Jane Janeczko on
December 2, 2013
For a long, long time growing up, I dressed to hide. I was always on the heavy side and it seemed that fashion had no real place for me. I was an outcast because of my weight and so I wore ill-fitting jeans and hoodies and pretty much called it a day. It’s not that I didn’t love fashion (I really did! And still do), but I just had no idea how to become part of the fashion world.
Plus-size women can be every bit as fashionable as our straight-size sisters.
It wasn’t until high school when I started to spend more time shopping online that I discovered that there were designers who actually make clothes that would fit my body and were still cute. I deeply hope that in the future young girls will not go through the same struggles that I did. Every single body deserves to be respected and part of that respect comes from designers not limiting their sizes and making clothes that can fit anyone and everyone.
I now have a wardrobe full of beautiful colors, patterns, fabrics, and silhouettes that even my straight-size friends envy, but it is still easy to feel like the odd, fat girl out when I’m searching for a very specific type of dress and I see hundreds of straight size options and only one or two plus-size options.
For a day out with friends, I paired the Regina dress with my trusty denim jacket, chunky brown heeled ankle boots and a strong red lip.
I decided a few months ago, that I
wanted needed a red lace dress. There’s something so wonderfully decadent about a lace dress. It’s classic, sexy, and utterly feminine. Lace is probably my absolute favorite material and I’m really not alone in that. It’s been a sartorial staple since the 15th century. It’s easy enough to find a plus-size dress with lace since it is so common, but I really wanted red.
A deep, mysterious, sultry red shade with just the right amount of sexy. I thought that a deep red, more of a ruby shade, would transition from Fall to Winter very well, and I knew that that shade would be ideal for the deluge of holiday parties that will soon be upon us. That’s where the IGIGI Regina Plus-Size Dress in Ruby Argentan Lace comes in.
The dress is cut in a shift style, so it fits close to the body without being body conscious (body-con) or too tight. It shows off my curves in a very appropriate way. It also has a bit of a longer length, so I won’t have to worry about showing too much leg at any family gatherings or office holiday parties that I choose to wear it to. The Regina dress also comes with a belt, but I chose to wear it without, since I had my coat and I didn’t want to interrupt the front line of the dress.
The Regina dress is made from a poly/elastane material which has a good stiffness to it and provides a little extra structure for women who want more control over their figure.
The Regina has a universally flattering and very classic boat neckline and great below the elbow 3/4 sleeves. It’s also fully-lined like the majority of IGIGI dresses so you don’t have to worry about wearing any special undergarments to keep everything smooth and seamless.
I finally found my perfect red lace dress.
The Regina dress can be dressed up or dressed down.
Do you readers have any specific clothing item that you’ve always lusted for and been unable to find? A white blazer? A lumpy and super comfortable Irish fisherman sweater? That perfect pair of bootcut jeans? Let me know in the comments.
Jane Janeczko on
November 29, 2013
Rosa Pereira, 23, funds her fashionable lifestyle through her wonderful Etsy shop, Created & Dated. She sells a lot of really great vintage pieces and off-beat, handmade accessories for plus-size and straight-size chicks from her home in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The blogger admits that she’s a bit of a compulsive collector of other peoples’ junk, but she finds inspiration in it, and she loves designing and manifesting ideas – her gears are constantly moving and she’s always creating.
Rosa describes her sense of style as a little kooky and a little spooky. She just loves to dress up and she says that her family even jokes with her about dressing up to head to the mailbox. We had a chat with Rosa about her fashion inspirations, shopping tips, and size discrimination.
Rosa says that she loves playing with colors and patterns, and foodie-inspired patterns are her absolute favorite. Credit: Rosa Pereira
Jane: Hey Rosa! Thanks for taking the time to check in with IGIGI. As you can probably tell from other interviews, I usually like to talk with fashionistas about what sparked their initial interest in fashion. So what was your pivotal moment?
Rosa: I’ve always been into fashion, but I mostly lived vicariously through magazines when I was younger. I didn’t fully understand that I could dress my body in cutesy, fancy things, so I’d cover it up in t-shirts and hoodies. The horror! Several years ago I started tapping into the blogosphere where I came across fatshion/body positive blogs and ho-lee-cow. I was totally inspired and introduced to a bazillion fat friendly clothing sites that I started scouring for hours on end. Sadly, anything I liked was considerably out of my price range or simply not my style. I just wanted to wear the stuff that the straight sized store sells, but in fat size! So, I started taking matters into my own hands and re-purposing dresses from the thrift store or straight up buying fabric and making my own.
