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Back to Basics

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Hello fellow fashion lovers! I hope you’re well rested because guess what, it’s finals week! Now is the time where the end is near and the impending doom of exams lingers in the air. At this point I’m sure a lot of you are running on little to no sleep and caffeine might be your main source of nutrition, but don’t give up just yet. While a lot of people on campus this week look like they’d be right at home on State Street with the local bum, I was psyched to run into this Fashionista on her way to the library.

What I liked most about this week’s Fashionista was that her look was so simple but her confidence and subtle styling details made her stand out amongst the gloomy aura that campus seems to be giving off as of late. She combines a pair of dark skinny jeans with a basic white Marc Jacobs T-shirt and an oversized grey cardigan. Some classic white Converse high-top sneakers and a pair of big headphones pull the look together and give it a more old school and urban feel. Overall her look is easy, uncomplicated and, most importantly, comfortable.

I’m sure style is the last thing on a lot of your minds right now, so try to take a tip from this Fashionista and keep it basic. Next time you’re headed to campus, opt for your favorite pair of denim instead of yoga pants and an easy cardigan instead of that old hoodie.

Happy finals week, Fashionistas and may the odds be ever in your favor!
 

Style On®,

Claire File

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Avatar of Kristina Yao
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Back To Basics

As said by creative director, Joe Zee, this is the season to start with a clean slate and go back to the basics — I couldn’t agree more. Florals and neon have been big trends these past seasons; so much so that everyone has forgotten about a simple black and white ensemble. As a lover of all things black and white, I couldn’t let this Fashionista remain unnoticed.  

A white blouse and a black skirt may seem boring to some, and maybe even too formal, but a white chiffon blouse with a black high-low skirt is casual and chic. It is never a bad decision to invest in a cute high-low skirt. I caught this Fashionista outside school rocking her sunglasses and super cute bowler hat, which definitely adds major style points to her already chic outfit. All the way from top to bottom, she keeps it simple. With her night planned to go to a friend’s art gallery, a simple change from flats to wedges can instantly make this outfit go from day to night. For us Fashionistas in the city who don’t have dorm rooms to run back to, carrying around a big tote to school is a must. Who knows when we’ll need a quick change for a spontaneous night out with some friends? And if you’re dying for some color, just add a berry lip to finish the look. 

If you’ve hidden away your blacks and whites, now is the time to go dig into your closet and fetch them out. See what black and white pieces you can mix together to make your most stylish outfit. Even in black and white, I guarantee you’ll have all eyes on you.

Style On®,

Kristina Yao

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style guru
Style Guru: (noun)
1. A super stylish individual with a keen eye for fashion, trends and the latest happenings on his or her campus.
2. Talented writer and photographer
3. Not a Style Guru? Be sure to apply!
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Back To Basics

As the temperature starts to drop and the days become shorter, Kent State Fashionistas are scrambling to squeeze in a few last days of their summer wardrobe. Soon outfits will consist of oversized sweaters and wool socks, and neon will be far from our minds. However, when I spotted this Fashionista I loved her use of neon in this transitional outfit. The green satin shirt pops beautifully against her perfectly distressed jeans, black layers and sparkly jewelry. My focus on her outfit though is not the neon top, but the black cardigan she wears over it.

One thing that I've learned as I’ve gotten older is the need for truly versatile staple pieces. Things like your perfect black cardigan will look chic with the trends of this season, such as baroque print. It'll look equally amazing with a pair of leather pants and a casual white button-up. The possibilities are endless, and trust me, once you buy an amazing cardigan you will live in it.

The great thing about such a staple piece is that there are options for every style. A slouchy grandma sweater looks amazing with a cool California-inspired look. This cardigan from ASOS will fit into a girlier wardrobe, pairing well with skater dresses and pretty florals. Investing in a cardigan with leather trim will add an edge to any outfit. In general, buy a black cardigan that you fall in love with! It's one piece you can guiltlessly purchase because every smart Fashionista knows it'll be used for years to come.

Style On®,

Cassie Dulworth

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If you’ve been keeping an eye on the coverage from New York Fashion Week then you know there are all kinds of new trends to be excited about. However, with each season bringing new styles it’s important to have some trend-proof closet staples that serve as building blocks for your wardrobe.

