Plus size fashion can seem like it’s stuck in a rut. Either it’s all wrap dresses, something pin-up, or something bodycon. It’s not that these kinds of styles aren’t cool; wrap dresses are great for every figure, there’s nothing like the classic pin-up look, and if you are confident in your body, there’s no reason you shouldn’t wear body-conscious clothing. But not everyone fits in these three modes of dress–some of us are more streamlined in our approach to fashion. Some of us are minimalists. Fashion is only beginning to address the minimalist plus size fashionista, but thankfully, there are some plus size fashion bloggers that are paving the way for minimalist plus size fashion.
Here are 5 fashion bloggers you’d love to follow if you’re looking for some minimalist fashion advice.
1. Franceta Johnson | francetajohnson.com
Toronto-based fashion blogger Franceta Johnson is a “multi-hypenate creative” who is “passionate about all things art design style self-love & aforcentrism.” Johnson has been featured in tons of outlets and brands, including Elle, ASOS, Buzzfeed, Cosmopolitan, The Cut, Flare, Essence, Refinery 29, Seventeen, The Huffington Post, Teen Vogue and Who What Wear.
2. Callie Thorpe | Calliethorpe.com
South West London-based Callie Thorpe wrote that her blog started as a diet diary in 2012, a time “when I felt pretty low about myself, desperate to lose weight and obsessed with dieting[.] I was in a bad playce and truly convinced I would never be successful at the weight I was.” She recreated her blog after having an epiphany about how negativity wasn’t helping her life. Two blogs later, calliethorpe.com acts as a place to be “just apologetically me to share both my blog but also a portfolio of my achievements throughout the years.”
Thorpe has been featured on Channel 4, Teen Vogue, People, The Times of London, UK plus size fashion brand Evans, Cosmopolitan, Marie Claire, Look, Vogue, Grazia and Elle.
3. Nicolette Mason | nicolettemason.com
Nicolette Mason, who lives between New York and Los Angeles, works as a brand strategist and consultant for beauty, fashion, and lifestyle brands as well as a contributing writer for Refinery29, Teen Vogue and Glamour. She was the contributing editor for Marie Claire between 2011 to 2016.
Mason has been featured on The Today Show, New York Live, Good Morning America, The New York Times, Time Out New York, Vogue Italia, New York Magazine, Teen Vogue, Lucky Magazine, Elle Decor and more. She also partnered with Target for the launch of plus-size brand Ava & Viv, and with ModCloth and Addition Elle to co-design collections.
4. Danielle Vanier | Daniellevanier.co.uk
Whilst I’m away, make sure you catch up on my blog posts… there’s one about that time I got my eyes sliced open and there’s that one of me in my knickers! [Link to blog in my bio] Thanks for all your amazing comments regarding my instastories. I’m 100% vlogging when I get home and I’ll definitely have to vlog with my Dad… he’s been such a hit it seems! Hands up if you’d like videos featuring my parents? ❤️#everyfatgirlhasthisjumpsuit #Scotteehatesthisjumpsuit #cantwaittillhereadsthesehashtags #missyouhubby
London-based Danielle Vanier writes that her blog is meant to “empower you and to inspire you to feel confident through your choices in clothing and accessories.”
“I want to help inspire you to feel confident about your body (what ever size/shape you are) and to show you that there are beautiful clothes out there, no matter what size you happen to be,” she writes. “… [I]f I can help at least one person feel great about themselves; then I know I have done a good job!”
Vanier has been featured in Evans and on Buzzfeed, Vogue Italia, Elle Girl Taiwan, New Look, IGIGI and more.
5. Musemo Handahu | Lion-hunter.com
Nova Scotia-based Musemo Handahu is one half of Lion Hunter, run by both Musemo and her brother Tendai. Musemo rebranded her site, Curvy Geekery, after being inspired by her last name, which means “lion hunter,” and after wanting to “take a bigger step twoards a platform that encapsulated more of who she is.”
Lion Hunter is “primarily a singular narrative of Musemo’s view of style,” which includes living “by the essence of her last name, hunting for the majestic in herself and in everyting she comes across.”
