Hull's first ever plus size retro reproduction boutique opened on Princes Avenue in early 2016. After their recent refurbishment, there's a lot more space for rails, as well as a brand new fitting room. We met up with Gracie, owner of Graciously Voluptuous, to find out what customers can expect when they walk through her lilac-painted doors.
The boutique stocks mid-century inspired dresses in sizes 8-26, and Gracie hopes to focus on providing ladies with tips on body confidence and vintage styling. Her passion for retro clothing began just three years ago, whilst she was running her letting agency in the same spot, I received so many compliments on what I was wearing, but much of it was bought online or in other cities. This got me thinking that there were no retro fashion stores in Hull, specifically catering for plus size women.
Just a few months on and Gracie already has regulars who have come to her for post-natal work wear, occasion pieces and general day-to-day fashion advice.
It's about finding what works great for you, Gracie enthuses as she points to her 1950s-inspired floral outfit. I always tell my ladies that even if they have to try on everything in the shop, I want them to leave feeling confident and comfortable “ I'll even order items in specially.
So what makes Graciously Voluptuous different from the plethora of high street and vintage shops in Hull?
Many high street stores have begun to stock a wider selection of sizes, but even these clothes aren't specifically designed for curves or plus size ladies, Gracie explains. Here at Graciously Voluptuous, we want to provide something a little different, no matter what size or shape you are.
Retro reproduction clothing for modern-day individuals is made from durable material, meaning that it is suitable for everyday wear. We do regularly stock original vintage pieces, but I love the freedom and quality of a modern piece that's designed by Hell Bunny or Collectif.
Recently ordering brand new stock from a variety of vintage-inspired brands, including Voodoo Vixen, Banded Apparel and Lady V London, Gracie is very excited for the coming months: At first I stuck to designs and cuts that I preferred, such as classic and traditional, but I've learnt that there are so many people out there willing to try edgier styles.
The Princes Avenue area is just a short bus ride or walk from Hull's city centre. Thriving with bars, eateries and unique boutiques like Graciously Voluptuous, it's a hotspot for residents and tourists alike.
Graciously Voluptuous is located at 11 Princes Avenue and open Tuesday-Saturday 10:30am-5:30pm. If you do try on a frock we'd love to see your photos, so please share them with us on Facebook and Twitter. In the meantime, catch up with Gracie on the Graciously Voluptuous Facebook page.