Thursday, June 28, 2012

A Random Moment with Tiffany McGuire

Tiffany McGuire, plus size fashion blogger

I'm fascinated at times at our Monica and Rachel relationship. I do not have the passion for the fashion I "fall into" that she has. But I've definitely learned a lot about fashion and sewing from her. The physical vision boards from her Katharine Gibbs days have been replaced by virtual ones on Pinterest. And she's recently taken the plunge into blogging her trials and tribulations as a Glamazon and sewing her own clothes. And her clothes are wearing her (I learned that term from her too).

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My name is Tiffany McGuire. I am a seamstress, if you wanna call it that, and a selfish sewer, you can definitely call it that, and a newfound fashion blogger for the plus-size diva – that would be me. I’m still in my developmental stage, I’m still learning. I’m like the only person who actually sews and runs a fashion blog for plus-size women- it’s a whole new element. I think it will give me an edge up.

Do you have any idea when you got into fashion? Was there a “moment” or an “era”?

Yup. I always said as soon as I start making any kind of money, I was gonna change my look. So that has to be my earliest memory of it cause god knows the first 3 years of high school were disastrous. They were life-changers. And looking back I’m the extreme opposite of it—I mean my face looks the same, I’m probably around the same size but no one recognizes me. Ever. I’m that different.

Your look is that different…

I wore granny square sweaters and mid-calf skirts, opaque tights and old lady shoes. Come on. Totally different.

Do you have any favorite designers?

No, actually I don’t. Which is always the hardest question. Everybody always likes to ask that question but I don’t. I can tell you I like something from everyone. I will always find something I like—whether it’s color they like to use or a style or anything like that, but that’s my closet also. I don’t shop any one place, I shop all over the place…

Where do you get your inspiration?

Everywhere. That’s why I always say I can’t be a designer. To me if I had to design clothes I’d be boring as shit. It’s a lot of square necks and pants… to be a designer it takes a lot. To be a stylist it takes a lot. That’s why I’m selfish, I just dress myself, that way I have no responsibility for anybody but myself and I wear what I like and I know what I look good in... I can shop in the men’s department, I bought stuff in the kid’s department before --we won’t talk about that right now, but I’ve bought stuff in the kid’s department. Whatever I like, if it catches my eye, and you know I’ll spend the money to buy it—I like what I like.

Tell me about your blog.

Oh my blog [An Amazon Sews ‘n Stuff], my newfound love. I love my blog. In my mind, millions of people look at my blog. If you read it, you’d swear I have more followers than John Cena or something. I don’t want it to seem like I’m talking to myself; I’m talking to anyone who’s in the same boat. It started 'cause I sew a lot of my clothes 'cause I can’t find things that I exactly want—I might find the style, but not the color I like. Or I might find the color and it’s some muumuu—I don’t want that. So it’s something where I get to express my thoughts on certain fashions but mostly it’s a showcase of what I sew, for now. Eventually I’ll get more into other things but that’s when I get a little better in the sewing area and I’m not afraid if I bend over a seam will split, you know, that kinda thing. I’ll get other people to model…

Where would be you be without Pinterest?

I don’t know. And for the last week, I haven’t been on it as much as I normally have been. Yeah, it’s hard 'cause I start getting shaking 'cause I think about the things that I missed last week 'cause I was away, you know. But I love that site. You go on it and you wanna do everything—you wanna cook everything, you wanna sew everything. Half of the stuff, I think I could make no matter what; you could do everything, and you end up doing nothing. I have a whole bunch of boards. It’s so nice to know that it’s someplace you can go and look for inspiration. [Pinterest] literally is a virtual pinboard and whoever coined it, whoever came up with it … especially at this time when everybody’s making something, everybody’s doing [it] themselves, whether it’s cooking or sewing or home decorating, nobody wants to spend money on anything they just want to do it they damn selves.

Her latest shipment of fabrics

Fill in the blank. You’ll know that you made it as a "selfish seamstress" when you make ________ from scratch.

When I could make jeans. When I could make a pair of jeans that masters my ass and my waist I will know I have made it. You could wear stuff to cover things and you can make adjustments. But jeans? The perfect pair of jeans—if I could make that, I’m retiring.

If you had to choose between hair or accessories, which would it be?

Accessories… 'cause I could get a scarf to cover up the bad hair.

Is there something you think plus size women should wear?

