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Los Angeles: Shop With Me at the Universal Standard Pop-up + Model Search

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“Style is a way to say who you are without having to speak.” – Rachel Zoe

I’m thrilled to share that Universal Standard is coming to town and I’ll be the guest stylist at their upcoming pop-up shop here in Los Angeles! It’s all going down at Redefine Hollywood this Sunday, October 1st from 11am-7pm. And, there will also be a model search from 1-4p.

Below are the details for the Los Angeles leg of their US road trip:

Model Search & Pop-Up
September 29 – 30, and October 1

Redefine Hollywood
5426 Flemish Lane
Los Angeles, CA 90029

Pop-Up Times:
9/29: 12 – 8 PM
9/30: 11 – 8 PM
10/1: 11 – 7 PM <– I’ll be there from 2-4pm

Model Search Times:
9/30: 1 – 4 PM
10/1: 1 – 4 PM

Nordstrom
October 5th and 6th
Nordstrom Century City
Encore Department
10250 Santa Monica Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90067
11 – 7 PM

I hope to see you there!

This will be my third collaboration with the brand. One thing I really love about Universal Standard, as I’ve shared before, is that they provide upscale clothing exclusively for bridge and plus sizes. And, I love that their aesthetic is rather minimalist. So, you can customize your look using their pieces as the foundation of your outfit. Everything is made so well and runs perfectly true to size. I’ve ordered from US three times now and the clothing fits exactly right each and every time.

Universal Standard promo code

Here I’m wearing their Sillaro Leatherette Pencil Skirt and a denim shirt by Lovesick. This skirt is such a great staple piece as it really can be paired with anything. I easily could have worn a graphic t-shirt or a secretary blouse and completely changed up the look.

Universal Standard promo code

But, there really is something about a denim shirt and pencil skirt. It’s a super easy look to pull off because denim goes with everything, so you never have to ask yourself, “Wait. But, does this match?!” The answer will always be “Yes.”

Universal Standard promo code

I paired the skirt and top with shoes from Solemate Shoetique, a new shoe brand that contacted me to share some of their newest styles. I love these “Ava” blush velvet acrylic heels. They’re the perfect height: about 3.5″ high. If you know me, you know I very rarely wear heels higher than 4″. But, it’s often difficult to find clear/lucite heels under 4″ high. So, I was ecstatic when the owner, Gina, told me these would work perfectly for me!

Universal Standard promo code

For this shoot, I once again worked with Gregory of @M76Photo. He really is one of my favorite photographers! We met at Prospect Park South and shot one look, then went deeper into the park and shot another. We kept walking deeper into the park, exploring different areas, and photographing a new look in each spot until we were out of looks to shoot. (Keep an eye out for upcoming posts.)

Universal Standard promo code

I’ve wanted to shoot a look like this since I saw Eloquii’s recent “Folk Tales” Fall ’17 lookbook.

Universal Standard US road trip

Their shoot took place at Fort Tryon Park in Manhattan, but I think we managed to get a similar aesthetic in Brooklyn.

Universal Standard promo code

I love how New York City, while a huge metropolis, has hundreds of beautiful parks. At Prospect Park, there were birds, squirrels, butterflies, diverse flowers and foliage…For a moment, we felt like we were somewhere far outside of the city.

Universal Standard promo code

To complete this look, I carried my new favorite convertible purse, a bag that says, “I OWN TOO MUCH BLACK.” (“True story,” but “NEVER!!!” at the same time.)

Universal Standard promo code

The bag is great because it can be worn as an over-the-shoulder bag or a clutch (with or without the wrist strap).

Universal Standard promo code

And those tassels! This bag is just too to cute.

Universal Standard promo code

Back to this pop-up shop event…

If you follow me on Instagram or are subscribed to my blog…or you’re simply reading these words right now, please come and say hi! Let’s take a pic, shoot a boomerang, and gush over Universal Standard’s clothing line! 🙂

Until then…xo

 

Outfit details: Skirt: Universal Standard | Shirt: Lovesick Fashion | Shoes: Solemate Shoetique | Bag: Eloquii

Photographer: @M76Photo

*Skirt, shoes and bag were gifts from the respective brands. All opinions expressed are my own.

Career Advice: Do What Makes You Happy

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“When nothing is sure, everything is possible.” – Margaret Drabble

A while ago I had a heart-to-heart with my Dad about my career. I was lamenting that I’m not making as significant of an impact in the world as other people I know and as much as I wish I were. I told him that he saves lives (he’s a doctor) and all I’m doing is talking about clothes [and self love and body positivity, etc.]. His response? He said that he may be saving lives, but I’m helping make the world a more beautiful place in which to live.

Lately, I’ve been holding his words close to my heart. Despite what it looks like, the freelance struggle ain’t easy and I’ve considered taking opportunities that wouldn’t leave me much time to continue blogging. But, you know what, I just can’t give up on my mission to motivate and inspire other women going through similar struggles that I’ve gone through. I really love what I’m doing here at ChiefofStyle.com and on my Instagram. I’m loving the community I’m creating and the feedback I’m getting. I appreciate the DMs and the comments expressing solidarity. And I really love fashion too much to stop talking about it!