This week’s Fashionista, Libbie Dean, shows us that basic doesn't have to mean boring. Layering black jeans, a striped cotton T-shirt and a chambray button-up, she adds a unique touch with statement-making accessories like bold color block sandals and multi-color earrings.

Black skinny jeans are one of my favorite wardrobe essentials. Stylish, versatile and comfortable, they can be worn for all kinds of occasions. While it’s still warm you can wear them with statement sandals like Libbie. When the weather gets cooler pair them with ballet flats or tucked into boots for an everyday look, or dress them up with a fun top and heels for a night out. In addition to a great pair of black skinnies, it's crucial to have at least a few well-fitting cotton T-shirts in your closet to layer and use as the foundation for different outfits. Both Gap and Target have all kinds of comfy cotton tops that come in different colors and cuts. As this week’s Fashionista showed us, chambray looks great paired with black jeans, and can be worn alone or layered over a basic T-shirt. These button-ups are comfortable, lightweight and versatile, and would look great with colored denim and boots this fall. Or you can throw one over a summer dress with boots to transition your sundress into fall.

Style On®,

Elizabeth Catalano

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Avatar of Clara Balbi
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Having been asked which was the hardest part of drawing a hundred street style characters, Germany-based design student Ji Hyun Yu confessed that “the fashion that is simple and plain but elegant is hard to portray.” Since there isn't much to draw, believes Ji Hyun, the drawing should depict the clothes' simplicity and elegance. It's a tough job, but maybe not for her: 100 People I Drew is now a book and can also be seen here.

Hard to portray both on and off canvas: a simple but elegant look is the hardest thing to achieve when it comes to fashion. No challenge for today's Fashionista, though. Mastering the basics — black skinny jeans and white shirt — she adds playfulness to the look with leopard-printed ballerina flats. Elegance comes in the form of minimalistic geometrical earrings.

Creating the perfect everyday-chic ensemble is made easier by collecting references though the web — think Tumblr websites chromatically organized such as Simple But Tasteful. This Fashionista may also have had a little help from her friends. Julia Chinelli, a PUC student herself, was the brain behind the friendship bracelets this look features. Prices range from R$10 to R$20 and I've already ordered mine. What about you?

Style On®,

Clara Balbi

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Avatar of Rachel Hodes
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When I stopped this Fashionista outside of my favorite thrift store in Brooklyn, I couldn’t put my finger on what it was that I loved so much about her outfit. After some thought, I realized what made this outfit work was the fact that it didn’t have one aspect or one piece that stood out more than the others. What made it work was its simplicity. All of the individual pieces fit together seamlessly to form a cute, casual, and totally wearable look.

A couple weeks ago I wrote an entire post about how to wear denim shorts. This Fashionista does a great job with her own pair. Distressed denim is big this summer, as are short shorts. The pair of shorts on this Fashionista is the perfect length to show off some leg. And although high-waist shorts are huge this summer and I’m also a huge fan, I think it’s a breath of fresh air to see some normal waist shorts, like this one, from time to time.  

To go along with her classic pair of denim shorts, this Fashionista chose to wear a high neckline orange blouse. Not only is the color great for her skin tone, but the cut is really flattering as well. High necklines like this one accentuate the shoulders and create a pretty silhouette that flares out at the waist. I think the combination of a solid color top and bright blue jean shorts is just simple enough to stand out.

Another great thing about rocking such a simple, classic outfit is that it gives the Fashionista plenty of room to accessorize. This Fashionista chose to pair her outfit with a classic Louis Vuitton purse and brown wedge heels to match. I give her serious props for rocking these wedges for everyday activities, like shopping with her friends. It’s something I have been pushing myself to do and seeing how adorable this Fashionista looks in her super cute wedges matched with such a casual outfit really makes me want to try this look! My feet will just have to get used to it!

If you’re looking to imitate this look, definitely start with the shorts. Every girl needs a basic pair of denim, frayed shorts for the summer time. Check out this pair from J Brand at Nordstrom. As for the high neckline blouse, check out this piece from Topshop. Not only is it clean and simple with the classic silhouette, but it also has an adorable button detail in the back!  And last but not least, you cannot forget about the shoes. Steve Madden is always a reliable place to look for a great pair of funky wedges like these!

