Kait Hunter is the woman behind the blog Hunter Style, a Chicago woman who documents her day-to-day outfits and helps readers find specific items they’ve been hunting for at affordable prices. During a break during her hectic schedule Kait shares with us advice she wished she had received in college, her inspiration behind blogging and dressing in Chicago’s crazy weather.
I was pretty true to my own style. If I wanted to wear heels to class I did. If I wanted to ditch the backpack and put my books in a cool purse instead- I did it. If I was bored with my hair- I dyed it red for a week. Maybe that should be my advice. Don’t wear pajamas to class and own your own style.
MODA: In your bio you describe yourself as “by day, a straight talkin’ stylist and by night a sassy blogger”. Tell us a little bit about what your work as a stylist and as a blogger entails.
KH: My two “jobs” are pretty Jekyll and Hyde sometimes. When I’m styling a client during the day I’m their sensible best friend teaching them how to wear the clothes I’ve brought before them. Customer service is key. My blog is where I get to be myself, which is a total weirdo. I can talk about the same subject that I would to a client, say, how to style floral printed jeans but this time I get to insert some sarcasm and sass. Because come on, floral printed jeans are kind of juvenile; it’s hilarious that we are wearing them again. And paying upwards of $100 for a pair!
MODA: Walk us through your day to day schedule?
KH: Every day is different but a typical work day will go something like this:
If I like my outfit, I’ll take a picture for the blog right after I’ve had some coffee. I’ll then pull looks for clients and proceed to film videos of their looks on a mannequin (part of the structure for CakeStyle where I work). I’ll then answer a hundred emails and try to remember to eat lunch. Get on the phone for another couple hours talking to clients about future or past looks. Then I’ll head out to an in person client appointment after work at our studio downtown. By the time I get home I usually write at least one blog post and try to watch a movie before passing out.
MODA: What inspired you to start “Hunter Style”? did you create it before or after you became a stylist?
KH: I started Hunter Style before my official job title became stylist. I was doing small freelance gigs but never did it full time. I started Hunter Style initially because I was about to have a month where my schedule freed up and I wanted to fill in my free time with something. I had always wanted to start a blog but thought it was silly- who the hell wanted to listen to what I had to say? I finally decided to start it (and not tell anyone haha) and based it around my already occurring obsession of online shopping. There were so many times when a friend of mine was looking for an item in a specific budget and would ask me to look online for her. I’d always come back with some great options and they were happy with my picks. Thus I started the “Quit Looking; I Found It” concept of Hunter Style.
MODA: What is your favorite part of being a stylist? A blogger?
KH: My favorite part of being a stylist is empowering women with a knowledge set so that if at first they were confused about how to wear a certain item or incorporate certain trends into their lifestyle, they can walk away feeling more confident. My favorite part of blogging is getting to be a weirdo and just throw my thoughts out into the world. I hope that people who read my blog get a good laugh while at the same time feeling inspired by my posts or finds.
MODA: My personal favorite part of your website is the “Quit Looking; I found it” section. How did you realize that this was a service that people wanted/needed badly?
KH: Generally people do not have enough time to go on these searches themselves. They talk about or whine about how they need a certain item in their budget but have no idea if it exists and if it does, where to find it. I was already doing this everyday for myself so figured why not have strangers email me their questions. It was an obvious move for me and I love doing it.
MODA: Have you always been located in Chicago? How would you describe the Chicago fashion scene in relation to that of other cities?
KH: I’ve always been in Chicago but when I travel I love observing the locals and their style. Chicago definitely likes to walk straight out of a J.Crew catalogue and there is nothing wrong with that. But generally we do not use the city as our own personal catwalk- like you see in New York. I really love when I see a Chicagoan working some crazy look and owning it, it inspires me. But generally speaking we are a comfort city. We like to be comfortable but stylish, so you don’t see too many extremes here.
MODA: Where are your favorite places to shop in the city? Are there any resources you wish Chicago fashionistas utilized more?
