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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.

Springtime Feels in Lane Bryant’s Plus-size Military Blazer

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Spring. That magical time of year when the weather begins to warm up, flowers begin to bloom and fashion gets fun again! And, in Southern California it’s when the weather starts to get HOT! This week, temperatures were as high as 90*s, so I can’t even imagine what summer will be like. *cue sweating emoji*

But, what I love about spring is temperatures are usually still reasonable, perfect for warm-weather clothing. And, on a breezy day, you can still rock a cute blazer like this one without having to wear a coat over it (inevitably causing wrinkles) like you do during the winter.

Here’s a random fact about me: I absolutely LOVE military styles. Besides camo patterns, I love brass buttons, crisp lines and that uniform look. It’s a timeless combination. So, when I learned that Lane Bryant was selling a plus-size double-breasted military blazer ($89), you know I just had to have one. Or three. Yes, I have this blazer in potpourri pink, black and white. If only they made it in red. Le sigh…

I paired the jacket with my new pair of cropped pants from Fashion Nova Curve, a pair of heeled sandals and one of my favorite tote bags from Pour La Victoire. (I’m often impressed with the clothes Fashion Nova sends me. These pants look way more expensive than they are. I think they were about $26.)

All in all, this is a super easy, casual-yet-put-together look that’s perfect for Sunday brunch. (Sunday brunch tends to be the look I’m going for. If an outfit is Sunday brunch-approved, I want/need/gotta have it.)

As an note for those of you who may not be feeling this blazer in pink, black or white: Lane Bryant sells it in gray and navy blue.

So, where would you wear a military blazer like this one? Have you already jumped on the trend? Let me know in the comments!

xo,

Amy

 

Amy Stretten Chief of Style in Palm Springs, California wearing plus size clothing by Lane Bryant blazer and Fashion Nova Pants with a Pour La Victoire tote bag 

Outfit details: Jacket: Lane Bryant | Shirt: Forever21+ | Pants: Fashion Nova Curve | Necklace: The Limited | Shoes: Agaci+ | Bag: Pour La Victoire

Happy International Women’s Day!

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“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.” – Elizabeth Kubler-Ross

I’m raising my fist in the air and sending love to all of my women family, friends and supporters. I hope you take some time today to celebrate a woman in your life who inspires you to be the best version of yourself possible. And, I hope you spend some time pampering yourself because you deserve it!

I’d love to hear from you. Who inspires you to be the best version of yourself? Share a little bit about her in the comments!

Let’s celebrate our fierceness today and everyday.

In solidarity,

Amy

Amy Stretten Chief of Style wearing a soft pink plus size fringe pencil skirt by Eloquii
 
Amy Stretten Chief of Style wearing a soft pink plus size fringe pencil skirt by Eloquii
 
Amy Stretten Chief of Style wearing a soft pink plus size fringe pencil skirt by Eloquii
 
Amy Stretten Chief of Style wearing a soft pink plus size fringe pencil skirt by Eloquii

 

Outfit details: Top Target Skirt: Eloquii | Coat: H&M | Shoes: Badgley Mischka | Bag: Amazon

Photographer:  Jorge Lopez (IG: @jorgelopezmedia)

Red Hot

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“When in doubt, wear red.” –Bill Blass

Is it just me or is the color red everywhere? At first I thought maybe it was just because of the holidays…then Valentine’s Day…but, nope. Red – especially candy apple red – is here. So, move out of the way! Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you have to have seen it too. Red is having a major moment right now.

I remember late last year when Eloquii released their faux leather moto jacket in this glorious shade of candy red, I knew I just had to have it. So, I immediately put myself on their waitlist and waited and waited and waited. (Admittedly, I wasn’t very patient either. I contacted customer service several times asking them when they’d be releasing more red moto jackets.) I had a furious determination to get my hands on that jacket when finally one day I received the e-mail all #XOQers look forward to: “Good things come to those who wait” read the subject line. I don’t know if I’ve ever been more happy to receive an e-mail from Eloquii!

I snatched up that jacket along with the accordion pleat midi skirt in the same shade. I had a vision…and this was it.

I rocked this look for V-day, but it works for any occasion when you want to stand out and make a statement. I recently wore this ensemble to an LA blogger event and I got so many compliments, it was (almost) embarrassing. 

If you want to take your look up a notch (or several) snag something in red – and make it quick!

If you’ve already taken notice of the trend and have incorporated something red into your wardrobe, tell me about it in the comments. I’d love some more ideas on how to rock this must have color.

xo,

Amy

Amy Stretten Chief of Style at a pizza parlor in Hollywood, California wearing a red eloquii moto jacket and a red eloquii tuelle skirt

Amy Stretten Chief of Style at a pizza parlor in Hollywood, California wearing a red eloquii moto jacket and a red eloquii tuelle skirt

Amy Stretten Chief of Style at a pizza parlor in Hollywood, California wearing a red eloquii moto jacket and a red eloquii tuelle skirt

Amy Stretten Chief of Style at a pizza parlor in Hollywood, California wearing a red eloquii moto jacket and a red eloquii tuelle skirt

Amy Stretten Chief of Style at a pizza parlor in Hollywood, California wearing a red eloquii moto jacket and a red eloquii tuelle skirt

Outfit details: Jacket: Eloquii | Shirt: Target | Skirt: Eloquii | Shoes: Macy’s | Bag: Alexander Wang

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.