Blog Spotlight: Chastity of The Curvy Girls Guide to Style.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Hello luvs, can you believe it? It’s time for the 10th installment of the blog spotlight series. For the benefit of new readers to this blog new I will say I started the blog spotlight because being a full time English student, managing this blog, and writing for a online magazine I can not give you all the “skinny” on fat fashion. There are many, many blogs out there. Many of which that I read that cover a lot of things that I do not. As oppose to just featuring bloggers on my blog roll I thought it would be a good thing to not only link you to the blog but, give you a glimpse into the person behind the blog.
So allow me to introduce you to Chastity Garner , the 29 year old blogger and image consultant behind The Curvy Girls Guide to Style.

I would love to give your more information on Chastity myself, but her bio says it all!.
Academic by mind and fashionista by heart, Chastity Garner is originally from Brunswick, GA and has spent just under a decade in Atlanta, GA. She gained a Master of Public Administration Degree from Kennesaw State University.  Chastity opened up Garner Style to not only offer image consulting services to plus size women, but to the boutiques that serve them. After styling woman after woman, who had mountains of questions about style for the full figured women this lead to the start of her blog, “The Curvy Girl’s Guide to Style,” which eventually was turned into a book sharing the same title.
My Favorite Quote from Chastity was, "I'm really not into the polices of fatshion or the whole fat identification thing.  I am just me, Chastity Garner, fat or not, tall or not, big feet or not.  I am just me..Im not into the whole labels thing.  If you want to call me fat, that's fine, but the label means nothing to me". 
You'll have to click read more to see the rest! 

So, I know you may get asked this question often but, what made you start your blog, “A Curvy Girls Guide to Style”? Was it a outlet to promote and inform people of your personal styling services or did the blog come before your business?
The blog and the business were started simultaneously in late 2008.  I honestly have never really promoted my services on the blog.  The reason being is that I know not every girl has room for a personal stylist in their budget, this was a way to offer help on style and fashion free of charge. 

Do you like for your blog to be referred to as a fashion or fatshion blog? Do you think there is a difference?

Honestly, I don't really care….either, or.  I really don't get into the politics of fatshion or fashion.  I'm blogging on what I love, plus size or not I would still be doing the same thing.  

I saw you say on twitter the other day that you thought you were the T.V.  character Diara in high school. Did those feelings translate into your personal style? If, so how?
I started watching Daria, I think around 13, 7th grade for me.  Daria was a representation of who I was at the time.  I continued with that style until about 9th grade, through the continued rejection of my mom…loll.  Grunge was big and also was the rejection of beauty and fashion…which was my thing.  I thought I was being so original in my flannels, oversized jeans, skater shoes, and super long hair parted right down the middle.  Then I saw a fashion show with grunge on the runway, they had taken something totally ugly and unconventional and made it fashionable and "in."  At that point, I realized a couple of things.  One, I was never going to escape fashion, because fashion is taken from the underground kids, two, I was not as original as I thought I was. Not to mention I was so sarcastic as a teenager and I thought as all teenagers do, that I knew everything.
To piggy back on that question can you describe your fashion evolution a little bit. For example, what styles did you experiment with before you decided on you current one?
 From the time I was a kid, the one thing that I have never faltered on is quality.   I never like cheap fabrics.  Through my grunge, hippy, tomboy, and now Banana Republic phases.  Crappy fabrics was never my thing.  I always had a nature knack on choosing higher quality fabrics.  When I started really getting into my appearance, which I think for most is around 12 or 13, b/c you r parents are letting you pick and choose your own clothes for the most part.  I started maybe I'll do the cute girl thing, skinny jeans, bodysuits (ugh, I know), but then thats what everybody expected me to do. That lasted all of one year.  Then I saw Nirvana's Smells like Teen Spirit Video and pushed me into the world of grunge (I just went to a Gin Blossoms Concert).  I became infatuated with the whole teen angst thing, which was feed by the media through music and shows like My So Called Life and Daria.  Then high school rolled around and I guess you could consider me a female jock, I played at minimum 5 sports throughout the year.  That pushed me into the whole high end tomboy look.  In which I wore all boys clothes, but my closet hosted designer lines such as Tommy Hilfiger, Ralph Lauren, and Nautica. Then came college and honestly no boys were interested in the girl who dressed liked them, so I figured I should switch it up.  I moved into a preppy style, with white button down shirts, argyle, khakis, neck scarves..the whole nine.  After college came my party girl style, which included a lot of trends.  Finally I am at my Charlotte (from SATC) which all my friends have referred to me as her, one for my style and two for my ideas of romanticism.  

