Friday, 26 September 2008

Plus-Size Success!

In the past decade or so, us women have firmly proven that we are as capable and talented as our male colleagues in practically any occupation we choose. Women all over the world are now respected heads of state, soldiers, politicians, surgeons and more besides. While diligence and dedication are key to a successful career, I strongly believe that image and appearance also help to create a good impression in the workplace. However it can sometimes be a difficult task to hit the right balance between smart work wear and a fashionable look. Just because we are working and need to uphold a certain amount of credibility, why should we not also embrace our love of fashion?! Combining hot season trends with practical, versatile pieces which can be worn again and again is a great compromise.

Here at Yours, we offer both these genres of clothing to our plus-size customers and also, through this blog, some ideas of how best to create some great looks. So, here are my top tips for a fail-safe work wardrobe:

1. Invest in a pair of classic black boot-cut trousers.
A pair of well-fitting black ladies trousers in a flattering boot-cut is a fantastic wardrobe staple. They instantly smarten up your look and can be teamed with almost any style of top.

2. Don’t be afraid of colour!
As we established last week, bold colours are everywhere this season. There’s no reason why you can’t wear vivid shades just because you are in the workplace. If you are not used to dressing in block colours, keep your base black or grey and add a bright cardigan.

3. Keep it feminine.
Many women tend to ‘power-dress’ at work but this can often lead to a masculine look. Just a subtle frill or a flower print can maintain pretty style while still looking smart.

4. Layer Up
Air conditioning units play havoc with your body temperature in an office environment. By layering up, you are able to sustain a comfortable state and add or shed layers when necessary.

5. Be comfortable!

There’s no need to dress in restrictive clothing to look good. Elasticated waist bands and loose fitting tops can make all the difference when wearing an outfit all day long.

So, now you have a few ideas, why not visit the Yours website and check out our fantastic new range of work wear. Whether you need trousers, shirts, skirts or tops, your options are plentiful. Plus our prices, as ever, ensure incredible value.

Friday, 19 September 2008

The Bold and the Beautiful

With the weather turning increasingly dreary, I have some good news for all you plus size fashion lovers…colour is back this season and it’s brighter and bolder than ever! While last winter we were all dressing in taupe and ecru, this year we can banish the dull cardigans and non-descript jumpers in favour of warm, intense hues. I don’t know about you, but there is nothing that lifts my spirits more than livening up a pair of jeans or black trousers with a splash of colour. Not only does colour lift the complexion and add warmth to your look, it also shows that the wearer is not afraid to use daring shades to reflect their personality. In fact, Queen Elizabeth herself once commented that:

"Dress gives one the outward sign from which people in general can, and often do, judge upon the inward state of mind and feelings."

I have to agree! It is very rare that you see the Queen without a hint of colour and rightly so, it’s an instant mood lifter.

Now, I bet you’re wandering what colours we can all look forward to enjoying this season. Well, my hot tips are most definitely purples and reds. These colours are very kind to most skin and hair tones and will pretty much go with most wardrobe staples. Plus, with the new collection at Yours plus size women are spoilt for choice when it comes to finding their perfect shade. Check out our latest plus size clothing today and next time you decide to do a spot of retail therapy, ask yourself; ‘what is my inward state of mind at the moment and how best can I show this off to the world?’ After all, if the Queen herself follows this mantra, who are we to argue?!

Friday, 12 September 2008

The Rise of the Plus Size Model

With London Fashion Week starting next week, once again all eyes will turn to the capital’s catwalks. Besides the most cutting edge styles that the world’s top designers have to offer we will all also inevitably assess the shape and health of the models who adorn each beautiful garment. While in recent years the ‘size zero’ phenomenon led to fashion houses regularly employing underweight models, I am pleased to say that the industry has at last woken up to the implications that this has had on the physical and mental health on not only the models themselves, but all girls across the country. The turnaround began when ‘The Model Health Inquiry’ was established by the British Fashion Council (BFC) on March 23, 2007, in response to concerns about the health of the ever decreasing size of some models.

