As a successful fashion publicist in New York City, Katie Sturino hit a wall when it came to finding fashion inspiration in focusing on her size—a 12, give or take.
“There are so many amazing examples of women dressing for their size with incredible style, like Gabifresh and Nicolette Mason. But for me, these women don’t speak to my size—just as Miroslava Duma doesn’t truly speak to me. I’m stuck somewhere in the middle of these two markets.” said the 5’11” stunner. “I’ve realized that as a size 12ish, it’s hard to find realistic fashion role models.”
So when the 34-year-old was asked by the Man Repeller to style summer trends, she jumped at the opportunity.
We should note here that Sturino is no stranger to digital media or social media: she’s the mom of Toast, the adorable King Charles Spaniel with 259,000 followers on Instagram. Oh, and she’s also married to Josh Ostrovsky, a.k.a. The Fat Jewish, whose account has over 4.7 million followers on Instagram. Nevertheless, she was blown away by the reaction of readers to her story on Man Repeller. “After the article came out, I realized that there were so many people who shared my issues,” she said. “I knew I wanted to start something for women like me.”
Man Repeller founder Leandra Medine said that “[Katie’s style] doesn’t try to be anything it doesn’t want to, or can’t be, and in that way seems very honest, which to me is such an important cornerstone of good style.”
So Sturino rustled up that PR savvy, social media prowess, and bucket loads of terrific personal style in founding her brand-spanking-new blog, The 12ish Style. The mantra: style for size 12ish to 18ish girls living in a size-2 world. Here’s what the newly-anointed fashion blogger has to say about style for those looking for style inspiration in between sizes.
Glamour: How do you describe your style?
Katie Sturino: My style is downtown-preppy and heavily influenced by my sense of humor. I love crazy prints and patterns. I’m drawn to bright colors and patterns (like a small child) and my favorite pieces of clothing are my sneakers by Twins for Peace in collaboration with Mr. Men. I have a Minion i-Phone case…clearly, I don’t take myself too seriously. I love mixing my crazy accessories with, say, a Dolce & Gabbana dress.
Glamour: If your closet could talk, what would it say?
K.S.: It would probably scream because it’s full of colors and prints!
Glamour: Why did you decide to launch the blog?
K.S.: I’ve always been a huge fan of Leandra Medine and the entire Man Repeller team. I love their style. So when they asked me to do an interview about size-12 dressing, I was overwhelmed by the responses and genuine support from their readers. It was incredible to hear from women all over the world who shared a lot of my views about size and style.
I started researching and found all of these interesting facts, like the majority of women in the U.S. have a size 14 in their closet. Working in fashion in New York for so many years, I had started to assume that I must be on the high side of size, so it was really exciting to be able to connect with the huge number of women who share the same experiences.
Glamour: What are some of the challenges you face while shopping?
K.S.: I’ve always felt alone when shopping. Shopping with friends is generally never as fun because my friends can walk into any store and pick a bunch of things that work for them. For me, shopping turns out as a land mine of what doesn’t work for me and is usually about finding the rare gems that do work.
Glamour: Did your husband, Josh, give you any words of wisdom upon launching last month?
K.S.: He told me to just be myself and let that show through everything I did.
Glamour: Big question: Is Toast ready to share the spotlight?
K.S.: I don’t think Toast views me as a real threat at the moment… As long as the chicken keeps showing up in her bowl, I think she’s cool.
Glamour: What brands get it right for size “12ish” women?
K.S.: I love a lot of the Italian brands because they celebrate curvy women. Brands like Valentino, Dolce and Gabbana, Missoni, etc. For jeans, I always go with NYDJ because it’s the only denim that fits me. I love Iro tops because they make me feel like I am cool-girl French, and Isabel Marant surprisingly goes up to a size 12 to 14. I love her pieces! My feet are a size 12 as well, so I wear Clarks and Stuart Weitzman shoes. Nordstrom has a great selection for size-12 feet as well.
Glamour: Is there anything you’d never wear?
K.S.: I never wear blue jeans—only black or white denim. This may be controversial, but regular jeans are just something I have never found flattering on me.
Glamour: Are there any trends you want to wear and don’t?
K.S.: I love the look of miniskirts, but I don’t personally feel very confident in a micro mini. I love someone who can pull it off though.
Glamour: What’s your style advice for women who wear a size 12 to 18?
K.S.: I’m all about people feeling empowered, healthy, and normal. Wear what you love and wear what makes you happy. I went through a three-year time span in which I wore only Ralph Lauren riding pants in the winter. I had them in seven colors and I loved them. Everyone thought it was weird, but they made me happy!
Glamour: If you could change anything about plus-size fashion, what would it be?
K.S.: [I’d change] the fabrics and the quality of the clothing offered for plus-sizes. I’ve found that many plus-size clothing companies that target just plus-sizes make cheaper clothing. Cheap-looking clothing is especially hard to pull off on a larger frame. I find that I end up indulging in investment pieces because they just look better, but those are harder to find. It’s a tough balance to strike.
Glamour: With almost five million followers across your family’s social platforms, how many mobile devices, laptops, and desktops do you have at your house?
K.S.: I’d say a normal amount…I have an iPhone 6 Plus, which is giant. Then I have my laptop and iPad.
Glamour: What happens when the Wi-Fi goes out?
K.S.: Meltdown. Just kidding. I try to stay calm…while immediately restarting the router.
Glamour: What’s your most prized fashion possession?
K.S.: My Chanel Boy bag in a blue patent. It’s not only my favorite color, but also patent, which means that I can spill coffee and water on it without having to worry. Balancing two dogs, a bag, and a cup of coffee is my daily reality, so the patent makes the spills less disastrous! I also bought the bag myself, which makes it extra special to me.
Glamour: What’s one trend that will just never work for anyone?
K.S.: I think trends always work for one type of person; that’s why they happen. But I’d say dresses and skirts with added volume around the hips are generally a no-go. I don’t think most women are trying to add crazy volume to their bodies.