Style On®,

Rachel Hodes

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One of fashion’s most ubiquitous outfits is the jeans and white tee combo. It’s easy, comfortable and classic. Part of the magic of this ensemble is that it can take you from a day in class and running errands to a dinner with friends by just changing a few key accessories. And to make this outfit even more appealing, a recent poll conducted by Glamour magazine found that jeans and a white T-shirt is the number one outfit guys prefer on women. Who knew?

One of the things I love most about this combination is the endless potential for reinvention. It can be styled several different ways just by tweaking the cut of the T-shirt or adding noteworthy accessories.

This Fashionista’s riff on the classic included a pair of cutoff denim shorts and a flowy white tee. These lightweight and effortless styles are perfect ways to wear this trend for the summer and keep cool. This Fashionista also proves that when it comes to keeping it simple, it’s the little things that make a huge difference. A few understated pieces serve to bring this outfit up a notch.
 
The braided trim on the top adds a touch of elegance to the otherwise unembellished sleeveless T-shirt.  She topped the outfit off with a metallic gold skinny belt and fire engine red sandals. These small touches add up to a big impact when paired with the simplicity of the jeans and T-shirt.

Designers also continue to reinvent this classic trend. This spring, Balenciaga and Theskyens' Theory both sent versions of jeans and white tops down the runway, and 3.1 Phillip Lim inverted the trend by showcasing an oversized denim top and white shorts. When wearing this trend, try new combinations, such as a pair of destroyed boyfriend jeans and a white T-shirt with a neon embroidered design or a pair of structured skinnies and a loose, but formal, T-shirt. Contrasting the top and bottom, like this Fashionista did with her billowing top and skinny shorts, gives the outfit more visual appeal and character.

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Liz McLean

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Back To Basics

Fashionistas/os, when it comes to clothes, is there anything better than a wardrobe staple? As much as I love keeping up with the latest fashions and forecasting upcoming trends, there’s nothing more classic than a basic. They're always there in your closet when you need them, they never go out of style and they’re usually the best pieces for layering! I love spotting a Fashionista/o on the street sporting a fresh, new, bold look, but I also love seeing a basic look updated. When I think basic staples, I think little black dresses, fantastic fitting denim, white T-shirts, lace camisoles and form fitting blazers, just to name a few! These are staple items that are sure to look chic in every season.

This Fashionista is rocking the timeless “white T-shirt and jeans” look. She really makes the look her own by adding a fabulous neutral colored accessories. I adore her clutch and strappy heels!

I think one of the reasons that this look is so ageless is its versatility. The tee and the denim make the perfect canvas for your outfit. You can layer all you want and accessorize, accessorize, accessorize! The outfit can also easily be taken from day to night wear with just a change of an accessory.

Whenever I’m wearing my white T-shirt and denim, I feel as fierce as Gisele. Especially when I throw on a great pair of pumps with the outfit. As I walk down the street, I can just feel the wind blowing my hair almost making me supermodel-esque. Hopefully this Fashionista felt as fierce as Gisele, she looked it!

Fashionistas/os, let’s get back to the basics!

[email protected]

Style On®,

Christina Dawes

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Back to Basics

The roots of fashion are in function. A wardrobe should be reflective of your personal style but it also should be practical. A warm parka is not my cutest piece, but it is necessary for Windy City winters. It is important to stock up on quality pieces. These items should stand the test of time. While trends come and go, styles that flatter your body type and appropriately cover your body for the seasons is a must. 

While there is a wide array of items that people consider staples depending on their own personal style and where they live, there are certain universal items that most would need in their closets this summer. I think a good pair of well-worn light rinse jean shorts is a practical purchase. They should be mid-length so that you can cuff them if you want them shorter. A white eyelet tank top is easy to pair with any pair of shorts and screams summer. Another essential is a simple sundress that can worn during the day or night.  It should be made of  cotton or jersey or something that does not need to be sent to the dry cleaner's after each wear. A good pair of sandals is crucial as well. My personal favorite is a pair Jack Rogers Navajo sandals. They are super comfortable after a few wears and are classic. A large tote bag is also nice for either the beach or a weekend trip. I love the LL Bean Boat and Tote Bag. They are made of canvas and are very roomy to fit all of your things. 

