Plus Size Part 1 - The Industry by Peter Nghiem

The fashion industry is for the most part, plus-size adverse. One of the many possible explanations is that manufacturing plus sized clothes can be more complicated. The amount of work required to make plus size clothes in relation to off the rack size clothes are quite significant and there are more considerations that need to be taken. As sizes go up, the difference in body shapes become much more pronounced. That’s why the industry standard of grading (where brands add/minus 2.5cm proportionally when they increase/decrease in size) works so poorly for larger sizes. The difference in body shape also means that it’s extremely hard for plus size women to gauge how an outfit will look without trying it on first. Darts, seams, and shaping require extra care  and this in turn results in increased costs.

Nadia Aboulhosn

Nadia Aboulhosn

This means for small independent companies, making a small mistake whilst trying to release a line of plus size clothing can leave a big hole in the business’ finances or can even be career ending.

Even for established brands this is a substantial undertaking. For example, if they make 300 units for a certain design, they would require a separate team of designers, machinist, pattern makers because the work they would be doing although from the outside looks the same, would be vastly different. All this compounds to be quite a significant cost. Which means that prices at the minimum will have to increase. And if the design fails, well you can understand why many brands are unwilling to take the financial risk.

To combat this, brands would need to price garments by the work required to be spent on them as well as the amount of raw materials that were used for each size of the garment. However, not all consumers understand the processes behind the scenes and the reasoning for different pricing. They just see that their clothes cost more than the size below and are understandably frustrated. The other option is to keep the pricing uniform across the board by increasing the price for the whole line. In both scenarios there are potentially massive risks involved and it’s easy to see why brands are reluctant to do either.

The next issue holding plus-size fashion back is the mentality of the industry. To most designers, fashion is a form of art and often seen as aspirational. When creating a collection, designers aspire for the catwalk of Milan or Paris, not your average Australian woman in Sydney or Melbourne . So, from the outset, these clothes are made for someone else and will never flatter curvier women. It’s bullshit and there needs to be a seismic shift in the industry’s mindset.

Our next blog will explore change in the industry.

The most powerful women you’ve never heard of: Issue 1 - the Money and Pant-Suit Queen, Christine Lagarde by Peter Nghiem

Image via Vogue

Image via Vogue

The accomplishments of women are never heralded enough and the team at Isadora Nim have put together a series of blogs on strong women we admire.

The first on our list is Christine Lagarde, the pant-suit loving Frenchie who has the small task of being in charge of the world’s economy.

Lagarde’s CV is full of firsts; the first woman to become finance minister of a G8 summit, the first woman to head the IMF, the first chairwoman of international law firm Baker and McKenzie, the first woman ever in charge of economic policy in France. We could go on.

Christine Lagarde hit the Forbes top 10 most powerful women in 2014-2016 for her role as Managing Director of the International Monetary fund. For those of us who aren’t sure (thanks Google…) the International Monetary Fund look after all the cash. They promote financial stability and cooperation between all 189 member countries. When shit hits the fan (a.k.a. the global financial crisis or the debt fiasco in Greece) they try to figure it out. So yeah, Lagarde is pretty damn powerful in our eyes. 

She is a passionate defender of women’s equality and plans to break up the boys club of the IMF with more gender balance. Amen.

Lagarde has an amazing sense of style, owning her suits with poise and purpose. When asked by Vogue about her secret to being so effortlessly elegant all the time, she credited Chanel and wearable suits. We agree with you there sista.


FEMME BOSSES; What to wear to THAT job interview by Peter Nghiem

Job interviews are scary. There we said it. Trying to sell yourself to complete strangers isn’t always the most effortless of tasks. But walking in there, feeling confident with your head held high sure makes it easier.

A big part of getting a job is making a good first impression, and a big part of making a good first impression is how you dress. Dare I say… dressing to impress can be key to securing the job.

Firstly though, the basics.

You aren’t going clubbing; you need to look polished and well put together. Having a well-tailored outfit can make all the difference and give you a killer silhouette. For most job interviews, a sophisticated pant-suit or dress and jacket combo works well. The general consensus reads that for a corporate job interview, your outfit needs to be conservative. In this case, a well tailored suit will make you stand out. Opt for simple pieces that fit you well and you feel comfortable in.

If you are applying for a more creative role outside of the corporate sector, you can be more liberal in your outfit choice. Whether that be pairing smart pants with a casual blouse or tee or wearing jeans with a coloured blazer.

Here at Isadora Nim, we believe that you can look professional whilst showing flares of your individuality. This could be through one bold piece showing a flash of colour; whether that be a bright pocket-square or the flash of red from your Louboutins. 

Choose an outfit that “fits”

Research the company prior to your interview to figure out what outfit would suit best. Going for a job at a law office is a very different vibe to securing a role at a fashion magazine.  Peruse their website and learn as much as you can. If using a recruiter, ask your consultant their thoughts on what would be appropriate. If in doubt, verge on the side of caution and overdress. It’s never fun to be the only one in jeans at a formal dinner party.


Carry a smart bag that is big enough to hold a folder for your resume, a bottle of water for all the inevitable chatting you’ll be doing and big enough to double up as a sick bag if the nerves get too bad (we joke.)  A leather black tote is perfect for an interview. We are in love with Melbourne brand @theleathercollective who hand-craft stunning leather pieces. 


We all know how important looking the part can be to feeling the part. The corporate world isn’t always the most empowering environment for women – feeling confident and assured at work is vital.

1. “Suit” your shape

The most important part of looking like a boss is having a great cut and killer silhouette. It is amazing the difference that a well-tailored outfit can make; nip in items to create a waistline, accentuate curves, elongate your legs, the options are endless.

There is general advice out there about what styles suit which body-shapes; but most of us women don’t find into one of five categories. Opt for tailored advice and an individualised service to help you decide between shapes.

2. Invest in a classic wardrobe that can give you a lot of mileage

Lets be honest, we don’t all have the energy (or bank account…) to re-adjust our wardrobe every season. Invest in classic pieces that will stand the test of time and carry you through the seasons.

For a first-time wearer, the first port of call is always the neutral suit in black, navy or charcoal. You can wear those colours with everything and wear the pieces together or separately; dress it up with heels and a blouse to board meetings, wear the pants with a white top and coloured blazer for a more relaxed office look, or forget the top and wear the jacket alone with the pants and statement necklace for a stylish office-to- bar look.

To increase the life of the suit, we recommend alternating bottoms to avoid over- wearing the same pieces and allowing some rotation. Store your pieces out of season in cotton-breathable bags.

3. Wear clothes that make you feel powerful

We all have those outfits that make us feel great the moment we put them on and we walk with our head held high. Think Carrie Bradshaw in her striped Paris outfit. 

Giorgio Armani recently said, “[women] don’t have to wear a suit jacket to prove their authority…wear what makes you feel powerful.” Preach Giorgio.

4. Know your audience but show your individuality

Some offices have strict uniform policies and you need to be respectful of those if you want to be taken seriously in the workplace. Being able to show your personality through your clothes is still important – we don’t want to get lost amongst the sea of navy pant suits. We adore a flash of colour or hint of print. Whether that be in a statement necklace, pocketsquare, cufflinks, tie or even the glimpse of the red soles of your Louboutins.

Photo: Sarah Ann Murray

Photo: Sarah Ann Murray

5. Wear heels

It’s sad but its true. Heels give us the impression of power. Those extra few inches to look straight in our boss’ eye. Heel height can make us feel more confident and assertive, all qualities we want to nourish.

For us flats loving ladies out there stay tuned for our piece on power wearing flats.