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More Straight Talk with a Size 12: Emily on Which Pieces Work Best for Her Body

March 08, 2016

I have never been camera shy. I was a baby model (until I was kicked off my first commercial for crying); I pursued a career in theater into my mid-twenties; and I am always the one to suggest we take a selfie. Recently, I’ve been taking a lot of photographs (ahem, see above and below) and it has been a blast. But no matter how much I love the idea of having my image out there, I always scrutinize my head shots, or that TV show I did, or that Instagram post, and worry about how my body will be perceived.

Even as body positivity and diversity gains some traction in the fashion world, most shapes and sizes are still not really represented. That’s why I love being able to voice my thoughts through MM.LaFleur—I want to put it out there that the average body (in my case, a size 12) is gorgeous and should be shown off. I am working to dull my negative inner voice, and instead, embrace my ability to fill out a dress like a damn vixen.

Browsing through our #inmyMM gallery and adding pictures of my lovely co-workers and friends has been an absolute joy; as it grows, we want to show off every shape and style imaginable. Body positivity is largely mental, but it also has to do with seeing relatable bodies be celebrated as beautiful. At MM, one of our goals is to broaden this conversation to include all body types and all women. So here we go. These are the pieces that I’ve felt most beautiful in this season.

Everyone needs a good button-up, or so I have heard. I’ve never actually owned one because, for me, “crisp, white button-up” has always translated to “big gap that exposes my bra.” The Hepburn, however, is not crisp. It is super soft, moves with my body, and is loose enough to not pull across the chest.

size 12 body

“The trick to wearing a big shirt when you have significant boobage is balance.”

The trick to wearing a big shirt when you have significant boobage is balance. For me, in order to wear an oversized shirt and not look like a thick tube, I need to pair it with slim pants or tuck it into a waist-emphasizing skirt. The Williamsburg skirt nips in at the waist, has actual put-a-phone-in-me pockets, and elongates my frame. I top it all off with the Morandi because it’s the perfect sweater. I should probably dry clean mine more frequently, but then I wouldn’t be able to wear it for a few days, so… maybe don’t borrow my Morandi.

I love a good V-neck, and the Blair pulls out all the stops. The strategic draping streamlines my silhouette, and the detailed wrapping at the waist gives off that sophisticated vibe that you’d expect to translate to “uncomfortable.” But in this case, sophistication and comfort collide. I love that this dress is a slip-on, which eliminates the contortion dance I usually do to reach the top of a zipper. Just me? Oh, cool.

size 12 body

Taking cues from the ’60s in a modern-houndstooth skirt and the Thatcher shirt.

This houndstooth skirt reminds me of a coat I bought in France fifteen years ago, and I feel just as Paris-chic when I wear this skirt. The color palette reads as neutral, so it’s easy to pair with bolder shades. I love matching it with our silky tie-neck shirt in hazel for a retro vibe.

size 12 body

Deep indigo can do no wrong.

I’m a bit biased towards the Emily dress for the obvious reason that it is named after me. But it also embodies everything I want in a dress—it’s machine-washable, it has pockets, it has a girly flare without screaming “I’M A FRILLY CUPCAKE,” and it looks as great with flats as it does with heels. It clearly shows off my shape without being clingy (e.g., I can eat tons of Thai food and not feel like everyone can see my food baby). I’m also absolutely obsessed with our deep indigo color—somehow it looks radiant on everyone.

Photos by Frances F. Denny

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Emily is the Manager of Strategic Operations Initiatives at MM.LaFleur. She will never turn down a dance-off and lives on a steady diet of sangria and sarcasm. Read more of Emily's posts.

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