Your style appears to have a sort 50’s vibe to it with the high waisted pencil skirts and full skirted dresses. How do you think your style fits in with that of other fat or curvy bloggers?

Honestly, I feel like the other curvy bloggers are younger than I am and are still in the trendy phase of their fashion life.  Me, I passed that phase.  I am into staples and giving off a look of class, taste, and quality (Tim Gunn's own words).  I really haven't seen anyone express a similar style, which I think makes me relatable to women over the age of 25. 

Judging by your blog name It’s clear that you identify as curvy but, can you relate to the term fat at all and if so why?

As noted earlier, I really not into the polices of fatshion or the whole fat identification thing.  I am just me, Chastity Garner, fat or not, tall or not, big feet or not.  I am just me..Im not into the whole labels thing.  If you want to call me fat, that's fine, but the label means nothing to me.  
Recently your book, A Curvy Girls Guide to Style was published but, with controversy about other fashion guide books like, “How to Never Look Fat Again” promoting women feeling ashamed of their body’s how do you feel your book fits in?

My book is about having great style with an undertone of being a lady. I'm not ashamed of who I am, so in my opinion my book doesn't advocate being ashamed.  But in all honesty I didn't write to the book to sell self esteem, if so the title would be The Curvy Girl's Guide to Self Esteem.  I wrote the book to help women put together their clothes and look great.  I know their is a whole girdle backlash, but I have always said wearing foundations is a personal decision. If you want to wear them…then wear them…if you don't then don't.  I hear women getting all upset over nothing.  You can compare girdles to heels.  Many people (stylist included) feel that heels make you feel sexier.  But there are
some women who have personally decided to never wear heels…you don't see them picketing Ninewest because they sell heels and they buy into the notion that heels make you sexier…they just choose not to buy.

Giving a complete guide book for so many women who are all different shapes and sizes seems like a huge task to take on. How did you prepare for writing this book?
 The book has been in my head for at least a year.  I had already had a mental outline of what I wanted to talk about, tips that I had learned along the way, and style advice I know someone would like to hear.  I just didn't have the time when I first wanted to write it.  Then one day I was on the phone with a friend and she was like you should write the book now.  Im in Texas now working for myself, so no time was better, because the time was there I just had to get it down on paper.

Was it hard getting a book targeted to curvy women published?
No not at all.  I think if you make it hard it can be.  Publishing a book is just about have the time to devote to each and every task that comes at you.  From the cover to the editing, to the proofing.  It is all about having an outline and sticking to it.

Without giving to much away can you give an overview of the kind’s of tips you give in your book?

The books speaks on dressing your body type, foundations and bras, accessories, and just tips on the curvy girl.  So while it is style and fashion oriented I talk about a lot of remedies for situations that the curvy girl faces.  For instance there is a remedy in the book that tell you how not to sweat off your makeup if you are going to a place like a dance club where you know you will be dancing and sweating.  And honestly, that is a tip that any girl can use.

Finally, What you like about Fat Shopaholic and why did you agree to do this interview?

I, personally, like the thought provoking questions.  As I have felt like I have done a million interviews I always enjoy the interviews that don't ask the traditional questions.  The interviews that give you a chance to speak on things that you haven't spoke on before.  And you accomplished that agains…so Bravo!

1 comment:

Garnerstyle said...

Thanks for having me Tiffany:)