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How to Maintain a Positive Attitude Even When Things Get Tough (Part 1)

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Staying positive can be one of the most difficult things to do, but in my experience it’s critical if you want to achieve great things in life. I’m a firm believer that we reap what we sow, or receive what we put out into the world. Seriously, attitude is everything and when we’re negative, good things just won’t come. And if they do, we won’t appreciate or even recognize them.

Full disclosure: I’ve suffered from depression for most of my adult life, so I know how hard it can be to manage your thoughts and feelings. If you live with a mental illness, this list in no way attempts to minimize your very real feelings and experiences with self-help mumbo jumbo. But, it is my hope that by incorporating a few of these tips, you will start to feel a shift in your life and feel a bit more in control. As always, be kind to yourself should you decide to adopt one or more of these tips. Change takes time. <3

(For information about the Parfait Lingerie set I’m wearing, scroll to the bottom.)

That said, here’s what works for me:

  1. Start your day off right by creating a morning routine. Rituals are so very important. They provide stability and normalcy when things feel chaotic or stressful and can alleviate any extra energy put into deciding what to do next (because you’ve already mapped it out). There are plenty of life hack lists and self-help books that argue the importance of a morning routine.
  2. Remember that you create your own reality. If you want to see a brighter day, start by making the conscious choice to see one. You are the architect of your life. If something or someone is bringing you down, let it go. Only allow into your life what truly makes you happy.
  3. Be grateful. Gratitude is HUGE when you’re down in the dumps. Create a list of what you’re grateful for and read it back when you need a reminder of how lucky you are to be alive. There is so much to be thankful for if you look around you. Being reminded of your many blessings is sure to put things into perspective.
  4. Go on a media/social media diet. News (especially these days) can be so very negative. I can tell when I’ve been taking in too much bad news. (I can actually feel it in my body.) If you start to feel bad after consuming too much news or you find you’re comparing your life to others’ on social media, STOP IT RIGHT NOW. Unplug and go take a break. And, only plug back in when you’re in a better head space.
  5. Set aside some time to meditate. If you’re not familiar with how to meditate, start by closing your eyes and focusing on your breathing. I sometimes count my inhale (1…) and my exhale (2…) and then my inhale again (3…) and so on. When you get to 10, start over again. You can also use an app like Headspace (which I highly recommend) to get started.
  6. Seek outside support from friends and family. Sometimes just letting someone in and sharing your feelings can lift your spirits. That said, so as not to “dump” your probs on loved ones, consider getting a therapist. Personally, I love BetterHelp for that!
  7. Go outside and do something — anything! Just get out of your room, apartment…whatever and allow yourself to take a look at the beauty around you. Remember that everyone’s going through something. You’re not the only one dealing with stuff. But, life goes on and so will you.
  8. Do something you love. Remember that dance class you took as a kid or that sport you miss? Why not get some friends together or join a MeetUp group (or make your own!) and get back to doing what you love?
  9. Monitor your thoughts. They say thoughts become things and it’s really true. Start noticing how you speak to yourself. Notice any negative self-talk? Hating on yourself? STOP IT RIGHT NOW! You’re beautiful, sexy, handsome, fierce, fab…there is no need — and no time — to drag yourself down. Find something you love about yourself or the situation, etc. and reframe it. If you don’t like something within your control, then f-ing change it. Don’t complain. You’ve got this!
  10. Watch what you say. You’d be surprised how our own words can affect our outlook on life. Just as we create our own reality with our thoughts, our words are incredibly powerful. Take note of the words you use and if you find that you say, “I can’t…,” “I hate…” or “I’ll never…” or other negative things, turn it around and find a more positive way to talk about your situation. I promise, it’ll make a huge difference.

This was just Part 1 of this list. Stay tuned next week for Part 2! (I’ll link to it here when it’s up.)

What are your tips for staying positive? Share them in the comments below! I can’t wait to read what you write. 🙂

I hope this my suggestions help you push through a rough patch should you have one. (Why not bookmark this page? Your future self will thank you!)

Chief of Style in Parfait Lingerie talking about how to stay positive when things get tough

Chief of Style in Parfait Lingerie talking about how to stay positive when things get tough

Chief of Style in Parfait Lingerie talking about how to stay positive when things get tough

 

Thank you to Parfait Lingerie for sponsoring this post as part of their #PerfectFigure campaign. Here, I’m wearing the Aline Wire-Free Padded Bra and the Aline Bikini Brief both in Nude (linked images below).

The bra features molded microfiber cups, adjustable shoulder straps, a hook-and-eye closure, an accent bow at the center front and it’s made of nylon/spandex. Ooh lah lah! Parfait!

 

It’s My Birthday So Let’s Celebrate

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There are two great days in a person’s life — the day we are born and the day we discover why. — William Barclay

Today’s a very special day. Yes, today is my birthday. And like on any birthday, I like to think back on the past year: all that I’ve learned, how I’ve grown and what I want to accomplish during the upcoming year.

Last year, I launched this very blog, The Chief of Style, a project I’d had in mind for so long, but was too scared to pursue. I never wanted to put my name on something that wasn’t of the highest quality, so I made excuse after excuse for not actually doing it…until I ran out of excuses.

In July, we went live with something I was proud of. I still have a lot of growing (and perfecting) to do with my blog, my Instagram and my brand overall, but I’m happy with what I’ve done thus far, in under a year, with The Chief of Style.

