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Alluring Chicago

Baby, It's A Wild World: An Outfit Highlight

Perry Fish

I'm sitting in one of my favorite coffee shops, Heritage General Store, listening to one of my favorite artists, Cat Stevens.  Wild World comes streaming through my headphones and a feeling of solace washes over me.  The times in my life that I have experienced struggle and redirection, his music has always spoken right to my heart and told me that I am not alone during these trials, and everything will always turn out as it should.  Today, is a new day and I am so very thankful for it. 

It was a chilly morning, but that didn't keep me from doing a little shoot outside of Heritage.  Thank goodness there was even just a little bit of sun!

HAT: Forever 21

SHAWL:  Buffalo Exchange

SHIRT: Thrifted

BOOTIES: Buffalo Exchange

I can't predict what this new year will bring, but It's off to a pretty crazy start!  I am more determined than ever to keep on keepin' on and doing everything I can to reach new goals and experience life to the absolute fullest.  Hopefully, this includes more traveling...the wanderlust in me is rising up!

The song Miles From Nowhere is playing now.  The lyrics seem so fitting in this moment.  "Miles from nowhere, not a soul in site, but it's alright.  I have my freedom.  I can make my own rules, the ones that I choose."

Here's to moving courageously into 2016!

 

Much Love xoxo

Crop It Up: An Outfit Highlight

Perry Fish

I can hardly believe it is December...let alone, December and currently 52 degrees in Chicago.   Crazy town!  I mean, don't get me wrong, I am not mad about it, it just doesn't quite feel like the holidays without a little bit of snow on the ground.  I guess you can take the girl out of Michigan, but you can't take the Michigan out of the girl!

The good news - more time to rock a crop top! I feel like this was the first year that I felt confident and empowered to wear crop tops.  Big props to my fellow curvy ladies, Tess Holiday and Denise Bidot for rocking this daring trend all season long! #effyourbeautystandards

Check out my latest outfit highlight featuring one of my favorite cropped tops and a few of my favorite, recently thrifted items!

Top:    Urban Outfitters

Jacket: Thrifted - Village Discount Outlet

Necklace: Handmade at Beadniks

Shirt: Thrifted - Village Discount Outlet - hand dip-bleached

Jeans: Metaphor - Sears

Shoes: Target

I hope you all have a wonderful Holiday season, no matter what the weather has in store!  I will be heading home to Michigan for Christmas, but don't worry, I'll be back to the Windy City soon enough. 

Much Love xoxo

Double The Patterns, Double The Fun: An Outfit Highlight

Perry Fish

Hello everyone! 

It's been a minute, hasn't it?  I always seem to do my famous disappearing act during the busy summer months.  But, I hope you missed me, just as much as I missed you!

It's been a crazy summer weather wise so far (no shocker there...we live in the Midwest after all), which has made getting up and dressed in the morning, that much more difficult.  Honestly, I always breath a sigh of relief once summer turns into fall, not only because it is my favorite season (I will eat pumpkin ANYTHING!), but it is so much easier to dress in layers. 

One of my fool proof, go to pieces for summer has been crop tops.  I can mix and match them with high-waisted skirts, pants and dresses depending on if I am heading to work or a weekend festival!  I have also been experimenting a lot with mixing prints.  For this outfit highlight I combined stripes and plaid, two of my favorite, basic patterns!

Top: Forever 21

Skirt: Target

Shirt: Sears

Shoes: Target

I've said it before and I'll say it again, no matter what your size, do not be afraid of stripes!  Have fun mixing and matching patterns and stepping out of your comfort zone, little by little.

My next outfit highlight will feature my outfit from this year's Lollapalooza!  Keep an eye out here for a full recap!

Much Love

xoxo

Freehand Chicago Sneak Peek

Perry Fish

The first time I traveled to New York, it was also my first experience staying at a hostel.  There were rooms furnished with bunk beds and starkly decorated bathrooms, shared by all guests.  Needless to say, I learned first hand why hostels have a reputation for being generally affordable, but lacking in the areas of inspiration and originality.

