Second Stop: Toronto, ON, Canada

Toronto. Probably my favorite city I have traveled to thus far. The people, atmosphere, food, and city life are all so incredible.

This past March I traveled to Toronto with my aunt and two cousins over spring break. While my friends were traveling to Mexico and Florida in hopes of escaping the frigid Chicago and Wisconsin winters, I decided to head north for a much, much colder winter.

I initially was not sure what to expect of the fashion scene in Toronto because I generally did not hear much about the city in my fashion classes or in the media. However, I was so happily surprised and a bit shocked to see just how much of a fashion-forward and cosmopolitan city that Toronto is.

My first adventure in the fashion scene in Toronto started in the Distillery District. All of the local shops in the area were so urban and aesthetically pleasing. It was a nice bonus that the currency exchange worked in our favor while we were there as well. I remember specifically one shop, Heel Boy, having the most unique styles of shoes. My cousin, Sasa, and I were in there for way too long trying on an array of different styles.

The second day I went to Queen Street. Queen Street is the place to go in Toronto for all of your fashion desires. From Dr. Martens, to small high-end local boutiques, to Canada Goose, it was a fashion major’s dream.

One trend that really stood out was the brand Canada Goose. If you are a Midwesterner like myself, you might think we have it pretty bad in the winter season, but nothing compared to the type of frigid weather I felt while I was in Toronto. I love the winter season, but every time a person wearing a Canada Goose winter coat passed me by, which was a lot, I have to admit I glared at them with envy as I was freezing in my North Face.

Finally, we headed to the Kensington Market. It is a street with colorful and dilapidated homes that have become shops. From vintage clothing, to handmade jewelry, and cozy coffee shops, it is definitely a spot that anyone with a passion for art to visit.

Overall, Toronto has a definite urban feel to it wherever you go. The people there are incredibly kind and welcoming, and also much more adventurous with their styles than the typical Midwesterner. Not to mention, they have a highly prestigious university, Ryerson University, which offers an incredible fashion program.

The moment I passed back to the U.S. border, I wanted to go back to Toronto. I hope to travel back to Toronto many more times in the future, and maybe even apply to Ryerson for my graduate studies.

Just remember, if you are going in the winter season, invest in a Canada Goose. You will thank yourself later.

First Stop: Milwaukee, WI

When I started college in Milwaukee a little over a year ago, I was surprised by the styles that the people here were wearing. I thought that since Milwaukee is only about two hours north of Chicago, that the styles and trends would be quite similar, but they were actually quite different.

Living in Wisconsin for about a year now, I have noticed that most Wisconsinites tend to dress a bit more conservatively than Chicagoans. Whether it be in hem length, color schemes, and/or widespread trends.

Even in the Chicago suburbs, the styles and trends that I am used to wearing were a little bit on the edgier side compared to the suburbs of Milwaukee. I think that the nature of fashion and trends here has a great deal to do with the occupations held in the surrounding areas, and the weather. Many families are farming families that live in nearby areas and are maybe less inclined to be interested in the latest trends, much less splurge on new trends. Whereas in Chicago, where the occupations are in a more urban setting, people are willing to go out and shop more to keep up with trends.

When I walk a few blocks away from my parking meter to my internship on Water Street, I see one common trend: layering. Whether it be a woman walking her dog in a pair of yoga pants, a t-shirt, and a pullover sweatshirt, or another woman wearing high waisted jeans with a v-neck and a chunky sweater, she most definitely is layering.

Layering is a good way to stay warm in cold Wisconsin seasons, but it also a way to look fashionable, while staying a bit more on the conservative side of fashion. I have even found myself layering more often when I go out with my friends here than when I am in Chicago.

I will revisit other areas in Wisconsin soon, and I hope to update you as well on any new Milwaukee-specific trends I uncover.

Until then, layer, eat cheese, sleep, repeat.