Hello all! I'm really excited to introduce a new weekly feature on my blog called Stylish Sunday. Every Sunday I'll share an interview with someone who posts their outfits online, and who's style I adore. First up is the wonderful Cara, who posts her outfits (among other lovely things) at I Like Pretty Clothes. Read on for the interview, as well as a sneak peak of her gorgeous style.
Tell me a little bit about yourself.
I am from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada originally, but have lived in Wellington, New Zealand for the last year and a bit. I am married to my best friend in the world and feel very lucky for that. I work in the administration office of a professional theatre and absolutely love it - the arts are my passion, although I am not a performer myself. I have written a book - Supernatural Winnipeg: A Guide to a Ghostly Vacation - which is on its 4th printing, but is only available now through a ghost tour company in Winnipeg. (Clearly my writing skills don't translate to interviews - sorry!) I love the theatre, movies, books, drinking far too much lovely New Zealand wine, traveling, spending time with cool people, browsing the internet for far too much time each day and, most importantly, shopping.
How long have you been posting photos of your outfits online? What made you decide to start?
I think I started in September last year. I am one of the countless few who have always had tons of issues with my weight; I had very little esteem about my appearance despite having a gorgeous husband who told me daily that I was beautiful. He always hated how awful I was to myself, but we were both at a loss as to what to do to change it (since losing weight certainly didn't - I lost significant amounts of weight on two separate occasions, and not only did I still feel bad about myself at my lowest weight - it was never enough - but also I gained it all back and them some both times). Sam started reading FA blogs online and introduced me to them. The effect was almost immediate - it was like a light went off in my head and I realized how sick I was of wasting my life worrying about not being skinny. It suddenly seemed like such a ridiculous thing to worry about, particularly when life is so short and it is so much more enjoyable to be happy. I will never be skinny, and I had to learn to love myself regardless so I could start fully enjoying every part of my life. Let me tell you, it was like a huge weight was lifted from my shoulders, pun intended. Part of my discovery of the online FA community included the Fatshionista group on Flickr, and since I have always been so in love with clothes and shopping, after a while I decided to start posting my own outfit photos. Shortly after I started posting on Flickr, I discovered tumblr and decided to start my own blog, I Like Pretty Clothes, dedicated to clothes and fatshion in particular.
Who inspires you the most?
One of the first FA blogs I started to follow was Tangled Up in Lace - Jessica had a Blogspot blog before she switched to tumblr, and I was an avid reader. She is definitely a huge inspiration, because reading about her take on size and fat acceptance really helped me to start on the road to my own self acceptance. I think there are a lot of people who could say the same thing about her. I don't know her personally, of course, but I am so thankful to her for putting herself out there and giving us all the benefit of her opinions and views on life. She's a wise, wise woman. Plus, she has mad style and is one hot bitch. :) I still miss her long form blog. Sigh. There are a lot of other gorgeous vixens on tumblr and elsewhere on the internet who are also inspirational, both in terms of FA and fatshion: Kyla the Great, Riots not Diets, The Fat Girl's Guide, Frocks and Frou Frou, Young Fat and Fabulous, Pearl Concubine, Fuck Yeah Chubby Fashion, and too many more to name them all.
What are your feelings on style versus fashion?
I am so not the right person to answer this question. I don't feel qualified to answer it, as I don't really have strong feelings about one versus the other. My approach to clothes is sort of gluttonous - I want pretty much everything, I can go into almost any store and find multiple things that I have to have. I don't really have a specific taste in clothes, I am kind of an equal opportunist in terms of my clothes. As such, I don't think I have a distinct style. In fact, I often mix styles. I look at other people and admire their style, their unique and distinct way of dressing that seems to speak directly to their personality. My 'style' changes from one day to the next. I kind of feel like my wardrobe is all over the place, and a little over the top sometimes. Which I suppose does convey my personality, come to think of it! lol Don't get me wrong, I love my clothes and wouldn't change anything about the way I shop. I just don't feel that I have a style. Am I stylish? Maybe, sometimes. And sometimes really not. The term 'fashion' just scares me. It makes me think of designers and haute couture and all that stuff that is out of my league, over my head and just so not of interest to me. I guess I just think in terms of clothes and outfits that I like, not fashion and style. If that makes any sense at all.
How does the country in which you live affect your clothing choices, both with regards to personal style and access to clothing in your size?
Well, New Zealand does not have a lot of options for cute plus sized clothes, unless you are an old lady or a fan of long, drapey, shapeless pieces. It's really rather unfortunate. City Chic is about the only plus sized store around with really cute clothes. Thankfully, I can buy stuff in straight-sized stores - I'm about a size 16 or 18. But I do most of my shopping online - the variety is just so much better. And although the cost of shipping can be a bitch, NZ is an expensive place to live/shop, so I know that were I able to get the kind of clothes I buy online in a store here, I would pay the same or more as I do online including shipping.
What do you love the most about living in New Zealand?
Ha ha, this has nothing to do with clothes, but my favourite thing about living in Wellington is being so close to the sea! I am a Prairie girl born and raised, so the ocean is still such a novelty for me.
What is your favourite item of clothing and why?
I have so many favourite pieces, but my absolute favourite is my royal blue vintage coat. It is so lush and just such a beautiful, vibrant colour that people comment on it - and pet it, since it's kind of a plush material - whenever I wear it. I haven't worn it in an outfit post yet since my parents just brought it over from Canada for me and it has been too warm to wear it here yet. But I will post it as soon as I'm able to so my tumblr friends can see it's luxurious gorgeousness. As long as it still fits, of course, I haven't worn or tried it on in a long time. Damn, I hope it still fits!
Where are your favourite places to shop?
As anyone who reads my tumblr knows, I am a huge Pinup Girl Clothing addict. Such beautiful clothes of such gorgeous quality! I've also recently discovered Dorothy Perkins and love their dresses. And City Chic has beautiful stuff too.
What is your favourite fashion rule to break?
I over accessorize. I can't help it, I love jewelry and wear a lot of it. Although, I think I am doing this less. I used to wear a huge pair of earrings with a big chunky necklace and many rings and bracelets on almost a daily basis, and I don't do this anymore. I have been wearing really small earrings lately and will often not even wear a necklace if the top I'm wearing has an embellishment. But I still feel a tendency to over accessorize sometimes, and give into it whenever the mood strikes.
Is there anything else you’d like to say to readers of Anomalous Allure?
Hmmm, I guess I would just say to wear whatever you like, and not worry about rules or styles or trends. Wear what you want and what makes you feel good, and screw anyone who says otherwise. Just like no one has the right to police your body, no one has the right to police your wardrobe.
Don't forget to follow Cara at her blog I Like Pretty Clothes!
A big thanks to Cara for agreeing to be interviewed for the first ever Stylish Sunday! If you like to be featured, e-mail me at anomalous_allure AT hotmail DOT com