Jane Janeczko on
October 23, 2013
I’m assuming by this point that everyone has seen Melissa McCarthy’s upcoming November Elle cover. The cover was released last week as part of Elle’s “Women in Hollywood” cover series. Other November cover girls include Penelope Cruz, Reese Witherspoon, and Shailene Woodley. While it’s wonderful that McCarthy is being recognized for her work and she is certainly a beautiful women, many critics felt that the styling choices on McCarthy’s cover fell flat.
McCarthy’s cover was shot by well-known photographer Thomas Whiteside, and the Mike and Molly star was dressed in a beautiful, dramatic Maria Rinaldi coat. Credit: ELLE Magazine via Huffington Post
Jane Janeczko on
October 22, 2013
So you want a cute Halloween costume (duh), but you don’t necessarily want to go-out wearing some variation of lingerie, nor do you want to spend a lot of money on something you’re only going to wear once. Trust me, I know the struggle is real, but look no further, for here is my top 10 list of cute, (mostly) DIY, plus-size Halloween costumes.
1. Sock Hop Sweetie
Is there anything cuter than a poodle skirt? If you want to emulate Sandy in Grease, try picking up a poodle skirt from a vintage or thrift shop. Some of them may be a little on the expensive side, especially if you opt for vintage, but this is a skirt that you could wear outside of Halloween as well. If you don’t want to drop the cash, try buying or making a poodle patch and sewing it onto a black skirt that you already have. Pair it with a white collared shirt, a baby pink cardigan, and a preppy pair of oxfords. (Going as “Bad Sandy” is pretty easy, too, since all it takes is some black jeans, a leather jacket, red lipstick, and some big, blonde, curls.)
Jane Janeczko on
October 21, 2013
Walk into almost any department store and head to the plus-size section. What do you find? Nine times out of ten you’re going to be looking at some dumpy, shapeless sweaters and sad, tapered pants with elastic waistbands. Essentially, you’re going to find a lot of frumpy, poor-fitting clothes that vaguely remind you of your great grandmother. Plus-size clothes are so matronly for one simple reason: designers believe that plus-size women should be invisible. Society sends a similar message to the elderly, as well, that if you’re above a certain age, you do not deserve to be noticed and you do not deserve interesting and innovative fashion. Retailers consistently tell plus-size women that they are not as good as their thin customers. And it needs to stop.
Katy M., 34, a resident of Brooklyn, refuses to let society shame her figure, and she will not allow her body to be ignored. In fact, Katy tries to push the fashion envelope as much as she can to combat this sick trend of fat-shaming that permeates our society. “I wear dresses like most people wear jeans,” says Katy. “They’re fancy, effortless, and comfortable. People wonder why I’m always dressed up, but considering the stereotype of fat people wearing dumpy dresses and matronly attire, I think I’m part of a really great push for fashion to fit any figure.”
Katy, the owner of a Brooklyn-based business, blogs about her life, fashion, feminism, and cats at Brooklyn Boobala, which she created as a safe space for her to learn her true self-worth and how to love herself.
Katy says that she is endlessly inspired by the world around her and that she tries to stay creative no matter what is happening in her life. Credit: Brooklyn Boobala
Like so many of the other plus-size fashion bloggers that we have featured, Katy finds her biggest fashion inspirations from other plus-size women who take the time to share their “Outfit of the Day” (OotD) images online, usually via Tumblr. Katy also admires high fashion and couture from afar, and she loves to see punk fashion icon Beth Ditto rock a great designer dress.
Since plus-size options are few and far between, Katy says it’s important to be crafty and to think outside the box. Credit: Brooklyn Boobala
Jane: What advice would you give to plus-size women who are struggling to find clothes that inspire them while shopping?
Katy: It’s really hard to find clothing in size fat. Especially within a budget. I’m so blessed that at this point in my life I can blow a wad on clothes and really feel out my options. I suggest visiting the Tumblr tags for fatshion to see what strikes your fancy. You might find a brand that has a style that speaks to you – whether it’s pin-up or super casual or gothic Lolita. Experimenting is key, but I know that takes money. If you get online and start poking around, you may find some plus size swaps or thrift shops with plus size selections. Strength in numbers, y’all. Make fat friends, even if it’s just online. You’ll start to see more of yourself being represented, and you’ll start noticing styles and outfits that really speak to you.
Jane: What’s the best shopping experience that you’ve ever had?
