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FASHION / BEAUTY

Information about stores that cater to SSBBW/BBW


Do you know of a great store or website that sells clothing for SSBBW that you'd like us to review? Or perhaps you want to write a review yourself and see it in print! Let us know at info@ssbbw-magazine.com.


We are recruiting for an Fashion/Beauty Editor. If you love shopping for clothes, buying/using beauty products, etc. and have a few hours a month to spare this could be a great position for you. Our Fashion editor would provide content on a monthly basis for the Fashion section of the magazine, including but not exclusive to clothing, ssbbw friendly stores, beauty products/services, etc.

All applications for the above position should be emailed to info@ssbbw-magazine.com. Please include in your application your full name, location (city, state/province, country), a valid email address, the reasons you think you would be a good fit for this position and a sample of your writing. This position should only require a few hours per month of your time.


Where do you go when 6xl knickers don’t fit any more?

One of the ‘hidden’ problems of getting bigger is that knickers don’t fit any more. As the weight slowly, very slowly piled on, the ‘man on the market’ always seemed able to accommodate you with the next size up…. from 1xl to 2xl to 3xl…. no problem, in fact there’s even several different styles and patterns for you to choose from. Then, you find a 4xl would be more comfortable…. getting a bit worried now, this is more than just a bit hefty round the hips, but your friendly ‘market man’ assures you you’re all right, he does them plenty bigger than that he says with a cheeky grin and there’s still quite a bit of choice of patterns and styles. So, 5xl – still the ‘market man’ can sort you out and even offer you a choice, though its more limited. Eventually, 6xl…… no choice now and sometimes your friendly market man hasn’t got anything that big, “I don’t get much call for the 6xl, luv” he tells you as a slightly critical glance sweeps your girth, however he promises to bring them the next week. Its then that you begin to get a little worried, perhaps its not going to be that easy to keep yourself in knickers any more, you think. The market man’s as good as his word though and the following week he’s got your voluminous 6xl knickers for you – no choice mind you, you took what he offered gratefully and without bothering to ask if there was anything else for you to choose from, just glad that he’d remembered to bring them and also relieved that there wasn’t some stripling size 12 waiting at the side of you to be served.

When, a few years later, you tell your Market Man that you could do with a bit more room in them, he tells you that there isn’t anything bigger. You try another market in another town, but - different stall, different ‘market man’, same story, none of the knickers manufacturers goes above a 6xl.

That’s when my daughter Laura and I came on the scene with www.thebigbloomerscompany.co.uk – or, to those who are not yet ‘into computers’ The Big Bloomers Company.

‘I want you to search online and see what’s the biggest size knickers you can find’ an email from my Cornwall based daughter instructed. Laura weighs about 9 stone so she certainly wasn’t in need of big knickers herself and she gave no reason why she wanted me to make this strange search, but, being a good and dutiful mum, I did as I was told and trawled the net to find big knickers. It soon became apparent that there was nothing bigger than a 6xl, (hips about 47 inches – 120cm) though admittedly, this seemed to me, at that time, big enough to accommodate the most ample behind. I also became aware that at this size there was a woeful lack of selection. Virtually no choice of fabric and the only style available was a panty. Long legs for winter warmth – forget it! Boxer style to wear with shorts – forget it!

I reported back to Laura and found that my research had mimicked her own. ‘Where do really big women buy their knickers then?’ she asked and then I learned what this was all about…… ‘You used to insure some manufacturers who made underwear, didn’t you mum. Can you go and see them, find out about making big knickers?’ So www.thebigbloomerscompany.co.uk was born. Laura was going to build the website and as a retired insurance broker from the Midlands my remit was to contact my old clients and discuss, instead of insurance, the manufacture of very large knickers.

Immediately, I ran into problems. I had retired when I was fifty and now, some fifteen years later there were few lingerie manufacturers left in the Black Country where I’d worked and those whom I approached seemed reluctant to discuss my requirements. I realise, looking back, that this was not that they were being indifferent so much as my ignorance of how to set about getting a garment into manufacture. I didn’t have a clue about going into production, I assumed that the manufacturer would make the patterns, acquire the fabric and hold my hand throughout the whole process. Not so. It became clear after visiting several small manufacturers that it was up to me to supply the pattern, source the fabric and the elastic and the wash/size labels.