I spotted this Fashionista rocking a jersey dress and jean jacket. She paired her outfit with a pair of gladiator sandals and a large hobo bag. Her look is very simple but elegant. 

Stick to quality over quantity when it comes to your wardrobe. A few nice pieces are worth the money when they get good wear and can always be updated with some fun accessories.

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When I look at my Twitter feed, magazines and blogs of all sorts for fashion inspiration, all I see are tips on how to rock the brightest of colors this season. While I must admit I have an obsession with anything hot pink, there are certainly days when I am not up for standing out in neon. This is when I resort to wearing understated tops and bottoms and leave it up to my accessories to do the fashion talking. Though it may seem a little tougher to make a fashionable statement with a look comprised of garments that don’t particularly scream, “look at me!” I have found that a perfect way to jazz up any simple outfit is to cinch it with a chic belt.

This Fashionista does a fantastic job incorporating a belt with her minimally styled getup. Her basic combination of a gray long-sleeve scoop neck tee and light royal blue skirt was instantly animated with her addition of a brown leather belt. Though her outfit wasn’t necessarily “attention grabbing”, I loved her attention to detail. Aside from accessorizing with her brown belt, she wore a gold bracelet adorned with a heart. It was a quirky touch to her effortless style and was a nice accessory complement to her belt.

Belts are great accessories, since they are both functional and fashionable. Wearing them to achieve a better fit for our pants aren’t their only purpose. This spring take your favorite belt and wrap it around your waist when wearing a dress. Once again, your belt will serve you in more ways than one. It will give you a more definitive shape while adding a fashionable touch to an otherwise plain outfit. A must-have in any Fashionista’s closet is a braided belt, such as this from Madewell. It’s a great accessory to pair with a simple floral dress (which are so in this season!) if you’re looking for an easy way to style your outfit. If you’re opting for a more eye-popping number, this fun, red belt adds a quirky touch to this cream Urban Outfitters lace dress and proves to be an outfit that can be worn to any occasion. Next time you’re unsure of how to accessorize, just belt it!

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Jean Esteban

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Back to Basics

Being stylish is not always about putting together something trendy or outlandish. In fact, most of the time its better just to keep it neat and simple. Yes, mixing prints is trending this season but, how many days can floral denim be paired with a striped shirt? Unfortunately, trying to look effortlessly casual is harder than it looks. Celebrities like Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen (and now their sister, Elizabeth) have become fashion icons because of their seemingly effortless style.

This Fashionista reminded me that you can never go wrong by going back to basics. Thanks to the early Spring weather, she is able to wear a light, long sweater from Free People. In my opinion, when it comes to sweaters that speak for themselves, Free People has established itself as a go-to company. Her scarf brings the entire outfit together by reflecting the colors of her tan sweater with her gray Toms while also bringing in hues of green. Not to mention her all-purpose tote that adds to her natural look. Combined with her simple ponytail this Fashionista painlessly chic and put together.

No one does the minimalist look better than fashion blogger Wendy Nguyen from Wendy’s Lookbook. She always creates outfits that are natural and never look forced. By sticking to natural colors with pops of color, whether it be pastels or brights, she always puts together an elegant look. A word to the wise, invest in jeans, a white tee, bright patterned scarves and some stunner shades. If you don't already know about StyleMint, the Olsens' website for the perfect, anytime T-shirt, go join now.

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Madison Desmond

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The weather has been so back and forth between overcast and sunny in Minnesota lately that it has been difficult to decipher what to wear to class. A winter jacket or boots can protect you outside but make you sweat once you get inside. These adorable Fashionistas have mastered dressing for the sporadic temperature changes by styling some staple items.

The most important part of making a simple, basic piece stand out — besides one’s personal touches, of course — is starting with quality items. Although high quality usually comes with a steeper price tag, they make a good investment because they hold up over time and through different trends. The girls’ leather boots are perfect for roaming around our huge campus and look great with leggings, denim or tights. It’s also easy to hide a wool sock inside for ultimate comfort. Boots are definitely a splurge item. Check out Frye’s campus collection for the ultimate leather boots. The girls’ oversized sweaters are great for this in-between weather and, thankfully, basic tops are pretty affordable. StyleMint has tees designed by fashion icons Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen for only $30 a pop.

