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Self-love and Happiness at Any Size

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“To love oneself is the beginning of a life-long romance” – Oscar Wilde

I’ve been on every weight loss plan you can think of. I had a nutritionist at age 12 and a personal trainer by the time I was 13; I’ve been a weight watcher (several times) and tried being friends with Jenny Craig (twice); I’ve taken diet pills and even considered scheduling a consultation with my doctor to discuss gastric bypass surgery. Whether a size 6 or a 16, I have always wanted to fix my weight “problem.”

I spent every January planning my new diet and scheduling daily workouts. I’d convince my friends to be my accountability partners. Waist trainers, pedometers and trackers, health apps, new workout clothes and counting calories…I’ve done it all. I thought the only way I’d ever be happy was to be thin and the only way to be thin was to hate the weight off. No matter how many weight loss programs I followed or how many inches I lost, I still hated my body and I hated myself. I was miserable and clinically depressed. I honestly can’t think of a time in my life when I was truly happy.

That is, until last year.

Last January, I didn’t make a resolution to lose 20, 40 or 60 pounds. Instead, I made a resolution to fall madly in love with myself.

Until last year, I never knew you could love yourself and be confident in your own skin and be curvy, thick or even fat. I thought self-esteem was something only physically fit people could have. But now I know the secret.

All you have to do to be happy is make the choice to be.

Over the past year, I’ve made a conscious decision every day, every second possible, to love myself and be happy. I choose happiness at every turn. When I could choose to be negative, I, instead, see the positive no matter the situation. I spend time thinking about my ideal outcomes rather than fearing the worst. I put my thoughts and attention into what I want rather than what I don’t. I’m not perfect at it, but 9 out of 10 I’m aware and able to ‘choose happy.’ And it has made a world of difference in my life! Not only do people receive me more positively, I just feel so much lighter. I’m finally floating through life.

Have you ever struggled with loving yourself? What did or do you do to stay happy? Please share in the comments!

xo,

Amy

* This Valentine’s Day, Parfait Lingerie is doing a two-part giveaway called the “Love Your Body Sweepstakes.” To learn how to enter, go here.

This month, I’m wearing Parfait Lingerie’s Ava . This set is possibly my favorite that Parfait makes. I love the lace detail combined with the gorgeous tropical print. And, the buttons on both the bra and panty are so adorable!

Don’t know where to buy Parfait Lingerie? Click here.

Amy Stretten Chief of Style Parfait Lingerie 2018 Perfect Figure Campaign

Amy Stretten Chief of Style Parfait Lingerie 2018 Perfect Figure Campaign

Amy Stretten Chief of Style Parfait Lingerie 2018 Perfect Figure Campaign

Thank you to Parfait Lingerie for sponsoring this post as part of their 2018 #PerfectFigure campaign.

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Win 2 Tickets to The CurvyCon in New York City and Free Lingerie Courtesy of Parfait Lingerie

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“You have been criticizing yourself for years, and it hasn’t worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens.” – Louise L. Hay

Hello and happy New Year! Can you believe it’s 2018!?

As I recently announced, I am partnering with Parfait Lingerie on their 2018 #PerfectFigure campaign. If you haven’t heard of Parfait Lingerie, they’re making a name for themselves as having really beautiful lingerie for cup sizes A-K, a size range that is almost unheard of! (Yay for sexy bras for larger bust sizes!)

As part of our partnership, I will be blogging monthly about self-love and body positivity and sharing photos I’ve shot in their lingerie.

This month, I’m wearing Sandrine in cameo rose. What I love most about this set is the longline bra. It features lace detailing and has a retro/vintage feel. The matching panties are in a cheeky low cut boy short style and in a matching color lace. Sandrine comes in four colors: cameo rose, black, french blue, and the eye catching wild pink. This truly is one of my favorite sets Parfait Lingerie makes. Don’t know where to buy Parfait Lingerie? Click here.

Guess what! I have something super exciting to share…Parfait Lingerie is doing a two-part Valentine’s Day Giveaway this year called the “Love Your Body Sweepstakes.”

Part One

The first prize is two (2) tickets to The CurvyCon to (1) lucky winner as well as $500 towards travel. (Either $500 for roundtrip flights to NYC or $500 American Express gift card to use towards ground transportation if the winner already lives in or near NYC.)

