Sheffield & South Yorkshire

Sheffield designer makes dresses go 'pear-shaped'

Illona Cash of Ambi Image copyright Ambi
Image caption The Sheffield duo make dresses in mixed sizes for pear-shaped women

A fashion designer has begun making mixed-size clothes for women after struggling to find anything to fit her pear-shaped figure.

Illona Cash launched Ambi with her partner Bowen Revill from their Sheffield home and started taking online orders two months ago.

She said she tried exercise to change her shape but realised she should design clothes to fit it instead.

The dresses she designs are a size smaller on the top than the bottom.

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"I worked out solidly for a year and just found myself going from an 8 and a 10 to a 6 and an 8," she said.

"I was like that's it, that's my body shape I just have to dress for it now.

"You are trained to think everyone will fit into one particular size, and it wasn't until I realised I wasn't fitting a certain size that the idea came to me."

She added: "I don't think everyone fits into the same mould that shop sizes give us."

Image copyright Ambi
Image caption Illona Cash launched Ambi with her partner Bowen Revill

Body shape is influenced by genes, with DNA proven to influence where fat is stored.

Women said to be 'pear-shaped' have a smaller bust and waist and larger hips and thighs.

The capsule range of tailored workwear was launched and there are already plans for a second collection, possibly catering for women with a larger top half than bottom.

Mr Revill said there was already plenty of demand.

"The ones that don't need it, their immediate reaction is, do you do that the other way around?," she said.

"So even if it's someone who isn't of that body shape, you obviously spark an idea in them that actually, I don't have to make do with standard shapes that are out there."

Image caption There are already plans for a second collection

Jane Chapman, from True Colours Image Consultancy in Sheffield, welcomed the shift in how the clothes are sized.

She said: "I think it's a great idea, anything that helps us get away from the one size fits all is a really good thing.

"The truth is that the majority of British women take a larger size below than they do above, and it is a particular problem finding fitted workwear that does that."

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