Back in 2009, I had a different attitude to the size of my body and the clothes which covered it. In my 20s I had always told myself – however stupid it might sound now – that I’d take healthy eating and exercise a bit more seriously if I ever reached a size 16. Except, I never worded it that way. What I chose to say instead was that I’d cut down on cake if I started to fit into the clothing sold by Evans. Then I accidentally discovered that Evans’ ranges start at a size 14. This meant I had to either change my own pathetic arbitrary rules, or change my outlook on my size. Despite already being confident in my appearance, I developed a more healthy attitude to fat and body image over the next few years, yet I still only ventured into Evans for their boots.
All that changed when I saw that the bloggers behind Arched Eyebrow, Fuller Figure Fuller Bust and From the Corners of the Curve were being featured in an Evans advertising campaign. When I opened an email from the store to discover a photo of that trio, all clad in a body con Scarlet & Jo dress, all my previous thoughts about Evans disappeared. I realised that part of the reason I didn’t want to shop there was that I’d thought they had no styles I’d like, but here was a gorgeous figure hugging frock that I was very keen to own indeed. So, because I wasn’t in the mood for making the trip to the store and taking everything off in order to try the dress on, I decided to buy it online.
The parcel arrived much more quickly than the email communication had suggested it would, and I was thrilled to discover that it came on a hanger. This seems like an insignificant detail, but I have bought much more expensive clothing online and had it arrive, disappointingly, folded in a cellophane bag. This is not exciting. This does not make me feel that I have spent my money wisely. The Evans dress, however, could be hung on the back of my bedroom door straight away and was pretty much crease free. Not such an insignificant detail after all. Sadly, the fit wasn’t very good on my pear shaped body – my boobs aren’t quite big enough for an Evans 14. Should have consulted their Style Your Shape feature! – so I had to return the dress, but that was simple to do as well. The friendly shop staff helped make my visit a pleasure, and one of them looked way better in that dress than I ever could!
So, Evans is gaining plenty of fashionable young customers and I am, once again, rethinking my views on what it means to be plus size. It doesn’t matter what you buy and where it’s from, as long as it fits well and makes you happy.
I used to be so depressed having to buy my size 26 clothes from Evans in the 90s. I was under a 14 when they began stocking younger styles in that size, but I’ve really noticed that they make an effort go have a variety of cuts, styles and fabrics in these days. I do go and check now I’m a 16 again but I have the same issue as you with the tops being too large!
It’s really heartening to see clothes I actually would’ve worn aimed at young women rather than their old tunic styles. Between them & New Look’s Inspire range, it’s actually helped me feel a lot more positive about gaining weight now I’m recovered from an Eating Disorder. This sort of thing seems like fluff or inconsequential, buy it can mean so much and I’m really impressed by Evans!
The number of fashionable younger styles available in larger sizes these days is wonderful, isn’t it? It’s going to help so many more women learn to love their bodies.