We hope you enjoyed meeting up with New Yorker Alessa of Prince & Mott last week. This week, we’re heading to the west coast to bring you the lovely Amy of The Chief of Style. I personally first learned about Amy’s blog when we introduced ourselves after an eBay transaction! (I love the internet!) Once clued in on Chief of Style, Amy’s amazing honesty, intersectional approach to fashion, body image, and life, and of course, her superb fashion, make Amy a blogger to follow. She is a plus size blogger YOU NEED TO KNOW!!
Meet Amy of Chief of Style!!
Blog: The Chief of Style
Location: Los Angeles
How long have you been blogging?
I first began blogging in 2009 as a way to create a portfolio to get into graduate school for journalism. It was called NativeJournalist.com and featured mostly Native American-related news/content. While I built up a bit of a following, I didn’t keep it going because I felt pigeon-holed given that it only represented one part of my identity. The Chief of Style, in my opinion, allows for a broader range of coverage areas because while the word “Chief” is a nod to my Native heritage, it’s not restrictively so. I finally launched CoS in late May, though I’d been building a small following on Instagram leading up to it.
What or who inspired you to become a fashion blogger? What led you to it?
I have always loved fashion – since i was a little girl. I’ve always loved the feeling of wearing something new (or new to you) 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 has 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 begin to 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!)
Do you blog full-time, for fun, as a hobby? Share your evolution!
I blog full-time, but I also work from home and have a lot of flexibility in my (paying) job. I’ve been getting things for free for several months now because of my blog and Instagram (@ChiefofStyle), but it seems things are beginning to shift and I’ll now be able to ask for money in addition to free things. lol
What is your favorite asset? Your legs, arms, waist? How do you play that up?
I love a lot of parts of my body: My face (especially my eyes and smile), my legs, my cleavage, my shape in general, and my height. I also love how my feet look in heels. I definitely play all of that up, but I don’t think I consciously do so. When I’m looking for styles to wear for my blog, I usually just go for whatever looks interesting or tells a story. It really helps with creating the content (words) to support the photos in my posts.
What are the challenges, if any, you face regarding being plus size?
The first would be self criticism. I’ve always been extremely hard on myself – cruel even, if I’m being honest. My biggest challenge has been in loving myself exactly where and how I am. It’s a daily challenge, but I’ve come a long way. Up until now, I’d say the other big challenge is a practical one: How do I look fierce if I can’t find clothing in my size? But with so many new brands for curvy women, there’s almost too many choices! Other than that, maybe it would be finding someone who isn’t afraid, embarrassed, (fill-in-the-blank feeling)…about being with a taller woman who’s plus size. I’m queer and I don’t date cis men. Women, in particular, don’t hit on other women…at least they never ever hit on me IRL, but that’s probably not simply because I’m +size. It’s just a thing, but it’s one of my intersectional challenges, I suppose.
What’s your favorite thing about being plus size?
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 fit. 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!
What’s your favorite thing about being a blogger?
I’ve worked full time as a journalist and I love writing/producing content (photos, videos, etc.). But I love that as a blogger I’m not restricted with regard to topic, position, length, overall look/feel, etc. I can basically do whatever I want and I like that. I also love that being a blogger has given me access to opportunities I would otherwise not be privy to and a platform to reach a bigger, yet more targeted audience.
Who/what are your favorite designers/brands?
I absolutely love Eloquii! Their designs incorporate beautiful patterns, rich fabrics, often whimsical motifs, and their clothing is so well made. Plus, everyone who works there (from customer service to the design team) is a total doll. They’re so passionate about what they do and very dedicated to the customers they serve. I feel good spending my money on clothing made by a company that actually cares about its customers. I also really like Universal Standard for it’s minimalistic simplicity. ASOS Curve has great high fashion looks for curvy women which is not something we can easily find sometimes. Forever21+ and Boohoo are there when I need a really cute going out outfit. And I love that stores like NY&Co., Target, Nordstrom, among a host of other brick and mortar stores, are really beginning to understand and cater to their plus size customers. It’s so nice to be able to go into a store and actually try on something!
