Audacious Aleya | Globe Trotter
Introducing globe trotter Aleya, an Illionian in love with adventure. We absolutely adore her for her love of travel and fashion. We’ve known each other since our fashion school days back in Chicago at the Illinois Institute of Art and we were able to reconnect in Asia. During her visit to Seoul, we chatted about many topics, but spoke at length about the lack of plus size clothing availability in Asian countries. Her fashion sense and her creative way of making her curves work for her shape will inspire you to believe that problems can be guidelines in fashion pursuits.
Your full name and Location.
I’m Aleya from Central Illinois, USA. I created Audacious Aleya which is a blog on how to travel and live abroad for first timers and as a place to document my own journey.
Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Xi’an, Seoul, Bangkok, Chiangmai, London, New York, Phnom Pehn, Kuala Lumpur, Toronto, Chicago, Los Angeles, Nashville, Memphis, Charleston, Macau, Koh Tao, Angkor Wat, Key West
When and Why did you start Audacious Aleya?
I started over 3 years ago to share my experiences in China with my family. I was 30 at the time and it was the first time I ever traveled abroad. I had never even been to Canada or Mexico! I wanted to keep my friends and family up to date with how I was doing and share the strange experiences of a different culture.
Since then I have focused on helping others who have questions about traveling abroad for the first time. It can be scary to hop on a plane and go somewhere you’ve never been especially if you’re alone. I hope I can make others feel like they have a friend to help them along the way.
How would you describe your personal style?
My style is to embrace the body you have. I’ve always been a size 12 or larger and learning to be kind to myself has been a journey. I also have a very curvy figure and as a high schooler, I would hide beneath loose clothing but as an adult I’ve learned to embrace my figure. I now wear items that show off my curves which includes: pencil skirts, v neck tops, and fitted jeans.
I keep my style constant and add in trendy pieces like the season’s most popular scarf or sleekest ankle boots. I find that if I dress my figure first and then add a current trendy piece I feel confident and up to date.
My favorite fall styles this year were…
Ankle boots with cuffed jeans were my absolute favorite trend this season. Anyone can wear this trend and look good all year long. Plus it’s super affordable and will have you in fashion from central Illinois to the streets of Seoul. I love affordable style.
Large patterned handkerchief scarves. After returning to the Midwest from the yearlong warmth of Thailand I’m struggling to stay warm. Adding a scarf gives me extra warmth and turns my simple jeans and sweater into a stylish outfit.
Mixing fabrics, patterns and lengths when layering this season. Just look at DGal’s fall post (IG pic below) for some great examples on how to layer in unexpected ways.
What do Travel and Fashion have in common?
They are both about taking risks and going on an adventure. I love putting together an edgy outfit, walking out and seeing how people react. I find that my fashion choices bring new people into my life and sometimes are an adventure all by themselves.
For me half the fun of creating an outfit is the adventure of getting all the pieces. I’ve ended up in some strange situations in order to get the final piece. While traveling in Kuala Lumpur, I found several great batik printed scarves and then had to haggle with the owner to get them at a reasonable piece. It gives the clothes meaning.
Sometimes the clothing gets a negative meaning. One of my toughest adventures was shopping for a swimsuit in Thailand. I went to a department store in Bangkok and the associate followed me around telling me all the swimsuits were too small for me. That experience took a lot of strength and resilience to find a swimsuit. Truthfully I rarely wear the suit because I still feel her judgment for not being a size 6.
How has your style changed while living abroad? What did you bring back to the States?
I’ve become more resourceful. I look at all my pieces of clothing and ask myself how I can use this in a different way. I have a skirt I still wear as a color block dress. I wear a black long sleeve shirt under it and wear the skirt as a strapless dress. It’s really cute and no one ever realizes that it is actually two separate pieces.
I’ve also brought back a whole new creativity to my style. I lay out my limited selection and start pairing items I would never have tried before. It’s made my fashion edgier and more independent. I like standing out and I’m more comfortable in my own skin. Living in Beijing helped me become comfortable when people stare.
Where can people learn more about you?
Check out my blog www.audaciousaleya.com or follow me on instagram @audaciousaleya!
*This page contains affiliate links. I will get a percentage of purchases to keep up this blog and be able to pursue future DGal endeavors. Thanks for the support! xoxo~ DGal