With so many people moving to Chicago, it’s almost hard to keep up. I am grateful that I get to meet so many amazing Chicago expats as they share with me their thoughts on the city as well as their background. Meet the beautiful Jill Badlotto, originally from New York but now loving Chicago! Jill has always loved fashion despite graduating from Law school. Her fashion icons: ‘Rooney Mara is my spirit animal. I am also oddly obsessed with The Olsen Twins and have loved their fashion since I was a kid.’, with that statement and Olsen twin mention, you can tell that she’s definitely a fashion enthusiast. Raised in Brooklyn, NY, Jill currently lives in Chicago and blogs with her friend Jess on Jess & Jill.
Where did you meet Jess?
Jess and I have a crazy love story, as we like to call it. We both are members of this online gossip community and I noticed she lived in Florida and just moved to Chicago. I asked her a few questions about her move since I was transitioning from Florida to Chicago, and we realized we both had so much in common. Her boyfriend and I went to the same college and she went to college in the same town that my boyfriend lived, and we also went to highschool near each other. We ended up having a “blind date” at the museum and it’s been a rewarding friendship ever since.
What inspired you and Jess to start a blog?
The start of JessandJill.com happened very organically. We were both looking to jump into the blogging world at the same time, but were a little hesitant on where to begin. It was a way for us to both become familiar with the city and meet new, interesting people. Outside of fashion, writing is one of my passions and Jess is a very visual, artistic person, so the balance between the both of us was perfect.
The concept of your blog- Is it Fashion or lifestyle or a journal or all of the above?
I know that some bloggers stick to a specific topic, but that’s never worked for Jess and I. Although we are mainly fashion focused, we also like to share what restaurants we love, recipes, activities, and even our vacations. As two best friends who are enjoying life, we like to share our jokes and friendship with our readers, and usually add a twist of humor to every post.
You said you’ve moved to Chicago recently, how do you like it so far?
I love it! The vibe of the city has turned me into more of a spontaneous, independent individual. Plus I find the fashion stimulating.
What’s special about this city?
There’s so much that’s special about Chicago. Outside of the delicious food and restaurants, I love how each neighborhood is so unique.
Fashion in Chicago: Like any other city, the fashion scene is constantly evolving. Chicago’s fashion has been prominent throughout the years. There’s a real sense of classic American Style that will never change, you can see it in the movies years ago and now in the Loop. But I definetly think Chicago is now making an even trendier presence in Fashion; It’s coming after those other cities – watch out, New York 😉
Where do you take your visitors to?
Definitely to my favorite restaurant, Nellcote, for their Sunday brunch and then shopping in Wicker Park. I always find perfect gifts or unique finds that I never thought I needed.
So far- How has Chicago contributed to your growth?
My move to Chicago came at a crucial time in my life. I had just graduated, taken my LSAT, and was waiting to see what law school I’d attend when a few life changing moments happened for me. I ended up taking the plunge and moving to Chicago, starting a blog and working at the Chicago Blogger Network… a job completely different than the career I had planned in law. I also attended The University of Chicago and received my Master’s, which was the greatest educational experience I could have hoped for. I owe a lot to this city!
What do you think of Chicagoans, especially young entrepreneurs in comparison to other cities?
Chicagoans love to help each other. They’re hungry and work hard for their goals, and there are so many people in this city creating beautiful things. But they also will help others with their dreams, even if they’re the competition.
Chicagoans are so proud to live where they live and there’s a collective energy amongst everyone here that is unlike any other. You know it’s a special city with special people when you see people walking down the street in January with smiles on their faces. Plus they’re so nice! Being born in New York, sometimes I forget that the norm is to hear a “thank you” when I hold the door open.
Blogging: How has blogging changed the world?
I think blogging has turned things a bit upside down, but in a positive way. There’s so much authenticity in blogging and an instant trust between the reader and writer. You’re going to believe that a product is good if a blogger you follow says it rather than reading about it in a magazine, because most of the time, they have an unbiased opinion.
And a little bit about your usual routine- what keeps you motivated and disciplined?
Surrounding myself with motivated and inspiring people helps keep myself disciplined. The energy of those you surround yourself with is key and I’ve got some pretty encouraging people around me.
Describe your style in 3 words.
I’ve got one word, unpredictable!
Let me explain: The best part about fashion is that every day you when you get dressed, you get to express a certain aspect of yourself, so I find narrowing my style down to three words in difficult. Whatever I wear, I do love to add an edgy twist, and I love mixing masculine pieces with feminine makeup. I’m also somewhat afraid of color, so I own a lot of black.