Describe your personal style.
This is such a hard question because my style varies by the day. For that reason, I think it’s best described as eclectic, but that’s not really telling you anything. lol I love vintage clothing (especially sequin blazers and the 90s grunge look), but I also love the more preppy Sunday brunch chic look. Sometimes you may see me in jeans, sneakers, and a sweatshirt, while other times I’m in heels, a short bodycon skirt and heels. I love to change it up. Fashion to me is like dress up. You can be whomever you want just by putting on – or taking off – an item or two.
Which bloggers inspire you? Plus or straight size! Any bloggers currently on your radar?
Oh my gosh! So many!! I especially love TrendyCurvy, BeautiCurve, Style Me Samira, Nicolette Mason (another queer femme), Gabi Gregg (we went to the same women’s college), Hayet Rida, Kellie Brown/And I Get Dressed, Girl With Curves, and last but definitely not least, Sometimes Glam, just to name a few.
What do you think about where plus size fashion is today versus a few years back?
I’ve often bounced between straight size and plus size (I’ve usually been a 10/12 to as large as a 16/18). A few years back, I was ashamed to be a 16/18. I was also depressed and unemployed, living in a part of the country I hated…so, it really wasn’t the best time for me. And when I’m at my lowest, I usually turn my unhappiness with the outside world inward. So, in 2014/2015, I was really depressed. I’d gained a lot of weight and didn’t feel very good about myself, mostly because all I wore were leggings and tank tops. I didn’t know where to shop for my newly plus size figure and, to me, at the time, being plus size was something to be embarrassed about, not proud of.
I constantly talked about needing to lose weight. I was lucky that I had a really supportive partner at the time who loved me just as I was – depressed and all. I *wish* I’d known there was another option: to love myself just as I was and rock the curves I was given. I’m so grateful that I’ve gotten to that point now. Truly grateful.
What do you think or hear from readers, is one of the biggest myths about plus size fashion?
The biggest myths about plus size fashion are that a) there are rules that need to be followed and b) that +size fashion can’t be trend setting. I think some folks still believe plus size women shouldn’t wear large prints, stripes, or anything that shows off too much skin. And, I think there’s also the misconception that plus size clothing isn’t fashion forward. What I secretly love is when a straight size woman nearly dies over my outfit and asks where I got it and I tell her, but let her know they probably don’t have it in her size. (It’s like teeny tiny revenge for all the years my size wasn’t on the rack! Is that sick? It is, isn’t it…lol)
Are you working on anything or have anything to share?
I’m about to launch my Chief of Style YouTube channel finally. It’s been a long time coming. I’m a perfectionist and because I’ve got a degree in this stuff and have been an on-air reporter, I’m really hard on myself when it comes to the journalistic-type work I put out in the world. I should be launching the channel in the coming weeks. I’m also starting a podcast with a good friend about being a queer femme. I’m really in a place in my career right now where the answer is always “Yes!” I usually don’t turn down any legitimate opportunities. So, there will probably be some more things to share soon. Just check my Facebook page and my Instagram for updates.
Anything else you want The Curvy Fashionista’s readers to know?
If there’s anything I’d like for you to take away from this interview, it’s to stop doubting yourself: your talents, your beauty, your strength, your abilities, your worth…stop selling yourself short. You’re an incredible person with unique talents. Love yourself like you never thought you could. You only get one you and one life. Make it a good one!!!
Lastly, what does Curvy.Confident.Chic mean to you?
It sounds like a concise description of me. So, I guess it means being authentically myself.
Check out Amy’s blog at ChiefofStyle.com!!!
Do you dig her style? Which look is your fave?
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Looking for more plus size blogger style inspiration? Make sure you check out all of the other plus size blogger spotlights!