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.
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.