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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.

How to Maintain a Positive Attitude Even When Things Get Tough (Part 2)

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Chief of Style perfect figure Parfait Lingerie social media influencer partner

This is the second part of a two part series. To read the first 10 tips for staying positive, click here.

Feeling  down in the dumps, here are 10 more suggestions to get you back on track and feeling good again:

  1. Choose happiness. Happiness truly is a choice, so choose happy at every turn possible. When you start to feel your mood slipping, try and redirect your focus to something positive that will give you good feels. I’ve tried this trick and while it may seem silly or simple, it can really help.
  2. Move more. Even if you can’t peel yourself off of the couch or you’re ready to hit the gym, just move. Heck, you can start by grabbing a water bottle and raising your arm a few times to get your blood pumping. When you’re ready for more, do a few jumping jacks or pushups. And if you’re really motivated,
  3. Eat clean. Food truly is medicine. If your diet is full of crappy foods, you’ll likely feel crappy. If you’ve been in the dumps for a while, a change in your diet can make a huge difference. Give it a try, it can’t hurt.
  4. Mange your environment. Post positive affirmations in subtle (or not so subtle) places if that’s your thing. Fill your environment with what makes you happy.
  5. Listen to your favorite song. Speaking of managing your environment, music is a huge help. Create a playlist for your not-so-happy days and fill it with songs that’ll make you smile.
  6. Give/get a hug. I can’t argue the importance of physical touch enough. Hugs are so good for your health. I can tell when I haven’t had a hug in a while…I just feel meh. So, hug your friends, family, partner or anyone who’s down. A hug can go a long way.
  7. Find a pet or baby to love on. There’s a reason why people own pets. Having a dog has transformed my life in so many ways. Even on days when I’m not in the greatest mood, Valentino is right there wagging his tail, wanting to love me. (Really, how great are pets!?) Better yet, go on a walk or a hike where you can enjoy seeing your dog (or other people’s dogs) getting their entire LIFE. It’ll give you life too. 🙂
  8. Treat yo’ self. Love pampering? Go get a mani-pedi. On a budget? Do your own! Whatever it is you love, treat yo’ self and give yourself what you love most. You deserve it.
  9. Create a nighttime routine. Just like a morning routine, a nighttime routine will allow you to unwind and can add balance to your day. This is also a good time to prepare for the next day so when you wake up, you know exactly what you need to do.
  10. Check things off. Make a to do (or, “to choose”) list and cross each item off your list. Feeling productive can turn any bad mood around.When you’re feeling stuck, the best thing to do is to take action. DO something. Anything. 

The most important thing to remember is you’re not alone. Everyone has bad days, weeks, months…But, things will get better. They always do! I promise. <3

Chief of Style perfect figure Parfait Lingerie social media influencer partner

Chief of Style perfect figure Parfait Lingerie social media influencer partner

Chief of Style perfect figure Parfait Lingerie social media influencer partner

Chief of Style perfect figure Parfait Lingerie social media influencer partner

Chief of Style perfect figure Parfait Lingerie social media influencer partner

So, 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!)

Thank you to Parfait Lingerie for sponsoring this post as part of their #PerfectFigure campaign. Here, I’m wearing the Tess Unlined Underwire Bra and the Tess Hipster Panty both in Bare (linked images below).

The bra features 95% modal cups, adjustable shoulder straps, sheer lace detail, a hook-and-eye closure and an accent bow at the center front. It’s luxuriously soft and one of my favorite bras from Parfait Lingerie!

 

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

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

Because it’s Fall but it’s Also hot as Hell

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“Over the years I have learned that what is important in a dress is the woman who is wearing it.” – Yves Saint Laurent

While most of the country is experiencing chilly Fall temperatures, Southern California has been in the middle of a heatwave. As such, I haven’t needed to pluck a warm coat or jacket – let alone boots or a scarf – from my closet yet. So, what does a fashion-loving LA babe to do when she wants to conjure up some seasonal cozy, fall vibes?

The answer lies in this dress. Fall color? Check. PJ trend? Check. Warm weather-friendly? Check.

The outfit screams Fall while being doable for current SoCal temperatures.

Whats more, you could easily transition this piece into colder Fall/Winter weather by wearing it unbuttoned over a t-shirt and distressed skinny jeans and under a jacket or pairing it with stockings, a coat and over-the-knee boots. The options are truly endless!

So, I’m curious…where do you live? What’s a part of your Fall wardrobe this year? Share in the comments.

xx

ASOS pj dress pajama dress fall wardrobe fall fashion ideas plus size fall winter fashion inspiration

ASOS pj dress pajama dress fall wardrobe fall fashion ideas plus size fall winter fashion inspiration

ASOS pj dress pajama dress fall wardrobe fall fashion ideas plus size fall winter fashion inspiration

ASOS pj dress pajama dress fall wardrobe fall fashion ideas plus size fall winter fashion inspiration

ASOS pj dress pajama dress fall wardrobe fall fashion ideas plus size fall winter fashion inspiration

ASOS pj dress pajama dress fall wardrobe fall fashion ideas plus size fall winter fashion inspiration

Outfit details: Dress: ASOS | Shoes: DSW | Bag: H&M

Photographer: @M76Photo