Merging the worlds of hotels and hostels, Freehand has shattered the mold.  With two locations, Miami and now Chicago, Freehand's main purpose is that it was "created for adventurers from around the world who care about exploring new cities with a local point of view and meeting interesting, like-minded people along the way."

Decorated in Freehand's signature modern, bohemian style, rooms are available in shared quads (hostel style) or private, single-bed rooms.  My favorite detail?  The gorgeous, handwoven pillows by local makers Herron Clothier!

Freehand Chicago also features an in house cafe, Cafe Integral, and a lounge bar, decorated in a vintage, tiki theme.  The Broken Shaker  , with pine needle patterned wallpaper and shelves lined with spices and nick-knacks, will most definitely give you flashbacks to the den of your grandparents' vacation home in Florida.  Especially if your grandparents drank cocktails out of giant, copper pineapples.

As a creative living in Chicago, I couldn't be more thrilled to welcome Freehand to the Windy City!  I look forward to attending diverse events in the Freehand space,  connecting with other like-minded people and learning more about this amazing new home away from home.   For more information about Freehand Chicago check out their website, thefreehand.com/chicago/!

 

Much love!

xoxo

 

 

Mynt Condition: An Outfit Highlight

Perry Fish

Being plus-size has never been easy.  Shopping for a dress for multiple school dances, middle school through high school, was my definition of torture.  Nothing I liked fit me, and most shopping trips ended in tears.  With the exception of a few curves-friendly stores like Maurices, my options growing up in Northern Michigan were slim to non. 

After graduating from college and moving to Chicago in 2012, I found myself immersed in a whole new world of possibilities.  Being plus-size has never been easy...but it was about to get so much better!

Shortly after moving to the city, I started working at Vive La Femme, a boutique that embraced women of size and retailed clothing from 12-24.  I met many other women in the Chicago plus-size community, including bloggers, models, and advocates, through Vive.  Most of them are still very dear friends of mine.

Last year, I was introduced to a new clothing line that was paving the way for fashion-forward, plus-size women.  This line is called Mynt 1792 and is based out of New York .  Even one of my favorite bloggers , Nicolette Mason is huge fan of the line! 

My outfit highlight for this post features my favorite Mynt 1792 top, the cascade sleeve blouse, in black.

Top: Mynt 1792

Necklace: Handmade

Bag: Coach

Pants: Forever 21

Shoes: Franco Sarto

Denise Bidot, Tanesha Awasthi, Tess Holiday; just a few of the many plus-size women who are breaking the mold and showing the world how beautiful and strong plus-size women can be.   I am proud to say, I am happy, healthy and curvy, and I am so, so thankful for brands like Mynt who support fashionable, plus-size ladies! 

Flats Chicago: Work Werq

Perry Fish

It's officially that time of year where all the cool things start happening in Chicago!  People start to crawl out from under the rocks they have used to shelter themselves from the frigged winter, donning flower crowns, crop tops, and attending weekend festivals.

Flats Studio's galleries is one of my favorite event series that has started back up for the season.  Each month, a new collection of local artists' work is showcased in the Flats Studio space , 1050 West Wilson Ave. 

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On April 23rd, Flats Studio showcased their third art opening of the season, Work Werq.  Featuring multiple mediums of art, including a live performance, the show focused on the preconceived notions of Asian (American) identity.

Check out my gallery of photos from the evening, bellow!

Set On Summer: An Outfit Highlight

Perry Fish

Things are finally warming up, here in Chicago!  I sure hope it stays that way.  Ever since I moved to the city, I have anticipated the coming of summer that much more. 

It's still a few more months until festival season, my favorite time of year, but I am all ready to start changing up my look with the changing weather.  Bring on the skirts, crop tops and strappy sandals...goodbye layers!

What outfit/trend are you looking forward to rocking this spring?

