The Anti-chaffing Solution has arrived!

Back in February I wrote about tips on how to prevent the dreaded chaffing. In my work with curvy women the question of how to prevent chafing comes up every spring/summer.  I’ve seen women in tears unable to walk for days due to the chaffing issue, it’s embarrassing, uncomfortable and downright not fair! Many women forego wearing skirts or dresses in Summer out of fear of this condition.

Suffer no more, the solution is at hand, and it’s the mother of all solutions! 

Back in February when I researched this issue, there were three solutions available on the market, Leggings/Bike Shorts, Powders & Creams or Bandelettes. Out of all these options, the Bandelettes were the most feasible as they didn’t compound the issue by adding extra bulk or heat to the area or in the case of powders & creams create other issues- and the bonus is they look gorgeous! I still highly recommend these as a great option.


Sonsee Woman have utilised their incredible seamless technology to create THE perfect anti-chaffing short.  As you can see from the illustration above, they have thought of everything! I’ve been lucky enough to road test the shorts and they are simply luxury on my skin. These should NOT be confused with bike shorts or leggings – unlike bike shorts or leggings these purpose designed anti-chaffing shorts are lightweight and BREATHABLE that fit your curves like a glove without that feeling of restriction. They DO NOT add heat/warmth and are moisture wicking which keeps you cool and dry.


It’s hard to tell from the campaign pic above the texture of the fabric, this smaller image on the left shows in more detail. I cannot stress enough how beautifully comfortable these are. They come in two lengths which gives you flexibility to wear shorter or longer leg length depending on your outfit or personal need.

These shorts are a game-changer, no longer do you need to sweat it out wearing an uncomfortable layer of lycra or sub-standard sweaty fabric to prevent chaffing, or worse still avoid wearing beautiful summer dresses and skirts because of the fear of chaffing.

Shorts available in size 14-28 and come in Black or Nude.


Embrace Summer and all that it brings.

Love your shape!

Janine x


We still have a long way to go…

This week I was thrilled to see the new advertising campaign by Target Australia “Yay for Higher Quality at Lower Prices” which is aimed at “Every Body”. BRAVO, it’s great to see a body that I can easily identify with. For those of you who took the time to comment and give feedback after my blog post back in April about Target Australia’s disappointing offerings to the curvy customer, you’ll be thrilled to know that they ARE listening and I have been consulting with them over the past few months to add value to their already passionate team of people who are working hard on developing a much more deserving range of garments for us, the curvy customer! The marketing has embraced the “every body” approach, and in the near future you will see things evolving with their plus-size range.  This of course takes time, so please be patient. Stay tuned for more on that later…

But then, after the backlash about the “anorexic-looking” model used in the new Dion Lee Designer range launched in Target stores back in July, there was a serious need to take stock and re-focus. So BRAVO, let’s keep it realistic & identifiable.

But when it comes to shameful advertising, in this case fat shaming, my blood boils. I’ve raved on for years about the myriad of reasons that people are overweight, and we all know that it doesn’t just come down to eating unhealthily or not exercising. If that were true, then half the gyms across our fine country would be half empty with everyone at or over a “healthy” BMI not attending (and you’d be surprised how many people fit into that category that aren’t obese) – just saying! (yep, please don’t get me started on what I think about the BMI). A quick google search for fat shaming advertising brings up copious amounts of examples, here’s just two that illustrate my point:

a98569_fat-shaming_5-ashley-madson Because having an obese wife (or husband) means you are justified to be looking to have an affair? NOT!

Or how about this one? 68kgs – the insinuation being she is heavy????????? Really?

So there I was watching TV with my family last night and there right in front of us all is the most incredibly insulting ad I’ve seen for a very long time. I have to admit I’m not a fan of sanitary product advertising, like seriously, you MUST buy it anyway, so what’s the point in advertising it so heavily, AND it only applies to women, and ONLY to women roughly between the ages of 12-55 – so that’s a small percentage of tv viewers. As a mum of two young boys, it was so incredibly annoying to have to explain why a grown man was doing crazy judo chops whilst making weird noises with sanitary pads attached to his arms… sigh.  I digress, so here’s the ad I’m talking about…

Yep, you saw it right. What a disgrace.

