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Style Haul: Charlotte Russe Plus Size Wide Calf Over-the-knee Boots

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“In order to kick ass you must first lift up your foot.” — Jen Sincero

I have always been a fan of boots, but as I got older they stopped loving me (and my large calves). That’s why I nearly died from shock/excitement a couple of weeks ago when I found about a dozen different styles and colors of over-the-knee wide calf boots at CharlotteRusse.com!

For yearsss I’ve been searching for the perfect OTK boot: wide enough for my muscular legs and with a sensible heel. (If you’re new here, “Hi, my name is Amy and I can’t stand heels above four inches.”) And then a few weeks ago I got an e-mail from Charlotte Russe advertising their plus size/wide-calf OTK boots. I couldn’t decide which pair to get, so I bought four pairs!

Below are the ones I chose. If these aren’t your cup of tea, they have many more. When I made my purchase each pair was less than $25. So, you may luck out and get them on sale like I did. (Sign up for their e-mails!)

Note about fit: These boots are not only for wide calves, but they’re for wide feet as well. (Woot!) I wear a 9.5, but I sized down to a 9 and I still have a bit of extra room. But, with an insole or a sock, they fit perfectly.

*For the record, this post is in no way sponsored by Charlotte Russe. I just genuinely love my new boots and wanted to share how I styled them.

Have you been able to snag a pair of wide-calf boots? If so, where’d you get them? Please share in the comments.

xo

Charlotte Russe plus size wide calf faux suede boots

Charlotte Russe plus size wide calf faux suede boots

Outfit details: Jacket: Premme | Jeans: RWN by RAWAN | Scarf: H&M | Bag: Rebecca Minkoff

Charlotte Russe plus size wide calf faux suede boots

Charlotte Russe plus size wide calf faux suede boots

Charlotte Russe plus size wide calf faux suede boots

Outfit details: Jacket: Fashion to Figure | Top & Skirt: Rebdolls | Watch: Vince Camuto | Bag: Rebecca Minkoff

Charlotte Russe plus size wide calf faux suede boots

Charlotte Russe plus size wide calf faux suede boots

Charlotte Russe plus size wide calf faux suede boots

Outfit details: Jacket: H&M | Top: Target | Skirt: Forever 21+ | Bag: Roaman’s

Charlotte Russe plus size wide calf faux suede boots

Charlotte Russe plus size wide calf faux suede boots

Charlotte Russe plus size wide calf faux suede boots

Outfit details: Jacket: H&M | Top & Skirt: Rebdolls | Watch: Vince Camuto | Bag: Alexander Wang

Photography: Lauren Calsada

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

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

The Chief of Style Featured on The Curvy Fashionista

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Hey babes! Exciting news – The Chief of Style was profiled last week in a “Fashion Blogger Friday” feature by The Curvy Fashionista! I’m a huge fan of the website, so it’s a big honor to have been interviewed. Here’s an excerpt:

TCF: What or who inspired you to become a fashion blogger? What led you to it?
Cos: I have always loved fashion – since I was a little girl. I’ve always loved the feeling of wearing something new (or new to me) and the power it gives you to create a new image each and every time if you want. It was only natural that I’d eventually blend my writing skills with my “passion for fashion” (especially when it became clear there was room in the body positivity and +size fashion space). Part of my fashion journey and style expression have also been, in part, related to my self-love journey.

The more I see myself in photos looking thick and curvy…and beautiful at the same time, the more I accept all of the parts of me I hated for so long. The idea first came to me, though, when I started selling vintage clothing on Poshmark and eBay while I was unemployed and living in Miami, Florida. It was my main source of income. I felt like I would have had even more success had I had an already established audience on another platform to drive customers to my store(s). Now, I have a quarter of a million followers on Poshmark, but I’m rarely on the app. (I really need to get back to it!)

TCF: What’s your favorite thing about being plus size?
CoS: In some ways, I think being plus size is the ultimate expression of feminism. Specifically, it means taking up more space in a world that tells women they should be small. Men are allowed to “man spread” on trains and buses, etc., allowing little room for a woman (or anyone else) to sit. As a bigger woman, I take up more space than the average woman and do so unapologetically. Being plus size and knowing you’re beautiful also flies in the face of established beauty standards for women. Wearing cute, sexy, fierce, etc. clothing when you’re thicker is basically a “F-you” to anyone who’d dare tell you you’re anything less than a damn goddess!

Click here to read more at TheCurvyFashionista.com.

The below photos were shot at Olvera Street in Downtown Los Angeles.

 

 

Outfit details: Top and skirt: Forever21+ | Shoes: Macy’s | Necklace: Amazon

Photographer:  Jorge Lopez (IG: @jorgelopezmedia)

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