When planning my search for a style icon post at the end of last year, I asked my Twitter followers for suggestions of stylish non-slender women over 30. There were some interesting suggestions, mostly famous folk, and one that really stood out. Quite a few people reckoned I should be looking to Christina McMc for style inspiration. I’d been following her for quite a while – with a bio that says “The fat tattooed babe your Mum never warned you about”, who wouldn’t? – but had somehow missed the vast majority of her outfit posts.
It turns out that she had been sharing outfit selfies on social media and I just hadn’t been paying enough attention. However, that’s all about to change as Christina told me, “one of my 2015 resolutions was to start a fashion and food blog to document all of my outfits, which you can find at www.kitkeen.com.”
As a non-standard size/shape myself (well, according to the fashion industry!), I was keen to chat to Christina about size, style and recommendations. I usually come up as a size 14/16, I can theoretically buy clothes in most high street stores but I’m also 5′ 4″ so I’m in between many brands’ standard and petite/plus size ranges. Christina is a more respectable 5′ 7″ tall so probably doesn’t have that annoying problem I get when I buy dresses and the waist and/or shoulders sit in a weird place but, as a size 18/20, she has a limited number of brands that she can choose from.
I asked her about sizing and she told me: “To be honest, my dress size differs from retailer to retailer. In some stores, I’m a 16 (hello M&S!) and in some I’m a 20. I just tend to wear clothes which fit and look good on me, irrespective of the number on the label.” Wise words indeed! Next, I asked where she gets her own style inspiration from.
I mostly get style inspiration via social media and plus sized blogs. Popular women’s media is incredibly limiting in what it chooses to showcase, and I can’t really think of the last time I opened the pages of a magazine and saw anyone who had my body shape in there. The plus sized community on Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr is incredibly inspiring and really encourages me to wear different clothes and styles that I would never have considered wearing a few years ago. I love reading plus sized blogs too – Arched Eyebrow, From the Corners of the Curve, Gabi Fresh, Nicolette Mason, Fuller Figure Fuller Bust and Danielle Vanier are all fantastic and have really made me want to up my game in terms of my own personal style!
I’ve definitely changed my style in the past few years as I’ve learned to grow more comfortable with my body. I spent years hating myself and the way I looked, and flitted from diet to diet in an attempt to make myself happier (which, needless to say, didn’t work.) Once I started to feel more comfortable and confident with the way I looked, my personal style changed with it. I’m quite femme, so tend to wear lots of leopard print, fitted 1950s dresses with huge swing skirts, skinny jeans and t-shirts with leather jackets and headscarves. I’ve also gotten significantly more tattoos over the past few years – I love my body and I want to use it as a canvas for really beautiful designs and pieces of art. I also love accessorising, so you’ll tend to find me wearing lots of giant hoop earrings and even bigger statement necklaces.
Of course, I couldn’t resist asking Christina for tips on great places to shop if, like me, you feel like the high street is failing you. She recommended ASOS Curve, Missguided, Junarose, Collectif, Lindy Bop, eBay (for one-of-a-kind plus-sized vintage clothing), plus Tatty Devine, Wolf & Moon and Black Heart Creatives for jewellery. I can’t wait to see what outfit selfies she shares with us in 2015.