Simply Stylist


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If you have followed StreetStyleChi in the past, you know I love a good fashion + tech conference. My two favorite things combined…what could be better? I had the pleasure of going to Simply Stylist this past week, and California Tan was nice enough to give me a golden glow that lasted well into the next week.

This was my first year attending the conference, and I am so happy that Simply Stylist decided to bring their ideas to Chicago. Corri McFadden, Jacey Duprie, Joey Maalouf, and Sazan Barzani spoke as the main feature event, and I was blown away! I love listening to other strong women and men in business making a name for themselves. It also doesn’t hurt that Duprie is a fellow DePaul University alum.


Didn’t make it to Chicago? Head to Simply Stylist in New York this October.


Not quite getting that golden summer look you had hoped for? Try hopping over to California for a tan.  ; )


I Spy: Custom Cocktail Napkins


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Lettermade is a brand for the modern traditionalist, who values classic design and decor stirred up with a contemporary flare,” boasts the Lettermade About page. I would say…I have to agree.

I have always loved picking up small treasures at street markets and boutiques throughout my travels. Putting them in the perfect place when I return home makes me smile and remember the memories that are held with that piece. I stumbled upon the Lettermade Instagram last week, and loved the line “modern traditionalist.” If I had to describe myself in two words, this would be it. I love a classic palette (hello light-grey walls!) mixed with pieces from my favorite street artists.

The next addition to my home-goods collection will be these hashtag cocktail napkins. The dainty design will look great out on a bar cart, as well as scattered over end-tables and beneath unique glassware. Quick tip: steal the idea in the above champagne photo and rim glasses with glittery sanding sugar to kick your cocktails up a notch.



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Instagram Tips: Build Your ‘Gram Like A Professional

With personalities building their whole career off of Instagram we often find ourselves wondering how they did it. Here are a few tips to help you ‘gram like a professional.

A snap from one of my favorite IG accounts: @TheBannerie

A snap from one of my favorite IG accounts: @TheBannerie

1. Keep it simple. Think of something you are passionate about and keep within that theme. Whether it be street-style or donuts, having a neatly curated ‘gram will help you grow a niche following. One of my favorite themed accounts is The Bannerie.

2. Create a quirky name. Having a recognizable name will help your Instagram stick in the minds of your followers and even get approached by brands for collaborations. Use the description box to plug your other social media accounts. You never know what social media platform will be the next big thing in a week or so, so I recommend growing a following on multiple platforms and cross promoting.

3. Only share quality images! Sharing glowing images is half the battle of having a neatly packaged Instagram. Blurry or low-resolution snaps will not get many likes and may even result in lost followers, so just say no!

4. Practice your snaps. Many accounts have all of their photos taken in similar styles. Against a brick wall…food on a marble counter-top. If you are serious about upping your ‘Gram game, practice a few different styles to get familiar with what you like and how to get the best shot. Soon enough it will become second nature and you will get the right shot every time.

5. Be consistent with hashtags. Want to grow a following that also shares photos with you? Create a hashtag to promote. Not only is this an optimal way to engage your community, it will also give you additional content to #ReGram when you do not have anything new. Shai Chung over at @DrunkonShoes does an awesome job of this with the hashtag #Drunkonshoestoo.

6. Be unique. While it’s always a great idea to peek around at “instafamous” accounts for inspiration, do not try to copy them. Take notes on why you think these accounts are popular (ex. cohesive theme), and think about what you could do better. You will not amass tens of thousands of followers by doing the same thing as someone else.

7. Give credit where credit is due. With millions of brilliant photos circulating on Instagram everyday, we are bound to #Regram here or there. Just give credit to the original poster to practice good etiquette. You may even make a new IG friend along the way!

8. Monitor when your followers are online. Do not overlook all the tools at your fingertips with Iconosquare. Iconosquare allows you to monitor what times are best for you to post and when your community is the most active. Post during those times.



LET’S GET SOCIAL: Snapchat: StreetStyleChi / Instagram: Follow Along / Twitter: Tweet Me

Embroidered White


Saturday was the first (semi)relaxing day I had in a while. I took my math final in the morning, walked around Green City Market, and then relaxed in the sun. I picked up this simple cotton dress with bright blue embroidery on a vacation in December and am ecstatic that it is finally warm enough to wear it over a bathing suit.








After a long week, sometimes all you can do is go get a glass (pitcher) of sangria and cozy up to the bar. I stumbled upon a photo of sangria and a cheese board from Black Bull a few months ago. DJ and I finally went and tried it out Saturday night. Black Bull definitely lives up to the food porn photo hype splattered across my news-feed.

On our walk home from the roof a butterfly started landing on me. Health wise, I have had a very rough few months with a lot of tests in the horizon. I have always taken butterflies as a sign of my grandfather’s presence, who passed when I was in high school. I would like to think that this is him keeping an eye on me.


