Anna and her team turning their hands to using these skills so comprehensively in her more accessible collection.

As usual, I saw one of her coats that I could not resist, and I am modelling it here in the picture. It is a deep lipstick-pink soft wool coat - with a high waist and softly pleated, almost tulip-shaped silhouette.


 Anna Scholz    Saturday 19 February 2011 at 15:10

Thank you Emma for letting me win :)
See you very soon



 Emma    Sunday 20 February 2011 at 18:26

Hi Anna!

Thank you so much for reading our blog!

Can I just take this opportunity to point out to blog/forum readers that this forum makes it possible for the consumers of our clothes to have a direct contact with some of the movers and shakers in the plus-size fashion world!

So if you have something to say (perhaps mentioning something you love, or putting in a request for something you really, really want), now is the time to make your remarks on the forum.

You never know who may be listening!


 Kirsten James    Wednesday 23 February 2011 at 18:32

Thanks Emma! I love reading your reports on what is coming up. I am really loving Anna's spring/summer 11 line so I know the fall will be equally stunning. And that is a great color on you!


 Emma    Saturday 26 February 2011 at 16:23

Thanks, Kirsten!

This lovely pinky colour is so flattering, and the wool fabric is so soft...

Ordinarily, I would say that I'm waiting for winter in order to get my hands on this lovely coat, but after all the cold weather we had this year, I'm happy to wait for it.

I'm more looking forward to spring!


Emma    Thursday 23 December 2010 at 12:29

 Post #181 

Subject: Emma Plus Winter Sale

The time has now come to announce the Emma Plus Winter Sale, which starts at 10.30am on Thursday 30th December.

This year, due to the difficulty customers have had in travelling into the shop, we have more stock in our sale than usual. As our regular customers will confirm, our sales are always good, but this time it is superb!

In particular, we have plenty of lovely winter stock, from coats, warm knits, tops and knitted skirts, to scarves and trousers.

Much of our stock is half price this year, which means that if you only make it to one sale this winter, make sure it is the Emma Plus Sale.

We look forward to seeing you in store!


Emma    Thursday 16 December 2010 at 16:59

 Post #180 

Subject: Snow-wear you dare...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Emma    Friday 03 December 2010 at 12:04

 Post #179 

Subject: Gift vouchers!

It’s December, and the thoughts of many people are turning to the exciting, yet sometimes thorny subject of Christmas presents.

At this time of year we usually see friends, partners or family members surreptitiously entering our shop, discreetly seeking out the perfect gifts for their loved ones.

Some people worry that buying clothing for a larger woman can be a bit difficult. Most of us do not like to reveal our size to all and sundry – even our nearest and dearest – and, of course, there is the issue of fit when clothes are bought without having been tried on. So there are many people who would love to buy clothes from Emma Plus or elsewhere for someone special in their lives, but find the prospect of it somewhat complicated!

The truth is, buying a present from us is actually quite problem free! Although (as a true English person) I hate to blow my own trumpet, I can’t help mentioning that I think we are passed-masters at helping with the selection of the perfect present. We have items of clothing for just about any larger woman, and we have a lot of experience in asking the right questions. We are also very adept at remembering the requirements of many of our established customers.

To put it mildly, our sizing can be very discreet, often with husband only aware that we have sold him a ‘size small’ for his wife! Unsurprisingly, many in the know make the pilgrimage every year to our shop to pick up a present from us, in the knowledge that we will recommend an array of lovely items from with to select their perfect choice.

As a fail-safe, anyone who buys items from us is welcome to bring them back within the season in order to exchange them, should they need to, and our alteration service extends (of course) to items bought as gifts. Many of our customers are really touched that someone has really paid attention to them to the extent of specially seeking out ‘their shop’ from which to buy their present.

Another great favourite for a present is a gift voucher. It is a real delight to watch a customer stride purposefully through the door in the New Year, with a glint in her eye, and a gift voucher in her purse! Our vouchers come in denominations of £10, £25, £50 and £100.

Because we are aware that some people are a little behind this year in getting their presents (due to the inclement weather), we have decided to do something we have never done before... a special offer on gift vouchers! For every £50 in vouchers bought this December, we will give an extra £10. At an unprecedented 20%-off, we have produced a limited edition of gift vouchers, which are being sold strictly on a first-come-first-served basis, and you will need to quote this Blog when you purchase. We will happily supply these vouchers by post in time for Christmas. You only have to telephone us on 01273 327240.

