Friday, 29 August 2008
Before we even start photographing the clothes for the website, we have to gather together our new lines from the warehouse and create up-to-date outfits to show off our garments at their very best. This involves meeting with the buyers and discussing what’s hot in fashion and the looks we want to promote. Usually myself and our talented photographer Marzena will decide on these outfits before each fashion shoot. When we’re all ready to go Michelle, our regular model who no doubt you’ll all recognise, comes into our photographic studio and we accessorise and perfect the looks before taking the crucial shots.
While this is perhaps the most visual aspect of our website production, the work certainly does not end there. Marzena then takes dozens of further pictures of each garment so that we can offer you clear and precise pictures of the shape, material and details of each and every piece of plus size clothing. These are then sharpened and edited for maximum clarity before being added to the site.
After adding stock, we try to promote the website and our new items through the weekly newsletter (which you can sign up to on our homepage) and through these blogs. To further display our best selling lines, we often take our models ‘on location’ in order to take some promotional photographs in natural settings.
Having put in all this work planning and maximising the aesthetics of our products, we eagerly await the online orders to come in. It’s always rewarding when we see that certain items are as popular as we suspect they might be during the website development process. Once your orders are processed, we turn our attention to ensuring swift delivery and great customer service. I’ll be divulging more about this aspect of the process and the team members who make it all possible next week in part 2 of this behind-the-scenes blog….
Friday, 22 August 2008
To fully understand how difficult it can be to find the right balance between flattering and fashionable when shopping for plus-size clothes, the pair donned body suits in order to become a size 20 and then hit the shops with two women also of this size. It was apparent that neither Trinny nor Susannah realised just how little choice there is on the high-street for the forty-five percent of British women who wear a size 16 or above. This revelation encouraged them to tackle the issue head on and invite representatives from major high-street fashion retailers to a catwalk show of the best, and more importantly the worst of what the high-street has to offer. The models the duo employed were all real plus-size women who were clearly tired of feeling excluded. As one lady commented, when it comes to the fashion world she felt as if she was “on the outside looking in”. Having proven that there was a real need for improvement, designers from the London College of Fashion were asked to use the plus-size models in order to produce a collection of flattering plus- size fashion to present to the high-street retailers.
Throughout the hour long show, several points seemed to reoccur. Perhaps the most shocking, is that very few high-street retailers actually stock more than a handful of lines in a size 16 and above and in some cases, even a size 14 is hard to come by! Those who do offer plus-size clothing should certainly not feel smug however. It seems that it is deemed quite acceptable in the fashion world to ‘grade-up’ a size ten top in order to cater for a fuller figure. As Trinny and Susannah proved using their plus size volunteers, this is simply not acceptable. Garments such as a high-neck ruffle mini dress are offered to customers in sizes 8 to 20 in the exact same form! Surely as market leaders these high-street stores should realise that a size 20 lady would not suit this kind of dress?! Excuses such as budget restrictions and lack of demand were used to defend these retailers. Considering forty-five percent of the country is a size 16 or above there is clearly not a lack of demand. Another key issue which was brought up by the women interviewed throughout, was that plus-size clothing is rarely fashionable and more often than not, ‘tent’ shaped tops dominate the choice they are given. I’m pleased to say that having been named and shamed and introduced to alternative designs of plus-size tops specifically produced for the fuller figure, the retailers conceded that more attention should be paid to this under-represented market.
From this very interesting and positive show, I came to thinking how we at Yours approach the issue of designing fashion led products for the plus-size figure. As I mentioned, Trinny and Susannah were particularly concerned that retailers ‘grade up’ their smaller sizes in order to offer clothing to their plus-size customers. That is something that we at Yours are firmly against. As our sizes start at a 14-16, we exclusively design our clothes for fuller figures. As for the issue of ‘tented tops’ and a lack of fashion-led design in the plus-size market, being plus-size specialists we know what suits our customer and our design team ensure that they keep their eye on all up and coming fashion trends to produce our fashionable range of plus-size clothing. We use this combined knowledge to offer the customer stylish and up to date fashion designed specifically with their shape in mind. So, in conclusion, while Trinny and Susannah are right to point out the problems plus-size women face when shopping for fashion, we are pleased to see that the issues they brought up in their show are issues which we at Yours have worked hard to address for many years. As a result, we continue to offer plus-size women a confidence-boosting pleasurable shopping experience and up-to-date fashion all year round.
