12 Oct 2016
“I think I bought my first clothes from you in London in the early 90s. I know I've gone up a size from 4 to 5 since then but thankfully there is still some growing room! Today I put a Sixteen47 item out for the charity shop for the first time ever...a pair of pale blue trousers. Looking at my wardrobe it is easily 85% sixteen47 although not all as it came, tops have become jackets, occasionally trousers have become skirts, when I get bored I mess with stuff but this is the first giveaway! ( I'll never be a size 4 again)!”
Those Sixteen47 customers who have investigated the www.Sixteen47.com site will have discovered already how Helen Teague and Dawn French met and how Dawn decided to go into business with Helen (https://sixteen47.com/newsarticles/111-how-we-met-dawn-french-and-helen-teague-anthi-charalambous-sunday-independent).
But why did Helen go into beautiful big clothes in the first place? She was a successful architect and could have gone on to an illustrious career, designing buildings. Instead she turned to designing clothes!
It all began with her mother in Ghana (Helen is one quarter Ghanaian) who was a well loved African seamstress in that she designed and sewed wedding dresses for, among others, Presidents’ wives. She could look at a photograph in a fashion magazine and cut and sew a replica without needing to draw any lines on paper! Helen was brought up in her early years, in England. When she returned from school as an eight year old she would help her mother with sewing orders. She later qualified as an architect having graduated with a distinction and was awarded the annual prize for design. Seeking greater independence she decided she wanted to work for herself and returned to her love of fabric. Something mysterious had happened in that everything she had learned in architecture became strangely relevant to clothes’ design. This can be summed up in one word, proportionality.
What existed then in the big clothes marketplace for mass prodcution was a rather crude method for grading big garments. It still exists in some manufacturers’ products today. Result – wrong length arms, and disproportionate bodies. By developing a special ‘architectural’ formula to cover the variety of shapes that people come in, Sixteen47 clothes have proven a great success. Not only that but Helen developed her range of clothes to cover every possible size - beautiful, big, creative designs in top quality fabrics. And all sizes for the same price!
SIZE 1 will suit anyone from size 16-20 Bust - 42 Hip - 44
SIZE 2 will suit anyone from size 20-24 Bust - 46 Hip - 48
SIZE 3 will suit anyone from size 24-28 Bust - 50 Hip - 52
SIZE 4 will suit anyone from size 28-32 Bust - 54 Hip - 56
SIZE 5 will suit anyone from size 32-36 Bust - 58 Hip - 60
SIZE 6 will suit anyone from size 36-47 Bust - 66 Hip - 70
In 1991 it was a long needed breakthrough in this marketplace. There are still many loyal customers who have been with the company since those early days - for twenty five or more years!
“I still have the first top I bought!! Your clothes may be slightly more expensive that some of the high street stores or other online shops BUT.... the quality is fabulous, the prints and colours are incredible and the garments last and last and wash very easily. I've not yet thrown out a 1647 garment!! I have several tops that people say "wow" to whenever I wear them. Finally, the delivery has improved incredibly over the last few years and delivery to Spain now takes about 3 or 4 days!!! “
Helen is always seeking ways to help Sixteen47 customers gain the best garment fit in the market place. Watch this space!