Petite Plus now at Taking Shape

Hallelujah! Women across the country are rejoicing at the news that Taking Shape has just launched a range designed exclusively for ladies 5’2″ (158cm) and under in sizes 12-24 called Petite Plus.

The Petite Plus Collection is available online and in selected stores across the country and in Wellington NZ store.

Petite Plus Best Friend Jegging Petite Plus Its a Rapt Top

Petite Plus Cora Line Up TopPetite Plus Luna Lace Dress

The collection features garments perfectly proportioned with narrowed shoulders, shorter hemlines and in-seams and reduced lengths.  The fashionable range includes tops, dresses and bottoms. They are the same high quality fashion styles you love from Taking Shape with design alterations to suit shorter, curvy women.

For an added bonus, the range is currently 30% OFF until 22nd August!

Click the banner below to start shopping.

170821-petite-hpbox-dLove your shape!

Janine x 

Curvy Girl follows her dream…

Two weeks ago in a café in inner Melbourne, I had the pleasure of meeting two amazing women, Kelsey and her mum Sue.  The purpose of their visit to the “big smoke” was to source amazing garments for their customers and to tap into some Industry knowledge.  Over a cup of coffee we sat chatting about their business plan.

Kelsey is a 20 year old who knows what she wants and is willing to work hard for it.  It was such a pleasure to see her excitement and passion.  Kelsey has graduated from High School and has been running the local Royal Hotel Euston Pub Kitchen.  Her dream to run her own boutique has been brewing for quite some time.  She knows the pain of trying to find  great fitting garments to flatter her curves, and especially being in a rural setting, this becomes an even more difficult undertaking.  She loves her job running the kitchen, but there was more.. she talked about it for months, dared to dream and then decided to act.  Sue, Kelsey’s mum is a vibrant woman with curves who is clearly as passionate as Kelsey about her daughter’s dream. So much so that she’s thrown herself into the project with gusto.  Equally, Kelsey’s sister Juscinda was behind the dream too.  What happens when you have a dream, and you have all the love and support you could imagine – dreams come true, and the hard work begins!

So over coffee, In my usual style, I was more than happy to flood them with information on all things curvy fashion and curvy business and Kelsey soaked up the advice and added it to her bag of magic.

Flash forward a week and a half, and the KJSista’s doors opened for the first time late last week.

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How gorgeous are these two sisters?! The name KJSista came from K=Kelsey (owner) and J=Juscinda her sister.  Clever!  Decked out on opening day in gorgeous 17 Sundays, the two girls were inundated with locals who couldn’t wait to check out what was on offer and the flow of customers hasn’t stopped since.

It’s so amazing to see girls so young KNOW what they want, and go out and get it.  At 20 I was travelling the world, and I was learning to love my shape. It took me a lot longer than 20 to do that and realise there was a way to work and love what I do.

Congratulations Kelsey, and congratulations to your mum Sue and sister Juscinda for backing you and your dream.

IMG_0242 Sonsee Woman seamless bra and anti-chaffing shorts available at KJSista

KJSista stocks a range of labels available in sizes 8-26 including:

  • 17 Sundays – Boutique Plus-size Designer Fashion Label – Sizes 14-26
  • Hope & Harvest – Engineered for Curves Plus-Size Designer Fashion Label – Sizes 12-28
  • Love Your Wardrobe – On-Trend plus-size fashion – Sizes 14-24
  • Sonsee Woman – Ultra Stretch Hosiery & Seamless Intimates Range for the Curvy Figure – Sizes 14-28
  • Teaberry – sizes 8-16

You can find KJSista at 9 Perrin Street, Robinvale Vic 3549.

Opening Hours:

Tues-Fri:  9:00am-5:00pm

Sat:          9:00am-12:00pm

Also stocking a fantastic selection of accessories including beautiful jewellery and handbags.

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Click on the image above to follow KJSISTA on Instagram.

Shop local and support Australian designers.

Please tell Kelsey I sent you.

Love your shape!

Janine x

 

Costumes – for curvy girls just in time for Halloween…

I often get asked “Where can I find costumes for my plus-size figure”? This week my in-box is overflowing with requests on where to find plus-size Halloween Costumes…

If you’ve left things too late and you don’t have time to scout around the local op shops or order from e-bay, I highly recommend Costume Box. They have a selection of over 150 styles to choose from, everything from female Ghostbuster, to witches, to Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz!

The styles come in a “true-to-size” range up to Australian size 24 and in most cases it’s next day delivery! How easy is that.


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Happy Halloween and happy costume shopping!

Love your shape!

Janine x

 

How many more can we afford to lose?

This week marks the closing of two important brands who have serviced the plus-size industry here in Australia (and overseas)… really?

