Our new plus size blogger kicks things off with a fun post

Courtesy Allison Teng

Welcome Allison Teng, 26, of Curvy Girl Chic, who is joining us as our resident plus-size style blogger. She was featured in the March issue of PEOPLE StyleWatch and will be contributing regularly to the site. Below, she kicks things off with an explanation of how she got started as a fashionista to watch in this space — and chats about her perfect-for-spring outfits. Leave any questions you have in the comments!

I don’t know when I first realized I was plus-size, but I’ve been pretty chubby my whole life. Still, I never felt my size was that big a deal — except when it came to fashion.

When you’re a size 18, shopping can be frustrating. You want to go to the mall with your friends and buy clothes together. Instead, they’re trying on stuff at every single store, while you can only go to the one place that carries plus sizes. There was a point in my life, in high school, where 90 percent of my wardrobe came from American Eagle — I could just fit into their XXL sizes. But a girl can only own so many cute jeans and T-shirts.

Then a few years ago, it was like fashion brands discovered plus-size girls existed, and the options exploded. H&M sold some pieces in larger sizes, so they were the first store I could go to with my skinny friends. Now they have a full plus line, and so do ASOS, Forever 21 and so many other cool brands.

Having so many good choices — at last! — made me want to start a blog. I am obsessed with shopping, so at first I just took pictures of the stuff I’d bought. No one cared. But when I started styling my buys into outfits, something clicked. People wanted to see how I made these pieces work on my plus-size body.

I think women also respond to my point of view, which is about being trendy and experimental rather than obsessing over what’s most flattering. It’s not bad to choose clothes that make you look thinner, but if you’re not enjoying it, what’s the point? Maybe your favorite dress doesn’t magically slim you by 10 pounds, but you still love it. To me, that’s great. Fashion should be fun.

Of course, not everyone agrees. Someone will comment on my blog, “You shouldn’t wear those sunglasses. They make your face look fat.” I’m like, “My face is fat — what do you want me to do?” I can’t let other people’s ideas dictate my style. For me, getting dressed is about personal expression.

So wear what makes you happy! I certainly do. My favorite outfits usually have color, print or trendy details. You’ll see more of them in the weeks to come. I hope they give you fun ideas for your own look, whatever your size.

Look 1, Sweatshirt and Skirt: Matching sets are a trend I’ve been seeing everywhere. I love them. It’s like buying a dress, but you get more closet versatility. The patterns are bold, but it works because everything’s pretty fitted. Like, it’s a sweatshirt, but it’s not baggy. The pencil skirt hits above the knee, which elongates your legs. Also, it’s a way to get away with wearing a sweatshirt at work — who doesn’t love that? [Credits: Peter Pilotto for Target sweatshirt and skirt, Report heels, Axel clutch, Forever 21 jewelry]

Look 2, Purple Printed Dress: This dress is actually a little baggy, but I loved the print, so I belted it to give it some shape. The sleeve length gives you coverage if you’re not a huge fan of your arms, but it still feels spring-y. As for the shoes, I wanted something sexy, but in black so they wouldn’t compete with the dress. [Credits: ASOS Curve dress and belt, Prabal Gurung for Target heels, Monika Chiang bag, Hearts.com cuff]

Look 3, Boyfriend Jeans: I love stripes for spring, and boyfriend jeans are so comfortable and easy to wear. The result is one of my favorite everyday looks! One tip: Go for boyfriends that aren’t super-baggy and pair them with heels. Finish with a jacket that’s tailored so it won’t add bulk. [Credits: Forever 21+ blazer, Gap top, American Eagle jeans, Mossimo heels and J.Crew bag]

Thanks, Allison! Let us know what you’d love to see in the upcoming weeks and share your own style photos on Insta/Twitter with #yougotitright!