Hi everyone! My name is Alyssa Ortiz and I’m a senior at Illinois State University. I’m a Broadcast Journalism major with a Women and Gender Studies minor. I spend most of my days at TV-10, our school’s student-operated television station, or devouring cheese balls with my best friends at Pub II.
Growing up in the Northwest suburbs of Illinois, I went through the typical Hot Topic and Hollister Co. phase—not sure what it truly meant to have a ‘fashion sense.’ But that all changed when I got to college. I realized that there were aspects about myself I couldn’t change and wanted to find another way to express myself… so I let my outfits do the talking.
I have always loved the idea of simplicity in fashion, such as a simple dress, the perfect lipstick color and a hat to top it off. Attending college in the small town of Bloomington, Normal, I learned how to make the best of what’s around. It’s unfortunate not having a Forever 21 nearby with all fashion necessities, but TJ Maxx and Target have great finds if you know what you’re looking for. I’ve even taken shopping trips to Goodwill and Gordmans. Fashion is in the eye of the beholder!
Since I’m only 4’11, I constantly struggle when it comes to shopping. I’ve always had an eye for what’s trendy and in-style, but my problem was actually fitting into the clothes. AKIRA, Urban Outfitters and TOBI have always been my style inspiration—but their clothes would never be seen in my closet. This has sparked many insecurities and frustration as a 21-year-old who still has to shop in the kids/junior section at stores or rely heavily on alterations. Luckily, my fashion dilemmas have come with one large perk. I’ve developed my own style and was able to learn what looks best on me—not from a 5’10 model on a website. A pair of patterned pants from the kids section at H&M paired with a crop top from PacSun was the type of outfits I learned to work with. So as a Style Guru for CollegeFashionista, I encourage other Fashionista/os to discover their own style in unexpected places.
“Fashion is not necessarily about labels. It’s not about brands. It’s about something else that comes from within you.” —Ralph Lauren