I had the opportunity to visit the great city of Chicago for the first time over the 4th of July weekend, and WOW, I could not have asked for a better time. Plum weather, amazing sights, great eats, and good times with good friends: all the ingredients for a killer vacation. It wound up being an inadvertent (but welcome!) adventure in fashion as well, including encounters with street fashion, two (!) museum special exhibits focused on fashion (so serendipitous! so cultural! my nerd brain explodes!) and some off-the-beaten-path boutique shopping in Chicago’s neighborhoods. I became the goofy, camera-happy tourist among the masses that I was born to be, and managed to capture some pretty unforgettable moments.
When I visited San Francisco on the same holiday weekend two years ago, I happened upon a gentleman wearing a pair of spirited American flag pants. Check out what I saw roaming the streets of downtown Chicago:
Though I had the foresight to only pack and wear shoes that were made for walking over the trip (I swear, I must have tracked over 5 miles daily during my stay), but others I passed on the street… not as much. How, I ask, can one be an effective tourist in flip-flops? Slate had a great article out last week on the aesthetic pitfalls and physical dangers of the ubiquitous summer footwear, and I agree with the authors’ points, but I’ll admit I’m not as grossed out by them as she is.
In more positive street style sighting news, I happened to be walking past the Fourth Presbyterian Church on Michigan Avenue when a just-married bride and groom stepped out of the front doors. It’s funny how our culture has an understood hallowed reverence for people in wedding garb: nearly everyone in the vicinity stopped and joined in an awed hush, smiled, and those with cameras (nearly everyone as it was throngs of tourists on a Friday afternoon) snapped a few photos.
The Art Institute of Chicago also had a fashion-centric exhibit happening, Impressionism, Fashion, and Modernity, that was just incredible. Unfortunately photography was not allowed within the exhibit, but the Renoirs and Manets are forever etched into my memory.
Though I could never live there (I have a strict “snow means no” policy when it comes to places to call home), I could not have been more impressed by the city’s overall beauty, the friendliness of its inhabitants, the ease of public transportation, the never-ending food choices… I could go on and on. Thank you, Chicago, for an absolutely fabulous time. 512 to 312; over and out.