Fashion Trends

This Australian fashion blogger is changing the way size 16 women shop

''I want to help women find clothes, because the brands are just doing such a bad job!''

By Tina Burke
Natalie Angel was trying to sell some of her clothes in a Facebook "buy, swap and sell" group when she stumbled across an exciting business idea. In an attempt to help other women in the group understand the size and fit of what she was selling, Natalie began making quick videos.
"I thought it would be helpful if I just did some videos of me trying on the garments," Natalie tells Now To Love.
"Then I was getting these messages from members of the group going, 'oh thank you so much' and 'you've helped me so much' and 'I struggle with my confidence.' You know, just beautiful, really long messages saying how grateful they were. It was very touching for me."
The Australian fashion blogger recognised an opportunity, and began sharing her shopping hauls on Instagram, YouTube and a closed Facebook group under the name Let Me Try Before You Buy.
Natalie Angel is on a mission to help Size 16 women shop. Image: Supplied
On her channels, Natalie tries on collections from different brands to see how "size 16 friendly" their clothes are. It's an idea that's seen her following quickly skyrocket.
"I've been on Instagram for four months and I've been really astounded and incredibly grateful for the growth that I've had," she reveals.
From affordable brands such as Target and K-Mart, to more expensive labels such as Spell and Arnhem, the fashion blogger reviews a wide range of brands and styles for the Australian women who follow her.
Natalie attributes her incredible growth to a lack of body representation by fashion brands. Women want to see how clothes will look on their bodies, and she can offer them that, where advertising and marketing doesn't.
"There are so many Australian women who are a size 14 and up, okay, that's just fact. And yet brands put only size 6-8 women in their marketing campaigns," she says.
"From a sales background, generally, what successful brands will do is they will market their products to their largest potential customer base - but fashion isn't doing that! And then they wonder why the size 14 and size 16 up aren't selling? I want to help women find clothes because the brands are just doing such a bad job."
Natalie has quickly gained a legion of fans. Image: Supplied
Natalie says her goal is to "actually become redundant" by inspiring women to be kinder to themselves and shop confidently.
"I'm trying to give women confidence in having a go, because they've just been disappointed for so long! Because they have to guess what size they are and guess how clothes will fit."
Addressing the age-old irritation of size inconsistency, Natalie says brands need to work harder to regulate their own ranges.
"Brands need to get better and take better ownership of the product that they're putting out," she says. "If a size 16 pair of shorts fits me, I expect that the size 16 skirt, dress, blouse, in every different type of style that they're making should be the same.
"So brands need to be more consistent in their sizing, because what's happening is a woman gets something and it doesn't fit her and then she blames herself and it's not her fault. It's not her fault."

Aside from trying on brands for her followers to see, Natalie also encourages women to make sure they're dressed correctly beneath their ensembles.
"My biggest tip is to wear the correct under-garments under you clothes," she says. "Make sure that your bra is properly fitted - I would say that 85% of women don't have a bra that fits them properly - and to wear high waisted underpants. Wear the undergarments that properly fit you."
As for the idea that curvier women should stay away from certain styles, Natalie says that is "completely incorrect."
"As long as it fits you properly and you love it, you will wear it with confidence," she adds.
Though, she's not one to suggest specific outfits for women across the board - "it depends on your body shape" – but she does have some sage words of wisdom as we head towards summer.
"The biggest recommendation that I would have for women coming into summer is don't wear black swimsuits," she reveals.
"Black makes things disappear and then everything around the black comes forward, if that makes sense? The parts of your body that are closest to the black swimsuit are then going to come forward the most, which is the tops of your arms and tops of your thighs.
"The best swimsuits for curvy women to wear are actually highly colourful and printed ones."
Consider that noted, Natalie!

You can follow Natalie on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.