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Chastity Garner Valentine of GarnerStyle is this week's StyleCrush!

Chastity Garner Valentine of GarnerStyle is this week’s StyleCrush!

GarnerStyle has been a staple in the plus-size fashion community for years. The blog has filled the void for those who are small on top, pear-shaped, and larger than the “small fat” that is still touted as the only acceptable vision of a larger body. Chastity Garner Valentine has also been a very successful, visible Black woman in a time where smaller-sized white women still dominate the conversation and the camera’s eye.

Formerly The Curvy Girl’s Guide To Style, Garner Valentine has brought her sweet, Southern-by-way-of-Georgia, tailored-yet-feminine style to the masses through the blog that has been around for as long as anyone I know can remember. Originally starting as space to give complimentary style advice, Garner Valentine has provided a space that is truly representative of the diversity of bodies in the plus size community.

Chastity Garner Valentine's beautiful summer style.

Chastity Garner Valentine’s beautiful summer style.

Name: Chastity Garner Valentine
Age: 35
Location: San Jose, California
Hometown: Brunswick, Georgia
Blog/Brand: GarnerStyle
Where can we find you on the web? FacebookInstagram, and Twitter, as well as my website.

WYV: How do you describe your style? What informs it?

Chastity Garner Valentine: I’ve always described it as classic with a twist. My fashion is informed by influential well-dressed women like Solange Knowles and Anna Wintour, on screen influences like Gossip Girl, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, The Devil Wears Prada and Mahagony, and my surroundings. I love bold prints and I’m always partial to jewel tones. As a teen, it was a nightmare finding clothes and loving fashion! I wore men’s clothing most of my high school career.

GarnerStyle in a tailored, feminine look.

GarnerStyle in a tailored, feminine look.

WYV: What inspired you to start your blog?

CGV: I started the blog because I wanted to be a stylist and work in fashion. I thought the blog would be a great way to offer great complimentary advice.

GarnerStyle's classic fall look.

GarnerStyle’s classic fall look.

WYV: Who are your three top StyleCrushes? What attracts you to their style?

CGV: Michelle Obama for her classic, tailored looks, Rihanna for her daring and sporty aesthetic and Solange Knowles, who is willing to take a chance for art.

GarnerStyle's cocktail look

GarnerStyle’s cocktail look.

WYV: Where do you shop? What are your favorite brands/designers?

CGV: I’m an avid online shopper. I love shopping brands like Asos, Jibri, Eloquii and Demestiks. I love tailoring above anything else. A great fitting design is king when it comes to personal style. JIBRI & Demestiks, because they are indie, will give you the option to have custom designs.

GarnerStyle's super feminine spring look.

GarnerStyle’s super feminine spring look.

WYV: How does the fashion of your current location differ from other places that you have lived? What have you brought with you to the Bay Area and what have you integrated into your style since moving here?

Related: StyleCrush: Kobi Jae of Horror Kitsch Bitch

CGV: The Bay Area is extremely relaxed. I live in a community of engineers who have that “roll out of bed” mentality. It’s really relaxed, and I have become more relaxed in my style of dress than I used to be. When I lived in Atlanta, people dressed to the nines. Regardless of where I live, I will always have nicely tailored clothing … relaxed or not.

GarnerStyle maxi.

GarnerStyle maxi.

WYV: How does body positivity differ here in the Bay than other places that you have lived?

CGV: Californians, in general, are just a lot more liberal in their ways of thinking. I think in California people want people to be themselves and comfortable with themselves (maybe minus L.A. HA!). L.A. is a different vibe because of the entertainment industry.

Chastity Garner Valentine wearing Gabifresh.

Chastity Garner Valentine wearing Gabifresh. All images belong to GarnerStyle and may not be used without permission.

WYV: How do you wear your voice?

CGV: I wear my voice by wearing what I love, regardless as to what others think I should be wearing. Wearing what you love, flattering or not, is an act of defiance.

GarnerStyle in a vacay look.

GarnerStyle in a vacay look.

To learn more about Chastity Garner Valentine and her killer style, follow her on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter as well as subscribing to her amazing blog, GarnerStyle.

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Laurel Dickman is an intersectional feminist, plus size model, stylist, and fat activist that can also be found via her blogs, Exile In Dietville and 2 Broke Bitches. She grew up in the south between Florida and North Carolina, migrating to the Portland, OR in 2005. All three places inform her perspective of the world around her a great deal. While in Portland, she worked with the Alley 33 Annual Fashion Show, PudgePDX, PDX Fatshion, Plumplandia, and numerous other projects over the near decade that she was there. In August of 2014, she moved to the Bay area with her partner, David and trusty kitty, Dorian Gray. She continues her body positive and intersectional feminism through various forms of activism, fashion, photography projects, and writing from her home in the East Bay. She can be reached at laurel@wyvmag.com and encourages readers to reach out to her to collaborate!

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