New Plus Size Brands & Starting Your Own

The last year or so has seen a few new plus size fashion stores and brands appear both online and in-store, all of which seem to have been incredibly successful. It’s no surprise new plus size fashion opportunities are embraced with squishy open arms as up until a few years ago trying to find anything fashionable and on trend that didn’t require a second mortgage above a size 22 was nigh on impossible. It’s still not as good as it could be but there are so many more choices for plus size women out there at the moment that I wanted to do a little tribute to my three favourite plus fashion newcomers from the last 18 months!

No surprise whatsoever that my first is the incredible Scarlett & Jo which took us fatties by storm last year banging out beautiful dress after beautiful dress most of which now reside in my wardrobe. Their aim has always been to bring ‘fun and fearless fashion with a trend setting edge’ which they absolutely have done. They’re my personal favourites because of their nod to vintage styles like the 1940’s tea dresses and stunning prom dresses released in their latest Spring Romance collection. I am constantly impressed with everything they do and I can’t wait to see what else they have up their gorgeous sleeves!

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Pink Clove were the company behind the ridiculously popular tartan skater dress last year and have continued to provide us with fun and versatile clothes. They are without a doubt the queens of pretty, colourful and feminine dresses but also have a few seriously fabulous items like the Wide Leg Jumpsuit and Peg and Cigarette Leg Trousers. With the majority of their items under £30 it’s no wonder they’ve been so successful!

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My final favourite company are Topsy Curvy. Created by Charlotte Ogden and Jo Frost after being fed up of the limited options for plus size women especially in store, they only use themselves and customers as models which is such a unique selling point as it feels much more relevant to me as a consumer. As well as selling online they have a beautiful boutique in Whitefield in Manchester. (I’m trying to push Manchester as my choice of city for my weekend away with my best girls so I can visit haha!) Not only are their clothes cute, fun and bold in places, they’re so reasonably priced; their most expensive dress is £35 and the cheapest is £9 in the sale!

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Starting a business isn’t easy as I’ve found out myself over the last 6 months with the launch of The Vanity Case (cheeky plug…) but I’ve been incredibly fortunate in having my mum as my supporter, professional shover-forward-er, financial backer and guinea pig. There are so many people with amazing business ideas who have the potential to be really successful if they had a little help developing their ideas into a reality. I realise how lucky I am to have an experienced and supportive mum backing me but sometimes it’s good to have access to some professional advice on starting a business too. If you’re thinking of starting something new whether it’s selling buttons in a vintage and handmade shop or taking on the plus size fashion industry with that one thing that’s missing, here are a few helpful links to get you started!

1. HMRC Self Employment – It’s so, so important to make sure you’re getting the legal and tax side of business right. There is so much information on here about becoming self employed and if you’re not sure about something they’re not half as scary as you think they might be!

2. Public liability/business insurance – Again, something really important and a lesson I very nearly learned a few weeks ago when the salon I work from got broken into. I had my liability insurance but it didn’t cover my equipment, thankfully though (what we assume were) teenagers weren’t aware of how much beauty equipment is worth!

3. Non-profit start-up advice – Obviously you’re not always going to have enough money to get your business off the ground and there are some really reasonable start-up loans available. I recently came across Virgin Startup Loans, who I thought were particularly impressive – as well as the money side they offer mentor support for advice on all aspects of starting up and running a business from people with experience!

If you could start a business, what would it be?

Mrs D x

ps. I definitely deserve some sort of award for not buying all the pretty clothes I had to gaze at whilst writing this post!

*This is a sponsored post in partnership with Virgin Start Up. Girls gotta eat.*

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