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Mindful Monday: Start Your Week Off Right

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“Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way, on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgmentally.” – Jon Kabat-Zinn

If this isn’t one of the most Monday-est Mondays there ever were…

Daylight Saving Time is a trip, man. We move forward one hour in the Spring and back one hour in the Fall…but why? We’re no longer a primarily agricultural economy. Don’t get me wrong, I love when the days are longer. Besides loving sunlight, it’s a reminder that Summer is right around the corner. (Hallelujah!) Still, waking up an hour earlier is no easy task. I can’t even tell you how many times I hit snooze this morning. ((YAWN))

Anyway, what I wanted to talk with you today about was the importance of mindfulness. (Especially on days like today when it may feel like things aren’t going the way you’d like them to go or something’s just ‘off.’)

Creating a mindfulness practice is one of the most important things one can do for oneself. Focusing on the present moment and taking a break from the chaos around you is so key for both your overall life and your sanity. I notice such a difference in my overall disposition when I press pause and take some time to just Be. Focusing on what I want from the day, week, month or year allows me to hold something in mind that I’m working toward. As a result, everything tends to sync up and just, well, flow.

My biggest advice if your life has been feeling a bit out of wack, would be to create a routine that begins with setting your intentions for the day in the morning and ends with preparing for the next day before bed. If you’re interested in beginning a mindfulness routine, here’s a really great article on how to start.

But about this lingerie, though…This month, I’m featuring an adorable baby doll lingerie set from Parfait Lingerie.What I love most about Parfait is their ample size range. They fit cup sizes A-K and their panties are sizes S-3X. They’ve got a lot of stretch and give to them too, so they’ll accommodate most tushies. What’s more, their lingerie is beautiful and of the highest quality. It will make women of all sizes feel sexy. I’m proud to a Parfait Lingerie #PerfectFigure.

Chief of Style body positive plus size fashion blog parfait lingerie photoshoot perfect figure campaign

Chief of Style body positive plus size fashion blog parfait lingerie photoshoot perfect figure campaign

*Thank you to Parfait Lingerie for sponsoring this post and for the lovely lingerie. As always, the views expressed in this post (and every post) are my true and honest opinions.

OOTD: B.Yellowtail by Native American Fashion Designer Bethany Yellowtail

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I first wrote about Native American fashion for a mainstream audience back in 2013 when I profiled Sho Sho Esquiro for Fusion (now Splinter), the ABC/Univision joint-venture. The Kaska Dene/Cree fashion designer was making waves on the catwalks of New York City with her Native-infused, never-before-seen Fashion Week designs.

Four years later and there are even more Indigenous fashion designers on the scene, such as one of my absolute faves, Bethany Yellowtail, creator of B.Yellowtail. Hardly a newcomer, though, Yellowtail launched her website in 2014 and this summer she held a pop-up shop and fashion show that I attended in Hollywood.

Yellowtail, 28, is Northern Cheyenne and Crow. She left her home state of Montana in 2007 to hone her craft at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles, California. Upon graduating in 2009, she worked for BCBG Max Azria, then became a pattern maker for private labels, eventually creating her own brand.

“I realized there is so much [cultural appropriation] going on that I decided I am not even going to get mad anymore, but I decided I was going to do something about it,” Yellowtail said in an interview with The Los Angeles Times. “Ultimately, I want to let my work become a learning opportunity and design pieces with cultural integrity.”

What I love most about Yellowtail is her commitment to Native and other political causes. She’s created work in support of activist efforts such as the 2017 Women’s March and the protests at Standing Rock. I love when creatives contribute their talents to important causes. It goes to show the difference we can all make regardless of our career field. 

After attending Yellowtail’s Summer fashion show, she graciously sent me a few pieces from her collection. Lucky for you, they’re all on sale on her website right now! And, this weekend she launched a brand new collection.

Any of her pieces would make an amazing Christmas gift this holiday season (for you or someone you love). She also sells beautiful Native jewelry, blankets, moccasins and other accessories on her site as well, perfect for anyone on your holiday list!

Here’s how I styled the pieces she sent me…

Enjoy, babes!

xo

Amy Stretten wearing Native American fashion designer, Bethany Yellowtail's, original designs

Outfit details: BLOSSOM PANT + Top: Charlotte Russe+ | Shoes: Forever 21 | Hat: Wyeth

Amy Stretten wearing Native American fashion designer, Bethany Yellowtail's, original designs

Amy Stretten wearing Native American fashion designer, Bethany Yellowtail's, original designs

Outfit details: RISE SHEATH DRESS + Shoes: Rock & Republic | Hat: Wyeth

Amy Stretten wearing Native American fashion designer, Bethany Yellowtail's, original designs

Amy Stretten wearing Native American fashion designer, Bethany Yellowtail's, original designs

Outfit details: RIVER CAMISOLE WITH WAIST TIE (Sold Out) + Shirt: Lovesick Fashion | Jeans: Melissa McCarthy Seven7 | Shoes: Forever 21 

A note: The views expressed in this post are my true and honest opinions. I was not paid to endorse Bethany Yellowtail or her designs, but the clothing I styled and wore were gifts from the designer.

A new Take on a Pinstripe Suit

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“I say, dress to please yourself. Listen to your inner muse and take a chance. Wear something that says, ‘Here I am!’ today.” –Iris Apfel

In previous posts, I’ve talked about my love of statement pieces. Especially wearing them for networking purposes. Statement pieces are a great way to grab attention and stand out.

Never have I seen a more chic and artistic suit – let alone one that comes in plus sizes – than this set by Bisou Bisou. I first saw it on Rochelle of BeautiCurve a couple of months ago and was determined to find it in my size.  Sure enough, I was in luck. It was still available in my size! I was able to snag it at JCPenny.com and pick it up at my local store. I’m wearing an XL in both the jacket and pants. It comes in 1X-3X as well. The fabric is surprisingly stretchy, so there’s some give. (No need to worry about splitting your pants when you bend over!) And the slit in the wide leg trousers?? I just can’t!!!

This look is perfect for Sunday brunch with friends or for a networking event. You’ll stand out for sure wearing this ensemble!

And, you can pair it with a number of different tops, too. Anything from a simple cotton tank or t-shirt to a satin or lace blouse.

Here I’m wearing white, but pink, yellow, black…a number of colors could work. If you really wanted to kick it up a notch, you could wear a lace bodysuit, lace camisole or bandeau under it and take it for a night out. With this versatile piece, the options are endless!

What’s your favorite statement piece currently in your closet? Share it in the comments.

I hope you enjoy your day, babes!

xo

Plus size work clothes from JC Penny by Bisou Bisou

Plus size work clothes from JC Penny by Bisou Bisou

Plus size work clothes from JC Penny by Bisou Bisou

Plus size work clothes from JC Penny by Bisou Bisou

Plus size work clothes from JC Penny by Bisou Bisou

Outfit details: Suit (separates): Bisou Bisou (JCPenny) | Shoes: Forever 21 | Bag: Boutique

*Update: It looks like this particular set is no longer for sale at JCPenny.com. However, they do still carry a blouse and a romper in the same print. You may have luck searching on Poshmark or eBay if you’re dying to snag it, though . Alternatively, Bisou Bisou has a ton of to die for pieces in store and online at JCPenny.com.

Photographer: @M76Photo

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

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