Katy: I remember my first time walking into Lee Lee’s Valise in Brooklyn. Lisa, the owner, told me why she wanted to create a boutique for plus size women. It had everything to do with her experiences as a plus size woman shopping. We shared horror stories, and then I went and bought up a bunch of her pretty dresses! Same goes for Re/Dress, a vintage/thrift plus size shop in Brooklyn that has since closed down [ed note: Re/Dress now has a new location in Cleveland].
Jane: Do you feel that these plus-size-centric shops tend to provide a more positive shopping experience overall?
Katy: The opening of these shops seemed in direct correlation to the lack of representation these women felt in the retail industry, and a need to create a safe space for fat women to shop. Because it’s true, it’s really hard to be a fat woman shopping. When I go shopping with my skinny friends, I get a lot of looks. I’ve even gotten an, “Oh, no, we don’t go up to your size,” or “Hmm, no, you won’t fit into that,” to which I’ve always shrugged and gone on to look at earrings or purses. I’ve learned to not let it get to me, but I must say…for years, shopping was torture. Pure torture. The looks, the comments, the fitting room girl’s unwanted critiques, the constant suggestion that I buy Spanx…I mean, I’m trying to spend my money. Why won’t someone make things for me so I can spend my money? Gah!
Being fat and visible means you’re out there, exposed to opinions, harassment, and critiques. Katy says that her fatshion is political. She glams it up and hams it up, all in the name of equal representation. Credit: Brooklyn Boobala
Jane: What’s your favorite piece in your wardrobe?
Katy: It’s very hard to choose a favorite piece, because I’ve so painstakingly built my wardrobe from such limited options. I have a lace dress that is so cute I want to cry. One of my go-to formal dresses is a vintage IGIGI from eons ago. It’s a silky fabric with a silhouette floral pattern and when I wear it, I feel like a goddess.
Jane: Would you say that that is a goal of fashion? To feel empowered?
Katy: I’d say that is the ultimate goal of fashion – feeling personally and bodily empowered to the point of bursting at the seams with joy in your own appearance, no matter what you look like, and no matter what society labels you.
If you want to dress like Katy, she recommends trying out the IGIGI Keira Beaded Dress, with which she would wear all of her favorite gold jewelry – particularly, her deer antler and fox rings and her gaudy Victorian-esque earrings. Katy says that she would then top off the ensemble with some cute gold shoes and a clutch, and get ready to hit the town – sparkling!
As far as Katy’s future, she plans to continue being fat, fatshionable, and unapologetic, all while fighting for visibility and representation by talking about these topics. “Fat is not a dirty word,” says Katy. “I’m tired of being treated as though this is my temporary form – that I’m trying to lose weight or get surgery. Nope. This is me. I am me. Take it or leave it. I’m quite happy, living a full life, with a thriving business, good friends, good lookin’ fellas, and nothing in my way but society and its stupid ideals!”
If you want to contact Katy or see some more of her awesome ensembles, check in with her on her blog – Brooklyn Boobala.
Jane Janeczko on
October 18, 2013
I recently came across a Huffington Post Style article about how more plus-size women prefer the term “curvy” over plus-size.
This statistic comes from a poll that the retailer Sonsi facilitated on their website. This poll asked 1,000 women which term they preferred and the results came in somewhat split with respondents saying 28 percent prefer “curvy,” 25 percent prefer “plus-size,” and 25 percent prefer “full-figured.”
All of those terms basically mean the same thing to me, so personally I do not have any preference. When I’m discussing fashion, I usually use the term “plus-size,” since that is the official fashion terminology for a US size 14+, whereas the official terminology for women US size 0-12 is “standard-size.” However, when I’m just describing my physical body, I don’t specify at all. It’s simply my body. It’s larger than some and smaller than some, but it’s just my body. I don’t feel a need to throw “curvy” or “full-figured” in front of it.
Curvy, plus-size, full-figured… no matter what word you use, Nadia Aboulhosn looks incredible. Credit: Nadia Aboulhosn
Jane Janeczko on
October 17, 2013
Trying to challenge societal beauty norms ain’t easy. It’s a challenge that any plus-size woman has definitely faced at one point or another, however, these seven plus-size models use their visibility as a stage for positive change in the fashion industry and increased size acceptance. These plus-size models exude confidence and beauty, even on Twitter!
Lawley, 24, became really well-known after announcing that she was going to be the very first plus-sized model to star in a high-end designer’s campaign. Thus, Lawley became the face of Ralph Lauren. She has also been the cover model for Marie Claire, Vogue Italia, Australian Vogue, and Elle France. She also has a passion for food and healthy living and her food blog, Robyn Lawley Eats, earned her a book deal with Random House.