Jane: So then where do you find your biggest fashion inspirations from now that you’ve changed your feelings towards what you can and should be wearing?
Rosa: THE FATTY BABES OF THE WORLD WIDE WEB! Ugh, I love them so much. They’re so pretty and so far away, but have so positively impacted my life fashionably and emotionally. I honestly didn’t think clothes could look good on me until I saw it on them. Now that I know what works, while I still find inspiration via blogs, I also find inspiration while thrifting, in colors, and in patterns.
Rosa has embraced fashion even more since she started making her own clothes and tailoring vintage finds to fit her figure. Credit: Rosa Pereira
Jane: Do you have any advice for women who have a rough time shopping and finding clothes that work for them?
: If something even remotely appeals to you, don’t write it off because of some minor details. Throw that thing on your body and see what happens! Eventually you’ll find something that looks undeniably great and you’ll go from there. You’ll recognize the cut and style wherever you go and know INSTANTLY that it works for you. It’s all about experimenting and not being afraid of things not working out sometimes. I think the best place to start would be a thrift store
! Thrift stores have such variety to experiment with. It’s super fun!
Jane: Have you ever felt discriminated against while shopping in stores that aren’t geared towards plus-size women?
Rosa: Absolutely. Considering I’m into trying EVERYTHING on, I will often times walk into straight size stores and start pulling stuff from the racks. I know exactly what works for me, so while the dress may say size 10 and I’m a size 16-18, I know it will potentially work the way I want it to because of the stretch, etc. It may not fit the conventional way, but it’ll fit my way. Anyway, if I had a penny for every time I get a weird look in the dressing room or the cash register based on the item/size I’m trying on, I’d be a thousandaire! Sometimes it’s so uncomfortable I feel like I should defend myself or say it’s a gift. Not cool, stores!
Rosa describes her style as “a little bit spooky.” Credit: Rosa Pereira
If you want to dress like Rosa, she recommends the IGIGI Monroe Plus-Size Skirt in Navy Blue
. She loves that the color is seasonally versatile, but it’s also super chic and minimal, which gives you lots of room to dress it up. The seams give great curve appeal and Rosa would pair it with a Peter Pan collar top, a leather moto jacket, saddle shoes, and ruffle socks for a 50’s bad schoolgirl look.
In the future, Rosa hopes to continue designing and repurposing clothes on a larger scale and she will continue her career in fashion and style. For now, Rosa wants to just focus on herself, her Etsy shop and blogging more on the Internet.
Jane Janeczko on
November 28, 2013
A London salon in South Kensington called MM Bubbles is finding a new way to discriminate against their plus-size customers. The salon, which covers beauty treatments from mani-pedis to body wraps, is now charging their plus-size customers more for waxing services. According to a Huffington Post report, women who are a US size 8 and larger could be charged an additional $8 per waxing service, while women who are a US size 12 and larger could be charged $16 more. A normal wax costs approximately $34.
Waxing is painful enough without worrying about whether or not you are going to be discriminated against. Credit: Eli Salon
Jane Janeczko on
November 27, 2013
It’s a struggle finding a perfect winter coat. I spend my winters traveling between New York and Chicago, so having a warm coat is an absolute necessity. Especially since it’s not even officially winter yet, and it’s already only about 20 degrees outside (Fahrenheit that is)! My old trusty winter coat that I bought for a steal during a post-Christmas sale at Macy’s a few years ago officially retired last year. So, when I saw IGIGI’s Hanna Coat in Navy Blue pop up on the site, I had a feeling that this could be my new go-to for chic winter wear.
The notched lapels make a statement and frame the face, so your beauty is still the center of attention, even when you’re wearing your winter coat.
I was not disappointed. The Hanna Coat is also available in black for those who are interested. I really hate shapeless, oversized coats, especially on plus-size women. Unfortunately, those comforters with sleeves tend to make up 90 percent of the plus-size coat offerings that I come across when coat shopping. The Hanna Coat has a slim cut with a gorgeous printed lining and a tie belt, so you can give yourself a defined waist.
The Hanna Coat is wool, so you don’t worry about any drafty winds whipping through your layers. It has deep pockets, which can easily fit a spare pair of gloves and earmuffs, and it has a long length. For reference, I am 5’7” and the coat hit me about 3 inches past my knee, which means that I could wear pretty much any dress with it, without having the material poke out.
The wind was blowing hard in Central Park and it was a chilly 34 degrees when I was taking these pictures, so I was extremely happy to be bundled up in this coat.
