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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

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.

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

A Cold Shoulder for a Warm December day

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

Although we’re entering Winter, here in Los Angeles temperatures have only slightly lowered from the record highs of Fall. Lucky for us we can still show a little skin without freezing.

Enter my favorite Eloquii blouse ever!

This asymmetrical off-the-shoulder button up shirt is the perfect blend: a crisp, classic piece with unique, designer-like detailing. The shoulder peeks out for a hint of sexy while the asymmetrical hemline adds interest and a stylish flair. And all of that’s wrapped up in a waist cinch made to look like the missing sleeves!

This look is perfect for Sunday brunch with your friends or a weeknight dinner date. It can be tucked in sans tie or worn out over jeans, pants, a skirt…you name it! And best of all, it’s perfect for a California December day.

How would you pair this top? Please share in the comments.

*Please excuse the wrinkles. I wore the top while hosting Eloquii’s daily Instagram Live show from their headquarters one morning in Long Island City, New York. And then I spent an hour on the train to meet up with my photographer while carrying a duffle bag full of clothes and shoes. #bts #thestruggleisreal

Eloquii plus size clothing and plus size fall winter fashion trends

Eloquii plus size clothing and plus size fall winter fashion trends

Eloquii plus size clothing and plus size fall winter fashion trends

Eloquii plus size clothing and plus size fall winter fashion trends

Eloquii plus size clothing and plus size fall winter fashion trends

Eloquii plus size clothing and plus size fall winter fashion trends

Outfit details: Top: Eloquii | Jeans: The Limited | Shoes: DSW | Bag: Roaman’s

Photographer: @M76Photo

Setting my Sights on 2018

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“Cheers to another year and another chance to get it right.” –Oprah Winfrey

It’s so hard to believe that this year is coming to a close. It feels like Spring wasn’t that long ago. Time really does speed up the older you get.

Tomorrow is the first day of December which means it’s time to think about plans for next year. It has become tradition for me to create some goals for the New Year during the last weeks of December: personal, professional, financial, health, etc. My routine is to review what my goals were for the present year and take stock of how far I’ve come and how much further I have to go in the upcoming year and beyond. (I like to make short and long-term goals) I then revisit my inspiration board and usually make a new one. But, sometimes, I just add to my old one (depending on whether or not my intentions have changed).

This year has been a whirlwind full of ups and downs: some big, some small…and some HUGE! I loved, I lost, I won, I learned a lot and best of all, I grew – a ton. I’m not the same person as I was January 1, 2017.

So, as Oprah says, “Cheers to another year…!” Here’s to kicking some serious a** in 2018!

What goals do you have for the upcoming year?

Eloquii plus size clothing and plus size fall winter fashion trends

Eloquii plus size clothing and plus size fall winter fashion trends

Eloquii plus size clothing and plus size fall winter fashion trends

Eloquii plus size clothing and plus size fall winter fashion trends

Eloquii plus size clothing and plus size fall winter fashion trends

Eloquii plus size clothing and plus size fall winter fashion trends

Outfit details: Crop top: Eloquii | Blouse: The Limited | Bag: Burberry | Jeans: Boohoo | Shoes: Mango

Photographer: @M76Photo