I really like jersey. This confession could be a bit unpopular in the fat community given how many horrendous plus size jersey items have been made for us. But I’ve always thought of that as far more a fault with the designer than an inherent flaw in the fabric. Jersey is comfortable, its stretch guarantees a good fit and I was convinced that it had the potential to be made into some seriously fun designs.
Enter Tennille McMillan. Tennille is the owner and designer of naKIMuli Inc, home to two labels: naKIMuli and Shanae. naKIMuli has a party vibe – modern styles in bright prints – while Shanae sells innovative basics. Tennille works almost exclusively with jersey and proves me right all over: jersey can be as fun and as exciting as you want it to be.
What makes me love Tennille even more is that she initially created straight size lines that offered custom clothing. When she started getting a lot of requests for plus sizes, she expanded her lines to include 1X to 3X. SEE, FASHION INDUSTRY, IT’S NOT THAT HARD.
Inspired by the amazing style of Katie over at What Katie Wore, one of my goals for this year is to wear more colour. In keeping with this, I order the True Essence dress from Shanae in ‘yella’ and an absurd, oversized, over-patterned bow brooch from naKIMuli.
Shanae’s site states that most garments have a turnaround time of 10 business days. My package was shipped after 13 business days, which isn’t unreasonable considering she makes her dresses to order. Still, the anticipation damn near killed me.
But the dress is perfect. It’s comfy as heck, it’s well made, and its knee length means it’s actually rather neat and sensible.
When I first picked the dress up, it was a lot heavier than I expected. I soon realised that that was because there’s a helluva lot of fabric going on down there. Those panels I’m holding onto are gigantic pockets – you could smuggle a baby in those things.
(Speaking of babies, I’ve noticed that when I wear something this colourful children absolutely LOVE me. They look at me like I’m one of the members of Hi-5.)
The bow brooch is utter nonsense, but it is a lot of fun. It’s made from quite a light fabric and requires a couple of safety pins up the top to stop it from falling down and looking a bit deflated. Tiffany over at Fat Shopaholic demonstrated how you can wear it as a Gaga-esque hair bow, but I decided to use it to give Madonna – circa ‘Like a Virgin’ – a hair bow instead.
(This tee is the perfect example of the oversized trend benefiting us fatties. I wear an Australian size 16. This top is a size 12 AND it’s got room to spare. Don’t be limited by the number on the tag, kids.)