The Australian Plus-size Survey Data is in…

Thank you to everyone who took the time to complete my recent Australian Plus Size Survey 2016, I very much appreciate the effort, I know it took many of you over 30 mins to complete the survey, but I want you to know how very important this data is.

I consult and work with many businesses within our Industry, just in the last week alone I’ve met with key people in business from Kmart Australia to small start-ups to mid-size retailers consulting on all things plus-size.  With over eight years solid professional experience in this Industry, and being a customer myself personally, I have a lot to offer – but nothing adds value more than your voice. YOU are the customer these businesses are wanting to appeal to, to please, to engage.

According to recent ABS data, the average Australian woman weighs 71.1kg and is a size 14-16.

I ran the first Australian Plus-size Survey in 2010 – but this year some of the questions were changed slightly (I have refined the questions over the years), but essentially the surveys were the same.  I also conducted surveys in 2012 and 2015.  Below I have quoted data from 2010 and 2016 surveys.

So what does the survey data show?

Of the women surveyed in 2016,  84.4% were size 18-26, 15.5% were size 14-16 and 1.65% were size 28-32.  The data was almost to the dot exactly the same in the 2010 survey.


Bra cup size shows that 60.22% of women surveyed in 2016 have an A-D cup size, with 44.62 percent being a D cup.  E cup is the next biggest percentage coming in at 23.12 and the largest cup size being polled was a K cup.

The questions relating to dress size show clearly that there is a difference between top size and bottom size and that this makes shopping difficult for those with a body size that differs from top to bottom.  Whilst I don’t like referring to our bodies with fruit names, these are quite identifiable terms to get an indication of body shapes.  “Apple”(24.35%), “Hour glass”(33.04%) and “Pear” (29.57%) shape all came in significantly the highest of the seven options given with 3.48% identifying as “other”.










I always feel sad when I hear how women of all shapes and sizes feel about their bodies. Body confidence doesn’t discriminate and is a problem for every sized woman.  The data clearly shows Face (54.87%) & Breasts (25.66%) and legs still up there at 16.81% as the most favourite part of the polled women’s bodies.  This data did differ from the 2010 data where Face came in at 55.77%, Breasts at 43.27% and legs only 3.85%.  In the least favourite part of your body question, Tummy was the clear winner with 65.09% of women hating on their tummies – slightly up from 58.20% in 2010.

In Question 12 I asked about preferred terminology when it comes to describing our size.  Interestingly 40.32% (down from 56.73% in 2010) of women preferred the term “Curvy” versus only 15.57% of women preferring “Plus-size”.  Other terms that rate on the “prefer” scale were “Full-figured” at 12.30% and “Voluptuous” at 14.17%.  Only 3.28% preferred the term “Fat” whereas 19.67% deemed the term “Fat” as Unacceptable and 49.18% deemed “Fat” as insulting.

how-would-you-rate-your-body-image Question 14 – How would you rate your body image? returned results of only 12.73% of women feeling “100% confident in myself and how I present” – well down from the 22.34% of women who responded in 2010.  17.48% of women responded that they have “no confidence in myself” well up from the 2010 result of 10.59%.

For over 63.64% (up from 54.95% in 2010) of us it is an “Up and Down – struggle with my confidence on a regular basis”.

Question 16 indicates 56.10% of women polled “have discovered their own personal style”  and only 12.9% have ever had a styling session to learn more about what looks good on them – (you know I can help – book a session with me now!).  The question asking “Do you follow current fashion trends?” returned a 45.97% response that indeed just under half like to follow trends, whilst the others are not feeling pressured to.

“What women’s magazines do you read/buy/subscribe to?” revealed that 68.14% (a massive rise from 41.18% in 2010) of those surveyed do not purchase women’s magazines.  The Woman’s Weekly was the highest ranking magazine purchased with 11.50% and Frankie Magazine with the next highest percentage of 5.31%.  No surprises there – as most magazines seldom feature topics or images that engage a curvy customer.

Social media is the most preferred way to discover products and services catered to curvy women with 80.99% of respondents preferring this method with customer reviews (eg. Yelp, Amazon or brand website’s) being helpful in making purchases.

what-is-your-preferred-method-of-shopping-for-clothesTake note retailers – a whopping 80.00% of respondents prefer to shop in-store for clothing, with Australian online retailers coming in at over 50% versus overseas online retailers.   Only 2.59% of women shop in-store with someone who is also plus-size (take note again retailers), 25.86% shop alone and 31.03% only sometimes shop with someone.

If there was a store that was completely dedicated to plus-size Australian designer fashion with clothing, accessories and services available exclusively in size 14+ 44.83% of respondents say they are 100% likely to shop there, with 35.34% Highly Likely and only 6% Unlikely! Obviously it was no surprise then to see that 95.69% of respondents find it frustrating to visit a large shopping mall (or DF) where there are usually only 2-3 choices of stores stocking 16+.


Autograph beat City Chic as the top destination store to visit for in-store shopping, followed closely behind by Target – an interesting response given the lack of curvy options in-store at present – take note Target!!  Best & Less, Big W and Kmart  followed closely behind with the largest percentage.

Change-rooms are important too with 76.32% saying that the size is important to their shopping experience, as is curtains that close properly and mirrors that accurately reflect your image, good lighting and customer service – although interestingly customer service came in well under the other items as only 18.97% of importance.

when-shopping-in-store-do-you-try-on-clothing-before-you-purchase38.79% of respondents try on clothing prior to purchase with only 6.03% never trying clothing on in-store and 39.66% at least 75% percent of the time trying on prior to purchase. Of the 6.03% who never try on clothing the reasons given include 22.73% feeling uncomfortable trying on clothing in-store, 18.18% not wanting to be bothered by the customer service assistant and 36.36% stating they already know their size and thus do not need to try garments on.

