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Set Yourself Free

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“The ultimate tragedy is not the brutality of the bad people but the silence of the good people.” –Martin Luther King, Jr.

The past couple of weeks have been heart-wrenching. From hurricanes that caused total devastation on Caribbean islands like Puerto Rico to a terrorist attack on unsuspecting concertgoers in Las Vegas…it feels like the world has flipped on its head.

Before I jump into talking about fashion, I’d just like to ask that if you’re able, you consider donating blood, money, supplies…whatever you can to help. If you aren’t able to donate money or something tangible, donate your time and call your local congressman.

We need our representatives to do their jobs and come up with quality legislation that protects our country from gun violence, while also not disproportionately prosecuting black and brown folks. Let’s make sure we don’t have another senseless attack on U.S. soil.

Our death toll is far too high. The shooting at Pulse Nightclub. The Aurora, Colorado shooting. Sandy Hook. Virginia Tech. Columbine. San Bernadino. Killeen, Texas. Fort Hood.

Seriously, America. Enough is enough!

Thankfully, there are beautiful and lighthearted things to make us smile despite tragedy. In the face of such ugliness, things like art and fashion make the world a more beautiful place which to live. In times of pain and sorrow, we need art more than ever. Freedom of expression is so very important.

When I conceptualized this look, I knew I wanted to pair a bodysuit with a sheer overlay. I’ve seen similar dresses and I always wanted to get the look, but didn’t think I could pull it off. I wasn’t sure I’d be able to find a similar dress in my size, and when I did, I wondered if I should wear something so revealing. (The saying, “Just because it fits doesn’t mean you should wear it.” crept into my mind.)

Never in a million years did I think I’d ever rock a sheer dress with just a bodysuit underneath. Let alone in New York City…or anywhere for that matter! As I’ve shared, I’ve always hated my legs (because of my thick thighs and calves) and they’ve always been my biggest insecurity.

Over the past year, I’ve grown by leaps and bounds with regard to loving myself more (inside and out). So, when I turned heads on the streets of SoHo as my photographer took my picture, I didn’t care in the least! As far as I was concerned, they were probably looking because I looked damn good, booty out and everything!

So, this post is really all about getting free. Life is short. We aren’t guaranteed tomorrow. Let go of whatever is holding you back and be who you’ve always wanted to be. Live the life you’ve always wanted. Now’s the time.

What have you always wanted to do that you’ve held yourself back from doing? Share it in the comments!

Here’s to being big and bold for the rest of 2017…and beyond!

xo

Plus size sheer embroidered roses dress from Forever 21 Plus

Plus size sheer embroidered roses dress from Forever 21 Plus

Plus size sheer embroidered roses dress from Forever 21 Plus

Plus size sheer embroidered roses dress from Forever 21 Plus

Plus size sheer embroidered roses dress from Forever 21 Plus

Plus size sheer embroidered roses dress from Forever 21 Plus

Plus size sheer embroidered roses dress from Forever 21 Plus

Plus size sheer embroidered roses dress from Forever 21 Plus

Plus size sheer embroidered roses dress from Forever 21 Plus

Outfit details: Dress: Forever21+ | Jacket: Forever21 Men | Shoes: Mango

Photographer: @M76Photo

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.

Farewell to Summer 2017

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“It’s always summer somewhere.” – Lilly Pulitzer

This summer has been really incredible. Life changing even. I launched my blog in May and continued to grow my Instagram following over the next few months all while working with new and established brands, growing my own reach, and establishing The Chief of Style as a legitimate blog and brand of its own.

I traveled a bit this summer, too: locally and to New York City – twice. I attended CurvyCon, saw a couple of fashion shows during New York Fashion Week, shot with photographers here in LA and back East, made several handfuls of new blogger/influencer-friends, and moved into a new, larger apartment (with three double closets – hallelujah!). This summer I reconnected with old friends, began the healing process after a relationship ended, and I grew a lot more confident in my own skin.

This is evidenced by the photoshoot I did in SoHo with Gregory of @M76Photo. A year ago I wouldn’t be able to imagine I’d wear a dress that showed off my knees, let alone a mini dress! But here I am, in all my thick and curvy glory, sporting this killer sheath dress from Forever21+.

