I’ve been having a weird few weeks of self-reflection recently. I’ve had a period of change, all good things, but oh my god it throws you for a loop doesn’t it? We get all a bit too comfortable from time to time and when you finally give yourself a kick up the bum to sort out what you want to achieve, it can be really tough to readjust. I’ve been doing a lot of “staying in my own lane” recently – that means, I’ve been keeping my head down, focusing on me and really looking inwards on what things I want 2017 to bring me (aka my plans for world domination, buying a house full of puppies and going on a 3 year holiday…ahem…).
As part of this period of self-reflection, I’ve been thinking a lot about my personal fat girl style. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in what other people around you are doing, especially in the plus size blogging world. I’m not too proud to admit that I’ve been really guilty in the past of looking at what my peers are doing and getting a bit too wrapped up in trying to emulate them. It’s totally fine to be inspired by your peers and take elements of what they do to try something new, just like I said in this post where my bestie Chloe from ChloeinCurve styled me for a business luxe shoot. But, there’s a point where inspiration becomes outright copying – and in a world where your own personal style is becoming more and more important, it was time I started looking at what mark I want to leave on the fashion world.
I got a new job at the end of April working as a Talent Manager for a company that offers accelerator courses to fashion professionals to give them the next step up in their career and put them in contact with the cream of the crop. As part of my first week’s training, I caught up with what my professionals have been learning so far and listened to what some of the experts are saying. I got stuck in to a particular module about finding your aesthetic and there was a piece with Jade Taylor, the senior beauty editor for Nylon Magazine, that really spoke to me. Jade is plus size, she has a really clearly defined aesthetic and she has risen through the ranks from assistant to editor for one of the most trendy, fashion led magazines in the world – she’s HUGELY inspirational to me.
I learned that, although I appreciate what my peers are doing, I don’t just want to be a cookie cutter of their same style. I have so much to offer the world that doesn’t include being wrapped up in what everyone else is doing. I can still lust after a particular look I’ve seen on someone, and I can still be inspired by them, but I also can be driven by what output I want to slide out into the big wide world of fashion. My ultimate goal with blogging is that I want to inspire fat women to feel good about who they are through the medium of fashion – and how can I do that when I’m not sure how to make myself feel good through my own style? So I got to thinking, what drives me in fashion? What shows my personality? After doing a few mood boards, a bit of research and some inwards reflection (yes, I realise these are all wanky fashion words for making my own mind up, but stick with me here), I came up with the following power words to describe what I want to project:
- Bright – I want to wear clothing that stands out as bright as I know I am inside.
- Riot – I want to disrupt the norm through fashion, so I want my looks to be loud and unapologetic.
- Positive – I want to show strength and positivity through the looks I create.
- Music – I’m heavily inspired by music culture, especially 80’s, 90’s and early 00’s – from Girl Power to Punk to EDM and beyond.
So, with these power words, I set out creating the first look with my new clear vision of the kind of person I want to be – and here it is!
I am not pristine – I am rough around the edges, I am free and above all, I am powerful. I think this look really shows that. Debbie Harry is one of my ultimate idols – her style is punk rock sexuality and unapologetic living and I’m so very empowered by that – so this Blondie t-shirt from ASOS Curve had to feature. Teaming it with a soft, chiffon dress over the top and a pair of ripped jeans is the perfect marriage of romance and rough-and-ready. It’s femme with an edge, and I’m so happy with that! I’m wearing a size 24 in the t-shirt and quite frankly it’s a bit too large for me. I could have got away with a 22 and it still be oversized. The dress is a size 22 and has bands of elastic around the gathered parts. I think I would have preferred a 24, but it was out of stock at the time so a 22 would have to do! The jeans are a size 26 and are FAR too big for me – a 24 (possibly a 22) would have been spot on.
Armed with my trusty photographer/girlfriend (thank you Emma, I love you), I went out and took photos of this outfit and for the first time in a LONG time, I felt like me again – and I really think it shows in these photos. I can be a fashion wanker and do what the trends are telling me to do – or I can make the trends work for me and put together looks that I love that are true to me. So, this is the dawn of a new Lottie – one who is clear on the kind of person she wants to be, one who wants to continue to inspire, empower and embolden fat women to be exactly the person she needs to be.
It’s time to stop watching what everyone else is doing and just be you – you’re perfect the way you are.