The garment that I wanted produced caused problems too. The very few lingerie manufacturers that I located were all owned by Asian men who were not at all used to discussing the manufacture of very large knickers with a woman – especially a woman who hadn’t a clue what questions she should be asking as an aspiring knickers entrepreneur.

One manufacturer agreed to see me only in the presence of his daughter, a young woman of about fifteen who translated for him - though I soon had the feeling that we could have got along well enough without her. All seemed to be going very well, he agreed to get patterns made for me (I’d called them templates till he corrected me) and showed me samples of fabric, asking me to select what weight I required (weight? I hadn’t realised fabric came in weights) and what about the waist band, did I want it tunnelled? All these questions I didn’t know I was going to be asked.... I could see that the fellow was beginning to get irritated, thought I was just a time-waster. It all fell apart when I mentioned that I required a double gusset. Not sure if it was this particular piece of anatomy that he wasn’t prepared to discuss with his daughter present or if he’d just had enough of me, but he threw his hands up, muttered something to his daughter and shuffled off down the workshop. That was the end of that. However, two more similar sort of meetings and I was beginning to learn what questions to ask and how to present my case and eventually, on a small trading estate in Leicester we found Brindy, a pony-tailed young man who was prepared to work with us on the project. Brindy’s father came to the UK in the 1970’s and established his business before sending for his wife and starting a family. Brindy, who is in his early twenties, joined his father straight from school and we deal exclusively with him as his father, like other men in his age group, seemed reluctant to get involved. Brindy, though, seems to be enjoying a great deal of kudos amongst his fellow manufacturers as being the Supersize Knickers King.

The Big Bloomers Company stumbled into production in the autumn of 2007 with our 7xl and 8xl panty style knickers – designed to accommodate hips up to 60inches (155cms). Our customers were very enthusiastic and gave us enormous help to tweak the design and make the knickers more accommodating to the ‘fuller figure’. We soon learned that using a 6xl pattern and making it bigger was not the way forward. The ‘fuller figure’ changes as it fills out and the shape of the knickers needed to change too. We learned about ‘the tummy flap’ (sometimes called ‘the mummy tummy’) and we were told how knickers tend to ride up under this wedge of gratuitous flesh causing grievous discomfort to some women. We learned that thick thighs rub together and chafing thighs are a torment in the summer, so, we designed the Big Bloomers Long Legged knickers and then the short legged version – a boxer style for the more active of our customers.

Carers, Home-helps, Care Home matrons and National Health Trusts have found their way to our website as well as bewildered husbands who just happen to be more internet savvy than their wives and harassed daughters who are at their wits end with trying to ‘find knickers big enough for mother to wear’. I am the voice at the end of the Big Bloomers phone and I’ve got quite knowledgeable chatting about what style knickers may best suit a particular need. A year after producing our first Big Bloomers we went into production with our www.bigpapaspants.co.uk range for men. Eventually, because of our name, we were persuaded to manufacture authentic, old fashioned, supersize bloomers – and they’ve been worn in many pantomimes up and down the country this past two seasons, not to mention the mother superior who has them as regulation issue at her convent ‘the stone floors here are so very chilly, you know’

Next project is our Supersize35 – panties that will fit hips up to approx 80 inches (200 cms) – I am working on this design with several women and we are hoping to be into production by the summer.

Visit www.thebigbloomerscompany.co.uk for long legged and short legged knickers and panties in supersizes up to 9xl (hips 64inches – 165 cms). Loungers, T shirts and leisure trousers up to 8xl. www.bigpapaspants.co.uk for mens boxer style pants to 10xl (hips 75inches – 190 cms)

The Big Bloomers Company
Bohelland House,
Church Road, Penryn, Cornwall, TR10 8BY.
Tel; 01326 373268


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