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The complete guide to styling a plus size ’60s mod wardrobe

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

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Trend Watch: Enamel Pins

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?

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Kimono Dragon

Lord knows I love my boho looks, especially anything that involves drapey, beautiful patterned outerwear, perfect for spring over skinny jeans and a peasant top, or for summer as a beach coverup or paired with worn denim shorts and a barely-there cami, or a brief little embroidered white dress. Kimonos are extremely trendy right now – so much so that in the time between researching this article and actually writing it, many of my favorites have sold out. But I’ll soldier on, anything in the name of fashion, and present to you my top 10 picks for spring/summer plus sized kimonos: 1. Floral Fringe Kimono from Melissa McCarthy Seven7   MM killing it again with this delicate, fringed number in a gorgeous sunset ombré of hues. Long kimonos are v retro, and remind me of Little Edie – something a gently kooky person from another era would wear and look unearthly – timelessly stylish and graceful. 2.  Crane Kimono from Forever21 Plus   F21+ seems to have a nearly unlimited range of kimonos to choose from this season, ranging from extremely pretty (the one I bought is no longer available), to, well, a little tacky. But there were a few nice enough to make this list, and this cheerful, silky, springtime item caught my eye. No fringe on this baby, but it makes up for it with a beautiful pinky coral color, and a delicate pattern that is anything tacky. 3. Yellow Tie-Back Floral Print Duster Coat from River Island   Call it a Duster Coat, or an Open Front Cardigan  – it’s still a kimono to me. You’re not fooling anyone, River Island copywriters.  But, uh, regardless, this is a beautiful ‘Duster  coat’. The print is delicate and the colors are unusual and striking. I can imagine this being flattering on everyone. 4.  Women Floral Print Kimono Hippie Cardigan from NewChic   This nice duotone version is fairly traditional and very boho-chic, and, at just over $11, is the only article of clothing on this list that I can currently afford. 5. Katana Kimono from Copper Union Love the sense of drama in this piece. Very modern-boho, and it would make a divine festival statement piece! 6. Embroidered Sleeve Kimomo Jacket from CityChic. This looks like a great night-time, more dressy kimono look, with a lovely embroidered detailing!   7.  Medallion Print Kimomo Duster from Charlotte Russe. I love the sweet, slightly Victorian color-scheme of this piece, plus the price point is hard to beat! Another item worthy of Little Edie’s trousseau! 8. Fringed Kimono from F21 Plus. Ah, Forev, you never cease to surprise me with your trendy, affordable clothes, and massive selection of styles. I particularly like this version because it’s got a geometric vibe to it, while most of the other kimonos are floral. 9. Perfect Day Open Fringe Cardigan from McsKlozet. It quite literally doesn’t get any more boho than this. Love that retro vibe. 10. Jayley Silk Kimono from F21 Plus. I struggled picking this last one, I really did. There are so many gorgeous options out there, but I wanted to curate, because I heart curating – and besides, since when is being spoiled for choice, as a plus woman, ever been a BAD thing?? So I’m ending the list with this simple peach silk kimono that looks beautiful, but even better, looks silky and sexy and luxurious. Enjoy! Hope you found this list helpful! I bought my Kimono from F21, and I can’t stop wearing it!! Ok, ta-tah folks, feel good about yourselves every day!