Before hitting the shops this season, prep with advice from these keyed-in Chicago style bloggers.
Online and in life, these five know fashion. As the brains behind our city’s top fashion websites, they scout the best style in Chicago and beyond. Here, they come out from behind their computers to tell us what’s hot and where to find it.
1. Jared Hatch, Chicago Editor, Racked.com
Why we’re obsessed: From openings and closings to comings and goings, Hatch — Racked’s local man on the scene — offers almost immediate reportage on the people, places and things that make Chicago style so stellar.
Top trend: Hatch favors rich, saturated colors and blending textures. “It’s about creating a lush experience. From afar you want people to see your palette, across the table you want them to see the detail.”
Affordable chic: Shopping discount retailers such as Nordstrom Rack and Marshall’s can be overwhelming, but Hatch has a system. “I approach [them] like an art gallery or museum. Walk quickly and scan the racks and shelves for a tone or a shade that you like, but don’t sit there flipping through everything. Life is too short.”
Style advice: “A woman I greatly respect once told me that you should buy what you love and nobody else should have to know [the price],” he says. “After all, it’s just for you.”
2. Rebecca Taras, Chicago Editor, Refinery29.com
Why we’re obsessed: A must on any style maven’s blog roll, national website Refinery 29 — which has six editions, including Chicago — mixes fashion coverage with pieces on food, beauty and folks you should know.
Top trend: Over-the-knee boots and leather jackets are a must for Taras, but this season, you’re never fully dressed without a little fur (faux included). “A collar here, a trim there — a little can go a long way to class up a simple ensemble.”
Shopping itinerary: Topshop (830 N. Michigan) for affordable trends, Lori’s Shoes (824 W. Armitage) for chic shoes, the old-school inspired Aaron’s Apothecary (2338 N. Clark) for cosmetics and skincare and L.K. Bennett (The 900 Shops, 900 N. Michigan) for dresses.
Splurge-worthy: Taras recommends going big on everyday accessories. “A great pair of shoes and/or a purse can clean up any basic outfit. I’m lusting after the new Coach Legacy Collection.”
3. Patrice Grell Yursik, Creator, Afrobella.com
Why we’re obsessed: She’s been keeping African-American women abreast of fashion and beauty trends since 2006. But Yursik gained national attention last year when she collaborated with MAC cosmetics on a Lipglass. Inspired by Prince, the purple gloss sold out in a week.
Top trend: Yursik still loves the colored jeans trend. “I don’t see colored denim going away, I just see the colors changing. There’s more mustard, burnt orange, rust and emerald green coming to the forefront.”
Beauty tip: “I’m loving Too Faced’s Smokey Eye kit, and for a cat’s eye, NARS Eyeliner Stylo,” she says. “And Chicago’s own Fashion Fair cosmetics is on the verge of a comeback. They’ve got new, weightless foundation and sexy lip colors for women of color.”
Shopping itinerary: Yursik can usually be found perusing the selection on State Street. “I’m a plus-sized woman, and I find there’s a great selection of in-store shopping for women with curves,” she says. “The new City Target (1 S. State) has a great plus selection, Ashley Stewart (7 W. Madison) is across the street, then there’s TJ Maxx (11 N. State), Nordstrom Rack (24 N. State), Forever 21 (28 S. State) and H&M (22 N. State).”
What are they wearing?
ON JARED: Neil Barrett shirt, Osklen pants, Steven Alan vintage watch, Fred Perry x SWEAR shoes, Trafalgar belt ON REBECCA: Shoshanna dress, Hyde Collection belt, Topshop boots ON PATRICE: Michael Kors top, Eloquii by The Limited jeans, Doc Martens cloth boots ON DANA: Free People sweater and vegan leather dress, Steve Madden boots ON GRAHAM: American Apparel jeans, Topman jacket, Clark’s Desert Boots, Vintage shirt
4. Dana Weiss, Creator, Possessionista.com
Why we’re obsessed: Lusting after an LBD worn on “The Bachelorette,” a blouse worn on “Revenge” or a necklace donned by any of the “Real Housewives”? Thanks to connections with agents, stylists and production companies, Weiss can track down the designer and where to buy it. And her sharp wit (namely when live-Tweeting reality shows) has garnered her more than 35,000 Twitter followers.
Top trend: On Weiss’s fall shopping list you’ll find ankle booties, tribal sweaters, a fitted leather blazer and a rhinestone statement necklace. “And anything outerwear. This is Chicago, so your jacket is just as important as what’s underneath.”
Beauty tip: “I used to be a drag queen in a former life,” says Weiss of her love for mascara. She still swears by the iconic pink Maybelline Great Lash (“I put on 20 coats,” she says) and offers up application advice: “Take the wand and touch it to the tips first, then coat the lashes. It makes them longer.”
Style advice: Take inspiration from high-end fashion mags, then log on to etsy.com. “Find a no-name designer who’s doing the same thing, and you can get it for cheap,” she says.
Why we’re obsessed: From colorful editorial photo spreads to delightful on-camera videos with the best in the biz (think Simon Doonan, Cynthia Rowley and Kelly Wearstler), this online mag has a distinctly playful approach to style.
Top trend: For Kostic, it’s all about color. “Adding on-trend colored accessories is the easiest (and most cost effective!) way to stay current from season to season. Add a burgundy belt, or a bright blue portfolio.”
Currently digging: Burberry Prorsum’s Fox sweater, DSquared’s gray sweatsuit and Prada’s plexiglass lapel pins. He also loves the prevalence of rhubarb and honey gold this season. “I’ve been wearing mustard-colored jeans for five years now, and I finally feel validated.”
Shopping itinerary: His personal style blends high fashion with quirky accents, so Kostic shops at places such as Jayson Home (1885 N. Clybourn), Edgewater Antique Mall (6314 N. Broadway) and Space519 (The 900 Shops, 900 N. Michigan).
Style advice: “Just be yourself. That confidence will make you look better than any trendy piece.”