Lists / Style

Style Beyond Measure: 22 Plus-Size Styling and Shopping Resources

September 19, 2016

Though I’m not plus-size myself, I’ve followed plus-size bloggers, models, and fashion news for years because I’ve always rejected the notion that fashion is an art reserved only for those with small measurements. From Nicolette Mason to Gabi Gregg (my favorites), the plus-size style inspiration is out there but by viewing mainstream media, many of those who would benefit from seeing size diversity aren’t aware that they exist.

I remember, while studying fashion merchandising in college, learning that the average American woman is about a size 14. However, the clothing industry has mostly chosen to ignore this fact and plus-size clothing options (especially stylish ones) seem slim. While some say the plus-size clothing and modeling industry glorifies obesity, I agree with the many others who say everyone should be able to buy stylish clothes in whatever size they currently are. Whether someone’s trying to lose weight or not, they can’t walk around naked and they shouldn’t be denied a wardrobe they can be confident in.

If you’re here because you’re plus-size and tired of being limited to the drab corner in a department store, I hope what you find as you read on is helpful.  I chose retailers who aren’t exactly household names, but are committed to providing clothing in sizes 14 and up. The bloggers below are proof that you don’t have to be “size tiny” to dress well. They’re not dressing well in spite of their size—they’re dressing well in their size.

TrendyCurvy

Styling

A few of the many plus-size fashion bloggers who are out there styling on ’em.

› TrendyCurvy

Kristina (pictured above) is curvy, trendy, and truly has a way with bold color. She’s been featured in Glamour Magazine, Essence Magazine, and more.

Nicolette Mason

NYC-based Nicolette Mason has an ultra-feminine and fun style (think Kate Spade and lots of novelty accessories). You may recognize her from the Big Girl in a Skinny World column in Marie Claire magazine.

› Gabi Fresh

I don’t throw out the world “slay” a lot, but I do every time Gabi posts a new outfit. You may have seen her fabulous self on Good Morning America or recognize her line with Swimsuits for All.

Girl With Curves

Tanesha’s style is polished and classic—lots of work wear and put-together casual. She has struggled with self-esteem but on the road to loving herself, created her blog with the goal to “inspire unapologetic confidence, encouraging women to look and feel amazing, regardless of size.”

› BeautiCurve

Rochelle has a “work it” style that doesn’t change whether she’s dressed up or down. She describes herself as “a girl who isn’t afraid to wear what she loves and to break a few rules.”

› Gisella Francisca

Gisella’s blog isn’t in English (she’s based in Brasil) but translate to read or scroll through photos where you’ll find a pattern expert with an artsy style and amazing hair.

› Sometimes Glam

Crystal describes her style as “contemporary-classic” and definitely keeps a touch of glam in her outfits, even when she’s casual.

› Garner Style

Chastity is based in Texas and describes her style as “classic with a twist.” She’s been featured in the New York Times and Elle, and is the author of The Curvy Girl’s Guide to Style.

› Stephanie Zwicky

Stephanie is a veteran on the plus-size fashion blogging scene and has been at it since 2005. She’s based in Paris and believes “style is not a size but an attitude.”

› Jay Miranda

Jay has been blogging about plus-size fashion since 2008 and now mixes in a bit about motherhood. She started her blog to “connect with plus-size women who care about fashion” and has been featured in Marie Claire, Glamour, Huffington Post, and more.

› And I Get Dressed

I’d describe Kellie’s style as fierce. She’s eclectic in fashion taste, hilarious in personality, and lives life “one glamorous day at a time” in New York City.

Shopping

Need a new place to shop? These stores offer stylish, unique options in plus sizes.

Jibri Online
› Eloquii
› Fashion to Figure
› SimplyBe
› Rue 107
› ASOS Curve
› Mango Violeta
› Reb Dolls
› Dorothy Perkins
› Additionelle
› Evans USA

 

Great style comes in all sizes and yes, that can include swim wear (exhibit A, B, and C) and sizes above 28. Know of any stores or stylish people I missed? Leave their names in the comments!

 

Life/Faith

I’m Having More Than Writer’s Block

August 31, 2016

Well, I had no intention of abandoning my blog for three months. Between graduate school work and daily work-work came the illusion that I didn’t have time to write, or at least post anything meaningful (sound familiar?). It’s one illusion that I’m trying to break down now, along with a few others. I forgot again that the pre-requisite for writing something meaningful is to just start writing.

