Jane Janeczko on
October 14, 2013
Can I just say that I’m so happy that great ’90s style is making a comeback? I’ll rock a floral kimono and ripped acid wash jeans any day. Cynthia Wilson, 24, a plus-size fashion blogger from Washington state, heartily agrees with me. While I tend to gravitate towards grunge, Cynthia is all about embracing the more Blossom-like ’90s fashion with tons of polka-dots and bright colors interwoven throughout her wardrobe, all of which she dutifully records on her blog, Snapadoo.
Cynthia believes in living well, and since she is “funemployed” and looking right now, she spends most of her time getting together with friends, making delicious meals, watching her favorite TV shows, and laughing a lot. She says that she finds her daily inspiration in Leslie Knope, red lipstick, and the fat and fashionable women of Tumblr.
Cynthia describes her style as cutesy and bright ‘semi-casual.’ Credit: Cynthia Wilson
Jane: What advice would you give to women who are struggling to find clothes that inspire them?
Cynthia: Be angry about it! And talk about your anger and frustration with the availability of inspiring plus size clothing on places like Tumblr. There, you will find support from other fashionable and fat people who have dealt with that same problem many times before. And some of these awesome fashionable and fat people will make lists of small plus size retailers you have never heard of that might even carry that dress in your favorite print you had previously only been able to imagine wearing. Or they will teach you the best way to thrift with how-to videos or text posts geared towards plus-size shopping. There are also DIY resources if crafting up some new clothes is your thing. For me, the internet has been my greatest asset for finding the clothes that have made me happiest.
Jane: Do you have any standout pieces in your wardrobe that you always go to when you’re putting together one of your adorable ensembles?
Cynthia: My favorite pieces are my skater skirts [see photo above]. It has been hard to find a plus size full skirt for years, and they have become my version of jeans. Easy to pair with cute tops and so dang cute.
Jane: Where do you find your fashion inspiration?
Cynthia: I definitely have to give a shout out to Gabi Gregg, who changed the whole fashion game for me when I saw an article about her on BUST magazine’s website. Keiko Lynn, Georgina of Cupcake’s Clothes, and Sarah of Big Hips Red Lips are all bloggers who are also big inspirations for me.
Jane: Is there a big fashion scene around you?
Cynthia: Not really, since I am in the Pacific Northwest. I probably look quite dressed up to most of the people who live here.
Cynthia is attracted to bright colors, anything that sparkles (she is a glitter fiend), and cute people, places, or things. Credit: Cynthia Wilson
Cynthia says that she feels discriminated against when stores take away or don’t offer their plus-size clothes in their physical locations. “Old Navy had the audacity to move it’s plus-size section exclusively online,” Cynthia says with exasperation. “As if it’s a bonus that I have to pay shipping for badly designed clothes that might not fit right. I am discriminated against simply by having fewer options.”
All of Cynthia’s ensembles are colorful and fun, with a little bit of a 1950s-inspired fairy princess vibe going on. Credit: Cynthia Wilson
If you want to dress like Cynthia, she recommends the IGIGI Riley dress, because she’s a sucker for red with white polka dots, and the full skirt is perfection. She suggests accessorizing it with a simple gold necklace, royal blue, black, or butter yellow suede wedges, and definitely a good red lipstick. She clearly has good taste, since I recently wore the Riley dress’ cousin ,the IGIGI Makenna Dress in one of my style posts.
Cynthia plans to continue her fashion blogging [ed. note: She totally should because she has a real knack for it!] and career-wise, she is pursuing jobs in sociology or public health with a focus on data analysis. However, overall, Cynthia says that she would just like to keep having fun with her friends and wearing a lot of bright lipstick.
If you want to keep up with Cynthia, you can check in with her on her blog, Snapadoo.
Jane Janeczko on
October 11, 2013
It’s okay to want to be sexy. There. I said it.
No matter what your size or your age, it’s okay to want to be sexy, and it is definitely achievable, too. However, as a plus-size woman, when I put on a slinky dress or a short skirt, I feel that I am consistently put in a box – a BBW box – or at least that’s what commenters seem to tell me.
Now, for those of you who don’t know, BBW means “Big Beautiful Woman.” Well, that is true, I suppose: I am big, I am beautiful, and I am a woman. It should seem like a compliment, right? The problem where the title BBW is concerned, is that this unfortunate acronym tends to lump all plus-size women together in the same category, thereby turning all plus-size women and their bodies into a fetish, which I absolutely abhor. It is not a fetish to appreciate my body, nor is it a fetish to love me.
When a woman who is a size four dresses up for a night-out and snaps a picture of her outfit to post on Instagram, she does not receive any demeaning nicknames online, or messages from guys with usernames like “proudchubbychaser16.” Plus-size bodies, on the other hand, are either overtly sexualized or completely ignored. There is no in between, which makes it incredibly challenging for plus-size women to put together a sexy look without wondering about what type of attention it will attract.
For a night look I paired the Kaori Infinity Dress with black heels and pink and orange statement earrings.
My body is beautiful because it is my body. I would feel the same about it whether I was a size 2 or a size 32 (for reference, I am a size 14). All women are different and some women embrace the title of BBW (and they are well within their rights to do so), but at the same time, the women who hate the title of BBW also need to be respected. I hate to say it, but anything that could also be equated with a category on an adult website is not a moniker that I personally want to be associated with.
Now, with all that commentary out in front of me, I have to admit the IGIGI Kaori Infinity Dress makes me feel both beautiful and sexy.
The boat neckline is flattering and chic.
When I first saw the dress on IGIGI’s website, I had a feeling that it could be a great going-out dress. It looked comfortable, it is clearly convertible, since you can alter both the sleeves and the hemline with ease, and it’s black – it’s basically my ideal garment.