“Ugh. That feeling of general grossness when your pad isn’t quite doing it’s job. Say goodbye to blergh with SOFY® BeFresh™”. Not surprisingly, comments have been disabled for the video on YouTube. No need to explain why.

Now if a company fairly, realistically and identifiably represents a product that is suitable for me, I would not hesitate to purchase, and at least try it. But if a company goes out of its way to degrade, make fun of, or even simply alienate me – their target customer – in their marketing campaigns – it’s simple. I WILL NOT PURCHASE…and I WILL call them out on it.

That’s how I feel at aged 44, can only imagine how the teenage girls are feeling about the message that’s being sent here. SHAME!

Effective immediately I WILL NOT EVER purchase product from this company – UNICHARM. I am completely offended at the insinuation that the alter-ego portrayed on the ad is a woman who is menstruating and is significantly larger than her true self – is a lesser version of herself because she is large(r). Let’s face it, having your period is not exactly something we have a choice in, nor as women enjoy anytime, regardless of size, race, height, age. It’s a simple fact. Women menstruate and women suffer from symptoms of menstruating. It’s a biological fact. Deal with it and lets keep the advertising to features & benefits versus fat/thin/whatever shaming. It’s time to move on.

Love your shape!

Janine x

Australia Plus-Size Survey 2015

In 2011 I conducted a survey of my readership to gain insight and understanding of how you the customer thinks, feels and shops. The data collected from my surveys has been invaluable in helping me push boundaries and work with the Industry to offer you what you want and deserve! It’s time to poll again, so here it is the 2015 survey. It’s 90 questions long, I know that’s a lot, but it’s so important to cover all the bases and really drill down and gain a deeper understanding of you, the curvy customer.  Make a cuppa or pour a glass of wine and settle in, your opinions are so valuable and appreciated and it’s a way for you to give voice to what you deserve.  Thank you!


Love your shape!

Janine x

Oh Target Australia – I got your message loud and clear!

WARNING – Rant ahead….

(UPDATE: Post is here)

I’m just back from a visit to my local Target Australia​ store at Southland.

I’m heading up to Brisbane after Easter to work on a styling project (more details soon – I promise!), and so I wanted to do a little scouting of what’s available in plus-size at Westfield at the moment. I’m not usually a Westfield shopper, but for the purpose of this project, Westfield is our preferred location, so I hit up every store that boasts a plus-size range in my afternoon of research.

As I entered the Target store at the main entrance I was wooed by a display of garments that appealed to my “gypsy/boho” side. Ooooh, love. As I investigated further, earmarking at least 6 garments I wanted NOW, I scouted the racks for sizes. This label is called “Lily Loves” which is touted on the Target website as “youthful free spirited fashion designed to reflect your individuality and style at amazing value”. Mmmm, ok, so it’s a range aimed at teens, early adults – ok, but surely they also come in sizes larger than a 4-12?? Looking at the Target website I’ve deduced that this label goes up to a size 16, but I couldn’t find one.

Ok time to move on.

LilyLoves1LilyLoves2Feeling dejected, but not one to be put off easily, I headed through the next section, again drawn by some gorgeous styles and fabrics, this section is “Life&Style – effortlessly stylish casualwear designed in Australia”… nice. This was more like it, I found more than 5 garments I fell in love with, and the sizes on offer were 6-20 on the racks that I scouted. A quick check of the website tells me that they are selling this label in sizes 6-26 – but WHERE ARE THE size 20+ garments in-store???? No where to be seen. I tried on two styles in a size 20 – yep you guessed it, not a plus-size 20, a mainstream 20 that was not going to fit – ever.


S**T Seriously?

Further I went, deeper, and deeper into the store. Oh there it was, the “plus-size” section. How novel to find it at the back of the women’s section.

I seriously wish I’d bought a tissue with me, I almost had tears streaming down my face.

