Growing up in Lisle, Illinois, a west suburb of Chicago, I constantly wanted to go downtown. My small and peaceful suburb was great to grow up in, but my heart was always yearning for a more upbeat and exciting environment.
I grew up going downtown quite often with my parents or cousins, but when I began to get older, I took it upon myself to take advantage of the opportunities that my beautiful city has to offer.
The summer before my freshman year of college, I enrolled in a fashion trend forecasting class at Columbia College Chicago as a part of their High School Summer Institute. I wanted to have a preview of what my fashion classes in college would look and feel like. Taking this class was probably one of the most beneficial and important steps I have taken in my educational career. I learned about what the city of Chicago has to offer fashion wise, and what people in different parts of the city are wearing.
I realized that Chicago in its entirety is much too large in highlighting trends because what people are wearing in Downtown Chicago is different from what people are wearing in Pilsen or Wicker Park.
So, to start of part of my Chicago series, I will start with downtown fashion.
When I head downtown on the train, most of the time there is me with my periwinkle Dr. Martens and my blue and white striped t-shirt dress, while surrounded by business men and women all wearing different variations of the same combination of a dress with a statement necklace, or slacks and a collared shirt.
Immediately when you go downtown the sea of business people emerge from their offices and hangout at the trendy food trucks near Union Station. Whereas the youth in downtown all have their own style. I would say the trend for youth in downtown is being an individual. Being your own person makes you interesting, and that is what I tend to find people are most interested in. Every person I see has a different style, and that is the new trend.
I will always wear my periwinkle Dr. Martens with pride when I sit next to the businessman on the train with his earphones in, drinking his Starbucks latte, and looking at his computer screen wishing he never had to see another Excel spreadsheet ever again.