I styled the dress two different ways to transition it from day to night. For my night look (above) I chose to keep it somewhat simple and kept my hair up to show off my pink and orange statement earrings and threw on a high heel. My favorite part of this dress is that you can adjust the length for knee-length to a more tunic style by simply scooching the hemline up a little bit. As you can see, I went with more of a tunic length.
For my day look I wore the belt that comes with the dress, a great wide faux leather belt that adds great structure and knee length boots. It is brutal finding stylish, high-quality, wide calf boots. The pair that I am wearing has a hidden stretch panel with elastic that allows the boots to comfortably bend around my calf. However, it took many visits to the mall and returned mail orders to find this pair. Wide calf for some designers simply means an inch or two wider than their straight size boots, which as anyone with thicker calves can attest, will not actually fit a customer with wide calves. Unfortunately, the designers that offer wide calf boots rarely have multiple options available.
I firmly believe that a good pair of riding boots is necessary for any closet and these wide calf boots fit the bill.
One of my friends told me that she felt self-conscious boot shopping for wide calf boots because there would consistently be only one or two options at the various department stores she tried. Plus, she thought that the elastic bands that stretch the boots made it look even more obvious that she was wearing a wide calf boot. If you don’t want to wear a wide calf boot there are other options. Try ankle boots, a suede boot with slouch or a mid-calf boot for a similar effect. It doesn’t matter what you wear as long as you feel good wearing it.
What do you wear when you want to feel sexy and confident? Do you have a go-to dress or outfit? Share in the comments!
Jane Janeczko on
October 10, 2013
I’ll admit, it’s been a while since I religiously watched a season of Tyra Banks’s addictive supermodel reality show, America’s Next Top Model. Actually, the tenth cycle, Whitney Thompson’s winning season, might be the last one that I watched in real time, since now I mainly binge-watch rerun seasons on Oxygen. That tenth season was a doozy, though – Whitney Thompson won and broke through the Top Model barrier as the first plus-size model chosen as the winner of the competition. Now, five years later, she has a successful career as a fit model, spokesperson, and jewelry designer.
Thompson, now 26, has done some editorial work, but most of her work is purely commercial, doing shoots with brands like Forever 21, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Torrid, and landing spokesperson jobs like her ambassadorship for the National Eating Disorders Association.
Now Thompson is featured in a new plus-size lingerie campaign for Britain’s Panache Lingerie’s new Sculptresse line. The collection offers sizes ranging from 36-46 with cups from D-J. Thompson’s other business ventures include her dating site for plus-size singles called “The Big and the Beautiful,” and her candle and jewelry company aptly named “Supermodel.”
Whitney Thompson looking fierce in this promotional image from Panache. Credit: Panache/Facebook
Jane Janeczko on
October 9, 2013
I really, really dislike the whole concept of “professional attire.” I feel like it’s an excuse for people to wear their most tired gray polyester pants and worn-out white collared shirts. I’m not saying that there’s anything wrong with a white collared shirt (I have about seven), but they do require an extra bit of work to make them special, and those dishwater gray pants are not cutting it.
I feel like a great dress is the antithesis of a boring work uniform, and every once in while you’ll find a dress that you can wear straight from work to after-work cocktails. A sheath dress, or in this case, a modified sheath dress, took the place of my metaphorical polyester pants and gave me some swagger when I rolled into work Monday morning.
If I could have this color palette take over every aspect of my life I would be okay with that. In retrospect, this dress may have been slightly too alluring for work, but I felt so great in it I decided to ignore that fact.
As I have said before, when it comes to a perfect palette for every woman, jewel tones absolutely knock it out of the park. So when I saw the Sapphira Plus Size Dress in Larkspur Combo the purples, blues, and dark reds were calling to me. I have found myself being drawn to sheath dresses lately since I’ve been spending my days working in a professional office in Manhattan, and I just love the inherent power and structure to sheath dresses. They are just perfect for an office setting: feminine, yet totally in charge. However, I’ve had very little success when it comes to fit because all of the dresses that I’ve tried recently have been boxy to the extreme, and I have no desire to look like Spongebob Squarepants.
So when I clicked order on this beauty, I was more than a little nervous as to how the fit would turn out. I’d been feeling kind of like a one-trick pony lately when it came to dress styles, since I’d been wearing only empire-waisted, skater-length dresses. While that style is supremely flattering on me (and on all-women who have hourglass figures), there is definitely something to the phrase, “Too much of a good thing,” and I hadn’t been having fun while getting dressed. Instead, it was getting kind of monotonous.
Basically, I needed an IGIGI injection into my wardrobe stat, and this sheath dress was too pretty to turn down. However, when I ripped open my IGIGI box, I quickly realized that this dress is not a true sheath, but rather a modified one, with an extremely flattering draping detail at my waist to nip in my figure a little bit and get rid of the ultra-boxy profile that I had been struggling with. Plus, the material, a Poly/Elastane blend fabric, glides over my curves like butter and feels absolutely amazing on. It really could not be more comfortable.
I originally styled this dress with a short, cropped black blazer in addition to my classic black pumps, but the weather has been so warm lately that I threw off the blazer before leaving the house.
Since the pattern on this dress is so elaborate, I knew that too many accessories would be a bit obnoxious, so I kept it simple with silver studs and black pumps. As much as I love accessories (the statement necklaces, they call to me), there’s something really wonderful in just not having to worry about them every now and then and allowing your clothes to speak for themselves without any added adornments. It really is the mark of a well made garment.
I kept it simple with the Sapphira Dress, but how would you style it? Tell me in the comments and, as ever, if you ever have any fashion inquiries, style musings, or just questions about life, you can hit me up on Instagram or Twitter. Fair warning, there will be lots of selfies.
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.