culottes: ModCloth (wearing a Large, on sale!) // top: ModCloth (wearing a Medium) // shoes: ModCloth (fit TTS) // bag: Frye c/o Shopbop // necklace: Shashi c/o Shopbop (on sale!)
photos by Chelsea Francis
Another day, another pair of culottes. If 2017 will be known in my memory for one thing, it’ll be the year I branched out beyond skinny jeans and gave other pants a try. And thank goodness I did!
Culottes are a style I would have never attempted because I didn’t think someone who looked like me could wear them. I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately – the feeling that I shouldn’t wear something because it won’t look like it does on the size 0-2 model. While it’s awesome for fellow size 0-2 women to see a garment on someone who looks like them, there are many, many more of us buying clothing with no real reference for how the clothing will fit. Oddly enough, I’m now at a size where the models on plus size sites wear the same size I do, which is mostly unhelpful for women shopping from those retailers.
It wasn’t until I sought out more “mid-sized” (is that the term we’re going with?) bloggers that I started getting more creative with my closet. Sure, I’d rock a colorful cat print dress, but only if it had a fit and flare silhouette because I knew I could count on the fit. Seeing other women who don’t fall into the typical model-size category wearing interesting clothes gave me the push I needed to try some new things.
I recently saw a Topshop jumpsuit on a blogger who looked about my size and I immediately clicked through to add it to my cart. The model on the site did absolutely nothing to sell me this garment – in fact, I scrolled right past it when doing my Nordstrom Anniversary Sale shopping because I assumed it wasn’t for me. Funny how not showing the garment on a body like mine almost lost them a sale.
On one hand, this is what I love about blogging: you don’t have to fit a certain mold or have a certain body type to show off your personal style. Anyone can participate and you don’t have to wait for permission. Thanks to bloggers, I’m able to find other women like me – women who have bodies like me or who dress like me, women who like what I like or introduce me to something new.
On the other hand, retailers and the fashion industry need to do better. I’ve had two experiences recently when working on collaborations with brands and felt totally stumped on what pieces to choose because their sites did nothing to sell the clothes to me. Sure, they both had hundreds of cute things in stock and both happen to be brands I like and have shopped from before, but online shopping with them feels more like blind shopping. Take out the guess work and I guarantee you more sales. (Oh, and how about offering a wider range of sizes too, while we’re at it! Don’t blame millennials for killing your company if you don’t even offer above a size 14.)
Have you had a similar experience shopping online? For my “mid-sized” babes – tell me your favorite bloggers because I’m always looking for more to add to my feed!
P.S. Alissa wrote about this exact topic today too! Go read her blog post about finding your style when you’re not represented.