Yes, really 🙁

Can we afford to lose such businesses?

Bennetts Boots have been around for years, an Australian company offering wide-calf boots in 3 different calf sizes. The first time I tried on a pair of Bennetts Boots I was in love. They fit! bennettsbootsNot only did they fit but the quality was second to none and everything had been thought of – anti-smell, quality leather, extra cushioning and beautifully presented in a box with instructions on how to care for your boots. I have 3 pairs in my wardrobe, and 5 years on they are still in excellent condition! Now that’s quality (and the argument I always use when convincing someone to invest $300+ in boots!)

Not only plus-size women have wide-calves, in fact a friend of mine is a runner and she too (even at a size 10) requires wide-calf boots, I know she’ll be saddened by this news too.

Plus HQ run by the gorgeous Amanda, face of the brand, started just over 2 years ago with a fabulous website dedicated to gorgeous, stylish and stunning garments for ladies size 16-26. Amanda’s website became so popular, that she expanded to a bricks & mortar store which opened in Eltham, Vic just over a year ago. PlusHQI was a huge fan of her store, in the quaint “village” of Eltham you were always welcomed with Amanda’s huge smile and welcoming spirit, she was a whizz at styling and nothing was too much trouble, but her customer service was also second to none – she just got it, you know! She had a keen eye for picking gorgeous styles to feature in her store, as well as the most amazing bags and accessories this side of Texas! I’ve never heard a bad word about her brand, only rave reviews.

Plus HQ hosted two incredible VIP nights where I was amazed at the turn-out, so many supporters, and all there to shop too! I shared a lovely dinner with her a few weeks ago where together we discussed the pros and cons of running such a business, and the difficult decision that had to be made to close the doors.

Both Amandas’ are extremely passionate women who saw a niche and went for it and they both made an important mark on our Industry. The challenges of business in the current economic climate, coupled with the explosion of internet shopping and keeping a solid cash flow have proven too big a hurdle. I know that these ladies did not come to this decision lightly. It’s just so sad that as a Curvy girl I can no longer look forward to their offerings.

As always, I want to encourage you all to SUPPORT AUSTRALIAN BUSINESS. It’s so important to recognise that businesses can only survive if we are actually buying, not just talking about how great they are. Both businesses have blitzed their final day’s sales, it’s sad that we are prepared to buy only when things are “on sale”.

(Incidentally, both brands have HUGE sales on right now, so visit their websites by clicking on the links/images above to grab a last minute bargain – and hang on for as long as you can!)

Just the other day, my hubby Pete and I were discussing issues with retail these days. He actually put the problem into a nutshell, he said “People just do not value quality anymore”. In fact we realised that the focus has shifted from quality completely. Such a shame.

It’s easy to buy cheap anything these days. I’m guilty of it too, don’t get me wrong. I can buy a kazillion pairs of “ankle” boots from the “cheapo” stores, but I can’t buy a kazillion pairs of quality wide calf boots from these stores. I need to invest in, and look after my quality boots. Equally, investing in key pieces (such as those always on offer at Plus HQ), equates to a quality wardrobe, not just a kazillion pieces of cheap nasty Chinese rip offs.

It’s time to re-think our buying patterns. I personally don’t feel we can afford to lose any more Australian brands – do you?

Amanda & Amanda, congratulations on your achievements and THANK YOU for providing me with quality & choice. Good luck with your future endeavours.

(SOB).

Love your shape!

Janine x

Want to know where to shop? I’ve got it sorted… The Curvy Girl’s Guide to Shopping

 

An invaluable resource for plus-size women of Australia

Over the past five years I’ve invested my energy and passion into providing styling advice, education & empowerment tools, a safe social media environment for discussion and I’ve been a loud voice for plus-size women.

I receive hundreds of emails and social media messages per month requesting assistance with sourcing garments or styling advice from women curvy women Australia wide. You are constantly wondering where to shop for clothes and how to put it all together. I’ve spent wonderful hours working with you one-on-one and in groups, but I thought it was timely to put together a resource that you could have at your fingertips, a one-stop guide to shopping!

Welcome to the Curvy Girls Shopping Guide to Melbourne, Australia. This guide is exclusively designed to provide you with resources for curvy girls in our gorgeous city.  This Guide contains information that has been compiled from my own research and personal experiences. It will be updated on an annual basis to ensure its relevance as stores and labels appear, evolve and change. Everything you need in one place!

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“Hey Janine got my copy and even though I’m in Brisbane like you said GREAT resources that are Australia wide!  Being American it has been difficult navigating beyond the ‘usual suspects’ for a more boutique shopping experience.  LOVE IT!  (Encourage any AU based people to get it!) I’ve read cover to cover & browsed every shop already! (Online that is)” ~  Kenyeal

The guide features detailed listings with all relevant contact details and clickable links directly to retailers and service providers. Fully printable or viewable in PDF.

