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 always fun and beautiful Meshel of The Muffin Queen’s Closet.40+ Edit - 1 of 6 (4)

Blogging since: 2013

Age: 46

Size/Height: 26/28, 5’7” 55-50-64

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

Vintage Vixen meets Dr. Seuss

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

I shopped mostly at Lane Bryant and Avenue in my 20’s, as they offered some of the only options at that time. One summer, Lane Bryant had knit mini skirts and lace trimmed leggings, and I liked that trend, and especially that it came in so many colors. In the mid-90’s, I was listening to various riot grrrl and grunge bands, but only Courtney Love’s style resonated with me. I was obsessed with finding a baby doll dress in my size — I bought 2 smaller dresses and cobbled them together. The late 90’s brought a return to black and goth clothing… velvet and lace. I still have many of those pieces from Lane Bryant.

What are your favorite brands and trends now?  

Cherry Velvet, Melissa Masse, Kiyonna, City Chic, SWAK, and Lane Bryant.

My favorite trend lately is bohemian/boho style… the colors, patterns, and flowiness all speak to me as a child of the 70’s. I am also enjoying swing dresses in colorful patterns.40+ Edit - 1 of 6 (2)

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

When I was a fat kid, my mom made most of my clothes and I didn’t have much say in what I wore (polyester pants and cords). In my teens, I had a mix of 80’s Madonna/Cyndi Lauper/Siouxsie Sioux style with a lot of vintage and second-hand clothing in wonderful prints.

As I crept further into my 20’s, I gained weight and mostly gave up on fashion because nothing I liked was made in my size. I discovered Lane Bryant at my local mall and started wearing brighter colors, then went back to being mostly goth, since that was a culture that accepted and accommodated fat fashion. Then I rediscovered color and explored the body acceptance movement.

As an adult, my body image didn’t affect the way I dressed as much as what was available — when not much is offered in your size, it greatly affects how you feel. When clothing you like just doesn’t come in your size, that speaks to you — for me, it made me feel unworthy, not worth dressing, less than a person. Fortunately, things are better now, though not perfect, and I’m able to find clothing I like that fits me instead of shrinking to fit into clothing. Now I like to wear a lot of colors and I’m happiest when I’m pattern mixing. And vintage jewelry. Always vintage jewelry.

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

Wear clothing that makes you feel good, no matter what your size. Don’t stop sewing. Remember that you are your only obstacle to loving yourself and being everything you want to be. And most important of it all: There are no rules. Love your body and take care of it and it will always be there for you. If you can do that, anything can be.40+ Edit - 1 of 6 (3)

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

Velvet, bell sleeves, ruffles, gold metallic, plaid, dark florals, warm red shades, spicy mustard shades, and the color pumpkin spice.

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

I like to see confident women wearing clothing available in my size, so I am most certainly inspired by Lisa of MustangSallyTwo, Leah from xLove Leahx and Marcy of Fearlessly Just Me. I also appreciate the art of dressing in thrifted clothing and Sheila of Ephemera blog really fits the bill. 40+ Edit - 1 of 6 (5)

What trends are you looking forward to this spring?

I’m looking forward to diving into more yellows, vibrant stripes, and exploring more possibilities with romantic patchwork, 70’s prints, and metallic finishes.

What are your plans for the blog in 2017?

I have so much more I want to share! So much of my collection has been lost to disarray, but this year, we are moving into a new house, and converting one of the rooms to a massive walk-in closet — and, I will have my own make-up station. So far, I’ve been getting by with storing things away, and putting myself together at my desk, but in 2017, that will finally change. What treasures will be unearthed this year? How will I accessorize when I can find everything and know where it is? Stay tuned to find out!40+ Edit - 1 of 6 (1)

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You can check out Meshel’s blog The Muffin Queen’s Closet 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.