Our Favorite ‘Creepy Bubblegum Goth,’ Plus-Size Blogger Jill Perella

Posted by on December 18, 2013

Thank goodness for amazing plus-size fashion bloggers. Honestly, I know that I would be lost without them. It wasn’t until I discovered the amazing community of fabulous “fatshionistas” on the Internet that I really started playing with my personal style, taking fashion risks, and pushing the envelope.

Jill Perella, 21, of Philadelphia, is a salon coordinator and fashion design student, as well as one kick-ass plus-size fashion and lifestyle blogger at Death Before Diet. Jill took the time to talk with IGIGI about being a bold, beautiful, unapologetically plus-size woman trying to break into the fashion industry.

She describes herself as a loud, tall, chubby, outspoken 21 year-old with more sass than most. She likes to spend her days volunteering at animal shelters, making clothes, making friends, and making people’s heads turn.

Jill has heard people describe her style as "creepy bubblegum goth." Credit: Jill Perella

Jill has heard people describe her style as “creepy bubblegum goth.”
Credit: Jill Perella


Jane
: How would you describe your personal style? I love seeing the outfits you post because it seems like you’re never really tied any particular aesthetic.

Jill: I would have to describe my fashion as, above all, ever-changing. My style is an outlet of how I feel, so it changes every day. Every hour, even.

Jane: What first got you interested in pursuing fashion? It must have been pretty big since you’re planning on pursuing fashion design as a career.

Jill: My mother first got me interested in fashion, most definitely. She always had a very quirky sense of style. For example: she will wear a totally earth-toned outfit, but peeking out from her clogs will be the funkiest rainbow-colored socks you’ve ever seen. She is also the queen of cute scarves, and sometimes wears two at a time. Little quirks like that taught me to be free with my fashion, and do what I like.

Jill's wardrobe staples are her 6 inch black platform shoes and her 80-year-old floral silk shawl handed down to her from her great grandmother. Credit: Jill Perella

Jill’s wardrobe staples are her 6 inch black platform shoes and her 80-year-old floral silk shawl handed down to her from her great grandmother.
Credit: Jill Perella

Jane: Who are your biggest fashion inspirations?

Jill: My biggest fashion inspirations are the late Isabella Blow, Justin Tranter, Barbie, Wednesday Adams, my friend Shawna Farmer (founder of Chubby Cartwheels, but she’s pretty much my life inspiration), and the females in the cast of Full House circa the 1990s.

Jane: What advice would you give to the plus-size women who have trouble finding clothes and feel that fashion has left them out?

Jill: I’d tell them to, first of all, never give up. Finding clothes (especially if you’re over a size 10) can be super frustrating and difficult, but never impossible. I always do lots of looking around until I find something that makes me feel good, confident, comfortable, or powerful. Sometimes it takes minutes, sometimes it takes hours, but I don’t give up. After you find one amazing piece, the feeling kind of sticks with you, and it becomes easier to find more stuff. Eventually, you end up feeling inspired on your own.

Jill says that she has dealt with size discrimination on more than one ocassion. Credit: Jill Perella

Jill says that she has dealt with size discrimination on more than one ocassion.
Credit: Jill Perella

Jane: Have you ever felt unwelcome in a store or been a victim of size discrimination?

Jill: Unfortunately, size discrimination happens to me all too often, but if I’m being completely honest, I can’t remember the last time I was discriminated against in a retail store. I mainly go thrift shopping, where there is such a wide range of clientele that I kinda fly under the radar, which is harder than you think with pink hair. When I’m in a chain retail store,  the employees (which are predominantly women) are exceptionally kind to me and usually compliment my hair or clothing. It might be the fact that I pride myself on being super polite and always smiling, but yea, they’re pretty nice! Who knows what they say when I’m not looking, though.

Jane: Is there anything special that you do to get an extra boost of self-confidence? Or is there a specific circumstance in which you feel really great about your body?

Jill: This might sound pretty vain, but I feel that way every day. It took me about 19 years, but I feel proud of my body all day, every single day. I grew up being constantly told that the way I looked was bad and wrong, and spent my entire life trying to change it. I realized a couple years ago how damaging and uncalled for body negativity is to young people, and ever since, I’ve been actively trying to change that through my blog, and through radical self-love. One of my favorite phrases is, “Your body is the house you grew up in, don’t burn it to ground.”

