This autumn has seen the exciting opening of the first Simply Be stores in the UK and I was lucky enough to be invited along to their launch. The stores at Liverpool and Bury are set to take the plus size fashion world by storm. They hit their competitors head on and quite frankly, blow them out of the water. Both opened by Lisa Riley and Katy Cavanagh, the launches were nights to remember and the stores really are what every curvy girl has dreamed of.
Simply Be opening stores is possibly the best thing to have ever happened to the plus size fashion industry in the UK. Their stores are exciting, glamorous and laugh in the face of every other plus size fashion retailer or clothing line. Walking up to a Simply Be store doesn't scream fat fashion, or single the store out as a plus size shop which is something that I love. Too often I see plus size clothing stores that look frumpy, plain and dated and I find that shopping in them has an air of embarrassment about them... you know, the looking around in case there is anyone you know before going in. Its like the shame of admitting you're too big to shop in mainstream fashion stores. Not with Simply Be though. I honestly think that there will be smaller girls who will be envious of those who can shop in the Simply Be stores, yes they are that beautiful.
Opening stores in the UK has been a long time coming for Simply Be and whilst I really wish that they had opened them sooner, now has definitely been the right time. Plus size women all over the UK are dressing more and more fashionably and are savvy when they are shopping. They know how much the high street currently lets them down and they know what is available to them online. With this in mind, I'm sure every plus size woman is over joyed at the Simply Be store openings as they have listened to the people who matter- their customers, and created stores that make shopping an enjoyable experience. I also love that you can use your Simply Be account in store to buy your items too, making shopping even easier!
Characteristically, the stores are spacious, well laid out and the clothing trends and styles are grouped together and flow really well throughout the store. Every item in the shop is just as important as the other. From the clothes, to the shoes and accessories, every item has its place and everything in the store, down to the last detail has been chosen with the fashionable plus size shopper in mind. My favourite collection in the stores is the Laurens Way collection which showcases pieces designed by Lauren from The Only Way Is Essex *love*. Clothing tags aside, you wouldn't know that this was a plus size clothing store. The level of fashionable clothing is so high and the clothes in the store wouldn't look a miss in a mainstream sized store. I love the way that the jeans are laid out, all with names and in their own boxes, reminiscent of stores like Top Shop.
Many curvy girls would love to wear the fashionable clothes that Simply Be sell but they are often stuck in a fashion rut or worried about trying different styles. Simply Be have in store style consultants to help you choose the perfect outfit and perhaps try something fabulous that you wouldn't have thought of trying before. When I visited both the Liverpool and Bury stores, all of the staff there were so knowledgeable and went out of their way to help me. Their customer service really is second to none. My favourite part of the store has to be the changing rooms. They're so spacious, glamorous and have a chic and expensive feel to them. The mirrors allow you to see yourself from every angle so you can buy in confidence knowing that the outfit you've tried on in the shop will look equally as good at home. They have this cool mirror too that takes four photos of you that can then be printed out, emailed, facebooked or tweeted. Every inch of the store makes choosing the perfect outfit easy. Simply Be have got shopping with confidence down to a T.
The store launches were fantastic, it was great to be asked to attend. I got to meet Lisa Riley and Katy Cavanagh who plays Julie on Corrie, they were so lovely and had such positive things to say about both of the stores. Lisa Riley was really excited about the Bury store opening in particular as it is in her home town. It was also lovely to catch up with fellow fashion bloggers Lauren, Steph, Naomi and Rosie.
The stores are located in Liverpool (Unit 73 Liverpool One, 21 South John Street, L1 8BU) and Bury (Units F18 and F19 The Rock, 7 South Street, Bury, BL9 0JS) and Simply Be have lots of plans to open more stores across the UK over the next few years. My favourite store is the Bury one simply because its bigger. I would definitely travel down to these stores again from Newcastle where I live, in fact ill be going to the Bury store next Sunday when I visit Manchester to see Britney Spears *excited face*
Thanks so much for inviting me Simply Be and congratulations on your new stores!