When Telly Mallory started her blog, Telly Loves Fashion, in 2014, the Detroit native was looking for a creative outlet to share her style and embrace her changing body, a year into marriage. Fast forward some years, and the now 32-year-old took a leap of faith, during the COVID-19 pandemic, to turn this passion project of blogging and advocating for plus-size representation in the fashion industry into a full-time job as a content creator.
On Mallory’s Instagram page — @tellylovesfashion — you’ll find the Harper Woods resident sporting her many fabulous dresses around metro Detroit, trying on items from various shops and sharing tips for styling them, and showing her nearly 12,000 followers what a day in her life looks like via “Get Ready with Me” videos. Recently, Mallory was in the fourth cohort of national plus-size retailer Eloquii’s Black Creatives Project, a year-round initiative the company started in 2020, to provide more paid influencer partnerships for Black creators.
Body positivity and mental health go hand in hand with Mallory’s fashionable posts. Through her newer hashtag #TellyLovesBodyLanguage, she plans to share more content encouraging dialogue between herself and her followers on accepting yourself at any size and shape. Here, Mallory shares more.
My personal style: [I’m a] maximalist. I’m just kind of loud, and I didn’t know that about me until I started blogging. But I love statement pieces. My closet is full of statement pieces — so much so that when I just want to go to Walmart, I’m like, “Uh, where’s my joggers?”
My go-to look: A dress with a pair of fishnet stockings and some gym shoes.
My favorite retailers: Eloquii. I just love them. I love what they’re doing for the plus-size industry. ASOS, obsessed. H&M — [but] they need to do better, they really do. You have to dig in caves to find plus-size representation there. [But] I would say those are my top 3 right now. My shoe collection is crazy right now; for shoes, I shop at ASOS, ShoeDazzle, and JustFab.
I can’t leave the house without … A red lip. I keep a red [lipstick] in my car, in my purse, in my coat.
A summer’s day: I’m always finding ways to go to the water, sit by the water, read a book. If I’m not going on a trail — I like to go on hikes and things — I’m probably in some flowy sundress with sandals, on some grass, sitting by the water with a snack, and just letting the sun soak [in].
On my playlist: I love that question because my music is so diverse. On my way [to our interview], I was listening to Russian music. But I can go from like Coldplay to Gucci Mane to Garth Brooks to jazz.
On body acceptance: Don’t believe every thought that comes to your head. Don’t believe everything that you’ve been told. Sometimes I feel like since birth, we’ve been told what beauty is. Have you ever taken a chance to ask yourself, “What do you find beautiful?” It starts with you. Look at your body and say, “What do I actually like?” And then you can build from there.