London-based writer, Gemma Cartwright, is best known for creating the fashion blog Catwalk Queen, which she edited until early 2009. She is now editor of celebrity site The Nod and has recently launched a new style blog with a twist, Big Girls Browse. As stated on the site, “Big Girls Browse isn’t a plus size site. It’s for any woman who doesn’t fit the model norm. It aims to bridge the gap between mass-market fashion and specialist stores for those who are somewhere in between.”
It may be a massive cliché, but I am not your typical fashionista. When I edited a mainstream fashion website, I often felt like the elephant in the room, literally! Everything was designed with tiny women in mind and I couldn’t help thinking, “What about me?”
My measurements are almost identical to the national average (which is approximately a UK size 16) so I’m clearly not alone in how I feel. That’s the reason I started Big Girls Browse. I wanted to prove that it doesn’t matter what size you are, you can still look fabulous. My love of clothes can be traced back to the many hours I spent as a child dressing up in my mom’s cast-offs. I suppose I never really grew out of it. Even now, you can always count on me to be the most overdressed person in a room. I like to have fun and make a statement.
I love Mad Men‘s Joan Holloway, Zooey Deschanel and Glee‘s Emma Pillsbury. That’s 1/3 bombshell, 1/3 fairy princess and 1/3 prim and proper — an interesting combination, and I’m sure you’ll see examples of it through my choices below. I’ve tried to highlight a combination of things I love and and up-and-coming trends. I hope you like my finds!
The catwalks were full of lace trims and underwear-as-outerwear for spring, and this top from prizysebastian interprets the look perfectly. Vintage lace on chiffon, this is crying out to be layered over a vintage slip or cami. $95.
High Street stores are currently jam-packed with nautical-inspired fashion (again!) but all those anchors and red and blue stripes can get boring. This UntamedMenagerie ship necklace takes it to the next level. What a talking point! $18.
I’ve collected things with butterflies since I was a kid, and I love seeing a new take on the winged creatures. gossimarwings make these wood pendants with vintage imagery, giving them a rustic feel which really appeals to me. $25.
It took me a long time to succumb to the legging revival — the bold, shiny and patterned leggings are still too much for me and my chunky thighs! branchhandmade‘s pretty printed ones are far more my style. I love this birdcage print, which would be perfect under a casual black jersey dress. $29.
Oh, to have a 25″ waist! The first thing I’d reach for is this fabulous wiggle dress from TheAwakeningIngenue. Everything about it is perfect — the cut, the colour and the way it clings to every curve. It’s also extremely reasonably priced for 1940s vintage! $65.
I recently went to a steampunk exhibition and completely fell in love with the style. There are loads of Etsy sellers doing amazing things in the genre, but my favourite is JewelsByNature, because the pieces still look delicate and feminine. This sparrow pendant is currently top of my wish-list. $38.
Sequins worn as daywear is a trend that’s going nowhere, and this boxy top from dirtybettyvintage is a great way to try it without going too bright. I’d layer this over a black dress. $15.
missbrache makes the most amazing rockabilly dresses and pin-up style swimsuits, and I’ve been coveting her Ooh La La Maillot for ages. She also caters up to a size 24, which is great because I know I’m not the only curvy woman who loves this style! $115.
With Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland about to hit cinema screens in the UK, Wonderland jewellery is everywhere. But hoolala designer Samantha has been doing quirky charm jewellery based on the Lewis Carrol books for years. Still the original and the best, I think! $44.
Now everyone and their auntie is wearing fascinators to weddings, I’m looking for something a bit different for the next one I attend. thehoneycomb has all kinds of beautiful offerings, from garlands to clips and combs. Of course, I had to go for the butterflies! $30.
Only on Etsy could you find a unique, fully lined silk dress for $59! I love the draping and pleating on this dress by YongS, and grey is an eternally stylish colour. I’d team it with bold accessories — maybe coral or yellow — and killer patent heels.
I’d buy things from SeaUnicorn‘s shop purely because of the gorgeous photography, but luckily the whimsical jewellery lives up to its setting. This origami crane reminds me of some much pricier jewellery I saw in a Paris museum gift shop. $27.
I’m a sucker for crazy shoes. Friends send me pictures of the most ostentatious ones they can find knowing I’ll love them. So when I discovered hand-painted shoes on Etsy, I was in my element. These pheasant feather peep toes by norakaren are my fave and would look great with a pencil skirt and the next item… $90.
You’d have to have been living under a rock not to notice the plethora of printed, patterned and textured tights and stockings currently filling the shelves. Hosiery is hot, and nobody does it better than post. The peacock feather print tights (up to an XL) are great, but there are also octopi, butterflies, swirls and flowers. $23.
It’s absolutely freezing in London right now, so I couldn’t finish without mentioning one piece of cosy knitwear. I used to knit a lot but barely have the time anymore, so I’m happy to invest in other people’s hard work! I love the bold colour of this chunky knit cowl by loloandlily. $47.
Many thanks to Gemma for sharing her picks with us during London Fashion Week. Take a peek at the latest normal-sized fashion news over at Big Girls Browse!