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Sunday Stripes

Brunch is one of my favorite meals of all time. When else can you eat breakfast foods, lunch, pastries, all topped off with a mimosa and have it be socially acceptable? Exactly. My family loves brunch at The Publican. The avocado scramble with a side of frites if my dish of choice.











My mom brought this dress home for me from J. Crew last year. Being a little curvy, I wasn’t sure that it was the right fit for my body. I put it in my closet, and did not touch it for a full year. I stumbled upon it two weeks ago and fell madly in love with the blue and white color palette and high-neckline cut. I have worn it quite a bit since, often with a leather jacket thrown on top or with a brown leather belt wrapped around my hips for a boho look. The best part? The loose fit allowed me to consume all the baked good and scrambled eggs I wanted. Now, that’s a real winner


LET’S GET SOCIAL: Snapchat: StreetStyleChi / Instagram: Follow Along / Twitter: Tweet Me

The Inside Scoop On Monetizing Your Social Accounts

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Just because you are on social media, does not mean you are a social media expert. In the same way, having an Instagram…does not make you a professional photographer (sorry…duck lips don’t count). I joined Instagram at the end of my Freshman year of college when I first started my blog, StreetStyleChi. I knew little about how to use social media, or, how beneficial it could be. After spending a year working with the women of Nike in Chicago helping to open a concept store called NTC, I quickly gained insight and learned how important a strong social media voice is. The fact is, that good social media can move mountains between a brand and it’s consumers.

Back in 2011, social media was looked at as purely an egotistical form of media (which it still can be). It was just a silly place for teens to express their love for the latest member of One Direction (again, still very much alive). Only in the last few years have we started to fully take advantage of what it really is: a direct line to your consumer.

In Style Sponsored Insta Post

If you read my post about the FTC blogger guidelines last month, you know all about how paid endorsements online are supposed to work. While many view giving bloggers monetary compensation to wear certain products as deceptive, it is truly just another form of advertising for these large brands trying to tap a specific market; and it is SUPER smart. Consumers no longer want to click on a banner ad or follow a brand on social media; they want to follow a personality. Bloggers and “influencers” being sent product, help brands build a direct relationship with their consumer through this third party (being the blogger.)

A great example of Instagram marketing can be found at @WeWoreWhat, founded by blogger Danielle Bernstein. Her Instagram account boasts a million followers, with sponsored posts trickling down her feed, that to an untrained eye, look organic. In reality, Bernstein charges $5-15K per Instagram photo, with monetary compensation going up as the number of Instagrams goes up. So why would a brand be willing to pay tens of thousands of dollars for a single photo on a social network? Bloggers build lasting relationships with their readers for years, thus, when they promote a brand, the brand gains that loyalty as well.

WWW Sponsored Insta Post

When looking at famous instagram accounts, we are not just talking number of followers, but engagements, which are measured by number of likes and comments on a photo. If you have 20K followers on Instagram, but are consistently getting 15 likes on your photos, there is a very fair chance that you bought 19K of those followers and brands will keep their distance. Essentially, your data will speak for itself.

If you look through any “instafamous” personalities, their content glows. Their photos boast the same filter to show consistency, and their snapshots are taken with fancy camera attachments or a Nikon camera. Every photo is strategically placed on their feed with the same intensive thought that goes into a full-throttle pr campaign. Why? They are their brand, and their social tool of choice is their main place of marketing themselves, so it better be good.


Check back for tips on growing your social following shortly.

LET’S GET SOCIAL: Snapchat: StreetStyleChi / Instagram: Follow Along / Twitter: Tweet Me

How To: Land Your Fashion Dream Job According To An Insider Part II


In a two part guest series, Ashley Altstadt let’s you in on her tips and recommendations for going after what you want, and ultimately landing a coveted spot in the fashion industry. This is part II.



Do as much as you can on the side.

When I’m not at my current job, I’m writing for online fashion magazines. Start a blog, take photos and show off your work anyway that you can. Companies want to see someone that takes the time to do what they love. Having a blog will also show off your personality and point of view to future employers.


Dress the part.

When you’re trying to land your dream job, you want to be taken seriously. I always go for a tailored pant or a midi dress for an interview. Employers want to see that you can put yourself together, but you also have your own personal style. Don’t wear too much jewelry, keep it light on the make-up, and always wear heels that you feel confident in.



Before every interview I always research the company inside and out. You want to impress these future employers by knowing the company background and philosophies. Doing your homework shows that you’re serious about the job.


Be smart on social media.

Make sure that you’re putting out a positive image of yourself on every social media platform. Employers will look there first to see what you’re like and who you are. I always stick to classy and respectable posts because you never know who is looking. Social media has become the largest representations of ourselves whether we like it or not.



I’ve learned that being nice to people will get you further in life than anything else. Always be pleasant, be nice to everyone you meet and SMILE! Also, HAVE FUN! Fashion is supposed to be creative, artistic and exciting.


 LET’S GET SOCIAL: Snapchat: StreetStyleChi / Instagram: Follow Along / Twitter: Tweet Me

Bold Patterns at Dylan’s Candy Bar

I got an invite to an event last week that said “candy colored cocktail attire required.” What exactly does this mean? Who knows. I left it up to interpretation and went as a Zebra Cake (not exactly a candy, but cut me some slack here!)








