Jane Janeczko on
October 8, 2013
Plus-size fashion bloggers are really important. Okay? I’ve talked, and talked, and talked about their awesomeness. Plus-size bloggers do for plus-size women what straight-size celebrities do for women sizes 0-10: they give us style that we can aspire to and sometimes even blatantly copy. In that same vein, here are some of the most well-known and popular plus-size bloggers to follow, admire, and drool over.
1. Gabi Gregg of the blog GABIFRESH
Gabi could easily be considered the queen bee of the plus-size fashion blogger community. She started her blog, formerly called “Young, Fat, & Fabulous,” in 2008, with the hope that she would be able to showcase her writing skills and her love of fashion. Her blog really blew up in the Summer of 2012, when her “Fatkini” post went viral, which led to her being featured on the Today show and a myriad other women’s mags. She also designed her own swimsuit line with Swimsuits for All this past summer.
Jane Janeczko on
October 7, 2013
It takes some guts to pull off a great maxi dress. When you’re wearing a floor length dress ,or even a midi dress (meaning a dress that hits you at mid-calf), you are automatically making a statement. You’re saying, “Hey, what’s up. The queen is here.” Now, for some women that’s not a problem at all. Attention, especially positive attention, can be great and welcome, but for some women (myself included), wearing a dress that is quite honestly a showstopper, like the Samantha Maxi Dress, takes some courage, because you will absolutely be the center of attention in it.
I added boots to make this sweet dress a little more edgy.
I’m a sucker for all floral prints, so naturally I was drawn to the vintage-inspired Italian floral mix on the Samantha Maxi Dress. The sheer sleeves and hem with the sweetheart neckline add a modern touch to the floral print, and the asymmetrical high-low hem is current and stylish. I chose to pair the dress with a low pair of brown leather cowboy boots to capitalize on the “high-fashion Laura Ingalls Wilder” thing that I was feeling in this dress. The dress is fully lined, which I absolutely love, and it is a Nylon/Elastane material, making the floral pattern look and feel like a lace overlay, which adds even more drama to this dress.
When you’re plus-size, people love to make rules for what you can and cannot wear, or what is the most flattering look for your shape. For example, I refused to wear horizontal stripes for years because I was told that it would make me look wider. However, your size really does not dictate what will and won’t look good on you at all – it’s your attitude.
I feel that patterns, especially bold patterns, tend to scare most women, whether or not they are plus-size. It’s more of a risk because people will notice you, and it’s much less of a challenge to throw on jeans and a white t-shirt and call it a day. However, you really can make any pattern work for you. The key is to pay attention to where the pattern falls on your body, and to consider which layers and accessories you pair with it. If you love floral prints like I do, you’re in luck, because I’ve put together a list of the most common floral patterns that you find while shopping, with tips on what pieces to look for and how to wear them.
So without further ado, here are the top five most popular floral patterns and some gorgeous women showing how to pull them off:
1. Abstract: Abstract florals are one of the easiest to pull off, and to pull off well, because of their graphic nature. An abstract floral will always look clean and current, and it’s easy to mix and match with other colors, or even other patterns. The blogger “Grown and Curvy Woman” paired her abstract floral top with lime green bermuda shorts and a lemon yellow blazer for a bright and tropical statement, and she looks fantastic and fresh.
2. Modern: “Modern florals” usually means that the pattern has brighter, more modern coloring, like the turquoise, pink, and teal pants that the blogger “Hems for Her” is wearing, or that they are a completely revamped graphic floral like many of Orla Kiely’s awesome designs. Wearing a floral in a slightly unconventional way, such as a great pair of floral print jeans, is also a way to make any floral pattern seem automatically more modern.
3. Oversized: Oversized patterns are the type that I am most often told to stay away from, because of my size; however, an oversized pattern like the one below is incredibly flattering. The pattern circles around her figure and complements the wrap dress perfectly. Oversized patterns can be tough because it can make you look like your garment is wearing you instead of the other way around. A way to combat that is to pay careful attention to where the pattern is falling on your body. On the dress below, for example, the pattern is curving perfectly around the model’s figure, giving her a perfect hourglass.
4. Vintage: Vintage florals can basically do no wrong, in my opinion. There’s nothing softer or more feminine than a great vintage floral. However, scale can be an important factor: let us all remember poor, pregnant Kim K. at the Met Gala this year. Vintage florals, especially when they’re on a small scale, like the dress that blogger “Rosie Vintage” is wearing below, give extra dimension to clothes without looking overpowering.
