Blog / individuality
I have only had one opportunity to hang out with Jessica of Curves and Shit but she really left an impression on me. It was last year at The Big Deal, an event organized by Karen of Curvy Canadian where Toronto-area plus size bloggers gathered to sell items from our closets. Immediately, I felt like we were kindred style sisters and I wanted to buy everything hanging on her rack. There was no shortage of colour, print or texture and it was no secret that this babe has style. Jessica was tops on my list of savvy fashion babes for the "Loving Vintage With..." series and am so pumped that she said yes.Where do you like to shop for vintage?I mostly shop for vintage at Value Village, sometimes Salvation Army and National Thrift. There are a handful of fancy thrift stores that handpick beautiful pieces Downtown but most of them tend to be extremely overpriced. I frequent my local Value Village pretty much every week if not a couple times a week.What makes you pick out a piece and want to buy it?I tend to look piece-by-piece through the racks and anything/everything that's either eye catching, super funny or I've instantly somehow imagined an outfit with it. Which leads to me spending a long time in the change room trying on every piece and figuring out if it's really worth buying (it helps that almost always someone is with me and will give me their opinion on it).What is your fave vintage item in your closet?I have so many! I seriously always find the best pieces whilst thrifting and the best part about it is that there is such a low chance of anyone else having it! My top faves are definitely my shiny gold cardigan, a floral maxi skirt and I have not one, but two amazing floral denim jackets!Do you have a dream piece that you would die if you found?Not necessarily, I always thrift with an open mind and that's how I tend to find really nice pieces. Last May I found an amazing Christmas sweater, and everyone called me crazy for buying it because it was +24 degrees then, this past Christmas all my friends wanted to have an ugly Christmas sweater party…guess who couldn't find any Christmas sweaters in store? Even if things may not be in season right then, I always look forward to wearing it in the future. On a side note, I have been looking for a beautiful hat (that actually fits my head haha) and an amazing belt!Who are your “vintage” style icons?I don't really have any 'vintage' style icons per se, I just love 1950's, 80's and 90's fashion.If you could bring any trend back from the past, what would it be?I'm a strong believer that almost all trends cycle and come back, I've loved almost all the trends that came back so far.. but I can't think of anything in particular that I would bring back.What vintage look would we NEVER see you wearing?Never say never! I actually love to try on fun, weird vintage pieces! You never know how they'll look or you may even come up with some cool new way to alter the piece! When I first started thrifting I'd always laugh at weird shoulder pad tops, or super odd dresses, yet still try them on. After a while I realized I loved these odd, fun things and definitely could alter them to suit me better.As I do in the Loving Vintage With... series, I've asked Jessica to share some of her favourite music. She recommends You're the Best by Wet, Giants by Bear Hands and this lovely song by Lake. Much love to Jessica for chatting with me, if this wasn't enough evidence of how kick ass she is, head over to her blog and be sure to follow her on Instagram, Facebook and Tumblr.
As much as I try to appreciate all of the seasons, I am just not a winter woman. Alas, living in Toronto (and I recognize Toronto winters are mild compared to other Canadian cities and beyond - but I am a baby about it), I look forward to small joys like steaming earl grey tea, stompy leather boots and sweaters. Especially sweaters. The problem I have with a lot of the plus-size designs - and this is so very common for women of size - is the lack of selection and diversity. Fortunately over the years I have learned to expand my options with some non-traditional shopping strategies. Here are a few body warmth offerings around the interwebs alongside an Ursa Major+ gem that I've brought in for you babes.
SHOP "OVERSIZE"/"ONE SIZE FITS MOST"/"LOOSE FIT" - When it comes to wanting something stylish outside of the traditional selection of plus-size, I would totally go for this shaggy oversize sweater from Nasty Gal. Oversize in some styles means it could fit me just right, regardless of what the original intention of the garment was. I mostly just want to encourage you to explore stores that you might have ignored in the past, perhaps assuming that nothing they offer would fit.
SHOP HANDMADE - There is such a huge world of indie designers out there who are creating amazing clothing in a wide range of sizes, or are offering custom size options. I love shopping handmade because I know I am getting a product that was likely created by the same person who designed it and shipped it to me. It's a great way to support emerging artists and creative hobbyists while maintaining your individual vibes. And come on, the Pretty Snake Crazy Kitten Sweater is SO EFFING CUTE (and this one is an XXL).
SHOP VINTAGE - It doesn't get more unique than finding previously loved treasures to incorporate into your wardrobe. You can't beat the thrill of the find (even online!) and it's highly unlikely that you'll be seeing tons of ladies in the same garment. This Chain Link Sweater is so amazing and can be found right here at UM+. Be sure to check out our sweater offerings, with even more being added as it starts to get colder outside.
Stay warm and stay stylish!