How pleasant to be able to find a thoughtful, appropriate present (with added value!), without even having to leave the house!


 Kim P    Friday 10 December 2010 at 13:17

This is a fabulous deal! My vouchers arrived this morning and they are a gift from me to me!


 Emma    Friday 10 December 2010 at 17:04

Hi Kim

Yes, it is such a good deal that we have had to do it as a 'limited edition'! The truth is that a wise woman (but only one who reads this blog regularly!) can end up getting 20 percent extra off her sale purchases after Christmas, or from new season's stock!

It's a special treasure reserved for our blog customers... and they don't even have to come into the store!

Emma    Friday 10 September 2010 at 18:12

 Post #161 

Subject: Autumn-Winter collection images - NEW!

I have a theory about why fashion has such a positive effect on one’s psychology. I think that every year more and more talented people join the fashion industry. They either come in from other businesses (and have given everything up to follow their dreams of working in fashion... not the most financially rewarding profession), or they are new graduates who have studied hard in order to gain their place in this very competitive field. These are people who have a passion for fashion and are drawn inexorably towards the business of clothes design.

So there is a continual flow of fresh talent, enthusiasm and vision – and this percolates into the new clothes that are available every season.

No-one in his or her wildest dreams could describe our industry as boring! Sometimes when I see the new styles on offer I start to hyperventilate. I do understand that not everyone finds it as fulfilling as I do, but I truly believe that if anyone is interested in art and design, then each new collection has the potential for real excitement.

I’ve mentioned before how much better things are now than in the old days, and, in common with the best fashion designers, I should be careful not to repeat myself. However, I can’t help but really appreciate, with the onset of each new lovely collection, how much things have now improved for those of us who are generously sized.

This season in particular, the clothes have a sumptuous, elegant luxury – which is gorgeous. The colours, as befit an autumn/winter collection, are deep and subtle. The fabrics are lush, and the styles allow the textures to speak for themselves.

I hope that you will enjoy skimming through the new images that have just been uploaded to our website (to find them, press the little 'house' icon at the top of this page and select 'Our range' from the main menu, and then one of the three range options). As ever, they only provide a tiny indication of what we will be presenting this season. However, they do give a real taste of the scintillating products on offer...


 Nicola    Monday 13 September 2010 at 15:32

Hi Emma

I love the new pictures you've posted. I have now organized to come over on Wednesday 6th October as it is my Mother in Law's 80th birthday.

I hope you will be around on that day.

I have posted a photo of an AS dress which I have seen on her web page which I think is fab (not sure I'd be brave enough to wear it though!).

Please let me know if you have anything in which I should look out for in particular. I tried to reply to your post on the Personal Choice outfit but for some reason it failed to load onto your page. I am really short on work trousers and knitwear suitable for both the office and casual wear.

See you then

 Emma    Tuesday 14 September 2010 at 18:50

Hi Nicola

So glad to hear from you, and to know that you will be coming in soon! Yes, I will be around that day...

Thanks for the comments about the new pictures. It's always an exciting time of the year when we start to get the new stock.

We've got some excellent trousers for work, but this season it's really the knits that are so fantastic. They are coming in all the time now, and there will be more in by the time you arrive. I think, now that I know when you are due to be here, I may keep an eye out for anything specific that you would really want, and hold it back for you.

I love that dress, and there are other Anna Scholz dresses that are equally lovely. I think that now there is the whole 'short dress and leggings' thing going on, a lot more people will be wearing these shorter dresses.

Here is a picture of one of Anna's from this season that we have in the store. It looks stunning on, and I have had more compliments when wearing this dress than anything else. I would like to see you in this kind of a style. Because it is a new departure for you, it's difficult to tell what it is going to look like... it could be fantastic or it could be... oops!

That's the thing about Anna Scholz clothes; because they are so innovative you have to try them on before you know.

 Nicola    Tuesday 14 September 2010 at 22:39

Wow you really are pushing me out of my comfort zone there ;-).

As you know I'm always willing to try anything on - more than that I can't make any promises.

Attached is a pic from our hols in Galicia with me wearing my trusty Elena Miro top which I bought few years back now.

Looking forward to seeing you all.

 Emma    Wednesday 15 September 2010 at 16:13

Looking forward to seeing you!

Emma    Saturday 07 August 2010 at 21:02

 Post #150 

Subject: Summer 2011...

Having returned from my usual buying trip to Germany last weekend, and after a week’s holiday (a staycation in the best place to holiday I can think of... Brighton!), I am just turning over in my mind what I have learned about the Spring/Summer 2011 season.

The colours, the fabrics, the silhouettes, the detailing... does it all add up to a change in the aesthetic? Are we going to see a continuing of the trends enjoyed this summer, or are we going to veer off in a whole new direction? Have there been improvements, or are we in familiar territory? Most importantly, are we going to like what is coming through?

I always start with colour, which is the key to understanding any given season. When I was at Art College I shared a house with students from the Fashion and Textiles course. One of them was studying in the hope of getting a job in colour prediction. This is a very specialized field in fashion, which involves predicting the colours that are going to be adopted anything up to five years ahead.

The really fascinating thing about colour prediction is how it feeds into all aspects of fashion. For instance, if the colours that are coming through are bold and bright - like hot pink, set against orange and gold - the chances are that the aesthetic of the designers is going to be from cultures where these colours are prevalent. So there may be influences from South America and India, for example. The designers may gravitate towards the shapes, fabrics and intricate, ornate embellishments characteristic of those cultures.

By taking a quick peek at the colour palette of any given season, you can get clues to just about everything that's going on... So when I went into the fashion houses in Düsseldorf my first thought was of the new colours.

There has certainly been a sea-change in the colour palette for Spring/Summer 2011. The shades are cool and serene, sophisticated and neutral. We are seeing a lot of influence from the natural world... pebbly colours, with silver, taupe, steel, nude and aubergine. The prints are also echoing the natural world - with textures from the landscape and animal prints.

Usually when we see any kind of neutral palette, alarm bells begin to ring. Continental women look a million dollars in beige, but you really need that sun-kissed European hair and skin to look good in it - not to mention the warm Continental sun. And when British women see animal prints they tend to see ‘pub landlady’.

However, I have no such worries about the palette. The colours were softer, cooler and more sophisticated, and easier on the typical British complexion in the typical watery British sunlight. The animal prints are understated, and their subtlety would leave Bet Lynch perplexed!

The end result is a kind of luxe look. It’s expensive-looking... it’s grown up, sumptuous fashion. The key to this style (as ever, when the inspiration is the natural world) is texture. There are sandwashed silks and chambrays, metallised fabrics, and there was also a little bit of leather (unusual for a summer collection). This is going to be very popular, and these items are going to stand the test of time and will be worn for years to come.

The look is based on minimalism, luxury and sophistication. There is less embellishment: the fabrics are left to speak for themselves. In the main the ideas are from Western culture. There is almost an Art Deco philosophy.

The silhouettes are soft, and we are still talking about the ‘long top/short dress’, worn with narrow pants look. There are gorgeous long shirts (for heaven’s sake, if you buy nothing else during the Autumn/Winter 2010 and Spring/Summer 2011 seasons, please, please invest in a long shirt and a long jumper... If you miss the boat on these items, you will regret it, and have to wait years before they are available in stores again).

Luckily for the colour-junkies, there were still some brighter colours to be had, though. An honorable mention goes to Godske that had some lovely little silk chiffon dresses with drape detail in gorgeous blues and purples.

So what sticks out in my mind the most at this stage? Well, I have already written about the Anna Scholz collection (as ever, a triumph)... I was also blown away by Sallie Sahne - yet again. This German range (of which we are Britain’s only stockist, by the way) really caught the mood with a gorgeous collection mainlining on textures, fabric handles and finishes. We bought a beautiful metallised cami and jacket in pewter, which would take you anywhere, and just couldn’t resist the faux leather jacket (as soft as baby lambskin) and trousers in a steely taupe. We also shrieked with delight when we saw this wonderful little blazer with knot-detail at the shoulder (see picture above). Genius.


margaret Chandler    Monday 12 July 2010 at 20:42

 Post #145 

Subject: How about smaller sizes too

Hi Emma
I have been browsing your site and wondered why you don,t stock at least some items in smaller sizes? I especially like the Anna Scholz range, the colours are so nice and would fit well with clothes I already have and love in my wardrobe. I tend to swop outfits about and buy only a few items a season, but I would definitely make the trip to Brighton if you do start stocking some smaller sizes.
Best wishes Margaret


 Emma    Tuesday 13 July 2010 at 12:21

Hi Margaret

Thanks for your contribution to our blog! Yes, we do have quite a few women asking this question, and in general (I'm sorry to say) I place these enquiries in a file marked 'Never in a million years'. There's absolutely no offence intended, but I do feel that smaller women have so many stores in which to buy lovely clothes, they simply cannot need another one!

