A few weeks ago, I made up a list of some amazing body positive plus-size models and I was incredibly remiss in not including the lovely Tara Lynn.
Tara Lynn on the November 2013 cover of ELLE Spain. Credit: ELLE Spain
Even if you haven’t heard the name Tara Lynn, you probably saw her striking features in the Spring 2012 H&M Campaign. Most recently, however, the Seattle-born model just appeared on the cover of ELLE Spain with the headline “El Exito de una Mujer Real,” which translates to “The Success of the Real Woman.”
If you don’t spend much time on social media, you may not have seen a recent article featured on the Huffington Post called “23 Trends Guys Hate (But Women Love).” It appeared in the Style section and it quickly became a heavy traffic piece, earning a lot of page views, hundreds of comments, and thousands of Facebook shares.
The 23 trends ranged from peplums to leggings to hair bows, and each “trend” (keep in mind that that term is being used loosely) was punctuated with comments from various men who had been asked to sound off on what they like and don’t like in the wardrobes of their respective friends and girlfriends.
The very concept of seeking a man’s validation for your clothing choices is inherently problematic. I firmly believe that as long as you are comfortable, happy, and confident with your wardrobe, there is no reason to change it. Believe it or not, boys – women do not dress for you when they’re planning their outfits. In fact, there’s a great blog that the HuffPost article linked to, called The Man Repeller, which is run by wonderful women who don’t give two hoots what guys think about their outfits.
Since I feel like the HuffPost article may have been unkind to boykind (surely not all of their judgments are that ridiculous and offensive), I copied the list down and sent it to the boys in my life to get their impressions. This is what they said:
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.
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?
Rosa: 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.
IGIGI specializes in sexy plus-size apparel for women with an emphasis on high-end formal wear, wedding gowns, and separates. We honor diversity in beauty and challenge the rigidity of the fashion world by celebrating the sensuality and confidence of a curvy woman. The IGIGI woman embodies femininity and courage as an individual with a true sense of style and ownership. Beauty. Authentic.