5. Realistic: Realistic florals are not usually my thing, but this awesome blazer being worn by blogger “Style Chic 360″ is making me reconsider that. When wearing a really realistic floral pattern, keep it is going to be a statement piece, so an item like a blazer or a top is perfect for this type of pattern.
Regardless of which floral pattern is your favorite, remember: never let any so-called “fashion rules” keep you from wearing clothes that you like or clothes that make you happy. If you feel good and confident, everyone else will take notice of that too, and you’ll be the best-dressed person in the room.
Jane Janeczko on
October 4, 2013
Thanks to the beauty of the Internet, it is easy to connect with fashionistas across the globe for inspiration and advice. Danielle Vanier, 27, is a London gal who works as a freelance textile designer and a plus-size blogger. Danielle describes herself as a rather loud individual who loves to command attention with her bold wardrobe choices.
Danielle lists her two biggest obsession as Wu Tang Clan and statement necklaces. Credit: Danielle Vanier
Danielle doesn’t let her style get boxed into any specific categories and simply dresses for herself. “My style varies depending on how I feel,” says Danielle. “One day I will dress in a really sexy, sophisticated way, but then the next day I will want to rock my love of hip-hop and out pops my inner rude gal!”
The mixed lip prints are whimsical and Danielle looks absolutely flawless. Credit: Danielle Vanier
Danielle caught up with IGIGI to talk about her sartorial inspirations and her fantastic eye for accessories.
Jane: When did you first discover your love of fashion?
Danielle: When I left school I moved to London, as I was accepted onto an art course at University of the Arts London. Suddenly, I was surrounded by artistic types, fashionistas, and hipsters. I threw myself into the world of fashion and became addicted to vintage dresses, bright tights, crazy shoes, and humongous accessories.
Jane: Do you have any favorites when it comes to looking for fashion inspiration?
Danielle: I have tons; many of the bloggers I follow online inspire me on a daily basis. Kellie Brown is a friend of mine, but I admire her sense of style and adventurous outfit choices. Plus, she lovessss big, bold accessories…a girl after my own heart!
Jane: What piece in your wardrobe could you just not do without?
Danielle: I have a black lace bomber jacket that I bought whilst living and working in Stockholm. I bought it 4 or 5 years ago and I literally wear it every week. I left it at a warehouse party once and was devastated, but luckily it was found and returned to me. You should have seen the smile on my face once it was back in my hands!
Jane: Do you have any advice for women who are struggling to find clothes that make them feel good about themselves?
Danielle: Challenge yourself. The more you experiment with fashion, the more you will learn about your body; what suits you and what doesn’t.
Danielle says she started blogging so that she could help girls feel inspired and excited to dress their bodies, regardless of size. Credit: Danielle Vanier
Danielle absolutely believes in the transformative power of a great dress. The right dress can up your confidence level and show off your personality in the best way. At her degree show at Chelsea College of Art and Design, the dress Danielle wore made her feel like she was the bees’ knees, and she was head-hunted by a multinational retail clothing company and offered an exceptional job as a result.
If you want to dress like Danielle, she recommends the IGIGI Nezetta Cocktail Dress in Black/Gold. “Although I like to experiment with fashion, I am always drawn to black with metallic details,” says Danielle. “This dress encompasses everything I love: it’s figure hugging with the right amount of glamor. I would wear a huge statement necklace with it, and strappy heels.”
Unlike many women, Danielle has never doubted that she is beautiful or struggled to find clothes that make her happy. “I am lucky, I’ve hardly ever found it difficult to find beautiful, trendy clothes that fit my bigger frame,” says Danielle. “But I know how hard it is for some girls.” Danielle wants all women to have the same confidence and she hopes that she can use social media to further her love of fashion and inspire women across the globe.
Keep up with Danielle and check out some more of her awesome pictures and musings on her blog, her Twitter, and her Instagram.
Jane Janeczko on
October 3, 2013
When looking for powerful and inspiring plus-size female role models, the list is rather short. Melissa McCarthy came onto the big screen in a big way when she co-starred in the widely successful movie Bridesmaids in 2011. Granted, her character Megan was not exactly a fashion icon, but McCarthy’s own personal style is on point. She is not afraid to take fashion risks and she tends to wear accessible designers like Rachel Pally and Aidan Mattox that can be bought off the rack.
The same movie also helped launch the U.S. career of Rebel Wilson who also takes big fashion risks (let us all remember the risqué bikini t-shirt she sported when she met One Direction at the 2012 MTV Music Video Awards). Wilson went on to co-star in the popular teen flick Pitch Perfect, in which her character was billed as “Fat Amy.” In the words of Fat Amy herself, she goes by this name so that people won’t do it behind her back. If you take away the stigma of a word in your own head it can no longer hurt you.
