Kiese and Tressie both wrote for, to, and about those of us who carry Blackness with us everywhere we go. The thin white woman beside me folds her legs all the way up and gathers her knees to her chest. Her elbow is in my way and it nearly pokes me. “I’m so tiny,” […]
StyleCrush: Allison Teng of Curvy Girl Chic
This week’s StyleCrush is SoCal babe Allison Teng. Teng is known for her luxuriously girly style, travel and incredible tastemaker posts. A strong influencer in the plus-size community, Teng speaks with WYV about style, what makes her feel powerful and more!
Name: Allison Teng
Current Location: Orange County, CA
Hometown: Southern California
Profession/Blog: Program Manager by day, blogger at Curvy Girl Chic by night!
Social Media: Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest | SnapChat: @curvygirlchic
Wear Your Voice: How do you describe your personal style?
Allison Teng: I’m definitely a bit of a girly girl, but I love adding edgier pieces to mix it up! Chiffon and lace paired with leather and edgier accessories are my go-to style combo. I’m not a huge fan of pants, aside from skinny jeans, so most days you’ll find me in a dress or skirt, topped with a leather jacket. I’m also a complete and total California girl at heart, so casual looks of denim and slouchy sweaters or breezy tops are a must in my wardrobe!
WYV: How long have you been blogging? What inspired your career in fashion?
AT: I’ve been blogging since 2009, and at the time, it was just a creative outlet and a way to connect with like-minded people who loved fashion and just happened to be plus-size! I’ve always loved shopping and fashion, but struggled with finding cute options in my size, so whenever I found something that worked for me, I wanted to share it with others. My blog and social networks were that outlet for sharing and they grew from there to showcase and focus on my personal style!
WYV: Who are the people close to you that have shaped your style?
AT: My mom and older sister are probably the biggest influences on my style. My mom loves beautiful clothing and gravitates toward tailored, well-made, classic investment pieces. My sister, on the other hand, is more adventurous with her clothing, opting for bright colors, unexpected cuts and combos, and isn’t afraid to try new trends. Both of them have influenced me as I feel like I fall somewhere in between — I love the classics, but always have to mix it up with something a little unexpected!
WYV: What makes you feel most powerful?
AT: It’s probably the expected answer for a fashion blogger, but an amazing outfit makes me feel like I can conquer the world! It completely changes the way I carry myself. I feel like I speak to be heard when I’m in a great outfit, if that makes sense. It gives me an extra boost of confidence when I need it and helps me emanate a not-here-to-mess-around kind of vibe!
WYV: Who are your top 3 celebrity StyleCrushes? What about each of them draws you to their style?
AT: I think my favorite celebrity Style Crush is Olivia Palermo. She’s so graceful and classic, and her style is to die for! I would steal her closet in a second! You also don’t see her jumping on every trend bandwagon, and I think that’s what draws me the most to her.
Another favorite has to be Eva Chen. I live for my fellow Asian girls who are killing it in fashion — I feel like we’re so underrepresented in the fashion sphere, so seeing a smart, ambitious woman with killer style immediately made me a fan for life!
Emmanuelle Alt rounds out my top 3 because she’s so incredibly chic, with that effortless French flair that most women only dream of embodying. Similar to Olivia Palermo, she has a signature style that she rarely deviates from, which just makes me love her more!
WYV: Which designers or brands are some of your fashion faves? What do you like about them?
AT: I think ELOQUII is currently dominating the plus size fashion game. I love that they don’t hold back when it comes to fashion and trends, and that they take customer feedback so seriously! I also love Lane Bryant’s “Fast Lane,” which is an incredibly underrated series of curated capsule collections — the styling and product selection is killer! My favorite for plus-size denim is Torrid (I’ve never seen one cut of denim fit so many different body types as flawlessly), and retailer-wise, you can’t beat ASOS for the sheer variety of pieces available. Other favorite brands include Carmakoma, Junarose, Elvi and River Island!
WYV: What would you like to see more of in the plus-size industry? Who can they represent better?
AT: I would love if plus-size brands expanded their size range. Some brands only offer up to a size 20, which is a step in the right direction, but they could, and should, do more. So many size 24 or 26 ladies have limited options to choose from! Additionally, I’d love to see a re-emergence of well-tailored pieces. “Flowy” options are easier to fit to multiple body shapes, so I feel like for every one structured blazer, there are a thousand jersey trapeze dresses.
WYV: What would you say to designers who are questioning whether or not to offer plus sizes?
AT: I would say they’re missing out on a huge market and business opportunity by not offering plus sizes. I’d also say that if they do start offering plus sizes, PLEASE do not water down the designs! The last thing I want to see is a beautiful, colorful dress in a daring cut offered in straight sizes, but that “same” dress watered down to all-black and more conservative cut to “suit” the plus size woman. It’s my #1 pet peeve for sure!
WYV: What would you tell a young person struggling with body issues?
AT: It gets better. Not necessarily because you’ll someday have the body of a Victoria’s Secret Angel, but because you’ll understand that your body is strong, beautiful and amazing just the way it is. Trust me (and I’m speaking from experience), this isn’t something that happens overnight, but if you surround yourself is body-positive people and remind yourself that the overly photoshopped images in magazines and movies aren’t the norm, you begin to understand that your body, regardless of size, height, color, etc, is amazing.
WYV: How do you wear your voice?
AT: I wear my voice by wearing whatever I want, regardless of fashion “rules” for plus size women, and I hope that I inspire others to do the same, regardless of what size they are!