Summer Wardrobe Picks from Chicago’s Top Style Influencers

In a world where Instagram influencers challenge designer runways for the title of “best source of style inspiration,” we have few reasons to look beyond the boundaries of Chicago proper for information on the season’s top trends. With that in mind, we tapped Ali Reff, owner of Lincoln Park’s newest women’s shop, Alice & Wonder (and a well-known ‘grammer in her own right) for the summer wardrobe picks she and the Chi style set are wearing now.

Eye-Popping accents

pom pom clutch
Pom Pom Clutch at Alice & Wonder

“Summer is the perfect time to put a twist on classic closet staples,” says Reff, who suggests looking for summer must haves like a classic white tank or leather sandal with elements like floral embroidery of tassel fringe. Her favorite eye-catching trend? “The pom pom clutch. The multi-color pop adds instant an ‘wow’ factor to even the simplest of outfits,” she says.

Pattern play with gingham

Blogger Liz Adams makes expectant-mom style look chic. 
Blogger Liz Adams makes expectant-mom style look chic.

Once reserved for country closets, gingham is emerging in the wardrobes of many a chic city-dweller this season, especially in classic tones like navy, red and grey. “My favorite way to wear it is to go bold,” says Reff. “A one-shoulder or a deconstructed wrap shirt can be the perfect accoutrement to the timeless white jean/nude heel combo and a gingham one-piece is sure to turn heads at the beach.”

Frayed, flared and cropped

Flared crop pant – Anna Wisniewski
Flared crop pant on Anna Wisniewski

Even after the sun goes down, skinny jeans can feel stifling mid-summer. You’ll find relief (from both the humidity and a tired style) in a form-flattering crop. “A cool frayed-edge flare adds a fresh twist to any outfit, and not to mention, gives your summer sandal a moment to shine,” Reff says. “Choosing a high-wasted option suits all kinds of silhouettes.”

Embellished sleeves

chicago style influencers 3
A ruffle bow sleeve on blogger Ali Stone

“This season is all about adding embellishments in unexpected places,” says Reff. Exhibit A, the sleeve. “Gone are the days where the three-quarter cut does the job,” she explains. “Instead, a classic bell sleeve paired with a loose fitting, boxy body creates a more balanced look. Or try an exaggerated ruffle to add depth to a one-shoulder top.”

Tailored with a tie

Tie top at Alice & Wonder
Tie top at Alice & Wonder

Adding instant chic has never been as easy as one of the summer’s biggest trends: the tie top. Found on simplistic tops rivaling the plain white tie, an adjustable tie allows for a perfectly tailored fit that’s effortless. “Paired with a high-wasted pant or skirt, the form-fitting look adds length through the hips with a flattering twist,” Reff suggests.

Find Alice & Wonder at:

956 W. Webster Ave