Perth's Boutique For Larger Ladies

Reporter: Natalie Bonjolo

Catherine says "you should be able to get off the rack things everybody else has, and at a reasonable price" Michelle says "no matter what size you are, you deserve something pretty" For the bigger woman, just finding something to fit, can be a nightmare. So being able to buy straight off the rack, is like a dream come true.

Kellee says "we're all women and were all beautiful and we all deserve to be dressed beautifully" A size 26, it's not often Kellee Brown is spoilt for choice, but then, this isn't your average dress shop, sizes start, where other stores stop. Michelle says "we had a lovely lady who came in, she made me cut the tags off so she could wear it home, cause it was the first thing she'd been able to buy off the rack in five years" A plus sized shopper herself, Michelle Lilley caters for customers, most manufacturers ignore. "It's a smaller percentage of the population are bigger, but it's growing all the time and as I said your entitled to clothing as well"

The average Australian woman wears a size 14, while some manufacturers go up to a 24, for many people, that's still not nearly, big enough. It was after seeing the plight of these three Perth women, desperate for just one nice dress each, Michelle and Mum Catherine made a pact. "We're trying to fill that gap, get in there and help people that are our size"

A size 34, Catherine's always made her own clothes. over the years she's also created dozens of outfits for friends, who find shopping traumatic. "Some people don't' like to go out looking for things cause they're bigger and they think people look at them, people put them down" Catherine and Michelle started out, selling their home-made, hand-me downs on e-bay. Michelle says "we were just having a clean out and thought rather than throw it out well try it, Mum and I both did it and got a really good response"

It wasn't long before they couldn't keep up with requests over the internet ... and opened their own specialty store, they got to work, sewing up a storm. Making everything from evening wear to, well, underwear. "As a general rule we carry up to a G cup. How difficult is that for someone to a find a bra that size? You can get them if you look, but they're very expensive, what we try to do is make it affordable for everybody" What they can't make, they buy in from the United States, where big is beautiful. "And bigger girls like to look sexy? Of course they do, they don't want the granny bras all the time, so you've got sexy pieces yeah there's underwear as well, satin G string. naughty knickers? Yeah"

First lady of larger fashion, Maggie T, introduced bigger sizes back in the eighties, since then it's become big business. Michelle says "no matter what size you are, because your bigger, you shouldn't have to pay huge prices" Michelle and her Mum don't believe big clothes should automatically mean big price tags. Michelle says "people were getting ripped off basically for larger size clothing" Until clothing manufacturers make sizes to fit all women, Catherine and Michelle hope to make shopping easier for larger ladies, who want to look nice. Catherine says "there is no reason why larger women can't dress and look their best"

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