This is the first of my ‘Stylish Individuals’ interviews! Cara, from I Like Pretty Clothes, who I’m sure you’ll agree is absolutely gorgeous! If you’d like to play along, just message me and I’ll send you the details!
Quickly introduce yourself – who are you, what do you do, what are your interests and hobbies and loves?
My name is Cara and I am the Audience Development Director for a professional theatre in Wellington, New Zealand. I love the theatre; I am in no way, nor have I ever been, a performer, I have just always been an avid and enthusiastic audience member. I think that’s why I’m good at my job - I can relate to the majority of the audience! Other hobbies and loves … well, I think it goes without saying that I have a bit of a shopping addiction! There is a running joke at my work about the amount of packages that arrive for me most weeks - it’s like it’s always Christmas at the office! I also love to travel; I am from Canada originally, but my husband and I moved to New Zealand two and a half years ago in order to explore this side of the world. And to escape the cold, cold climate of the Canadian Prairies in winter! Finally, I read a lot, I spend far too much time on the internet, and I drink way too much wine with my lovely friends and husband. I think that about sums me up!
Describe your personal style.
Hmmmm, this is a tough one - I always have a hard time trying to explain my style because I’m not entirely sure I have one! I have a definite leaning towards retro-inspired pieces, but my style isn’t solely retro. Maybe eclectic - with a splash of the eccentric - is the best word for it? I don’t know. I wear mostly dresses and skirts; I love the frilly, the flouncy, the colourful, the frou frou. I stand out, often; I don’t conform to the shapes, colours and patterns that are generally prescribed for my plus size body. I don’t hide. I often wear in my everyday life what other people save for special occasions and costumes - I am almost always the most dressed up person anywhere I go (except for when I go to watch burlesque, of course). I just wear what I like. Is that a style? lol
Who and/or what influences and inspires your personal style?
There are so many people I admire and who therefore influence my fashion decisions (and so many of them are on tumblr): Saffron (veganvintagevixen.tumblr.com), Jasmine (bettylebonbon.tumblr.com), Tegan (pearlconcubine.tumblr.com), Lenora (lenoralenoire.tumblr.com), Tracy (dollyminx.tumblr.com) and Nicole (rubynite.tumblr.com), just to name a few. There are oodles more, but it will take me hours to list them all here. I spend a lot of time on the Pinup Girl Clothing Facebook page and a subsequent private group for the hard core PUG fans, and all we do is talk about clothes we are buying, clothes we want to buy, the best stores at which to shop, which stores are having sales at the moment, etc. I’m not sure if that’s inspirational, influential, or just a case of addicts enabling other addicts! And then I love looking at people like Dita Von Teese, Micheline Pitt, Christina Hendricks and Tess Munster, and admiring the fashion choices they make.
Do you feel like you’ve found your ‘style home’?
Yes, definitely. I didn’t always dress the way I do know - I used to feel extremely uncomfortable in my body and wear clothes that didn’t aid in my comfort one bit. When I took the plunge and purchased my first PUG dress it sort of changed my world - I realised that there were clothes in which I could feel amazing, and which looked amazing on me. Because of this, I became more confident, comfortable with myself and just plain happy, and since then have built a wardrobe of which I am really proud. Every day feels like playing dress up, and I love it!
On an average day, you wear …?
A dress or skirt/top, often with a petticoat. I have one pair of jeans that I will wear occasionally when it is either too windy to feel like fighting to keep a skirt down (they don’t call it Windy Wellington for nothing) or I just feel like being more casual.
On a more than average – indeed, very much spectacular day, you wear (or would wear) …?
As I mentioned, I am pretty dressed up most days, but I do have a few dresses that I save for special occasions. I also have a couple of pretty corsets that are only worn on special occasions.
You’re in bed early Friday night when a bestest buddy calls you and insists you come out for the night – but it means leaving the house in five minutes. What’s your go-to outfit, makeup and hair routine?
A cute dress, probably a petticoat. Mascara, blush and either bright pink or red lipstick. Whichever of my six pairs of glasses that best matched my outfit (if I had to get ready so quickly I would not wear contacts). Perfume. With hair as short as mine, it doesn’t need much attention, so I would just smooth it down if I had bed head.
Favourite places to shop online?
PinupGirlClothing.com is my definite favourite place to shop, but I also love DominoDollhouse.com, BettiePageClothing.com, DorothyPerkins.com, Sirens and Starlets is a great store on eBay from which to get Hell Bunny dresses, ASOS.com (to a lesser degree, I find their stuff is a bit hit and miss), I have shopped at QueenofHolloway.com, but I feel a bit guilty about that one, and ModeMerr.com is a good one. That’s all I can think of at the moment …