The polaroid photographs conjured up post-summer feels for me. You know, that nostalgic feeling you’d get when you’d look through your photos from your summertime shenanigans with friends: trips you took, parties you went to, the beach, the park, laughing, dancing, staying out late…all of the things summer is fondly known for.

Today is the last day of summer and tomorrow we’ll wake up to fall. Before you know it, summertime will be in the distant past and we’ll be bundle up, missing those three gloriously hot months. But, at least we’ll have our memories and photographs to keep us warm.

xo

Amy Stretten, the Chief of Style, in SoHo, NYC, wearing the Plus Size Maripol Cami Dress by Forever 21+

Amy Stretten, the Chief of Style, in SoHo, NYC, wearing the Plus Size Maripol Cami Dress by Forever 21+

Amy Stretten, the Chief of Style, in SoHo, NYC, wearing the Plus Size Maripol Cami Dress by Forever 21+

Amy Stretten, the Chief of Style, in SoHo, NYC, wearing the Plus Size Maripol Cami Dress by Forever 21+

Amy Stretten, the Chief of Style, in SoHo, NYC, wearing the Plus Size Maripol Cami Dress by Forever 21+

Amy Stretten, the Chief of Style, in SoHo, NYC, wearing the Plus Size Maripol Cami Dress by Forever 21+

Amy Stretten, the Chief of Style, in SoHo, NYC, wearing the Plus Size Maripol Cami Dress by Forever 21+

Outfit details: Dress: Forever21+ | Jacket: Forever21 Men | Shoes (courtesy of): Solemate Shoetique | Belt: Eloquii

Photographer: @M76Photo

My New York City Carrie Bradshaw Moment

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I moved to New York City in 2010 for graduate school and eventually to work as a news reporter. During my time there I always wanted to snap a Carrie Bradshaw-esque photo on the streets of Manhattan. (You know, the casual t-shirt tucked into the tutu skirt and dainty heels with a statement clutch purse, hailing a cab…all that.)

Well, I finally got my moment while shooting with one of the best photographers I’ve worked with to date, Gregory of M76Photo. Not only is he easy to work with, he makes you feel comfortable and does such an incredible job never over shooting, but still getting the best shots over and over again. It truly was a pleasure to work with him. (We’re definitely collaborating again when I’m in NYC later this week!)

We shot several looks during my recent trip to New York City and this was one of them. I got my Sex and the City moment…with a plus size twist! I styled my look with a shirt I designed myself thanks to Customized Girl. They offer really great prices on custom shirts, hats, underwear, pet clothing, and even items for babies. I made a total of four shirts: two that rep for ChiefofStyle.com, this one, and another that I can’t wait to show you (coming soon)!

To complete my look, I wore this perfect tutu skirt I bought from The Plus Bus, a plus-size retail store that sells new and used clothing. It’s from Anthropologie and it once belonged to plus size style blogger, Alex Michael May. And of course, I had to have a statement clutch. This one was a gift from Roaman’s and I’m absolutely obsessed with it!

Have you had your Carrie Bradshaw moment yet? If not, I suggest you make it happen, whether in NYC or your hometown. If you do, share the link in the bio! It was a lot of fun and I felt like a true fashion diva.

xx

Amy Stretten, the Chief of Style, having a Sex and the City/Carrie Bradshaw moment in New York City.

Amy Stretten, the Chief of Style, having a Sex and the City/Carrie Bradshaw moment in New York City.

Amy Stretten, the Chief of Style, having a Sex and the City/Carrie Bradshaw moment in New York City.

Amy Stretten, the Chief of Style, having a Sex and the City/Carrie Bradshaw moment in New York City.

Amy Stretten, the Chief of Style, having a Sex and the City/Carrie Bradshaw moment in New York City.

Amy Stretten, the Chief of Style, having a Sex and the City/Carrie Bradshaw moment in New York City.

Amy Stretten, the Chief of Style, having a Sex and the City/Carrie Bradshaw moment in New York City.

Outfit details: Top: Customized Girl | Skirt: Anthropologie / The Plus Bus | Shoes: Forever 21 | Clutch: Roaman’s

Photographer: @M76Photo