The Great Divide: Size vs Style

There have been some unbelievable changes in the plus size clothing industry lately.  Some big name retailers like Lane Bryant have launched campaigns of epic proportions to bring light to the fact that plus size women want to be represented in the media and to also have more models in a variety of sizes, body shapes, and ethnicity.  While I believe these highly visible events are a huge contribution to the evolution of the industry, I feel the growing number of plus size bloggers attest to the fact that we love our fashion!  No longer ashamed to not be seen, not only by those we may run into in our local area but by the world, we are putting ourselves on the line, open for scrutiny, with one mission in mind: to inspire.

I recently was part of a brand sponsored post and a picture of me was placed on the companies Facebook where there were several positive comments about the outfit, but then it happened, a reader and follower of this plus size brand bashed the company about how they were essentially making a mistake by creating “skinny girl clothes” for plus size women.  I was shocked to say the least, especially with it coming from a fellow plus size woman.  I consider myself a rather modest dresser, so I was surprised by the comment.  The other thing that struck me was that my entire premise of having Designing From My Closet was to prove there is NOT a great divide between dressing a plus size woman vs a thinner woman.  Style is my guide, not size.gray cocoon cardigan: Francesca's | mustard top: Anthropologie | floral soft pants: Old Navy | white link necklace: Ann Taylor | bangle set: Catherine's | brown handbag: Coach | pointy toe flats: Target

gray cocoon cardigan: Francesca’s  |  mustard top: Anthropologie  |  floral soft pants: Old Navy  |  white link necklace: Ann Taylor  |  bangle set: Catherine’s  |  brown handbag: Coach  |  pointy toe flats: Target

Today’s outfit speaks true to my personal style by throwing all the “plus size rules” out the window.  I was once told that I should never wear a pattern on my bottom half because I have large thighs.  That mindset would have totally prevented me from getting these floral soft pants, which have turned out to be one of my favorite patterns of the season.  And a non-structured drawstring silhouette?!!  Another misnomer that I have promptly thrown out the window.
gray cocoon cardigan: Francesca's | mustard top: Anthropologie | floral soft pants: Old Navy | white link necklace: Ann Taylor | bangle set: Catherine's | brown handbag: Coach | pointy toe flats: Target

Those pants were the jumping off point for this entire outfit.  The gray background ties into this beautiful gray cocoon cardigan with lace details.  I love how it wraps around to the back too.  A textured mustard top, a color also found in the pants, is a fall staple for me.  Can anyone say, Pumpkin Spice?  All of these items come from straight size shops, well, because I loved their style and I did not find anything like them in a plus size retailer.gray cocoon cardigan: Francesca's | mustard top: Anthropologie | floral soft pants: Old Navy | white link necklace: Ann Taylor | bangle set: Catherine's | brown handbag: Coach | pointy toe flats: Target

The more and more women speak out about wanting change and not wanting to be pushed into a category of style simply because of her size, the more this industry seems to listen.  In a way, by me posting my outfits, I am saying to the world “I want to dress like any other woman my age with my preferences.”  I once was told on another social platform that it was nice to see a larger woman dressing stylish and not afraid to show it.  It was meant as a compliment and I took it that way.  The more I pondered on that thought, I realized that this meant this woman was accustomed to seeing plus size women dressing badly.  I also took it as she was used to seeing plus size women shrink away from having attention shed upon them in a positive manner in regards to their looks.
gray cocoon cardigan: Francesca's | mustard top: Anthropologie | floral soft pants: Old Navy | white link necklace: Ann Taylor | bangle set: Catherine's | brown handbag: Coach | pointy toe flats: TargetSo I guess my point is that your size should NEVER determine what types of clothes you wear.  Style trumps everything.  In my perfect world, every retailer would carry every style in every size (hello Anthropologie, I will be there!)  A good example of this is whenever I shop at places that carry both misses and womens sizes under the same roof, I ALWAYS find pieces I fall in love with in the misses section, and kind of hem-haw around in the plus size section.  I stand there and wonder as I look at those misses sized items: why can’t this come in my size?

I understand that this mentality is a rather “new” way of thinking and I believe retailers are catching up to a new generation of women who do not mind showing the shape of their body and want a whole variety of styles ranging from girly-feminine to rocker-chic.  I have absolutely no idea about you, my readers, and how you feel about style vs size.  I am sure I have readers from different generations and different mindsets on this topic.

I hope I am fulfilling my mission to inspire you with your fashion, and to do it in a positive and self-confidence building way.  Speaking of inspiration, are you on Pinterest?  Designing From My Closet is finally on Pinterest and I would love to see you there to share ideas!

Linking up with Happiness At Midlife.

How do you feel about plus size clothing that is available?  Do you think everything is fine and does not need to change?  Or do you think there needs to be more change?  Let me know in the comment section below!

Today’s Postivity Note

Live less out of habit, and more out of intent.

Be Blessed!

Janeane

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6 comments

  1. You are definitely an inspiration to me, and you continue to amaze me with how you build separates into colorful, textural, stylish outfits. I feel like plus size fashion retailers have an especially tricky job because, yes, they need to offer straight size designs in plus sizes. However, they also need to cut the clothing differently in some cases. They also have to embrace both traditional plus size styles and more fashion-forward designs regardless of how “flattering” they are. I think the plus size fashion community is quite divided in what it wants to see, so we really need retailers across the style spectrum. Straight size shoppers have this. Why don’t we? There aren’t enough Anthropologies or J.Crews in plus sizes. And there certainly aren’t enough girly, whimsical, and colorful retailers in plus sizes. But we bloggers are making those issues known, and hopefully retailers will respond.

    ❤ Liz
    http://www.withwonderandwhimsy.com

    1. Thank you Liz. I certainly hope that more bloggers make it known that we want more variety of styles. While I appreciate what has changed, I still find myself more drawn to those styles that are not available in plus sizes. I really appreciate your input on this “hot” topic that I believe needs to be put out there.

  2. Hi Janeane

    I’m so happy to find your blog! I think you’re absolutely right that style trumps all when it comes to choosing how you present yourself to the world. And I would also add that choosing things YOU love is important too no matter the trend, brand, views of others, whatever…

    I really love the comfy but put together vibe of this look. I really like the positive tone of your blog!
    http://www.districthilo.com

    Love,
    Mary

    1. Thank you Mary! And yes, by wearing pieces that you love, it makes you confident. Confidence is the most beautiful thing a woman can wear. Trends will come and go, but choosing what you love will never go out of style. I so appreciate your comment and hope you have a wonderful weekend!

      Janeane

  3. What a beautiful outfit and I agree 100% that can’t define style by size. Style is something you have or you don’t and size has nothing to do with it.

    Thank you for being a part of TBT Fashion link up and hope to see you Thursday.

    Alice
    http://www.happinessatmidlife.com

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