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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.

Who is the Chief of Style?

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“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” – Maya Angelou

I first started blogging in 2009 to create a portfolio of written work to get into graduate school. I had worked in entertainment for a few years after graduating from college and I had been doing some plus size modeling for fun. Unfortunately, in ’09/’10 there wasn’t much interest in hiring and using plus size models because being curvy wasn’t trendy or cute. (I also struggled to embrace my curvier, fuller frame.) So, I gave up.*  And while I enjoyed working for some of the biggest studios in Hollywood, something was missing. I knew I wanted to change the world, but I also knew I wanted to do so in an entertaining way…I just wasn’t sure how.

After doing some soul searching and taking a news writing course at a nearby university, I decided to pursue journalism professionally. To do that, I needed more experience. But, to get experience, it seemed like I needed to have experience. (A ‘catch-22’ millennials, in particular, know a lot about.) After applying to countless journalism jobs, it became clear that graduate school could be the best next move. (For more on what happened then, visit my About page.)

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I created this blog in part because I believe seeing a queer, plus size, femme of color expressing self-love is a radical act. And, because I have always had a seriously intense passion for fashion. I also have a unique take on trends and enjoy styling photo shoots (my own and others’). And, after earning almost a quarter of a million followers on Poshmark, where I sell new, pre-loved, and vintage items, I felt it was about time I started sharing my passion(s) with the world.

As a queer, mixed race (Native American/Black/French Canadian/Scotch-Irish), bilingual (English/Spanish) fashionista who has lived and traveled abroad, I pull a lot of my fashion sensibility from the many cultures and communities I represent and come into contact with. I love supporting Indigenous fashion designers from around the world as well as brands that care about curvy women. So, you’ll see quite a bit of both here.

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My first blog did help me get into graduate school, and in 2011 I earned a Master of Arts degree in Journalism from the City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism. Now, armed with experience, education, and much more self-confidence, I’m ready to get back to this fashion and entertainment thing. I hope you enjoy following me as I share what being the Chief of Style means to me.

 

*Thankfully, we’ve come a long way. Since then, a lot has changed in mainstream media, the modeling industry, and in fashion for curvy women. Models and bloggers alike have changed the game for women of size and have inspired self-acceptance in hundreds of thousands of women worldwide. Now, the term “body-positivity” is on everyone’s lips.