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Plus Size Inclusivity in Queer Fashion: A Virtual DapperQ Panel

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“I love your stuff, but you don’t make my size.” — Jahn Hall (and just about every plus size person at one point or another)

Hi friends! How are you holding up? Did my post on the importance of self-love during the COVID-19 pandemic and quarantine ring true for you? Are you finding ways to enjoy this time rather than complain about it? I certainly hope so!

Out of sheer boredom (and because my friends have told me to do so for years), I created an Instagram account (@thebabyvalentino) for my chihuahua-pomeranian fur baby, Valentino. Take a look and follow if you love cute things! 🙂

Last weekend, I joined DapperQ’s Anita Dolce Vita, Dr. Van Bailey (Bklyn Boihood), Kay Ylanday Barrett and Jahn Hall in a virtual conversation about plus size inclusivity in queer fashion. So many great points were made! Here are a few takeaways:

  • The majority of plus size fashion brands do not consider their LGBTQ+ customers.
  • Most LGBTQ+ fashion brands do not offer extended sizing. (The same goes for sustainable fashion brands.)
  • If you’re plus size and LGBTQ+, you will probably have to get creative if you want to look and feel like your best and most authentic self.
  • Plus size LGBTQ+ folks shouldn’t have to work so hard just to feel good in the clothing they wear!
  • Brands need to do better!
If you’ve got a minute, watch the entire panel discussion. For more on queer fashion, visit DapperQ‘s website and follow them on Instagram!

What Queer Femmes of All Sizes Should Wear to Show Their LGBTQ+ Pride

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“If you can’t love yourself, how the hell you gonna love somebody else?” –Ru Paul

I really love this time of year! It’s June, meaning it’s officially summer and LGBTQ+ Pride month; time for rainbows, parades and dancing in the street (covered in glitter, of course).

I have a love-hate feeling about the corporatization of all things LGBT (and sometimes Q) by companies looking to profit from a community with a long history of struggle with no awareness or appreciation for the activists who are responsible for the progress we’ve made toward equality. Namely, Black and Brown transwomen. The first Pride was a riot, after all. However, I sincerely appreciate brands that give back to queer communities through contributions to LGBTQ non-profits such as the It Gets Better Project, True Colors United and the Ali Forney Center, for example.

Most of my love for rainbow everything comes from wanting access to clothing and accessories that will allow me to show my Pride and also read hella gay. It may sound silly, but when you’re femme and no one can tell by looking at you, it can feel empowering AF to wear a universal queer symbol. It’s sad, but true.

What’s even more tragic is a lot of LGBTQ+ Pride wear isn’t made in plus sizes. While 68% of American women wear a size 14+, according to Racked, plus size clothing only makes up 2.3% of the selection at major retailers. And, from my own (admittedly un-scientific, yet probably still very accurate) assessment, there weren’t many size inclusive options for plus size folx to show their pride this year.

One exception is well-known plus size retailer Lane Bryant‘s lingerie brand, Cacique (which is known for its high quality and recently expanded size range to include even more sizes: 0-28!). This year, they designed a collection of several absolutely adorable bra/panty sets and pajamas.

*See below for links to some of my favorite pieces from Cacique’s Pride collection!

I’m really excited to share that I was asked to model Cacique’s Pride collection this year! (Be a doll and leave some love on my IG: @chiefofstyle, Cacique’s IG: @caciqueintimaes and Lane Bryant’s IG: @lanebryant as well as on their Facebook and Twitter accounts!)

Cacique contributed 10% of the purchase price of their Pride collection (a total of $30K!) to GLSEN, which aims to end discrimination, harassment and bullying of LGBT students in school. Love!

Here are some of my favorite pieces from the Pride collection:

Pride to me means loving who you are (all parts of you), exactly how you are. Thanks to Cacique, no matter your size, you can show your Pride. And, just as sweet, know your dollars are going to a good cause!

Oh, and I almost forgot! Cacique and Lane Bryant are having a semi-annual clearance sale right now!

(Run, don’t walk!)

Chief of Style wearing Cacique by Lane Bryant LGBTQ Pride Collection with rainbow lace and hearts

Chief of Style wearing Cacique by Lane Bryant LGBTQ Pride Collection with rainbow lace and hearts

Chief of Style wearing Cacique by Lane Bryant LGBTQ Pride Collection with rainbow lace and hearts

Thank you to Cacique for sponsoring this post. As always, all views expressed are my own.

That Time I Went to NYC Pride with Dove and Mic

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This past weekend, I was in New York City to work with news outlet, Mic, on a self-love and body positivity campaign for Dove. In it, I talk about being a queer femme of color and what Pride means to me. I’m excited to share the final product with you.

I also had the chance to speak with real women about what this year’s Pride theme “Defiantly Different” means to them and what #RealBeauty really is. Check out the interviews on my Instagram (posted on 6/25).

Here are a couple of behind-the-scenes photos from the day.

 

 

Amy Stretten, The Chief of Style, at NYC Pride 2018 with Mic for Dove

Amy Stretten, The Chief of Style, at NYC Pride 2018 with Mic for Dove

Amy Stretten, The Chief of Style, at NYC Pride 2018 with Mic for Dove

Happy Pride, babes!

😘💕🌈