Thursday, 14 August 2008


It seems to me that plus sized clothes specialists fall into a number of different categories; none of which merit the term wearable. Here are my definitions of how the market splits up:


I've lost count of the number of times I've been promised glamourous, fashionable clothes in extended sizing only to find on viewing a range of garishly coloured synthetics with ugly prints and elasticated waists. Anne Harvey and Elvi are the most visible contenders on the High Street here. the latter is the purveyor of the truly horrible purple T-shirt featured above. Yours for only £39 Stella McCartney fans! But this is the most prevalent style available for mail order too and even more upmarket retailers like Chesca push this look. Noone under 50 would wear this stuff and those that do look frumpy, so why is it everywhere?


Loose, flowing, natural fabrics in lots and lots and lots of layers. Thus giving the wearer the appearance of a mummy (not a yummy one) Specialist boutiques stock this look often pushing this stuff for big bucks claiming some kind of Euro-exclusivity.

Muffin tops
This term I apply to places like New Look, Dorothy Perkins and Evans. It is admirable that they do extended ranges of sizing in fashionable styles that are accessible and affordable. However, the flatter factor of low rise jeans or waist-skimming tops is something that many purchasers might want to take into account. There are also only so many lemon stencil print t-shirts you might want to buy every season before turning your attention to say a nice well cut jacket. You may be looking for quite some time before finding such an item in these stores.

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