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Here are all the posts in our Forum/Blog on the topic of Clothing: evening/special occasion...

diane    Sunday 16 August 2015 at 12:27

 Post #448 

Subject: wedding guest

hi there. im coming over to south of England 22/08/15. have spied your website online and im coming to visit. im a 49 yr old size 22 5ft 8in brown hair brown eyes swarthy skin and im looking for 1 outfit suitable for 2 weddings. My friends daughter is getting married 02/01/16 and my nieces wedding is 04/11/16 so id like something that could be worn to both weddings. will any of your new stock be for me to try. I really like the photos of the longer dresses that are up on the website.
diane mcilwaine


 Emma    Tuesday 18 August 2015 at 00:40

Hi Diane,

Thanks for contacting us. Can't wait to meet you when you come to see us. Sounds like you are looking forward to some lovely times! As a keen auntie myself, I do think that it's enormously important to look fabulous at these affairs!

We've been getting much of our new season's stock delivered, so, although we are a little bit between seasons (ie. We still have our sale going on, & we haven't yet had all our new deliveries ), there is a great selection in your size.

Size 22 counts as a small for us (extra small is a 20, & we stock up to a 34), and you have the advantage of perfect height (our continental clothes tend to be for the taller woman, although, of course, we alter all clothes to fit).

At this time of the season, sadly, our images on the website are a little out of date. We publish those given to us by our suppliers, so they can take a little time to be made available to us, such is the necessary secretiveness of our industry. This means that some new clothes, in all likelihood, have already supplanted those pictured on this website. I think that you will be thrilled with what we have, though.

Please remember that we are closed on Sundays and Mondays, so we look forward to seeing you between Tuesdays to Saturdays!


susan mitton    Friday 02 May 2014 at 10:03

 Post #397 

Subject: help please

hi are you still open on Saturdays? also do you have clothes size 26/28 for a wedding I am 5 ft 10 and would like a trouser suit if possible hope to come down tomorrow thank you Susan


 Emma    Saturday 03 May 2014 at 18:20

Hi Susan,

So sorry I didn't pick up this message yesterday! I've had a little time off, so I don't know whether or not you made it into the shop today....

However, for the benefit of others reading the forum: yes, we are open on Saturdays, between 10am and 5pm. Anyone coming in before 11am on a Saturday, parking in the Theatre Car Park (right next door to our shop) & spending over £100 in Emma Plus wins two precious prizes. The first (by coming into Brighton before 11am on a Saturday) guarantees a lovely free and easy transit through town and a space in the car park (both of which can get congested on Saturday as the day goes on). The second prize is a voucher for two hours' free parking....what's not to like?

Our shop is also a stone's throw from the railway station and bus stops.

The other great news is that our stock-in-trade is wedding outfits, and most of our ranges are stocked in your size. This is a very good time of year to come, & this season's colours are gorgeous.


Pam Scanlan    Friday 19 April 2013 at 17:26

 Post #352 

Subject: Wonderful service.

Hello Ladies
I came into Emma Plus yesterday with my husband Paul, to buy something for my step son's wedding next week. From the moment we entered you were all so welcoming, friendly and helpful. I can honestly say I've never been treated so well in any other shop! I bought 3 tops, a fascinator and a clutch bag, and I'm really pleased with them, thank you for your advice and support, and for making my stay at Brighton all the better!
Keep up the amazing work.
Kind regards, Pam (and Paul) xx


 Emma    Friday 19 April 2013 at 18:07

Hi Pam,

Thank you so much for your kind words. It really was lovely to meet you and your husband yesterday.

I didn't get to see your photographs, but if they are as good as your husbands amazing ones, then you are an incredibly talented couple!

I hope you enjoyed your trip to Brighton, and that you are able to come again one day soon!


jen smyth    Sunday 08 July 2012 at 10:45

 Post #301 

Subject: what a find!

I visited your shop yesterday and for the first time in ages felt comfortable looking for special clothes We have our Ruby wedding party in 3 weeks and although my shape has changed beyond recognition since my wedding day I wanted to feel just as good as I did 40 years ago. Your shop and the wonderful women working there performed the hoped for miracle.. Thankyou


 Emma    Sunday 08 July 2012 at 12:56

Hi Jen!

Thank you so much for your lovely comments. This is why we came into this business!

I do hope you enjoy your special event, and look as radiant as you deserve to!


