Defining my style in five steps

I love a good blog meme. Following in the footsteps of Pretty in Plus, Two Many Cupcakes and Fat Heffalump, I’m going to define my style in five items (actually, I’m cheating and using five ‘items/themes’ because it was just too hard otherwise).

I’m not a fashionable person. I don’t know much about designers, I don’t follow trends and I will never ever wear stilettos. That said, I do think fashion is important and can be quite political. The way we present ourselves through our clothes/accessories/hairstyles tells the world a story about us before we even open our mouths. The limited options available to fat people mean that the messages we are able to send with our fashion are, in a way, censored. By refusing to cater to us, fashion labels are controlling the way we can present ourselves. To send an accurate message, fat people must try harder; we have to be adventurous, resourceful and inventive.

So though I am not a fashionable person, I do have style that’s all my own. Blogs – both reading and writing them – has really solidified my sense of style. I now have a much better idea of what I like the look of, what I like to wear and what (I think) looks good on me. Thanks to this awareness, when I put on my outfits now I feel more like myself than I ever have.

Frances in Five Steps

1. Big chunky jewellery

To me, an outfit feels unfinished without accessories. To the disappointment of my mother and big sister, I don’t like ‘proper’ jewellery (gold and gemstones and all the rest); the material dominating my jewellery collection is plastic. My brand of choice is Dinosaur Designs for their bright colours, solid chunk and for being homegrown.

2. Sneakers


I vividly remember insisting to the Boyfriend at the beginning of our relationship (around 6 years ago) that girls did not look good in sneakers. Time makes fools of us all! The picture above was taken for my very first OoTD in July 2009. I had left a pair or two out of the photo because they didn’t fit in the frame and I have added to my collection since then. I have – give or take a few – around 15 pairs (which is absolutely nothing compared to some), mainly low tops, mainly Nike, mainly colourful.

3. Dresses


I never used to wear dresses. I was a massive tomboy from age 8 to 18. I wore a lot of jeans (predominantly men’s jeans in my late teens, in a vain attempt to hide my hips), band tshirts and my much loved Dr Martens 8 holes. I gingerly started buying dresses when I was 18 and they now dominate my wardrobe. They’re cute, they’re easy and they allow me to not wear pants (lordy, how I hate pants).

4. Kitsch


Plastic jewellery shaped like a Space Invader? Check.
Multiple bags shaped like fruit? Check.
This ridiculous jumper? Check.
Way, way too many Mambo Loud Shirts? Check. (I’m planning an outfit post in them sometime this summer, despite the fact they make me look like a big fat Hawaiian dude.)

5. Colour, colour, colour

I just don’t feel right when I’m wearing too much black. I’ve always liked wearing colour, but it was Katie over at What Katie Wore and her fantastic style that really pushed me over the edge.

I find myself going through colour phases, where a lot of the clothes and accessories I’m drawn to are one particular colour. I just finished with a purple phase and am now attracted to everything blue. Bright yellow is my constant weakness: I have three dresses, a jacket, a skirt, two bags, a pair of sneakers, two necklaces, two rings, a shirt and a pair of tights all in sunshine yellow.

What five items/themes sum up your style?


26 Responses to “Defining my style in five steps”

  1. 1 Ariel 8 November, 2010 at 1:10 am

    I absolutely love your style. AND. I really love that you acknowledge the political implications of fashion and fat. I want to give you a firm handshake and huggle!

    Also, please show me the rest of your sneakers! I dig yours.
    (you should totally please please please think about doing a post on sneakers for I was going to do one, but after having seen your collection, I think you could do a wayyyyy better job than I.)

  2. 2 Bethamint 8 November, 2010 at 3:38 am

    Haha, it’s really exciting to see others posting a theme that you thought up! I always love seeing what you wear because it’s so colourful! Never stop wearing colour!

  3. 4 Buttercup Rocks 8 November, 2010 at 9:54 am

    Hi Frances,your pineapple bag makes me insanely happy! I only wish I could find more yellow items because I’d certainly wear lots more if I could. (I’m from the UK. As a race we tend to wear sludgy autumnal shades and fear bright colours; I find it very depressing).

    I took a similar path to you and also chose themes. Not only would it take me a month of Sundays to reduce my favourite items down to five, I’d keep changing my mind over and over again. In the end I voted for shrugs, coloured tights, flat shoes, empire line dresses and offbeat accessories.

