Hello everyone! My name is Leslie Leon, and this is my first semester as a Style Guru for CollegeFashionista. Raised in the small town of San Pedro, California and currently in my first semester of college in nearby Long Beach, CA at California State University, Long Beach, I have always lived on the sunny Southern Californian coast.

Fashion was not always my strongest suit and it wasn’t until well in my high school years when I realized the real beauty that lies in the fashion industry. Although I was always exposed to my mother’s numerous fashion magazines that were constantly lying around, I used to believe that the concept of fashion was purely a materialistic idea. My point of view on fashion changed the moment that it dawned upon me that I was using my style as a creative outlet. This only grew when I first started watching Gossip Girl and I started taking more interest what celebrities were wearing and what designers were putting out.

My personal style cannot really be defined, as there are many contributing factors. Coming from Southern California, much of what I see is very bohemian or casual, but overall my style has been influenced by celebrities, TV shows, movies and, of course, the runway. As the summer draws to a close and its time to hang up the shorts and sandals, and one of my favorite fashion seasons approaches, it is time to channel one of my favorite style icons, Blair Waldorf from Gossip Girl. Mixing girly elements with a structured style is easy to accomplish with this top from Elizabeth and James, which is fun and whimsical enough without it looking like a costume. My brown booties from Madden Girl serve as a bit of an homage to my inner bohemian. And, of course, no look can be complete without a pop of color or accessory courtesy of my irreplaceable lip balm from the SEPHORA COLLECTION and one of my favorite necklaces from Bethany Mota’s collection available at Aeropostale.

Regardless of what seems to be in trend for the season or among your peers, one of the crucial things about fashion is staying true to what yourself and what you want the others to see. As a Style Guru, I hope to be able to show to others that it is okay to stand out as long as it is something you want to do.