 Rozi Desouza    Tuesday 09 October 2012 at 12:47

Emma, thanks for sharing these beautiful picture of your dress. It is really very nice and good. Your collection is very great.


askpreeti    Saturday 28 April 2012 at 07:36

 Post #285 

Subject: Increasing Trend of Plus Size Women’s Clothes

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

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

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

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

Growing market of plus size clothing

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

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

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


 Emma    Saturday 28 April 2012 at 11:42

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

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

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

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

Jackie    Sunday 08 April 2012 at 06:32

 Post #277 

Subject: Thank you ladies!

Hi Emma and the team,
Just want to say a huge thank you for all the time and effort you have taken over recent weeks to make sure that I feel like a million dollars at my daughter's wedding on May 5th. You have been so patient, pinning, trimming and adjusting straps, hems sleeves etc. Thank you so much. It is really lovely to shop in a non hurried, no pressure environment. Simply the best shopping experience ever! See you soon.



 Emma    Monday 23 April 2012 at 14:41

Hi Jackie!

Words cannot express how grateful I am that you have taken the time to post your lovely feedback.

It makes such a lot of difference to us to know that we are giving satisfaction!


Emma    Thursday 03 November 2011 at 16:05

 Post #251 

Subject: Dark energy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


 Victoria Hollis    Thursday 10 November 2011 at 16:52

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

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

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

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


 Emma    Thursday 10 November 2011 at 17:42

Hi Tori!

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

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

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

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

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

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

 Victoria Hollis    Thursday 10 November 2011 at 20:49

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


 Emma    Friday 11 November 2011 at 15:43

Hi Tori-

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

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


 Victoria Hollis    Friday 11 November 2011 at 19:36

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


Marion    Monday 24 October 2011 at 19:52

 Post #250 

Subject: mother of the bride

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

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

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

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

Thank you :o)


 Emma    Tuesday 25 October 2011 at 00:52

Hi Marion

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 Marion    Tuesday 25 October 2011 at 19:36

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

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

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

Thank you again for you help and advice.

Marion :o)


 Emma    Wednesday 26 October 2011 at 14:11

Hi Marion

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

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

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

I really look forward to meeting you.


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!

Elizabeth    Tuesday 21 June 2011 at 11:04

 Post #221 

Subject: Outfit for Cartier polo in july

Hi. I am a pear shaped plus size, looking for an outfit suitable for the Cartier polo hospitality tent. Needs to be comfortable ! Have you any suggestions? Thanks


 Emma    Wednesday 22 June 2011 at 18:24

Hi Elizabeth!

Yes, we have reached ‘outfit’ time of year! This is when we spend our time sorting out different looks for the differing events that are stuffed into our busy summer season.

We all know it’s terribly important to get the right level of look for an event. Here at Emma Plus we provide outfits for lots of different occasions: visits to Glyndebourne, Buckingham Palace garden parties, Ascot... there are sometimes obvious, sometimes subtle, shades of difference between how we are hoping to look during these activities. These intricate little puzzles are the stuff of our working lives.

In fact I think some clever academic could express it as a mathematical equation. It would be something like: A (a woman’s physique, her body shape, size, height, colouring etc.) + B (the smartness or casualness of the occasion) + C (the expected weather or temperature) divided by D (the budget available) x E (fashionability) = G (gorgeous outfit!).

In this case, and without knowing your size, style, colouring or age, it would be rather difficult to be specific. However, we could talk in general terms about what would be a good idea for your event.

A little bird tells me that Polo match looks are quite flexible, from a smartness point of view. Because many of the spectators will spend much of their time outside (and sometimes on a somewhat muddy field), the look can even be casual. However, I cannot imagine the Cartier hospitality tent is going to be entirely casual!

I would recommend something pretty, yet comfortable - like, for instance, an Anna Scholz stretch silk dress. This would look super-smart, but the stretch silk is entirely comfortable.

Another option would be a good trouser set. The advantage of this is that it would be easier to find smart, appropriate outdoor shoes or sandals to go with this look (should this be necessary). We have a fantastic Elena Grunert soft jersey trouser set in a soft grey, which would be incredibly chic, yet eminently wearable. This particular outfit (pictured above right) would also be ideal for the pear-shaped woman, because, although the jacket is long enough to skim over the bottom, it is also softly fitted at the top, so as not to swamp the upper half of the body.

It would be a good idea to come into the shop soon, if you are able, as we have plenty of items that could be ideal...

Sue Wooding    Friday 08 April 2011 at 12:06

 Post #206 

Subject: What an experience!

I wanted to say what a wonderful time my friend Julia and I had when we visited your shop on Wednesday.

Having found your website I had a hunch that it would be worth travelling to your shop from West Devon, in the search for something to wear to my son's wedding in July, and I wasn't wrong.

