The average Australian woman is plus size, wearing size 14-16. However, when walking through a mall and looking in the shop windows, it would appear that most Australian women wear, at most, a size 6, the dress size of a six foot tall runway model. There are certainly stores featuring plus size fashion in Australia, but the prices tend to be considerably higher than for comparable clothing in a smaller size.
Feeling Forgotten and Ignored
Larger women often say that they “have nothing to wear” for a very good reason. Plus size women have been feeling as though no one is paying attention to them and that they have been sent to the end of the line.
85% of the women in Australia have said that they have left clothing stores feeling embarrassed and ashamed about their size. 98% of those wearing a size 16 or over say that it is difficult to buy flattering and stylish clothing. Shoppers report that most stores seldom stock or sell plus size clothing in Australia at sizes above 16
The number of teens buying plus size fashion in Australia has almost doubled and fortunately, some retailers are paying attention to this market, recognising that stylish plus size clothing at a fair price is a winning combination. The increased number of clothes-happy and plus size teens is certainly encouraging this trend. However, even with a new recognition of the plus size market, these consumers still need to shop wisely to stay within their clothing budgets.
The Basics are Always in Style
Anyone on a budget (which includes most women) needs to concentrate on well-made staples as the foundation of their wardrobe. If these pieces can be found on sale or a high-end consignment shop, all the better. Adding inexpensive funky, fun accessories or seasonal clothing will greatly extend the number of outfits. With summer coming on, white bags will be very popular as will strappy sandals and big sunglasses.
These basic pieces can be worn for several seasons and compliment your unique style.
- A great-fitting jacket is an essential. Curvy figures look best in blazers and classic trenches
- Pencil or straight-cut skirts in go-with-anything colors, such as black, navy, and tan
- Dark wash, straight-leg jeans are flattering on almost every figure
- Blouses suitable for work, keeping in mind that button-front blouses can gap on busty women. Tunics are a great alternative.
- At least one pair of well-made, classic black pumps
- Stylish boots from Sam Edelman, Bandolino, or another designer carrying wider widths
Now, go crazy with accessories. Add tops in colors and patterns that call to you, brightly colored shoes, fun jackets, scarves in glorious patterns and colors, and jewelry that makes a statement. While the basic pieces will require an up-front investment, it’s always worth checking the end-of-season sales.
Locate a Good Tailor
Plus size women always have a problem finding clothing that fits correctly, especially if they need a professional look. Clothing is manufactured so that it will fit an average model. Curvy women are not often shaped exactly as the model used by the designer and manufacturer. Many of these women also tend to gain and lose weight periodically, further complicating their clothing dilemmas.
A good tailor can make the clothing fit properly so that it doesn’t bunch, pull, or gap. The most expensive item in the closet won’t look as it was designed to unless it is adapted to your body. Find quality clothing that fits the widest parts of the body and take it your tailor. He or she will be able to fit the garment so that it looks as it should. A less expensive but well-fitting garment will always look better than one that doesn’t hang properly. Wear clothing that looks as if it was custom made for you—because it was.
Investing in tailoring will pay off best on suits, professional dresses, and tailored blouses. This is definitely the way to “dress for success” with a polished, finished appearance.
Well-fitting Bras are Important
Bras are known as foundation garments for a reason. They make clothing fit and hang correctly. Most women, however, are wearing the wrong size bra. It’s perfectly understandable since breasts change sizes over time, but women tend to keep wearing the same size bra for years. Visit a high-end retailer that offers a bra-fitting service and find out which size and type of bra is most flattering. The bra will be more comfortable and clothing will look better. While it may cost more than you’re accustomed to spending, you’ll be glad that you purchased it.
Be Loyal to a Favorite Retailer or Brand
It’s always good (and fun) to shop around, but becoming a loyal customer also has its rewards. Retailers often have loyalty points or cards or special sales for regular customers. Store cards may or may not be a good deal, depending on the fees and interest rates. If the card couldn’t be paid in full every month, those charges could wipe out any savings for sale merchandise, but they do work well for some consumers.
Mela Purdie has become a favorite for women shopping for plus size clothing in Australia and NZ. This Sydney-based company was founded in 2001 by an award-winning designer who feels strongly that clean, urban coordinates answer the need of modern fashionable women. The clothing is available in sizes 6-24.
“Clothes That Travel With You” is their exclusive line of Sport Luxe essentials that are crease-resistant and breathe, avoiding clingy clothing in hot weather. This line of Mela Purdie plus size clothing in Australia is perfect for any woman on the go or traveler.
You can shop online at Zebrano (www.zebrano.com.au) for Mela Purdie clothing and accessories or to purchase other plus size clothing brands online in Australia. Browse the Zebrano website to find must-haves for your wardrobe and find clothing that fits comfortably and always looks fabulous.