Much Love xoxo

Lost Girls Vintage Moroccan Collection

Perry Fish

Let's face it, this winter weather has been rough on all of us.  But, what better way to warm things up then with a Moroccan themed party?  Lost Girls Vintage did just that!  This past weekend, Lost Girls Vintage launched their new Moroccan collection with a two day party, Mi Casa Es Su Casablanca. 

Tapestry bags, turquoise jewelry, and vibrant prints, oh yes!  Sarah and Kyla, the talented ladies behind Lost Girls, brought back so many wonderful finds from their trip to Morocco this winter.  I wanted to take everything home with me! 

The party was hoppin' with Moroccan inspired cocktails, a braid bar with Solo Salon and tarot card readings.  I was happy to distract myself from the snowy weather outside with all of the beautiful vintage clothing and accessories, and all of the other great finds at Modern Cooperative

If you haven't made it over to the Lost Girls Vintage boutique, located inside Modern Cooperative, in Pilsen yet, you should definitely check it out!  If you want to view the Moroccan collection now, you can view most of the items on their website, www.lostgirlsvintage.com

MUCH LOVE xoxo

Sunday Funday at Beadniks

Perry Fish

Last week I attended a jewelry making party at Beadniks, 1937 West Division St.  My wonderfully talented, jewelry-making friend, Emily invited a few of our coworkers and myself to get creative at this Wicker Park jewelry shop.  We enjoyed champagne, pizza, and cupcakes (thanks Ashley!) while making our own original pieces!

With assistance from the amazing Beadniks staff, I made a necklace and a pair of earrings!  I learned a lot about making jewelry and enjoyed spending quality time with friends that I don't usually see outside of work.  We are already making plans for another jewelry making party soon! 

For more information about private parties or to book one for you and your friends, check out www.beadnikschicago.com/collections/parties.

 

Much Love xoxo

Chicago Made Highlight: Toddler Royalty

Perry Fish

Happy Monday Chicagoans! 

Usually, Mondays are a day we all dread and struggle to get through with copious amounts of caffeine, but today I am excited to debut a new highlight post on the blog, Chicago Made!  There are so many amazing creatives, business owners, and makers in the Windy City and I will be highlighting one a month right here!

To launch this new series, I would like to introduce Heather Parkin, the founder and designer of Chicago based, children's clothing line, Toddler Royalty!  Inspired by her two daughters, Lola and Simone, Heather set out to create a high-fashion clothing line for children that would promote confidence and independence. 

 The Toddler Royalty Mission:  To be a place that breathes creativity, uniqueness and individuality of today’s children.  Edgy yet sweet, soft yet punk-rock. We understand that our children’s clothing choices give them the opportunity to be whoever they want to be. 

 

Custom made, by hand, each piece from the Toddler Royalty collection exudes a beautiful, unmatchable quality.  A staple of the Fall/Winter 2014 collection and my personal favorite piece, The Poor Little Rich Girl dress, features an oh so sweet and vibrant heart pattern with a Peter Pan collar on top! 

I have been fascinated with fashion ever since I can remember, so I love that Toddler Royalty opens up the possibilities for young fashionistas everywhere to express themselves!   An obvious admirer of her work, I was excited to speak with Heather about her latest collection, her inspirations, and what drives her in running her own business!

Alluring Chicago:  You've mentioned that your two two daughters have been an inspiration for the line.  Can you tell me more about how they inspire you?

Toddler Royalty:  Well, they both love to play dress up as well as ‘dress up’ for almost any occasion.  They would go to school in Black Tie attire, every day if they could. The mixing and matching of different fabrics at Toddler Royalty come from watching them pick out their own outfits. They both have great style at such a young age.  Even Simone who’s only 2 ½, can put together some pretty darn cute outfits all by herself.

AC: Toddler Royalty is amazingly run solely by you!  How do you manage to run a business while continuing to do day to day life as a mother and a wife?

TR: Ummm, I’m crazy. Haha...No, but It’s definitely hard to balance everything. I drink a lot of coffee and I do most of my work at night after the girls go to bed. I put on endless episodes of Friends and work until I can’t keep my eyes open anymore.

