GarnerStyle’s Tips to Dressing for Success

“What do I wear to an interview?” This question inspired blogger Chastity Garner-Valentine to lead a theCURVYcon session on how to identify workwear looks that will work for them.

Plus size workwear inspiration is hard to find. With so many people associating fat bodies with laziness and new studies coming out about weight discrimination in the workplace, we so rarely get to see plus size women look like the boss ladies they are. Enter theCURVYcon co-founder Chastity Garner Valentine, here to show you how to use Dia&Co pieces to bring out your inner CEO.

Chastity Garner Valentine at TCC

Chastity, better known as @garnerstyle, kicked the workshop off in a chic outfit featuring paperbag-waist pants and a pleated white blouse from Dia&Co. Chastity described this as a “day-to-day” style, noting its versatility and how she can dress it up or down with accessories and footwear.

Blogger Nekiah Torres models an interview look at TCC

The Interview Look

Blogger Nekiah Torres modeled an interview look, complete with a boucle jacket and sleek black trousers. Chastity’s interview dressing tips include considering the company culture and using accessories to showcase your personality. Check out our interview checklist for more tips on what to consider when you’re prepping your interview outfit.

The Day-to-Day Look

Blogger Tia modeled a day-to-day office look. With a pink ruffled blazer and floral blouse, this outfit expertly balances business and femininity. With a tie paperbag-waist pant and comfy black flats, this look is as practical as it is pretty. Chastity recommends using a statement bag, like this green structured one, to show off your personal style and let your everyday black pants and flats be worn on repeat. She also shared her pro tip—take care of your everyday black pants and flats so they last longer. She recommends getting your pants dry cleaned and your flats resoled so they work time and time again.

The Presentation Look

Plus Model Magazine Editor Maddy Jones showed off a look that’s perfect for giving that big presentation. Chastity recommends considering how much movement your presentation will require so that you can avoid wearing something too restricting and footwear that is comfortable enough to support movement. Maddy wore a pencil skirt, which Chastity says is perfect for every body type, with her blouse tucked in and a belt that highlighted her waistline.

 

The audience got the chance to ask Chastity their style questions, and we didn’t want to miss a chance to relay her workwear insights.

Question: “What is the one workwear item that you would invest in?”

Answer: “Invest in a suit, get it tailored for your body, and dry clean it after wear. It’s something you can wear together as a set or as separates and get multiple outfits out of it. You can break it up and add your blazer to an outfit with jeans to make it business casual.”

 

Q: “How do you feel about styling multiple different prints together?”

A: “I always say that classic prints work well together. Plaids, polka dots, stripes, even florals are easy to mix. The crazier the print is, the harder it is to mix. Stick with classic prints and you can mix them very well together. One of my favorite combos is stripes and polka dots.”

 

Q: “I always see hourglass figures, but I have an apple shape. I’m not comfortable with anything that clings to my belly. What do you recommend for my shape?”

A: “What I always recommend for any body type is a fit-and-flare with a waistline that hits right at the high waist. Make sure that you’re having fun with fashion and not too restricted, so don’t just try a fit-and-flare dress.”

 

Q: “My question is about undergarments. There are so many options. What do you suggest?”

A: “I have undergarments for different dresses and different outfits. For a bodycon dress, I might wear a high-waisted short that goes from the knee up to the bust. If I have on denim, I might wear a high-waisted brief to smooth my midsection. I probably have about 15 pieces of shapewear that I wear for different occasions. I recommend having multiple options so that you can achieve what you want with each look.

 

Q: “My question is about alterations. Where can we go for alterations and fittings? Why is it so important?”

A: “Check with your local dry cleaners, they likely do alterations. I don’t have one person I go to for alterations, I go all over the place. When I get questions from my followers about if an item was made for me or if I got it altered, the majority of the time, I probably got it altered. You should always know what part of your shape is difficult to fit off-the-rack so that you can communicate that effectively to your tailor. For me, I always need the waist taken in and the hem let out because I love longer length skirts.”

 

Q: “I’ve been following you for a long time and I’ve noticed you’ve lost weight. I’ve been losing weight, too, and want to know if I should be investing in pieces just for them to not fit correctly later. What have you been doing?”

A: “Spending a lot of money to change your wardrobe every few months is not feasible for most of us. Look at second-hand stores in the meantime, or always be open to alterations so you can get the best fit for your changing body.

 

Looking for more workwear inspiration? Check out our fall workwear guide and make sure that you go through our “What to Wear to an Interview” checklist before you get ready for that exciting upcoming interview.