Rebel Wilson, 27, tweets at @RebelWilson on Twitter where you can see some beautiful selfies like the one pictured above and updates on her life and projects. Credit: Rebel Wilson
Jane Janeczko on
October 2, 2013
One of the absolute best parts of the online, plus-size fashion community is the sheer number of fashion bloggers that are open to sharing their outfits of the day (OotD), their shopping tips, and their styling techniques, all while providing unwavering support. People consistently identify with others who remind them of themselves in some way, shape, or form, so it’s unsurprising that plus-size women find inspiration from other plus-size women, especially plus-size fashion bloggers. Bridie Duffey, of the blog Thriftorama, 19, finds a lot of her fashion inspiration from fellow fashion bloggers. A few of her favorites are the well-known and thoroughly fabulous, Gabi Gregg, the thrifty and adventurous Nadia Aboulhosn, bold Tiffany Tucker, and the creative Sakari Singh. “I wouldn’t be the person I am without the “fatshion” community,” says Bridie.
“I’m kind of a dork, but I’m a dork who cares about things. I specialize in angry feminism, pretty skirts, and Netflix. I love to laugh,” says Bridie. Credit: Bridie Duffey
Bridie, a Gender Studies and Anthropology student at Mount Holyoke College (which coincidentally is Gabi Gregg’s alma mater) in Western Massachusetts, discovered her love of fashion at a young age. “I loved sparkly sneakers, horizontal stripes, and pretty dresses,” says Bridie. “And I would describe things as ‘very fash.’” However, while growing up, there was a time when Bridie felt that she was being left out.
“As I got older, I drew into myself. Chubby and four-eyed, I didn’t think fashion was meant for people like me. And I was given compelling, if deeply misguided, reasons to believe that: I could never find clothes in my size, and I was constantly forbidden by my culture to feel comfortable in a body like mine. I spent far too many years in huge shirts and even huger jeans, trying to hide myself.”
“I like bright colors, polka dots, and unrelenting tackiness. I love all things vintage. Most of my clothes are second hand and thrifting is extraordinarily important to me,” says Bridie. Credit: Bridie Duffey
Bridie rediscovered her interest in fashion and clothes during high school when, on a search for some school shoes, she wandered into a thrift store. “I found myself rediscovering a sadly repressed obsession. Thrift stores had vintage. Thrift stores had my size! I was hooked. By the time I graduated, a love for not paying very much for clothes that spoke to me met a rejuvenated interest in feminism and body politics. I’ve never been the same in the best way. My clothes make statements,” says Bridie.
Now, with a very visible and successful internet footprint, Bridie has found a way to use her love of fashion to create a brand and to inspire other women. Bridie took a moment to talk with IGIGI about her favorite looks and her body positive journey.
“It’s empowering to push at the edges of your comfort zone.” Credit: Bridie Duffey
Jane: Have you ever had a specific moment when you really went out of comfort zone with an outfit and just felt great?
Bridie: Early in my first year of college, I wore a stretchy pencil skirt to class, just because I could. It showed everything. There was no denying my hips, stomach or thighs in that skirt and it was bright, bright red. Somehow, through some miracle, I felt amazingly hot in it. I paired it with red lips, a full bun (back in the days when my hair was long), and high heeled boots. I utterly took on the world that day. I’ve mostly become a person interested in A-line and circle skirts, but there was something incredibly liberating of that skin-tight vixen’s skirt.
Jane: What advice would you give to women who want to dress more adventurously, but aren’t sure where to start?
Bridie: Find yourself. It’s great to look for inspiration among other fashionable people. It’s fun to follow trends. It’s empowering to push at the edges of your comfort zone. But find yourself. Reach for colors, silhouettes, and styles that speak to you. Disregard fashion rules. Stop trying to dress so that your body will look a certain way. Try to cut out the negative and nasty opinions of naysayers and search purely for what you like. The rest will fall into place.
Jane: If you could pick any IGIGI dress to style, which would you choose?
Bridie: The Rita Vintage Polka Dot Plus Size Dress in Coral! It’s gorgeous! I love coral, and polka dots are strewn across my soul. I’d pair it with bright lips, huge sunnies, wedges, bangles, and a neutral scarf tied around my head for a sweet, picnicky look!
Bridie cares very much about women’s empowerment and education, and she hopes to eventually pursue her interest in fashion even more. To keep up with Bridie, follow her on Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, Lookbook and her official blog.
Where are your favorite places to thrift? Do you have any tips? Tell IGIGI and Bridie in the comments.