AC: What is your favorite part about the process of making these unique pieces?

TR: I think shopping for the fabric. A favorite pastime of mine when I lived in Los Angeles, was getting coffee and going to Amoeba Records.  I would spend an entire afternoon wandering and listening to music, and to the sound of people shuffling through records.  It was always a new experience for me.  You would be amazed, in a record store that big, all the other sounds you would hear besides just music playing through the headphones or over the store speaker.  I would always walk out inspired and refreshed by the sounds.  Fabric shopping does the same thing for me. The colors, the textures, the prints,  all inspire me to create.

AC: Can you tell me about your latest collection?  

TR: The FW14 Collection was Toddler Royalty’s second collection since launching.  I really wanted to experience with different fabrics, textures and color ways, yet all the while, keeping it playful; and I think I was able to accomplish that with this season. That’s the great thing about Childrenswear, you can play and have fun and not take it as seriously as Womenswear or Menswear.  Kids love to mix, match and play with color, they have this silly innocence about them that makes whatever they wear lighthearted and fun.  So why shouldn’t that be the basis of what I’m doing when I’m creating the collections?   

AC: What was the inspiration behind the Poor Little Rich Girl dress? 

TR: Edie Sedgwick has always been an inspiration for me.  Everything about her style, from her hair and makeup to her clothing and the way she carried herself. The Poor Little Rich Girl dress definitely came from watching her in Andy Warhol films.  The print on that fabric reminded me of the colors that Andy Warhol used  in his artwork. With the mini dress cut and the Peter Pan collar, I feel like that’s something Edie would totally have rocked.

AC: What is your hope for the future of Toddler Royalty?

TR: At the moment,  I am focusing on collaborating with other artist of all kinds.  I think this is important for me as a designer, always keeping it fresh and having new ideas evolve. Being surrounded by like-minded people that you can collaborate with only makes what you’re doing stronger.  And down the road,  I would like all the "Toddlers" of the world to be able to come to our site and create their own Toddler Royalty pieces.  They would be able to pick out their own fabrics and patterns, from the variety we provide, and when they’re done they would be able to name their piece, for example: Lola for Toddler Royalty would be on the garment tag, and then we would make it.  This really gives them the opportunity to build their independence and style, all while having fun, and that’s really the point isn’t it,  just to have fun?

 

You said it Heather!  And what's more fun than a GIVEAWAY?  I have partnered with Toddler Royalty to give away a Poor Little Rich Girl dress (a $136 value) to one lucky winner!  Read the full contest details bellow to enter:

1. Follow @Alluringchi and @ToddlerRoyalty on Instagram.

2. Tag a friend (or as many friends as you'd like!) in the comment box of the giveaway Instagram post.

3. Check out ToddlerRoyalty.com and comment on this blog post what your favorite look is from the collection!

That's it!  It's easy as 1,2,3.  A winner will be announced on next week's post, as well as on my Instagram, so enter, share, and keep an eye out here!

 

Much Love xoxo

 

 

Free To Be Human: An Outfit Highlight

Perry Fish

In 2009, my eyes were opened to the reality of modern slavery.  Through Love 146, an organization working towards the abolition of human sex slavery, I learned the startling statistics behind this issue.  Every 2 minutes, a child is sold into the 2nd most lucrative industry in the world, next only to drugs.

In 2012, after moving to Chicago, I ironically found out about the Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation while attending a Love 146 event.  Since then, I have joined the Young Activists Council of this amazing organization, active in prevention, policy reform, community engagement, and legal services.

January is Human Trafficking Awareness Month, so I partnered with CAASE to spread awareness of trafficking by designing a T-shirt, now available on my Etsy store.  100% of the proceeds from this 'Free To Be Human' shirt goes directly to CAASE!

When sold or pushed into the industry of sex trafficking, these victims lose their right to be a human being.  They are robbed of the simple pleasures of life, their freedom is no more, and they slowly start to become a shell of their former selves.  Slavery was supposedly abolished in America in 1865 , but unfortunately it continues to happen world wide. 

