Let’s talk for a sec about something that doesn’t get talked enough in the fashion blog community, and in the plus fashion community in general – the inherent classist aspect to plus fashion blogging (less so with straight-sized fashion due to the availability of dirt-cheap straight sized clothing and even cheaper thrift opportunities). But you can’t run a fashion blog if you can’t afford to buy…fashion. Which is the problem I’ve been struggling with lately, despite being lucky that I’ve had money in the past to buy enough clothing so I can mostly pull it off despite not having received a paycheck since July, and before May not having received a paycheck since 2015. I’m just now acknowledging to myself that I’m disabled and starting the application process, but the truth is, I’ve been disabled for two years. I have a neurological disorder and C-PTSD, and no matter how much I love my work and try try try to convince myself I’m still capable of holding down a full time job – especially in an agency environment, where “full time” often means 70 hours a week – I just can’t. Not with narcolepsy symptoms causing me to fall asleep at my desk, or worse, on my commute to work, and not after 10 days getting a sum total of 2 hours sleep. All this is a lead in to the fact that I’ve drooled over ELOQUII clothing for years, but have never been able to afford anything until this past week, and I want to be honest about that, because I’m sure I’m not alone in this struggle. But ELOQUII was having some insane sale from like 2AM until 9AM on a day where I was dealing with another stretch of chronic insomnia…and it would have been criminal not to buy the dresses on sale from $175+ to $29 dollars, especially since that’s the only way in which insomnia has ever made my life better. So I went for it. And of course, being a person who has only a glancing relationship with the real world, instead of buying everyday wearable clothing, I bought two fancy party dresses, and a metallic gold skirt. You get to a point in life where you have to just be like “fuck it”, and find your joy where you can. And let me tell you, this vintage-flavored LBD is a JOY. And TBH although it seems fancy at first glance, it’s minimalist enough to be wearable if you dress it down with a day jacket or a cardigan! I don’t know why I can’t pose like a human being. It’s a good thing I’m such a fox.
I have a long history with being infatuated with mod fashion. At 17 I fake-ID’d my way into an infamous Boston dance party called Start! (exclamation point included), which spun a mix of electroclash, britpop, and post-punk dance tunes and attracted a crowd of scene kids of that particular early 2000’s mod revivalist fashion which favored white belts and skinny black pants and spock hairdo’s of matte black. I fell in love instantly. To me, that style was the apex of pure cool of the type that I used to long for and strive towards (back when I thought being cool was the most important thing in the world). I fell in with this crowd in Boston and then inwhe college in the east Village of NYC, where I attended the Tisch School of the Arts, but mostly spent my time partying in delirious excitement with the most attractive, fashionable set of people I thought humanly possible. Mod fashion, updated a little with an eye on the contemporary styles, was a must back in those days, and my wardrobe consisted almost entirely of black and white, stripes, hints of red, and retro-styled garments. (Check out a little nostalgic recap here.) I may have grown out of my party days and my obsession with being cool, being guest-listed at the most exclusive dance parties in town, and knowing all the right people in all the right circles, but my love of mod fashion has never wavered, though it’s been subsequently supplemented, and the black has faded from my hair and been replaced with rose gold, teal blue, and pastel violet. But unfortunately mod style clothing has always been a challenge to find for my plus sized body, so here are my tips and tricks to replicate this style for my gang of fashion-conscious, fat and fabulous femme babes. Swingin’ 60s Mod fashion grew into popularity in 1960’s London, inspired by designers such as Mary Quant, Halston, Biba, and Fred Perry. The style relied on simple, classic pieces, and used its limited color power, mix of patterns, A-Line silhouette, and focus on specific little style flourishes such as collar and sleeve details to elevate its style from being too simplistic and basic. It took inspiration from menswear and modified those styles to create a universally feminine, stylish appeal, and favored shift dresses and separates which created a signature a-line silhouette. The mod style which I personally prefer veered away from the psychedelic exuberance of certain 60s styles, and instead limited its color palette to navy, red shades, cream, white, black, and neutrals, and patterns like plaids, stripes, and polka-dots. My favorite mod outfits are simple a-line shift