Musemo has worked with brands like Tim Hortons, Prince Edward Island, Le Château of Montréal, Ford, Ontario, Calvin Klein, Lacoste, Vince Camuto, DSW, Make Up Forever, Nine West, H&M, Forever 21, Old Navy, Michael Kors, U.S.-based plus-sized fashion brand Eloquii, Samsung, VitaminWater, and many more. She can also be seen in Essence Magazine, The Huffington Post, and Fashion Magazine.
Who else would you add to this list? Give your opinions in the comments section below!
High-impact, minimalist fashion is one area that plus size fashion hasn’t gotten right yet. So often, the focus is on accentuating hips and boobs, when some people just like utilizing clean lines and color (or the lack of) to create a fashion statement. Enter Universal Standard, Danielle Brooks and their collaborative Tria collection.
Universal Standard is probably the only inclusive fashion brand that’s addressing the lack of minimalist style for plus sizes, style that is usually geared towards smaller ladies. Brooks loved this about the company, and decided to go with them for her first capsule collection.
“The reason I chose Universal Standard to be the first company that I design for is because they symbolize the fact that all women, no matter their shape or size, want and deserve to wear beautifully made, fashion forward clothing. They stand for everything I believe in,” she said to PeopleStyle.
For the collection, Brooks, designed three pieces with a particular brief in mind: “If you could design three pieces that you always wished you had in your closet, but could never find, what would they be?”
Brooks decided on an upscale pair of overalls, a shirt dress, and an oversize cowl sweater.
“The overalls were a no brainer. For years I have looked for a pair of overalls that weren’t too baggy in the crotch, that presented some type of wow factor and that weren’t too long in the body. This one will be sure to satisfy every woman who has felt like me,” she said.
“The shirt was inspired by one of my fashion icons, Solange Knowles,” she said. “Too often, I’m not able to wear the cool unique statement pieces that I see because they never run in my size. This piece will have people asking you, ‘excuse me, where did you get that?!”
“With this [sweater], you are able to dress it up, dress it down, wear it off the shoulder, and even rock it as a chic hoodie. It’s what every woman will be looking to wear for fall,” she said.
Which piece would you love to own? Talk about it in the comments!
The New York Fashion Week would have been business as usual if it wasn’t for Christian Siriano. The designer, already known for embracing various body shapes through his Lane Bryant partnership (the fall line is coming out they day of this post) and through dressing actresses like Leslie Jones as well as First Lady Michelle Obama, has taken his commitment to body inclusion to the next level. This time, for his Spring/Summer 2017 runway show, he cast five plus-size models to the catwalk.
Check out the social media buzz (and the full show!) for yourself:
⚡️ “Christian Siriano celebrates plus size women at NYFW”https://t.co/GSJPDYDeMV
— Christian Siriano (@CSiriano) September 11, 2016
— Coco Rocha (@cocorocha) September 10, 2016
— Vanessa Friedman (@VVFriedman) September 10, 2016
— Christian Siriano (@CSiriano) September 11, 2016
Simply put, this kind of fashion show is life-affirming. No hyperbole; as a plus-size woman myself, it truly is life-affirming. For too long, fashion has been in the narrow “must be stick-skinny” box, when 1) women have never only been one size and 2) the majority of women are now within the 16-18 size range. The fact that fashion designers, on the whole, have dedicated themselves to this narrow definition of beauty is mind-boggling, especially when some of the women in their lives, I’m sure, aren’t size 0.
Tim Gunn, design educator, author, and personality from Project Runway, wrote an op-ed for The Washington Post during NYFW. He took the fashion industry to task for “turn[ing] its back on plus-size women.”
I love the American fashion industry, but it has a lot of problems, and one of them is the baffling way it has turned its back on plus-size women. It’s a puzzling conundrum. The average American women now wears between a size 16 and a size 18, according to new research from Washington State University. There are 100 million plus-size women in America, and, for the past three years, they have increased their spending on clothes faster than their straight-size counterparts. There is money to be made here ($20.4 billion, up 17 percent from 2013). But many designers—dripping with disdain, lacking imagination or simply too cowardly to take a risk—still refuse to make close for them.