Actually (and readers of my blog are going to see my steely side now), I do get very impatient about stores that describe themselves as 'large size', but which go up from a size 14 to a size 22! To me, with the growth in size in the population, this is just the mainstream - and is very well catered for already.

And, putting it brutally, I would like people to keep their hands off our lovely designers like Anna Scholz!

I have to confess I have spoken to you on the telephone, so I happen to know that you have a close family member who would be more likely to benefit from our store than you would be, so I know that your comments were tongue-in-cheek, as my reply has been...

I do hope to see her in the store, and would love to see you accompany her here, as you obviously have a wonderful eye for fashion!


 margaret Chandler    Tuesday 13 July 2010 at 14:08

Hi Emma
Thanks for your great response. and long may you provide a service for curvaceous ladies. I will bring my sister down soon, I know she would be thrilled to be the one having to head home simply because she can,t manage to carry any more! However I could console myself I know your accessories range is really quirky and wonderfully different so WIN WIN for both of us!!


 Emma    Wednesday 14 July 2010 at 12:09

Hi Margaret

Thank you for your kind words... I do hope your sister makes it down here. She would be our 'small', by the way.

We also have some accessories to die for, so I'm hoping that you would both leave happy!

Nicolas Bow    Saturday 26 June 2010 at 20:58

 Post #143 

Subject: Anna Scholz maxi dresses

Hi there

I found your site through Anna Scholz's on website. I am looking for a dress for a friends wedding but don't live near to the shop. Do you have many of the dresses on Anna's site currently, and how long will they be the current collection? I would love to visit your shop, but as it is a trek any info. beforehand would be great.




 Emma    Sunday 27 June 2010 at 23:28

Hi Nicolas

Thank you for your enquiry. This is a difficult time for finding summer items, as you touch on in your post. The fact is the summer stock (with all the gorgeous seasonal dresses) comes into store early in the year (around January or February) and then starts to sell through by the end of May/June.

As you rightly surmise, by this time of year these summer dresses are soon to be superseded by the winter collections, which will start feeding into stores by the end of August.

We probably stock the widest variety of Anna Scholz styles in the UK, but even we do not have a particularly good selection of the summer collection by the end of June, so you are right (if you are travelling some distance) to contact us first about availability.

We are hoping to have a final replenishment from Anna Scholz's summer collection soon, but in the meantime we are happy to order in any specific items that you are looking for - if they are available.

It would be a good idea to telephone us on 01273 327240 and talk about your requirements...

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    Saturday 15 May 2010 at 16:50

 Post #135 

Subject: Our next fashion show...

We are already getting excited about our next fashion show next Saturday (the 22nd May). All of us agree that the last one was one of the most enjoyable days of the year!

Some members of staff who were not originally timetabled to work that day have asked to come in because it was such a pleasure to be involved with. We are glad, because we now realise that we will probably really need the extra help!

The show next week may end-up being completely different from the previous one, because we sold a lot of the items that were modelled!

Anyone is welcome to come, but if you are thinking of attending and would like to sit down, then please contact us and we will reserve you a seat...


Emma    Saturday 01 May 2010 at 16:04

 Post #132 

Subject: Fashion Shows on Saturdays 8th May, 22nd May and 12th June, at 2.30pm

As ever, I’m back from holiday and straight back into the thick of it with events at the store!

This time we are preparing for the first of our fashion shows, taking place on Saturday 8th May at 2.30pm.

This is the first fashion show that Emma Plus has ever put on! I suppose, if I were to offer an excuse for this omission, I would say that we have previously always left the fashion shows to the experts. I consider Emma Plus to be very good at being a store... but how would we perform when putting on a fashion show?

Well we’re about to find out! To celebrate our refit we decided to showcase the new-look store, alongside the new season’s stock (which is the widest choice we have ever had). Accordingly, on Saturday, we will be gathering together some models (our staff and customers!), providing some refreshments, and plunging in...

We will be having three shows in all. After this one, we will be showing again on Saturday 22nd May, and on Saturday 12th June - all shows taking place at 2.30pm.

Everyone reading this blog is welcome to attend... I don’t know exactly how it is all going to pan out, but I do know it will be fabulous!