Starting off with great looking basics lets you have fun with the accessories. It is so easy to play up a white tee with a chunky choker or keep it low key with simple jewelry like the Fashionista on the left did with her crystal bracelet and delicate rings. Don’t forget about scarves when accessorizing; they double as both functional and statement making.

Take inspiration from these Fashionistas and save up for some quality pieces that will stand the test of time and remain fashionable all throughout your college experience.

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Emma Retzlaff

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Most of the time basic items are incredibly undervalued. They play a fundamental role in our dressing routine.Try to think about leggings, for instance: how many different types and combinations will come to your mind? It's absolutely endless. Their versatility, in fact, makes them one of the most highly requested and widespread items.

Since they fit all body forms and shapes, leggings almost always enhance a figure and silhouette in every combination. If worn as opaque tights under skirts, dresses or shorts, they add an extravagant touch to your outfit. Even basic black leggings might significantly improve your look — if matched with black high boots, in fact, they will make your legs appear much longer and thinner.

On the other hand, when used as trousers, they really become the key piece of the outfit. Look at this Fashionista’s bright outfit, for example. Leather skinny leggings create a fabulous contrast with the oversized top. In addition, the combination of the pale pink sweater and the black leggings make her look delicate and strong at the same time. Finally, the waxed jacket is perfectly matched with the leggings, while the camel bag gives a shiny touch to the outfit.

Besides the most common versions in leather or cloth, leggings are currently designed and produced in a wide selection of textiles. Velvet leggings in dark colours (from black to purple) as well as wool leggings are must-haves for the current season.

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Francesca Testa

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Back to Basics

When it comes to school wear, comfort is key; that doesn’t, however, mean you have to sacrifice style. I love this Fashionista’s look of paired down basics and how effortlessly stylish she looks. The pieces are simple: jeans, a white tee and a boyfriend blazer. Put together, though, they make a great look with little effort.
The one piece that really makes a world of difference in this outfit is the blazer. It pulls her look together and makes it instantly more tailored. The fact that it’s a slightly oversized, boyfriend style blazer keeps the look a bit more casual, which I really like.

This is such a popular look right now that you can find them virtually anywhere. This blazer from Forever21, for example, is a great way to incorporate this trend into your wardrobe without breaking the bank. Blazers like this one from Fred Flare that have rolled up sleeves with a cute pinstriped lining are also great.

I also love the idea of wearing a blazer in a color other than black. This white blazer from Urban Outfitters is a great way to make your outfit look crisp, clean and sleek. For more of a pop of color, primary colors are fantastic. This red Necessary Objects blazer or even this royal blue Sparkle & Fade blazer would pair so well with an all black look.

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Melisa Ramos

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Back to Basics

This Fashoinista caught my eye on campus with her effortless, put together look. There is nothing particularly flashy or embellished about this Fashoinista’s outfit, but that’s what makes it great. From her blue button down to her corduroy pants, brown leather boots and scarf, the theme of this outfit is basic. Easy to wear and totally comfortable, some variation of this outfit is a must have in every Fashionista’s wardrobe. Another thing to take note of is the way this Fahionista blends different fabrics and textures into her look. This helps give simple pieces, like her solid blue shirt more life and dimension.

Although some fashion experts would say differently, the “no white after labor day” rule is a thing of the past. White, and other light colors can help brighten up those dark and rainy winter days that we are so accustom to in Seattle. Wearing white corduroy, instead of white denim is a great way to do this. This Fashionista puts an interesting twist on a traditionally summer style.

Another great thing about this look is that it is so transitional and easy to replicate. Any of these items can be worn with a number of different things. A pair of flats instead of boots, a jacket for colder weather, denim instead of corduroy, and tons of different accessories would work well for a basic outfit similar to this one. For the pants, I love J Brand’s skinny leg stretch corduroy in toffee and J. Crew’s stretch vintage boot cut pant, available in a range of colors. As far as scarves go, Anthropologie.com has a beautiful neutral, striped scarf that would be a great accent piece for many simple fall outfits.

Style On®,

Mattie Stager

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Basics don’t have to be boring. This Fashionista takes the classic white shirt and leggings and creates an individual look.

