Charlotte transplant Renita Martin founded Infinite Style in 2010. The online specialty boutique caters to the plus-sized woman with a strong sense of confidence, adventure and style. It relaunched March 19 with an exciting new look and new services for the fashion forward.
Examiner: What led to the start of Infinite Style?
Renita: Being a plus size woman myself, to this day I have trouble finding fashionable, on-trend, well-priced clothing. If it is trendy it’s double the price of the size 10, or it’s not stocked in-store and I have to order it online and get it shipped.
I also have trouble finding nice pieces in my size with my style aesthetic. Stores are at the extremes: either too young or too old. So out of frustration of not finding a store that fit me, I figured, why not start my own? I’ve always been passionate about fashion and being able to dress and I love my size.
Sure, we might all like to maybe lose a pound here or there, but what about the body you have now? What are we going to do, just put on some boxy clothing and carry on? No. I figure I’d start my signature style.
Examiner: Describe the style aesthetic for the shop.
Renita: It’s a mix of classic and extreme. I have pieces every woman should have in their closet: the little black dress, pencil skirts, blazers, white collared shirts. But I also like tribal leggings and see-through shirts and I love sequins. I stock it all because this way, every woman can feel like they fit in here somewhere. You can even find yourself mixing a little black dress with a see-through top or a pencil skirt with a sequined jacket. I’m a mix of classic and little of extreme.
Examiner: Every woman has that range in their personality and plus-size women should be able to express that with our clothing too.
Favorite trends for Spring + How To Rock Color Blocking
Renita: I’m in lo-o-ove with color! Now, I do like my black as it’s always slimming. But a plus-size woman shouldn’t be afraid to wear color or patterns. I’m that woman who’s always in horizontal stripes, and folks rag on me about that because of the fact that it makes you look wider. But to me it’s very clean and I like the way it looks.
For Spring, I’d say color, patterns, florals and especially color blocking is big. You can wear one monotone color and throw on a neon purse or neon shoe with it, or do an orange skirt with a red shirt. However you like, just do it. There’s no reason why you can’t.
And people will say wow, she’s a big girl and she’s wearing those bright colors? That’s right. It’s the confidence.
Charlotte Style Missteps
Renita: I don’t’ want to make anyone upset, but if I didn’t have TV or blogs or the luxury of travel, I would be very behind the trends [living in Charlotte]. Charlotte women don’t embrace their curves as much as they should. Here, women just cover their curves up, or they go all the way to the other extreme and are just sloppy. I want to be the storefront where they can come and find new styles that fit their personality and taste. You see plus-size women as young as 15 and 16 looking for styles that fit them.
Examiner: Well, at least they have Torrid. Women in their mid-20s to 40s need something a little more sophisticated, chic, and a higher quality of material. They’re the ones in need, looking for someplace like your store. Tell me about the relaunch.
Renita: We are revamping everything! Even the logo has been redone. I took everything down and started from scratch, because I feel like when you’re not hands-on then everything can go awry and the passion is gone.
Infinite Style is now as chic and streamlined as I am. Our new tagline is “Where style is limitless.” Everyone knows the infinity symbol is never ending, and our curves are never ending. You can’t put a limit on what I can do or what I can wear. All the clothing is new, with new vendors from Charlotte, Detroit, California, New York. I’m reaching out to everyone to slowly build up the store and get the momentum going.
I even reached out to Monif C. to carry a bit of her collection. The new trend is mixing highs and lows and she’s a little bit on the more expensive side, but she has quality. She knows her body and she knows the plus-size woman’s body. I respect her as a designer and I would love to carry some of her clothing. I’m so excited. I can’t stop tweeting about it, Facebooking about it, stalking people with it. I want everyone to feel the same excitement I feel. I feel blessed to be able to do this and I think it’s going to be awesome this time.
Infinite Styling Services
Renita: I’m also offering styling consultation services, both locally and virtually, via Skype or Facetime. For the initial consultation, I have a questionnaire set up and the customer explains how she wants to see herself looking, whether it’s for a new work look or after-hours event or class reunion or whatever. Then I’ll select 3 or 4 options for you.
I also offer a wardrobe assessment, where I revamp your whole closet, getting rid of things you don’t wear anymore or taking what you have and remixing it in a way you’ve never done before. So that could take 2 and a half to 3 hours. I teach all my clients how to shop for yourself when I’m not there, so when you’re on your own you can remember those key points of what to go for and what to stay away from for your body type.
Examiner: It’s a real gift to Charlotte’s curvy set, to be able to go online and get the hot styles we can’t find anywhere else while still supporting a local business. Where should our readers go to check you out?
Renita: Go to www.InfiniteStyleOnline.com and sign up for the mailing list to get first information on our upcoming launch party and special discounts and news. I’m also very open to feedback and suggestions, so if you want to see something on the site or love a particular item that’s out of stock, email firstname.lastname@example.org.