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A Fresh Approach To “Real Size” Style

A Fresh Approach To “Real Size” Style

Big is beautiful. Just because you are a “real size” does not mean you should have to wear your grandmother’s clothes or look like a drowned hippo. After all, even hippos can look sexy in the right outfit!

That’s the word from dynamic Christchurch businesswoman, Paula Profitt who at a size 30 knows the challenges of getting sexy and funky real size clothing.

Frustrated at the choice of fashion clothing available to her in New Zealand, Paula Profitt is about to launch All Creatures Greater Than Small, a new label for “real size” women.

All Creatures Greater Than Small clothing is available for women in the size 30 to 14 bracket. The range is fun, exciting, sophisticated, and most of all comfortable. “The clothes are reasonably priced, tailored to fit and flattering to real sizes,” explains Paula Profitt.

Paula Profitt, who also works full time in customer service, is a newcomer to the fashion industry. Since coming up with the idea for All Creatures Greater Than Small, she has started paying more attention to the size of people. “I’ve noticed a trend with how bigger people dress. The larger they get, the worse their clothes tend to look. It’s not the size, it’s the clothes they wear that look awful and don’t fit properly. There just aren’t enough clothes available for larger people to choose from.”

Holding a series of focus groups revealed a variety of clothing issues faced by larger women. For example, arms are often far too small or not long enough. The general consensus is that the clothes presently available are either of poor quality and reasonably priced, or good quality and very expensive. Another key point that came out of the focus groups is that most size 14 clothes are aimed at the younger generation. As a result, Paula Profitt has included size 14 in her range. “Initially, I didn’t want to include 14, but that’s what people want,” says Paula Profitt.

In an innovative move for the fashion industry, Paula Profitt has designed and tailored the clothes to flatter a size 30. The patterns are being made up by Lisa Payne of FireFly in Queenstown. The range has then been scaled down to size 14. “This way the clothes will be flattering in all sizes,” says Paula Profitt.

The clothes have also been designed in two height ranges – one based on 5’8”, and the other on 5’4”. “I have always shopped in the United States and the United Kingdom, where there is so much choice. The clothes fit, they are tailored, and they are made from good quality fabrics. In Europe, it’s quite common to find clothes for varying heights. I’m surprised that more New Zealand fashion labels don’t offer the choice,” says Paula Profitt.

Back in New Zealand, she has had difficulty buying even the most simple of items. “Recently my frustration reached boiling point when I couldn’t even find a black T-shirt to fit.”

All Creatures Greater Than Small will initially be sold through private consultancy with groups of women in their homes. The first season’s range has 24 patterns to choose from, including skirts, trousers, T-shirts, shorts, Capri pants, and evening-wear. Long-term plans include a national chain and international wholesale business, and to extend the range to men.

The official launch of All Creatures Greater Than Small is a Fashion Show to be held on Wednesday 18th August 2004 - 7:30pm – at the Canterbury Horticultural Society, South Hagley Park, 57 Riccarton Avenue.

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