To enter, you must upload a picture of your body’s ‘perfect’ imperfection to at least one (1) social media platform (Facebook, Twitter or Instagram). For example: stretch marks, vitiligo, freckles, a tattoo you regret, etc. The more images uploaded, the more entries you will have. You must tag Parfait’s handle, as well as caption our hashtag #PerfectFigure.

Part Two
In addition, I will select one (1) winner to win two (2) sets of lingerie from Parfait Lingerie. To enter, you must tag my social media handle (@ChiefofStyle on IG / @TheChiefofStyle on Facebook / @AmyStretten on Twitter) to the image(s) you have uploaded. So, along with the instructions above, you must also tag my handle to win the two (2) lingerie sets. The winner will receive two (2) lingerie sets of their choice.
You must be subscribed to my blog and following my Instagram (@ChiefofStyle) to win. The sweepstakes begins January 1, 2018 and ends February 14, 2018Here are the official rules.
You must tag Parfait Lingerie where you post as well (on Instagram @ParfaitOfficial / Twitter @ParfaitLingerie / Facebook @ParfaitLingerie) . Good luck!
I hope 2018 brings you so much love and happiness.
xo,

Amy

Amy Stretten Chief of Style Parfait Lingerie 2018 Perfect Figure Campaign

Amy Stretten Chief of Style Parfait Lingerie 2018 Perfect Figure Campaign

Amy Stretten Chief of Style Parfait Lingerie 2018 Perfect Figure Campaign

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I’m in Parfait Lingerie’s 2018 “Perfect Figure” Campaign!

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“Life is not about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” — Lolly Daskal

Im excited to share that I was asked to be a part of Parfait Lingerie’s 2018 “Perfect Figure” campaign, featuring diverse women of different ages, sizes, shapes, ability levels, etc.
I shot with the brand for two full days last month: one day in a home and another day in a photo studio. (We still have an upcoming video day shoot, but that won’t be until early January.)

I’ve got to admit, I was really nervous before the Parfait shoot. I’m not at my highest weight ever, but I’m certainly not at my lowest. And I’m definitely not at my most fit and trim. But, I reminded myself that I was chosen for the campaign for me – flaws and all. And, I wanted other women to know that they can feel beautiful and sexy in the skin they’re in, just as they are right now!

As part of my collaboration with Parfait, I’ll be shooting and posting photos in their lingerie each month of 2018. Here are some shots I took with my good friend, fantastic boudoir photographer, Ashlee Kulp (@AshKatPhoto) during a recent trip to Washington, D.C.

I’m so excited for the “Perfect Figure” campaign to launch that I just want it to be 2018 already! I really can’t wait for you to see the campaign photos. But, in the meantime, you can snack on these and the ones I’ve been sharing on my Instagram. (Are you following me? @ChiefofStyle)

Tell me…have you ever done a boudoir photoshoot? Would you ever? Share your thoughts in the comments! <3

xo

Plus size boudoir photos and Plus size lingerie by Parfait and Bandelettes thigh chaffing lingerie bands

Plus size boudoir photos and Plus size lingerie by Parfait and Bandelettes thigh chaffing lingerie bands

Plus size boudoir photos and Plus size lingerie by Parfait and Bandelettes thigh chaffing lingerie bands

Plus size boudoir photos and Plus size lingerie by Parfait and Bandelettes thigh chaffing lingerie bands

Plus size boudoir photos and Plus size lingerie by Parfait and Bandelettes thigh chaffing lingerie bands

Plus size boudoir photos and Plus size lingerie by Parfait and Bandelettes thigh chaffing lingerie bands

Plus size boudoir photos and Plus size lingerie by Parfait and Bandelettes thigh chaffing lingerie bands

Plus size boudoir photos and Plus size lingerie by Parfait and Bandelettes thigh chaffing lingerie bands

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OOTD: B.Yellowtail by Native American Fashion Designer Bethany Yellowtail

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I first wrote about Native American fashion for a mainstream audience back in 2013 when I profiled Sho Sho Esquiro for Fusion (now Splinter), the ABC/Univision joint-venture. The Kaska Dene/Cree fashion designer was making waves on the catwalks of New York City with her Native-infused, never-before-seen Fashion Week designs.

Four years later and there are even more Indigenous fashion designers on the scene, such as one of my absolute faves, Bethany Yellowtail, creator of B.Yellowtail. Hardly a newcomer, though, Yellowtail launched her website in 2014 and this summer she held a pop-up shop and fashion show that I attended in Hollywood.

