Simple, flattering clothes in quality fabrics for sizes 14+

(20 Posts)
therealmrsclooney Thu 07-Jan-16 16:38:47

After 16 years spent dragging up children and supporting ex-dh's stellar career, it seems I am no longer employable!

I am passionate about clothes and a curvy size 14-20. There is a yawning gap in the market for good-quality size-appropriate clothing - simple, flattering pieces in jersey, linen, silk and cashmere for the Boden/White Company market. I'm hopeful that I would initially be able to put together a collection by scouring one of the big fashion shows like Moda, and maybe eventually move into design and production of my own line.

I am very practical, competent, driven and meticulously well organised, so I think I could get any business off the ground but I have no experience of the fashion trade. I'm considering investing £700 (yikes) in a week's course in London at the Fashion Retail Academy to give me an overview of starting up.

I'd be very grateful for any comments on any aspect of this - from access to grants and free courses in setting up a business, to thoughts of what you would like to wear, to suggestions of trade shows to visit, things to read, support, advice on pitfalls... anything and everything!

Thanks for reading this far!


OP’s posts: |
Crazycatlady15 Fri 08-Jan-16 15:22:41

I don't really have any advice but just wanted to say I think this is a really good idea, it is so infuriating going into shops where the majority of the clothes seem to be size 8 which most women are not! I also had this problem regarding maternity clothes. I hope it goes well and wish you every success smile

bookishandblondish Fri 08-Jan-16 15:47:44

Depends on where you are based but the east midlands used to (probably still does) have the

Provided support etc to start ups in the forum of courses etc. I'd start with going along to the local business start up and seeing what free resources etc are there.

therealmrsclooney Fri 08-Jan-16 15:59:21

Thanks for your support Crazycatlady! I have noticed that anything flattering in a large size from Boden, White Co, M&S sells out very quickly and that a huge amount of clothes available in larger sizes are just scaled up versions of garments designed for very small models. I also think there is a burgeoning market for larger kids' clothes (but I will not be popular for saying that!).

Have a great weekend.

OP’s posts: |
steppemum Fri 08-Jan-16 16:05:05

my bugbear is not the lack of clothes in larger sizes, but that they just get wider as they get bigger, whereas many larger women are also taller.

So waistlines too high, tops too short, trousers too short (although many shops do now do short standard and long) and dresses too short.

I also don't want to wear a tent, or very stretchy fitted, so semi fitted , shaped, but cut properly for the size, so shoulder holes and arms also larger.

Also, even if the fashion is for shorter tops, if you are a size 18 you really don't want to show off you belly. So style rather than fashion

SDTGisAnEvilWolefGenius Fri 08-Jan-16 16:08:14

How large do you intend to go? I am a size 30, and I would love good clothes in good quality fabrics. I do make some of my own clothes, but apart from that, I have to rely on Evans/Simply Be/Fifty Plus etc.

YouGottaKeepEmSeparated Fri 08-Jan-16 16:10:32

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

DorothyGherkins Fri 08-Jan-16 16:12:25

Accent on nice classic stuff please, with colours and styles that dont go out of date after three months, and none of this creasy cheap cotton or viscose or, sweaty polyester. Do it, please!

strawberryandaflake Fri 08-Jan-16 16:13:13

Hmm... There are lots of businesses like yours about if you google. You need a different USP.

Palomb Fri 08-Jan-16 16:16:02

My bug bear at the bottoms of that range (14/16/18) is that the 14 in shops like Evans are absolutly massive - more like a 18 in the real world. I appreciate that this is vanity sizing but it means women who have curvy proportions - big boobs, thighs etc but aren't that size are excluded from clothes that would best fit their shape.

If you are passionate about making a clothing range for larger ladies that's great but if you say you're going to start at a 14 then start at a proper 14.

And yy to longer tops. No-one in their right mind wants to see my midriff.

timelytess Fri 08-Jan-16 16:17:17

Size twenty is too small. You need to go up a few sizes. If you can do that, and produce decent clothes, you'll coin it in.