Friday, 15 August 2008
Whether it’s a night out with the girls, a hot date at a restaurant or even a cosy night on the sofa, a well-fitting pair of jeans is the answer to so many of our wardrobe dilemmas. Therefore, when purchasing the most versatile piece of all our clothing, it is vital that you know what to look for and choose the right pair for your shape. This can sometimes be an overwhelming task with so many styles and brands to choose from. Well, you need not worry any longer, if it’s plus-size jeans you’re looking for, just follow our simple guide and you’ll be slipping into the perfect pair in no time!
The principle rule for buying jeans is the same for every woman: Whatever size you may be, think SHAPE not size. Most of us fall into one of four body shape categories; pear, apple, hour-glass and straight. Once you’ve decided on which of these you are, simply apply our top tips for pain-free denim shopping.
It is estimated that 70% of us fall under this body-shape banner. If you carry most of your weight on your lower body (hips, bottom, thighs) and have a smaller top half then you do too!
-To balance out your curves, always opt for boot cut jeans.
-Dark colours are the most flattering so steer clear of stonewashed or ‘distressed’ denim and add colour with your tops and accessories.
-By wearing your jeans slightly lower on the waist or even on your hips you will make your bottom appear smaller.
-Look for large, flat pockets on the back of the jeans rather than bulky pockets or too many buttons.
Pear Shape’s ideal jeans….
Do you carry most of your weight on your tummy and have fewer issues with your lower half? Then you’re an Apple shape. Apples can find it hard to find to find jeans that fit on the waist and show off their slim legs. So remember….
-Make sure that your jeans fit around your tummy rather than below or above it.
-If you’re lucky enough to have slim legs then make the most of them with lighter shades of denim.
-Embroidery or embellishments on the leg of the jeans will draw the eye to your slimmest parts.
-Look for some stretch in your denim for comfort on the waist band and a proper fit on your legs.
Apple Shape’s ideal jeans….
Hour-glass shapes have a well balanced silhouette with a similar width of hips and bust and defined waist. If you’re lucky enough to be this traditional womanly shape, then you will want to show it off.
-Wear your jeans on your waist with a dynamic belt to accentuate your narrowest part.
-As with the pear shape, boot cut or flare jeans keep your shape balanced and flatter your hips and thighs.
-Darker colours are a good option as they slim the thigh and hip area. Wear a vibrant top and draw attention to your curves.
Hour Glass’ ideal jeans….
A Ruler body shape means that you have a similar body width up and down your body and may lack feminine curves. You probably don’t have much definition on the waist so this is the area to concentrate on to create a sexy shape.
-To add some curves to your legs and hips, try a ‘slouch’ fitting pair which will give the illusion of some definition.
-To create a waist, keep the waist band of the jeans fairly loose so you are able to wear a well fitting top.
-Avoid any jeans with stretch in them, looser fabrics will disguise any parts of your body that you are not confident with.
-Wear a lighter denim shade if you are confident with your legs and keep vibrant colours to your top half.
-Add some bright accessories for a touch of femininity.
Rulers’ ideal jeans….
Monday, 11 August 2008
Aside from the difficulty of locating swimwear whenever you need to, as all us girls know swimwear shopping is possibly the only kind of shopping that we all dread. If after trawling the rails you are lucky enough to find the elusive perfect swimwear, then ensues the real nuisance. The ritual of having to completely undress and struggle for enough peg space for all your clothes while checking that the curtain of the changing room is not gaping open, only to realise that you need a different size anyway is frustrating to say the least. Of course in situations such as this, when you do actually need an assistant to pop out and fetch you an alternative bikini top, they’re inevitably elsewhere meaning that you have to pull all your clothes back on, gather up your bags, traipse back into the store and find the correct size, only to have to go through the whole process all over again. Surely this isn’t anybody’s idea of retail therapy?!
