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The Importance of a Statement Piece

Fashion Featured Tips and Tricks 2 Comments

“A simple hello could lead to a million things.” –Unknown

Hey, girl, hey!

I just got back from Hot Springs, Arkansas (Yes, Arkansas!) where the Journalism and Women Symposium (JAWS) held its annual non-conference-conference called the Conference and Mentoring Project (CAMP). The trip was quite fruitful: I spoke on a panel, made several professional connections, met some new friends, got a bunch of new followers, and made memories to last a lifetime! While there, I was reminded of something really valuable that I’d like to share with you: the importance of a statement piece!

Because I’m a style blogger, I tend to feel a bit more pressure than most to wear the perfect outfit when I attend events, etc. If I’m going to be photographed, I want to wear something that makes me feel my best and is a good representation of my blog/brand. (Some days it’s a dress with high heels and other days it’s skinny jeans and boots.) Although women with jaw dropping resumes come to CAMP every year, it’s not a pretentious environment at all and everyone dresses quite casually. As such, I decided to pack several dressed-down looks that still packed a punch, like this Eloquii PJ set.

Chief of Style Tip: When you’re going to a conference, networking event…or somewhere where you want to stand out, remember to wear a statement piece. It could be big earrings, a fancy jacket, a pin…whatever is appropriate for the occasion. Not only will you set yourself apart from the crowd, you won’t have to worry about how to approach people because people will almost always approach you first.

The Jawdesses (what we call ourselves) at CAMP absolutely LOVED my outfit. In fact, the entire weekend I hardly had to make an effort to talk to people because everyone kept coming up to me! (It was like magic.)

So, what do you think of my statement look? Have you ever worn a statement piece to standout? Did it work? Tell me about it in the comments!

xo

Eloquii plus size pj set

Eloquii plus size PJ set

Eloquii plus size pj set

Eloquii plus size pj set

Eloquii plus size pj set

Eloquii plus size pj set

 

Photographer: CJ Edwards-Acton

Outfit details: PJ set: Eloquii | Shoes: Chinese Laundry | Bag: Alexander Wang

My Trip to Eloquii at the Pentagon City Mall

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For all of my fellow Eloquii lovers out there, this post is for you!

I recently went to Washington, D.C. for a journalism conference. While there, I made sure to pay a visit to the Eloquii store at the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City – one of just three Eloquii stores in the country! Because I knew I’d be in D.C. weeks ahead of time, I set up a styling appointment. To do this, I e-mailed the store with my preferred dates and times and then they sent me a style survey with questions like, “What colors do you feel your best in?” and “Who is your style icon?”

I made sure to make the appointment for a day/time that would work for my friend, Ashlee, who is a photographer based in nearby Philadelphia because shopping is always more fun with a friend…and because I wanted her to document this monuments occasion, of course.

As soon as we found the store, I squealed like a school girl. I walked into the store with my mouth wide open and all I could say was “Ohmygod, Ohmygod, Ohmygod…” (There’s just something about seeing all of the amazing pieces, prints, fabrics…on hangers and mannequins, where you can reach out and touch them…after only seeing them in photographs online and in catalogues.) Clearly this is a typical response because the women who work in the store weren’t fazed at all. And, I was immediately treated with V.I.P. service.

My personal stylist, Kristin (@Styled_by_KP), welcomed me with a glass of champagne and walked me to the back of the store where the dressing rooms are. I got an extra special room (it was larger and more posh than the others) with a cute little note and candy presentation. It was absolutely adorable and so special.

How to book a styling appointment at Eloquii Pentagon City

I was also surprised to see that Kristin had already pulled several pieces for me to consider. We talked about my initial impressions of what she picked. Most of the pieces were spot on, some I was a bit iffy about, and at least one piece I was quite certain wasn’t for me.

How to book a styling appointment at Eloquii Pentagon City

With that information, I began trying on the pieces while Kristin pulled a few more. This was the first look. How FAB is this outfit?!

How to book a styling appointment at Eloquii Pentagon City

After trying on this Scandal-inspired look, it was hard to try on anything else because it was just that good, how could anything compare!?

How to book a styling appointment at Eloquii Pentagon City

But then I met this soft purple number and just about died.

How to book a styling appointment at Eloquii Pentagon City

I really wasn’t sure about this mod-inspired sheath mini dress…

How to book a styling appointment at Eloquii Pentagon City

But it fit so nicely, I really got into the look. (Clearly.)

How to book a styling appointment at Eloquii Pentagon City

I thought this sparkly dress was cute, but I didn’t love it more than this dress…

How to book a styling appointment at Eloquii Pentagon City

I loved this ruffle front panel secretary-style dress SO much, I bought it…and even took the belt, too.

How to book a styling appointment at Eloquii Pentagon City

We spent a good deal of time doing an impromptu photoshoot. I walked the invisible catwalk a number of times. LOL

How to book a styling appointment at Eloquii Pentagon City

I’d seen this floral suit on several bloggers and wondered what it would look like on me. Despite how well it fit and how much I loved it, I (sadly) chose not to buy it. I figured I’d snag it when it came on sale. 🙂

How to book a styling appointment at Eloquii Pentagon City

I absolutely fell in LOVE with this leopard scuba pencil skirt! I didn’t end up getting the blouse because I have enough tops to pair with it in my closet at home.

How to book a styling appointment at Eloquii Pentagon City

I honestly didn’t think I’d be into this look, but I loved it so much I snagged both the lace blouse and jeans. They’re now one of my newest favorite go-to looks! With just enough peek-a-boo to be sexy, but mostly covered for a bit of modesty, this blouse is perfect for a casual, but sexy date night or drinks with the girls. (I wear it with a black longline bra rather than this off white one seen here.)

How to book a styling appointment at Eloquii Pentagon City

The jeans are perfect to pair with just about anything. Gotta love a good pair of distressed jeans! (Thanks, Eloquii!)

How to book a styling appointment at Eloquii Pentagon City

Three hours and $400 later and my trip was over. I had such a good time, I really didn’t want to leave. (My heart was telling me no, but my wallet was telling me “GO!”)

How to book a styling appointment at Eloquii Pentagon City

Thank you to Kristin for getting silly with me and making my shopping experience so much fun!

How to book a styling appointment at Eloquii Pentagon City

And, thank you to Ashlee for capturing all of the fun moments!

If you’re a plus size woman who loves quality made clothing and can afford a moderate price point, give Eloquii a try. And, if you live or visit Columbus, Ohio, Chicago or Washington, D.C., make sure you pay a visit to the Eloquii store there. It’s my goal to eventually visit all three! But, it’s my prayer that Eloquii eventually opens nation-wide.

In the meantime, although Eloquii clothing always fits me so well (one reason I’m in love with the brand), I’ll be able to shop with even more confidence having tried on so many things in-store.

Have you ever been to one of the brick and mortar Eloquii stores? Did you do a styling appointment, too? If so, please tell me all about it in the comments!

xo

Photographer: Ashlee Kulp (@AshKatPhoto)

Outfit details: Jeans: Torrid | Blouse: Vintage | Shoes: Ross

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