Marks & Spencer has become somewhat of a British institution, and a high street go-to whether you're looking for a good bra or a decent sandwich on your lunch break. Good ol' Marks & Sparks has, without a doubt, come on leaps and bounds in the fashion department in the past several years (for my generation of shoppers, anyway).
I can't tell you how many times they've truly surprised me with some of their designs - which subsequently now hang in my wardrobe - and I've been grateful that a company that favours quality whilst still remaining affordable to most has been able to cater to someone of my size. Shopping there has been easy (although occasionally, pricey) throughout the yo-yoing of sizes I've experienced from my teens through to my twenties, with most of their best pieces being available up to a UK size 22 or 24. However, whilst it's an option for me when I'm out shopping for a [insert garment of choice here], those above the cut-off point have been left out of the M&S fashion equation. Until now, that is.
It's been announced that the brand will be launching a plus-size collection, named Curve, which stocks styles in sizes UK 18 up to 32. Hoorah! The full collection drops January 23, but some styles are already available online. The range features everything from duster coats and LBDs to biker jackets and jumpsuits, with two dresses in the collection designed by plus blogger Danielle Vanier, who consulted on the collection. Price points start at £7.50 for a tee, going up to £89 for a dress.
A launch like this is massive for so many women who often feel like they're missing out when it comes to style, and will ultimately bring a whole new female demographic to the brand's fashion department. Another wonderful thing about Marks' approach to the Curve collection is how the process has continually been adapted for the plus-size consumer. The majority of plus-size collections are designed on a size 12 body and simply scaled up to larger sizes. The M&S collection, however, was designed on a size 24 body. Another annoying factor when it comes to shopping for plus-size clothes are brands' lack of awareness - or interest - in making larger-sized shoppers comfortable, often showing plus-size items on straight-sized mannequins. Naturally, M&S felt that their customers deserved more, and commissioned special size 20 mannequins to display the range in store.
Marks & Spencer are bringing not only a level of quality, but a level of consumer respect that we are really yet to see from any other high street retailers who sell plus-size collections, and that's really important. Another thing that this tells us is that change is coming for the fashionable plus-size woman — watch this space.