Alysse – Ready to Stare, Plus size femme style in a rocking edgy package | Fashionably Femme
Welcome to Femme Features. Femme Features is a blog series featuring femmes from all nooks of the LGBTQIA community. These rocking folks are activists, educators, bosses, parents, entrepreneurs, and all sorts of amazing human beings. Join us as we explore femme identity as so much more than a label, but truly a way of life. You can check out all of our queer femme fashion, lifestyle, and activist profiles here.
Meet Alysse! You may already know her as the blogger behind Ready to Stare. She’s kind of a favorite of mine and I was thrilled she agreed to meet up and shoot! This beautiful human being is bringing it home with her amazing edgy style. I can’t wait for you to read, so let’s get right to it!
Alysse – Ready to Stare
I believe that style is a form of creative expression. I take a gaudy and over-the-top approach to my personal style and that’s how I’ve always been. I grew up in an Italian household so femininity was what I saw around me. I was one of the largest kids in my middle school and I was still wearing pleather rattleskin pants. If I could find what I wanted to wear in my size, I usually did. I have always gravitated towards high femme styles. I love faux fur, pleather/vinyl, cheetah print, studs, pearls and I have a massive collection of shoes. I like to play with gender and femininity when I dress as well. Because I have a curvy shape which is traditionally feminine, I like to play with masculine styles. I’ll do an oversized men’s button down with thigh high boots and nothing else or a super fitted bodycon dress with sneakers.
My brand and blog are based on that concept: people will stare so you why not have them stare because you’re wearing what YOU want. For me, fashion represents freedom. When I wear what I want, instead of what society tells me I should wear for my size, I feel free. Style should be disruptive of the status quo and that’s what I try to do.
I get style inspo from everywhere! When I travel, I really like to take in my surroundings. I observe the local style. I find Sicily to be one of the most inspiring places in the world but as a Sicilian-American, I know I am biased! I also take a lot of inspiration from older femme women. Advanced Style was one of my favorite blogs for years for that reason. When Advanced Style was in Sicily earlier this year, that was like my two big inspos coming together.
My style really hasn’t changed over the years; I think my style has been elevated. I’ve always had a pretty clear idea of what I wanted to wear but not always the resources to put those looks together. I started sewing and thrifting in middle school to try and achieve this look and while those things were helpful to me, it’s definitely a huge help that they are also more options available in plus sizes off the rack.
I have this shag knit sweater that I thought I lost last year and was absolutely devastated about. When I finally found it after months of thinking it was missing, I knew that this had to be a closet staple. I absolutely cherish anything I own that’s vinyl including the dress in these images and the red vinyl skirt in all of my profile photos right now because it’s still super hard to find these styles in plus. I’ve been looking for a red vinyl miniskirt since Clueless came out in the 90s so I will be holding onto that one. I also couldn’t live with my Ready to Stare layered chain belt. It’s an item that I first designed in 2013 and I still wear with almost everything. Picking a favorite shoe is really tough because that’s probably the collection that I am most proud of/attached to. I have a pair of over-the-knee almost thigh high boots that I got a few years ago that I can never part with.
I’ve had a lot of complicated feelings about not looking or appearing visibly queer. I definitely didn’t know my place in the queer fashion community or even if I deserved to be there because of my own insecurities. And there were times when I resented my femininity. Then I realized that the way that I dress is what feels good to me. Wearing makeup around the house and taking selfies I never showed anyone just felt good to me. And that doesn’t mean I am any less queer than someone who dresses more masculine. There should be room for everyone to feel visible and represented.
Also I need to give a shoutout to Sonny from Qwear who played a huge role in my journey and always made me feel welcome in queer fashion.
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