Investing in quality basics is a vital backbone to any Fashionista’s wardrobe. They form the skeleton of numerous looks and never go out of style. A quality white cotton shirt is a versatile basic and a real wardrobe hardworker. This Fashionista rocks an oversized, boyfriend, plain, white shirt for a casual and androgynous look. Either borrow your boyfriend’s shirt or snap one up from Gap to create endless different looks. Buy it a few sizes bigger for this season’s oversized fit; throw it on over skinny jeans or leggings for a casual, rocker look like this Fashionista or knotted at the waist with a contrasting floaty maxi skirt to add an edge to an overtly feminine ensemble.

As I showed last week, this season the shirt is key – a feminine lacy blouse and a basic white shirt should see you through. If a boy-cut is daunting then essential feminine touches can make it more wearable. A statement necklace such as this gold chain and a chic bag, like this Fashionista’s slouchy Marc Jacobs handbag, add an essential ladylike touch.

Leggings are another wardrobe hardworker and are a great "go with everything" basic. I don’t need to extol the virtues of leggings as most students I know live in them. Why not jazz up your basics? Take advice from this Fashionista who stands out from the crowd with her attention-grabbing grey leopard print leggings. Take a walk on the wild side with animal prints this season, as seen at D&G and Burberry Prorsum.

Hint: If print combined with the unforgiving fit of leggings is too much for you then this season’s peg-leg trousers will ease you into the statement legwear trend. H&M have a great range of statement trousers in colourful prints and a variety of shapes at the moment. At these affordable prices, there’s no longer an excuse for boring legwear.

Style On®,

Rosie Steer

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Back to Basics

Summer is winding down, and depending on what school you go to, you might already be in the hunt for next semester's books and gearing up to return to campus. While you're packing up your clothes to start the next part of your college adventure, make sure you don't forget to bring along my favorite fall fashion essentials:

With all these items in your arsenal, there's no way you won't be able to create a fabulous outfit for every day of the week!

This Fashionista did a great job of channelling her fall fashions. Between the tank top and adorable drapey vest, she's in a great place to start meeting people and making great impressions when she gets back to campus. 

Fall is my favorite season for amazing fashion and I'm sure that once you're armed with these versatile fall pieces, it will be yours too!

Style On®,

Cate Young

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Back to Basics

“My hair is my ultimate accessory,” this Fashionista told me as we struck up a conversation. With a simple, yet stylish outfit there is almost no need for any busy accessories when you have an edgy fringe cut like hers. I once had a fringe, but with my hair, it was too much maintenance; however, when I see people look as good as she does with it, I do tend to miss it. It is hard to find that perfect hairstyle for yourself, but when you do it makes all the difference. This Fashionista told me it took her a lot of courage to get the fringe at first, but she wouldn’t ever change that decision.

Focusing on her clothes, I am in love with many of her pieces. My favorite – the jeggings. This year jeggings became my number one go to piece in my wardrobe. Whether they were black or blue jean colored, I wore them constantly. However, now into summer I feel a bit odd wearing my dark jeggings, which is where hers fit in perfectly. Tan (or any light colored) jeggings are beginning to pop up more around the city for people can wear them to work and then dress them up with a pair of heels come night. I actually just ordered these faded green J Brand's off Shopbop, which I plan on getting loads of use out of between my internship and day to day wear. Jeggings are an ideal purchase for summer because they are made out of lighter weight material than jeans, allowing them to breathe when it does get hot. As for her stripped shirt and cropped blazer, both pieces differ in color yet the simplicity of it all brings it together. Her Topshop ankle boots are the perfect height for summer and though they are last season, ASOS has many similar pairs. When it tends to be too chilly for flats they work or for an alternative match them with a cute summer dress. Her outfit is a great example of how to look trendy with minimal effort, although I do still think her fringe makes it complete.
 

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Devon Guralnick

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I spotted this Fashionista on a rainy day in AZ and was immediately impressed with her impeccable style. I loved how she mixed gray and black neutral colors with a striped colored dress. It is kind of an awkward season in Arizona right now, which can make picking out an outfit complicated. My style advice for the week is to mimic this Fashionista and wear basics like leather jackets and colored tights paired with a cute, colorful dress. Give it a few more weeks and the jacket and tights can be substituted for other awesome accessories. Have a great week!

Style On,

Madeline

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CollegeFashionista Team

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Back to Basics

Recently I have been hearing the phrase

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CollegeFashionista Team

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