    (For anyone who might be curious, my pics and comments are here:

  4. 8 JeninCanada 8 November, 2010 at 11:20 am

    My style is dominated by t shirts, some low cut, some not, jeans, silver and semi-precious jewel accessories, sneakers (or boots in the winter; I hate heels), and minimal make-up. I own dresses for special occasions only and some skirts/skorts just for sometimes in the summer.

  5. 10 Rebecca 8 November, 2010 at 12:15 pm

    love it! That yellow dress is especially awesome!

    I actually jumped on the bandwagon and did a 5 pieces post as well. Tl:dr – petticoats, glasses, boots, scarves, brooches.

    • 11 Frances 8 November, 2010 at 12:37 pm

      Oh man, I wish I had multiple pairs of glasses to have it be one of my ‘items’. My dream is to have a whole drawer filled with different frames. (I love having bad eyesight – it means I can buy more accessories!)

  6. 12 lilacsigil 8 November, 2010 at 1:17 pm

    I don’t think you can wear all those awesome bright colours and have a pineapple bag and shy away from “big fat Hawaiian guy”! I’m not a jewellery wearer, but I do think what can look overwhelming on a small person often looks fantastic on a big person, and the big details you wear look great!

  7. 14 Tina 9 November, 2010 at 10:58 pm

    1. Jewellery: antique/ethnic/fake (or all three). I am lucky, because my aunts were independent, adventurous ladies, who – once retired from their jobs – travelled Europe, Asia and Northern Africa and brought home all kinds of cheap jewellery, so I just have to pick and chose. No platinum for me!
    2. Scarves, shawls: any colour, wrapped around neck, shoulders, head, hips…sometimes more than one at a time.
    3. Long sweaters, long t-shirts or mini-dresses worn over jeans (luckily I can wear jeans to work)
    4. Long skirts (flower printed, polka dots, stripes – people tell me I look like one of these Gypsy fortune-tellers, but that’s o.k.)
    5. Well, shoes…I am not one of these shoe-addicted ladies. My size is difficult to find, so I am happy with almost anything except high heels.

    Frances, I love your multicoloured style (with a little bit of “kitsch”), too.

  8. 15 sleepydumpling 10 November, 2010 at 10:31 pm

    You never look like a dude to me.

    I love your style. It is so abundantly you. It reflects all of the things I love about you so well. Fun, joy, colour, daring, boldness, humour, love, heart, spirit.

    Kitsch is definitely in my list too. I love anything shaped like something else. Or printed with something ludicrous.

  9. 17 Kate 28 November, 2010 at 6:45 am

    What a GREAT idea! I think I’m going to steal this for my blog soon. Although, I will link to your blog for sure. =]

    Thanks for the inspiration.

  10. 18 p49it 29 November, 2010 at 1:04 am

    Wow, great idea. Maybe I’ll take this challenge, soon.

  11. 19 Plus Size Dorita 3 December, 2010 at 7:47 am

    You can’t go wrong with big and bright jewelry, it fits perfectly with stylish and casual plus size clothing.

  12. 20 Nikidy 4 December, 2010 at 4:07 pm

    we obviously had the exact same high school experience; i was all about the guys jeans, oversized band tshirts and Docs, and now i hate pants with a vengance! (i kept the Docs though – i have as many of them as you have sneakers, i think, and in multiple colours!)
    for me it’s pretty easy:
    -black tights (i never wear skirts/dresses without them or short leggings or chub-rub is the end of me)
    -dresses/skirts (these seem to have been getting shorter and shorter the more into FA i get!)
    -Doc Martens
    -Celtic knot pendant
    -black headbands
    that’s pretty much me, every day of the week.

    • 21 Frances 5 December, 2010 at 12:16 am

      I’ve still got my original docs that I got when I was 15. But I don’t wear them as often as my sweeeeeeeet hot pink patent leather docs.

      I hear you re: skirt length – I own so many bodycon minidresses since finding FA.

  13. 22 Lisa Plus Size 6 December, 2010 at 2:16 am

    I love your sneaker collection, very stylish!

  14. 23 Big Girls Rock! 9 December, 2010 at 5:09 pm

    Adorable! Frances in 5 steps. That’s a great idea. I am a big fan of kitsch, so I am in love with your pineapple purse! Last week i found a pair of statue of liberty earrings, LOL

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