I’ve also learned a lot about myself this year. After having my heart broken (I mean, completely shattered), I refocused my attention on myself. I became my priority again and focused on loving myself more, just as I am. Instead of picking myself apart, the time I spent looking in the mirror was dedicated to noticing all of the beauty that I saw in the reflection looking back at me. I unfollowed folks on social media whose posts made me feel less than and I began following folks who inspired me to be great and reminded me that I already am. I began really and truly loving myself inside and out. I even gained some weight (thanks to the breakup), but have never loved myself — or my body — more.

And then, I was invited to join Parfait Lingerie’s “Perfect Figure” campaign which was a game changer for me in so many ways. Besides being photographed in my underwear and having those photos shared with the world (literally), through our ongoing partnership where I blog about all kinds of things under photos in their lingerie, I started to reflect on the many ways I wanted to love myself and the reasons why doing so is so critical.

I kind of feel like the last 33 years of my life were a practice run and now it’s time for the real thing. Armed with more knowledge, a lot more experience and a hell of a lot more confidence, I’m ready to take on this thing called life. And I’m so excited to share each and every move with you.

So, please stay tuned, babes!

xo

chief of style Amy Stretten in a birthday photo holding balloons in front of the Paul Smith wall on Melrose in a red plus size jumpsuit from fashion nova curve

chief of style Amy Stretten in a birthday photo holding balloons in front of the Paul Smith wall on Melrose in a red plus size jumpsuit from fashion nova curve

Outfit details: Jumpsuit: Fashion Nova Curve | Shoes: A’gaci

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

How to Tuck in Your Shirt When You’re Plus Size

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“Life is short, break the rules.” -Mark Twain

I’ve always detested fashion articles and blog posts that give rules (based on your size, shape, age, etc.). I have heard the rule that plus size women shouldn’t tuck in their t-shirts because they’ll show their tummy. {Cue eye roll} But, baby, I’m a rule breaker and I firmly believe that rules like this are meant to be broken. I won’t allow anyone to police my body or tell me how to wear my clothes and you shouldn’t either!

That said, let’s talk about tucked t-shirts, shall we?

There are a number of ways to tuck in a t-shirt. It’s a simple idea, but the smallest adjustment can totally change your look. Tucking in your shirt truly is an art and can be a bit daunting to some. So, I’m here to solve any confusion and help you decide how to tuck in based on the look you’re going for.

So, without further ado, let’s dive in!

The prep:

Tuck your shirt in tight so it almost looks like a bodysuit. This style is best worn with high and super high waisted jeans or a pencil skirt.

Five ways to tuck in a t-shirt for plus size women

The laid back cool:

Tuck the front half of your shirt in and leave the sides and back out. This is great for when you’re trying to show off that fierce belt you just bought.

Five ways to tuck in a t-shirt for plus size women

The blouse:

Tuck your entire shirt into your pants/skirt and then pull it out about half way. It will give it a blouse look and can change your entire look depending on how much — or how little — you pull out.

Five ways to tuck in a t-shirt for plus size women

The half moon:

Tuck just the front, middle section of your shirt in, leaving the everything else hanging out. This will make you look like you cared just enough, but not too much. It can have an effortless chic appeal if done right. This look works well with sweaters, too.

Five ways to tuck in a t-shirt for plus size women

The IDGAF:

Tuck in just one side of your shirt (this also works great for a button down shirt). This style ends up showcasing two different looks in one: exposing your belt and waist on one side while covering the other.

Five ways to tuck in a t-shirt for plus size women

Do you like to tuck in your shirts? What’s your favorite tuck style? Share in the comments!

 

Mindful Monday: Start Your Week Off Right

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“Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way, on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgmentally.” – Jon Kabat-Zinn

If this isn’t one of the most Monday-est Mondays there ever were…

Daylight Saving Time is a trip, man. We move forward one hour in the Spring and back one hour in the Fall…but why? We’re no longer a primarily agricultural economy. Don’t get me wrong, I love when the days are longer. Besides loving sunlight, it’s a reminder that Summer is right around the corner. (Hallelujah!) Still, waking up an hour earlier is no easy task. I can’t even tell you how many times I hit snooze this morning. ((YAWN))

Anyway, what I wanted to talk with you today about was the importance of mindfulness. (Especially on days like today when it may feel like things aren’t going the way you’d like them to go or something’s just ‘off.’)

Creating a mindfulness practice is one of the most important things one can do for oneself. Focusing on the present moment and taking a break from the chaos around you is so key for both your overall life and your sanity. I notice such a difference in my overall disposition when I press pause and take some time to just Be. Focusing on what I want from the day, week, month or year allows me to hold something in mind that I’m working toward. As a result, everything tends to sync up and just, well, flow.

My biggest advice if your life has been feeling a bit out of wack, would be to create a routine that begins with setting your intentions for the day in the morning and ends with preparing for the next day before bed. If you’re interested in beginning a mindfulness routine, here’s a really great article on how to start.

But about this lingerie, though…This month, I’m featuring an adorable baby doll lingerie set from Parfait Lingerie.What I love most about Parfait is their ample size range. They fit cup sizes A-K and their panties are sizes S-3X. They’ve got a lot of stretch and give to them too, so they’ll accommodate most tushies. What’s more, their lingerie is beautiful and of the highest quality. It will make women of all sizes feel sexy. I’m proud to a Parfait Lingerie #PerfectFigure.

Chief of Style body positive plus size fashion blog parfait lingerie photoshoot perfect figure campaign

Chief of Style body positive plus size fashion blog parfait lingerie photoshoot perfect figure campaign

*Thank you to Parfait Lingerie for sponsoring this post and for the lovely lingerie. As always, the views expressed in this post (and every post) are my true and honest opinions.