January 9th, 2015 at 2:00am

My name is Kari Jensen and I’m a senior studying Communication Arts and Journalism at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. This is my first semester writing for CollegeFashionista and I am so excited to be a part of this team of awesome Fashionistas/os.

My love for writing started early. As a child, I watched Harriet the Spy over and over again.  I would hide under the kitchen desk during family get togethers and gather “intel” on my family members, making observations just like Harriet and jotting down pages and pages of “spy notes” documenting what I saw. Although I don’t keep a spy journal anymore, and I’d much rather work for a fashion magazine than for the CIA, my passion for writing is still just as strong.

I used to be intimidated by fashion. I thought that to be fashionable, you had to live in New York City and own at least 10 designer handbags. I thought growing up in Wisconsin meant that I would never be a trendsetter, even though I was always fascinated by the fashion industry. I still dream about living in New York City and owning designer handbags, but I’ve discovered that fashion comes in many different forms and doesn’t have to be designer. It can be found anywhere if you pay attention.

Fashion is art and self-expression based on individual choices and moods. My favorite thing about fashion is that it is always changing and evolving; I love that each morning when you open your closet, you’re given a fresh start and a blank template to say, “this is who I am today.” When else do we get the chance to so frequently re-define ourselves?

My love for the fashion world was truly realized and my personal style solidified when I studied abroad in Rome, Italy last spring. Everyone owned their unique personal style, and made a clear effort to express who they were. My personal style is generally pretty laid back and my go-to look includes dark wash skinnies with ankle booties. I am a firm believer that black is a color and that less is usually more (but not always). I prefer simplicity in design, and love to pair neutral clothing with a standout item like a colorful bag, scarf or necklace.

I’ve realized that I still am like Harriet—always paying attention to the details. As a college Fashionista, I look forward to once again jotting down my observations and sharing with you the standout fashion at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.