plussize fashion – news

Ashley Graham in Elle Quebec

I don’t share a lot of editorials, but this one is just so stunning that I can’t help myself. Ashley Graham is one of my favorite models, and everything about this editorial – from the chique black suits to the wetlook and the posing – is just pure perfection. How can anyone, regardless of size, not love this??
You be the judge: more of this diversity editorials in high-end magazines? I say: YES PLEASE

Trying on the Violeta collection

Ever since Mango came out with their Violeta collection, I’ve been looking forward to trying on the collection. It’s one thing to see clothes online, it’s a completely different thing to feel the fabric and experience the fit and figure out the sizing in real life. Don’t feel like reading all of this? I made a small recap at the bottom ;).

Before I went out, I made sure to check their sizeguide online. That gave me an estimate of what size I would need in their clothes. My measurements (in centimeter) are 114-90-123 (bust at widest part-waist- hip at widest part).
 I marked in red what my size would be according to the size guide. This already shows that the sizing of Violeta is quite small: if a garment needs to fit me around the hips (like pants, tight skirts, tight dresses,…), or if I want to wear it a bit oversized, I would need a size 50. In comparison: I usually wear a size 46 on my hips. But I also know that if it’s a loose dress or a stretchy pant, I can probably get away with a 46 or 48. If it just has to fit me on the bust and waist, and it has some stretch, a 44 would probably be okay. See how this works?
With my previous experiences regarding straightsize shops selling a plussize line, I was expecting to find a vert small part of the collection, hidden somewhere in the back of the store. So you can imagine my surprise when I saw this!
Turns out, they have almost everything of entire collection in the store! Half a floor just for Violeta. Douze points for you Mango! (if you don’t watch Eurovision, you won’t get this reference, sorry :p)
So with that happy start, I started picking out pieces and trying them on. The cabin was very small and insanely hot. I also realized too late my face was in a lot of the pictures, so to spare you the look of my make-upless, glasswearing exterior, I replaced it with little hearts. You can never have too much love in the world anyway, right :)?
   
So okay, I tried on these 2 jeans and 1 regular pair of pants. 
 
First up: black jeans with zipper details. This one has very little stretch; I tried it on in a 46 first and it fit, but I had a bit of a muffintop situation going on. This was gone after I tried it in a size 48. None of the pants are long enough for me, but I have that problem a lot. For most people, the length will be fine. Didn’t like this one, as I prefer my jeans with a bit more stretch.
The dark blue skinny is a lot stretchier, and it fit me nicely in a size 46 (keep in mind the other jeans I had to wear in a size 50! Shows once again that the size in the label is pretty much useless, and that it’s all about cut and fabric). It’s supposed to be a skinny, but I found it quite loose around the ankles (more like a straight jeans).

I was drawn to this one because of the monochrome stripes on the side. As you can see on the website, it’s supposed be quite loosefitting, so I went with a size 50, expecting it to be a bit baggy. Unfortunately, as you can see, it fits way too tight. And a  52 still would not have looked the way it’s supposed to look. If you don’t have a booty and thick upper legs like me, I’m sure it would look completely different though, so it really depends on your bodytype.

Next up, dresses! First a couple with some colour and print.

 Both of the dresses are a size 50 (but I am wearing my jeans underneath). The blue one I actually really liked, I think it looked better on than in the picture on the website. I might go back for that one, it’s perfect for summer and I love the colour. The boxy leopard one is just what it says it is: a boxy leopard dress. Unflattering and (I can’t believe I’m saying this about leopardprint!) boring.

This bright orange dress is a bit wider on the bottom, so I took a 48. I liked the shape and the colour, but it has a bit of an awkward underdress that is supershort: it didn’t completely cover my behind… It’s those little details that make me think they didn’t spend huge amounts of time thinking about fit and specific problems that are typical for bigger sizes (like how bigger butts stick out a bit, so you need more fabric). The fabric is also a bit dodgy, I can imagine it’s one of those fabrics that stains very quickly when you sweat. So also a no for me.

I was very excited about the left one actually. I thought it might be a nice, basic dress. I went with a size 50, cause I wanted that slightly oversized look… but wasn’t happy with what I saw in the mirror. Again, boxy and boring. Another hint that made me think they didn’t think the fit through: when I tried to button this dress up, I nearly choked myself. It’s incredibly tight around the neck, and I don’t have a particularly fat neck, so… But it’s those little details that are so important in achieving a great fit in bigger sizes: room for arms, bust, butt,… And, in my opinion, after trying things on, that’s one of the great flaws of Violeta.
The dress on the right (size 48) I absolutely loved: great fit, great cut, great fabric (it would have looked so much better without my jeans underneath, but I was already melting in my cabin-of-a-thousand-burning-suns so I didn’t feel like changing). Flattering to my shape, a hint of sexappeal… More of this, please! Would have also fitted nicely in a 46. Was very tempted to buy this one, but then I remembered I already have a million basic black dresses…. So: more of this please, but less basic!
Next up, a jeansy blazer and one of my personal favorites: the white jacquard coat.

 The blazer is a complete and utter epic fail. Shitty fabric, very tight around the arms, no shape whatsoever. Yet another brand who thinks that short, boxy jackets look good on bigger bodies. It doesn’t. I’m wearing a size medium here (so relatively small, compared to the other clothes I tried on!) but there’s no shape whatsoever.

The coat was lovely. Great fit. Wearing it in a size L here, I and would have bought it, but slightly over budget for me at the moment. Hopefully in a sale sometime :).

Okay, recaptime!
  • the sizing is relatively small, and comparable to the sizing of H&M plus. I recommend going one size above your own size, as a general guideline.
  • when in doubt: check the sizeguide. It is accurate for the collection they sell.
  • For the giants: pants aren’t long enough. For the rest of the world: they will definitely be long enough.
  • fit isn’t always amazing. For me, it seemed as if they took a small size and just made it wider, without taking into account that bigger bodies have slightly different needs than small bodies (like a little extra room at the arms, for instance). Study the garment carefully if you are ordering online, to avoid disappointment.
  • As shown online, it’s quite a basic collection. There are definitely some very nice and decent, nicely cut basics to be found, if you look for them :). I’m in love with the white long coat!
Want to know where to find a Violeta shop in your own country? Check out the Store locator at mango.com/violeta (click “help” at the top right corner, then click “shops” and select your country).