A veritable treasure trove of colours, fabrics and styles and all in plus sizes. The choice would have been bewildering if it hadn't been for your knowledge and advice in selecting pieces for me to try on. You certainly have a very good eye and I tried on things I would not have thought would have suited me.

In the end, I am completely excited about my chosen outfit although it is as far away from the colour I had envisaged wearing as it is possible to be.

Julia and I agreed that we have never had such a happy time buying clothes ( she succumbed and bought 2 pieces, too) and we couldn't believe that we were with you for 3 hours.

Heartfelt thanks to you both.


 Emma    Saturday 09 April 2011 at 10:43

Hi Sue!

Thank you so much for your kind words! It was a great pleasure to meet you both, and we were thrilled with what you picked out. I thought you looked incredibly classy in the Elena Grunert outfit.

Don't forget, if you are ever tempted, there is a pair of 'sensitive' trousers with you name on them, here in the shop....you only have to call!

I may see you before the 'big day', but, if I don't, I hope you have a lovely time!


Emma    Wednesday 19 January 2011 at 14:37

 Post #188 

Subject: Weddings, weddings...!

Our thanks go to our lovely customer, Yvonne, who has kindly allowed us to reproduce one of her wedding photographs on our forum.

She said: ''[here is a picture] of me in the wedding dress that you and your staff helped me with last year.

The wedding went really well on the 18 December.

Thank you for helping to make me feel glamorous on the day.

Best wishes

Yvonne ''

Yvonne looked lovely in her full-length Anna Scholz stretch silk crossover dress, and we at Emma Plus wish them both great happiness.


Emma    Wednesday 13 October 2010 at 21:43

 Post #170 

Subject: Barbie

Many little girls have a Barbie... that iconic plastic doll with the impossible figure, blond hair and vast wardrobe. And for a lot of those girls, their vision of how they will look on their own wedding day is very similar to the way Barbie looks when she marries her boyfriend, Ken. The white satin and lace dress, adorned with beads and sequins, nipped-in at the waist, with big puffed-out full-length skirt and bare shoulders.

The image that women have of themselves on their wedding day is often carried unchanged from girlhood through to womanhood, and quite often owes much to such toys, but also to a scrapbook of ideas from Hollywood, fairytales, celebrities and history. Very often the style of dress chosen for the 'biggest day in a woman’s life' has little or nothing to do with her everyday life, looks and style. It is the iconography from a different world than her own.

This is all great fun. It’s lovely to get a big dressing-up box and play at being Barbie, or a fairy, movie star or princess. However, if you are going to have to be on display in this get-up, in front of family, friends, your in-laws and your future husband, it has to be a little bit more than play-acting. You are going to have to look seriously fabulous!

But when a woman is over a size 18 it becomes more and more difficult for her to find a ‘traditional’ wedding dress that is going to make her look seriously fabulous. There are a number of obstacles in the way.

The first one is the most simple of all: finding a dress that will fit. Not all collections will be available in larger sizes.

However, let us suppose that she has managed to find a shop that will make a dress in a larger size. The problem then is with the selection of the dress. With most samples being shown in a smaller size, it can be extremely difficult to try on a dress. Very often they have to be ordered (and paid for – and we are talking about many hundreds of pounds) without having been properly seen.

This exacerbates the worst problem of all: that most traditional wedding dresses have certain stylistic features that render them unflattering to larger women.

They are usually white or cream for a start, and this is a difficult shade for a larger woman. White is not a recessive colour, so will not shrink the body size. It also describes the body shape in some detail, and can showcase the contours of the body to an unflattering degree. Shiny fabric accentuates this, often quite cruelly. Fabrics with a sheen have a problematic relationship with flash photography; quite a serious problem when the photograph in question may be on display for a lifetime.

Any extra volume, when worn by a larger-size woman, can also cause a problem and should ideally be avoided. So a puffed-out skirt is not normally to be recommended.

Many larger women do look lovely in a corset; especially those who already have an hourglass figure. Sadly, apple-shaped women who (as I know from personal experience) would love to wear a corset, just look uncomfortable because it showcases their least attractive feature.

A nipped-in waist is not always a good look for a larger woman, even one with a lovely waist. This is because it can, by contrast, draw attention to nearby larger features of the body. A cinched waist will showcase a large bust or bottom as much as it displays the waist itself.

On the plus side, a covering of lace, and a sprinkling of embellishment – be they beads or sequins – can add weight to the fabric (drawing it over the body) and will help to break up the texture, and so create a kindlier and less revealing surface. Also, many young larger women have superb shoulders and décolletages, which can carry the off-the-shoulder look beautifully.

