When I pull up to Holly’s crib and she shows me her looks for the shoot, I notice—almost immediately—that, of the three outfits, only one includes a coat. Wanting to make sure that she was knew it was brick-ass-cold outside, and it was outside and not inside that these pictures were being taken I ask her, “Are you gonna be good?” Without even looking at me Holly responds, “I’m from Nova Scotia… I’ll be fine.”
For those who don’t know, Nova Scotia is a Canadian province and peninsula that has 5,400 lakes. Translation: Holly’s fine. If you looked at these pictures without my telling you how cold it was, you wouldn’t know. Not once does Holly flinch, or hunch her shoulders to prevent the wind from slicing the back of her neck. Instead, Holly braves the “cold” with the same unapologetic audacity as she does her outfits.
When I speak of Holly’s audacity I’m referring to more than what she wears; I’m referring to the sheer pride she takes in making sure her body be seen in it. If this reads as a backhanded compliment, or a consolation, clean your screen and read this again because: this ain’t it.
This is about making the conscious decision to love your body because it’s yours—and wearing what you want to wear because you feel, and look, good in it. And in the same way that Holly walks out of her house in the late November cold in a Canadian Tuxedo, without flinching, Holly faces an even colder world, knowing she’ll be fine—because she’s been here before.
JEANS: Fashion Nova Curve
ON FIRST LOOK:
“This first look is my take on a Canadian tuxedo. I love denim on denim. It’s the best way I’ve found to wear my favorite pair of jeans. This is my favorite small bag in my collection. I appreciate versatility in my clothing. If I’m going out with friends to the bar, this outfit tends to be my default.”
ON FIRST STYLE MEMORY:
“The first time I ever wore a two-piece bathing suit, or at least felt comfortable in one, I was six—and begged my mother to let me have this particular suit because I associated it with confidence. It was a deep magenta with white trim and daisies with yellow centers. At that point, the only women I’d ever encountered in popular culture had slender bodies. I thought wearing a two-piece bathing suit would give me the same satisfaction it seemed to give those women. Oddly enough, it did. I had the time of my life in that bathing suit, running through my parents’ sprinkler. I hadn’t yet learned and unlearned the shame that’s often associated with a body like mine. And while daisies and magenta aren’t my vibe anymore, I would rock a two-piece again in a heartbeat.”
ON WHERE SHE SHOPS IN BROOKLYN:
“When I lived on the border of Greenpoint and Williamsburg, there were two places I often frequented and continue to go back to. The first is Alter, where I like to look for accessories. The other is plus BKLYN. This cute boutique that has an incredible range of plus-size clothing. The owner, Alexis Hope, is one of the coolest, nicest people I’ve ever met, and it’s such a joy to go somewhere I can feel completely and totally comfortable.”
SHIRT: Forever 21
ON SECOND LOOK:
“The second look is centered around my favorite statement coat. I like how this outfit looks when I’m on the move between home and events. The only bad thing about a chic coat is that you can’t wear it indoors. As for the shirt, I tied it into a crop top and realized a girl with my body could wear it and look good. It has transformative powers for me.”
ON HOW SHE DESCRIBES HER STYLE:
“Monochromatic. If I play with color it all, I’d rather do it in my makeup or in my hair. I like textures, patterns, and detailing that change the look of a solid color outfit without having to wear color itself, particularly faux fur, distressing, and imposing structures. I prefer to be casual the majority of the time, so a lot of my casual clothes are athleisure-inspired. I feel my best when I’m in leggings, an oversized shirt, and a denim jacket with a pair of runners. I’m not a big accessories girl unless it’s handbags or shoes. That said, I love events where I get to be more creative and outrageous with my outfits. The Missguided jacket, for instance, makes me feel extremely “on” when I wear it. As with every other Brooklynite, black is my power color.”
ON WHERE SHE DRAWS INSPIRATION:
“One of my favorite influencers is Carly Cristman. She is notorious for her neutral and grayscale color palette. Even at her most casual, she always looks insanely put together. I love most of Saint Laurent’s designs because they work with leather, embroidery, and striking silhouettes. It’s for these same reasons I enjoy Zara and All Saints too.”
“Style has not only become an expression of my taste, but also an expression of love for the body I have.”
TOP: Asos Curve
JEANS: Forever 21
HEELS: Just Fab
BAG: Ted Baker
EARRINGS: Alex + Victoria
ON THIRD LOOK:
“This look is about as girly or colorful as you’ll ever see me. I wear this outfit the most to work or to brunch. It’s not so casual that I’m going to offend someone at the office, but it’s laid-back enough that I don’t feel like I have to bring a badass attitude. This is my low-key.”
ON WHAT BROOKLYN MEANS TO HER:
“As a Canadian transplant, Brooklyn is the first place I’ve put down roots as an adult. When I was in college in Nova Scotia, I spent so much of my time wishing I was here. Now that I am, I’ve never once felt that same inclination to get up and leave.”
ON WHO WE SHOULD FEATURE NEXT:
My friend Krisanne Madaus is the most chic person I’ve ever encountered. Her shoe game is incredible, and her style seems to represent this beautifully classic femininity that never goes out of style.