It’s Acceptable to Have Multiple Leather Jackets – A Chat with Bailey Chauner

From the coffee capital of America comes the gorgeous Bailey Chauner.  Bailey’s site and Instagram are an awesome collection of fashion and lifestyle.  Whether she’s showing off shoes, skirts or ice cream (YUM!) she’s ALWAYS worth a read!

When did you launch Hot Dress Hot Mess and what made you decide to get into fashion blogging?

When I was a senior in college in 2013 at the University of Montana, I desperately wanted to enter the fashion industry. In Montana, I struggled to find fashion experience to add to my resume other than working retail. I knew I wasn’t the only student that felt this way, I started a student group and fashion blog called Trendsetters at The U. I created Trendsetters at the U to give students a platform to gain fashion experience in the form of blogging, marketing, web design, and social media management. After graduating, I left Trendsetters at The U to the students but still craved to continue blogging. In September 2014, I launched Hot Dress Hot Mess.

When did your interest in fashion and beauty begin?

I can’t remember when my interest in fashion and beauty began because it started so early in my life. It began as dressing up like a Disney princess or trying on my mom’s high heels and evolved into a love of shopping and fashion. From there, I used the school hallways as my mini runway through elementary school, awkward middle school years, and slightly less awkward high school years.

How have you developed your style?

Ah this question is so hard! My style is always changing but I’ve always stuck to my instinct of what makes me feel good. Sometimes that feeling is from a comfortable of chic sneakers and sometimes it’s from a pair of high heels. I am inspired by trends, bloggers, colors, and textures, but I never wear something that doesn’t make me feel amazing.

What is the one essential item in your wardrobe you couldn’t live without?

Hands down, a black leather jacket. Leather jackets are versatile and can be styled with jeans, dresses, jumpsuits…literally anything! It’s a wardrobe essential. It’s also completely acceptable to have multiple black leather jackets that are tailored differently.

How many looks do you shoot in a single day?

My photo shoot schedules are fairly sporadic and can range from 1-4 looks in one day. The weather in Seattle is a huge variable so if there is sun I’ll try and shoot as many looks as possible. The amount of looks is also dependent on the amount of collaborations I have and if I get lucky shopping.

What camera do you use, and what do you use to edit your photos?

For my blog posts, I always use a professional photographer. To be honest, I have no idea what kind of cameras they use. I also let my photographers do all the editing of the photos and I will provide general direction about what I’m looking for. For instance, I will tell my photographer if I want my photos to look crisp and bright or dark and moody. For many of my Instagram posts, I use my iPhone (usually shot by my boyfriend or friends) and editing apps like Photoshop Fix (my favorite), VSCO, or or Afterlight.

How long did it take you to grow your following?

I started Hot Dress Hot Mess in September of 2014, but I’d say I didn’t really start putting an effort into growing my blog and social media audiences until November 2015. Growing a following is equal parts of creating exceptional content and engaging with your audience to learn what they are interested in. Once you understand what your audience wants, you can tailor your content more effectively which in turn, helps grow you a larger and more engaged audience.

What are your 5 essential travel items?

Sunglasses, face moisturizer, lip balm, sneakers, and of course a leather jacket!

What’s a place you’d like to visit?

There are so many places I want to visit! In the next few years, I want to visit Thailand, Greece, Cambodia, and Rome.

What are your goals for Hot Dress Hot Mess in 2017?

My goals for Hot Dress Hot Mess are to be more engaged with the local Seattle fashion community. I recently chipped away at this goal by collaborating by creating the post 25 Hot Mess Hacks from Seattle Fashion Bloggers that features incredible women of the Seattle blogging community. My other goal is to engage better with my audience. I want to create content and write blog posts that my audience finds interesting and helpful. My goal is to create a better system for receiving reader feedback and taking suggestions. Finally, I want to incorporate more of my “hot mess” side and blog about fashion and beauty issues in a realistic, relatable way.


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