Plus size lingerie buying advice from a real expert
Dot Walker describes herself as a renegade seamstress. Even as a child, learning to sew, she just could not faithfully follow a pattern; she could not resist tweaking it and putting her own spin on things.
When Dot became a seamstress in London, very few High Street stores sold clothes in large sizes. It was pretty much a tent dress or nothing. The fact Dot could make clothes without a pattern and tweak things meant she was perfectly placed to offer tailoring for the curvier woman. Once she targeted this market she was almost constantly sat behind her sewing machine.
Making the clothes was easy, but Dot became frustrated by the fact that most of her clients did not wear lingerie that made the most of their curves. As a result, the clothes she made for them did not look as good as they should have. In an effort to solve this problem, Dot started to offer a plus-size lingerie fitting service.
We talk to Dot about buying plus size lingerie.
LLM: Given the fact that plus size clothes were not easy to find, at the time, how did you manage to offer this plus-size lingerie fitting service? Did you make the lingerie yourself?
No, luckily at the time SimplyBe had started to open High Street stores and they offered a good range of plus-size lingerie. Using their products I was able to quickly show my clients how much better they looked when they wore the right size and cut of underwear.
I did try making lingerie myself, but the right materials were hard to buy. Plus, I did not really have the right skills or equipment to make really good-quality bras and knickers. Encouraging my clients to take a trip to the store with me, so I could get them trying on the right items was a far faster way to get them wearing the right lingerie.
LLM: What is the biggest mistake your clients were making when it came to buying lingerie?
Most of my clients were wearing the wrong size lingerie. Bras and knickers that are too small cut into the body. This creates unnecessary bulges. When that happens it does not matter how well tailored the clothes you have in your wardrobe are they will never hang well. As a result, it is all but impossible to look your best.
It is really important to realise that your body is constantly changing shape and, in some cases, size. If you spend a couple of months going to the gym or even doing light exercise everything really will tighten up and lift slightly even if you do not actually lose any weight. Therefore, each time you go shopping for new bras and knickers it really re-measuring yourself is wise. If you do not you are very likely to end up buying the wrong size.
LLM: What style of lingerie suits plus-size women best?
There really is no single style of lingerie that suits most plus-size women. Every woman is different. For example, a cup shape that works well for a woman with teardrop shaped breasts is not going to fit someone with more rounded breasts.
It is, therefore, very important for a woman to identify her breast shape and learn what cup styles are most likely to work best for her. The same is true when you are buying knickers. If you are an apple shaped woman, high legged briefs are likely to look better on you than they would for someone with a pear-shaped body.
LLM: Do you recommend shapewear for plus-size women?
Yes, sometimes. For example, you want to look your best in a cocktail dress; the right shapewear will smooth out your silhouette and provide extra lift. But, if you are wearing leggings and a nice top that skims over most of the bulges you feel self-conscious about, what´s the point of wearing something that may feel restrictive? Just wear the right bra and knickers.
I always encourage my clients to invest in good quality shapewear. It really does need to be the kind that is actually designed for plus-size women.
LLM: Could you sum up the best way for plus-size women to buy lingerie in one sentence?
I will try, but brevity is not my strong suit. I would say, celebrate your body, love your feminine curves and don’t be afraid to spend money on the best lingerie to support and show them off.