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It’s Comeback Season

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“Life has many ways of testing a person’s will. Either by having nothing happen at all or by having everything happen at once.” — Paulo Coelho

For those who follow my blog, you may have noticed I’ve been pretty M.I.A. for the better part of this year. If you follow me on Instagram, you likely know why. If you don’t (or you’re curious as to how I’m doing), this post is for you.

Let’s just jump right in, shall we?

I’ve had a rough couple of years…I had a significant breakup, lost my Grandmother, lost my job, moved a few times, got my heart broken a couple more times and just when it seemed like things were about to turn around (I got a new job and moved to a better apartment), my Dad died without any warning at all. (I’ll spare you all of the drama that has come since then, but let just say I’ve been dealing with a lot on my own and it all feels incredibly unfair.) And then my two best friends in the entire world turned their backs on me with no explanation. I wouldn’t wish that kind of heartbreak and betrayal on anyone.

If that weren’t enough, about a month ago, I was drugged with fentanyl at a nightclub, blacked out (for six hours), fell flat on my face, sliced my nose in half which required me to be rushed by ambulance to a nearby hospital. It took 15 stitches to put my nose back together, and while the doctor did an amazing job and everyone has called me the Bionic Woman because of how quickly my nose is healing, I may have a permanent scar on my face and life long breathing issues. Let me tell you, it is not easy dealing with anything medical without my doctor Dad. To say these additional doctors visits for follow-ups regarding my nose are triggering AF would be an understatement!

So, yeah…I don’t quite know how to describe what’s come of my life, but if there were one word to sum it all up, it would be “unbelievable.”

That said, my social media influencing has taken a back seat while I’ve tried to piece my life together again. The thought of merely getting out of bed for the last several months was nearly impossible, let alone the thought of putting together a cute outfit and smiling for a camera! (Where would I even get the money to pay for a photographer anyway? My new job let me go two weeks after my Dad died for missing work to take care of things — by myself. No one in my life, including my family, could be bothered to help me in any way, with the exception of a few close friends.)

That’s all to say, I’m finally coming out of my funk and my groove is slowly returning. I’m starting to feel ready to move forward with a lot less baggage. I’m letting go of more people than I could imagine. Part of my self-care involves letting go of things and people that hold me back. I’m also going to do simple things like move more (I really miss the gym, if i’m being honest), eat better and more regularly, get more sleep but also spend more time out of bed, go to therapy, meditate and continue with my spiritual practices, intentionally be more kind to myself…and, of course, bring back my blog! I want to write a book about my life next year, so maybe this will help me flush out my thoughts and ideas.

I may have lost my two favorite people in the world: my Grandma and Dad (not my two ex-best friends…good riddance!), but their influence is not lost on me. I am constantly reminded to keep my head up and keep on pushing. I’m not a quitter. I have come way too damn far to give up now!

So, with that said, The Chief of Style is back (…making no promises on how regularly I’ll post LOL But, what I will promise is when I do, it’ll be worth it.) So, please stay tuned. <3

xx

Amy Stretten, The Chief of Style, wearing a Forever 21+ studded leather jacket, femme t-shirt, eloquii by who what wear plus size satin skirt, charlotte russee plus suede boots and a YSL envelope shoulder bag

Amy Stretten, The Chief of Style, wearing a Forever 21+ studded leather jacket, femme t-shirt, eloquii by who what wear plus size satin skirt, charlotte russee plus suede boots and a YSL envelope shoulder bag

Amy Stretten, The Chief of Style, wearing a Forever 21+ studded leather jacket, femme t-shirt, eloquii by who what wear plus size satin skirt, charlotte russee plus suede boots and a YSL envelope shoulder bag

Amy Stretten, The Chief of Style, wearing a Forever 21+ studded leather jacket, femme t-shirt, eloquii by who what wear plus size satin skirt, charlotte russee plus suede boots and a YSL envelope shoulder bag

Amy Stretten, The Chief of Style, wearing a Forever 21+ studded leather jacket, femme t-shirt, eloquii by who what wear plus size satin skirt, charlotte russee plus suede boots and a YSL envelope shoulder bag

Photographer: Gabe Hernandez, @snaxophonist

Thank you to Eloquii for gifting me select pieces for this post. As always, all views expressed are my own.

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Fall in Love with Lane Bryant this Season

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“We may be losing Summer, but a least we have Fall fashion!” -Rosalynn Mejia

Nothing screams Fall in Los Angeles like a classic blazer. You really can’t do wrong investing in this type of statement piece.

I completed this look with distressed jeans, rhinestone heels (featuring a wide width and a comfortable heel height), and a white short sleeve crew neck t-shirt.

Blazers can be dressed up, dressed down or paired with any number of pieces: pants/jeans, leggings, dresses, skirts, jumpsuits…the list goes on and on. This double-breasted tweed blazer is my new favorite staple piece! The gold buttons are such a cute accent and combined with the quality fabric and tailored-like fit, make for it a very luxe wardrobe staple.