If you're able to find a style that suits and try it on to see it properly, in order to make an informed decision; if you have a figure that looks good in a wedding dress; and if you are clever with texture and embellishment – then you can look knockout. These are, however, rather a lot of ‘ifs’.

So the upshot is that not all larger women can look seriously fabulous in a traditional white wedding dress. I think it is the realisation of this that brings so many brides to our door. More and more women seem to be getting married in ‘non-bridal’ wear; we see those seeking beautiful dresses, just not ‘wedding’ dresses.

This year we have sold stretch-silk dresses, jersey dresses, chiffon numbers, even full-length cashmere dresses. They have been in gorgeous prints, full-on colour or subtle shades. They have been long, ballerina length or knee length.

There have been the romantic, the glamorous and the subtle. But none of them have been ‘bridal’.

None of the women who have had dresses from us this year has ended-up looking like Barbie in her wedding outfit. And afterwards, when I have been shown the photographs of the happy events, I have noticed that none of the husbands have looked like Ken either.



sarah copson    Sunday 03 October 2010 at 20:00

 Post #168 

Subject: lovely clothes, fabulous shop, wonderful staff

what a wonderful first trip to brighton!! treating myself to a much needed day off i made the excuse of driving my daughter to work in burgess hill, and then, well, Emma Plus here i come, and i did and was it worth the trip??
well suffice to say i now have the most perfect wedding dress, EXACTLY what i was looking for, not traditional but luxiourious and simple :-)
and with kim on the staff it doesnt stop there, i was 'kimmed' and it was worth every minute and every penny, i have more confidence in my new look than i have ever had as a big girl. wish i earnt more as so many gorgeous things i could have bought but i have a plan to 'invest' as often as i can not only in fabulous quality clothes but also time with some lovely women who KNOW how to dress us more buxom of women
and hope to see you soon


 Emma    Sunday 03 October 2010 at 21:48

Hi Sarah!

Thank you so much for your lovely comments....it is so heartwarming to know that you were pleased with what you found here at Emma Plus!

You looked so gorgeous in what you chose, which I thought was subtle and lovely. You managed to achieve a fashion-forward look that totally suited your theme and colour scheme (I will say no more...a bride's dress remains top secret until the day).

We are very lucky to be able to work here, not only to enjoy the clothes, but to meet with lovely women like you.

I agree with you that Kim is a treasure, we all love her!

 Miss Tartan Waistcoat    Monday 04 October 2010 at 23:31

She's alright I suppose.........

The teal Brand trousers arrived safely and are gorgeous! Am very impressed with the quick turnaround for the alteration, please thank Denisa for me!


 Emma    Tuesday 05 October 2010 at 13:21

Hi Miss Tartan Waistcoat!

Thanks for your reply... I'm so glad that your trousers arrived safely, and you are happy with them!

I was thinking that the colour may team up with this top, which is being modelled by an anonymous woman!

 Emma    Wednesday 06 October 2010 at 15:25

Dear Miss Waiscoat,

Kim has asked me to pass on the news that some jeans have come into stock that you may be interested in...

AMY    Wednesday 22 September 2010 at 15:56

 Post #164 

Subject: WEDDING

Hi There,

I am 26 years old and a size 18/20. I have wedding next July and would love to wear a dress. What time of the year would you have your summer collection in ? I reallt like Anna Scholz


 Emma    Wednesday 22 September 2010 at 18:35

Hi Amy!

Thank you for your post-glad to hear that you have such an exciting event in the offing!

I'm so happy you contacted me now, because I am able to give you the information you need, at a helpful time. We see so many women half way through a season desperately searching for a dress they have seen, but which has already sold out in their size!

The summer season's clothes start to come in during January, and continue to feed into the store through February and March, after which we have more or less had our full collection. There is never a time when everything is in stock, because by the time the last items have been received in March, many of the first clothes have already sold through.

If you are particularly interested in one range, say, Anna Scholz, it would be worth asking to be contacted when this comes in, and then hotfooting into the store when we have announced its delivery! Her items are notorious for selling out extremely rapidly, and you won't be the only one being told about their arrival.

However, I would always recommend coming into the store (if you are not too far away) some time in January, and having a general chat to one of us about your requirements, keeping an open mind. There are so many gorgeous ranges...you may find that you buy something lovely for your event from, for example, Marina Rinaldi, Elena Miro or Sallie Sahne, and not necessarily from Anna Scholz! You will probably find that, if you come in early enough, you will be spoiled for choice.

