TREND: Overall Cool

Overalls are a controversial issue in the world of fashion. They were a short lived wardrobe staple in the '90s and really have had a bad rap since. I mean, it’s hard to break away from the thought of baggy Dungarees with one strapped hook in and a sweatshirt tied around the waist. Oh, and don’t forget about the finishing touch…Dr. Martin leather sandals. But today’s Fashionista defies the stereotypical overalls look, transforming them into a trendy must-have summer piece. Underneath her light denim shortalls she opted for a grunge feel with her striped T-shirt, also a favorite look of Alexa Chung. For an unexpected twist, her cowboy boots and black fringe purse give way to the hot western trend of the moment. And to top it off, her fedora pulls the ensemble together, making her urban chic instead of farmer geek.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that overalls were all over the spring 2011 runways. Jumpers and rompers have been making a huge comeback, so naturally, it seems overalls would make an appearance too. After all, they are basically a denim jumpsuit with additional hardware. Although today’s Fashionista’s vintage duds are cool, this spring, designers give us a new take on the '90s classic. Altuzarra's suede version is surprisingly sexy, shortalls by Cynthia Steffe are dark and sophisticated, and See by Chloe has a pink chiffon pair that are to die for.

Hint: Even though designers' new denim overall options are fashionable, be wary when styling. Wedge sandal and blazers give an instant update to any length of overalls. And a sheer blouse underneath shortalls says sleek like you’ve never seen before.

TREND: Respect Your Elders

Grandpas—they love talking about the good old days, like a good scotch, and cannot poke fun of you enough. Although Grandparents Day doesn’t come until fall, you can still show your respect and gratitude for your grandpops by wearing an oversized “grandpa sweater”. You could say that today’s Fashionista took a little inspiration from her granddad with her vintage Ragstock navy cardigan. The way she styles it, however, is in no way outdated. A bright pink scarf, perfect for spring, boldly contrasts with the rest of her blue ensemble and is a nice addition of color for the springtime. To prevent from drowning her petite frame in the baggy sweater, she pairs it with skinny jeans. Her earrings, which she actually made out of old plates, add unexpected life to her outfit. Polishing off the look are retro flats with silver detailing. This Fashionista also draws silver eyeliner on the inside corners of her eyes, a detail that really makes her eyes sparkle.  Not only should you listen to Grandpa's words of wisdom, but give his fashion a try too.  

Hint: What’s so great about the grandpa cardigan? It’s versatile and classic. No matter what you wear it with, it’s easy and effortless. It also comes in every color, pattern, and fabric imaginable to fit anyone’s unique taste. And it can be worn all year round in a number of ways. Wear it unbuttoned with skinny jeans or with bell bottoms over a tucked-in blouse. Pair it with a patterned skirt, or even use it as a swim suit cover up. Your options are nearly endless.

TREND: Heart the ’80s

It’s not every day that I see metallic high tops flash before my eyes on the Madison campus—this is not the era of Marty McFly. So of course I was excited to capture this Fashionista’s street style. Not only are her shoes fun and fresh, her look is totally cool and replete with '80s references, all while managing not to look like she’s part of the Brat Pack.  For bottoms she sports jeggings, a close cousin to the 1980s' popular non-pants look, leggings. Her high tops, punk leather jacket, and big earrings are all about the decade known for outrageous style.  However, this Fashionista shows how to bring these items into the 21st century. Her sneakers are metallic–very much a color staple for the Millennial Generation, largely because it is such a versatile neutral. The leather jacket, though once associated closely with the punk scene, is now more of a fashion-must across the board for all styles. And for a finishing touch, big earrings really amp up her outfit; they let the '80s vibe shine through.  What’s great about big crazy earrings is that the best kind are snagged at thrift stores and consignment shops where they are inexpensive and one of a kind. Don’t deny the trends of the '80s–embrace them!  Tone them down if you must, but more power to you if you go for the total look.

Hint: This Fashionista’s personal style is also inspired by the '80s. Her short funky haircut is bold and edgy. But if you’re too attached to your long locks, neon nails give you that '80s kick too, also seen on today’s Fashionista; on her nails she alternates between pink and green. Nail polish is always an easy and affordable way to be trendy.  

TREND: Pants That Pop

At first you might be a bit “hazy” as to why this Fashionista caught my eye. But look again and you will see what makes her look so unique—it’s her purple pants. Yes, Prince would take a particular liking to them, and so should fashion fanatics. In case you haven’t noticed, spring 2011 is all about color, color, and more color. What better way to transition into spring than with purple pants? Today’s Fashionista shows us how to wear the grape hue in style. She wears the pants effortlessly with a black shirt, black flats, and a gray shearling jacket (unfortunately the weather in Madison has been forcing students to dig into their autumn wardrobes). This spring designers sent Crayola colored pants down the runway in all colors of the rainbow. MaxMara and Jil Sander were two designers that pushed the ‘maximal minimalist’ look with extreme color and sleek silhouettes. MaxMara sent down sporty looks, including purple cropped trousers. Jil Sander upped the ante with trousers in a plethora of bright colors and styles.