Sometimes, I do wonder if my life would have been easier if I had taken a more straightforward career path. If you want to be a doctor, for example, the path is laid out for you. But when you’re a journalist/communications professional/blogger/consultant, you’ve got to create your own path and that can be scary AF! Thing is, I really wouldn’t want it any other way. I truly think I was born to do exactly what I’m doing and I’m where I’m supposed to be.

We don’t all have the same talents and interests, but we can each make our mark and improve the world for the next generation in some way, big or small. That’s something to be proud of. If I can provide encouragement to even just one Native teen or young queer femme or newly plus size mother or anyone else struggling in some way…I will have done what I’m here to do.

I hope you’re doing what gives you joy and you spread it everywhere you go.

xo

Amy Stretten, the Chief of Style, wearing a Printed Trumpet Dress with Striped Sleeves by Eloquii at Prospect Park in Brooklyn, New York.

Amy Stretten, the Chief of Style, wearing a Printed Trumpet Dress with Striped Sleeves by Eloquii at Prospect Park in Brooklyn, New York.

Amy Stretten, the Chief of Style, wearing a Printed Trumpet Dress with Striped Sleeves by Eloquii at Prospect Park in Brooklyn, New York.

 

Amy Stretten, the Chief of Style, wearing a Printed Trumpet Dress with Striped Sleeves by Eloquii at Prospect Park in Brooklyn, New York.

Amy Stretten, the Chief of Style, wearing a Printed Trumpet Dress with Striped Sleeves by Eloquii at Prospect Park in Brooklyn, New York.

Amy Stretten, the Chief of Style, wearing a Printed Trumpet Dress with Striped Sleeves by Eloquii at Prospect Park in Brooklyn, New York.

Outfit details: Dress: Eloquii | Earrings: Xehar | Shoes: DSW

Photographer: @M76Photo

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

Recap: Website Launch Party + Contest!

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A few dozen plus size style bloggers, models, influencers, photographers, stylists, MUA/hair stylists, my long-time friends and family gathered on the ACE Hotel rooftop in Downtown Los Angeles to celebrate the launch of this very website. In case you weren’t able to make the event, below are a few photos and a recap video to give you an idea of what you missed.

Thank you to everyone who came out. It brings a tear to my eye knowing how much love and support I have in my life. <3

A very special thank you to my sponsors:

*CONTEST DETAILS:

To celebrate hitting 10,000 followers on Instagram, I’m having a contest. The prize will be one of the few remaining gift bags from the event. (So, there you’ve got several chances of winning!) To give you an idea of how awesome the bags are, they include vouchers for a pair of Bandalettes and Undersummers (among other fab items from the brands listed above)!

To enter the contest, you must do the following:

  1. Follow me on Instagram (@Chiefofstyle)
  2. Like one of my most recent posts
  3. Tag three friends under the post you liked
  4. Subscribe to my blog (on the home page there’s a signup box on the right once you scroll down about half way)

That’s it! I’ll announce the winners next week. Good luck!

xx

 

 

Outfit details: Dress: Eloquii | Shoes: Badgley Mischka | Necklace: Ryze Project

Videographer + Editor: @JorgeLopezMedia (jlm.videography@gmail.com)

Cold Shoulder on a Hot Day

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“Elegance is the only beauty that never fades.” –Audrey Hepburn

I don’t know if it’s just me, but this summer has been hotter than any I can remember. And the day we shot these photos was no exception. My friends thought I’d lost my mind when I told them I was planning to shoot on such a sweltering summer day. But when I set my mind to something, there’s just no changing it. Especially because I couldn’t wait to rock this fierce outfit courtesy of Universal Standard.

I’d heard some buzz about the brand, so when I got the opportunity to review their clothing, I jumped at the chance. (I just love discovering new +size brands!) From start to finish, ordering from Universal Standard was a pleasant experience. I was impressed at how easy it was to figure out the sizing having never tried on their clothes. And, after putting my order through, I was able to track it seamlessly.

I ordered the single cold shoulder Candice blouse in ivory and the black Mosman leatherette skirt. While the clothes aren’t cheap, they’re definitely well-made and, to top it off, the brand offers the equivalent of a lifetime guarantee! If you change sizes, they’ll even replace the clothing items that no longer fit. (Where they do that at!?) As someone who goes up and down sizes quite regularly, I can really appreciate this service. I also like that they carry bridge and plus sizes 10-28! And, if you’re in the NYC area, they’ll gladly welcome you into their showroom for a fitting.

When my package arrived, I was pleased to see that everything was folded carefully and wrapped in tissue paper. They shipped my items in a gift box (that I’m now using for jewelry) and included a custom tote bag and a note. (Nice touch!) The whole process felt very V.I.P.

The pieces I chose are both comfortable and elegant looking. My only critique would be that the blouse should have a key hole closure with a button or a hook so it’s easier to get on and off. (I admittedly have a big head, so I was so nervous putting it on having already done my makeup. Pro tip: If you’re ever in this situation, grab a cloth napkin, a clean rag or an old t-shirt and use it as a barrier between your made up face and the clothing item you don’t want to soil.)

If you’re looking for a minimalist, classic, high-fashion look, consider giving Universal Standard a try. You really can’t go wrong with their lifetime fit guarantee!

xx

Outfit details: Blouse & Skirt: Universal Standard | Shoes: Mango | Clutch: Vintage | Necklace: Poshmark

Photographer:  CJ Edwards-Acton

*Clothing provided by Universal Standard in exchange for an honest review.