Yellowtail, 28, is Northern Cheyenne and Crow. She left her home state of Montana in 2007 to hone her craft at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles, California. Upon graduating in 2009, she worked for BCBG Max Azria, then became a pattern maker for private labels, eventually creating her own brand.

“I realized there is so much [cultural appropriation] going on that I decided I am not even going to get mad anymore, but I decided I was going to do something about it,” Yellowtail said in an interview with The Los Angeles Times. “Ultimately, I want to let my work become a learning opportunity and design pieces with cultural integrity.”

What I love most about Yellowtail is her commitment to Native and other political causes. She’s created work in support of activist efforts such as the 2017 Women’s March and the protests at Standing Rock. I love when creatives contribute their talents to important causes. It goes to show the difference we can all make regardless of our career field. 

After attending Yellowtail’s Summer fashion show, she graciously sent me a few pieces from her collection. Lucky for you, they’re all on sale on her website right now! And, this weekend she launched a brand new collection.

Any of her pieces would make an amazing Christmas gift this holiday season (for you or someone you love). She also sells beautiful Native jewelry, blankets, moccasins and other accessories on her site as well, perfect for anyone on your holiday list!

Here’s how I styled the pieces she sent me…

Enjoy, babes!

xo

Amy Stretten wearing Native American fashion designer, Bethany Yellowtail's, original designs

Outfit details: BLOSSOM PANT + Top: Charlotte Russe+ | Shoes: Forever 21 | Hat: Wyeth

Amy Stretten wearing Native American fashion designer, Bethany Yellowtail's, original designs

Amy Stretten wearing Native American fashion designer, Bethany Yellowtail's, original designs

Outfit details: RISE SHEATH DRESS + Shoes: Rock & Republic | Hat: Wyeth

Amy Stretten wearing Native American fashion designer, Bethany Yellowtail's, original designs

Amy Stretten wearing Native American fashion designer, Bethany Yellowtail's, original designs

Outfit details: RIVER CAMISOLE WITH WAIST TIE (Sold Out) + Shirt: Lovesick Fashion | Jeans: Melissa McCarthy Seven7 | Shoes: Forever 21 

A note: The views expressed in this post are my true and honest opinions. I was not paid to endorse Bethany Yellowtail or her designs, but the clothing I styled and wore were gifts from the designer.

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A new Take on a Pinstripe Suit

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“I say, dress to please yourself. Listen to your inner muse and take a chance. Wear something that says, ‘Here I am!’ today.” –Iris Apfel

In previous posts, I’ve talked about my love of statement pieces. Especially wearing them for networking purposes. Statement pieces are a great way to grab attention and stand out.

Never have I seen a more chic and artistic suit – let alone one that comes in plus sizes – than this set by Bisou Bisou. I first saw it on Rochelle of BeautiCurve a couple of months ago and was determined to find it in my size.  Sure enough, I was in luck. It was still available in my size! I was able to snag it at JCPenny.com and pick it up at my local store. I’m wearing an XL in both the jacket and pants. It comes in 1X-3X as well. The fabric is surprisingly stretchy, so there’s some give. (No need to worry about splitting your pants when you bend over!) And the slit in the wide leg trousers?? I just can’t!!!

This look is perfect for Sunday brunch with friends or for a networking event. You’ll stand out for sure wearing this ensemble!

And, you can pair it with a number of different tops, too. Anything from a simple cotton tank or t-shirt to a satin or lace blouse.

Here I’m wearing white, but pink, yellow, black…a number of colors could work. If you really wanted to kick it up a notch, you could wear a lace bodysuit, lace camisole or bandeau under it and take it for a night out. With this versatile piece, the options are endless!

What’s your favorite statement piece currently in your closet? Share it in the comments.

I hope you enjoy your day, babes!

xo

Plus size work clothes from JC Penny by Bisou Bisou

Plus size work clothes from JC Penny by Bisou Bisou

Plus size work clothes from JC Penny by Bisou Bisou

Plus size work clothes from JC Penny by Bisou Bisou

Plus size work clothes from JC Penny by Bisou Bisou

Outfit details: Suit (separates): Bisou Bisou (JCPenny) | Shoes: Forever 21 | Bag: Boutique

*Update: It looks like this particular set is no longer for sale at JCPenny.com. However, they do still carry a blouse and a romper in the same print. You may have luck searching on Poshmark or eBay if you’re dying to snag it, though . Alternatively, Bisou Bisou has a ton of to die for pieces in store and online at JCPenny.com.

Photographer: @M76Photo

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