In early November, I had the chance to reunite with two of my long-time closest friends in one of America’s quintessential college towns. Well crafted playlists and yummy travel snacks helped me survive the five-hour bus trek from New York City to State College, home of Pennsylvania State University (better known as Penn State). 

Living in the big city and going to a school where the dress code revolves more around Chanel bags and less around college logo-laden hoodies can cause one to forget what the average American university student dresses like. The popularity of UGG boots over stilettos and lanyards over chokers was something of a culture shock. 

Since I was visiting a college whose culture revolves around football, on the day of a big game, I was particularly hard pressed to find someone who wasn’t clad head-to-toe in Nittany Lions garb. Eventually though, I stumbled upon this gem of a Fashionista perfectly outfitted in a college-casual fall fashion look. 

In this sweater dress and denim jacket combo, this Fashionista is looking cute, comfortable, and weather appropriate. The convenience and warmth of being able to throw on a sweater dress in the fall is unparalleled–you can throw it on and be instantly cozy, and then proceed to dress it up or down. This Fashionista chose to dress it down and it gives her the perfect look for strolling campus, but a simple heeled bootie and an appropriate autumn lip color could easily take this versatile piece to a party later on.

Our Fashionista layers the look with a dark-wash jean jacket in a relaxed boyfriend silhouette, another piece that has been having a major moment this fall. The intensity of the rich indigo against the seasonally-relevant burnt orange of the dress creates a chic bold contrast, and the light weight of the layer gives the Fashionista options for the the temperamental fall temperature shifts throughout the day.

Combat boots are both comfortable and trend-relevant thanks to the return of military chic, so this Fashionista chose the perfect fashion-forward fall shoe to trounce around in the colorful leaves.

The gold leaf necklace provides a beautiful, subtle homage to the season, and the understated black clutch ties in perfectly to the simple utilitarian nature of the rest of the outfit.

My foray into the fashion-unknown proved fruitful as finding this Fashionista proved that if you look you can find a cute look anywhere. Fashion is subjective and different student bodies have different style priorities, but this Fashionista’s look stands to epitomize fall fashion and serves as a universal, timeless outfit for autumn.