Fashion disaster – The deaths of Evans?

Being one of those frustratingly termed “plus size” ladies, there’s been a barrage of plus size lines and stores on the high street that have come and gone over the years. If after a frantic Saturday trawling round a shopping centre looking for a pair of trousers, it was always a safe bet to go to Evans. The highstreet stalwart for such things.

Back in the day, Evans used to be pretty damn funky with their Seven/7/ Se7en (whatever) range which was definitely aimed at a younger market. No one wants to feel AND look frumpy on a Friday night now do they girls?
Steadily over the years, Evans has (and I know a LOT of you agree) have drastically declined in both their fashion styles, cuts and market pricing. For a while their prices were ridiculous in comparison to Etam / H&M BB / New Look Inspire but they seem to be evening out…. On somethings.

What I’m having a little rant about is sizing, their cuts and of course style. I recently went in to a store to buy a new pair of jeans. Not a hard task right? I’m you’re average “big girl” build, long legs, round tum, big boobs etc etc. I grabbed my size and headed in to the changing rooms. Now I am fully aware of vanity sizing but what I encountered was just diabolical. The jeans wouldn’t go passed my calves they were that tight! I nipped back out for the next size up, still nowhere near etc until I had gone up 4/5 sizes to a 32 and they STILL wouldn’t go all the way up. They weren’t skinnies or jeggings, just your average straight leg jeans. Can you imagine how that made me feel?! Going up a size by choice for a nicer fit is fine but this was just crazy!

I find this to be a regular occurance with Evans in the last year or so. I know I’m not an odd shape so why should this one shop, that is famed for providing clothes to us plus sized hotties be so off the mark? Sadly, the buzz around the interwebs is that I’m not the only one who is being left on the sidelines by Evans.
Let’s not get me started on their offerings on trends. I know no one might want to buy a size 32 mini skirt and sheer leggings and white lace boob tube, but surely if these are the trends, it would be nice to be atleast offered them right, rather than the usual checky blouses and long mumsy tunics with comfortable slacks?Who says fat CAN’T be fabulous? Their Beth Ditto range was an improvement but then again, their prices for her pieces were crazy and probably priced a lot of the younger fashionistas out of buying them which was a shame!

With the uprising in online retailers such as Yours Clothing and the very on trend Simply Be, I don’t understand why Evans are still lagging behind the times. Simply Be are moving in to opening High Street stores and I tell you what, once they roll out in to the mainstream, I really do think it will be the final nail in the Evans coffin.

While out shopping after the Evans jeans debacle, I managed to pick up a bargainous pair of jeans for £11 (in my size), a beautiful smart going out top, a winter coat, a sweater and a belt for the princely sum of £55 in Tesco. Tesco’s plus size range is fab, I must say. Trendy yet classical with on trend prints and colours all at a VERY reasonable price. My thick winter coat was £35, the equivalent would be around £60 in Evans.. So if these clothes can be made so cheaply at such a good quality, why aren’t shops picking up on this and realising just because we’re fat, we don’t want to pay 3x more for something when we don’t need to. I know our clothes take more fabric than your average size 8 but if Tesco + Asda can do it, why can’t Evans? Even Sainsburys offer a select of more on trend plus size clothes at a more reasonable price!

After a long ‘open relationship’ with Evans, I think I am fully ready to put this one to bed, move on and not be a patron of the store any more until they buck their ideas up and stop playing it so safe and mumsy… us young girls need clubby clothes too!

My future choices will be Tesco, Simply Be, Sainsburys, Inspire, Simply Yours….. I’m coming to get you *rawr*