dresses paired with white or navy hose or knee-socks and strappy flats or knee-high boots in white or neutral brown. Mod outerwear has a special place in my heart, pea-coats and double-breasted overcoats in the same a-line shape as the dresses worn underneath. Pictures speak louder than words. You can get a good idea of mod style by looking at street fashion images from London in the 60s. Everyone seems so effortlessly chic and intimidatingly cool. The difficulty with finding mod pieces in plus size stores is that the a-line shape and lack of waist definition of a shift dress is often considered ‘unflattering’ on bigger figures, and dresses tend to be fit-and-flare or wrap shapes to create more of an hourglass shape. I call bullshit on that. And as your loving and thoughtful Style Mama, I’ve searched my fav plus size retailers and put together some pieces which will fit well into a mod wardrobe, so that you can look as cool and stylish as any bird on Carnaby Street. And I posed for a pic in all my mod finest for a little inspiration. (Cigarette optional. Look of existential ennui essential.) Plus sized Mod Dresses From ELOQUII: Try to look for shift, trapeze, and swing dresses to create that classic mod silhouette. Keep an eye out for classic, simple pieces, with a little flair added from contrast collars, retro-style bowtie necklines, and fabrics in nautical stripes, tartan plaids, and sweet mini polka-dots. Double breasted details reminiscent of military pea-coats are also classic mod styling. From ASOS Curve: Remember, fashion rules are meant to be broken. Make this style your own by updating it to include fall florals, or more splashes of color, or updated hemlines. Add a little of yourself back into it! Plus Size Mod Tops Separates are easy to style – match A-Line skirts or menswear-fitted trousers with vintage-inspired woven blouses or striped knit tees to create a timeless style that signals effortless cool. Pair basic pieces you can find for relatively cheap at any store with an extended size range with select styles of eye-catching structure and quality. The thing to remember with mod fashion as with all fashions which are based in simplicity – be mindful that ‘simple’ doesn’t become ‘boring’, as it can so easily when played too safe. A black and white striped shirt is always a good choice when paired with separates which are chosen with a retro 60s look in mind, but if you throw it over jean shorts and adidas, the look kind of falls apart. The basic rules of the style are there for you to embellish and accent with your own personal choices and eye for style. Don’t feel too bogged down by what I’m showing you here. Take the bare bones and flesh them out on your own! As for Plus Size Mod Bottoms Tailored menswear fit trousers, a-line skirts in solid colors or neutral prints, and miniskirts are what you’re looking for. Pair a fancier blouse with a toned-down skirt, or a simple sweater with a plaid flared midi skirt. And layer on the opaque pantyhose. Especially in white! PHEW. Who else needs their electrolytes replenished? I really hope this inspires some of you, my darling little fashion ducklings, because I really do adore the style, and I’ve felt left out of much of the options to wear this style ever since I fell in love with it. But that no longer has to be the case… Read More The complete guide to styling a plus size ’60s mod wardrobe
I know, I took a blog hiatus of like 3 or 4 months to retreat into my gem and heal my physical form, but I’m back in black, and I think you’ll forgive me when I show you what I brought you guys back from the ephemeral inter-dimensional rift. It’s something that’s fundamentally changed my fashion game, and I’m hoping that you will get on board this train with me, because we’re taking it straight to badass body positivity central. Gather ’round, magical sisters, and let me tell you a tale of the unsung heroes of bopo Style Warriors who make up the extensive, flourishing, inspiring online community of Plus Size Sewists. Yeah, you hear me. Sewing. Beautiful, creative, and mega-inspirational curvy women all around the country and the globe, all of whom have given the collective middle finger to the fashion industry’s judgment that style is solely the realm of thin bodies, and have dedicated their lives to creating flawless wardrobes that not only include plus versions of what used to be straight size only garments, but improve, iterate, and extend those pieces by ‘pattern-hacking’ – taking a sewing pattern and changing up any and every aspect of it according to personal style. That way if they find, say, a dress that they love, that fits like a dream and looks rad as hell, they can improvise and create 16 other dresses from that original design, with details such as changing the sleeve style, adding a peter-pan collar, adding or subtracting design details, or even making that dress into a shirt, or a tunic. Imagine your favorite top, the one that always gets you all the compliments. Now