This week’s StyleCrush is the incredible Tracy Boxterman. Broxterman is best known for her work as the designer behind the retro-inspired plus line Domino Dollhouse. A cult favorite, the indie designer was featured on plus-size blogs everywhere because of the line’s comfort, versatility, and quality.
Now that she’s grown into herself and found her voice, the fashion mastermind now spends her time being a badass goth mom of two little girls while also writing and curating looks for blogs BRXTRMN and Witching Hour Baby. If you need Halloween inspiration, look no further than the amazing costumes that her daughters Remy and Zara sport for Witching Hour Baby.
Name: Tracy Broxterman
Hometown: Cincinnati, Ohio
Current City: Lake Forest, California
Social Media: (IG, Twitter, FB, SnapChat, etc): IG , Twitter, Facebook and Snapchat are all @BRXTRMN.
WYV: How do you describe your style?
TB: I sway between minimalist/futuristic goth to overly adorned forest witch. I’m obsessed with leather and knits, but I LIVE in jersey. Almost everything I own is black or gray, but I do have a few pieces I love in dark purples, greens and reds. I am all about oversized pieces and cropped jackets/vests. I love intense layering, but Southern California makes it hard to pile on too much. I am into anything with an interesting, asymmetrical cut and tend to prefer texture to print.
WYV: What is your current blog/brand? What else have you been involved with throughout the years?
TB: I have two current blog projects, one personal style (BRXTRMN.com, formerly known as Chubble Bubble) and one for kids style (witchinghourbaby.com). I owned and designed for plus size clothing store Domino Dollhouse for five years, but put it on hiatus about a year ago to focus taking care of my daughters.
WYV: How has your style evolved? Has motherhood informed it?
TB: In the last few years, with the help of an evolving plus-size clothing industry, I’ve been able to hone exactly what my style is and not just panic-purchase anything that was remotely cute. This was a revelation for me, as I’ve always admired women with a signature cool look and wanted that for myself. However, I never felt like I could achieve it at my size.
When I started Domino Dollhouse, most of what was available was retro/rockabilly, so I embraced it even though it never felt truly me. You can see as the collections evolved with DD that they become more and more about my own style. Science/Visions (FW 2014) was my dream collection and I still wear the pieces today.
Motherhood absolutely has impacted my wardrobe and fabric choices. I need comfortable, easy-to-wear pieces that wash well. I need something that can be basic and easy, but still look rad by throwing on rings or a jacket. Also, my footwear has become a no platform/heel zone because I’m TERRIFIED of tripping while holding my babies!
WYV: Who are your three celebrity StyleCrushes?
TB: Celebrity such a tricky term these days, but I’m going to pick three that I consider celebrities in my world. Chelsea Wolfe, Lily Gatins and Sarah Barthel (Phantogram). Each of them represent a need for my life, but all within the same aesthetic. Chelsea Wolfe has a more casual, yet still very interesting and intense look. Lily Gatins is the stuff of FANTASY and is my inspiration when I’m trying to really turn it out, plus she’s a mother of two! Sarah Barthel lends a sexuality to the style that the other two don’t always have in an overt way.
WYV: Which brands do you love? What makes them your go-to source?
TB: I buy pretty much all my basics from ASOS (swing dresses, oversized tees) and Yours Clothing (leggings). My favorite maxi dresses are from Rachel Pally because she has great shapes that are cut long (I’m 5’9″). My go-to edgy plus-size looks come from Etsy designer Aakasha. She makes hoodies, coats, dresses, leggings, etc. and custom/plus sizes are no extra charge! I LIVE in Babooshka, who goes up to XXL. My favorite jewelry/accessories stores are Sisters of the Black Moon and Bloodmilk, I like simple, well-cut, stretchy pieces that are comfortable and cool and, of course, come in black. I like to try and support small brands who appreciate plus sizes and create unique things as much as possible.
WYV: Which three designers would you like to see branch out into plus sizes?
TB: I have been doing features on my blog about plus size dupes for my favorite designers, actually! But it would be killer if they would just incorporate the sizes into their stores. My picks would be Ovate, Skingraft and Rick Owens.
WYV: How do you plan on teaching your daughters how to maintain a positive attitude toward their growing bodies? How can we combat negative outside forces?
TB: I think that number one is absolutely practicing what you preach. For instance, if I tell them about body positivity but refuse to wear a bathing suit in public, they’ll pick up on that. Your actions have to match your words. By speaking up when we are confronted with a situation that is unkind or prejudiced and showing them how to respond to those who may not be enlightened.
My husband and I also try to be careful with our language involving food too, as that is often where the seeds are planted. We also try to make sure their media features positive ideas of bodies and doesn’t include shaming ideas of health. I think showing those around you through example is the best way to combat the outside forces. Most people are hurtful and hateful to what they don’t understand and are also mimicking what they’ve grown up with. We can’t control what they do, but we can show them a better way.
WYV: Moms are told that they have to be everything to everyone, from domestic goddess to corporate wizard to PTA president, and they are expected to do it all simultaneously. What advice can you give to mothers and matriarchs who are struggling with maintaining their individual identity and maintaining a style that reflects it?
TB: First off, it’s really important to be yourself. You are teaching you kid that every day and as I’ve mentioned before, it’s VERY important to live out what you teach them. Don’t worry about being appropriate for society, just what you want for yourself and your lifestyle. And secondly, one I wish I would adhere to more, don’t beat yourself up about it. There will be days that your deserve a ribbon for brushing your teeth…and that’s OK. A few days or even months of not having the energy to be fully realized is not “letting yourself go”. You are giving yourself the ability to survive and that is most important. You should always make time for you, but always be kind to yourself if you cannot. You will develop tricks and shortcuts and hacks and eventually it will all even out. Promise.
WYV: How do you wear your voice?
TB: By making sure that my style reflects who I am, confronts the world’s ideas of how women are supposed to look, and having fun with dressing. Fashion is incredibly important, but what good is it if you aren’t having fun with it?