Now remember – I wasn’t actually there with the purpose to buy, BUT I was there with the purpose to BRING IN CUSTOMERS to show them how to make the most of who they are today, and work with garments to help style their curvy figures.

If this experience bought me to tears (and I’m a convert of our fabulous Australian designers, so I know that what I want isn’t available at Target) – how would my customer feel?  BUT if one or two of those tops above had worked for me, I probably would have purchased. AND I would have made sure that Target is on my list of stores to visit with my styling customers.

Instead, this is what I was confronted with:



























I’m not shy of  saying it how I see it, but I usually refrain from flat out negative comments. I try to be constructive.

Today however, I don’t even have a thread of anything to be constructive with after this experience.

Target, you should be ashamed.

Australian women deserve better than this.

The message I got loud and clear today is that you are happy to provide on-trend, affordable fashion for anyone that is a size 4-20 (mainstream)..

BUT preferably if they are in the 4-12 size range – there’s a plethora of options

AND if you fit into a 14-20 in mainstream, well, if you can find them on the rack – please buy them.

Anyone outside of that range. Sorry, you’re out of luck.

Target – Shame on you.

Australian curvy ladies – please support LOCAL AUSTRALIAN DESIGNERS – they UNDERSTAND what you want, AND they won’t treat you like you don’t deserve it.

I deserve better, We deserve better.

Love your shape!

Janine x

Good-bye Chafing…

No. 1 RULE: To prevent chafing, you have to prevent moisture/sweating

Here’s some tips for you on how to prevent the dreaded chafing:

Leggings/Bike Shorts

A lot of women swear by wearing leggings or bike shorts under their dresses or skirts during summer. I personally find this too hot, too many layers. But, it does work as the fabric provides a barrier between your thighs that does prevent chafing – if you can stand feeling overheated. It also adds another layer and can create unwanted lines. For some women, a positive of wearing leggings or bike shorts is that it  adds a level of shaping assistance – holding curves in place. With some clothing styles, for example a tunic, leggings looks great and give you the added advantage of protecting your thighs.

Powders & Creams

A great, simple solution is to use a cream or powder to prevent the chafing. 3B Cream is a must have, I usually apply my moisturiser and then if I know it’s going to be a scorcher I add some 3B cream to my inner thighs – prevention is better than the cure! In fact, I find that a lot of body creams or mositurisers can be used in the same way. There are also a range of powders, like this one from Curash that you apply in the same way. Both these creams and powders can be used under your breasts to prevent sweating and chafing (especially if you’re wearing an underwire bra – arhggh).


These babies are AWESOME. Think, sexy lingerie, think good-bye chafing!  I found these during a google search some years ago for a customer and have heard nothing but good things. Recently Julia at Bandelettes sent me a pair to try for myself and I couldn’t recommend them more highly. It feels so special to slide the lacy bandelette up your thigh, position it just where you need the protecting and off you go. All day I felt like I was wearing some gorgeous lingerie, instead of a chafing preventer! How luxe is that.



The Bandelettes come in Black, beige, red and chocolate, and come in 6 different sizes to from 21″ – 32″ sized thigh and are anti-slip, in fact they fit perfectly and feel so comfortable.

What works for you?

Love your shape!

Janine x

Realistic & identifiable marketing for plus-size brands…

Every Friday my inbox gets inundated with marketing from plus-size brands advertising their new stock or current sale. Every Friday, I have the same thought when I double click to open the email – why are the marketing gurus of these brands so determined to continue to market their wares incorrectly?

Over the past six years of working with curvy customers, I am constantly asked about why Industry models that are size 14 are considered plus-size? When from many plus-size customers’ perspective a size 14 is an average size and probably doesn’t even fall into a plus-size category. To be honest I find it completely frustrating too. In my Real Women Australia Plus Size Survey 2010, I polled 100 women and 100% of respondents answered YES to the question, “Would you like to see plus size models, larger than a size 12 in campaigns, advertisements and marketing of plus-size products?” and interestingly, many also went on to elaborate in the “comments” section about why this bothered them so much.

