Why I created a women's plus-size designer fashion brand

The plus-size fashion challenge

I know the drill. Today you are going shopping, you have money to burn and you are pumped because at the end of the day you will have something new and fashionable to wear which will make you feel great. You are strong and confident in your conviction that you will find something.

Somewhere in the back of your mind, is this little voice that says ‘you won’t find anything, you never do. Everything you look at and try on, will be too small, too big, too old and with absolutely no fashion appeal whatsoever.’ Yet you push this little voice back into the dark depths of your mind and convince yourself that this time will be different.

You prepare for the day that lies ahead, you put on clothes that are easy to get off and on, you wear comfortable shoes so that you can pound the multi-story shopping centers and that you can easily slip on and off. You pack a small across-the-shoulder bag, so that both hands are free to trawl through all the fashion you are going to find and you are thinking ahead because you will need both hands to carry all the shopping bags.

Your husband kisses you goodbye and says ‘have fun’, he knows how the day will pan out yet has words of encouragement as you walk out the door.

You’re there, it’s early, you wanted to beat the crowds. You start walking, and head to all the stores that you know stock plus size fashion. You examine each rack in the store as if you are doing a deep dive investigation and you start to pull out different items to try on. Finally, you feel you have selected wisely and head to the change room. One by one, you try on each of the items varying the combinations as if that would make a difference. The result, nothing in this store.

Oh well, there are a few more stores to get to. You set off on your mission and you continue this repeated motion of trawling, trying on and nothing. You become deflated. You need to stop, a coffee will help you refocus.

Re-energised and focused, you get back to it. One more store left, you will find something in here. Alas, it is not to be. Feeling exhausted and disheartened you decide that’s enough and head home.

Your drive home is not without reflection and you convince yourself it was a positive day because you didn’t spend any money. Your mind shifts to that little voice that you so emphatically pushed away only four hours ago. Why did you bother, you knew it was going to end like this. You knew it was going to affect your confidence and that the psychological games would start, the disappointment and frustration would set in.

All you want is to wear clothes that are comfortable and fashionable. You want to buy fashion garments that look good, not for vanity reasons or for anyone else, but for yourself. You feel so much happier and more confident when you feel good.

This is my story and it may well resonate with many of you plus size or curvy women. Surely, l am not the only curvy women to experience the disappointment of shopping.

The time had come to do something about it. I had to be brave and gutsy and create my own women's plus-size fashion brand. Pablo & Kat was born. Available online now www.pabloandkat.com