FASHIONISTA SPOTLIGHT: Ariel Akins

Fashionista Spotlight

When you’re constantly on the go like this Fashionista, comfort is key. A typical day in Rome, one of the many fashion capitals of Italy, involves a lot of walking, but stepping outside in a sweatshirt is unheard of. Trying to balance the comfort of traveling and the expectations of the city is this Fashionista’s goal. In this interview she exposes all of her secrets for maximum cuteness while on the move.

Name: Ariel Akins

Major: Architecture

Year: Junior

CollegeFashionista: Tell me what you’re wearing!

Ariel Akins: My blouse and my jeans are from Forever 21, my favorite for cheap basics and trends. My jacket is from Gap. Spending a little more on staple pieces like a jean jacket is sometimes necessary. Ray-Ban glasses and my boots are Madden Girl from DSW. And I knit my scarf with my own hands. I always like adding a personal piece to complete my outfits.

CF: How has your hometown and living so close to NYC influenced your style?

AA: Living in a place where going outside in sweats is not a possibility, I’m more inclined to dress up when leaving my apartment, without losing out on comfort. Rome and New York are similar with this: not wearing an acceptable outfit is practically a crime. Once you have a handle on the trends, the next goal is finding comfortable and warm variations. That’s why I stress staple pieces and a personal touch, like my jean jacket and hand-knit scarf.

CF: What kinds of trends are you looking forward to?

AA: I’m mostly looking forward to maxi skirts. You can wear them with anything, from masculine shirts to a crochet tank or crop top. Add either converse, sandals or even low boots and you’ve got an outfit. You could head in any direction with a maxi, from a quick cafe latte run, to a night out in Traverse. Add a light jacket on the chilly day–another trend I’m looking forward to–and you’re set for an entire day of exploration.

CF: Where are your favorite places to shop here in Rome?

AA: This may seem cliche because we still have these shops in the states, but I head to Zara and H&M because I know I’ll always find things I like. Other than that,  I go in any little boutique I come across that seems interesting–and there are a million of them here. Even the little sidewalk flea-market type things usually have really trendy and cheap clothing, so I’m not spending too much money on trends that might not necessarily last.

How To: To get this on-the-go look, you’ll need to find the perfect balance between comfort and cuteness. Find yourself a simply patterned cotton, long-sleeved shirt for maximum comfort, warmth and versatility. Patterns can range from floral (perfect for spring), fun colored polka dots, or neutral stripes, like this Fashionista. For warmth, add your favorite light jacket, like leather or denim. Or class up the outfit with a boyfriend blazer. Then, add a “personal piece.” This Fashionista added her hand-knit scarf. For warmth, scarves are the way to go, whether you’re a knitter or not. In warmer weather, add a DIY project (like jewelry or sewn elbow patches) as a mark of your personal fashion identity. Next, pair the top half of your outfit with mid-rise black denim that offer stretch so you’re not constantly worrying about their look during an adventure-filled day. If you wanted to spice up the outfit, opt for colored denim with threaded knee patches or another eye-catching detail. Lastly, add your most comfortable neutral boots. Opt for colored boots or boots with detailing, like the rounded studs this Fashionista rocked. Tie the outfit together dainty jewelry, like a symbolic necklace and a stackable rings. Overall, this Fashionista is the epitome of comfort and cuteness.

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