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 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 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.
Jane Janeczko on
October 1, 2013
Full disclosure: I am a campus representative for Rent the Runway at Northwestern University. But that just means I love it a lot!
Rent the Runway participates in viral marketing through their campus rep program which recruits girls on college campuses for internship credit in exchange for promoting the brand.
I started interning with Rent the Runway last summer and absolutely fell in love with the clothes, the accessories, the business model, and most of all, the heavily-encouraged customer photos. These photos allow customers to get an idea of what the dresses look like on other women, and not just on the models. Jennifer Hyman and Jennifer Carter Fleiss, the two co-founders of Rent the Runway, met at Harvard Business School, and the concept for the business came to Hyman (naturally) while she was looking for a dress to wear for a wedding. Hyman and Fleiss wrote up their business plan, got some seed money from Bain Capital Ventures, and a short year later, Rent the Runway was born. As of April 2013, Rent the Runway has over 3 million members, and that number is growing.