Check out our latest interview with the lovely Mandie!
1. Who or what is your style muse? I guess it would be the internet. I spend a decent of time looking at clothing websites as well as various fashion blogger’s sites and Tumblr accounts. Based on what I see is trendy I will buy a few affordable and versatile pieces and add them to what I already have then put together my own take on what I saw and liked.
2. Where did your love of fashion begin? It began as a young child. I spent a lot of time with my aunt and she’s always been very trendy and fashion conscious. She also had all boys, so she would shop for me and dress me up. When I hit puberty and started to get chubby and especially as a plus sized teenager there weren't many options that weren’t frumpy and outdated. My uniform from ages 14-24 was basically mom jeans and an oversized t-shirt or sweatshirt from a local surf company.
3. Who is your celebrity style crush? Audrey Hepburn. She made looking beautiful look so easy with her hair up and simple and elegant clothing highlighted with a pop of color or bling here and there. I don’t usually feel as classy and sophisticated as her, but I do love her look and try to emulate the simplicity of it.
4. How and when did you get into plus size fashion? I’ve always loved fashion in general and read fashion magazines like Harper’s Bazaar and W, but when it came to plus size fashion and my clothing I’ve really just recently decided that just because I am a certain size and that size is larger than most plus lines design for, doesn’t mean I must limit myself.
5. What is your go-to piece for easy out-the-door style? It would probably have to be my plus size black SWAK Pretty Cami. I wear it year round paired with jeans. Summer is with sandals and a statement necklace and winter is often with ballet flats a cardigan and a cute scarf.
6. What do you splurge on? Accessories! I love statement necklaces and designer purses. I can never have too many of either.
7. Why do you think fashion matters? The fact of the matter is we’re judged on our looks and plus sized women more so than others. I can wear yoga pants and a t-shirt in public and be with a thin friend in the same type of outfit and people will look at me and think “she gave up” or “she’s too big for real clothes” instead of “she’s on her way to the gym” like they do when they see my friend. I may skip the makeup and my go to lazy hair is a sock bun, but I always try to add a little style and flair and make a good impression since you never know who is looking.
8. What's your favorite outfit of all time? (That you wore)? I was going to answer this question completely differently and use my fave outfit from childhood, but on Christmas I wore my Emerald SWAK Eternity Convertible Maxi Dress with a cropped denim jacket, gold hoops, gold bangles, and metallic sandals, and I felt amazing! I think this is now my favorite outfit of all time.9. What's the last piece you bought? It was actually two pieces. I couldn’t decide what to wear to my company holiday party so I bought both the SWAK Harlow Lace Dress in Garnet and the SWAK Eternity Convertible Maxi Dress in Emerald. I ended up wearing the Harlow but the eternity is so beautiful I kept it too!
10. Best piece of style advice. Be confident and don‘t think because you’re plus sized you can’t wear something! Some looks will be more flattering on you than others, but I’ve learned by forcing myself to wear certain items I thought I couldn’t (like shorter dresses or leggings) that I am too harsh a critic. When I stop caring that people will see my fat arms or legs and wear something different I actually receive more compliments than I do on days when wear something in which I am comfortable and feel beautiful.
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