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Plus-Size Fashion Blogger Rebecca Panayiotou-Sante Talks Self-Care

Posted by on February 17, 2014

Rebecca Panayiotou-Sante, 24, is a violin teacher and a freelance studio musician living in Oklahoma. When she’s not working, she is at home with her partner and their five pets.  As a plus-size fashion blogger, Rebecca loves clothes and fashion in addition to cooking and crafting. In fact, she has a second blog completely devoted to any and all DIY adventures. “I enjoy suburban domesticity way more than I am comfortable admitting,” says Rebecca.

Rebecca took the time to talk with IGIGI about the importance of self-care and how a perfect outfit can make everything better.

Plus-size fashion blogger Rebecca Panayiotou-Sante

Rebecca says that she fully embraces the title of “diva.”
Credit: Rebecca Panayiotou-Sante

Jane: Tell me a little about yourself. What’s most important to you? What are your priorities? 

Rebecca: Self-care and self-respect are very important to me and my life goal is to not need anyone’s validation. On the other side, I am a very nurturing person and my family is very important to me. I am passionate about feminism and body positivity – two things that blogging has helped me to become more involved in.

Jane: How would you describe or label your personal fashion aesthetic? 

Rebecca: I have a hard time labeling my fashion sense. Makeup-wise, I feel very 60s inspired, but clothing-wise, it’s a little different. What I drive for is a distinctive yet classic look, bold and fiercely feminine, with silhouettes that emphasize my favorite parts of my body.

Plus-size fashion blogger Rebecca Panayiotou-Sante

Rebecca says that her undergrad violin teacher was her first fashion inspiration because she was petite, classic, and impeccably put together. There are also countless “fatshion” bloggers online who inspire Rebecca every day.
Credit: Rebecca Panayiotou-Sante

Jane: Have you always been interested in fashion? 

Rebecca: I’ve been playing dress-up since I was a little kid. When I was about six, one of my favorite things to do was to put on my favorite “dress-up” gown and make my dad take pictures of me. I’ve always been a diva in training! I did go through a period where I felt very ashamed of my fat body and became really unadventurous in my clothing choices. Part of my shame was due to my size and part of it was modesty-driven, since I was raised in a very conservative community. It took going to college and finding the Fatshion community on Tumblr to rediscover my inner diva

Jane: What’s your favorite piece in your wardrobe? 

Rebecca: I really don’t have one. Haha! I’d say a comfortable yet stylish pair of shoes is always a popular item for me. Comfort is so important in my profession when you are standing and teaching/rehearsing for hours on end.

Plus-size fashion blogger Rebecca Panayiotou-Sante

Rebecca has always loved to dress up.
Credit: Rebecca Panayiotou-Sante

Jane: What advice would you give to other plus-size women when they ask you where they should shop? 

Rebecca: Look online! There are so many amazing resources for plus-size girls online, and you really can find almost any style of clothing. Don’t settle for what you’ve been finding in the department stores. Drive out of your way to get to a good retailer. And always, always try it on if it catches your eye – never put it back on the rack thinking that you can’t pull it off. You’ll never know until you’re in it, and then you might think differently.

Jane: So you mostly shop online then. Have you ever felt discriminated against in a store that doesn’t stock your size? 

Rebecca: Oh gosh, of course. There was that time that Victoria’s Secret sized me up, told me I was a 42 DD, and said that “we don’t carry that size in store,” but that I was welcome to go online and order it from them. That was the last time they received my business. Honestly, there are very few clothing stores in which I really feel comfortable. It’s mortifying to have to wend your way through a sea of straight-sized fashionable clothes to find a tiny corner of dowdy plus size options. I really just don’t shop at those types of places anymore because, a) I can find better clothes elsewhere, and b) it’s not worth compromising all the mental work I’ve put into body acceptance. I deserve better than that.

Plus-size fashion blogger

Rebecca avoids major clothing stores that don’t cater to all sizes, because she knows she deserves better than that.
Credit: Rebecca Panayiotou-Sante

Jane: Can you tell me about a time when you took a fashion “risk” that you felt really paid off? 

Rebecca: I put together an outfit in my early blogging days that I never posted a picture of, but wore to a party: a white blouse tucked into pink, high-waisted shorts worn over leggings. It was the most daring fashion choice I’ve ever made and I remember feeling very empowered.

If you want to dress like Rebecca, she recommends checking out the IGIGI Jada Plus-Size Top in Black/Champagne, which she would pair with a black body-con skirt, black oxfords, and some colorful tights in mint or pale orchid for a Sixties-mod look.

In the future, Rebecca plans to keep blogging and exploring her personal style. She also hopes to get to know more of the fabulous women in the online fatshion community, because they keep inspiring her to make bold choices! To keep up with Rebecca, you can follow her blog and comment below.

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