Curvy, full-figured, and zaftig ladies (I generally refer to myself as Rubenesque, thank you), please step forward and say hello to this week’s Instagram style star, 31-year-old Dorchester resident Ty-Juana Flores (www.instagram.com/styleyourcurves). Through her business Style Your Curves, she helps women who are size 12-plus as both a stylist and personal shopper. She also writes a blog to inspire these women and improve their fashion acumen. Her mission: “I feel that fashion should be effortless.” Let’s talk style, shall we?
Q. I don’t want to make assumptions, but I’m going to venture a guess that you started the business because you were trying to style your own curves.
A. I have been styling my own curves for years. I started my business after working in New York’s Garment District and seeing how clothing companies rarely catered to curvy women. I wanted to be able to share my experiences, fashion tips, and inspiration with women who are often left out in the fashion world. I studied fashion design at Framingham State University and FIT. I also designed clothing in my past life and understand the true definition of quality apparel.
Q. What are the most frequent issues that you hear from your clients?
A. I often hear that curvy apparel is not flattering. Most people I know who are curvy want to wear something similar to what is seen on the runway, and that’s a challenge. Fit is also a big issue. Curvy women are not shaped like blocks. They have, guess what, curves.
Q. What is one of the most common fashion mistakes that curvy women tend to make?
A. Not having the proper undergarments. An outfit, no matter what size you are, can always be pulled together with my best friend, Spanx. Some curvy girls detest the Spanx but there are so many different versions, comfortable ones too, that they can really pull your outfit together.
Q. On your blog, you share your journey from having straight, processed hair to letting your hair go natural. Was it a difficult adjustment to make?
A. My hair journey is a journey that many women of color are currently exploring, but we would need an entirely new article to cover that topic. Let’s just say that I’m happy with the woman that I am becoming from the inside and out.
Q. Are there aspects of your Panamanian roots that you work into your day-to-day dress?
A. Absolutely. I think most of my passion for fashion comes from my mother, who used to sew for a living in Panama before coming to this country. She would create garments for customers before carnival every year and everyone in Colon came to her for that “it outfit.” Panama is a beautiful country with a bright and vibrant culture. My day-to day dress represents that because I represent my people. I love my culture.
Q. Change of topic: Last time you had enough champagne to qualify as officially tipsy?
A. My birthday was last Sunday. Enough said.
@globe.com. Follow him on Instagram @Chris_Muther and on Twitter@Chris_Muther.