I’ve tried my hardest every time I get an opportunity to get in the ear of a plus-size brands’ management or marketing representative and my pitch has always been this…

Present each garment on two types of body shapes – giving the target customer an opportunity to identify with the garment and visualise how it might look on her own figure. More specifically, go ahead and continue to use your Industry “plus size” model, and add in another model – preferably around a size 20 plus, with perhaps say an apple figure and/or a variant such as shorter, small busted etc. Let’s face it, if your target market is women size 14-26, and your garments are designed to flatter curves, why market such a garment on a model with minimal curves?

I just don’t understand it. From my perspective it’s a basic principle of marketing to identify your target market and appeal to their needs to get their attention and more importantly ensure sale of your product! By continuing to market your product incorrectly, you are not only irritating your target market, but you are impeding your opportunity to prove to your market that you understand their needs. Again, a basic principal of marketing. It’s not rocket science.

There is much debate across the globe around the term “plus-size model”.  Laura Wells, a well-known Australian plus-size model who is an AU size 14, was quoted in this article about being referred to as a “plus size’ model in the modelling industry that “I am between 3-6 sizes larger than a normal, industry standard model.” “The term is there as a job title. But in reality, in the real world, I’m not a plus-sized person. That’s where the confusion comes about. It has a lot of negative connotations attached to that word. People don’t look at my body and think I’m plus sized. They think that I’m normal, because I am. I’m an average sized person.”

Robyn Lawley, arguably the most famous Australian “plus-size model” and designer in her own right, speaks openly here in an interview about her struggle to find work as an AU size 14-16, of how she was “embarrassingly sent home constantly” and grew to hate her figure before she learnt to embrace her shape regardless of the Industry standards. Her struggle relates to living up to the standards of the traditional Modelling Industry.

Indeed, two agencies, Bella Models and BGM Models have revolutionised the Industry by providing models over a standard size 10 to the Fashion Industry as a whole. Their models are beautiful and do an amazing job, and I fully support and admire the shift that they’ve been able to create in not only the Fashion Industry, but overall as to the acceptance of larger bodies being “normal” in print media and advertising.

Plus-size modelling however is quite different to plus-size womens’ bodies in general. The criteria for becoming a plus-size model is usually that you need to be between a size 10-18, aged between 16-35 and 172cms or above.

Curvy Revolution OIn 2009, I decided to test the waters and founded Curvy Revolution, an agency representing exclusively size 16+ women. Here’s a summary of what I promoted:

Our Philosophy

You can be the most beautiful woman in the world, but if you don’t have a positive body image and REAL body acceptance, that attitude projects through the lens… all our models are vetted for not only their unique physical beauty, but most importantly their attitude to their own bodies… thus they are beautiful both inside AND out.

Our Mission

  • To represent realistic, plus-size figured models that women can really identify with.
  • To promote positive body image, a healthy life-style and body acceptance in all women, regardless of size.
  • To break the mould of female model representation in Australia.

What is a Curvy Revolution Model?

  • She projects positive body image and has a REAL body acceptance.
  • She leads a healthy lifestyle.
  • She is beautiful both inside and out.
  • She is not robotic, but understands the importance of technical accuracy & training.
  • She is passionate about breaking the mould and pioneering a change in model representation.
  • She believes in REAL representation of plus-size clothing.
  • She believes she is deserving of making the MOST of who she is TODAY regardless of size.

What are the basic physical requirements of a Curvy Revolution Model?

  • Size 16+ figure
  • Fluid & confident body movement
  • Good posture
  • Clear Skin
  • Even, healthy teeth
  • Healthy, well cared for nails
  • Great smile
  • Open and clear eyes
  • Healthy and well-cut hair (no roots showing please)
  • Well groomed eyebrows

I was absolutely INUNDATED with applications, not just from Australia but from around the world. I didn’t have to work too hard to convince some brands to come on board and try us out. Now whilst I admit that my Curvy Revolution girls were not professional models, they were very passionate and dedicated to what we were trying to achieve, after all, they were the customer too, and believed just as much as did in what I was trying to achieve. They worked so hard, sometimes pro-bono just to get our work out there and prove a point. We proudly worked with brands such as Plus Maternity, Lisa’s Lacies, Fashion Exposed 2010, Plus Size with Style, Big in Black, Tekiero Boutique, Work, Rest & Play, Hope & Harvest, Mineo Bridal, Sequins & Sands, Capriosca Swimwear and Maggie T.


