We’re all about building out a network of awesome women in the Toronto area! This week, we invited blogger Aggie from Plus Size Panda in to the shop to discuss the city, our mutual complaints about the plus size clothing industry, and where to find the best donuts in Toronto! We had a blast styling Aggie – her unique and fun sense of fashion is a blast of fresh air, and her energy fills the room.
How would you describe your personal sense of style, in your own words?
I don’t even really know how I would describe my personal style! Pastel goth meets Rihanna and Nicki Minaj, with a dash of whatever is cheap.
My visit to Primaala was great, and meeting Rachel was such an amazing experience. We clearly bonded over mutual friends from Winnipeg, and she was able to adapt pieces in the store to fit my style without compromising her store’s look. Her concepts were perfect for me and we had a blast shooting!
What’s your biggest pet-peeve when it comes to shopping for plus-size fashion? What do you wish designers would better understand about designing for curvier bodies?
Well, not only am I plus sized, I am also short. Like under 5′ short. So finding things to fit my short body has always been a challenge. There’s more available now than there was when I first started blogging for sure, though, but a lot of plus brands somehow decided that being fat also means being tall? And while I know a lot of amazing and tall big babes, they need to remember that us shorties exist too.
How do you let your own personal style shine through in a work-appropriate look?
I’ve always been lucky to work in environments that allow me to embrace my style. While the short-shorts and crop tops tend to stay at home when I’m at the office, my bold prints and pastels and brights all make appearances. As do the thigh high boots – with a legging of course. Being in a professional environment doesn’t ever have to mean boring clothes. A simple, fitted, black dress can easily be transformed from a workwear fave with a bright blazer and statement necklace, to a cocktail/club vibe with some funky fishnets and glitter shoes.
Did you grow up in Toronto? If not, what inspired you to move here?
I actually grew up in Winnipeg, land of the 100 degree weather variance! I moved to Toronto after experiencing a quarter life crisis. There was a lot of garbage going on in my life and I needed a change of pace. I had nothing to tie me down in Winnipeg, and my mom suggested Toronto. I had been out here for an internship as part of my college course and fallen in love with the city, so I packed up my pink suitcases and found a room on Kijiji and hopped a plane.
What’s amazing is since moving here, there has been so much positivity in my life that would never have been able to happen back home. Toronto is truly an amazing city if you know where to look for the gems in the rough. And the TTC isn’t as bad as everyone says!
Where’s your favourite cup of coffee in the city? Tea? Cocktail?
There’s a crepe place on Yonge in North York called Pastel that makes a wicked Black Forest Latte. If I want a fancy drip, I stop in for an Americano at Starving Artist which is up the street from me and keeps me wired for hours. I don’t drink cocktails, but Glad Day Bookshop has amazing mocktails which make me super happy. And honestly, if we wanna talk food in the city, my specialty is doughnuts, and I love to hit up Von Doughnuts on the Danforth for a half dozen.
Finally, what women inspire you? From movers and shakers in the city to celebrities to family and friends – who do you look up to?
This is kind of a huge question because I only associate with women I admire. Locally, I would have to say Vanessa Nash-Dawe of Miss Fuller Woman Canada/Everyday Queen, and Ama Scriver who is somehow both incredibly intimidating and the softest human you’ll ever meet (in a good way).
Nicki Minaj, of course, she’s always my #1 inspiration for staying alive. Gabi Gregg has been an inspiration since I started writing Plus Size Panda!