Jill believes in dressing however you want, not how people tell you to dress. Credit: Jill Perella

Jill believes in dressing however you want, not how people tell you to dress.
Credit: Jill Perella

If you want to dress like Jill, she recommends trying out the IGIGI Karina Wide Leg Pants in Navy Blue. Jill loves high-waisted pants and they are notoriously hard to find. She would accessorize them with a black, long-sleeved crop top and an oversized scarf.

Currently, Jill is  studying Fashion Design at the Art Institute of Philadelphia and after she gets her degree she will start working towards having her own plus-size fashion line. Ultimately, she wants to dedicate her life to showing people how beautiful, divine, and worthy they are, not just superficially making them “look good for a fat person,” which is something that plus-size people are told far too often.

If you want to connect with Jill, make sure you follow this sassy blogger on her Tumblr, Death Before Diet!

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The Persistent Lack Of Plus-Size Models On The Runway

Posted by on December 17, 2013

Plus-size models are making it onto the covers of major magazines, landing huge ad campaigns, writing amazing books, and generally just kicking butt all around the fashion industry. However, there is one place in fashion where there is still a near total lack of plus-size women – the runway.

In a recent interview with the Daily Mail, popular plus-size model Robyn Lawley told reporters that she thinks that plus-size models are generally ostracized from runway modeling and there is no real reason for it.

“It’s disappointing as I love catwalk modeling, it’s more exciting than being on a shoot so it sucks not to be included. Plus-size models are being used more in magazines and in the media but not on the runway and not by high-end designers like Prada. I’d love them to use more curvy girls but it’s like a taboo and I don’t know why. It screams lack of diversity.”

Plus-size model Robyn Lawley

The gorgeous US size 12 stunner Robyn Lawley has been very outspoken in recent months about the importance of diversity in the fashion industry. Credit: Instagram @robynlawley1 via DropDeadGorgeousDaily.com

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Getting Ready For Holiday Parties With The IGIGI Neve Plus-Size Wrap Dress In Jade

Posted by on December 16, 2013

Since we are officially in the Holiday season, I find myself subconsciously gravitating towards outfits that have a little bit of a “Christmassy” flair to them. This is the time of year when we can wear as much red, green, and gold as we want. Plus, shiny fabrics and lots of glitter are highly encouraged, which is a big bonus in my book. If I could dress everyday like I was about to adorn the top of the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree, I would be ecstatic.

I paired the IGIGI Neve Plus-Size Wrap Dress in Jade with a leather jacket and boots, but it would also look amazing with a cardigan and kitten heels for a more office appropriate look.

I paired the IGIGI Neve Plus-Size Wrap Dress in Jade with a leather jacket and boots, but it would also look amazing with a cardigan and kitten heels for a more office appropriate look.

However, the IGIGI Neve Plus-Size Wrap Dress in Jade was a great, sexy, and understated option for a Holiday dinner that my friend’s work was having without looking too over the top. I’m not trying to dress like Mrs. Claus here (even though she clearly was the one running stuff at the North Pole, #respect).

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Things You Should Never Say To Your Plus-Size Friends

Posted by on December 13, 2013

A few weeks ago, I stumbled across an amazing blog post by Ramou Sarr on “Hello Giggles” about things that you should never say to plus-size women. Among these gems were platitudes like “Do you want to cut carbs with me?” and “Have you tried [X workout]?” Ms. Sarr was right on with these and in honor of her sparkling wit, here are a few of my own “rules” based on real-life experiences and conversations.

I Love You Just the Way I Am

This card from Able & Game really speaks to me. Credit: The Things We Say.

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How to Go Shopping With Your Straight-Size Friends

Posted by on December 12, 2013

I really have a love/hate relationship with shopping. I absolutely love hanging out at the mall and scrounging the clearance racks for great deals, but on the flipside, when you are a plus-size shopper, it can be rough finding cute, affordable clothing options at your local stores.

Tips on shopping

Sometimes local boutiques can have more variation in sizes than the mall. Credit: Steve Snodgrass

That does not mean that plus-size shoppers should or can only shop online, it just makes it that much harder for plus-size women to have the same fruitful, enjoyable shopping experience as straight-size women.

Speaking as someone who has relatively few friends who are in the US size 16 range and above, it can be a little disheartening to go shopping with people who can essentially walk into any store they want and buy an outfit off of a mannequin (and I don’t mean the amazing mannequins at Debenhams).

In honor of that struggle, I have made a list of my top six shopping tips to help you shop with your straight-size friends at stores that might not stock your sizes.

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