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If you’re 40 or older, you have had a front seat to the evolution of plus size fashion in the last few decades.

When I hear 20-something year-old’s complain about how limited plus size fashion is, I always tell them, “You have no idea. What’s available now is leaps and bounds from where we used to be.

Add being over a size 24 to that and you really know the struggle that we had to endure in the 70’s and 80’s.

With that said, we thought it would be interesting, as well as insightful, to spotlight 12 plus size fashion bloggers over 40 in a weekly series, chatting with them about their style, favorite trends and how their fashion choices have evolved over the years.

This week, the 40+ Blogger Series features the gorgeous Nikki of NikkiFreeStyle! She has been featured in Redbook Magazine, Fashion Bomb Daily, 40PlusStyle and more.mermaidskirt-17-(ZF-10560-27700-1-019) copy

Blogging since: 2015

Age: 43

Size: 16W/18W

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How would you describe your style right now in one sentence?

I consider my style Classic with a bit of a Funky and Trendy Twist. If something fits me well and I like it, I wear it.

What were your favorite brands and trends when you were in your 20’s?

In my early 20’s, my favorite fast fashion brands were by far The Limited, Express and Lerner New York (which is now New York & Company) as I was still able to wear straight sizes.

In my late 20’s, I gained even more weight than I did in college and was forced to shop Lane Bryant much more than I preferred because 20 years ago the brand wasn’t as fashion forward as it has become.

What are your favorite brands and trends now?

I am definitely in love with Eloquii, Elvi and JIBRI for their more classic offerings. I depend heavily on these brands for more timeless pieces and professional, but trendy, workwear. Over the last two years or so, ASOS and Ashley Stewart have become my go-to places for more casual wear.atlantaphotographer-12 copy

My favorite trends are boyfriend jeans, bell sleeves, high-waisted skirts and pants, and embellished kaftans. I have become the Queen of Kaftans! I’ve also discovered the joy of custom clothing and have several independent designers that I work with, who make custom pieces for me. Oh, and I find GREAT pieces and looks on Etsy, most of the designs I absolutely love are made overseas.

How has your style changed over the years? Did your body image affect the way you dressed?

My style has changed significantly over the years. While I have always been rather fashionable, my curves have increased my confidence tenfold when it comes to dressing myself. I just love the way clothes cascade over and hug my body in all the right places. I love showing women of a certain age and size that we can be as on-trend and fashion forward as our younger counterparts.

What advice would you offer your younger self when it comes to fashion and body positivity?

Love yourself and ALL YOUR (perceived) FLAWS, and to achieve real happiness, focus on how your life feels instead of how it (or you) looks!NFS-61-(ZF-3580-88261-1-027) copy

What trends are you happy to see return this fall and winter?

Bomber jackets (just purchased four), camouflage (which to me, is the new black and a perennial print that never goes out of style), statement chokers (I used to rock these daily in my years as a news reporter in the 90’s, don’t ask), military inspired coats and jackets and embroidered patches.

Who are some of your style inspirations in the blogger world?

There are many, but then there are a few that I draw a lot of inspiration from: Monica Awe-Etuk of awedbymonica.com; Tiffany Battle of The Werk! Place; LaShoundra Young from YoungAtStyle.com and I just love Hayet from HayetRida.com.holiday-15-(ZF-10560-27700-1-004) copy

What trends are you looking forward to this spring?

As a woman who came of age in the 1980’s, I am looking forward most to the 80’s Glam trend that is headed our way with dramatic ruffles, textures and embellishments. I’m also totally here for more bolder and brighter stripes, as well as super sized handbags! I am such a sucker for a triple XL purse!

What are your plans for the blog in 2017?

I will be launching a new site in March that will include more fashion news, beauty reviews and travel recommendations, as well as continuing my personal style posts. I’ve been inspired to use more of my journalism skills on the blog. I guess, once a reporter always a reporter.midtown-4

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You can check out Nikki’s blog NikkiFreeStyle here.

You can find her on Instagram here and on Facebook here.

Check back next Tuesday on the blog to see who we feature next in our 40+ Blogger Series.