 Kim P    Wednesday 05 May 2010 at 12:44

Will the shop be open as normal before the fashion show on the 8th May. I was hoping to call in but it will be in the morning not afternoon. Hope the fashion show goes well, sounds like good fun.


 Emma    Saturday 15 May 2010 at 18:30

Hi Kim!

So sorry that due to technical reasons, I didn't answer your post before. Obviously, you now know the answer, as you came in last Saturday!

But it does occur to me that this may be a question that other customers are asking, so I had better post an answer to it.

Yes, we are open as usual on our fashion show days, which means that we will be here from 10am to 5.30pm for customers to make their purchases. It is only from 2.30 until about 3pm that purchases will probably not be possible!

Nicola    Tuesday 06 April 2010 at 17:48

 Post #129 

Subject: Trip to Brighton

Hi Emma

Just a short message to let you know I am coming over to Brighton for the day on Saturday (I should arrive around 10am).

I was wondering if the Marina Rinaldi shirt that you mentionned in a previous post has come in yet?

See you Saturday!


 Emma    Tuesday 06 April 2010 at 20:18

How exciting! I can't wait to see the new you!

I'm afraid we are still awaiting the 'Voyage' shirt... if it comes in this week (there is a high chance of that happening), I will put one aside for you, because it's beautiful.

As far as blouses are concerned, we have quite a few beauties in at the moment, and we do have some very good NP jeans.

I wish I could be indiscreet, but I can't, so a little hint will have to surfice... on Saturday a famous fashion designer is visiting Brighton (she's staying here for a couple of days actually), so you may get to see her if she visits the store while you are here. Then you could give her your feedback about blouses and suchlike.

It promises to be such a lovely Saturday...


 Nicola    Tuesday 06 April 2010 at 21:11

Oooooo! I can't wait.

Looking forward to seeing you all on Saturday.



 Emma    Wednesday 07 April 2010 at 11:36

Hope you have a really good flight...


 Kim P    Friday 09 April 2010 at 14:17

Ha ha, your desinger has outed you on their twitter page Emma. Hope you have a great time. I am hoping to come into the shop on Tuesday. Fingers crossed for some Brand jeans and anything else that takes me eye!


 Emma    Friday 09 April 2010 at 17:15

Hi Kim

Yes, Anna Scholz is in Brighton! She and I, as well as two of my nieces, are going out to a lovely restaurant (Terre-a-Terre) tonight. I have told my nieces that we have to dress 'top-glam'.

You don't really have to say more than that to girls of 17 and 21... any excuse really!

 Emma    Thursday 15 April 2010 at 17:31

Hi Nicola

I know you said that you had spent-up, and that perhaps you wouldn't be wanting the Voyage blouse...

However, it's worth mentioning that it has come in, and is gorgeous... one of the most beautiful blouses we have ever had.

 Nicola    Tuesday 20 April 2010 at 14:02

Hi Emma

Sorry about taking so long to thank you for a wonderful day out in Brighton, given the current travel chaos it was quite fortuitous that I came over when I did!

The Marina Rinaldi blouse looks fantastic, I don't know if you have sold them all yet, would it be possible to let me know how much it is? If you'd rather, I could send you a private mail about it.

As luck would have it the rain returned with me to Spain after my shopping trip so I haven't been able to wear any of my new stuff out and about yet. I modelled the new outfits (I have attached a photo of the Elena Miro top I bought) for Steve and he loved everything, except the leggings on which he says he is reserving judgement ;-)

As soon as the rest of my altered items arrive I'll try and post a photo.

Thank you all for making my day out so much fun, I hope I didn't outstay my welcome on the new Emma Plus sofa.


 Emma    Thursday 29 April 2010 at 15:09

Hi Nicola

So sorry not to have got back to you before... but I was on holiday. You may even recognise where I was: Barcelona!

It was gorgeous - I imagine you have been there yourself!

It was so good to see you, and you must know you will always be welcome on the Emma Plus sofa!

I'm sorry to report that the Voyage blouse has already sold in your size (small, these days). I feel terrible, because perhaps I should have tried to go online whilst I was away... I could have saved it for you! I knew it would sell quickly, and already we only have one larger-size one left.

Hold your head up high and wear the leggings - you looked fab in them!

 Nicola    Thursday 29 April 2010 at 22:29

Hi Emma

Hope you had a wonderful time in Barcelona. You probably have seen far more of it than I have as my trips there have all been on business rather than leisure. I'm glad you seem to have had good weather as it was very wet until a couple of weeks ago.