Hat: Bon Voyage Vintage

Blazer: thrifted

T-shirt:  Alluring Chicago Etsy

Jeans: Levi

Heels: Tommy Hilfiger

If I ask myself, "what am I free to be?", I am happy to say, I am free to be loved.  What are you free to be as a human being? 

Happy 2015: Family Photos

Perry Fish

It's been a great year!  I can't believe Christmas has already come and gone. 

I was happy to be back home in Michigan for the holiday!  My new favorite tradition this time of year is to do a photo shoot with my nephews who just keep getting cuter.  They grow up so fast!  Remember last year's shoot I shared here? Jude is now 3 1/2 and Harrison just turned 1 last month. 

Here are some of my favorite shots from the shoot!

A very happy New Year to you all!  May it bring much happiness and love your way.

 

Much Love

XOXO

TROUVÉ Magazine Issue 2

Perry Fish

There are few events in my life that had me counting down the days, hours and minutes until their arrival.  The release of Trouvé Magazine Issue 2 was one of those days. 

When my beautifully wrapped parcel arrived, I held it tightly to my chest (yes, sometimes I hug my mail) and squealed with delight.

It's been a long time coming, but so worth the wait.  In Late June, I reached out to Amanda Marko, Designer and Publisher of Trouvé , to express my interest in contributing to this amazing publication, which I found out about while scrolling through my Instagram feed one day. 

I am beyond honored to have been a contributor to the latest issue.  My Creativity Found piece, The "Second" City, highlights how I've found inspiration and wonderment in the big city of Chicago through art, food, and architecture. 

Check out a sneak peek bellow and purchase a copy for yourself here!

And of course, what do you do when you are published in a magazine as beautiful as this?  You do a photo shoot!

Necklace: Lia Sophia (gifted)

Shirt: thrifted

Skirt: Target (dress converted to a skirt)

Heels: Nine West

I hope you all get a chance to hold this gorgeous publication in your hands soon!  You are sure to love every page, filled with the most wonderful stories, photographs and found creativity.

 

Much Love xoxo

Hello, Seattle!

Perry Fish

Last month, I got to visit my long-time, best friend Lindsey and explore the West Coast.  I am so excited to finally share the full gallery of photos from my trip to Seattle, WA and Portland, OR!

My Portland MUST SEE list:

Grand Marketplace

Japanese Garden

Kennedy School

Nossa Familia

 

My Seattle MUST SEE list:

The London Plane

Bon Voyage Vintage

The Belfry Oddities

Oddfellows

If you haven't had a chance to explore the Pacific Northwest, I definitely recommend it!  Prepare to be inspired and to fall in love.

 

Much Love xoxo

Down To My Bones - A Halloween Costume Highlight

Perry Fish

Halloween is without a doubt my favorite holiday of the year!  I love planning my costume and dressing up.   This year, after many months of brainstorming and pinning on my Pinterest boards, I finally decided!

I know the skeleton thing is so "been there, done that", but I decided to take a more fashionable approach.  I bought an over-sized blazar at the Goodwill and dripped candle sticks down the shoulders.  This detail was inspired by this amazing photo!

To create the illusion of bones, I cut slits in a guts-red tank top and layered it over a white t-shirt.  (thank you again, Pinterest).  As for accessories, my necklace is a buffalo tooth from Belfry Oddities that I got on my trip to Seattle last month and my wicked nails were created by Faith of Let's Talk Nail Talk.  

What was your costume this Halloween?

 

Much Love

xoxo

 

 

 

Hello October: An Outfit Highlight

Perry Fish

One of my favorite things in autumn in Chicago is a weekend trip to the farmer's market.  Green City Market, located at 2732 N Clark St., is where I spent my last Saturday.  Pumpkins, squash, and zucchini ( to bake zucchini bread of course. Yum!)  were a few things on my list.   

I also made a necessary stop at one of my favorite coffee shops, Elaine's Coffee Call at Hotel Lincoln.  