I’m not really into feelings, but feeling misunderstood has got to be one of the worst ones. Or feeling underestimated. Or overlooked. Or outcast. I can’t say I’ve never fit in, but I’ve never felt like I fit in anywhere, with anyone really. I forever feel like the black sheep, especially in groups of women. You see, self-awareness is a productive, wonderful thing until you’re spending too much time trying to figure out what’s wrong with you. But within the three months since I’ve posted here, it helped that I found out my Myers-Briggs personality type: INTJ—logical, introverted, strategic, rare. How rare? Just 2% of the population and 0.8% of women.

threefourths
INTJ Types…

Are the rarest of any gender/personality type combination for women. INTJ women aren’t “warm” the way women are expected to be, and they’re rarely the emotional partner in any relationship.

 Pride themselves on their minds, taking every opportunity to improve their knowledge, which shows in the strength and flexibility of their strategic thinking.

 Are simultaneously the most starry-eyed idealists and the bitterest of cynics.

 Believe everything should be open to questioning and reevaluation: rules, limitations, traditions.

 Are brilliant and confident in bodies of knowledge they’ve taken the time to understand (unfortunately the social contract is unlikely to be one of those subjects).

 Are almost invariably smarter than the vast majority of people in three very socially recognized forms of intelligence: analytical, existential, and linguistic intelligence.

 Can have a very difficult time connecting intimately with others, as they’re typically outwardly emotionally detached. This detached attitude is embodied in the systematic manner in which an INTJ may view romance.

 Are natural leaders, although they usually choose to remain in the background until they see a real need to take over the lead.

It’s in this personality type discovery (that will never shape my entire identity, but can help maneuver my mannerisms) that I’ve stopped trying to figure out what’s wrong with me, because there’s nothing explicitly wrong with my wiring. It’s typical of my type to love thinking things, but not feeling things. And I find a little bit of comfort in knowing that I share a personality type with the likes of Bill Gates, Michelle Obama, Stephen Hawking, and Hillary Clinton. So, is it really writer’s block that’s been silencing my voice? How am I so freethinking and hesitant at the same time? I’ve allowed “perceived me” to rest in people’s minds because “actual me” wants everyone to mind their own business, which leads me to one more question: why?

Being naturally critical and aware of myself and others and mostly uninterested in almost all of what tends to interest others has led me to indifference and isolation for as long as I can remember. I don’t operate on warm, fuzzy feelings and I’m not characterized by stereotypical traits of women like jealous, emotional, or sensitive. I honestly wonder why everyone has a propensity to crave attention and rush into romantic relationships when I’m pretty apathetic about the whole deal, to say the least. I’m not impressed or motivated by titles, money, or popularity. I rack my brain trying to understand mass announcements of personal moves and public displays of private affection. I immensely value depth and intelligence in other people and my relationships with them, but I don’t care much to perform for people by putting on a show of what I know or feel and talking just for the sake of it. How am I supposed to know if I should care about what I don’t care about?

I could blame some of what I’m trying to understand about myself here on a form of anxiety that I’m slowly beginning to accept and diagnose myself with. I could blame it all on my personality type and the undeniable energy drain of being an introvert who’s not always willing or able to participate as openly and consistently in life as I’m required to. Any of these could explain my absence on more levels than one, my writer’s block, and any other potential blocks.

This is as close as I get to processing things out loud, and I’ll say that I’m not just having writer’s block. Sometimes I have emotions block, and now I’m seeking to acknowledge any emotions that may pop up instead of squashing them under the weight of logic (to not become spiritually vulnerable as a result of suppressed feelings). Sometimes I have vulnerability block, though I can’t identify anything that’s happened in my life to shape my “no one should know anything about you so they can’t use it against you” narrative. Sometimes I have attractiveness block—valuing intelligence and depth in friendships and romantic relationships to the point where I gloss over other good qualities of a person.

For some reason, it’s not easy for me to type this (again, naturally blocking vulnerability for no reason). But where there are strengths, there are weaknesses and even where there’s a perfectionist, there’s not perfection.

I post this because I’m starting to understand why I don’t immediately fit in with a lot of people/situations, and ideally others would too. I know it’s easier to count me out and leave me out. I know I need to wear an “I was only joking” shirt and come with instructions.

I feel fortunate to have access to resources that help me answer a few “why” questions, appreciate who I am, and recognize anything that may be stunting my growth. And in my efforts to grow and understand myself in order to be effective in everything I do, I ultimately turn to the place where I believe my only true identity is found—in Christ. The fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. In none of these will I find isolation, cynicism, anxiety, or suspiciousness.

Where there is anything in my calling, which is the mission of God, that requires me to step outside of my natural wiring, that’s where I have to go now. And if there’s anything in my wiring that attempts to stop what God wills me to do, it gives me hope to know He has the power to give me the strength to overcome myself.