Evans designs are crap - I haven't been able to buy there for years.
SimplyBe are overpriced for what they are but sometimes have the odd good item.
Yours have good designs (if you select carefully) but the quality leaves a lot to be desired.
Asda, if you watch like a hawk, occasionally has something to offer.
Ann Harvey became available through a chain, I forget which, and might have disappeared by now. Googled and its Bon Marche. So they are in with the 'cheap and nasties'. Bon Marche have horrible designs but I check them out occasionally and have found good items (eg a swimsuit last summer).
idaretobe online have the nicer things, probably more what you had in mind.

It would be fabulous to have somewhere to shop where design and quality were of a high standard and where fabrics were beautiful to the touch. Go for it!

INeedSomeHelp Fri 08-Jan-16 16:17:27

Please make sure things are in proportion so arms need to be wider too. And don't assume that bigger sizes means hourglass shape - there are so many plus size blogs that only focus on clothes for hourglasses and I'm more of a rectangle.
And a mix of classic styles and high fashion would be good too. If items are expensive I want them to last but I also like the occasional item of throw away fashion that I might only have for a short while.

timelytess Fri 08-Jan-16 16:19:04

And fat children need nice clothes too, while they're trying to change their lifestyles. You wouldn't be 'cashing in', you'd be raising their self-esteem.

LonnyVonnyWilsonFrickett Fri 08-Jan-16 16:19:09

See I don't think there's a gap when it comes to the 'simple/flattering/drapey jersey/white company/Boden' type stuff. There's quite a lot of it around, and it's boring.

I want fashionable clothes in a 14, which are still good quality (and YY to what steppe said about gaps and riding up and stuff, even though I'm short!) which will also wash well. Things that are well cut, not things that flop over my saggy body. Things that make me smile. Things that don't make me feel 45. NOT things that make me feel like I'm pretending to be 25 though! Things that are pretty and unusual and work together.

That's what I want.

Yougotta clearly child obesity is a huge issue on every level. Is having overweight children running round naked or in too-tight clothes going to solve it?

YouGottaKeepEmSeparated Fri 08-Jan-16 16:22:31

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Nonidentifyingnc Fri 08-Jan-16 16:27:55

YouGotta, I think that was unfair. Puts me in mind of that silly cow on loose women (Jamelia?) who thinks society should show disapprovsl of fatness by not making it easy to buy clothes. There should be no moral judgement applied to buying nice things to wear - the best way to lose weight is to have good self esteem and to feel you are worth the effort involved in making lifestyle changes. Nice clothes help with that.

LonnyVonnyWilsonFrickett Fri 08-Jan-16 16:32:04

You can lose weight to the extend of needing smaller clothes in a few weeks

Well clearly not everyone can, can they, or there would be no obesity crisis. If a child is overweight it isn't the child's fault. Compounding that misery with clothes that don't fit, that cut into their middles, pull up into their armpits and make them a misery and laughing stock isn't going to help them solve their weight problems.

Lucked Fri 08-Jan-16 16:33:07

I am a size 14-16 and like the non-patterned boden stuff, almost all their dresses come in a long option which has changed my attitude to dresses.

I think you may be priced out of the market though as cotton, silk and wool are relatively expensive and you aren't a designer so how are your cuts/designs going to be better than the high street?

AuntieStella Fri 08-Jan-16 16:44:51

There isn't such a thing as a 'normal' 14 any more. The variation both between and within brands is enormous.

I'd like to see more clothes cut for the large of nork. Pepperberry are sometimes good, but often skimpy. And when clothes are just scaled up, yo get boob clearance the shoulders sit all wrong and necklines are often too wide.

pandaskitchen Fri 08-Jan-16 17:02:55

I think that is a great idea OP, I would love to get some good quality classic items for decent price.

It would be great to get things like crisp well made tailored shirts and trousers, but with room in the tops of the arms and thighs, that do not gape over the bust. Tops being long enough in the body is a pain as well & dresses that don't make you look like a sausage, and are either sleeveless or very short. Nice material would be good too, that washes and keeps it's quality not crepe or jersey- Jersey is not my friend.

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