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WHAT TO WEAR: Weekend Wear

It seems that the blessed breath of spring has finally whisked away the dreary winter, and in its place delivered crystal clear skies, mild weather and birds bantering on the breeze. After spending months huddled inside the warm refuge of the dorm, spring’s arrival provides the perfect opportunity to venture out during those wondrous period of freedom that we call the weekend. Living in the city, you are rarely at a loss of something to do or somewhere to go. Fashionistas love going out on the town because it is an opportunity to be seen. For them, it’s not just a casual stroll to the grocery store, it’s a chance to model on a sidewalk runway.

However you choose to spend your free time, running errands or hanging out with friends, an outfit truly befitting of the perfect weekend is great way to refresh your fashion game and start the season off on the right note. Take this Fashionista, who was spotted returning from a Sunday brunch with her girlfriends. She clearly capitalized on the weather and the occasion in this fun yet posh outfit. The ensemble expertly balances the chic with the quirky, mixing classic pieces with elements that are bursting with personality. Her cheetah print dress with the plum-colored cape is an unexpected yet sublime combo.

One would suspect that the effervescent print and the vivid color would contend with each other; however, the simple silhouette of the dress and the classic shape of the cape help the pairing not to look gaudy. Also, her denim jacket creates just enough separation between the two pieces, while also adding a more casual, daytime vibe. The Fashionista’s accessory story also works within this balance between floridity and moderation. While she goes to town with her bejeweled necklace and bracelet and her chunky watch, the neutrality and simplicity of her ballet flats and tote bag ground the ensemble in a refined classiness.

It’s hard not to fall in love with more than one piece of this Fashionista’s ensemble. While it is perfect for a nice treat-yourself brunch with the ladies, it is also suitable for the urbane student living in the metropolitan paradise that is Chicago (or any other bustling city). Although the affable weather is welcomed, when in Chicago, you never know when the warm temperatures may start to slip back. My prescription to combat this, which this Fashionista so stylishly displays, is a chic cape. Capes aren’t as heavy as coats, and their shape has a light, buoyant nature complementary to spring.

One Simple Change: The classic and chic vibe of this outfit makes it easily translatable to a more semi-formal setting, like a spring internship. Remove the denim jacket and switch the printed dress for a solid colored one in a more neutral and earthy palette. Or, keep the dress and trade the cape in for a light trench or cape blazer. It’s all about maintaining professionalism in the ensemble without compromising personality.