FASHIONISTA SPOTLIGHT: Nicole Gardner

Fashionista Spotlight

A true Fashionista/o rarely lives a day without looking her or his best. Of course, every true Fashionista/o has a casual day once in a while (or in the lives of a busy college student, more often than none!) However, a Fashionista/o is able to incorporate their sharp personal style into just about every outfit they wear. This is because one who expresses themselves through the way they dress is sure to be influenced by what they experience throughout their daily life. Someone who falls in love with John Hughes’ movies from the ’80s may be influenced by the distressed, high-wasted jeans and Converse high-tops, just as someone who covets the culture of rap and hip-hop music may prefer crewneck sweatshirts and Nike Air Yeezy. Whatever the influences and whatever the style, a casual day should never keep a Fashionista/o from expressing themselves in the best way they can. Read on about this Fashionista’s casual yet stylish outfit of the day.

Name: Nicole Gardner

Major/Minor: Apparel Merchandising, Corporate Communications/Italian, Business

Year: Freshman

CollegeFashionista: What are you wearing on this surprisingly gorgeous winter day?

Nicole Gardner: Today I was in a rush, so I just threw together a pretty casual outfit.  I’m wearing a blue flannel that’s a little longer in the back, some basic leggings and my cutout booties with some socks thrown under for warmth. I’m really into rings so I have a couple regular and midi rings on along with some simple stud earrings.

CF: How would you describe your personal style? Does your casual outfit today represent your daily style?

NG: I would say my personal style is a large mix of classic, sophisticated styles, with a little edge.I wear a lot of dark colors and patterns, while also throwing in some neutrals like cream and blush colors. Lately I’ve been wearing a lot of variations of booties with large knits and asymmetric shirts with leggings.This outfit in particular is a good example of my simple, but fashion forward look for a day of classes or errands.Honestly, my style day to day changes a lot because I think the beauty of fashion is that you don’t have to just stick to one type of look, you can experiment with trends and pick and choose which ones best fit you.  

CF: What influences your personal style?

NG:  My style is influenced a lot by my experiences.That may seem odd, but sometimes I’ll take a trip down to Wicker Park or a trendy area of Chicago and just walk around, observe the culture, how they dress, and it inspires me. I also get a lot of ideas for outfits from fashion shows, designers and blogs.I watched a couple of New York Fashion Week runways shows and got inspiration from designers such as Zac Posen and alice + olivia.

CF: As an apparel merchandising major, what do you love most about the industry of fashion?

NG: I think what I love most about the fashion industry is how rewarding the work is.  In most jobs you do your work, maybe crunch some numbers and when you’re finished all you have to show for it is some graphs and presentations.  In the fashion industry, your finished project is something tangible. Fashion designers get to see their collection; runway show directors get to watch the production they’ve worked months on to put together. That’s such a rewarding and remarkable feeling of accomplishment.

How To: Plaid flannels have always been in fashion for both women’s wear and menswear. A classic flannel can easily be found at a thrift store or in your father’s closet! If you’re looking for your own, check out these flannels at an outdoorsmen store like Bass Pro Shops. The bigger fitting of a men’s flannel will give you the casualness this Fashionista went for that can be paired with leggings or skinny jeans. For a bold and chic, studded backpack, try this red backpack from Francesca’s Collections. An accessory that represents your personal style can always be a great save for a casual day!

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