This action taken by the BFC was supported by many of the most prestigious design houses in the world. Jean Paul Gaultier started the backlash at Paris Fashion Week by employing a size 20 model to strut down the runway in a selection of his sexiest underwear. When asked the reason for this, a spokesperson for the designer commented that "Jean-Paul wanted to show beauty can be universal…he thinks all women are beautiful and aims to challenge society's beauty stereotypes". From this moment onwards, the Plus Size Model industry has experienced something of a boom and the future is looking bright for curvaceous models. Just this week, ‘Look’ magazine dedicated their centre fold feature on the way in which five girls purposefully changed their body shapes in order to become curvier, sexier and more marketable.

Having researched this matter, I was intrigued to learn a little more about the Plus Size Model industry and how it differs from that of ‘standard’ sized models. So, who better to ask than our very own model Michelle! Not only is Michelle the face of Yours Clothing, she also runs her own modeling agency and so has experienced the industry from both sides. The point Michelle emphasised the most, was the difference in attitude between standard model agencies and specialist plus-size ones. She pointed out that Plus-size agencies tend to be friendlier and not so preoccupied with the body weight of their clients. “When I was younger, I tried to slim down enough to make it in mainstream modeling but it wasn’t right for my body shape”, she commented, “I was just told to lose more weight rather than that I was the wrong shape. Now I am a plus-size model, agencies don’t comment on any small fluctuations in my size, they just check that I’m healthy and happy. Fitness is far more important than weight”.

From Michelle’s observations and the article in Look magazine, the common factor seemed to be that the plus size models were all relaxed and content to be promoting plus size fashion and plus size clothing for women with curves rather than struggling to be an unnatural, unhealthy size. This is an outlook that we should all adopt when we buy fashion. Let’s stop worrying what size our label says and start concentrating on our health and happiness while also representing beautiful, fashionable plus size women all over the world.

Wednesday, 3 September 2008

Plus-Size Style, From Yours HQ to Your Computer - Part 2

Last week I began to tell you all a little bit about what goes on at Yours HQ within our website team. Having explained the design, planning and photography process, I now come to the dispatching and customer service aspects. Perhaps the most crucial part of the online process, especially from the customer’s point of view, is making sure that the correct items arrive to your door in good time and with as few complications as possible.

Claudia is the girl in the know when it comes to all parts of the online ordering process. Having worked at Yours Clothing for over three years, what Claudia doesn’t know about our stock and the details of how the whole operation works, isn’t worth knowing. When an order comes in, Claudia and her team organize the acquisition of each garment and arrange the secure payment and notification for each customer. Next, the garments are wrapped and packed ready to be handed over to our delivery service and sent to your front door.

From then on, your queries, questions and comments are in the care of our customer service department. We all try to get involved with customer interaction as we are keen believers in listening to feedback and trying to provide a personal service. The main man in this area however is David. Some of you may have spoken with David on the phone or had some email interaction with him. If you ever have any issues with our service online or in store, David is more than happy to help out and answer your questions. Similarly, if you have any suggestions regarding the future of our company, please let us know! We love to hear from you!

Having explained a bit about the internet department and who fits into what role over these past two weeks, I guess I should give you a brief overview of where I come in to it all too! Obviously I am in charge of writing this blog every week in order to provide you with some extra interaction and hopefully some interesting plus size fashion tips. The blog runs along side the weekly newsletter which gives you a first look of key fashion trends in the plus size clothing industry and what Yours has to offer each week. I also update the product titles and descriptions to provide an overview of each garment whenever a new item is ready to be put onto our website. As with our customer service team, I too am always interested in your comments so please get in touch.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this behind-the-scenes glimpse into Yours HQ. Over the coming months I hope to introduce you to more members of our team and continue to update you with company news and forthcoming events and promotions.