Manners London: How the Empowering Clothing Brand Got its Start

“That’s how it all began – just me wanting to feel powerful in my clothes, wanting to feel unapologetic about my body and wanting the same for every woman around me!” Sally, founder and designer of Manners London

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via @mannerslondon

Hi from the editor’s desk! <3 We can’t get enough of the badass entrepreneurial spirit in our community – so many of you are crushing it out there! – and want to throw some shine to Sally Mansfield, the brains and heart behind Manners London, an amazing clothing brand that designs for all women. We caught up with her to hear how it came to life, and we’ll let her take it from here…

Words by Sally Mansfield

I’m Sally, solo parent and homeschooler of my 11-year-old son, owner of Manners London, lifelong hustler (on a quest for rest) & DV survivor (amongst other things) – in order of importance!

I kinda fell into what I do now. It’s a long-ass story, but in 2015 I fled Bali broke and broken with a 5-year-old son, a fading tan and a box of clothes I had designed for myself – all in only my size. We landed in London and ended up in a tiny sublet council flat just by Portabello Road, so I hustled a stall with kid in toe and jet lag still going hard and hustled my way in, praying that some women with L butts and M tops would come past and they did, and Manners London was born. 

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I’m a curvy woman so the high street has never been my friend and seeing women empowered, confident and happy is my jam. I’m the woman who shouts ‘You look great in that dress!” to the woman on the next carriage, (much to my sons embarrassment) so I wanted to translate that into clothes. Clothes that you put on and make you shout ‘Damn girl, you look HOT in that’ at your reflection. Regardless of how fat or flat your bum is or how heavy or wonky your tits are, how broad or slim.

There’s so much power in that. In feeling happy in yourself. I know its a cliché but I’m sure if I’d liked my reflection sooner (or at least been at peace with it) my life would have taken a very different path. But that’s a whole story in itself! 

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I wanted to create clothes that feel good on all bodies. When we take back our power and stand a little taller, speak a little louder, feel a little stronger, shit changes; we rise, and in that rising we can give each other a leg up.

Sisterhood and community are what inspire me, seeing women take off their pinching torturous bras and feel free in their bodies excites me. Women finding who they are outside of the male gaze and supporting other women is pure joy. 

We do so much as women, so much emotional labour. so many of us are praised for our ‘strength’ for being ‘warriors’, I want to create clothing and a community that lifts you up when all the women in you are tired. Clothes to fight and to cry in. Last year on The Dragons Den, Peter Jones tried to tell me that the plus size fashion market is saturated. He tried to tell me what women want. I wanna be part of an uprising where women choose what they want and not men like PJ!

I am only a few steps into a much larger dream with greater inclusivity, more community and more women rising but until then I’m here freeing your tits and telling you to WEAR THAT DRESS if it makes you feel powerful!

Can’t wait to hear more from Sally and Manners London? Oh, we get it!
Check out the Manners London webshop and find your new favorite garment, visit the Manners London Instagram and give them a follow, or grab a cup of tea and dig into the Manners London blog, where Sally shares about anything and everything going on in the Manners London universe!


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