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'Plus size' clothing....bugbears and wishes?

(124 Posts)
stumblymonkey Tue 22-Nov-16 07:35:36

I'm a regular on MN and thinking (very early stages) of starting a business selling 'plus sized' clothing because I'm a size 18 and have a number of bug bears about finding clothes.

I guess I'm doing a little bit of market research as to whether I'm the only one that feels this way because that would make my market pretty limited!

My personal bugbears are:

- A lot of the chains I like don't go above a size 16, I haven't suddenly wanted to wear different clothes because I've put one more stone on

- A lot of the clothes are either (a) frumpy and unattractive or (b) just bigger versions of clothes that were really made for slim people, which does not do much for my body shape

- I'm not sure I actually like the term 'plus size' even though I've used it in this post, is there a better term that's more relatable and gets around being the 'other' IYSWIM

- I feel like a lot of the current online retailers that cater for size 16+ happen to use quite cheap materials, they're not very luxury

I'd be aiming for the sort of higher end high street target market...people who would normally shop at Monsoon, Coast, Jigsaw, Mint Velvet, Hobbs, etc.

What are your bug bears if you have any? What do you wish you could find?

I'm a regular MN btw not a corporate trying to do free market research(!)


stumblymonkey Tue 22-Nov-16 07:36:26

...and I think technically this could go under the 'start up' topic but it's very quiet in there...

Threesoundslikealot Tue 22-Nov-16 07:38:05

I would love good suits, lined and made of wool, in larger sizes that weren't enormously expensive. Jigsaw prices basically. As you say, so many plus-size ranges are cheap stuff. I want decent work wear. I'd love smart tops, not tents with sequinned kittens. Good luck. I don't really understand why no one is doing this.

pieceofpurplesky Tue 22-Nov-16 07:38:37

Tops and sleeves are too short. They need to be below belly and cover bingo wings!
And all you said OP

Threesoundslikealot Tue 22-Nov-16 07:40:28

In the States, quite a few mid-range designers do plus-size ranges. Ralph Lauren, Donna Karan, Michael Kors. Have a look online for ideas.

DelphiniumBlue Tue 22-Nov-16 07:42:15

It bugs me that some manufacturers assume that size 18 means 6' tall with rugby player shoulders and gorilla arms.
Good luck with your venture!

thinkfast Tue 22-Nov-16 07:43:36

Yes to workwear!

spacefrog35 Tue 22-Nov-16 07:47:06

Adjustable waistbands! I'm an 18 but my weight is more on bum, hips, boobs than my waist. Every pair of trousers that fits my thighs gapes really badly at the waist. My husband has 'posh' trousers with elastic that can be pulled in/let out to solve the waist gape issue, why can't I have trousers that do that too

babyboyHarrison Tue 22-Nov-16 07:47:15

I agree. Can you do lingerie too please. You look up plus size underwear and it's generally cheap and slutty looking. I'd love to have jigsaw type stuff in my size (18).

WetNovemberDay Tue 22-Nov-16 07:56:34

I'd like the short to be catered for.
It seems you can't be short and fat in this world.
Also wide fit footwear and boots with wide calf's. In a modern style and not frumpy.
There have been improvements but there is still a lack of choice.

ishouldcocoa Tue 22-Nov-16 07:59:25

Yes to good fabrics. Some of my best pieces of clothing are made with heavy fabrics that drape really well. Cupro is lovely.

Oh, and YY to elbow length sleeves.

AuntieStella Tue 22-Nov-16 08:00:56

Big norks doesn't inherently mean wide shoulders, so there needs to be more than one cut of neckline/shoulders, or a 'curvy' size (where chest is one or two sizes up, but not the rest of the garment).

Heavier fabrics? I find that hemp often hangs (and skims) better than cotton. Particularly cheap thin cotton.

Darnley Tue 22-Nov-16 08:02:56

Hi. Great idea. Have a look at the Box2 range, also Froxx. I can spend a fortune with them quite happily.

mudandmayhem01 Tue 22-Nov-16 08:05:17

A think the reason that a lot of plus size clothes are cheap is some women treat larger sizes as a temporary measure, I will buy this until I lose weight and then treat myself to good clothes. I think you need to promote your business with a sort of I am worth it tag line, that a woman should feel she is worth buying beautiful classic clothes for now rather waiting for a time she she is thinner that might never happen.

Zoflorabore Tue 22-Nov-16 08:06:46

Hi op! Size 18-20 here and have recently put on a stone due to medication so feeling fed up as lots of my clothes aren't fitting me properly.
I'm a sahm so don't need workwear but casual wear, i find that jeans, trousers etc just cut into me, higher waisted stuff is great for me.
I hate some of the "plus size" clothing that is garish and loud and draws attention to you for all the wrong reasons!
It took me a long time to discover that more fitted clothing suits me better but I recently bought a casual a line jersey dress to wear with tights and it makes me look two stone heavier than I am.
Boots are a pita as a pp said, stretchy calve ones are brill.
I tend to layer my clothes and at the age of 38 am finally only just getting my own style, I love clothes and accessories and have even found rings to be small in some shops and I've not got particularly fat fingers!