If I were to style this fab blazer differently, I might wear black faux leather leggings and a band t-shirt or drape it over my shoulders like a cape. I love preppy chic vibes during the Fall. And, doing a little pattern mixing, to give this blazer some vintage vibes would be fantastic too!

How would you style a blazer like this? Have you ever tried Lane Bryant’s plus size blazers? They really are so well-made and perfect for investing in such a stylish staple piece. I highly recommend you give your favorite one a try! (And don’t forget to check out their plus size accessories. I’m currently in LOVE with their stackable rings, bracelets, earrings and necklaces!)

Amy Stretten, The Chief of Style, in a lane bryant blazer and plus size distressed jeans and a rhinestone thank you bag

Amy Stretten, The Chief of Style, in a lane bryant blazer and plus size distressed jeans and a rhinestone thank you bag

Amy Stretten, The Chief of Style, in a lane bryant blazer and plus size distressed jeans and a rhinestone thank you bag

Amy Stretten, The Chief of Style, in a lane bryant blazer and plus size distressed jeans and a rhinestone thank you bag

 

Thank you to Lane Bryant for sponsoring this post. As always, all views expressed are my own.

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What Queer Femmes of All Sizes Should Wear to Show Their LGBTQ+ Pride

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“If you can’t love yourself, how the hell you gonna love somebody else?” –Ru Paul

I really love this time of year! It’s June, meaning it’s officially summer and LGBTQ+ Pride month; time for rainbows, parades and dancing in the street (covered in glitter, of course).

I have a love-hate feeling about the corporatization of all things LGBT (and sometimes Q) by companies looking to profit from a community with a long history of struggle with no awareness or appreciation for the activists who are responsible for the progress we’ve made toward equality. Namely, Black and Brown transwomen. The first Pride was a riot, after all. However, I sincerely appreciate brands that give back to queer communities through contributions to LGBTQ non-profits such as the It Gets Better Project, True Colors United and the Ali Forney Center, for example.

Most of my love for rainbow everything comes from wanting access to clothing and accessories that will allow me to show my Pride and also read hella gay. It may sound silly, but when you’re femme and no one can tell by looking at you, it can feel empowering AF to wear a universal queer symbol. It’s sad, but true.

What’s even more tragic is a lot of LGBTQ+ Pride wear isn’t made in plus sizes. While 68% of American women wear a size 14+, according to Racked, plus size clothing only makes up 2.3% of the selection at major retailers. And, from my own (admittedly un-scientific, yet probably still very accurate) assessment, there weren’t many size inclusive options for plus size folx to show their pride this year.

One exception is well-known plus size retailer Lane Bryant‘s lingerie brand, Cacique (which is known for its high quality and recently expanded size range to include even more sizes: 0-28!). This year, they designed a collection of several absolutely adorable bra/panty sets and pajamas.

*See below for links to some of my favorite pieces from Cacique’s Pride collection!

I’m really excited to share that I was asked to model Cacique’s Pride collection this year! (Be a doll and leave some love on my IG: @chiefofstyle, Cacique’s IG: @caciqueintimaes and Lane Bryant’s IG: @lanebryant as well as on their Facebook and Twitter accounts!)

Cacique contributed 10% of the purchase price of their Pride collection (a total of $30K!) to GLSEN, which aims to end discrimination, harassment and bullying of LGBT students in school. Love!

Here are some of my favorite pieces from the Pride collection:

Pride to me means loving who you are (all parts of you), exactly how you are. Thanks to Cacique, no matter your size, you can show your Pride. And, just as sweet, know your dollars are going to a good cause!

Oh, and I almost forgot! Cacique and Lane Bryant are having a semi-annual clearance sale right now!

(Run, don’t walk!)

Chief of Style wearing Cacique by Lane Bryant LGBTQ Pride Collection with rainbow lace and hearts

Thank you to Cacique for sponsoring this post. As always, all views expressed are my own.

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Spring Has Sprung With Talbots Modern Classic Style

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“Behold, my friends, the spring is come; the earth has gladly received the embraces of the sun, and we shall soon see the results of their love!”Sitting Bull 

Wearing florals during Spring is nothing new. Still, every year, this girl is florals obsessed from early Spring to late Summer. That’s why I’m in love with these new, size-inclusive flowery pieces from Talbots, like this Mosaic Floral Sateen Fit & Flare Dress. I paired it with their Wicker Turnlock Clutch and Rosalie Ankle-Strap Sandals in Nappa Leather. Perfect for a Mother’s Day celebration or brunch with friends, this is one of my new, go-to Springtime outfits.