Gunn also calls certain designers out by name who have said, in so many words, that they didn’t want plus-size women wearing their clothes because they felt plus-size women were ugly.
Enter designers like Siriano, who has taken the opportunity of dressing an underserved market head-on.
When ELLE Magazine asked Siriano as to why more designers don’t make plus-size clothes, Siriano’s comments seemed to echo Gunn, seeming to allude to the fact that some designers just might not want to put in the time commitments to dress women who aren’t sample size
We know the importance of creating inclusive collections. So why can’t more designers make great plus-size clothes?
I think they can. I just think it’s a lot of time and a lot of work. The thing is, if you’re a designer, then you want to constantly push yourself and your designs. When we make a new collection, we’re changing shapes, we’re changing patterns. We get a dress on a model, and it’s our first time seeing what the dress really looks like a woman’s body. And even with traditional fashion models, where it’s their job to be a certain size and a certain proportion, you have to make adjustments once you see your clothes on a real live person. Now imagine doing that with more sizes, more proportions. You really have to play with every piece. So timing is a big part of it. You have to make the time. But having said all that, we made it work. We found the time and we put in the effort because being a label that different women can wear is really important to us.
So the trick is having the time?
Honestly, I think the “trick” is you have to really want to do it. You’re embracing more of the world. Which is great. We’re all in this together, you know? And the models in the show who are “plus size,” they’re not in a special place, they’re now wearing differently styled outfits. They’re just beautiful girls who are in the show, like normal. Everything’s normal. That’s how it should be!
(From my point of view, it sounds like he’s simply saying they’re lazy.)
Gunn is right; there’s a lot of money to be made here, and Siriano, the most successful Project Runway alum because of his business acumen, certainly has his business sense attuned to this void and is using it to differentiate himself and endear himself to a larger part of the market.
But that doesn’t mean his shrewdness is something to balk at. There is still a thoughtfulness to Siriano’s decision to cater to a wider selection of body types. As he’s said himself, he likes dressing women of all sizes and wants every woman to look and feel beautiful. If he just wanted to make money, he could do like Target and make plus-size sacks. But he’s actually giving women choices, style, and a voice in the fashion world. Siriano is allowing plus-size women to feel like they do matter in fashion and that they do deserve to feel beautiful. Simultaneously, he’s giving his fellow fashion designers the middle finger, daring them to what he’s doing for plus-size women. It’s a challenge that I hope more fashion designers take up. As Gunn says in his op-ed, “Designers, make it work.”
What do you think of Siriano’s NYFW showing? Give your opinions in the comments section below!
Women have enough trouble as it is, but we also face intense scrutiny with beauty and size standards. Even though there’s many different sizes of women and many different standards of beauty, women and girls have to contend with what’s always presented to them as the norm—being tall and thin (but somehow still buxom and curvy). I’ve personally dealt with these issues in my own life, and they are something I’m only just now coming to terms with.
Showing different types of beauty on television and in film would help everyone feel more comfortable in their own skin, but several television stations went against that idea by banning a revolutionary Lane Bryant ad. The ad doesn’t show anything different than your typical Victoria’s Secret commercial—women in bras and panties—but this ad was, for some reason, seen as being too “indecent.” Take a look at the ad yourself:
— Lane Bryant (@lanebryant) March 10, 2016
Did you see anything too indecent for television (especially seeing how we get full-on sex scenes in primetime TV nowadays)? I didn’t. So it left many to wonder what exactly was so controversial about showing full-figured bodies on television, especially when commercials like this get aired, which are presented in an aggressively sexy tone (the only difference being that skinnier models are shown).
Either way, the Lane Bryant commercial was a positive step towards remedying many women’s low self-esteem. By seeing self-assured, self-confident, beautiful women who are also women of size, many will start to feel the seeds of empowerment.
What did you think about the commercial? Give your opinions in the comments section below!