Big, bold and beautiful
Big, bold & beautiful
'One day I decided that I was beautiful, and so I carried out my life as if I was a beautiful girl. I wear colours that I really like, I wear make-up that makes me feel pretty, and it really helps. It doesn't have anything to do with how the world perceives you. What matters is what you see.' - Academy Award nominee, Gabrielle Sidibe.
In the real world, not every woman is a size 2 or even a size 6, if you ask some full-figured women they shun the notion that they are in fact 'plus sized' when in actuality they are just 'real'. The plus-sized world is described from sizes 12 to 24 and is by no means looked on as negative, now with celebraties such as Kate Upton in the plus-sized category and campaigns such as Dove's 'Love Yourself' and Special K's 'More than a Number' pushing ads that healthy over thin is in and that you should love yourself no matter your size.
Academy Award-nominee actress/writer/producer Melissa McCarthy, who grew tired of being denied designer duds for the red carpet because of her weight is soon to launch her own plus-sized line in collaboration with Daniella Pearl.
Margaret Nelson-Brown, affectionately known as Ms Nelson to her loyal customers and friends is the owner and managing director of Fashion Statement Boutique in Mandeville describes her boutique as the place where the full-sized woman can feel comfortable shopping, and find unique quality pieces for special events. The boutique features pieces from Tahari, Adrianna Pappel, Casper, Jessica Howard, Studio One and many more quality brands.
She told Outlook: "As a full-sized woman myself, I am very empathetic to the full-figured buyer because I understand their struggles. It was not very easy to walk in a store and buy quality pieces if you weren't a size four or six. I believe that no matter your size you can look fashionable and tasteful. On my trips to New York I would see plus-sized women dressed so impeccably and I saw that there was a need for fine women's clothing in Jamaica.
In 2000, I opened the store and began selling plus-sized clothing to women all over Jamaica and my client base has grown tremendously with clients who trust my selections for them'. Offering personal shopping for her clients, Nelson-Brown told Outlook: "If I don't have something in the store for them I source it for them and I try not to buy more than one or two of each piece.
"Though I carry women's sizes from 14 and up, on the flip side smaller women would come in and say that I only carry big sizes and they loved the quality pieces that I carry, so now I carry also from sizes 0 and up."
Nelson-Brown is also known for her philanthropic efforts within the community, she tells Outlook that "I'm a sympathetic person, and if I'm in a position to help the less fortunate it is my right as a good Christian woman to help them. I have one biological child, her name is Doneth who lives overseas, but I have raised about 20 children out of my home over the years. Some are family members and some are friends of family. It gives me great joy to help others and I love to see when we help each other'.
Know your body type: Follow the guidelines that experts have laid out over the years to highlight your assets and camouflage your flaws. For example if you have a rectangle shape, then you will want to wear clothes that give your body some shape and curves.
Don't chase trends: This goes for women all shapes and sizes, not because something is on trend means you should wear it. Choose pieces that work with your body and will stand the test of time.
Emphasise your assets: Highlight your best features, if you have a nice decolletage, then highlight it but be aware that the fine line of looking tacky and sexy is fine so be careful you don't cross it. If you have shapely legs then wear skirts that feature them.
Choose colour: When a woman has gained a little weight she is sometimes tempted to wear black to hide the weight, though black is a timeless classic, it is a good idea to wear colour and prints to add vibrancy in your outfit.
Invest in good shape wear: Spanx is your best friend and you should invest in many colours and styles for various outfits.
Know your measurements: You will not always fit in one size sometimes one designer's size 16 is really a 12, so it is best to know your measurements to aid in shopping online and in fact it is advised to get your clothes altered by a tailor or seamstress for the perfect fit.
Have fun! Embrace your body, love yourself and know that looking good and feeling good starts from the inside. It starts and ends with your heart and your mind, get those good and everything falls into place.