For this week's Stylish Sunday, I was really happy to be able to interview Rebecca of We Are Large, People. I positively love Rebecca's style and I'm excited to be featuring her. Read on for Rebecca's interview and a taste of her fun sense of style.
Tell me a little bit about yourself.
I am fat in and around Seattle right now with my husband and our adorable dog named Waffles. I grew up in the southern US (Georgia). By day I work in advertising, but by night/weekend I own my own business as a fashion consultant. Shameless plug: come check it out at wearelargepeople.com!
How long have you been posting photos of your outfits online? What made you decide to start?
I started posted in the fatshionista.livejournal.com community in 2009 (here's my first ever post). A friend introduced me to Manolo for the Big Girl, and from there I found the fatshionista flickr group as well as the livejournal community and Leslie Kinzel's now-changed blog Fatshionista.com (she now blogs at twowholecakes.com). It was a total epiphany for me - here were awesome folks that looked like me, had my body shape, and were rocking and awesome and stylish. It changed my life, which sounds like an overdramatic statement, but it honestly did. I wanted to be a part of changing other people's lives through being visible as a fat person, and posting pictures of myself online is a huge (ha!) part of normalizing fat bodies. In 2009 I started blogging my outfits - what an amazing experience it has been! I have friends all over the world now, we swap clothes and books and fashion tips and encourage each other - it has blown me away. I never thought blogging could be so fun and could lead to so many new friendships and opportunities. My blog is at wearelargepeople.blogspot.com if anyone wants to check it out!
Who inspires you the most?
This is hard to answer - I am inspired by lots of people! Fashion-wise, one of my old friends Stephanie (she doesn't blog, sadly) was a huge inspiration to me, and really the catalyst for me to start thinking in terms of a personal style, and developing a style, rather than just buying what was available in my size. I still think that I dress pretty similarly to her - she's so stylish and fun and encouraging.
What are your feelings on style versus fashion?
I feel like style is something deeper, whereas fashion is just what you wear at the time. Style is the personal mantra and reasoning you have behind your outfit choices and way of life. Fashion is awesome too, but it's just the clothing that enables the style. My personal style has evolved quite a bit, from DIY hippie patchwork sundresses and dreadlocks, to boy jeans and t-shirts and piercings, to trying to be "professional" and dressing like a lane bryant mannequin (lord save us from polyester), to being inspired by friends and communities like fatshionista and lookbook.nu and other blogs that I read. Now I feel like my style is kind of old lady/prairie chic. Petticoats, broaches, cardigans, boots, scarves. mixed with 50s silhouettes like blouses with colors and button-up cardigans over them, pencil skirts, etc.
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?
I'm fortunate to live in the US, where plus sized clothing is readily available via online ordering (most countries ship to the US too, so I have lots of options for clothing from UK manufacturers like Asos, Evans, Dorothy Perkins, etc. Brick and mortar stores that carry my size, which is around a 20-24, are limited, but still much more than other countries. I can go to the mall and find something to wear, if that mall has a Torrid or a Lane Bryant. I've found, since moving away from the southern US, that plus sized clothing is harder to find, and there aren't as many plus sized folks here in Seattle as there were in Atlanta. That makes me uncomfortable sometimes, because I feel like I don't fit in here (ha, literally!), but my blogging and development of my personal style has really helped.
What do you love the most about living in Seattle?
Seattle is beautiful, and it doesn't rain nearly as much as people say. There's so much to do around here, and it's also very dog-friendly, so there are always cute dogs to play with! We've also found such a great group of friends here that I just feel lucky to be living here. I've definitely lived places where it was hard to find friends and been very lonely (California was like that to an extent for me), but here we don't even have enough time to hang out with all the people we want to hang out with! It's a nice problem to have.
What is your favourite item of clothing and why?
Oh goodness, that would be like picking a favorite child (if I had children). Right now, I think it's this black shift dress I got at a thrift store. It's super thick cotton jersey with on-seam pockets. I can wear a bow-tie blouse under it, or a cardigan over it. I can belt it, put a petticoat under it - it's so versatile and comfy! And it only cost $4.
Where are your favourite places to shop?
Online, for sure. Asos Curve, Dorothy Perkins, eshakti. To a lesser extent Old Navy. Brick and mortar: Target (even though their plus size section is literally only 3 racks), Torrid (though they are a little young for my style, they have great patterned tights and jeans!). I also really love shopping etsy for gifts, jewelry, vintage clothing. I even have my own etsy shop (wearelargepeople.etsy.com) where I sell plus size vintage clothing because I needed to finance my etsy addiction :)
What is your favourite fashion rule to break?
Oh goodness, I don't even know if I know the fashion rules anymore! Aren't fat people only supposed to wear muumuus and be miserable? I suppose by being happy I am a rule breaker. Also, I love wearing muumuus.
Is there anything else you’d like to say to readers of Anomalous Allure?
My image of myself really changed for the better when I started appreciating people of every size as beautiful, rather than being upset at people thinner than me because I felt like they had it easier. There's not a competition for beauty or goodness, there is enough of it to go around, and I don't have to make other people less so I can be more, if that makes sense. I've started making it a point to compliment people on their style, their shoes, their glasses, anything! I basically just try to see the good in everyone. It's made me see the good in myself much more readily.
A big thanks to Rebecca for letting me feature her, and don't forget to follow her blog We Are Large, People.