So chatting to any of us, helping us to understand your requirements and taste, would enable us to keep an eye out on a wide range of designers. We would then liaise with you, helping to ensure that you are kept up to speed with what's in store.

You are a little small for us...we don't stock many size 18s (although we will often be able to order them in, if we try early enough). Our collection, in the main, goes from a size 20 up.

I know that you will be able to buy a beautiful dress next summer...the styles on order are gorgeous. I have put in a little piccie of Jaq and I, along with two of Anna's team, at a fashion show. We are all sporting samples of some of next summer's dresses....

Rachel Hawes    Sunday 19 September 2010 at 18:11

 Post #163 

Subject: Need Help

I am getting married in December, a fairly small do but i want to look special and wear a long dress (cover up my arms) and look at least a bit bridey without going for the huge dresses that seem to be available. I am quite a long way from you (in Peterborough) but just wondered if you could contact me and let me know the types of things you have in stock that may suit, I am a 5ft 9 size 26/28 and am stuck!

Cheers, Rachel


 Emma    Monday 20 September 2010 at 14:17

Hi Rachel!

Congratulations on your lovely news!

At the risk of sounding somewhat smug, I can't help remarking that you have found exactly the right store at the right time (although with no time to lose)! We have many, many brides like yourself (see post no 160) who choose not to try to resemble a giant marangue on the most important day of her life!

I would advise you to phone us on 01273 327240, and speak to either Jaq or Kim. I suspect that you may end up with an Anna Scholz beautiful dress (many brides do). Your size and height go in your favour...this is our speciality!

Many women travel as far (and a lot further) than from Peterborough, but it's very important to speak to you first, before travelling such a distance. We may even end up ordering in items especially for you, so it's good to get organised first.

We really look forward to seeing you in the store!


Caroline Abram    Tuesday 14 September 2010 at 15:33

 Post #162 

Subject: Shop Visit

Hi, I just wanted to mail you to say how wonderful it was stumbling across your shop on Saturday. Totally unexpected, and to find such a unique selection of plus size clothes,excellent customer service and what a great time my friends and i had with the banter! It makes a change for them to have to sit and wait for me to try items on, and very comfy there were to on your lovely sofa! I am very pleased with my Anna Scholz top, and in the sale, great! I am also very excited about the new designs we discussed in the shop and cant wait to try them on! When is the next fashion show? (my offer still stands if you need a model...!!) I have already recommended you to two of my lucky friends so i hope to see you again very soon.


 Emma    Tuesday 14 September 2010 at 19:01

Hi Caroline!

Thank you so much for your kind comments... I hope you will not mind that I have put them on to our 'Testimonials' page (accessible from the Homepage).

It really was so lovely to meet you on Saturday... a real piece of luck. Some people spend six hours on the road travelling after tracking us down online, yet you happened across us when you were passing!

We will tell you when we will be doing the next fashion show. I know you will enjoy it – they really do go down so well. It is just a chance to see some lovely clothes, have a laugh and a chat, some champers and some nibbles... really, a perfect way to spend a Saturday!

Emma    Sunday 05 September 2010 at 17:29

 Post #160 

Subject: Linsey and George...

I am so happy to be able to post a picture of one of our beautiful customers, Linsey, and her new husband, George, on their wedding day.

Linsey looked truly stunning in her Anna Scholz cobalt blue full-length wrap dress and jacket. I just couldn't get over how perfectly it suited her. It's always a special joy when women choose to wear our clothes to be married in.

She was kind enough to remark:
'Thanks again for everything, it is SUCH a pleasure coming in to see you and the other ladies, shopping isn't the dreadful occurrence that it once was...'

Everyone at Emma Plus wish the happy couple health, wealth and happiness!


Liz Rylance    Wednesday 18 August 2010 at 16:42

 Post #154 

Subject: What a success!

Hi Emma & Jaq

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

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

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

Love to you both
Liz x


 Emma    Wednesday 18 August 2010 at 19:18

Hi Liz

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

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

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

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

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...

Elizabeth Shaw    Tuesday 30 March 2010 at 01:34

 Post #126 

Subject: wedding outfit for lady size 22 in wheel chair

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


 Emma    Tuesday 30 March 2010 at 12:15

Hi Elizabeth

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rosy Elliott    Sunday 15 February 2009 at 16:25

 Post #9 

Subject: Help, my son's getting married

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


 Emma    Sunday 15 February 2009 at 22:38

Hi Rosy,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 Rosy Elliott    Monday 16 February 2009 at 12:06

I'm coming to Brighton after all!

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



 Emma    Monday 16 February 2009 at 16:59

Hi Rosy!

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

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


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