Thursday, March 23, 2017

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Randolph Street Market presents "Men of March" this weekend!

From the desk of one of my local style gurus and gentleman extraordinaire, Ryan Beshel:

I’ve selected a group of local Chicago makers that all offer a product for men. I think Chicago men have great style – and I want to shine some light on some of the city’s best offerings. These vendors will be grouped together to create our "Men of March" category/section at the market. My vendor list is below: 

   Scratch Goods 
   Knot Standard



This weekend 10 am to 5 pm - more info at

Chicago Looks IRL

Last day to pick up your Chicago Reader featuring a very stylish Sikh couple in my Street View column, @shinda__singh and @amritahanjrah.


chicago street style fashion blog

Callie (@callliefitz) was wearing a vintage South Korean jacket by Etsy and tapping shoes she found at a thrift store.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Monday, March 20, 2017

David and Samson

chicago street style fashion blog

Follow David and Samson at @drmaxwelljr and @xslowsonx

Sunday, March 19, 2017


chicago street style fashion blog

Hilary is a model. Find her at @nephttyss.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Chicago Humanities Festival STYLE videos

"The global fashion discount industry has made high-priced chic available on the cheap. But some argue that we’re paying in other ways for all those $15 shoes and $5 T-shirts. After surveying her own wardrobe, journalist Elizabeth L. Cline set out to uncover the true cost of discount retail and found horrific labor conditions, environmental devastation, and the demise of local fashion economies. Now she’s shooting a documentary exploring the same themes as her book, Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion. Join Cline for a frank talk about fast fashion while exploring ways to shop ethically and sustainably."

"From Hillary Clinton’s pantsuit to Donald Trump’s hair, fashion is an important part of how we view our political candidates. From her perch in our nation’s capital, Washington Post columnist Robin Givhan has a bird’s-eye view of the role that style plays in politics, parlaying her insight into the first Pulitzer Prize awarded for fashion writing. More than just a fashion commentator, Givhan is also a fashion historian, detailing the night a small group of American designers and models trounced French haute couture and revolutionized the runway in her recent book, The Battle of Versailles. Join Givhan and Gioia Diliberto (author of Diane Von Furstenberg: A Life Unwrapped) for a conversation on the political weight of fashion and a reading." 

"When Italian designers Dolce & Gabbana announced its first hijab collection, it wasn’t just the fashion world that took notice. In many ways, hijab is becoming part of mainstream Western culture, worn by characters on television series, Olympic athletes, even a new Barbie doll. Still the wearing of hijab continues to spark other responses, from attacks on women in Paris, to calls from some Muslim women to end what they view as an oppressive form of dress. CHF convenes a conversation to discuss the complex and sometimes contradictory responses to hijab, including Asra Nomani, journalist and author of Standing Alone in Mecca and Hoda Katebi, activist and author of  Tehran Street Style, moderated by Duaa Eldeib of the Chicago Tribune."

"Style is such an individual mode of expression that it can sometimes be hard to define – we know it when we see it. That elusive quality is also what makes matters of style so open to interpretation and debate. Join CHF as we convene style authorities for a series of conversations – on how we should dress, write, and live. Participants include SAIC Fashion Resource Center Director Gillion Carrara in conversation with journalist and graphic design expert Jude Stewart ("Patternalia"), Chicago Manual of Style editor Carol Saller ("The Subversive Copy Editor") with New York Times reporter Jennifer Schuessler, and fashion entrepreneur, designer and FLOTUS dresser Maria Pinto."

These programs were recorded last year as part of Chicago Humanities Festival's inaugural spring festival, Style (see more here).


So these are the fashion-related videos of last year's first spring Chicago Humanities Festival, whose theme was "Style". Now coming up, from April 28th to the 30th: STUFF! I mean, the perfect sequence for "Style", right? I am personally very excited about Marie Kondo's talk - every time I'm questioning whether I should get rid of something, I ask myself in a soft Kondo-like Japanese accent: "Does that spark joy?" I must say it works! Also in this series: Caitlyn Jenner, Sheryl Sandberg, John Waters and 30+ thought-provoking speakers. Looking forward!

