Thursday, September 5, 2013

Super Size Me

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Last night as part of Melbourne Spring Fashion Week I spoke on the Super Size Me forum on size and consumer demand. On the panel with me was Craig Halfpenny - National Retail Operations Manager at My Size, Mel Campbell - author of Out of Shape (which I recommend you buy if you have any interest in this topic - it's a great read!), Dr. Sue Thomas - Leader Bachelor of Fashion Apparel Engineering and Design at Holmesglen (a new course in Melbourne specialising in garment construction and pattern making), Judy Green - consumer, tv model, and adventurer, Maria Hatzis - Retail Manager at Nicola Waite GPO. It was a  lively and often passionate discussion with members of the audience joining in.

Some key points from the discussion
  • Size can be an emotional topic for women but not so much for men (although this is debatable).
  • Why can men shop by their actual measurements - a 32 inch waist for example, while women shop with arbitrary sizes with no relation to measurements which differ store to store.
  • The retail experience in itself is important in order for you to find the right fit. The staff should know their products and be able to direct the customer to the right size or styles in the store that will suit them and their body shapes.
  • The reason this is important is sizes vary so much between stores. Stores actually target their sizes to their customers, so for example the sizes at My Size run a little bigger than the national average as that is who their customer is - which raised points about vanity sizing. 
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I spoke about how the internet has opened up the way I shop - for the better. With access to so many brands and labels from around the world I have so many more options than when I was a teenager and My Size was the only plus size store I knew about (City Chic wasn't around till I was in my mid twenties). This led on to a discussion about plus size options often being matronly and made for the mature woman in mind. As a teenager this frustrated me to no end as I just couldn't find fashionable youth driven clothes made to fit me. We also discussed fit and how it differs to size - I spoke about how as a plus size woman if a piece of clothing I like gets on my body I buy it regardless of it's size because I know I can make it work. Fit has a different meaning to me than my straight sized friends who have so many more options when it comes to clothes.
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Outfit time. In the spirit of the discussion I decided to wear a dress I had a little trouble with in terms of size. I originally bought the size 18 in this dress from the ASOS Curve line as I am normally an 18 in ASOS's main line. Well, the 18 was way too small when it arrived so I returned it and went up two sizes to a size 22 as the 18 was so small I didn't think the size 20 would work either. Well the size 22 is a little too big, but not in a noticeable way and I actually like the smock like style on me so I'm happy with my choice, but if you're after a more fitted style then I would recommend just going up the one size in this particular piece. This is why a good returns policy is essential if you want my online shopping dollars, I love how easy ASOS's is now - especially with the same day courier pick up service (which I used this time).

Outfit details
Dress ASOS
Flower crown Lady Petrova
Tights Sonsee
Glasses Bespecd Minsk frames in Lilac
Pastel pink jelly heels Juju Babes
Holographic heart glasses chain Not Lost Boutique
Pastel purple chain bracelet House of Baulch

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Lady Petrova has some beautiful flower crowns in at the moment. I couldn't resist this hot pink number.

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I got the handmade Holographic heart glasses chain from Not Lost Boutique during my recent trip to Adelaide. I can't wait to share more about that trip with you once fashion week is over as I had so much fun.

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I picked up that new red ring whilst in Adelaide too, not sure of the designer but I bought it from a cute boutique on trendy Queen Street for only $20.

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I still can't get enough of my jelly heels.

Shop the look!!!


  1. I always have problems with Asos sizing. I think I must fall in between the plus and straight sizes.

    I love Domino Dollhouse because they give the measurements for each outfit not just a generic size measurement for everything. I wish more online retailers would do that.

    1. ASOS for me has always been really spot on for me. I study their runway video's like mad before making the purchase though.
      Domino Dollhouse's smallest size is a little too big for me - not noticeably so though as I have their galaxy print dress and wear that all the time to lots of complements.

  2. Was there anyone there last night at the event, taping or recording the presentation? For those of us who were not there, it would be lovely to have the chance to watch what discussed in detail. I would love to actually listen to what each of your had to say?

    1. Emilia, I don't think there was, sorry. I know it would've been great - I kinda would like to see myself and see just how silly I sounded.

  3. I love that dress on you! I wish we could shop by measurements too, I'm not plus, but am one size in the boobs and another in the bum, and it is annoying. I spend my life buying the bigger size that fits in the boobs and then getting the dress altered to fit everywhere else, which doesn't always work out as well as you'd hope. Online shopping is impossible too! ASOS sizing is really inconsistent in my experience, I once bought the same dress in two different colours but the same size, and one of them fitted and the other one was about 2 or 3 sizes larger all over.

    1. Thanks Skye, I do love this dress. I have the opposite problem to you - small bust and big bottom - and it's just as much of a pain - especially as plus size clothes are generally cut with the bigger bust in mind. That being said my smaller bust does allow me to shop at straight sized stores so I'm thankful for that at least but unless something is a-line it aint getting past my thighs.

  4. This looks like a great forum to be a part of! As a short arsed person, I started making my own clothing in my twenties because everything didn't fit... and thanks to the internetz I've been able to blog about sewing and meet heaps of people who are fed up with mainstream fashion that doesn't fit. Interesting about guys being able to shop for their measurements, I'd never even thought about that...

    1. That's a great idea. As a teenager I made a lot of clothes but have stopped in recent years due to a lack of free time. Would love to get back into it at some point.

  5. Love the dress Hayley - looks absolutely gorgeous on you! xx

  6. I've been dying to see somebody actually wearing this frock. It's absolutely fantastic on you!

    1. Thanks, remember if you do buy it to go up at least one size - perhaps two if you have a big bust. Good luck x

  7. The point about the different way mens and womens clothes are sized is particularly interesting for me. I have quite few pieces of menswear and find that I can consistently buy the same size and know it will fit. Conversely the womenswear in my wardrobe ranges from an 8 to a 14. This is an important issue, and we should keep talking/working on solutions. Desperately wish the the forum had been recorded, but thanks for your informative post!


  8. Hayley, love the dress and your style in general. How do you find the Sonsee tights? Have been looking for a quality brand of plus pantyhose for ages! x

  9. Hayley, love the dress and your style! What do you think of the Sonsee tights? Have been looking for a quality range of plus size tights for ages, with little success! x

  10. I love how you completely stand out on that panel, yeah to individuality and style regardless of size!

    Sleekit x

  11. You're an amazing inspiration Hayley. Keep shining!
    BTW, love the ASOS dress on you. Gorgeous!!
    Love Suzi x
    For the Love of Audrey

  12. Hi Hayley,
    Thanks for sharing. I found your article very informative from a bricks and mortar retail perspective as I work in a family retail business and it's good to hear the consumers needs and wants.
    You looked stunning btw! I think I need that dress ASAP! Oh, and it's been a really long time since I've commented but the Karen Walker sunnies I won from you many moons ago are still going strong

  13. Haley, you are such an inspiration. That dress looks absolutely stunning on you and and jelly heels? Oh, us Melbourne girls are doing it right! :) I love reading your posts.

    - Blue Iris

  14. I found your blog quite by accident and am thrilled!
    Wonderfully colorful and cheerful but very tasty.
    I will visit you more often from now :)

    Have a wonderful week
    Dana, Germany

  15. Those pink glasses look so pretty on you.

  16. You look so pretty in those glasses.

  17. That sounds like an interesting and very worthwhile discussion - I would have loved to have been there! Glad to see Sue Thomas on the panel with you, I took a few units with her at RMIT and found her opinions to be well informed and thought provoking.


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