updated 27 Nov 2013, 06:53
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Fri, Jun 21, 2013
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Clothing for curvy women goes bold
by Joy Fang

One of the biggest gripes of plus-sized women is about the lack of cool fashion options.

Sizes are too small, the cuts too shapeless, or the styles too dowdy.

This means they have to hunt for apparel overseas.

Over the past few years, more online stores catering specially to the fuller-figured lasses among us have sprung up. Two are 15-month-old Plusylicious and two-year-old Crazie Daisy. Zalora Singapore, too, has added a plus-sized section to its offerings.

But now retailers are seeing a growing market and are establishing brick-and-mortar stores solely for plus-sized apparel.

Take home-grown label Kaylene. It evolved from an online blogshop, Lavender Closet, set up in 2007 as a label for the average woman.

Three years later, its owner and Singaporean designer Kayde Ling saw an opportunity and decided to venture into plus-sized clothing, and opened a store at Far East Plaza. She designs the apparel in Kaylene, known for on-trend dresses that have bright colours and funky patterns.

It carries sizes from UK14 to UK22. Accessories cost $19.90 while dresses range from $79.90 to $300 and above.

The label was invited to show its pieces at New York's Full Figured Fashion Week 2013, the first Asian brand to do so.

Ms Ling, 30, told My Paper that she tries to push the boundaries in her pieces.

So, large prints, contrasting panels and saucy necklines feature big.

"There are no definite taboos in plus-sized fashion," she said, adding that the plus-sized woman doesn't have to just wear black, baggy, boring clothes.


Two-year-old fashion label Flow, which has five stores in Malaysia, has set up a pop-up store at Isetan Scotts.

Flow founder and chief creative director Lavina Valiram said the brand is exploring having a permanent store here.

Ms Valiram said plus-sized women have purchasing power. "It is a matter of whether there is any supply to fulfil their needs," she added.

"Creating fashion only for the majority is unacceptable. Beauty is not defined by the size of your jeans, and brands are beginning to recognise that."

That is why the label is one that encourages this group of women to "dare to be daring" with their fashion choices.

It has sizes ranging from UK12 to UK22. Tops range from $59 to $116 and dresses from $73 to $133.

Ms Valiram says one mistake full-figured women make is wearing an oversized top, thinking it could cover them up.

But this will make them look bigger as the it falls on the widest part of the body - the bust and hips, she pointed out.

Instead, why not give the wide elasticised belt a go? Cinch in your waist and it will give your body a curvy silhouette.

She also suggested wearing fitted jersey material. "But always ensure the jersey has a good weight which will fall nicely on the drape work and be more forgiving on the bra lines," she advised.

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