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Get Real with Reality Plus

Get Real with Reality Plus
Let's get real. Women don't fit a one-size-fits-all mold. This local designer has recognized that fact and developed a line of clothing to fit a perpetually "overlooked and misunderstood" demographic.
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When designer Beth Anne Herrin worked for a major retailer in corporate America, she helped to develop garments that she couldn't even wear. It wasn't because they were too expensive or that she was allergic to the material but because she was a plus-size woman, and her company didn't produce clothing in her size. She knew then that the fashion world overlooked a niche of women. After 25 years in the fashion industry and a lifetime of "trouble finding quality clothing in [her] size that is stylish and fashionable," Herrin launched Reality Plus Clothing Company.


Focused on plus-size apparel, Reality Plus has an online store to serve women sizes 14 to 28 in their career and professional wardrobe needs. On the Web site right now, you can browse through pages of fall-style business-wear garments like suits, sweaters, jackets, coats, and more business-causal tops and cardigans.

Herrin plans to expand her brand gradually from business attire to include casual clothing, and she entertains the possibility of partnering with other local businesses to make accessories available to pair with her clothing.


After graduating from the College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning at the University of Cincinnati, Herrin worked in the fashion industry only to find a common thread with clothing brands that have a "plus-size" line. Because plus-size clothing isn't their primary focus, the brands' designers didn't understand the pattern making or sizing aspects of plus-size attire. So Herrin decided to create a line that took the time to perfect the fit of plus-size clothing.
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Larger retailers have secondary plus-size lines that "might make the garment wider but [don't] adjust their patterns and grading," Herrin says, so Reality Plus "adjusts the sleeve width, the arm hole and the length of the garment and focuses on the appropriate proportion of how a style would look good and flatter a plus-size woman," Herrin says.


Reality Plus was a business endeavor that was seven years in the making, and despite the line's launch just as the economy took a turn for the worse, Herrin is currently working on her spring 2010 line with counter samples, prototype fittings and quality testing. To help her company really get to know their customer on a deeper level, Herrin also runs focus groups and outreach programs and has hopes to really improve the products available to plus-size women.

"Other than the entrepreneur's dream of growing a multimillion dollar business, my dream is to put some trust back into retail and put some quality back into the product and to be able to build relationships with our customers," Herrin says.


For more information check out the Reality Plus Web site.



PHOTO CREDITS
Photographer: Neysa Ruhl Photography
Model: Beth Anne Herrin
Location: The McAlpin

Emily Terbrueggen -

Emily Terbrueggen is Cincy Chic’s editorial intern. Send her an e-mail at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .Read More >>


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