No. Nope… I mean, technically, I’m supposed to say good undergarments, but as an anti-Spanx woman myself, I can’t say it and be honest. If you want what I’m supposed to say, it’s supposed to be Spanx. But I just think people should be comfortable. Nobody knows I don’t have on Spanx. I’m conscious of myself, I won’t let my second belly hang out. To me, that’s it. I don’t think there’s anything anybody is supposed to wear. You wear what you’re comfortable in and what you think you look good in. It’s not always the best idea, it’s not always the best thing but you take the risk, you do you.

What’s your opinion on the term “plus size”?

I don’t like that term. And I use it. That’s how society gets you. What’s plus size? I’m plus from what? Because technically speaking, a while ago 14 was a plus size; 12 to 14 that’s the national average size now so what are we plus from? Am I 2 plus 20? You know, I’m a size 20, 22, what am I plusing? If I lose weight am I minus?

Which stereotype do you fit?

Well, apparently, the extremely sexual fat woman. Like no matter what, skinny guys, I shouldn’t say skinny guys, men who normally would not find fat women attractive, do. And I hear it a lot. They just wanna have sex with me. A lot of people. Some people like my outfits, but first thing everyone says is that I’m sexy.

So a fat sexy stereotype?

Yup. The fat woman that just wants to have sex all the time. Now I didn’t necessarily say that was me, just in case my Mama’s reading this blog but… (laughs), but honestly speaking I get it a lot. You know that overly vampy, wears fishnets, corsets… I could send you a picture of what I feel like everybody always views me [as]. But that’s it 'cause I’m not awkward; I’m not that one. I’m not frumpy; hell-to-the-fuck-no will I ever be that one but it’s just you know, very assured, very assertive and I think, I don’t know if that’s what it is but… not Big Mama, I’ll tell you that.

What’s your favorite word, in any language, and why?

Charleen gave me this word… if you need clarification, Charleen is Carlishia’s sister, Carlishia’s my other BFF… I met Charleen and she labeled me, over 12 years ago, she called me an Amazon. You hear it all the time but I love that word. I use that word for everything. It’s my blog (laughs), it’s everything. To me, it’s a beautiful word; I should think of myself or large women when I think of it but I always think of the jungle. No matter what, I think about the beautiful rainforest when I hear the word amazon. I always do. I am a very large woman, my godchild called me a giant last night… I just think it’s a beautiful word. It just depicts beauty and by proxy I apply it to myself.

Word association: Cat










What is your most prized possession?

Me. I really can’t think of anything I treasure more than myself.  I mean I have a lot of material possessions and I can’t say I favor one more than the other 'cause if someone I truly love asks me, I’m probably gonna give it to them. But I have to say me. I take mostly good care of myself, you know, I groom myself and you know all that kinda stuff. I can’t say I really treasure any possession. Kinda feels bad calling myself a possession but I guess I do possess myself … another topic for another time (laughs) but that’s how I feel. I think that I am my most prized possession.

On “Who Wants to be a Millionaire”, what’s the one topic you’d have to phone-a-friend about?

You mean literally? Anything math-related. Jesus Christ. I already told them too, everybody knows.

What is the most useless piece of advice you’ve ever received?

Lose weight. It really is. And that’s why I was happy when I started going to doctors that they were like, “you know, eventually you’re gonna have to but you’re gonna do what you wanna do anyway so”… I’m fat, you’re gonna tell me to lose weight? I can’t add 1 plus 1? Of course if it was that easy I would’ve done it already. But to me it is useless advice. I don’t know that if I weigh 700 pounds my knee is gonna give out on me, I’m gonna fall in the street? Sure I know that. But to me it’s useless [advice].

One of Tiffany McGuire's latest creations

What does the future hold for you as a seamstress and/or blogger?

It will be about collecting pieces of clothing that women are comfortable wearing no matter what their style is. I’m not a designer. I’m not a stylist. I like what I like and people usually like what I wear on me. So I figure if I get enough stuff that I like to wear people will buy it. It’s not even gonna be just women’s plus size clothing. It’ll be straight sizes, you could shop, you could try on whatever you want, it’ll be men’s clothing, I wear men’s clothing all the time, you may not necessarily know it’s a man’s item but I wear men’s clothing all the time.

Men in sandals: Yea or Nay?

Yea, if done right. Please. Bash the ash!

If your muse were an animal, it would be…

A tiger. To me, it’s one of the most graceful animals, ever. A tiger stalking… you can literally see the shoulder move underneath their skin and with the design of their coat it looks like it’s rippling. I love it. Absolutely love it. I don’t care how large I am, I always wanna be that graceful. I think I’m graceful now—it took a lotta work to get me to this point—that grace is gorgeous.

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