KH: I wish Chicago fashionistas utilized ME more! No really, I freaking love when people email me questions – it makes me feel like what I’m doing is worth it and not just a waste of time. I won’t lie.. I love to shop at Zara. It’s where 90% of my wardrobe is from. I like the styles, they are trendy but still kind of classic and the price is right. My other secret is the TJ Maxx in St. Louis. If you are ever there you should check it out. They have the greatest designer section there and of course, no one in this town takes advantage of it! Except my boyfriends mom- who introduced me to it.
MODA: Even though it’s hot now, I think a lot of UChicago students would love to hear your advice on how to maintain a sense of style during the brutal winters and how to transition into spring especially when the weather can be so bi-polar?
KH: Make sure your fall wardrobe is legit and dont be afraid to buy lots of jackets. I’m constantly buying jackets/coats. You can pretty much wear anything from any season as long as you have the right jacket. I always hated when people would tell me – layering is key here. (It’s true but I still hate to hear it). There are days when I honestly don’t want to wear 5 sweaters and then later have to shed them and carry them around for the rest of the day. I’ve always combatted this by owning great outerwear. Your accessories will get you far also. A great pair of leather gloves, a comfortable scarf.. those kind of things. Maybe you want to wear that great summer dress but it’s still too chilly? Here’s where that ¾ length sleeve coat comes in. Maybe you want to wear some shorts and a long sleeve tee but its only 60 degrees out…perfect to layer on that light leather jacket. You catch my drift?
MODA: What’s a lesson regarding fashion/ how to dress that you know now, but wish someone had told you in college?
KH: I always had the personal rule- no pajamas to class. I wouldn’t wear pajamas anywhere except my bedroom even to this day and I think everyone should adopt this rule. No one ever told me this but I whole-heartedly believe in it. So I’m telling you all out there now- stop doing this.
I’m not sure I wish someone had given me advice- I was pretty true to my own style. If I wanted to wear heels to class I did. If I wanted to ditch the backpack and put my books in a cool purse instead- I did it. If I was bored with my hair- I dyed it red for a week. Maybe that should be my advice. Don’t wear pajamas to class and own your own style. Don’t copy people. Be inspired by people (it is college) but straight up copying someone else’s style is the absolute worst thing you can do. Try out new things if you like them, but put your own personal twist on them. Be original!! People respect that. I respect that.
MODA: What are some of your favorite blogs?
KH: Right now I love Honestly WTF. My boyfriend is always showing me cool things on Hodinkee and Gawker. The Vice tumblr is fantastic and always great for a laugh. I also like Wendys Lookbook- how the hell do people look like that every day? Not me.. I’ll post an outfit picture of myself and you can see my underwear in my pants or my hair will be crazy frizzy.
MODA: Thank you for talking to us! Lastly, what sets you apart from the many other bloggers and stylists out there?
KH: I like to show myself…real and legit (and also just weird). I’m not taking my pictures with some insane $5000 camera. I’m not partnering up with brands unless I really would shop there myself. I don’t make money off this blog – there are no exterior motives going on. My boyfriend takes the pictures or I take them myself when I have time (and a lot of the time I don’t take pictures because I’m too busy). I’m not fussing over having perfect hair or having some insane outfit that is honestly not realistic to my everyday life. Sometimes I look at other bloggers and while, they really do look fantastic and amazing and I’m inspired by them- does it make sense to wear like 80 bracelets on one arm? That would be so annoying to me, to hear someone’s bracelets clanging around all day. I guess in that way, I’m truly a Chicago girl. My style represents real life- the outfits I post I actually wear the entire day. I’ve heard some bloggers put on an outfit, go to some great location, take pictures and then they take off the clothes and go back to ‘real life’. That’s not me. What you see on this blog is what I wear, how I wear it and where I shop. I try to have my personality be the main point. I usually joke around in my posts or say something random that is on my mind. There are probably some really inappropriate things I say at times, but like I said this is where I can do that. Sometimes bloggers take themselves too seriously. Fashion shouldn’t be so serious, it should be fun! You should experiment, have fun and be yourself.