New York and Los Angeles might seem to have a monopoly on fashion as the primary U.S. hubs of street style bloggers, sparking trends with every look captured. But this latest crop of blogging women prove that the Windy City has firmly established itself as another hotbed of high fashion inspiration, with simple, everyday looks to out-of-this-world ensembles featured across an array of blogs sure to appeal to every type of Chicagoan. Here’s a roundup of the very best to lure you down the fashion rabbit hole.
If you’re looking for inspiration to take your everyday looks to glamorous fashion heights, Chi City Fashion is the blog for you. It’s run by Jena, who remains perfectly relatable with her obsessions to cute puppies, hot shoes and all-things-food featured alongside her daily style. Her blog and corresponding Instagram encompass a little bit of everything, including discussions of new trends, impromptu photoshoots in front of local street murals and monthly fashion and beauty favorites. Her look is simple, occasionally monochromatic and typically anchored by one solid statement item, whether that be a funky jacket or killer piece of body jewelry. Jena dabbles in a lot of different things, but what we love most are her Chicago foster rescue dogs and her readily apparent dedication to the 1990s revival currently sweeping through fashion.
Amber’s everyday style is influenced by “body positivity, size-inclusivity and female empowerment,” and if that doesn’t sell you, her infectious energy and welcoming attitude definitely will. She started Style Plus Curves six years ago to celebrate her love of fashion and beauty, and the smile that’s always on her face is a dead giveaway that she’s living this ethos every single day. Amber’s style is fun, colorful and decidedly feminine. Her Instagram and blog posts are typically full of brightly-patterned dresses and skirts, and she’s a self-proclaimed lover of high heels and her signature red lipstick. But whether she’s dressing up for an event or down for a coffee run, Amber keeps the sun in Chicago all year round.
Jen is the superwoman who can do it all. Red Soles and Red Wine maintains a steady following thanks to Jen’s wardrobe of bright colors and fun fashion appeal. Her posts and Instagram are full of shots of Jen modeling her latest finds, whether they be basic denim or statement color-block dresses. But she is also the CEO and co-founder of T&J Designs, the clothing company she started with her sister to bring their love of apparel and accessories to the “stylish, smart, self-confident and social” customer. She splits her time between Chicago and San Francisco to manage the business and still finds time to parent the two cutest little boys. Phew. If you need a kick-start on following your dreams, follow Jen. She’ll show you the ropes.
Jaye “Goody” Gipson’s blog Curvatude combines two of her best qualities and produces content everyone will love: her killer curves and no-nonsense attitude. She started her blog as a ‘love letter to women to love your body as she is and to live life to the fullest.’ Expect a lot of outfit posts, beauty favorites, event summaries and even vacation wrap-ups. She recently added two contributors to her operation so she could incorporate a wider range of content, including men’s fashion. Everything about her online presence screams independence and individuality, which complements her personal motto that ‘fashion is an individual statement.’ She lives out that motto with an expressive wardrobe, experimenting with prints, layers and fabrics. It’s difficult to stay cool in Chicago summers, but Jaye does it effortlessly.
Rachel runs a fashion blog in a category all unto its own. Chicago Chic is here to remind us all that while fashion is often seen as temporary these days, with ever-changing trends that rise and fall with the seasons, it can also be absolutely anything you want it to be. Rachel’s appearance and life have been influenced by art, history and the Golden Age of Hollywood, which led to her sharing this inspired fashion cocktail with the world via the internet. She describes her style as vintage glamour, and she has this aesthetic in spades. Her blog and Instagram feature stunning photography of her dressed in vintage clothing posed around Chicago, and she often uses her brand to promote businesses and historic sites in the city. She even has a collaboration coming out this Fall with British clothing line Voodoo Vixen.
Don’t be fooled into thinking that Natalie in the City’s mostly-black wardrobe means she’s just another bland urban fashion blogger — her style brings all the fun to the party. As a recent Chicago college grad, she’s juggling a full-time adult job whilst maintaining her kick-butt fashionista persona. Her blog is full of inspiration and ranges from posts on subjects such as how to wear black in the summer, to swimwear lookbooks and personal style stories. Certainly the most notable is her 2014 appearance on the Steve Harvey Show, when she wore a bikini on national television alongside other body-confident women of size. It’s this type of eye-opening and relatable content that gives Natalie a genuine fan following and makes her the one to watch in Chicago’s blog scene.