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Published May 29th 2012
Update September 25th 2017
The TS outlet shifted in June 2017 it is now in Northcote at.
I'm young at heart, fashionable, trendy, clothes conscious and errrr size 16.
What's a curvaceous girl to do when a rack of clothes in my size resembles a boy scouts' camping convention.
Thanks goodness for the label Taking Shape (fondly known as TS). The designs are modern, flattering, colourful and with plentiful layering options so you can build a fashionable mix and match wardrobe. Plus they come in sizes 14 to 24.
Trouble is that while the brand is not overly pricey building up a wardrobe can make a firm dent in the budget. Which is why the TS outlet shop in Richmond is worth knowing about. Pants that might normally set you back $120 are just $20. Gorgeous dresses range from $39 to $59 while scarfs are as little as $5. There is a bit of a preponderance of size S which is Size 16 - love the way they call that small - but in general, you will always find items in your size range.
Looking at the range of customers it is also the place to go for tall women.
Not sure if it was a sales pitch but I was told that the designer at Taking Shape is a one woman show.
She's ahead of all the other designers" the sales woman confirmed. "So while some of our stock is last year's stock it is still this year's fashion."
Latching on to a top in this year's brazen gold colour (and for just $20), I must say I hold some belief in the hype.
And because much of what is sold here is basics such as tops, pants, leggings and tunics a bit of mix and matching and you can always manage the latest look in any case.
The staff are all really helpful. They wear TS themselves so you can see how they assemble their outfits with leggings, jewellery and the whole shebang.
TS staff all undertake in-house fashion courses so they can offer informed advice on what goes with what and how to assemble the perfect outfit. TS garments can notoriously also be worn in a number of ways by overlaying and reversing and so on. So again some sound advice grants you even more wardrobe options.
The Abbotsford TS store was always large but in the last six months it has doubled in size so the amount of stock is phenomenal.
Another boon is the nearby coffee shop, named Three Bags Full, just few doors down on on the Corner Nicholson & Mollison streets.
This place is perennially crowded, so you make have to get a take a way, but the coffee is worth the wait incurred. And so are the luscious iced cup cakes and the ricotta hot-cakes with poached fruit and honey and orange infused ricotta.
So what if I put on weight, there will always be clothes just down the road to fit me. If I couldn't have scrumptious food and a designer clothes I really would feel like the biggest loser.
For those on the other side of town there is another TS clearance centre at Unit B, 1398 Sydney Road Fawkner. This one is open every day so check website for details.