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Talking Festival Fashion with NYC-based stylist Stephanie Alexis

Wednesday, April 22, 2015 Catie Coscino

Brace yourselves Chicago, festival season is coming.  You know what that means, right?  Lots of tourists, celebrities and hype are headed to Chicago for the behemoth productions like Lollapalooza, and the smaller ones, like Pitchfork.  There is a lot of pressure surrounding the festival scene in Chicago and one will undoubtedly find themselves in the crowd vying to be the bohemian goddess of their own dreams.  Over the next few months, you will surely find many girls staying up late studying the underground artists, dipping feathers in gold paint, looking up how to attract the attention of street style bloggers and scouring the sale racks at Free People.  A lot of planning goes into this "free-spirited" season.  So, amidst the sea of DIY flower crowns, gladiator sandals and exposed butt cheeks hanging out of frayed denim shorts, I got a few style tips from NYC-based style maven, Stephanie Alexis.  As the founder of SAStyle Studio, a personal shopper and image consultant,  Alexis won't steer you wrong this summer.

Stephanie Alexis of SAStyle Studio
If there is one thing that Chicagoans and NY Natives can find some common ground on, it would be extreme weather.  Bittercold winters and hot, humid summers are just the norm for us.  And we all know that as a rule, it's typically hot and sticky during Pitchfork followed by at least one unexpected torrential downpour during Lollapalooza.  When dealing with difficult weather, it's important to dress for the occasion.  Stephanie Alexis notes: "One thing to keep in mind is that festivalgoers need to make sure they're dressing for comfort and function, as well as expressive fashion- a great way to ensure this is light layering.  Mixing lightweight dresses like, the Jamie by Duffield Lane, and pairing it with a statement parka, like the CATCH by SNOWMAN New York, will ensure optimal comfort and protection against the elements, all while staying chic."  Dressing with the weather in mind first and foremost will go a long way in ensuring you enjoy the festival from start to finish.  One option for festivalgoers is to "[channel] their inner hippie and opt for flowy lace dresses, pair loose-fitting rock tanks with ripped denim shorts or toss on that crochet mini.  Another 'oldie but goodie' that will make a comeback this year [is] French stripes!  Pairing styles such as the Sally by Duffield Lane with eye-catching coats like SLICE by SNOWMAN New York gives you a modern take on a 60's trend," adds Alexis.

Another key component?  Accessories!  Stephanie Alexis adds some great options such as "straw fedoras and statement sunglasses" because they can "take your look from festival-ready to rock-star chic, but they also serve to protect against the elements.  Adding a touch of gold to your look with simple and subtle gold jewelry that will complete your outfit without weighing you down."  You can pick up some great pieces at LWN.  Remember, you'll want to bring the right bag along.  Alexis predicts that "clean and simple leather backpacks alongside graphic statement purses will be huge on the fashion radar this year."  So take note, and don't forget to protect your phone either!  Alexis suggests phone cases by Ashley Chloe INC to "add that bit of oomph to your look" while keeping  your phone safe, because we all know that your phone will be in your hand for nearly every picture that's taken.  It might as well look as good as you do, right?

Last but not least, your look needs to be cohesive and finished from head to toe.  "Sun protection trumps beauty.  Any makeup foundation with SPF already in it is my go-to for my skin because it proves full coverage, while a tinted SPF lip balm will keep your lips moisturized and shiny," says Alexis.  Another great beauty tip she offered up is to "apply a clay mask to draw out skin's oils and follow with a light moisturizer, some primer, and a light layer of foundation.  This ensures your makeup stays on for a longer period!"  She also recommends Neutrogena's Ultra Sheer Body Mist Sunscreen, Not Your Mother's Dry Shampoo and forgoing regular deodorant which can get clumpy for tea tree oil or bergamot oil.  My personal recommendation is Truly's Natural Deodorant.  It's an organic cream deodorant comprised solely of organic coconut oil, beeswax, baking soda and organic powdered sugar- that's it!  GMO, paraben, alcohol & fragrance free, non-staining or stinging- Truly's will keep you odor-free and in charge of what you are putting on your skin.

Make a statement in style and comfort this festival season.  You won't regret it!  Most importantly, have fun and make the most of every beautiful, fleeting summer day here in Chicago.

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