Today I’m going to rave about fashion. Yes, those who know me and my ability to travel with only an overnight case to a five day conference anywhere in the world and my one pair of shoes and one handbag per year and my multiple fashion-in-the-field wins (not) may find this kind of surprising 😀
But you know, when you find a good thing then Paula is right – you really do need to rave about it.
The thing is, it’s hard – really freaking hard – to find things that look good and fit well if you can’t just walk into a regular shop and buy a size off the rack. Really, it’s virtually impossible and trust me after hours of trying it’s also downright depressing. So imagine my absolute joy when my sister put me onto this FB page she’d stumbled across! An online fashion retailer called Missmel.
Now, I’m not an internet shopper. In fact, one could quite fairly say about me that I’m not an early adopter of any kind of technology. Only just got my first iPhone after too long with a daggy decade-old clunker. So I was disheartened initially to find that Missmel was only an online store. What if I got something and it didn’t fit (a regular occurrence when your arse is huge and sizes are so different from one outfit to the next) or looked terrible etc. Then I’d have to return it…. It all seemed too hard.
But then I discovered that Missmel is based in Brisbane and even better just down the road from my chiro who I see most fortnights! So I rang her and asked it if would be possible to actually go to her “shop” and try stuff on.
And this is where this story gets really good because Mel is an utter inspiration! The thing I love about her is that Mel is like me and like lots of women I know – a busy working mother who is not a size 8. There is only one thing worse than being a plus size woman in this body-obsessed world and that is being sold a size 22 in a shop by a teenager wearing a pair of size 6 jeans!
So instantly I felt Mel “got” me. She welcomed me into her home from where she runs her business and in actual fact ended up consoling me when I burst into tears about two minutes later because it was the week leading up to the one year anniversary of my Mum’s death and I was feeling a little wobbly. Way to go me, right? Nothing like being a snivelling mess with a total stranger.
But that’s the thing – she didn’t feel like a stranger.
And then there’s her philosophy – I’m not beautiful like you, I’m beautiful like me. She’s been through her own trials and tribulations but she is an amazing advocate for looking and feeling sexy no matter what size is on your label. The stuff she posts on her FB page about size and body image and loving the person you are is truly inspirational stuff! She’s an advocate for women – all women – and I freaking love that!
Lastly, of course, there are the clothes – hundreds of beautiful reasonably priced garments designed by people who understand bigger bodies and know how to cut fabrics to flatter and enhance the good bits while hiding the not-so-good bits. Not clothes for smaller women just made larger, clothes made with the bigger gal in mind from the get-go! I left there that first day with $500 worth of clothes mainly for the Gold Coast conference (about ten items I think) and every one of them are winners!
But I left with so much more too. I left feeling good about myself. I left feeling empowered.
So if you too are tired of fruitless shopping expeditions that do nothing other than increase your dependence on alcohol then I urge you to discover Missmel. Ring her, talk to her. You won’t be sorry.
BTW – she also stocks an amazing range of clothes for women who don’t have to worry about their labels. Missmel is about all women, no matter their size. Among others, she stocks the Hell Bunny and Betty Paige lines which are gorgeous retro chic and so damn sexy!
Amy is an award-winning author who has written thirty-one romances for Harlequin Mills and Boon in both the Medical and RIVA/Presents lines. To date she’s sold over a million books and been translated into thirteen different languages. In 2010 she took out the sexy category in the prestigious Romantic Book of the Year Award.
She’s recently launched a couple of separate writing ventures with the release of Sister Pact a contemporary women’s fiction novel that she wrote with her sister Ros Baxter and is published by Harper Collins Australia as well as the very exciting release of her first category romance, Taming the Tycoon, with Entangled Publishing. Both of these novels recently became finalists in the 2012 ARRA romance awards.
In what she euphemistically likes to call her spare time, Amy works part time as a pediatric intensive care nurse and was on the national executive for Romance Writers Of Australia for six years during which time she organised two national conferences and undertook a two year term as president. She’s been married for twenty-two years and has two teenagers. She lives on acreage on the outskirts of Brisbane but secretly wishes it was the hillsides of Tuscany. You can find her on her website, Facebook and Twitter.