imagine that you had 15 of those, all slightly different, in different fabrics and prints. I know. I KNOW. Curvy Sewing Community, where have you been all my life?? I learned to sew as a youngster from my Mom, who is an avid quilter, but over the years that skill has somehow become lost on the side of the road of my messy, complicated, often fun and amazing life. But I’m bringing it back now, because I’ve become slightly obsessed with the concept of never again looking forlornly through the racks at Anthropologie at all the beauteous garments that society has deemed I don’t deserve the chance to wear. (Not only because of my fat body, but also because I don’t have a mountain of disposible income lying at home in a pile of gold coins a la Scrooge McDuck). When I started this blog I meant it to be plus size fashion only, but it’s quickly dawned on me that I neglected to factor in my extreme unemployed-ness and the pathetic state of my physical condition, both of which limit my income and therefore my ability to buy awesome clothing to rock in front of a camera. I have to thank the Internet Gods for solving that problem, by allowing me to stumble by accident into a world where big girls just like me exchange free sewing patterns, have blog events where they all support and inspire one another to make their own lingerie, and show off pieces of clothing which are perfect clones of designer items, tailored to fit their bodies exactly. This changes everything. So I’m thinking this blog may be morphing slightly from fashion-only, to plus size sewing, style, and DIY, because I have big plans for my winter wardrobe and I want to share them with you. I hope you’ll embrace the sew-your-own lifestyle with me, and share any pieces you make along the way. I’m including some resources here for those who would like to know more about this community, and some helpful links to get you started. Curvy Sewing Collective This is a major hub of the plus size sewing community. They offer tons of resources – from pattern reviews of sewing patterns (the indie sewing pattern market is incredible), to tutorials on how to tailor your clothing to fit and flatter your specific body shape, to pattern hacks that offer alternative ways to style specific patterns, to interviews with plus sewists who talk about how they improve on their sewing techniques according to their body type. It’s a must-read for anyone looking to get into fashion sewing! Cashmerette Another extensive resource for all things plus size sewing. Along with an excellent blog packed with tutorials and helpful links, Cashmerette is also one of the go-to indie pattern labels on the sew-o-sphere (ok, that doesn’t quite roll off the tongue. Let’s never call it that again.) They offer a range of stylish dress and top patterns, as well as fabrics, sewing kits, and workshops so you can learn from the creators just how to sew their patterns! Craftsy Craftsy offers more than plus size sewing, of course, but they have a wide selection of classes in useful sewing skills and specifically plus-sized courses such as Plus Size Pattern Fitting & Design, in case you want to take the leap into designing your own clothing, as well as sewing from existing patterns (this is my ultimate goal, although I’m rusty and I’ve never sewn garments before – I’ll get there eventually though!) BurdaStyle’s Pattern Grading for Plus Size Online Course Another e-course, this time on how to make any straight-size sewing pattern into a you-size sewing pattern. Bye-bye, plus section! Now you have the same options as anyone, no matter how much gravitational pull you exert! Deer and Doe One of my favorite indie pattern labels, Deer and Doe does offer plus size patterns, but many of their cutest patterns would need to be graded up. That being said, look how fucking cute their dresses are. I’ve yet to master pattern grading, but I’ll gladly take the time to practice as long as I get to wear this adorable Cardamome dress! Mrs. Hughes I’m trying to include a little sample of everything in here, because if I let myself have a free reign I would link to every single blog run by a plus size sewist I can find (which is a surprisingly vast number), because I’m obsessed with reading each one and looking at the clothes these gorgeous ladies make for themselves. But that would take until the end of recorded time, so I’m only going to include my two faves.… Read More SURPRISE, BITCHES