There is definitely a market for a new range, very best of luck to you smile

Cinnamoncookie Tue 22-Nov-16 08:09:26

Classic style things, without bows, sequins etc etc. Round necks quite often = monoboob.

Also, not all larger size women have hourglass figures. I'm big all over, don't have any waist to speak of. Very difficult to find trousers that fit at both waist and hips. And I'd love to wear pretty dresses, but the designs all assume a certain boob-waist-hip ratio that doesn't apply.

Good luck with your venture!

IwillrunIwillfly Tue 22-Nov-16 08:11:47

I second the need for high waisted trousers. Hipster ones just either cause bulges or fall down! I feel like every pair of jeans in the bigger sizes at the min are skinny. I'd live a pair of straight leg high waisted dark jeans but so far haven't found any! Also clothes with shape. Just cos i'm a big size doesn't mean I want every top to be baggy!

soupplate Tue 22-Nov-16 08:17:33

Ha - I'm the 6' tall with rugby player shoulders! I hate 'embellishments' on clothes. Just because I'm a bit chunky (understatement) doesn't mean my sense of taste and discernment has jumped out the window. Well cut classics, shirts/t-shirts/jumpers and jackets with length in the body and properly cut for boobage.

No naff sequins/pompoms and no crap colours - I do not want to wear aqua or mustard. I do not want frills and furbelows that draw attention to my fatness.

Tights that fit so I don't end up waddling around because the gusset envy is round my knees.

soupplate Tue 22-Nov-16 08:20:44

So agree with runfly regarding jeans. No-one, even really thin people, look good in skinnies. They make everyone look like a parsnip. Straight or slim bootcut with a waist where the waist should be. My favourite jeans to date are actually straight leg from Tu at Sainsburys, which are long enough and long enough in waist.

TheTartOfAsgard Tue 22-Nov-16 08:25:41

Im top heavy - have a broad back, thick waist but no arse or hips, and skinny thighs and calves - a bit like an upside down triangle.
I'd love a pair of jeans or trousers that were not either too baggy around the crotch and thighs or too tight to do up properly. Maybe an adjustable waist like they do in kids trousers with the elastic and buttons.

ilovecherries Tue 22-Nov-16 08:26:04

Everything you've mentioned really. I've fairly recently become plus sized at 56, following a serious accident and several years of having surgery at least once a year, and I've been so dispirited by clothes that make me look like a little girl (all tie waists and'fun' designs) and those that my 90 year old mum would turn her nose up at. I actually want classic clothes that fit. I'd love to be able to shop in the high street rather than always online. I don't want a tent (looking at you, Box2). I'm not a totally unusual size - 22 on top; 18 on the bottom; 5 foot 7; 36K chest. I avoid solely plus size retailers normally, and I'm lucky enough to be able to get away with careful buying from a few straight sized shops, mainly Boden, Poetry, Wrap and the odd foray into monsoon and Pure. M&S plus sized is a joke, sainsbury I can wear bottoms, but tops are laughable. My chest distorts the armholes of everything (studio 8 is particularly bad for this, as they do massive armholes with a bust adjustment, so you could crawl into the armhole beside me), because nothing has a full bust adjustment. I put off buying clothes for three years, buying anything I had to have from the men's range in outdoor shops. It was a thread on here called 'are you old and fat?' which started to change everything for me, and I look and feel better than I have since my accident. I don't actually mind the term 'plus size'. To me it's no more value laden than 'petite' or 'tall'. It's just a description of a section of a store that sells clothes that might fit me. We only make it negative by thinking it is.

VivienneWestwoodsKnickers Tue 22-Nov-16 08:26:43

V necks, not high rounds necks! I can't find lowish cut v neck tops anywhere at the moment.
What's with the splits in arms of all tops? Just Be, I'm looking at you. Tacky.
High waisted (Jeans, trousers, skirts) doesn't have to be frumpy if well cut.
Pockets in skirts and dresses please. I love them.
Good materials are a definite need.
Boleros are great for covering arms, but are very expensive for a tiny cardigan.

Monsoon go up to a 22, maybe have a look at how they do it?

frikadela01 Tue 22-Nov-16 08:27:59

Second everything that's been said. Trousers are a bloody nightmare for me.

Another thing that I've had a problem with even before I became a plus size was that accessories only seem to come in small. I have quite big hands so can't buy things like bangles because they are never going to fit, and rings are always tiny. Even in places like Evans where you'd expect there to be slightly larger jewellery I struggle. I don't have freakishly large hands, just larger than the shops seem to accomodate.
And tops often aren't long enough, once boobs are factored in they are almost belly tops on me.

ilovecherries Tue 22-Nov-16 08:29:42

no bust adjustment, not a bust adjustment.

ShotsFired Tue 22-Nov-16 08:32:28

Well cut workwear, particularly jackets that don't look like tents.
Longer sleeves - I cant/won't wear anything shorter than 3/4 length.
No naff "cutesy" designs
Stretchy/adjustable/fat calf boots
No tops that have drawstrings/elasticated around the hem. WTF would I want to look even MORE like a sack of shit?

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