On Thursday last week, I went to Pepperberry in Edinburgh to try out their style advice service. Pepperberry design clothes with curves in mind, so the sizing is quite different to regular high street stores. The sizing comes in 10-18 but these have an added “curvy” element; Curvy (C), Really Curvy (RC), Super Curvy (SC).
On arrival, I was given a warm welcome by the staff in store before being ushered into the fitting rooms so that we could determine my Pepperberry size. The Pepperberry staff ask for your bra size to get an idea of your back/cup ratio and then look at your body shape from behind so that they can determine if your shoulders are in line with your hips – regardless of your boob size. There are generally three Pepperberry shapes: Straight, Balanced and Shaped. From these body shapes, you can figure out which style of clothing suits you.
Straight shapes (narrow hips, wider shoulders) suit empire line tops and dresses that emphasis your narrowest part, just under your bust. Stick to streamlined styles such as fitted pencil skirts to show off your slim hips and legs. Small delicate prints will work will well with your shape, while v-necks and wrap dresses will create curves around your waist.
Balanced shapes (hips and shoulders are in line with each other, and you have a well-defined waist) will suit Fifties style dresses which should be cinched at the waist with a belt to emphasise your narrow middle. Tailored jackets are flattering, while figure hugging skirts will accentuate your curvy shape.
Shaped ladies (your hips are wider than your shoulders and you have a well-defined waist, with fuller hips) will suit A-line skirts and prom dresses, which will show off your small waist but skim your lower half. If you choose a tailored coat with flared skirt, you will flatter that little waist and disguise your larger bottom half. Choose dresses or tops with cap sleeves or large lapels in order to balance your shoulders with your hips.
My style advisor told me that I was Shaped, so we tried on dresses with flared skirts. I also tried on a slinky black number, just because I loved it (yes, another LBD), and this worked well but probably because it was a darker colour. It turned out that I couldn’t wear the gorgeous navy jersey shift dress because my hips looked huge but that I quite suited the pretty 50s style dresses – exactly as described above.
Fifties styles (left) suit my Shaped figure much more than streamline dresses (right).
Generally, I tend to know what suits my body shape (after many years of practise!) but it was refreshing to see someone else’s point of view. The style advice service at Pepperberry is extremely useful and I would urge anyone who struggles with finding flattering clothes to take a trip to Pepperberry. Make sure you ask for one of the style advisors, who will know exactly how to find your sizing and, in turn, find the right shapes for you. Don’t be afraid to try something new – sometimes you will find a piece that absolutely suits you, despite reservations or preconceived notions that certain styles won’t suit you. The key to dressing for your shape is not to be dictated to by trends, but rather, to choose clothes that are timeless. Then you can access trends either through print, colour or (the easiest way) through accessories.
Pepperberry really is a God send for women with curves who struggle to find clothes to fit them properly on the high street. I discovered I was a 10RC or 10SC in Pepperberry’s flared dresses, which were best for my Shaped figure. It’s all about finding the right shape for your body and going with an open mind. Once you find your favourite Pepperberry style and size, you’ll never look back!
I chose one of the dresses in these pictures
– but you’ll have to tune in to
The Daydreamer to find out which one!
Huge thank you to Pepperberry for my dress, and to Kerrianne for helping me find the perfect one!