Some time ago, I did a post on Domino Dollhouse after discovering the quirkiness and rockabilly-ness of this e-commerce site. It was unique, it was sassy and the women modeling the clothes were actually PLUS-SIZE. I was obsessed immediately, BUT it took me some time to decide what outfit I’d want to personally feature. In the end, it was no competition. This lipsticky skirt had to be it. I love the sailor look, and I love anything that highlights curves and silhouettes. Thus, this outfit and I now have an intimate relationship. I also had the chance to do a Q&A with fatshion genius and Domino Dollhouse’s owner and designer, Tracy Broxterman. Check it out below the photos 😀
For a similar look:
Lipsticky Skirt in Red, Domino Dollhouse, $32.95
Bow-Fronte Ponte Longline Bra, Charlotte Russe, $16.99
Calvin Klein Ashley Pumps, Macy’s, $99.00
Tracy Broxterman took some time to talk plus-size life, blogging, fashion and inspiration! This 31-year-old, size 24/26 gal has been in the fashion industry in one way or another for some time, majoring in marketing with a minor in fashion merchandising at the University of Cincinnati. Domino Dollhouse is her full-time occupation, and she handles everything from customer service to design to product sourcing. She’s also an avid online shopper herself! Tracy is married to a man she’s dated for 12 years, spends time watching ridiculous television, belly dancing and drag queens, and has two kitties and an old Pomeranian named Popple:
Q: What are your own experiences as a plus-size woman?
A: I have been sized out of the “straight” size world since I was in high school, so I have been dealing with plus-size fashion personally for most of my life. Being denied fashion was actually always my main issue with my body and I always knew that if I could express myself fully through clothing I’d feel more secure about myself.
Q: What inspired you to start your blog Chubble Bubble in 2009?
A: I started to realize that there was a place for plus-size bloggers and fashion beginning to form. Blogs like Musings of a Fatshionista (now Fatshion Wasteland) and Pocket Rocket Fashion inspired me to share my own experiences.
Q: What inspired you to start Domino Dollhouse?
A: I had always wanted to have my own clothing boutique and when I was laid off from my job, I knew that it was time. Plus-size clothing was obviously my passion, but finding other brands to carry was a huge issue…nothing had the size range and styling I wanted for my aesthetic. I eventually started producing my own garments and the Domino Dollhouse clothing label started in June 2011.
Q: What has been some of the greatest feedback you’ve received from either the media or women who contact you independently?
A: When people comment that they finally feel like they can fully express themselves with my clothes, that’s the best. When someone just gets your clothes, that’s the best feeling.
Q: Do you think that designers and brands are slowly adapting to plus-size women are carrying larger sizes; or do you think there is still a long way to go before plus-size women have the options of straight size ones?
A: I think there’s still a REALLY long way to go! The vastness of what is available for sizes S-L is so massive I sometimes cannot comprehend how people choose! So many companies that offer plus-size right now have scaled back or are online only because they claim they haven’t had the response they needed in store. There’s still so much that needs to change before we even have 1/1000 of what is available in “straight” sizing.
Q: What are some of your favorite plus-size stores?
A: I shop at ASOS, Chubby Cartwheels, Cult of California, Rachel Pally, and SWAK clothing…I think they all really understand and treat their plus-size customers with respect. They don’t water things down and they know how to fit a plus-size body! I literally shop exclusively online.
Q: Would you like to see the delineation between plus-sizes and straight sizes end?
A: I think it would be amazing to one day be able to walk into any shop and be serviced no matter your size. I think the separation right now is necessary because SO MANY women don’t even think their size is offered. Until it becomes common place to offer plus-sizes, it’s needs to be clearly divided or women simply won’t shop (this is coming from a retail point of view).
Q: Who are some people that inspire you, be it in the plus-size world or otherwise?
A: I think the plus-size women that inspire me the most are the activists who mix fashion with politics. I love Virgie Tovar and Marianne Kirby (the Rotund). I also love searching through tumblr and seeing individual street style…runway looks are fun and lovely, but how someone expresses themselves through their dressing is my favorite thing to see.
Q: Where do you find inspiration for your designs; do you design everything on your own?
A: I use a mixture of street style, the general DD aesthetic, and fabric sourcing to lead the design process. I currently design everything myself, but work with a factory for fit and sewing.
Q: Do you see your business expanding in the future? if you don’t mind me asking, how is it doing thus far?
A: I would LOVE to have a showroom for dolls to come and shop in LA, but it’s a ways off. We are super small and grass roots…I do everything out of my house with one employee. Business is growing at a steady and promising pace, but the great thing about being small is that I can take more risks without ordering 1,000 pieces of something that may not sell. I love the benefits of being a small business in this aspect.
Q: How would you define your personal style, and who are some of your style icons?
A: My personal style is very yin and yang. I have a side that is 100 percent DD: retro girl with a tough edge. On the opposite end, I love dark, flowy clothing with hard accessories, very witchy and earthy. I am inspired by Beth Ditto, tribal belly dance culture, drag queens, and music.
You can follow Domino Dollhouse here!