Topics include:

  • Curvy styling options
  • An overview of plus-size fashion in Australia
  • Sizing Guide
  • Australian plus-size designers
  • Factory Outlets
  • Department Stores
  • Second hand markets and online resources
  • Bridal
  • Corporate Wear
  • Activewear, Lingerie & Sleepwear
  • Maternity
  • Specialty Boutiques specialising in Size 14+
  • Big Brands
  • and so much more…

Donation

Remember, if you need styling assistance or have a special event coming up, I offer lots of options for shopping & styling.

Love your shape!

Janine x

 

Plus HQ expands to a Bricks & Mortar Store in Melbourne…

In April 2012 I had the pleasure of meeting Amanda, a vivacious and passionate woman with a dream to make a difference in plus-size fashion.

I assisted Amanda source plus-size brands for her online store and consulted to her business on all things plus-size.  Amanda came to me with a dream, and in a little over a year the impact she has made is incredible!

Plus HQ the website has been up and running since May 2012, it quickly gathered momentum and fostered a loyal following. Feedback was always positive on the great customer service and quality of the products received. Amanda was frequently asked about opening her own store, and it became clear that there was a big need for another bricks & mortar store catering to sizes 14+.

Now I know personally with my styling & shopping services how frustrating it is to gallivant across the city from suburb to suburb to cover all bases when it comes to building a wardrobe, sometimes the majority of the day is taken up in the car getting from place to place, This is especially true when I’m dealing with customers in the north-eastern suburbs of Melbourne, but now no longer!

On April 24th I was thrilled to be invited to the VIP Opening of the Plus HQ bricks & mortar store in Eltham.  The evening was wet and rainy as I set my GPS to Eltham (a mere 1 hour drive!). From south-east to north-east I navigated my way through peak hour traffic to arrive for the 7pm start. When I arrived the car park was jam packed. When I finally secured a park, I opened my umbrella and bolted across the car park to the store with the lights on – low and behold I discovered at least 60 women milling around excitedly!  WOW what an incredible turn-out. It was clear from the onset that the location of this store was very welcome indeed.

The store is beautifully fitted out with grey/metallic fittings, the bursts of colour come from the incredible accessories (hosiery, scarves, costume jewellery galore and to-die-for handbags & clutches), and racks and racks of fashion clothing ALL in sizes 14+ – a treasure trove for the curvy girl. I was in heaven!

I was welcomed with a glass of bubbly and a tray of sushi was soon coming my way. I squeezed my way in through the crowds and was happy to see lots of familiar faces.

The room was abuzz and Amanda (who looked stunning as always) was radiating “dream come true”!

The inspirational and beautiful Julie Parker from Beautiful You was MC for the night and after a welcome speech from Amanda, Julie took over the microphone for an incredibly empowering speech on Positive Body Image. The room was still as we all listened and identified with Julie’s message.  At the end, the silence was broken as a thunderous round of applause filled the air. Congratulations to Amanda for ensuring such a strong message went hand in hand with her dream of bringing curvy fashion to the Melbourne masses.

“I’m everything that I want, I’m everything that I need, I am enough”,

Julie Parker, Beautiful You.

Then it was on to the fashion parade, four beautiful ladies, not models, just curvy girls of different ages and sizes paraded up and down the packed store wearing labels represented in the store including 17 Sundays and Harlow Fashion.  It was wonderful to see the garments on real bodies, not just hanging on a rack, really identifiable and certainly got everyone talking and oohing and aahing.  It was also fantastic to see that the two Australian Plus-size designer labels, 17 Sundays and Harlow Fashion were present to mingle with the crowds. The level of support is telling as to how passionate these girls are about their product and their designs. I was especially excited to see the girls from 17 Sundays wearing a selection of current stock and a few “sneak peeks” of what’s to come!! Nice one girls!

With the fashion show over, the guests were really keen to get at the racks and have a good look and try. The store was hectic, I took the opportunity to mingle outside the store with a lot of guests. The cash register was ringing away and lots of happy customers were happily showing other guests their stash of beautiful garments.

I love the selection of garments Amanda has on offer, the styles, colours and selection are impeccable, great labels with an accent on supporting Australian plus-size fashion designer labels, and the most amazing selection of gorgeous accessories.

I encourage you all to make the trip to Plus HQ at 9 Dudley Street, Eltham Vic at your earliest opportunity.

Amanda’s online store is also available 24/7 here and it’s $10 flat rate postage Australia wide.

NEWSFLASH: Hope&Harvest are now available in-store at Plus HQ… get on it!

Please tell Amanda I sent you.

Love your shape!

Janine x