Tess Holliday's Secrets to Online Shopping Successfully and More Tips From the Plus-Size Supermodel

Oct/02/2015 at 05:02 PM ET

At the recent launch of ModCloth’s first ever Fit Shop in San Francisco, plus-size supermodel Tess Holliday stopped by to discuss shopping, style, beauty and more! Read below to get the scoop straight from the model’s mouth.

Courtesy of Claudine Gossett for Drew Altizer Photography

Tess Holliday was a big deal in the modeling world well before she graced the cover of PEOPLE’s annual Bodies Issue this year, but she’s enjoying the roller coaster ride since it hit stands in May, “My whole family freaked out. It was such a big moment for all of us,” Holliday tells PEOPLE. “I think the best thing from all of it is having my fans come up to me and ask me to sign their copy. I mean, I was sitting at Disneyland and a gentlemen came up to me and asked me to sign it; I asked him, ‘Do you just carry this around with you?’ It was quite funny and surreal.”

With her fan base growing exponentially each day, Holliday has become more than just a familiar face — she’s become a full-blown style inspiration. Her experience on numerous photo shoots has taught her “never to be afraid to mix metals, prints and colors — and to take risks.” However, that may not be as easy as she’d like it to be for plus size shoppers.

“We have come a long way in the industry, but we still need more options in clothing,” says Holliday. “Also, I would love to see more diverse models on websites so women can see someone with their body type and skin tone while shopping. We keep saying that, and only a handful listen. I feel like it’s just a no-brainer.”

One of those websites that has listened is Modcloth, which Holliday has shopped for years. But she stopped by to check out the goods from the formerly online-only retailer in-person at the Fit Shop. Holliday found plenty to like, including her favorite piece, from the brand’s recently-launched in-house line: “This ’70s style blue floral dress. I was speaking to [co-founder] Susan [Gregg Kroger] about it, and she said it was based from a vintage dress and they made it their own. Not only did it fit great, it wasn’t like anything I have in my closet!”

”TessCourtesy of Claudine Gossett for Drew Altizer Photography

While Holliday loves to shop online (“I love the access to indie designers and being able to have fun with fashion”), her first Fit Shop experience was a hit. “[I loved] that I was able to see how the clothes actually looked on my body, and surprisingly more things worked then not. Everyone was so helpful and knowledgeable about the products!” As anyone who has been hesitant to buy something a little different online can attest, sometimes you really need to try things on to know if you’ll like them — which Holliday can speak to from her experience. “[There] was a mixture of things that I didn’t think was my style, then when I saw how it looked on my body, I was obsessed,” she says.

So what’s still left on her “to buy” list? “A faux fur vest, a good pair of boots and a floppy hat,” she says. And while we had her, we couldn’t not ask how she keeps her hair looking so shiny. “My hairstylist Jonathan Van Ness is literally amazing,” she shares. “He does Olaplex treatments, cuts it regularly and really looks after it. I also try not to use heat styling on it when I’m not shooting, which helps a lot.”

With Modcloth’s expansion into brick-and-mortar (which they’ve extended until January 6), we can only hope our other favorite e-commerce brands soon follow suit. As Holliday says, “It’s tricky knowing how things will fit, even if you are familiar with the brand. That doesn’t always mean the size is consistent.” If she starts the charge, we’ll join it!

What do you think of Modcloth’s first expansion into brick-and-mortar? What other e-commerce sites would you like to see follow suit? Sound off in the comments, below!

— Adeline Duff

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