Started from the bottom, now we’re here.
This is my version of the “back in my day I’d have to walk shoe-less 5 miles uphill in the snow just to get to school…” story. It’s the late ’90s. I’m living (voluntarily) in the middle of nowhere. The only local stores that sell clothing are K-mart, Walmart, and Belks. In my opinion, none of these have anything to offer me. In order to clothe myself I’d order from catalogs or have to drive 1 – 2 hours to a mall. I would try to find modern cut jeans at the one plus size store and tops at the few stores that would carry larger sizes (read: above size 12).
I had given up on department stores altogether. It was clear they did not want my business.
The clothes that fit me were put in the farthest, most remote section of the store. Often I’d feel like I was going through a maze to find it, beyond the housewares, just after the dead quiet furniture section, there would be the “Women’s” department. It was so silent you could hear a pin drop. And if you did hear a noise, it was likely the sound of disappointment of the one other person who’d managed to find her way. I’d pick through the racks of poor quality, misshapen, horribly designed garments in the hopes to find pieces that I could somehow transform into a “look.”
I’d like to think of these years and those that proceeded them as my training grounds.
When it comes to fashion, I’ve learned to be creative and think outside the box. Because I had to work with the limitations of what was available, I developed the skill to envision the potential in the pieces I’d find. I had to be persistent to express my style. As a plus sized woman, I can’t simply open a fashion magazine and buy what I see. I have to shop everywhere, sometimes the deepest corners of the earth, to put together an outfit.
And I knew I wasn’t alone. I knew that there are a lot of us dealing with the same bullsh!t.
I started publishing on Polyvore and pinning on Pinterest to inspire other women like myself. I wanted plus sized women to see that style and fashion is for them, it’s just going to take more effort than it should. I wanted plus sized women to know that there are options and they can look amazing and express themselves with fashion. I had always thought about starting a plus size fashion blog, but made excuses and never took the time. Partly because I was afraid that no one would want to read what I have to say. But after 13 million views on Polyvore and nearly 50,000 followers on Pinterest, I knew I could really offer something. And so, I thought: no more excuses! I should say something to my followers that I can’t take back. So I posted this:
I was overwhelmed and excited by the responses. And I felt inspired. I knew the issues being raised in the comments were things I could address. And so now we’re here.
Please feel free to send me comments and questions. You can also find me here: