What do you wear to Chicago Festivals?

Summertime is that time where we can finally where skirts and dresses and open-toed shoes. We don’t have to carry coats (just umbrellas) and you can actually be outside and show your whole outfit instead of covering it up buried in a coat, gloves, scarves, boots, leg warmers…..

I’ve been spending summer wearing black – but there’s nothing like the colors and the patterns and the style of Chicago summers.

So, in honor of this coveted time in the city, I’ve worked with Emily Bricked Edelson, Co-Founder and Illustrator of Chic Sketch, a fashion forward mobile app that sketches photos into Instagrammable fashion illustrations by real fashion illustrators in a matter of minutes.

She’s helped me see the beauty of summertime style from ruffles to vests to white dresses.

Edlemson shared some of her favorite trends and prepared special sketches exclusively to showcase Chicago festival season style.

“I always look at other it-girls when I’m in need of style inspiration like Olivia Palermo, Alexa Chung, or Kendall Jenner. My style is feminine with edgy touches. I’ll pair a cute dress with a leather jacket, or jeans with stiletto,” said  Edelson, “My personal style is all about taking trends, and adding a New York touch to it.”

Summer Rooftops in Chicago:

In the midwest, the one thing you will notice from Memorial day to Labor day is that Chicagoans embrace white – white pants, white dresses, white shirts.

White is summer’s must-have color. It’s perfect for a day at the beach, rooftop parties and work events.

Emily Bricked Edelson took this trend and sketched some of her favorite looks!



Chic Summer Patterns:

But a color is not the only thing that marks summer style. It’s also patterns. And one of Summer Sixteens summer fashion is the the scallop trend as part of a feminine detail on a leather jacket, and a fun twist to a pencil skirt.


Chicago Festival Fashion:

But in Chicago, while we dress up for work and rooftops, the real fashion staples are in what to wear at Chicago festivals. So, I asked Emily Edelson to sketch some of her favorite outfits and trends to wear to Chicago festivals. Below are some of my favorites, but be sure to subscribe to the Windy City Cosmo newsletter to see more chic sketches from the chic Illustrator herself.

dress 1

dress 2

Edelson is known in the fashion world and her sketches have even been displayed in the coveted 38th and 5th Avenue in New York City. Her co-founder comes from Appetizer Mobile, which has designed and developed over 150 apps for world class brands such as, Lady Gaga, Kim Kardashian, NBA Properties, Epic Records, ZocDoc, Montessorium, Universal Music Group and Interscope Records. 

After a year of launching their start-up, Chic Sketch has been used at fashion and beauty events by global brands like Sephora and for the everyday girl via a simple app download.






Amanda Elliott is a writer and speaker and a relationship builder. She believes that meeting people in person is important. After attending numerous fashion, startup, and creative events, she founded Windy City Cosmo is 2015 to help people make connections in the city as they build their businesses, start and end relationships and see and be seen. Over the past three years, the entrepreneurs she’s interviewed have become the most successful in Chicago and Windy City Cosmo won an award in 2017 for her work for female entrepreneurs.


Nick’s Socks: Chicago Fashion Entrepreneur

Fashion is in the details. And that’s how fashion stylist and now Chicago entrepreneur felt when he started his own line of men’s luxury socks, Nick’s Socks.

Nick’s Socks started in Chicago in November 2015. But, the socks are made with Egyptian Cotton in Italy right behind the Spanish Steps in Rome. The CEO of Nick’s Socks,Nick Bruce chose Egyptian Cotton because “it is a lot thinner and more breathable,” one of the main differentiates Nick’s Socks brings to dress socks. As a bonus, their machine washable.

The CEO of Nick’s Socks,Nick Bruce chose Egyptian Cotton because “it is a lot thinner and more breathable,” one of the main differentiates Nick’s Socks brings to dress socks. As a bonus, their machine washable.

Nick’s Socks has become a luxury icon for men as mentioned in Modern Luxury Men’s Book 10 Year Anniversary, he presented his collection after a fall fashion preview from Nicholas Joseph, a men’s line of  custom clothing (ladies, you can get custom clothes here).

Buce has made his rounds to several fashion shows including one of the world’s most important platform for men’s clothing and accessory collections and for launching new projects in men’s fashion, Pitti Uomo.



Nick’s Socks are modern luxury socks made from Egyptian Cotton. Photo: Nick’s Socks

I sat down with Bruce, fashion entrepreneur at a Chicago fashion event, Style Chicago’s FashionChicago, at Revel Fulton Market in the West Loop, where Nick’s Socks was one of 40 of Chicago’s top apparel, jewelry, and accessory designers.

We talked about breaking into the fashion industry in Chicago, finding high-quality fabric, and  of course being an entrepreneur.

Windy City Cosmo: What is the most challenging part of being an entrepreneur? 

Nick Bruce: Doing everything myself – all of the designs, all of the networking and at the same time I love it.

Windy City Cosmo: What is the one piece of advice you have for starting a clothing company?

Nick Bruce: Meet a lot of people.

Windy City Cosmo: Describe some of the design inspiration behind your socks.

Nick Bruce: I didn’t like how guys stripes have a bunch of stripes I make them gradual (like these).

Windy City Cosmo: How do you market to men? 

Nick Bruce: It’s interesting and unusual—60 percent of people who buy socks are women, and they buy for opposite sex.

Nick’s Socks luxury men’s socks are available online. 

Nick Bruce from Nick’s Socks and Amanda Elliott from Windy City Cosmo at Style Chicago in the West Loop of Chicago. Photo: Windy City Cosmo

Amanda Elliott is a writer and speaker and a relationship builder. She believes that meeting people in person is important. After attending numerous fashion, startup, and creative events, she founded Windy City Cosmo is 2015 to help people make connections in the city as they build their businesses, start and end relationships and see and be seen. Over the past three years, the entrepreneurs she’s interviewed have become the most successful in Chicago and Windy City Cosmo won an award in 2017 for her work for female entrepreneurs.


Chicago Women Help You Give a Homemade Holiday Gift

Put down that generic Christmas mug.

The movers and makers are here to create a beautiful and personal touch to your holiday hostess presents and gift exchanges.


Susie makes homemade soap. Photo: Amanda Elliott

For this holiday season, a local chapter of a creative group for women, SheSays Chicago, hosted an open marketplace at the Comedy Bar above Gino’s East River North (500 North LaSalle Street). Lead Organizer, Jen Lemerand, along with  Elisha-Rio Apilado, Suzanne Cohen, Erin Coleman, Julie Goldsberry and Beckie O’Connor, reached out to SheSays Chicago members and friends to round-up freelancers and women business owners for this open market.

It was an opportunity for women makers and creators in Chicago to show off their Pinterest-worthy homemade totes, soaps, jewelry and more.

I want to introduce you to a few of my favorite creators from the event, who can help you with your holiday shopping!

For your friends with kids (or your kids):

Are you traveling to Chicago with kids or are you looking for activities after the holiday feast this weekend?


Chicago Tiny Travels Tote Bags. Photo: Amanda Elliott

Creator, Brittany Campbellwas standing at The Louvre in Paris and noticed that kids weren’t enjoying their experience.

“It would be awesome to have something on their level that told them how awesome of a place that they are,” Campbell told me.

She decided to create something on a kid’s level for them to appreciate the tourist attractions beautiful places and iconic buildings in various cities including Paris, London, and Chicago.

Her Chicago Tiny Travel Guidebooks offer an interactive fun experience with passport stickers for kids traveling to museums, parks, and landmarks in Chicago. You can shop here for children guide books, pins, and a messenger bag.

Campbell is very creative and also has an Etsy shop, where she sells homemade pillows made from t-shirts sourced from thrift stores and her very closet.

The story starts with a problem, as all things do. Campbell wanted to make gifts for kids she babysat. She came up with the idea from Disney t-shirts in her closet, which she turned into homemade pillows for them.

They are soft—so soft. Who knew snuggling with your clothes could be a thing?

Shop at Free People without the Price Tag:

We all want a new look for a new year or for a holiday party.

Hope Nardini, Hazel Vintage Co. owner, found a way to give you that look for less.

Elbow patch cardigan


Elbow patch cardigan by hazel vintage co-featuring bronze makeup

“I usually charge about 50 percent of what they charge,” said Nardini, who shops from the same showroom in LA as popular women’s clothing stores, like Free People and Akira.

What’s even better is that her clothes are made of cotton or cotton blend so you can handwash or machine wash them. (See my pile of dry clean only items on that chair in the corner).

Honestly, I interviewed Hope and then talked to others at the event who were telling me about tartan scarves, which are multi-use blanket scarves, that they purchased. Every winter I say that I want a thousand blankets to be wrapped around me. So, I went back to the Hazel Vintage Co. and went shopping. And seriously, I’m just one of the many, like Chicago fashion blogger, Lauren Nelson, who can’t get enough of them.

Shop Hazel Vintage Co. looks on Polyvore and Pinterest, where she receives a lot of site traffic, or the Hazel Vintage Co. website.

As a bonus, four of her friends modeled the clothes for Hazel Vintage Co. in Lincoln Park and the Lincoln Park Conservatory for a true Chicago feel.

Give The Gift of Clean:

Susie Jendro loves soap. That’s how she introduced herself the first time I met her at a SheSays Chicago event this past spring.


Swoon Soap at SheSays Chicago event. Photo: Amanda Elliott

As an entrepreneur, I know you are supposed to be passionate about your product, but I haven’t met anyone as passionate about soap as Jendro, who started her research in the library.

Her brand is Swoon Soap. You can shop Bird & Baby, an unscented soap, which ironically smelled really good to me. This soap is made with goat meal, goat’s milk, honey, and yoghurt. I have yet to try it, but I did buy it at the event.
She has a few other varieties including 100 percent coconut oil soap and Lord of the Ring’s soap.

“I enthusiastically celebrate the entire works of Tolkien,” Jendor writes on her website,  “and have found much inspiration in the vivid descriptions of his various characters and landscapes.”

For the Cubs Fan:


Creative, Lacey Schmitt with a Cubs mural. Photo: Amanda Elliott

Lacey Schmitt has an Etsy shop for her artwork. She adds a Chicago-centric theme with murals made from Cubs paraphernalia including  these Cubs earrings made from Chicago Cubs baseball tickets.

Schmitt has various other jewelry made from recycled items for your eco-friendly friends.

Chicago Women Vendors:

Unfortunately, if you are like me, creating pretty things, is not as easy as it looks on Instagram and Pinterest.

I let the experts use their talents to give that added personal touch to hosts and friends this holiday season. And you can, too.

Here’s a list of Chicago vendors, who participated in the SheSays Chicago event.

Help the environment; help yourselves. And, best of all, help women entrepreneurs in your city, Chicago.

Happy holiday shopping!


BeBuddha Jewelry at SheSays Chicago event. Photo: Amanda Elliott

For more information about SheSays Chicago, please visit the SheSays website or read a past recap of SheSays Chicago events.


Perez Hilton Brings Laughter to Macy’s Fashion’s Front Row in Chicago

The one and only celebrity gossip columnist and MC for the night, Perez Hilton, turned smizes to smiles on Macy’s Fashion’s Front Row runway.

He was exactly as I imagined—quick-witted and full of celebrity news.

Macy’s brought a little New York Fashion Week right to Chicago with it’s very own Fashion’s Front Row on Thursday, September 24, 2015 in Chicago.

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Chicagoans Get Runway Ready:

Attendees were immediately greeted to tour the several exhibits, which included a fashion psychic reading, Lancome makeovers, and an OPI manicure. There were mocktails and Honest Tea and for dessert, chic cupcakes with high heels, clutches, or atop the Red Velvet cupcake—dresses. Before securing a front row view of Macy’s Front Row fashion show, attendees picked up a complimentary scoop from one of Chicago’s best gelato shops, Paciugo.

The event was complete with rose-covered tables, a live DJ, and of course, the runway.

Fashion Show with Perez Hilton:

Macy’s introduced Fall 2015 collections from multiple designers complete with enviable sunglasses.

“Can I wear your sunglasses?” Perez asked as a new model began to strut the runway. She laughed and gave them to Perez, who decided they looked better on her.


Fall fashion looks included bright colors, multi-textured ensembles and of course, fringe (on the shoes, on the dress, and on the shirt). Models graced the runway with Michael Kors and Jessica Simpson shoes.

“I think Jessica Simpson recently sold her company. Crazy,” Hilton ad-libbed.

Meet Perez Hilton:

After the runway show, attendees had the opportunity to meet and greet Perez Hilton, who gladly smiled and hugged each of his fans on the runway.

Jenny McCarthy was slated to attend the festivities, but due to an emergency, couldn’t be in attendance.

Chicago and Bachelor contestant, Whitney Bischoff graced the runway in a bright orange ensemble later that night.



Save Your Purse: The New Must Have Accessory

This is a sponsored post. 

Where is your purse right now?

Mine is sitting on the floor behind me. I can still feel my sister’s glare as she scolded me, “Don’t put your purse on the floor.”

There’s not always an empty chair or a hook to hang your purse. Can you picture it? You go into a bathroom stall. There is no hook. So, as you squat to relieve yourself, you hold your purse in the air like Simba in The Lion King or, you know, you just put it on the sticky bathroom floor.

We have all heard this. We invest in purses. We like purses, and yet they become dirty and ruined all too fast. And it gets worse.

Well, we can stop that. And we can stop that with an accessory. Meet Cyndi Heap. A mother of two, Heap watched her purses fall victim to dirt on bleachers and germs in shopping carts. She developed a solution called Wrapurse.

Wrapurse is a designer purse protector. This water-resistant, sleek protector, is available in several sizes to fit your clutch or over-sized handbag. Customize Wrapurse further with a merlot, black, or chestnut finish. Put this sleek and comfortable purse protector inside your purse. It comes in a small pouch  and when you are at a meeting or lunch, take it out and put it on the bottom of your purse.

Dedicated to her son with special needs, Heap partnered with Understood.org, one of the programs at the National Center for Learning Disabilities. Ten percent of funds raised will help children in special needs. Wrapurse retails for $16-$22 online at www.wrapurse.com. You can also support her Indiegogo campaign.