Hint: Colored pants are more versatile than you would think. The best advice I have is to treat them like you would any other pair of jeans. However, if you are looking for a little more guidance, in short there are two simple ways to wear bright bottoms: with neutrals or vibrant colors. Pair coral cigarette pants with a white tucked in button up or acid blue high-waist pants with a tangerine tank.

TREND: Feet First

As college students, we need a comfortable everyday shoe that doesn’t sacrifice our style. There have been many trends throughout the years: Converse, Minnetonka Moccasins, Adidas, Birkenstocks, lace up Keds, and Sperry's: all have been popular at one point (and some still are). However, there is a new favorite footwear hitting campus; it’s the slip-on shoe, as worn by today’s Fashionisto. To complement his casual kicks, he sports a cool minimalist vibe. He wears a fitted, long sleeve V-neck made out of black and white wool that is combined to make an overall gray fabric. For bottoms, he chose gray slacks with an ever so slight pinstripe that he accessorized with a black belt. The mix of textures between his pants and shirt are interesting yet simple. To top it off, a slouchy beanie adds personality to his outfit choice.  When you think of canvas slip-ons, you probably have images of skateboarders and their Vans, but this is no longer the case. Just look at the featured Fashionisto.

Today, slip-ons are being sold in numerous styles and colors, and they are made by a variety of brands. The socially conscious TOMS may have been the instigator of the trend and now other brands are getting in on this foot fad. Keds, Lacoste, and even Diane Von Fursetenburg (for the ladies) have all created their own version of the slip-on. These shoes really show how fashion trends don’t just go from top to bottom any more, but high fashion is increasingly influenced by street style and can work itself from the bottom up, starting at the feet.

TREND: Love Sprung

Love is in the air today on CollegeFashionista. It’s not Valentine’s Day, or even February for that matter, so why all the fuss? Today’s Fashionista wears an adventurous color combination worthy of the words “Je t’aime.” Red and pink are commonly associated with roses and hearts, but we must break away from this train of thought; wearing pink and red together has been dubbed a fashion faux pas over the years, however this spring, it’s all about breaking the rules. The featured Fashionista shows how to do it with her electric honeysuckle jacket and red ruched skirt. Light blue accents break up the warm tones and serve as a neutral color in the outfit.

The key to wearing red and pink together is to avoid patterns and wear different colored solids together, as seen on today’s Fashionista. I’ve said it before, and will say it again: fashion right now is all about color-blocking. It’s the easy, modern way to instantly update your look. For spring 2011, DKNY had a couple lovely looks consisting of a bright red top and honey suckle pink bottom, broken up with a black bow belt. Another unforgettable look from the spring collections is Lanvin’s one shoulder flowy dress with magenta on top and red on bottom cinched with a brown leather band. Made for Venus, the goddess of love, it is so elegant it doesn’t even need to be worn with heels. Red and pink accessories are also hitting the stores, like this patent tote by Marni and bangle by Marc Jacobs. Don’t be bashful; fall head over heels in love with red and pink this season.

TREND: Black and Bright

The quintessential black jeans—a wardrobe staple for Fashionistos and Fashionistas everywhere. Whether you have an edgy or romantic look, it is likely these versatile pants frequently make an appearance in your outfits, during the day and at night. But did you realize black jeans can transition your outfits into the new springtime, terrace time weather we Madisonians have been longing for? When worn with a bright colored shirt, preferably seasonal hues as seen on these Fashionista/os, black jeans provide raw contrast to avoid looking a bit too summery for April.

The Fashionisto wears his black jeans with a mint green graphic T-shirt and lightweight tweed jacket. Dusty blue high tops and a sleek gray backpack complete his hip, urban look. He proves boys can (and should) wear pastels! The menswear spring 2011 collections, like Louis Vuittion and Calvin Klein, feature many monochromatic, sherbet-colored ensembles. Today’s Fashionisto interprets the look for the college lifestyle by wearing a hint of mint with black and gray. And for the girls, wear mint green nail polish for instant freshness.