  1. 22nd September 2011 / 10:24 am

    I totally agree with you, though regarding price I’m not that surprised. If you look at Topshop, Dotty P’s etc the prices have all went up over the years and Arcadia seem to think its “reasonable” to offer us a dress at the “bargain” price of £50+. The worst part about Evans prices was that I could never use my student discount there, even though every other Arcadia store accepted it.
    Tbh I’m not really a jeans person so don’t have any experiences of that, I mainly just buy leggings (which I can’t fault at all), shoes and rings at Evans as everything else is either too expensive or too frumpy and I can find better/cheaper/nicer alternatives elsewhere. I did buy from both Beth Ditto ranges, but only did last year as it was close to my birthday so could justify the £50 (or whatever it was?) for the polka dot dress.
    The shoes annoy me a little. I have wide feet so often can’t buy shoes from many places. I can just about get away with cheap £4 pumps from Primark, but I either have to go a size or two up and then once they have stretched they become too long, so useless, or stick to my “size” and be very uncomfortable for the first few wears until they stretch.
    At Evans I have a choice between 5 EEE or 6 E, it very much depends on the style of shoe, however neither size fits me 100% perfectly. Since they introduced the EEE fits I’ve found that E fits have been lacking. I very rarely can try both width fits on now to see which is best for me and usually have to buy slightly ill fitting shoes as there’s no high street alternative. Apart from that I can’t really fault the shoes as I do think they’re fashionable and reasonably price – esp if you find your size/style in the sale! I often get comments about my shoes from friends so that’s good. However the wellies are a big no go area. The past few winters have obviously been really snowy/slushy, so this is where wellies would become your best friends. “Normal” sized wellies mean I once again have to go a few sizes up, but even then they are usually tight around my legs and often end up splitting (how embarrassing!) so I was delighted to find Evans were selling them…..that was until I bought a pair off their website. What a joke, maybe the part where your feet go was “wide fit” but the leg certainly wasn’t. I couldn’t get them on! I have since read reviews on their website (There wasn’t any at the time I bought them) and I’m not the only one to have that problem. Surely if they are aimed at “bigger” women they would know wellies need to be wider on the leg?! I found a short pair of wellies from Dotty Ps and they fit alright, but if I was a jeans person I’d not be able to wear them together!
    I’ll continue to shop at Evans for my leggings, shoes and rings (until the day I lose enough weight so I can shop elsewhere…cough…cough….) but for everything else I mainly go to Dorothy Perkins, H&M, New Look, River Island and sometimes even Topshop.
    Emily xx

  2. 22nd September 2011 / 11:10 am

    Well, you know my opinion of Evans: Frumpy, over-priced tat!! I’ve moaned about them on my blog too, in the past, for making me feel like they want me to dress like my Nana (no offence to my Nana, but I really don’t want to dress like her!!)

    I agree with Emily on their leggings though, I only have one pair, that I did buy from Evans, and I’ve had no problems with them, although there probably aren’t not many problems to be had with leggings 😉

    Every time I’m looking to buying a new top or whatever, I always check out the Evans website “just in case” they have something that I might like, but on the off (and very rare) chance that I actually do, it’s so ridiculously expensive that there is no way I’d buy it. Even in their sales, things are never really that cheap!

    I’m sticking to New Look, George, Dorothy Perkins and YoursClothing!

  3. Katie
    22nd September 2011 / 4:47 pm

    I have to say, their “wide” boots are a joke..we want wide legs NOT extra wide feet!

    Their knee high boots only half zip up on me, but I can go to New Look and buy a pair of their wide leg boots and wear them comfortably.

    Very disappointing and i’m VERY glad i’m not the only one.

    Feel free to tweet the link to this post to anyone you think might like to add their thoughts xxx

  4. 22nd September 2011 / 6:00 pm

    While I don’t shop with Evans so can’t say I’ve witnessed this personally, I do feel that this post was extremely well written and I love the fact that you’re voting with your wallet. I don’t like it when retailers change their focuses, and don’t look at their target market enough. Very well said.

  5. Katie
    22nd September 2011 / 7:30 pm

    Aw thank you for commenting.

    Next time you’re shopping, dodge in to Evans and see if you can find 1 single item you WOULD wear if you could, that is on trend… i challenge you! 😉

    K x

  6. 24th September 2011 / 10:35 pm

    your writing is really fun and capturing.
    i really enjoyed reading your blog!

    new follower, found you on twitter btw 🙂
    check out my blog 🙂
    BreezeyBee Blog

  7. Anonymous
    22nd December 2011 / 6:00 pm

    So glad someone else thinks the same. Their clothes are awful and not at all flattering. You should also try ‘Forever 21+’ and ‘Asos Curve’ which do some really nice clothing.


  8. Katie
    22nd December 2011 / 6:22 pm

    Ooo, I didn’t know Forever 21 did plus sizes! Will go check them out!

    I am not a fan of Asos Curve in the slightest, I think a lot of the stuff is over priced for the quality, the sizes are a bit hit and miss and I think even though the sizes are really quite trendy, they aren’t always size appropriate, if that makes sense?

    I have picked up a few bargain work tops though!

    Off to look at Forever 21 now!

  9. Anonymous
    23rd December 2011 / 12:09 am

    I know what you mean about them not being size appropriate but it depends how you wear it. I like to buy the short dresses they seem so fond of and wear them over 3/4 length skinny jeans yet I wouldn’t wear either of those items on their own.
    Although, having said that, I don’t know who buys all those short playsuits they sell :/

    Forever 21+ has some really nice stuff in sometimes but you have to be quick and check back often as the good stuff goes quick.

    Good luck!


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