Having said that, it’s interesting to note that with the question “Do you have clothes in your wardrobe that you don’t wear? What is the reason?” 100% said yes and the reason’s stated for this varied between too big, too small, doesn’t suit, I’m hoping to lose weight or I’m saving it until it comes back into fashion.

how-would-you-prefer-garments-to-be-presentedIn 2010 the results were almost the same as 2016 – more than 70% of the respondents believe the price of plus-size garments are overpriced or expensive.

Question 32 asks “What do you think about the choice of plus-size garments on offer in Australia?” 54.31% responded “Average”, 0.86% (even worse in 2010 with 0.95%)answered “I can always find what I’m after” and 23.28% (down from 2010 with 31.43%) answered “Poor – it’s a struggle to find garments for my body shape”.

When answering “When shopping in-store, if the retail assistant is not plus-size, does this affect your shopping experience?” 42.86% answered yes! and 57.14% answered no.

94.69% of you want to see garments presented in a catalogue or online on a real person rather than 9.73% on a mannequin or flat-layed (0.88%) with many respondents excited about the possibility of video footage – 3D to view garments on a real body.

When presenting this data, quotes and comments from my social media threads or survey answers (reported anonymously) I am always fascinated to see the reaction of the person I pitch it to. Without fail this data adds significant value to my own experienced voice, and the message never fails to hit the target – making a shift – albeit often in small baby steps – to a bigger, better and more deserving offering for curvy customers.

Thanks again for your valuable input and voice.

Love your shape!

Janine x

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Australia – Plus-size Customer Survey 2016

It’s that time again – I’d really appreciate your voice by completing this important survey which I run annually to compile data and stats which helps me add value to the plus-size offerings here in Australia. The survey is 55 questions long, and you will likely need a cuppa and at least 20 minutes to complete it, but PLEASE do take the time to have your say. PLEASE also share far and wide, the more responses the more significant the data.

Create your own user feedback survey


Love your shape!

Janine x

Buxom Envy – Personalised Bra Fittings

Many moons ago I hosted a nationwide event for curvy women where we hosted VIP in-store events in every major city across the country, simultaneously. It was awesome. Sue Bowman who then managed a family business called Cheeky Curves in Adelaide hosted my event with a gorgeous Curvy Ambassador of mine, Natasha.  The event was a huge success. Unfortunately the family shut the doors to Cheeky Curves about 2 years ago and Adelaide curvy ladies lost an important resource with regards to accurate bra fittings.

Flash Forward to June 2016 and Sue has opened what can only be described as THE most incredible luxe personalised bra-fitting service I’ve ever seen – Buxom Envy.


I was working in Adelaide recently and decided to book an appointment with Sue and invite along a couple of friends Kelly and Lisa, a local, who I know will benefit from this service too.

From the moment we opened the door to be greeted by the ever smiling Sue, we felt like a million dollars – that was before we’d been fitted!  The service is located in a leafy suburb of Adelaide at 45E Sussex Terrace, Hawthorn SA, there is ample parking and the signage is beautiful.

As you open the door you step into a light filled room with luxe furnishings including the most amazing ceiling to floor length black & gold curtains surrounding the most ROOMY change-room ever!  With comfortable padded seats, a beautiful display of bras & knickers and lovely attention to details  like a beautiful window that appears that you can see the outside world and makes you feel like the outside world is looking in – but it isn’t!  It is one-way tinted so that you have beautiful natural light without flashing your curvy bits to the world!!

Open Door at Buxom Envy

Change Room 1 Change Room 3

Our session (a group booking) included coffee, tea and bubbles, macaroons and a personal consultation and expert fitting service. (To make a group booking with 3-4 maximum, email Sue at

Lisa Lisa with a cuppa Kelly





Lisa volunteered to go first and as she disappeared behind the lush curtains, Kelly and I relaxed in the plush chairs and chatted. It wasn’t long before Lisa glided gracefully out of the change-room with her first option of bra on – amazing! We dissolved into giggles as we discussed the “incredible impact that bra has on the girls” LOL. Sue has so many options to choose from, but what I loved is that you are not bamboozled by bras everywhere, you literally are provided with a selection of bras to try that are expertly selected by Sue. I was astounded at how accurate she was in selecting the correct options each time for all of us.

Kelly was next, always bubbly with a wicked sense of humour she had us in stitches, but equally, she was seriously astounded at the difference the bras Sue selected for her were accurate and flattering.

KellyFunnyYES – she does realise it’s upside down! Kelly was thrilled when the sports bra she chose came in her favourite colour 🙂

Then it was my turn. I’ve been professionally fitted for bras consistently during my lifetime, and when at home in Melbourne I favour Brava Lingerie as my go-to store.  The service and expertise there is second to none and they always have what I’m after. However, there is just something over and above in having your own personalised time to relax, enjoy and really talk to an expert about your options. The opportunity to share it with some good friends and make an occasion out of it is too good to pass up.

Sue & Janine

Sue specialises in sizes 8-34 (30-56) F-K cups and 18-34 (42-56) B-E cups and stocks the following brands, Elomi, Goddess, Freya, Tutti Rouge, Today’s Woman, Panache, Sculptresse, Elila, Hotmilk, Oh La La Cherie, Sonsee Woman seamless intimates & hosiery,and many more.

Sue, congratulations on your new store and fitting service Buxom Envy, the Adelaide ladies are so lucky to have you! I highly recommend you book yourself in to experience this service for yourself.

Don’t you think “my girls” look amazing in this post-fitting/wearing my new bra photo?!

Please tell Sue I sent you.

Love your shape!

Janine x