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The Chief of Style Featured on The Curvy Fashionista

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Hey babes! Exciting news – The Chief of Style was profiled last week in a “Fashion Blogger Friday” feature by The Curvy Fashionista! I’m a huge fan of the website, so it’s a big honor to have been interviewed. Here’s an excerpt:

TCF: What or who inspired you to become a fashion blogger? What led you to it?
Cos: I have always loved fashion – since I was a little girl. I’ve always loved the feeling of wearing something new (or new to me) and the power it gives you to create a new image each and every time if you want. It was only natural that I’d eventually blend my writing skills with my “passion for fashion” (especially when it became clear there was room in the body positivity and +size fashion space). Part of my fashion journey and style expression have also been, in part, related to my self-love journey.

The more I see myself in photos looking thick and curvy…and beautiful at the same time, the more I accept all of the parts of me I hated for so long. The idea first came to me, though, when I started selling vintage clothing on Poshmark and eBay while I was unemployed and living in Miami, Florida. It was my main source of income. I felt like I would have had even more success had I had an already established audience on another platform to drive customers to my store(s). Now, I have a quarter of a million followers on Poshmark, but I’m rarely on the app. (I really need to get back to it!)

TCF: What’s your favorite thing about being plus size?
CoS: In some ways, I think being plus size is the ultimate expression of feminism. Specifically, it means taking up more space in a world that tells women they should be small. Men are allowed to “man spread” on trains and buses, etc., allowing little room for a woman (or anyone else) to sit. As a bigger woman, I take up more space than the average woman and do so unapologetically. Being plus size and knowing you’re beautiful also flies in the face of established beauty standards for women. Wearing cute, sexy, fierce, etc. clothing when you’re thicker is basically a “F-you” to anyone who’d dare tell you you’re anything less than a damn goddess!

Click here to read more at TheCurvyFashionista.com.

The below photos were shot at Olvera Street in Downtown Los Angeles.

 

 

Outfit details: Top and skirt: Forever21+ | Shoes: Macy’s | Necklace: Amazon

Photographer:  Jorge Lopez (IG: @jorgelopezmedia)

Farewell to Summer 2017

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“It’s always summer somewhere.” – Lilly Pulitzer

This summer has been really incredible. Life changing even. I launched my blog in May and continued to grow my Instagram following over the next few months all while working with new and established brands, growing my own reach, and establishing The Chief of Style as a legitimate blog and brand of its own.

I traveled a bit this summer, too: locally and to New York City – twice. I attended CurvyCon, saw a couple of fashion shows during New York Fashion Week, shot with photographers here in LA and back East, made several handfuls of new blogger/influencer-friends, and moved into a new, larger apartment (with three double closets – hallelujah!). This summer I reconnected with old friends, began the healing process after a relationship ended, and I grew a lot more confident in my own skin.

This is evidenced by the photoshoot I did in SoHo with Gregory of @M76Photo. A year ago I wouldn’t be able to imagine I’d wear a dress that showed off my knees, let alone a mini dress! But here I am, in all my thick and curvy glory, sporting this killer sheath dress from Forever21+.

The polaroid photographs conjured up post-summer feels for me. You know, that nostalgic feeling you’d get when you’d look through your photos from your summertime shenanigans with friends: trips you took, parties you went to, the beach, the park, laughing, dancing, staying out late…all of the things summer is fondly known for.

Today is the last day of summer and tomorrow we’ll wake up to fall. Before you know it, summertime will be in the distant past and we’ll be bundle up, missing those three gloriously hot months. But, at least we’ll have our memories and photographs to keep us warm.

xo

Amy Stretten, the Chief of Style, in SoHo, NYC, wearing the Plus Size Maripol Cami Dress by Forever 21+

Amy Stretten, the Chief of Style, in SoHo, NYC, wearing the Plus Size Maripol Cami Dress by Forever 21+

Amy Stretten, the Chief of Style, in SoHo, NYC, wearing the Plus Size Maripol Cami Dress by Forever 21+

Amy Stretten, the Chief of Style, in SoHo, NYC, wearing the Plus Size Maripol Cami Dress by Forever 21+

Amy Stretten, the Chief of Style, in SoHo, NYC, wearing the Plus Size Maripol Cami Dress by Forever 21+

Amy Stretten, the Chief of Style, in SoHo, NYC, wearing the Plus Size Maripol Cami Dress by Forever 21+

Amy Stretten, the Chief of Style, in SoHo, NYC, wearing the Plus Size Maripol Cami Dress by Forever 21+

Outfit details: Dress: Forever21+ | Jacket: Forever21 Men | Shoes (courtesy of): Solemate Shoetique | Belt: Eloquii

Photographer: @M76Photo

My Favorite Plus Size Outfits from CurvyCon 2017

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“You either know fashion or you don’t.” — Anna Wintour

This was my very first time attending The CurvyCon. Needless to say, I was beyond excited. I met other plus size bloggers that I’m a huge fan of, connected with some really great brands, made a bunch of new friends, got a lot of free swag, and had sooo much fun!