It also has several large black buttons up the front of the coat, which provide even more security from cold winter winds. I think navy is a great option for a winter coat since it’s slightly more unusual than black or brown, but it’s not too out there or hard to match, like red. Personally, I’m not too much of a fan of red coats, since I always took that Nora Ephron quote to heart: “I wore my red coat. Exactly once. My mother was right: Never buy a red coat, she said. ‘Because people will see you, and they will say, ‘There she is, in her red coat.”” If the writing queen of New York City said it, I won’t be one to argue.
Now, I’m seen plenty of women rock red coats, but I usually go with a neutral for my outer layers so I don’t feel self-conscious about matching. I’m sick of seeing black everywhere and my last coat was black, so I thought that the navy would be a fresher update.
The coat has a very classic cut and almost emulates a trench in terms of cut.
I sized up for the Hanna Coat, since I prefer my coats to be roomier in order to layer thick sweaters underneath, and the coat runs true to size. Since the Hanna coat is wool, it’s not too heavy, but it’s still very warm. I would recommend it for women who are living in both warm and cold climates, since it would be easy to dress up or down depending on the weather. Wool is amazing that way.
What is your favorite style of winter coat? Do you prefer puffer jackets? Are you still a Northface-o-phile? Or are you more into the chic winter coat look like the IGIGI Hanna Coat? Tell me in the comments!
Jane Janeczko on
November 26, 2013
Vanessa Vaillant, 24, by day, is a trainer for Lush Cosmetics, where she trains in brand ambassadorship and product knowledge, and by night, the Toronto, Ontario-based fashionista is an avid ‘fatshion’ blogger who has a deep love of high collars, sweaters, mermaid-esque color schemes, witchy lace, long skirts, and lots of black.
Vanessa says that she gets a lot of her inspiration from other bloggers like Erin from Zero Style Blog (who we talked to a few weeks ago), Jen from Pussybow, Kaylah from the Dainty Squid, and Reagan from Sodapop Sweetheart.
Vanessa took the time to talk to IGIGI about her awesome and creative style, and her unique fashion aesthetic.
Vanessa says that she prefers to borrow silhouettes from the 50s, 60s, and 70s. Credit: Vanessa Vaillant
Jane: I usually start off most of these by asking the women I talk to what first got them interested in fashion. Did you have an exact moment when you really started to get invested in clothes, or were you always passionate about getting dressed?
Vanessa: I first got interested in fashion when I moved from Thunder Bay to Toronto. I realized there were so many options available to me, like different places to shop and thrift, as well as seeing so much great street style. I also started reading a lot of fashion blogs and I started using Tumblr, which showed me how many great fat fashion bloggers are out there dressing in great and unique ways.
Jane: Did you have a first experience where you wore something that really made you feel excited about your body?
Vanessa: The first time I had that feeling of wearing an amazing dress that made me feel proud of my body was when I made one of my first online purchases and ordered a dress from ModCloth. It fit me really well and made me feel amazing. It had a great retro vibe and it was one of the first times that I was wearing something that really fit me well.
Vanessa describes her personal style as librarian sea witch. Credit: Vanessa Vaillant
Jane: Is there any advice you would give to women who are struggling to find clothes that inspire them?
Vanessa: I would say that online shopping and thrifting have been my best ways to combat the struggle that can come from buying great plus-size clothing options.
Jane: Do you prefer to shop online? Do you ever shop in physical stores or do you try to avoid brick-and-mortar stores for shopping?
Vanessa: I most often feel size-discrimination when shopping because I usually don’t fit any clothes there. When shopping with my straight-size friends, I often feel annoyed because they can buy whatever they want from wherever they want, and I need to take a lot more time and money to find the same types of clothing.
If you want to dress like Vanessa, she recommends trying out the IGIGI Elizabeth Pants in black, pairing them with a high-collared shirt, a chunky knit sweater, fun socks, and a pair of classic oxford Doc Martens. Vanessa loves a good high-waisted black pant, and the IGIGI Elizabeth pants are especially nice because they can be styled up for work and also worn casually on the weekend.
Vanessa is a self-described homebody. When she’s not working, she enjoys cooking, listening to records, Netflix binges, and knitting. She loves biking around Toronto and taking walks in her neighborhood – The Annex. Credit: Vanessa Vaillant
Vanessa’s future plans are to keep living her life the way she’s been living it. She’s not one to think too much or to stress too much about the future. She recently finished up her BA in psychology, and she might pursue something else academically in the future, but for the moment, she really loves her job and she’s looking forward to the Holiday season and seeing what the new year has to offer.
To keep up with Vanessa, you can follow her blog on Tumblr or check her out on Twitter and Instagram and, as always, you can chat in the comments.