We are big fans of vintage inspired fashion here at Revival Retro. The company was founded in 2009 and we've had a bricks and mortar store in London since 2011.
We are a multi-brand retailer stocking many favourites such as Emmy Design Sweden, House of Foxy, Emily and Fin, Seamstress of Bloomsbury and more. In 2017 we also launched our own range of in house designs.
We have carefully curated our collection each season, taking care to focus on quality clothing that will last, aiming to serve a diverse community of women through a policy of inclusion.
At the time of writing we offer up to size 22/24 in many but certainly not all styles. We are looking to improve this and you can read a number of blogs on how we are going about changing this for the better. Read about frustrations with vintage plus size clothing. Read about our plus size consultations.
Not all of the brands we sell offer plus size clothing ,however, and of those that do may restrict size availability. We can't stock what isn't available! Except, where we choose to make our own :-) In answer to the lack of repro vintage plus size clothing, over the past year we have started to extend the sizes of more items in our own range to see if we can do a better job of serving your needs.
For a long time we have wanted to expand our size range but as a small business we have had to do this incrementally due to resources, costs, space, budget etc It's less than satisfactory (for you and for us) but we work with what we've got.
One of the problems is that the sad but true fact is women have been trained to expect small boutiques will not stock larger sizes. There are also so many horrible stories about the way they have been treated when shopping that many will never enter a store, let alone ask a staff member for their size.
At Revival Retro we have tried to break that negative cycle and we try to provide a welcoming and friendly atmosphere but we can still do better. We are looking into better signposting, plus size mannequins and other recommendations that have been made in response to asking for input. However part of the problem is a chicken and egg situation with supply and demand.
As a small business working to incrementally increase our range of sizes we extend (say up to 22) but it would be misleading to describe ourselves as a plus size stockist. Doing so would only lead to disappointment for many women. Without a way to effectively advertise to size 18-22 women the stock we get doesn't sell and that makes us cautious to try again. To do more we need bigger budgets for manufacturing and marketing which are not generally available but during the COVID-19 pandemic have made things even more difficult.
Yet, COVID-19 has been the cloud with the silver lining! It is terrible that sales fell off a cliff edge during the pandemic and it's awful that when the shop was finally allowed to reopen we have been empty. It will take some time for customers to have the confidence to come shopping in central London again but it will happen. In the meanwhile, while there are no customers to serve, our multi-talented staff can work on other projects.
Full timer Charlotte is a trained and experienced seamstress and had her own shop in Glasgow prior to moving to London and joining the Revival Team. Having studied Fashion Design for Industry Charlotte agreed to help us realise our plus size range ambitions. She understands our brand, knows our aesthetic and has a passion for this project.
Together, Charlotte and I (Rowena, owner) can channel our shared passions and are taking the care to listen, explore and understand the challenges to make a genuinely 'plus size' collection that is worth shouting about.
At the time of writing our designs are in development and our public consultations are showing an amazing level of support for this project. It seems people are genuinely surprised that we are taking time to listen, that we prioritise provenance in our business decisions, that design and great fit for women are fundamentals whatever size or shape you may be.
To us though, this is what we have always done at Revival, it's simply that we have found the time and the resources to finally extend the size range significantly. Watch this space!
The Revival Retro Boutique
30 Windmill Street, London, W1T 2JL (Goodge Street, Tube)