Let’s face facts – style is an expensive pursuit, even for the fairly frugal. Most fashionable people are passionate enough about the artistry and aesthetics of fashion, the ever-changing cuts, colors, patterns, and flourishes that define the brushstrokes of the designer’s vision, that they find themselves buying new clothes quite regularly. In order to curate a fully realized wardrobe that captures your evolving personal style, you have to shell out once in awhile for timeless staples that have the quality to last and be evergreen, and you have to keep up with current trends and select new styles that speak to you. That is usually a less pricey adventure, but it happens more often than forking over $175 for a perfect pair of ballet flats. In my case, I own about a dozen items over $100, but the vast majority of my clothing is bargain hunted from stores like Forever21 Plus, Old Navy, and Nordstrom rack. I doubt you’d be reading this blog if you hadn’t augmented your wardrobe since 2014. And lastly there are the specialty pieces that define your unique style. These could range from thrifted treasures, to beautiful delicate fiber jewelry from an Etsy boutique, to a collection of vintage iron-on patches from the 70s. All in all this adds to quite a heavy cash hit on the reg – often prohibitively expensive for many people to afford to really express themselves in an ideal manner. Enter my favorite solution for the style-obsessed: refashioned DIY clothing. One of the best things about this hobby is that much of the time you’re embellishing or repurposing clothing that you already own, but don’t wear (if you’re like me, you’re a lot fatter than you were in college, and a lot more picky about my style, so I have bags worth of old clothes that no longer fit either my tummy or my look. Refashioning ranges from the subtle (taking a boring plain t-shirt and altering the sleeves or adding a Peter Pan collar), to the radical (turning a thrifted men’s button-down into a skirt, say), to the just plain useful (adding a cloth or lace panel to enlarge a too-small shirt). In essence, for a usually very small outlay of cash, you can turn the long neglected functionless section of your wardrobe into a highly personal, unique, and brand new collection of wearable pieces! And they were mostly your clothes to begin with, so you don’t have to worry about finding your size! It’s s friggin’ miracle. A few notes: many of these tutorials require a range of sewing skills – from none at all, to fairly advanced. If you need to brush up on your sewing, there are a myriad of YouTube lessons and online courses. If you’re a beginner – shell out for a secondhand sewing machine. IMO every plus size fashionista should have one, along with a basic set of skills. Not only does the world of upcycling open up to you, but you can make your own clothes. And yes, there are a heap of great plus size sewing patterns out there. Check on Pinterest. Then develop another obsession: fabric shopping. Striped Cut-Out T-Shirt from Trash to Couture Men’s Shirt into a One Shoulder Wrap Top from A Pair and a Spare DIY Report: Balenciaga Crop Top from Follow Fashion How to Cut a T-Shirt into a Crop Top from Tomboy Vintage DIY Mesh Crop Top from Hello Gwen Upcycled Plain Tee – DIY from All Day Chic Iridescent Sneakers from P.S. I made this DIY Sequin Embellished Denim Shorts from A Pair and a Spare How Long Can I Get Away With This? from Cation Designs the refashioners 2015 – erin from Makery.uk the refashioners 2015 – sew over it (london) from Makery.uk T-SHIRT TO DRESS REFASHION WITH SCALLOPED HEM from Sew Much Love, Mary DIY Cross Flounce Top Refashion from Cotton and Curls Refashion Tutorial – Long Sleeves to Bow Sleeve T-shirt from Sew What’s New DIY Anthropologie-Inspired Top from Melody Fulone Anthropologie Tangerine Flicker Dress DIY from Our Life is Beautiful Skirt Refashion: How to make a button skirt from Cubic Dreams Refashion: DIY Color Block Tees from Uber Chic for Cheap T-SHIRT INTO SUMMER TOP DIY from Trinkets in Bloom Peplum Shirt Refashion from The Crafty Disaster
So I’m having a miserable…past 9 months, and sometimes you just gotta wear turquoise leggings and timberlands and be like “fuck it.” Hence today’s look. Also idk if you noticed, but I’ve gotten a little better at not posing like a goon. As you may recall, the dress and choker are new Forever21+. The leggings and jacket and sweater are all Old Navy, and the boots are from a photoshoot at Timberland (perks of the AD job! What do you guys think? Did my Partner do a good job as photographer, or..?
OK, so where have I been for the last several months? Well, I was probably asleep, but in the intervening time I seemed to have missed a truly wonderful trend. Enamel pins seem to be all over the place, and they range from truly beautiful, to hilarious, to fiercely feminist, to succulents (another side obsession that I will address.) There’s some kind of deeply punk, riot grrl aesthetic at play here which makes me want to cover myself from head to toe in these things. Here’s where I go crazy sharing pics. Here are a few of my favorites with links to purchase the heck outta them: Sass the Patriarchy on Etsy Please Let me Pet your Dog (Sold out, sadly) by Sighh Designs on Etsy Edgar’s Pin by NoFitState The Strange Women Society Do No Harm, Take No Shit by 1606 on Etsy Floral Manatee by ShopNDS on Etsy No Face Enamel Pin by GlitterGhostStore on Etsy Macaron Pins from pinclub.co.uk And, lastly but not leastly, Succulent Pin Set from BratBox. Not tired of Pins yet?
