Growing up as a chubby kid, there wasn’t a lot of characters in movies or television who looked like me. I found myself taking fashion inspiration in my own life from straight size characters. As a kid and into young adulthood, I didn’t understand that people would have a problem with me wearing styles I saw on these characters just because I was a different size.
Now that I am an adult, I deal with body policing and people telling me what I can and cannot wear on a regular basis. And when I’m dealing with a stranger’s opinion on what I should wear, I often draw on the confidence I built in my personal style as a kid. I remind myself that these rules aren’t real and that other’s opinions on what I can wear don’t matter. I don’t know if this why my personal style still takes so much inspiration from the 90s but it could have something to do with it.
One of my 90s style icons when I was a kid was Rebecca Donaldson a.k.a Aunt Becky on Full House. Her style wasn’t super jazzy but she was always polished and put together with her own flare. She was a working mom who seemed to do it all and she reminded me of my own mom. When I saw the denim Eloine maxi dress from On The Plus Side, I instantly thought of Aunt Becky rocking this look and I wanted it to be mine. It's a bonus that it's available up to a 6X, too!
The maxi dress is made from a lightweight distressed denim so it was perfect for a nice fall day. It features an embroidered bodice and it buttons all the way down the front. I liked the way it looked with the buttons open so that I could style a little something unexpected underneath.
If my dress made me a G-rated Aunt Becky on the outside, then underneath, I wanted to be a PG-13 sexy grunge fat babe. I paired the dress with an Ashley Stewart fitted bodysuit (available up to a 5X), ripped black boyfriend jeans, and lace up heels. Since I don't like wearing shapewear that much, I sized up on the bodysuit so it wouldn't be that tight but then it was too loose on my chest. I ended up wearing another bra underneath to account for the sizing difference and get the intended lift.
I went all black so that I could complement the denim and the detailing of the dress itself. The bodysuit is technically lingerie but I love wearing lingerie as outerwear so it was totally fitting for my personal style.
Since I am only 5’1”, the dress hit almost to the ground on me so the heels gave me a little extra height to avoid it dragging on the ground. To be honest, the length just made me feel like I was wearing a dress with a train or had on a cape so I was into that feeling.
When I think about my personal style over the years, it’s certainly evolved but I haven’t forgotten about some of my early style influences. I think back to the time when fashion didn’t have limits -- either self-imposed or enforced by others. I think back to the time when I would see someone smaller than me wear something and not think twice about wearing it myself. And I channel that feeling into my style. Sometimes that means I wear a denim maxi dress with lingerie and that’s perfectly okay.
Eloine Maxi Dress, c/o On The Plus Side
Ultra Smoothing Shapewear Bodysuit, Ashley Stewart
Black Boyfriend Jeans, Torrid
Faux Suede Lace Up Heels, AMI Clubwear
Who are your style inspirations from the past? Let me know in the comments below! And make sure you shop more pieces from On The Plus Side here!
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