One thing that stood out at this conference more so than any other conference I’ve ever attended – and I’ve been to many – is how well everyone was dressed. If anyone had any doubt plus size women can be fashionable, show them this blog post because these women showed up and showed out!

In case you missed The CurvyCon this year, here are some of my most favorite, must-see looks:

Until next year, babes!

xo

It’s All in the Details

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“Luxury is in each detail.” – Hubert de Givenchy

In case you weren’t aware, I skipped blogging for a week. Recent events in Charlottesville, Virginia were so triggering and awful, I didn’t feel I could post anything on the Internet if it wasn’t somehow in response to the videos and articles I watched/read about the alt-right and counter protests. Fashion had to take a backseat because more important things were (and still are) happening in our country.

As you may know, I am a journalist. I used to work for several mainstream news outlets, so had I still been with, say, the New York Post last week, I undoubtedly would have covered Charlottesville in some way.

But sometimes fashion and the news collide. It did for me as I was sitting back, thinking on how I’d like to write about this particular photo shoot.

I wasn’t aware while taking these photos that the background would come together so well with my outfit and that I’d look like I came from the pages of an ad for a 1950s TV show. When I first looked at the photos, I thought, “Maybe I could relate this to the ‘Good old days’ in some way.” But then Charlottesville happened and I was once again reminded that the “Good old days” that we (and Fox News, etc.) talk about so fondly weren’t so good for people of color, queer folks and women. Back in the “good old days,” things were really good if you were a straight white Christian cis man, but not so good if you weren’t (i.e.: that’s what the Civil Rights movement was about). So, no, I couldn’t call this the “Good old days,” because had I been alive at the time, as a queer Native American/black woman, a lot of things probably wouldn’t have been so great.

That said, let’s just get into the fashion since I’m sure that’s why you came here in the first place. 🙂

There’s nothing that I love more than embellishments. Whether a vintage blazer dripping in sequins and beads or a pair of shorts with tiny pom poms on the hem…I love clothing and accessories because in my opinion, they not only take a look and kick it up several notches, but they tell a story. And, I think the small embellishments in my outfit did just that.

When I saw this soft pink A-line skirt on the clearance rack at Forever 21, I just knew I had to have it. I wasn’t sure how I’d style it, but I was excited for the challenge. I paired it with a crisp, white, sleeveless collard shirt from Eloquii that has little rhinestone on the collar. I wore my (second) favorite pair of pink satin Badly Mischka peep toe heels and as a main focal point, held an adorable clutch purse with ombré tassels that I found at Ross. (And, my dog Valentino even makes a cameo appearance.)

I suppose this is my “Remembering the good old days if the good old days had been good for a queer, Indigenous/Black, femme” look. A girl can dream, right?

Enjoy! <3

Outfit details: Top: Eloquii | Skirt: Forever 21+ | Shoes: Badgley Mischka | Clutch: Ross | Watch: Michael Kors

Photographer: CJ Edwards-Acton

That Time I Skipped Coachella and Went to Joshua Tree

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“I’m not a woman, I’m a force of nature.” – Courtney Love

I said this year would be the year that I finally go to Coachella. If you know me well, you’ve probably heard me declare this every year since the festival first began. And, once again, I did not go to Coachella this year because of scheduling…but also (mostly) because of the price tag.

Still, I didn’t want to miss the opportunity to head to nearby Joshua Tree for a Coachella-esque photoshoot!

I did a few different looks with some of my favorite, fabulous festival-worthy rompers by Forever 21+.

I have always loved rompers. Always always always. There’s just something about how comfortable they are while looking so put together. But,.I never used to wear them because I hated my legs. They were always too big in my opinion and I felt uncomfortable showing them. It was at Philadelphia Dyke March when I finally wore a romper. I walked in the streets and I didn’t care what anyone thought about it…Actually, to tell you the truth, I felt sexy AF and assumed anyone seeing them agreed. (Look who’s grown!) So, yes, this shoot was more than just wearing cute summer outfits, but about owning my body, and being proud of it.

That said, I love how still the desert looks behind my vibrant outfit picks.

Here’s hoping I make it to Coachella next year and can take some photos at the festival! For now, these will have to do. <3

Plus size festival fashion

Joshua Tree in the Coachella Valley

Plus size festival fashion

Plus size festival fashion

Plus size festival fashion

Joshua Tree in the Coachella Valley

Plus size festival fashion

Outfit details: Romper, shorts: Forever21+ | Shoes (brown): Merona | Shoes (black): Vince Camuto | Jewelry: The Limited

Photographer: Ivy Stretten (IG: @xenalovebug)