January 8th, 2016 at 2:00am

Hi, fashion lovers! I’m Zoe Vernick, a sophomore marketing major at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, and I am beyond thrilled to be a first-time Style Guru for CollegeFashionista!

Here in New England, the crisp days (and even colder nights) of winter and early spring are full of possibilities for fashion enthusiasts. You can layer it on, mixing styles, colors and patterns—with your outerwear and your indoor outfits. Accessories go beyond jewelry and bags to include hats, mittens, fuzzy scarves and more. And don’t get me started on boots!

My personal fashion style? I believe that clothes can be both attractive and comfortable, whether it’s a job-interview suit, a party outfit or hanging-out-with-friends lounge clothes. I’m drawn to simple blacks and grays that I jazz up and make my own through novel combinations and head-turning accessorizing. To me, fashion is as much about self-expression as it is about looking good to the world.

Any nutshell account of my fashion palate would be incomplete without a note about footwear. I am all about shoes! If the outfit makes the woman, then the shoes make the outfit. I can take the same skirt-and-blouse combo and turn it into casual daywear or a dressy night out, as long as I have the right pair of shoes. And shopping for them is so much fun!

Quick question: Have you ever had a night out where the getting ready—picking out the outfit, adding accessories, then doing your hair and makeup to coordinate—was the highlight of the evening? Yup, me too. Not because the night out was dull, but because the creative preparation was such a blast. I think we’re going to have a lot of fun together, sharing those fashion high points and more!