I know them as my sisters, as you probably know, but when people hear Elle and Hannah Chody, their minds often think: fashionable, trendy, and solid sources of creative outfit inspiration.
With a large age gap separating us–five and eight years respectively, to be exact–I have watched my sisters’ styles evolve throughout the course of their lives. I look up to both of them, of course, in countless arenas, but style has always been a passion we all could agree on. Although I already know a lot about both of their store, brand, and inspiration preferences, I decided to compile their favorites since they are such trailblazers in fashion, and find out more about what style means to them.
The brand IRO tops both of Hannah and Elle’s favorites list. The French label is notable for its leather jackets, jeans, and tees. Along with IRO, Elle loves RE/DONE, a denim brand, and Sandro, another French brand based in Paris. Hannah’s other favorites are Gucci and Rag and Bone. By no coincidence, denim is what most of these brands are known for. “I like finding good quality jeans because they last long and complement any top,” Hannah said. Elle agrees, she could wear a pair of Levi’s with any shirt and call it a completed outfit.
Zara is another all-around favorite with the Chody women, my mom and I included. “It has everything,” Hannah mentioned, “It has always been a favorite store of mine. They are constantly getting new items across a variety of styles and it’s a perfect place to go for anything I need– casual or for work.” While Hannah’s love for Zara increased because its versatility in supplying her with both work and everyday clothes, Elle’s obsession with the store grew during her time abroad. “I’ve always loved Zara, but it became my go-to when I studied in Madrid in the second semester of my junior year of college. It’s a Spanish brand and its flagship store was a block away from my apartment, so I found myself there a lot. Also, Zara has decent prices in the first place, but it was even more affordable in Spain because that’s where their clothing is made.”
Hannah and Elle’s styles are certainly unique to them, but they do get inspiration from sources like fashion bloggers on Instagram, designers’ collections, and Zara editorials. Recently, the stylish pair attended Coachella together, otherwise recognized as a fashion-oriented music festival. Elle got her outfit inspiration from Revolve and Free People while also incorporating looks she knew she already loved. Hannah, on the other hand, resorted to her previous experiences at Coachella. “I had been twice before, so I was familiar with the looks and trends that are popular at the festival,” Hannah assured me. “This year, I channeled my signature style, but also incorporated some bohemian accessories I had seen on Instagram and on a few online shopping sites.”
As far as everyday clothing goes, their wardrobe is not as complicated as you may think. Elle describes her daily style as comfortable, with lots of dark colors and high-waisted jeans or leggings. Hannah classifies hers as minimal and structured, with dark colors also being a staple focus. “I don’t overthink my everyday outfits,” Elle admitted. “Like I said, most of my clothes are dark so they all go well together. I usually just throw on a pair of high waisted joggers, a graphic tee, and a bomber and I’m ready for class.”
As for what they don on their feet, their shoe tastes are also similar. In fact, the majority of the time you will find them in sneakers or slides. “I gravitate towards a simple pump for work, but also love finding a good pair of slides or sneakers that I know are comfortable. Nothing is worse than getting halfway through your day and having blisters.” Hannah hinted. Elle added that walking around campus at Wisconsin can be a cumbersome task with numerous hills, so she needs solid shoes to wear every day. “My high top Adidas are my go-tos, or Timberlands in the winter. Like Hannah said, your shoes have to be comfortable and reliable.”
It has been four and six years since my sisters last attended the high fashion hallways of Lake Forest High School, and they both agree that the style at our school has changed a lot. “We both went through super preppy phases,” Elle acknowledged. “Mine being freshman year, Hannah’s being basically all four years she went to the high school.” It’s true: Hannah’s Senior Superlative was Most Lake Forest-y, which is always associated with dressing preppy. They both believe that being “trendy” has a new meaning in the high school today. “When I was in high school, Instagram did not exist and online shopping wasn’t prevalent, so basically everyone got their style inspiration from what they saw at the mall or in magazines,” Hannah explained. “I think that social media platforms and style influencers have impacted what high schoolers wear now, so for the most part, most are very fashion-forward.”
Over time, I have learned so much about fashion through my sisters–from finding the best places to shop, to staying on top of trends. They have imparted on me that, when in doubt, a pair of ripped jeans, a graphic tee, and a leather jacket make a perfect outfit. Through watching their styles and tastes change from Vineyard Vines and Rugby to LF and IRO, I have watched them develop into the fashion pioneers they have solidified themselves as today.