Jennifer thinks big in vintage fashion

Jennifer Darling in her shop, Voluptuous Vintage, in Alverstoke, Gosport.''Pitcure: Allan Hutchings (150263-117) PPP-151002-164928001
Jennifer Darling in her shop, Voluptuous Vintage, in Alverstoke, Gosport.''Pitcure: Allan Hutchings (150263-117) PPP-151002-164928001
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Boutique dress shop Voluptuous Vintage is exploring a niche market which is proving to be an inspiration for women.

Since opening in Village Road, Alverstoke, in February, owner Jennifer Darling has opened up the world of vintage to plus-size women.

We teach women how to dress for their shape and make the most of their curves

Jennifer Darling

‘It is hard to find original vintage items that are above a size 10 so I had been collecting stock for the past five or six years.

‘We now teach women how to dress for their shape and make the most of their curves,’ she said.

The 38-year-old had always intended to open up a vintage dress shop but didn’t plan to do it this year but she couldn’t resist when the perfect place came on the market.

‘I have lived in Alverstoke for three years and it is 
where my son goes to school so I thought I just had to go for it.’

Before opening the boutique Jennifer had carried out a survey to discover what local women wore.

‘I sat in a coffee shop in the village on a summer’s afternoon and counted how many women were wearing dresses.

‘I couldn’t believe when there wasn’t any as they were all wearing jeans but now I believe that all own at least one dress as they’ve all be in,’ explained Jennifer.

The shop has received a lot of positive reaction from residents but it didn’t come without hard work.

‘It had been a wine shop for 35 years which was run down so I had a lot of work to do make it presentable.’

‘But when we had our opening people were pleasantly surprised.’

The boutique’s concept is different from that of high street stores as they do not size in numbers.

‘I found that over the years from measuring women that they go in one shop and then another and they find they aren’t the same size.

‘So we decided to base our clothes sizes on film stars like Audrey Hepburn and Grace Kelly.

‘This way women know that they will always be that size whatever item they put on.’

The shop also houses a vintage makeover service with hair and beauty included.

‘We get a lot of people asking where they can get vintage-inspired makeovers done, it surprises them that we have a salon in the back of the shop,’ said Jennifer.