I picked up this Parker maxi skirt last year for Snowball, and am constantly thinking of ways to re-wear it. Although it’s meant to be for black-tie affairs, I tend to pair it with a simple tank-top or fitted t-shirt for events and everyday wear. While dressing up is fun, cocktail attire always confuses me…will I be overdressed or under-dressed? I wore this specific outfit for the Dylan’s Candy Bar opening last Thursday, where the theme was “candy colored cocktail attire.” This long sleeve t-shirt paired with my flouncy Parker skirt seemed like a good balance, so I went with it. I kept it simple with nude lace-up sandals, and stuffed my cards and Chapstick in my beloved Sophia Webster bag.


Top: Similar, HERE. Skirt: Similar, HERE. Shoes: Here. Clutch: Similar, HERE.

How To: Land Your Fashion Dream Job According To An Insider

Ashley Alstadt Post

Ashley Altstadt completed seven internships throughout college, studied abroad, and got her dream job right out of school. With an internship at InStyle and Paige Denim under her belt, it’s no surprise that Joie, Current Elliott and Equipment scooped her up without thinking twice. In a two part guest series, Altstadt let’s you in on her tips and recommendations for going after what you want, and ultimately landing a coveted spot in the fashion industry.


How To: Get Your Fashion Dream Job

By: Ashley Altstadt

At the age of 24 I’ve just landed my fashion dream job of working as an International Sales Assistant for Joie, Current/Elliott and Equipment. My duties involve helping to manage accounts internationally, while also prepping for appointments abroad. My love of fashion and worldwide travel has finally come into one, and this is how I got here.





Throughout my years of college, I managed to complete a total of seven internships. I worked in every area of the fashion industry to not only expand my knowledge, but to really grasp what I was good at. I did internships ranging from Public Relations at Paige Denim to styling on movies to Editorial Intern at InStyle Magazine. Take every opportunity you can, even if it means working for free. The lessons that you will learn at each internship are absolutely priceless.




I was lucky enough to receive my Bachelor’s Degree in Apparel Merchandise and Management from Cal Poly Pomona. From sewing to managing my own business, I was set to go into the real world once I graduated. Even if you aren’t doing a four year degree in fashion, taking a class here and there will help tremendously when working at your dream job. Some things you need to know can’t be taught through real-life experience.


Study abroad.


My last quarter of college was spent studying International Fashion in London. While studying, I also worked as an Editorial Assistant for Verge Magazine. Studying abroad expands your mind to different cultures and how unique the world is. All of my travels taught me so much about myself, but also taught me how beautiful fashion is in other countries than my own. I was able to fully step outside my comfort zone and grow as a person.


Never take ‘no’ as an answer.


During my life I’ve been told ‘no’ more times than I can even remember. I’ve gone on multiple interviews, sent out thousands of e-mails, and followed up with every employer I could. From all of this work, I’ve usually only gotten a few responses. If I gave up I would have never gotten the dream job that I have today. Always stay positive and know that the right job is out there and what’s meant to be will always find its way.


Go for those once in a lifetime opportunities.


In college, I was so honored to be accepted to Teen Vogue Fashion University two years in a row. This was a weekend of seminars in New York City at the Teen Vogue offices. The speakers at these seminars ranged from Alexa Chung to Grace Coddington. When I got my acceptance letter, I knew it was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up even if it would cost me a pretty penny. I’ve learned it’s worth it to save that extra money and spend it on experiences rather than possessions.


Check back on 5.25 for Part II.

What You Need To Know About The FTC Blogger Guidelines

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In 2013, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) released updated guidelines and regulations for advertising in relation to social media and bloggers. When the guidelines were first released, there was not much talk of it. In the last week or so, blog readers raised eyebrows when 50 bloggers coincidentally wore the same Lord & Taylor Design Lab dress on Instagram. As it turns out, it was not a coincidence and Lord & Taylor had sponsored the posts and gifted the dress to each blogger. The goal was to cause a social media frenzy, and it worked: the dress sold out by the end of the weekend.

While there is no proven statistical correlation between Instagram and ROI, there is no denying the influential power of social media as the latest advertising tool. With social media being unregulated, it is difficult for the Federal Trade Commission to keep an eye on.

With the recent rules coming to light, here is what you need to know:

  • The largest point: All endorsements, sponsored pieces, and gifted items need to be disclosed on all forms of media, including Instagram and Twitter.
  • The disclosure must be made close to the original post (ex. If you promote a bag on Instagram, it must say “sponsored” in the same post.)
  • Disclosure is required in videos, not just written posts.
  • The FTC leaves it up to the brand to make it clear that they require the proper citations, and will ultimately go after the brand if the blogger enlisted to endorse their product does not follow the rules.

If you are looking for more information on brand/blogger relationships and disclosures, I recommend you check out this link.