Photo courtesy of And Comfort
It all started when Karine’s mom couldn’t find clothing to fit her plus-size body. Growing up, Karine watched that struggle, which later inspired her and Jeffrey to start And Comfort, a new-on-the-market minimalist plus-size clothing line.
Their aesthetic is sleek, clean lines with simple, high-quality fabric. Generally minimalist clothing isn’t my particular aesthetic, partly because of the sheer lack of availability of clean-lined clothing in plus sizes, so I was especially interested to check out And Comfort in person at a recent Seattle pop-up shop. The pop-up was held at Glasswing, which is a beautiful shop full of dark wood and plants and hipster clothing and decor.
Here are my impressions of the new line and some thoughts about where it might go.
Karine and Jeffrey, founders of And Comfort, at the Seattle pop-up
I’m 5’7″, pear/rectangle shape, 270 pounds, 52″ hips and 58″ waist. The jeans in the dressing room photos are from Torrid, the shoes are Skechers, the necklace is from Nature’s Twist, and the socks are from Sock Dreams. I wasn’t compensated in any way for this review; all opinions are my own.
The Apron Dress was probably my least favorite of the pieces I tried on, for a reason that’s really, really common when I try on clothing: the bust didn’t fit. My pear-ish/rectangle-ish shape encounters this problem *all the time* and it’s simply caused by the fit models for those pieces being a different body shape. I’ll talk some more below about what this means for the And Comfort line. The fabric was lovely, though, and I liked the way it skimmed over my hips. And it has pockets! We did try the 2X as well in the dress and it was a bit tight in the hips.
A Cloud Tee with the Tokyo Skirt in Navy
The Tokyo skirt is really, really cute! It’s a faux wrap, which meant that when we stepped outside the shop hosting the pop-up for a moment, a gusty breeze didn’t expose my all and sundry to all and sundry. The ties on the wrap are long enough to adjust the waistband of the skirt to be a bit tighter or looser, and to tie in a neat bow.
This top wasn’t quite my thing. I don’t mind a bit of VBO (visible belly outline), but I found myself sucking in my stomach as I looked in the mirror, and it reminded me oddly of a blue-collar work shirt that just happened to be really long. I think it would be stunning on a different body shape, though.
The Cloud Tee by itself
I *loved* the Cloud Tee. It was so soft and comfortable I almost wore it out of the dressing room thinking that it was the top I’d worn that day. The shoulders fit perfectly, the sleeves were the perfect length, and I felt like I could wear it alone or under another piece (like the dress above). Its only drawback is that the material is quite thin. Jeffrey explained that it’s meant to be summerweight and thus thinner, but I would want something thick enough not to show my bras since I tend to wear dark bras.
The Future of And Comfort and Minimalist Plus-Size Clothing
I think Karine and Jeffrey have a really great idea going here. We desperately need more options, especially different style options, at the upper range of plus sizing. I’ve asked them to consider adding sizing above 28 as well — I know plenty of folks who wear sizing higher than that — and they say it’s in their plans.
Trying on the clothing made me realize what a challenge it is to design minimalist clothing for plus sizes, especially when (such as in the case of the Japanese-inspired clothing here) that clothing was historically designed for people whose bodies lacked the kind of curvature and proportions we see in larger bodies. How do you design a piece of clothing with clean lines that also accommodates the more exaggerated body proportions of plus sizes? And not just one body shape like hourglass, but all of them? It’s a fascinating problem (see the dress above, which had some issues on my bust) and I’ll be watching with interest to see how And Comfort handles it.
So far, they’ve been doing detailed fittings with people of different body shapes in each size they offer as they develop their line. While at the pop-up, I gave them some on-the-spot feedback about my particular body’s experience, too.
Karine and Jeffrey are responsive and open to feedback, so feel free to let them know what you think about the new line and what you’d like to see in minimalist designs for larger bodies.