Meanwhile, the featured Fashionista gives the black jeans a different feel with her orange flowered tank and jean jacket. Subtle patterned accessories, leopard flats and a beige and white striped scarf are finishing touches to her eclectic look. Wearing a light colored denim jacket and black jeans is an effortless combination that can be worn by Fashionistos too.  It doesn't come off as too matchy-matchy while still highlighting the vibrant shirt.  This is a great look for those who are scared of orange, which was one of the punchy hues seen in the spring 2011 ready-to-wear collections; J. Mendel is just one example. So, remember for spring, it’s as clear as black and bright!

TREND: Clear Skies On A Rainy Day

It’s clear as day why I stopped this Fashionista on the street. Her see-through bubble umbrella-ironically enough-is hard to miss in an April shower. The translucent plastic adds a futuristic and playful touch to any outfit on a rainy day. Here, the umbrella is the focal point since the rest of her outfit blends into the campus scene–black coat, black leggings, and a splash of color with red Wellington boots. Not only is this umbrella fashionable (it appeared on Gossip Girl a couple times, after all) it is remarkably functional. The bubble shape shelters the body more than the traditional umbrella and it’s much sturdier . . . finally the Lucky Apartments wind tunnel won’t flip your umbrella inside out.  If you're smart, you'll check out this affordable clear umbrella with mint green trim to combat Mother Nature. Transparent material for clothing, accessories and shoes has become chic attire on the street and on runways over the past few seasons. This '90s comeback statement is seen in shoes, jewelry, sunglasses, and purses. Even Hermes has come out with a clear version of the Kelly bag. And this trend is appearing in another form that Fashionistas are loving right now: sheer. In the fall 2011 shows, Givenchy presented a new transparent skirt look and Tommy Hilfiger demonstrates that a patterned dress in a sheer fabric prevents it from overpowering the outfit. 

Hint: You don’t have to wait until next fall to go translucent. Clear accessories are a great add-on to an all white ensemble, a huge trend this spring and summer.  Try clear jewels–chunky or refined–for a crystallized look that’s unequivocally cool.  Look at Prada's jeweled platforms from spring 2010 for inspiration.  

TREND: Just Throw It On

Is it a shawl? Might it be a cape? Or could it be a poncho? No. Today’s Fashionista is keeping warm and looking ever so trendy with a blanket, one with leopard print and black fringe. She casually throws it over her shoulders, wears it with a white T-shirt, tight black jeans, and perforated leather high tops. A braid neatly pulls her hair aside, nicely complementing the free waves of the blanket. She could have just had a hard time transitioning from bed to class, but you’d never know because she looks fresh and edgy.  Not only does a blanket have dual purpose—for sleeping and wearing—it can be worn in multiple ways. Wear it as a shawl, like today’s Fashionista. Or take it a step further by wrapping it around your body and securing with a belt. Another option is to tuck a corner behind your shoulder so it crosses over your body. Or wear the blanket as a hood covering your head. The decorative throw on this Fashionista may be more of a fall or winter piece, but blankets can be worn in spring and summer too. A light weight blanket in bright colors or Navajo print would be a great way to bring this trend into warm weather. Use it as a cover up for those subzero air conditioned buildings and use it again outdoors as a picnic blanket. So CollegeFashionistas/os, next time you’re having a hard time rolling out of bed in the morning, go ahead and wrap yourself in comfort, but if you also want to be chic, make sure it isn’t your baby blanket or a Snuggie!    

TREND: The Basic Truth

When it comes to serious fashion, the basics can never be overrated. Although trends are what make the fashion industry thrive and keep us Fashionistas/os coming back for more, basics are our bread and butter, the sustenance of the well dressed crowd. You can never go wrong by keeping it simple, as shown by today’s Fashionista. This is no revelation, but every so often we need to remind ourselves that this is what the most fashionable people in the world have in common – they tend to wear basics. Anna Wintour routinely wears a crew neck top with a short jewel necklace; Marc Jacobs likes his blue button up shirt and jeans; Phoebe Philo is always chic in all black; and Kate Moss and her leather jacket are inseparable. As contradictory as it may seem, the most creative and prestigious names in fashion, the ones who literally set the trends that fuel the industry, choose the plain go-to outfits.

This Fashionista soundly pulls together an understated and polished look like the fashion elite. A knit black and tan striped sweater worn with skinny jeans, a dusty blue Long Champ bag and tall cuff boots are all no fuss pieces. Their low key colors transition well from season to season and can be worn for a variety of different occasions with a number of different outfits. While her fur collared coat with a cinched draw string waist is more fashion forward, it is still a wardrobe staple. Green jackets and fur are here to stay, according to the fall 2011 fashion shows. Its light weight and neutral color means it can be worn in spring and fall, and in winter underneath a heavier coat. Take a hint from Anna, Marc, Phoebe, Kate, and today’s Fashionista, all of whom follow a simple tried and true dress code that’s reliable, comfortable, and well . . . ironically . . . . trendy.