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Jacket: Zenobia from friend Keira

Shirt: Merona from Target

Leggings: Lauren Conrad from Kohls

Boots: Very Versatile from TJMaxx

My next few blog posts will be revealing some pretty exciting things I have coming up.  Check back here for all the details!

 

Much Love XOXO

Stella and Dot Party With Michelle Swoons

Perry Fish

 I just love all things that sparkle and shine, so of course I adore the wonderful jewelry and accessories from Stella and Dot.  I was so excited to hear that my dear friend Michelle of Michelle Swoons is now a Stella and Dot stylist!  To debut her styling career, we threw a party!

This past weekend I invited my friends over for some personalized styling with Michelle.  She showed us some of the on-point looks for fall and how to make them work for our individual styles.  My favorite piece that I got to try out is the Rebel Pendant (pictured bellow).  I'll take one in each color of silver, gold, and rose gold, please!

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Top: Meadow Rue at Anthropologie  Necklace:  Stella and Dot Rebel Pendent  Leggings: Lauren Conrad

Top: Meadow Rue at Anthropologie 

Necklace:  Stella and Dot Rebel Pendent 

Leggings: Lauren Conrad

 

Bummed you missed the party?  No problem!  My link is still live, here until September 12th.  Make sure you check out my other favorites, the Sahara pendant necklace and the Gilded Arrow bangle.  And remember, it's never too early to start on that Christmas list!

 

Much Love

XOXO

honeyhoney at Subterranean

Perry Fish

Some of my favorite venues for live music in the city are the smallest.  Subterranean in Wicker Park fits the bill with an intimate stage and floor.  Also a plus, they serve PBR tall boys!  Major bonus points.

My bestie Karley and I found ourselves at the Subterranean this past Wednesday for an amazing lineup of folky bands.  The headliners, honeyhoney were the main reason I was there, but as usual, I was pleasantly surprised by how awesome the openers were!

Sanctified Grumblers and Ryan Joseph Anderson started off the show, each contributing their own folk-infused sounds.  I had never seen honeyhoney perform live, but I fell in love with their intoxicating combination of folk-rock meets classic folk sound first on Spotify.   I was thrilled that they played my favorite song, Thin Line.  Definitely check them out if you get a chance!

I have a few more concerts coming up that I am excited about before summer is over, so keep an eye out here for highlights!  


Much Love xoxo



Pretty In Peplum: An Outfit Highlight

Perry Fish

How is it already August?  It barely feels like we had summer here, in Chicago.  The bright side?  I am completely enthralled with fall!  As soon as the air starts to chill, I immediately start craving anything and everything pumpkin flavored.  Mmmmm... pumpkin spice lattes. 

Before it gets too cold, I am donning this sleeveless peplum top.  I combined it with a bright pencil skirt and strappy heals for a fun, yet work ready look.  

Top:  Apt. 9  Found at: Kohl's

Skirt: Apt. 9 Found a:t Kohl's

Shoes: Adrienne Vittadini Found at: TJ MAXX

 

For awhile, I was skeptical of the peplum trend.  Ladies, contrary to popular belief (just like the myth of stripes), it does not make your hips look any bigger.  Don't be afraid to try out a daring trend!  With the fall comes change...

 

Much Love xoxo

Bombadil at Schubas

Perry Fish

It's summer time, which means it's concert time!  This last week I went  to my very first show at Schubas Tavern, a bar and popular concert venue in the city.  The Feed opened up the show.  Their funky rock music had the modest crowd swaying and bobbing.  I had never heard their music before, so it was fun to discover a new band!

Next to the stage was a quirky trio who call themselves Bombadil.  You guys...these dudes are pretty awesome!  

Not only did they have matching suites, but they had a hilarious stage presence...not to mention funny song titles, including So Many Ways To Die and Jellybean Wine.  I think I can best describe their sound as indie acappella.  Whatever you want to call it, it was just plain awesome!  I really look forward to the next time they perform in Chicago.

 

 I hope you all have a safe and fun Lolla weekend!

Much Love xoxo