This beautiful fit & flare dress is inspired by the floral-covered mosaic architecture on the Isle of Capri. (Ooh lah lah!) It features a self-tie belt that defines your waist for a shapely fit that looks lovely on EVERY body. It’s the perfect dress for an outdoor party or whenever you just feel like dressing up! And, best of all, it has pockets! (If you’ve been following me for some time, you know how much I love pockets in skirts and dresses.) It’s made up of a cotton and Spandex blend for optimum comfort. And, if it couldn’t get any better, it’s also machine washable!

Besides the well-made, classic styling Talbots is known for, they also carry a wide-range of sizes, including misses, plus, petite and plus petite! Their clothing is available in sizes 2-24. So, there’s definitely something for everyone!

Where would you wear an outfit like this? Let me know in the comments!

Thank you to Talbots and Stylinity for sponsoring this post.

Amy Stretten, The Chief of Style at Beverly Hills City Hall wearing a spring mosaic dress by Talbots.

Amy Stretten, The Chief of Style at Beverly Hills City Hall wearing a spring mosaic dress by Talbots.

Amy Stretten, The Chief of Style at Beverly Hills City Hall wearing a spring mosaic dress by Talbots.

Amy Stretten, The Chief of Style at Beverly Hills City Hall wearing a spring mosaic dress by Talbots.

Amy Stretten, The Chief of Style at Beverly Hills City Hall wearing a spring mosaic dress by Talbots.

Amy Stretten, The Chief of Style at Beverly Hills City Hall wearing a spring mosaic dress by Talbots.

Outfit details: Dress + Shoes + Bag

Photographer: Elizabeth Dixon (@elizabeth.dixon)

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2019: My Year of Self-love

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“Self-love is not selfish; you cannot truly love another until you know how to love yourself.” – Unknown

Happy 2019! I know we’re well into March and this is my first blog post of the year. I’d normally feel bad about this, but if you follow me on Instagram you know I’ve been busy…busy working on loving myself more. But not just saying it; really meaning it. I’ve been reading, meditating, reflecting, journaling, dedicating more time and energy into my self-care routine…oh, and doing a “love detox.” (I’ve deleted all of the dating apps from my phone because I’m taking a break from dating altogether.)

The beginning of the year is when most of us are focused on creating goals for our lives, careers, relationships, etc. Whether it’s making a vision board or just a quiet promise to ourselves, many of us make a list of a bunch of things we want to accomplish over the course of the next 12 months. I do it too and my list is usually very, very long. But, 2019 is different. This year, I decided to just make one goal/commitment: to simply loving myself more.

I’ve grown a lot over the past few years, specifically in the acceptance of my body. That’s how I got here and why you’re here, too (whether you know it or not). I started The Chief of Style with the intention of loving every dimple, wrinkle, fat roll, stretch mark and pimple…all of the physical stuff I spent years hating about myself. I’ve come SO far in that journey, but I still have a ways to go when it comes to loving myself. Like, I know I’m great and all, but I keep letting users and abusers into my life and I’m finally over it! I’m done putting everyone else (like the people I’m romantically involved with, in particular) before myself (and even sometimes my closest friends and family). Love is blind in more ways than one and I’ve really let one too many jerks keep me from not only seeing my own worth, but how much other people I care about care about me.

So, I made the decision on Valentine’s Day to stop dating for a while. And, I mean it. I’m going to stop putting all of my love, time, energy and resources into other people (who haven’t even proven they deserve it) and put it into myself. I’m also taking the time to process and face my traumas instead of pretending they never happened. It’s honestly pretty intense and a little scary, but I feel quite certain I will come out this much happier and emotionally healthier and stronger.

Part of my plan for loving myself more is taking myself on dates, treating myself to trips to the spa and destinations near and far and spending more time alone – and enjoying it! I used to do everything for my partner, including wearing sexy lingerie. But, now I’m even doing that for myself.

One of my favorite sources for budget-friendly, flirty lingerie is Yandy. They have beautiful pieces in a wide range of sizes, including plus sizes. I’m absolutely in LOVE with this “Bad Intentions” lingerie gown. It has detachable straps and a high waist panty. Wearing lingerie just for me is officially part of my self-care practice.

If you’re curious about Yandy, you can use my promo code for 20% off: chiefofstyle20

I’m curious…how do you practice self-love? Let me know in the comments! I can’t wait to learn some new tips. 🙂

xo

Amy Stretten, The Chief of Style wearing the "Bad Intentions" lingerie gown by Yandy

Amy Stretten, The Chief of Style wearing the "Bad Intentions" lingerie gown by Yandy

Amy Stretten, The Chief of Style wearing the "Bad Intentions" lingerie gown by Yandy

Amy Stretten, The Chief of Style wearing the "Bad Intentions" lingerie gown by Yandy

Amy Stretten, The Chief of Style wearing the "Bad Intentions" lingerie gown by Yandy

Thank you to Yandy for sponsoring this post. As always, all views expressed are my own, true opinions.

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