In 2009 I ran a fundraising event for the Girl’s Night In where over 75 women attended. The format was a catwalk event promoting local plus-size retailers. The models varied from a size 16 to a size 24, and Kate was a size 18-20 and 7 months pregnant! It was sensational, the vibe overwhelmingly positive. The Curvy Revolution ladies and I received a standing ovation and I was inundated with feedback:

  • Every-body was represented, I’ve never seen that before, I loved it!”
  • “The models were incredible, so professional”
  • “I was so inspired to see a size 24 body shimmy down a runway – it was awesome!”
  • “I loved being able to meet the models afterwards and shop with the retailers, I wanted to buy everything after seeing the clothes on a body I could identify with”


The momentum was building and the response was so encouraging. In 2010 I was rewarded with the news that I had been named one of the Top 100 Most Influential People in Melbourne by The Age M Magazine, I was so proud and so hopeful that this acknowledgement would help drive the expanding of boundaries and encourage a broader range of realistic and identifiable representation that would include bodies over the standard size 16.

I’ve stood behind and publically supported some great achievements such as TS14+ who are regularly featured at the annual Melbourne Fashion Festival with their own catwalk show, and City Chic who had an incredible reception with their Sidewalk catwalk show also at the Melbourne Fashion Festival where some of the Curvy Revolution models and some of my customers met me in Federation Square to support the show.


Alas, all the hard work and dedication from myself and my team of Curvy Revolution models, and committed Industry businesses who saw the vision, and supported us was just not enough. I could no longer maintain the work pace without a sustainable income and I had to close the doors in late 2011.

I have however never faltered in my quest to impress upon the Industry the importance of effective marketing and encouraging the use of realistic & identifiable bodies.

“This is not only my own opinion,  but my voice echoing the thoughts of the vast majority of my customer base” Janine Mison, Love your shape!

With the explosion of the Blog Culture, we can now easily google plus-size blogs and see copious amounts of posts of images of everyday women off the street sharing their outfits and clothing recommendations with other like-bodied women. It’s become a lot easier to source information and more importantly to view images instantly. Danimezza founded Aussie Curves, one of the original Facebook closed groups where like-bodied, like-minded women could share information, offer support and so much more. This has spawned a huge number of similar groups and all of these resources help to add value to us the customer, and assist us with deciding on our purchases and styling our outfits. It’s never been easier in fact.

Just last week US blogger and well known plus-size identity Jessica Kane posted this image showing an outfit on an Industry Model AND the same outfit on her own US size 26 figure entitled “But what would it look like on me?” – she gets it!

Jessica Kane

In fact, this is exactly what I’m talking about.

I started to look around and take a bit of an inventory of brands that do in fact use larger than a size 16 Industry model… Hope & Harvest and Sonsee Woman sprang up immediately, but then I was really having trouble finding anyone else?!

Now of course in the past, I’ve spoken in detail about the pros and cons of this with brands. I’ve been told many, many times in the past that the key issue with shooting catalogues and campigns in larger than an AU 14-16 is that the “Samples” – which are the garments that are the final approved version – are sent to the Brand to be photographed for marketing purposes usually prior to the actual stock arriving and being available to the customer. Of course there is quite a lengthy process to photograph the range and then convert that into a marketing campaign (sometimes this can be months in the making). I’ve also been told that to change the sample size of the standard AU 14 (in most major brands case), to anything different would involve “Significant cost” to the business and is just not viable. So there you have it, that’s that.

Except I’m not willing to accept that as the answer.