I guess this experience is at least eased a little if you are the enviable kind of girl who is perpetually tanned, slender and looks good in the skimpiest of swimming costumes. When the majority of us go through this however, the harsh lighting and inescapable full-length mirrors on every wall dampen our spirits, not what we want just before our holiday! What’s more, by mid-July it seems that the prettiest garments have all been snapped up in the sales so finding a suitable costume for your winter-sun getaway in your size and to your taste is near on impossible.
Well you’ll be pleased to know that there is an alternative. When it comes to plus-size swimwear, YOURS can take the headache out of endless searching for that perfect look. Not only do we offer the latest looks in swimwear fashion, it’s all incredible value for money and available online throughout the year for you to order and try on in the comfort of your own home.
Click here to see our great new range which not only contains swimwear but also matching accessories to take you from the beach to the bar in total comfort and style.
Friday, 1 August 2008
As the dreaded ‘credit crunch’ continues to occupy the thoughts of millions of us across the country, this week I have been considering my recent fashion purchases. Like most girls, I tend to follow my heart when I see something I just have to have but now I am beginning to realise that we can all look great and enjoy good quality with a little bit of savvy spending and by turning our attention to great value stores such as ‘Yours’.
It seems that I am not alone in trying to save a few pennies when treating myself to a new outfit. Look at the Channel 4 program ‘Gok’s Fashion Fix’ for example. The premise of the show is that fashion enthusiast Gok challenges himself to find four complete outfits from the high street for under £800 pounds in total. This includes accessories, shoes and the embellishments he so cleverly uses to titivate his chosen designs. Meanwhile, four experts in designer clothing splash out over £10,000 on four similar look which inevitably look drab in comparison. While the catwalk element of the show often leads to fairly unwearable outfits, I love the fact that he proves all women can look up-to-date and fashionable on a budget.
Trinny and Suzannah, ITV’s answer to Gok, also concentrated on shopping on a budget this week when they re-educated women how to dress not only for their body shape but also how to source good quality, good value pieces that will last longer than one season. The lessons I took from both these shows was that fashion can be creative and fun without breaking the bank and that it is important to mix wardrobe staples with fresh fashion pieces.
This is a theory which we at Yours Clothing strongly align ourselves to. We too aim to provide a mixture of classic, trans-seasonal garments and also some high fashion articles all at outstanding value. I believe that there are four or five items every woman should have in her wardrobe. And, guess what…For women looking for plus size clothing and fashion, no-one has a better choice of these essentials than ‘Yours’!
Here are my top wardrobe staples that can be worn hundreds of ways:
1. Ribbed Bootleg Trouser
The classic black, bootleg trouser, an absolute must for any woman. These are smart, go with anything and with a great bootleg cut, very flattering on all figures. Not only that, they’re easy to care for and the elasticated waist band means that they’re ultra comfortable.
2.White Deep Sleeve Wide Rib Shrug
This gorgeous shrug is incredibly useful all year round. In a choice of black or white, it gives just enough coverage to keep the chill off and hides the troublesome top-of-the-arm area while not interfering with your outfit underneath.
3.Slouch Wide-Leg Jeans
These jeans offer more than just versatility and a classic touch of denim; with their slouchy fit and wide-leg style, they’re comfortable and bang on trend this year. Dress them up with heels, dress them down with flip-flops, the possibilities are endless!
4.White Ruche Front Round Collar Blouse
Not only does this blouse automatically add a touch of professionalism to any pair of trousers or skirt, but it also is right in-line with the coming season’s blouse craze and the silver thread makes it that little bit extra special.
5.Cerise Cap Sleeve Gauging V Neck Top
This top comes in four great colours, has a flattering V neck and capped sleeves and can be worn under any jacket or cardigan. Plus, it’s 100% cotton so is easy to care for and soft on the skin.