What’s in a name?

Thank you, thank you, thank you. For your messages, calls, DMs. For your kind words and support. It means the world to me that you’ve embraced the concept of Sisu & Finn. It is an exciting, albeit very scary, adventure which is driven by wanting to give women of all shapes and sizes clothing options.

Since the announcement, I’ve had quite a few questions about the name; so here is the context.

The last two years have been particularly challenging for me. Through that process I’ve had to look into the black abyss that’s inside all of us and use sheer grit, and determination to overcome the challenges that presented themselves to me. With most things in life, nothing is absolute. So the process continues for me. However, I knew that to support my big, ambitious soul, I needed to create something which reflected me, my passion for pushing boundaries and serving the broader community.

With that in mind, the words which helped create the name were always going to play an important role in the overall ethos of the brand. And when I stumbled across Sisu, it instantly resonated with me and I loved it. It felt right. It’s a Finnish word (hence the Finn) which means stoic determination, grit, bravery, resilience, and hardiness. It’s about taking action against the odds and displaying courage and resoluteness in the face of adversity. Doesn’t that perfectly describe what’s needed to live an authentic life?

It summed up what was required of me the last two years, but on further reflection, my whole existence. Being what society hasn’t considered ‘normal’ has always demanded an extra level of grit and determination. I see that grit and determination in your words and faces too. And Sisu & Finn’s purpose is to help support you; to give you options and to be a place where you can be comfortable to express yourself.

So that my dear (petite, curvy, ‘normal’ and plus sized) friends is how Sisu & Finn came to be.

Feel free to check out the site. As it is a work in progress, feel free to send feedback to info@sisuandfinn.com.au and tell me what you want from the site. And if you agree with the ethos, please share the post with your friends and family.

An obsession with Marks and Spencer

I do have some favourite brands – many of which you know about: Saks, Bloomingdales, Neiman Marcus, Ralph Lauren, Jones New York, Lafayette148ny and the list does keep on going.

However, a few weeks ago I was randomly googling other plus size options. I was a bit bored with what was available and I needed some classics. To date, I had really only had success with US based retailers and brands. Apart from a couple of designers, I didn’t have success with UK retailers. Until now….

I was looking at Marks and Spencer and noticed they had a plus size range. I originally bought a few items from it but as UK sizing is different to US sizing I was shooting in the barrel a bit.

Surprisingly, most of the clothes I bought were too big. For tops and jackets I am normally range form a US 18 to a US 22. Thinking the sizing was two bigger, I bought a size UK 26 jacket. It is a tad big but I wear it ALL the time. In fact, I haven’t worn a jacket so many times, in such a short period of time, for a very long time.

I also bought some boyfriend jeans in a size UK 28 and they were literally falling off me. I later bought them in a size 26 (also too big), and now I have settled on a size 24 in some excellent navy chinos. I may have bought those in pink too….

Another favourite is a black trench which I have posted photos of here. Again, the quality is good, especially for the price point.

But, what I found most impressive, was clothing unto 24 wasn’t restricted to the plus size section which goes up to a size 28. Some items only go up to 16, others 18, 20, 22 and 24. The vast majority of the clothes I have purchased (of which there are many!!!) are not form the selection of clothes in the plus size section. Frankly, that’s how it should be. Available for women – not petite, ‘normal’ or plus size, but WOMEN.

I have many outfit posts coming up and most of these are from M&S, so watch this space!!







Customer service is still in vogue: Lafayette148 New York

Yesterday, I had the most phenomenal customer service experience which has blown me away. And, I am so pleased it was with one of my favourite brands Lafayette148 New York.

I ordered three items from the Lafayette 148 New York website last week but had some issues placing the order because I am based in Australia. Being an avid US shopper I knew to engage with the customer service team to help me process the order. The engagement was seamless and easy (as I would expect) but by the time we were ready to process the transaction the pants and jacket I ordered were no longer available! I was shattered. The jacket is a gorgeous caramel cotton twill double breasted jacket (below) which would be perfect in my wardrobe. It’s classic, stylish and practical. I cancelled the rest of my order because the hero item in my order was the jacket. I wrote to the customer service team and asked how this can be avoided in the future because I had my eye on the jacket for 3 months – I was even willing to buy it a size too small!!!

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What came next blew me away. The customer service team proactively asked whomever behind the scenes whether they could get the jacket and the pants MADE SPECIFICALLY FOR ME. There was material for the pants, but unfortunately none for the jacket. I am still upset the jacket isn’t in my wardrobe, but the pants (and a sweater) will be in three weeks time! And, they are only charging me the clearance price.

In a period where customer service is rubbish, I have been blown away by this response. The fact this person even had the motivation to ask the question is phenominal. I am not a major department store buyer. I am not even a customer who buys the entire range at full price. I have 10 + items (which I LOVE) but bought most in sales. And this is how Lafayette 148 NY treats its customers.

I have praised Lafayette 148 NY for over a year due to it’s stylish clothing for bigger women. The quality is always second to none and the material is to die for. The clothing is sophisticated, classic, feminine and stylish. I feel like a woman in their clothing and unfortuantely one of only a handful of brands which make high end clothing for bigger women.

With that said, I still encourage them to broaden its range for plus size women, particularly those who are young professionals and want clothing which is classic and elegant but also modern and funky. The petite and standard range still has a lot more variety – many items I would love to get my hands on (specifically talking about the cashmere range – AMAZING!!).

Lafayette 148 New York, thank you for understanding your customers and knowing how to dress women of all shapes and sizes. You have turned an already loyal customer into an advocate of the brand.