More info and tickets at 

Friday, March 17, 2017


chicago street style fashion blog

Layer Away

Fashion, fitness and travel blogger Lissa Kahayon (@lissakahayon) was visiting the Garfield Park Conservatory.
Could you tell me more about each item in your outfit? 
Not sure if you can tell but I am actually wearing a ton of layers underneath! I get cold so easily, so I am having a difficult time adjusting to winter. I am wearing three thermals on top, one black turtleneck and the yellow turtleneck, two thermals on the bottom and these green pants, thigh-high boots and a long old rose-colored blazer. The yellow top is actually one of my best fashion finds because I got it at a thrift store for only a dollar! The blazer is from Forever 21 and the green pants were given to me by a good friend. The Gucci bag is a current favorite and I’ve been using it almost every day since I got it a few months ago.
Why did you decide to become a fashion blogger? 
It started as a hobby when I was in college because I wanted to document my outfit every single day. I didn’t know that people would eventually come to read my blog, and I’m so thankful that it became a full-time job.
Who are some of your favorite personal style bloggers, and why? 
Song of Style, Chriselle Lim, Margo and Me and Julia Engel. I love their fashion sense and I love following their travel adventures around the world.
Do you think fashion can make the world better?
Yes, I’d like to think so. Fashion is more than just looking good, it’s also doing good. For example, fashion can be used as a means to voice out opinions or social issues. Or fashion can make the world better through means of using eco-friendly materials to produce a garment.
Originally published in Newcity.


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Every Day Is An Adventure
Artist and self-described pirate Jalon Middlebrooks also goes by Nolaj, the alias he created by spelling his name backwards. Find him on Instagram at @bitchimconceited.
How did you style your outfit? 
I was going for a custom futuristic cowboy look. With all black, I chose to wear the burgundy top hat to complement the shoes. Just like I chose to wear the red fanny pack to complement the red on my black bomber jacket and the red on my rings’ stones. Every day is an adventure when going through my clothes and deciding what to wear, and the process is timely.
How do you usually accessorize your looks?
Ah yes, well, accessories are my favorite part of getting dressed! You’ll always catch me with at least one fanny pack on to match my outfit, sometimes two just for the flex! The rings come and go, but now I have twelve on each hand. There’s a specific order and placement for every ring on each finger. Bandanas, a lot of gold like a pirate and at least one other crazy piece to throw you off, like a fly-ass helmet or a cape. I love vintage. That rare stuff. I like to stick out, think outside the bizox and just really show these shorties what bad really looks like.
Do you always choose carefully what you’ll wear? 
I do in fact always choose carefully what I wear. One hat can shift the entire look of an outfit. The pair of shades I’m wearing, the accent colors I decide to bring out, how many layers… All these factors and more can shift the entire mood of the fit. So I go with what I feel most and rock with that. I’m very strategic with my design and sometimes you gotta sacrifice to look nice, I think.
Who and what inspires your style?
Once I realized that I could paint a picture with my appearance and express so much without saying a word, I really began to enjoy exploring the world of accessories and using my creativity to put myself in my style. In terms of inspiration, I can definitely say the animated band called ‘Gorillaz’ has had a huge impact on my unique appearance. As a person I’ve always been very animated personality-wise, and I believe the Gorillaz were also the first artists I was a true legit fan of. I love the characters’ style and the way they use accessories to paint such a vivid portrait of their personalities, so to speak. They’re an animated band but pretty real to me.
What does fashion mean to you?
Fashion is creativity and expression manifested by man to wear. Sometimes it’s boring, sometimes it’s inspiring and captivating, but every garment was an original idea. Swag, swag.
Originally published in Newcity.


