“I look at fashion as an advocacy issue,” says Mia O’Malley, a mom and the creator of @plussizebabywearing, where she shares tutorials and offers support for plus-size caregivers. “I’ve realized a lot of the women who follow me do so to see someone who looks like them living a happy life. When I post a cute photo, it’s not about the clothes, but about the fact that I’m not afraid of my body in them.” Here, Mia shares five of her favorite looks…
“Wearing a romper was a big stretch for me — that’s why it felt important for me to try it. I’ve been scared to wear rompers or overalls my whole life because I’ve been very self-conscious about my lower belly and my VBO (visible belly outline). And after having a child, my lower belly is the biggest and lowest it’s ever been. I’ve only recently become comfortable enough to try a look like this. It’s both so scary and so liberating!”
“This is my quintessential look: comfortable, light and cool. I love a fit-and-flare look. It has pockets, and as a mom, that’s key. It also buttons down the front, which makes it super easy if I need to breastfeed. I have a baby, so I haven’t had a date night in ages — but if I did, this would be the dress.”
“I’ve been rocking the tied-up tee for a long time. I really like my waist and hips, so this look has always been a part of my style. I love American Eagle high-waisted jeggings, and their Dream Jean (though I really wish they didn’t stop at size 20, so more people could have access to them). I wore them prior to pregnancy, all throughout, and postpartum. A lot of women ask me about plus-size maternity options, since there are so few, and I always tell them just to buy regular plus clothing and size up.”
“I’m 34, and when I was growing up as a fat kid and teenager, plus-size clothing was like grandma clothing — muu muu tops, elastic-waist jeans, lots of muted colors and black — all geared toward a really mature crowd. Now that I have more choices, I’m not afraid to be bold. Red is my power color, and I always feel my best when I’m rocking a bold, bright lip. Kat Von D has liquid lipsticks that do NOT come off (my favorite color is Lolita).”
“I started advocating for plus-size babywearing after I had my own baby — who hated the stroller and was constantly feeding. When I looked at shopping guides for slings and wraps, there were so few models who were my size. You really need to see someone your size to give you a sense of how things should fit, where the baby should be positioned, how tight it should be, etc. That’s why I started my Instagram account. Babywearing has been so empowering, and it gives you so much freedom. You can go to the grocery store and have your hands free!”
Sling: Hope & Plum.
“For slings, my favorite line is Hope & Plum, which is run by two moms and does a fantastic job being size-inclusive in their marketing. In terms of wraps, I love Solly Baby. And my favorite soft structured carrier is the MiaMily Hipster — the greatest of all time.”
Thank you, Mia! And thanks for all you do.
(Photos by Christine Han for Cup of Jo.)