You see, I’m a firm believer that if we could in fact motivate brands to move outside the standard marketing campaigns we’re currently seeing, we could in fact see a major shift in the buying habits of plus-size customers. With online shopping also being a huge influence on how people shop, this is even more important, because is most cases purchasing online involves not seeing the garment beforehand and more and more of us are relying on our trusty bloggers, instagrammers and Facebook resources to make decisions.


So I’ve been thinking more and more about this, and I thought I’d ask the question of a colleague of mine, Harvest, head designer at Hope & Harvest, here’s what she had to say:

Janine:                  How do you choose a model for your campaigns?


“When I’m deciding how to market a season campaign I look for “the person”, not the size. I want to represent the garments in a realistic way, and this translates into our sample size for that campaign being made based on the model. For example, with Katerina who is an Australian size 20-22 we sampled that season in a size L (20-22) and shot the range on her. However, when dealing with Industry partners we are still asked to send our standard size which is generally a 12-14 for our stock that will be promoted via their sites. For us, it serves us well as then we have images of both ends of the scale represented online, and we find this helps our customer identify with our garment and how it will look on their own figure”.

Janine:                  So you’re flexible with which size you sample your garments in?


“This doubles up the cost of our samples but because of this at least all women at both ends of the spectrum can see what our garments would look like on themselves, not having to use their imagination to guess! We see the added cost as a reasonable expense as it serves our customer well, and that’s our focus”.

Janine:                  Do you ever get feedback about your choice of models?


“OMG absolutely, Katerina & Suzie have a growing fanbase, the customer loves that we try to represent all types, body shapes, large/small busted, tall/short etc. We get nothing but positive feedback, so that reinforces to us that we’re on the right track for what our customer is wanting from us”.

Sonsee Woman is another brand that springs to mind whose advertising just tells me everything I need to know without having to look too hard. It’s right there in front of you, don’t you agree? Can you identify? See what I mean?


This image sends me the message IMMEDIATELY that they UNDERSTAND what I’m looking for, that they understand me, their target customer. I have them committed to memory as a GO TO brand when I’m looking for hosiery. FULL STOP.

In a few weeks time, I’m off to attend the Curvy Couture Roadshow being hosted in Melbourne. This event is something close to my heart as about 4 years ago my good friend Erika and I put our heads together and invested a lot of time and money trying to get a similar idea off the ground. Our event was promoted as Real Women Revolution (those of you who’ve been following me a while will remember), we made quite a hit and got lots of press interest, in fact, we also got a lot of Industry interest as well as from the target customer, Australian women size 16+. Erika and I went from phone, to shop, to warehouse to boardroom all around the country and we talked until we were blue in the face. After 6 months of hard yacka and an encouraging amount of verbal support from the Industry, we were devastated that when it became time to put their money where their verbal agreement was, it didn’t translate. We had to shelve our idea. This hurt…it hurt really bad. My followers were devastated, we were devastated, many in the Industry were devastated as they could see the value in what we were trying to achieve but we just couldn’t get the dollar support we needed from sponsorship. So it was with great surprise and a lot of pride last year when I heard that the girls at Curvy Couture Roadshow which began in Perth in 2013, hit with a bang with their first Melbourne Event. Unfortunately I couldn’t make it as I was overseas at the time, but this year I’ll be there with bells on! They get it! They will be using a mixture of professional Industry models from Bella Models and Melbourne women trained by Bella to realistically & identifiably represent garments on the runway – they get it! – I LOVE IT! I hope to see you there.

A lot has changed over the past 6 years, and it’s very encouraging. Just over a week ago the gorgeous Tess Munster, a fashion model got a contract with UK modeling agency Milk Management. Standing at 5 feet 5 inches and wearing a size 22, this gorgeous lady is the first of her height and size to model for a major agency. HOORAY!

Ok so it’s in my nature to push those boundaries a little harder with putting this post together, and at the risk of rattling a few cages, I’m happy if that results in another shift, no matter how small.

Feel free to post your comments below, I always love to hear from you.

Love your shape!

Janine x