Dressing for size 18

I decided to write this blog after so many emails with size 16/18/20+ women asking questions around One P garment suitability for their size and shape.

I too have long been bouncing between mainstream women’s clothing brands that sometimes cater for our size and the dedicated curvy brands.

Personally, I find the whole experience humiliating.

I never know if a garment will actually come in my size (without a sizing standard, what size am I anyway?!), so more often than not I will avoid trying it on and occasionally gamble with just buying it in store or online and resorting to returning it should it not work – both an expensive and time consuming exercise!

When starting One P with Hayley, I was really keen to include plus sizes. I know firsthand the frustration of clothes shopping, but from a business perspective, I knew there was opportunity to help so many women like me.

We agreed to start with size 8 to 16 as it’s easier when it comes to pattern making because those sizes are proportionately scaled.   Commercially, we needed to test the “mainstream” market with each garment before we produced in larger volumes. Adding more size options was just too expensive a gamble.

Whilst the average Australian woman is size 14 to 16, most brands are unable to cater beyond that commercially. We have faced that decision with each new garment introduced, and it is a tough decision when you know you can sell a size 10, 12 and 14 ten times faster than a size 18. And the maths just does not add up for extending sizing further.

Two years in we have extended most of our collection to include size 6 and size 18 and we find we sell more garments per customer in size 18 than other sizes (it’s the rarity of finding something made from natural fibres, that actually fits and looks nice), but we also get more returns – which is an expense both our customer and our business carry.

When dressing for larger sizes you need to consider not just the number on the tag, but the styles that suits your body shape. The larger we are, the less proportioned we get across the bust, waist and hips, so standardising sizing becomes a challenge for the designer. However, Hayley accommodates this in the less fitted styles and stretch in our natural fabrics. She also considers length in the arms and waist to drape the lady lumps discretely.

One P customers in size 16 & 18 favour our Merino tees, French shirts (long and standard lengths), silk shirts, high waisted Ponte pants, the Every Day pant, Wrap Dress and both the Wide leg (high waisted) and Slim leg (midrise) pants.

So, what else is One P doing to support larger women?

Well, for every new garment we bring in at least one size 18 to test the market and get customer feedback. If we find that our size 18 customers are keen on the style, we run more colours in that garment.

Traditionally a brand will price garments based on margins where 40% of stock is sold at full price, 30% stock sold on sale and 30% waste. Given we do not mass produce garments – to ultimately avoid landfill and the cost associated with unsold garments, we have had to re look at the traditional model. So, to innovate, One P is now introducing a custom order option on our most popular garments. You can now order size 6 to 20 (yes, we are doing size 18 and 20) in the following recommended garments:

Simply place your order by emailing us at info@onepdesign.com.au, select your garment, colour and size and we will make to order for delivery in 3-4 weeks.

If you are interested in ordering a custom made garment or have any questions related to your suitability for a particular One P garment, do not hesitate to reach out to me on karen@onepdesign.com.au