Her Style: Romanticism with Charmaine Charmant
Her Style is a bi-weekly article on Southern New Yorker, showcasing one fashionable woman styling a current trend of her choice, accompanied by an interview with her on fashion, beauty, career, and more!
Charmaine is an NYC native fashion, beauty, and self-love blogger. She exudes joy and positivity, and was so much fun to be able to hang out with! We first met at an Aurate New York event, and I’m so glad we did, so that I can share her with you today.
Charmaine suggested the trernd Romanticism for our shoot, and I was thrilled since this has been one of my favorites lately. We took it in two different directions, and Charmaine went for a very bohemian, island romantic look, while I went for a much more European Renaissance romanticism. But half the fun is seeing how two different people interpret the idea of a trend! It showed off our personal styles perfectly, and I loved getting to shoot these photos with her!
Charmaine talks about why being plus-size made her want to become a blogger, and all the ways that being a woman of color has made her stronger. Read on for Charmaine’s powerful and fun interview!
How would you describe your style?
I view my personal style as a journey that evolves over time, but I do have a few distinct patterns when it comes down to it. I tend to wear lots of playful colors around spring/summer and lots of black in fall/winter. Lately, I've been purging my wardrobe and focusing on investing in classic basics that will stand the test of time. I view this as a strategic play for setting myself up with a strong wardrobe by the time I enter my 30s in a few years. I like to have fun with my looks, but every piece that I invest in moving forward needs to be highly functional and versatile.
What made you want to become a blogger?I've always been a curvy girl. When I was in middle school and high school, options for young plus sized girls were extremely limited. I was lucky to have a mom who loved to shop and teach me about styling my body type. We used to spend hours upon hours shopping around and trying on clothes. It's still one of our favorite things to do together. I noticed that this was not the norm for a lot of girls like me, because I would constantly get asked where I got my outfits from. I was also passionate about fashion and sharing information for girls that weren't seeing options available for them in the stores that our peers were frequenting. That's what made me want to become a blogger.
What’s something you’re passionate about right now?
I am passionate about promoting self-love. It's not lost on me that being an Instagram influencer can be viewed as materialistic, but I am in this game to encourage women to love themselves simply by being myself - a plus size woman of color living her life and loving herself in an industry where that kind of representation is scarce. Consumer culture makes it easy for women to feel like we aren't enough. Our timelines are flooded with images of unrealistic body goals and all sorts of products, which oftentimes make us feel inadequate without them. It's almost impossible not to fall into the trap of comparing yourself to others, so I make it a point to always promote positive ideals in any piece of content that I produce. I will never forget seeing the comments under an image of me and my mom on Summersalt's Instagram account for a campaign. Droves of women were thanking Summersalt for showing real women with real bodies in their products. Moments like that matter to me so much, because growing up, I never saw images like that on billboards or in magazines. Instilling confidence in other women to love themselves is definitely the driving force behind my presence on Instagram and the blogger-sphere.
How do you think being a woman of color in our society has impacted you?
As a woman of color, you have to work harder than everyone for a seat at the table. Adversity is never easy, but being a woman of color in our society has taught me how to be smart, how to anticipate my next move by reading people and different situations, and how to leverage my creativity to get to where I'm trying to go. It has made me a strong woman and has given me more confidence than I ever thought it could. Most importantly, my experiences as a woman of color has taught me to trust myself and go after the things that I want. Life is too short to not be the star of your own show.
What’s a piece of style or beauty advice you’d give to your younger self?
I think I would give myself two pieces of advice. The number one piece of advice is to be yourself. What works for others may not work for you and that's okay! Individuality is beautiful, so value yours. The second piece of advice is not to waste money chasing every trend. Fashion repeats itself time and time again, but not every trend is worth investing in. Work towards building a wardrobe that makes sense. Instead of shopping for specific occasions, shop with your entire wardrobe in mind. You'll find that you'll eventually have versatile looks that can fit any need.
I hope you loved seeing how Charmaine and I styled the Romanticism trend, and learning more about her! If you want Her Style delivered to your inbox, you can get it here!