chicago street style fashion blog

She's the Business
Krystal Ptacek (@krystalptacek) is a receptionist at Art+Science West Loop and a fashion business student at Columbia College.
What are some of the most important lessons you’re learning in your fashion business courses?
Apparel Evaluation has definitely been the most useful course I’ve taken. As a financially independent college student, the majority of my wardrobe comes from secondhand stores. I now know what qualities to look for in a garment in order to justify my purchases. Some of my best and most favorite pieces have been purchased from a secondhand store for under ten dollars.
What makes a fashion enterprise successful?
I feel like success is based off of the raw emotion behind the work being produced. Sometimes it seems like success is unattainable in the fashion industry and it is a cutthroat field to work in. You just have to be willing and able to face failure from the beginning without losing sight of the reason you’re doing it all in the first place: because you really love it. If you keep doing what you love, success will come naturally.
Where do you get informed in your field?
Some of my favorite magazines are i-D, Bon, Dazed and Paper (online and print). One of the perks of being a student is that I have the ability to access WGSN and Women’s Wear Daily as well in order to stay current and get more of an inside look at the industry. I also follow these lovely Instagrams: @c0neja@gelbsy@sitabellan@bureaubetak and @pinamarlene.
What kind of job do you intend to have? How are you getting started in your profession?
I feel like today people are being forced to know exactly what they want to do and keep creating and releasing content. It seems like it’s more about quantity than quality. It works right now for some artists because people just want more and more stimulation but it has me wondering if it will still be relevant in five years. I don’t really know what the future holds for me and I’m more than okay with that. I’m just chilling. I am focusing on graduating school while exploring my talents and interests more deeply so I have a better understanding of where I am going to thrive the most.
Why did you become interested in the business side of fashion?
I initially did not want to go to college, I wanted to take a gap year because I had no idea what I wanted to pursue. I felt a lot of pressure to go to college so at the last minute I decided to go to school for fashion in Chicago, which shocked my family. I’ve always had a love for clothes and decided if I was going to have to endure four years of post-secondary education, I might as well be studying something I enjoy. Plus I work a lot better with numbers and organization rather than sketches and a sewing machine.
How would you describe your style? Who and what inspires you?
I would describe my style as very eclectic. My main inspiration is my grandmother—I can spend all day just looking through her closet, jewelry boxes and shoes. She has the best style out of anybody I know and is the main reason I am going to school for fashion. I also take a lot of my inspiration from my mood and whatever kind of music I’m listening to in the morning. It’s a lot easier to express myself through what I’m wearing and how I present myself. Right now I am really into the oversized look, the color gold and sparkles.
Where do you have your hair cut? Why did you choose this hairstyle?
I get my hair cut and colored at Art+Science in the West Loop. Ever since I started working there my hair has gotten shorter and blonder. I like to get my hair cut from all the different stylists to see their interpretations of what looks best and they never disappoint. In this photo, the barber, Nicky, cut my hair. I get it colored by Gabrielle who has always done a stunning job. Next week I’m coloring it pink for my twenty-first birthday, which I’ll be spending in Miami.
Originally published in Newcity.

Lesan and John

chicago street style fashion blog

Empower couple

"Fashion is empowering," John Williams says. "It allows me to embrace who I am, and I believe it has the ability to do this for others." It was with that spirit that the accounting student and Ghanaian immigrant founded the fair-trade apparel company Gyetum—which means "to embrace" in the Ghanaian language Akan—to encourage black and African people to accept "who we really are," says Williams, pictured with his girlfriend Lesan Mattis. "It seems like these days we are always looking to be accepted by others, changing the way we dress, speak, trying to fit in, and assimilating to other cultures that aren't our own. But why would we need others to embrace us if we already embrace ourselves?"

Originally published in the Chicago Reader.

Brother Hollis

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Not only does the self-styled evangelist who goes by the name Brother Hollis habitually quote the Bible, he also dresses in accordance with scripture. His daily all-white look is inspired by a verse in Revelation 3:4: "They shall walk with me in white, for they are worthy." "I'm trying to live righteously," Hollis says, "and wearing white reminds me to do everything with a sincere heart."

Originally published in the Chicago Reader.


chicago street style fashion blog

Splitting hairs

"I dress based on how I'm feeling that day, and I create music based on how I feel as well", singer-songwriter Tatiana Hazel says. "As for my hair, the theme of my upcoming single is split personality, so I dyed it split colors." Check out her eclectic style on Instagram (@tatianahazel) and listen to her music at

Originally published in the Chicago Reader.


chicago street style fashion blog

Poetry on the blog page

"Be yourself in whatever you do," says Monika Latala of the fashion blog Effie, her alter ego, is a name she took from one of her favorite poems, "Here Is Little Effie's Head" by E.E. Cummings. "It's about being fearless, not afraid to make a statement, and that's what Effie helps me do in fashion." After moving from Poland, Latala began blogging "because the need to share my looks became stronger than the fear of starting my own page, " she says. "[Late, legendary New York Timesfashion photographer] Bill Cunningham said, 'Fashion is the armor to survive the reality of everyday life,' and I totally agree with that."

Originally published in the Chicago Reader.
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