Sunday, 12 March 2017

Being A Plus Size Teenager & The Rise of Plus Size Fashion

Plus Size Fashion as a teenager. Yours Clothing for women and BadRhino for big and tall men review
SHOP Navy Jersey Shirt // SHOP Rose Print Trousers
Let's take a trip down memory lane...

Back to Sunderland in 2002.

Thinking back, this was one of the last years that I ever remember going into town shopping with my friends as a school teen.  I was in my second year of big school and all the girls around me were really starting to discover their style.  Well, as much as you could when over plucked brows and frosty pink lips were in fashion.

FCUK tops were very much on trend and I remember standing in their changing rooms, desperately get trying to squeeze myself into a top adorned with three repetitions of 'Bristol cities'.  I'll leave you to make your own mind up on that one but needless to say, I walked away from the store with less self esteem than I went in with and a top that I would later resign to the charity bag in the hope that it would be loved by someone else who could get it over their own Bristol cities.

Growing up as a plus size girl was hard.  I couldn't shop in any of the stores that my friends did and by my mid teens I had reached the point where getting dressed on a morning was a choice between which black tent to wear next.  With the best will in the world, it is very difficult to find your style when your local highstreet offers two plus size concessions, both of which were as drab as the other, and the internet hadn't really advanced much further than eBay.
Fast-forward to college and my first chance to treat my dad with tickets to see The Pogues in Manchester, using money I'd earned from a Saturday job.  Little did I know that travelling across the country at Christmastime for a gig would be music to my ears in more ways than one.

Taking a leisurely stroll through the Arndale Centre prompted a chance encounter with Yours Clothing.  At first, I thought my eyes were deceiving me; was this really a shop with clothes suitable for those younger than 65, in sizes that would actually fit me?!

Within seconds, I was trying on half the shop; ridiculously excited at how beautiful the clothes were and overwhelmed that they were in my size.  We may not have been in New York but this was certainly my Fairytale!

Fashion plays a large part in finding and expressing your identity which is particularly important when you're growing up.  I felt as though I didn't fit in at school and it was so hard to follow the latest trends when all I had access to was Evans and Etam, the former of which seemingly designed exclusively for the elderly and the latter closed its plus size section faster than it opened.

When I found Yours Clothing, I no longer felt restricted; I could walk into a shop, be treated with kindness and respect and have more choice to choose from than I'd ever imagined.

From that day on, I searched for any excuse to travel to Manchester.  Pass Plus Driving Test, Manchester!  Girls weekend away?  You guessed it, Manchester!

I even recall doing a tour of three stores in the Yorkshire area while on our way to a caravan holiday.  We arrived several hours late, with my now husband almost completely losing the will to live but even then, he couldn't deny that it had all been worth it when he saw how amazing and confident I felt in my new outfits that weekend!

Plus Size Fashion as a teenager. Yours Clothing for women and BadRhino for big and tall men review
SHOP Navy Jersey Shirt // SHOP Rose Print Trousers
Thankfully, these days I don't need to travel far to get my Yours Clothing fix.  They're at the click of a button right from the comfort of my own home and in the three shopping centres closest to me.  Seeing their expansion from a market stall to a nationwide retailer and beyond fills me with so much happiness. With the huge choice online and the superb service in store, as well as the launch of curve ranges from some of my other favourite brands, plus size teens can now grow up feeling as stylish as their friends and women no longer need to be confined to the bland choices of the not too distant past.

Yours Clothing even have a mens brand now called BadRhino which specialise in big and tall mens fashion in sizes L to 8XL.  While women's plus size fashion has come a long way in recent years, mens still has a long way to go and I feel as though they're largely underrepresented on the high street.  There are so many guys out there that struggle to find great looking clothes that fit them and when they do, they're usually ridiculously overpriced.  Its really not fair to have to pay over the odds just because you're taller or larger than others.

I'm so impressed with the BadRhino range because its stylish yet practical and perfect for all occasions, day or night.  All of their menswear is realistically priced too; I'm talking £14 for a polo shirt unlike the £100+ that I've seen in some stores!  Plus its easy to be able to get an idea of what the item will look like in real life as BadRhino use models in a range of sizes.  You might even recognise some famous faces on their site from football legend Razor Ruddock to Game of Thrones star Kristian Nairn and Ben Whit, the UK's first big & tall male model.

I've linked some of my favourite pieces from BadRhino below if you're a man reading this, or shopping for one, as well as the pieces from Yours above that I'm wearing.  I love how easy to wear the jersey shirt and printed trousers are; definitely a staple for spring!

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How did you find fashion growing up as a teen?  Have you ever felt uninspired or restricted when shopping?
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20 comments

  1. Go you girl, such a fab post :) :) x

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  2. Such a powerful blog post Laura. You're amazing and I love those floral trousers!

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  3. Not being able to shop in the same stores as your friends and being unable to find suitable clothing in your size while you were in school must have been so very difficult. It's so wonderful that you happened upon Yours Clothing when you did and that you were then able to find your own style and have your confidence boosted. You always look so fab x

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  4. it never wa a out size its always been about the inside and you have a beautiful soul

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  5. I think it's so good that more places are doing plus sized clothing as there's a huge demand for it, especially places like Asos, Forever 21 and Quiz x

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  6. I live in Manchester (it's the Arndale by the way!) and i love that you found so much here!! Fashion is really changing and about time too!! If you ever need an excuse to visit...;-)) x

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  7. Iam glad to hear you dont have to travel to Manchester now just buy clothes, You look so fab in the outfit Laura

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  8. I love those rose print trousers they are gorgeous!! I remember year back when I was little and my mum struggled to go into shops and find size 16/18 size clothes which is the average size of a women. So glad things have changed since then

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  9. I remember not being able to shop in some of the same shops as my friends and just found that really tough growing up as a teen x

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  10. Love that youve found some great places to get clothes you love! I think I struggled most after having my second child, I couldnt wear the clothes I wanted to and found it very difficult to find clothes to suit my new figure!

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  11. I love the post and I love the outfit, especially those trousers x

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  12. My mummy had this when she was a teenager and could never shop in TopShop :( she hated being an outsider and nowadays it's much easier to find her size.... she even dresses better than her old school chums ;)

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  13. Its great you have found a brand thats so body positive for all women and embracing all sizes! It definitely lacks in normal retail stores! I wear a size 16 and I find it difficult as some online stores don't accommodate that size!

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  14. Fashion does play a large part in expressing yourself. I'm glad that you discovered Yours Clothing when you did. Great post Laura x

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  15. I am loving those floral trousers you are wearing, Yours Clothing is such a fab website! xo

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  16. I think it's so nice that girls can now grow up not being made to feel bad for having curves xo

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  17. Brilliant post! It must have been so difficult to not be able to express yourself during those important years. I was always in that weird gap between "normal/average" sizing and plus sizes, but thankfully in the US there were lots of great offerings even in the early 2000's. One of the things that really does bother me about plus size clothing is that the shops assume that we all want to wear a large floral tent that shows no skin and that is typically reserved for the OAP crowd. It's great to see more brands like Yours taking us into consideration! xx

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  18. those printed trousers are so gorgeous! and you look stunning x

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  19. I love the outfit and the trousers are really cool. Beautifully coordinated.

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  20. There's nothing quite like finding 'your' shop for clothing, is there? Such a great confidence booster. x

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