So idk where you live, but here in Boston the weather is just plain narsty – cold drizzle everywhere. So today I did what I always do when I wake up feeling like a sack of shit: I tried out a new makeup look! As a long time owner of both blue eyes and hooded eyelids, I’ve gradually learned some tricks to highlight my eye color and blend my eyeshadow so that you can actually see it, and it doesn’t get sucked into the black hole of my eyelid crease. Today I decided to go with something fresh and springy – rose gold. The raspberry color pops the blue in my eyes, and who doesn’t love a little sparkle? I’m gonna do a little mini-tutorial here, since I didn’t photograph it step by step, but just so that you get the gist. Here are the tools I used. So I ended up using: Urban Decay’s Electric Palette Too Faced Chocolate Bar Palette NYX liquid eyeliner in black NYX Mascara Urban Decay Liquid Moondust Eyeshadow in Recharged Milani Liquid Lipstick in Chromatic Addict Revlon PhotoReady Eye Art in Desert Dazzle (just the glitter) Foundation of your choice (I usually use Chanel VitaLumiere Aqua, but I’m out NYX Lingerie Liquid Lipstick in Exotic MAC Paint Pot in Painterly Ok, so first I used the Paint Pot on my lids as primer and to even out the skin tone. If you prefer using primer for this, it shouldn’t make a difference. After priming, I started in with the lightest color towards the inside of my eye – in this case Champagne Truffle from the chocolate box. After sweeping that over my lid, I went in with my transition shade, Marzipan, and blended that thoroughly through the crease. I’m extremely fair skinned, so feel free to modify this with corresponding shades for darker skin tones. Then came the time to add the raspberry pop – I used the Jilted shade from the Electric Palette, fast becoming one of my favorite shades to jazz up subtle looks! This I blended through the crease, and in a wing shape from the outer corner of my eye. If I could only give one eyeshadow tip to anyone it would be blend blend blend!! You want the eyeshadow to fade naturally into your skin, not be left in a harsh line. Blend! And in this case, blend slightly upwards, to life the corner of your eye. At this point it was time to go in with the liquids to amp up the shimmer. I used the Milani gold shadow to really pop my lid, and then the gold sparkle from the Revlon duo, all over the lid, because…gold sparkle. You could leave it there, with mascara, for a softer look, but I’m nothing without my winged eyeliner, so I tightlined my eyes with the NYX liquid liner, and added a tiny flick of a wing. Pro tip: NYX Liquid Eyeliner is the only liquid eyeliner you would ever need. Don’t bother wasting $28 on some ridiculous Kat Von D or Stila at Sephora. NYX Eyeliner is under $10, and it’s perfection. Ok, we’re basically done! Just add mascara (and do your brows and add whatever skin regime you use – I’ve been using that UD Moondust Liquid eyeshadow as a rainbow highlighter for awhile and I love it!) Here are the results! If anyone likes this look and wants to try it, please please please send me a pic, and I’ll post it on here and be happy forever!!
I’m still not great at OOTD shoots, not having a DSLR (or a regular photographer), but I love this top (picked up at Target – ?!! – last year), and it goes well with the brightly printed peasant top. I paired it with a vintage mini backpack and some cheerful matching slingback heels for a summery look in the chill of Boston mid-spring. Look at the cute shoulder cutouts! (And btw the hat isn’t a cowboy hat, but to my dismay that’s how it looks in these photos. The pants are from Nordstrom Rack, the brand is Premise Studio, the shirt is last year F21 Plus, and the heels and bag are both vintage. The hat is from Old Navy. Love a good hat, don’t you? Oh and I might as well show off my new bralette from Re/Dress, one of my favorite online shopping stops!
Just to make you feel a little happy everytime your IPhone gives you a little boost of affirmation! I put my weird tripadelic narcolepsy aesthetic art onto some IPhone backgrounds and added some rad affirmations and positive mantras, so you can feel good about everything every time you look at your phone, plus extra cutting edge becuz my art super weird yo. I will have something similar next week as printable posters – I’m thinking illustrations of beautiful women of all types in swimwear, because in my head it’s almost summer. Maybe I’ll make them mermaids. Ooooh. Feel free to leave me suggestions for upcoming freebies! Love you bunchos! Hope you enjoy your digital swag!
And finally I can wear all the cute clothes that weren’t made in my size that I drooled over while watching Heathers or paging through Delia’s catalog! Forever21 Plus seems to have wholeheartedly embraced this 90s wave, offering an exciting array of neon and hologram accessories as well as plenty of cute mesh tops and crushed velvet dresses, perfect for festival season! This is my first dress purchase – a little crushed velvet number which makes me feel like I should be an extra in Scream. It’s short and sexy and I plan on wearing it with a number of chokers – velvet or otherwise. Here are a few ideas for what to pair with a velvet minidress: So. Have fun with that!