Don't worry about the blouse, you have probably saved me from temptation anyway.

Just a quick question to ask if you have sent off the clothes that needed alterations yet so that I we can let the postman know to expect a parcel.


 Emma    Friday 30 April 2010 at 15:09

Hi Nicola!

Your parcel was sent off yesterday, so I imagine that you will get it early next week.

We were very lucky with the weather in Barcelona. It was like a perfect English summer day every day (something you don't get in England every day, even in the middle of August!). I think that, had we gone in the height of the summer, it would have been oppressively hot, but in mid April it was gorgeous!

Whilst I was there, I went to see the Court Ingles store, which appeared to be the only store in the entire city that sold any large-size clothing. I was reasonably impressed. Although the look was perhaps a little older and more padestrian than one may ideally hope to see, there were some interesting pieces, and large stockholding. My main criticism would be that it was all 'for the same customer'....there was not a wide variety of differing looks, and, whilst I was there, apparently nothing for the really fashion-forward customer.

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!


Emma    Friday 05 March 2010 at 10:22

 Post #121 

Subject: Pencilling-in your new look

On the subject of summer weddings, it may be worth reiterating that we already have plenty of wonderful looks in the store.

The colours this year are truly beautiful - those getting married this season are very lucky because they will have the most gorgeously coloured photographs on their mantelpieces!

This is a lovely Elena Miro jacket and top, worn with one of this year’s strong looks: a pencil skirt.


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...

Emma    Saturday 06 February 2010 at 22:01

 Post #113 

Subject: A stunning delivery

It’s been a thrilling week. Although I have barely had a minute to call my own, I feel I just have to add a quick post!

Earlier in the week we had a stunning delivery from Anna Scholz that included some lovely kaftan tops, as well as several of the gorgeous dresses I described in the previous post I wrote, entitled 'Joy'. I have posted a picture one of the said dresses here!

Tomorrow morning I wake at 3.30am to start preparing for my twice-yearly trip to CPD Duesseldorf, one of the big fashion shows I attend. I will be buying the Autumn/Winter 2010-11 collection for the shop.

It’s always exciting to see what is going to be on offer for the seasons ahead. I particularly love the winter collections with their richer colours, beautiful soft textures, and layered silhouettes. I really can’t wait. I will be reporting back about it when I return...


 Kirsten    Monday 08 February 2010 at 18:11

Can't wait to hear about the autumn collections! I have been following Anna's tweets re: Dussledorf and just from the brief autumn preview she has posted on the new blog, it looks really beautiful! Also, please post some pics of the spring collection when you get a chance. Still anxiously awaiting the arrival in our US stores..... Hope your trip is wonderful!


 Emma    Wednesday 10 February 2010 at 15:52

Hi Kirsten!

Thanks for your post. It’s always lovely to hear from people as interested as we are in the latest clothes. We will be putting the new Spring/Summer images on to the site very soon...

Jaq (our store manager) and I are just back from Duesseldorf, where we had an exciting (albeit exhausting) trip. Other readers may be interested to know that the outing was to a large fashion show to do our buying for the Autumn/Winter 10 collection. The highlight for us were (as ever) the Anna Scholz designs, which were a tour-de-force.

When I have time to do the subject justice, I will describe what I saw while I was at the show.

I’ve posted a photograph of Jaq (left), Anna (middle) and me (right). I am modelling a sample of a beautiful alpaca coat from the collection, which was incredibly soft and light, yet warm. It has on-trend puffed shoulders, and a kind of graduated silvery stripe that emphasises the furry texture of the fabric. Jaq was wearing her own Anna Scholz silk kaftan from last season.

I had a strong attack of ‘coat love’, and I did try to sneak away wearing it, but unfortunately didn’t get far. I will just have to wait, like everybody else, until the autumn to get mine.

 Kirsten    Friday 19 February 2010 at 15:47

Love the photo Emma! The coat is beautiful and you look great. Can't wait to hear more about the AW10 collection. I should be getting my Anna Scholz spring things sometime next week here in the States!


 Emma    Saturday 20 February 2010 at 15:27

Hi Kirsten

You are going to love this season's Anna Scholz! She is on top of her game, and her colours, prints, textures and styles are gorgeous.

I hope you find yourself some lovely new items for your wardrobe...


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