CollegeFashionista X American Eagle Outfitters: Day 28

For the longest time, shorts and I never got along. We’d constantly argue over fit, wash and skin exposure to the point where I’ve rarely, if ever, felt comfortable enough in shorts to wear them. Don’t get me wrong, I think they’re a great style asset and allow for versatility and appease a wide variety of fashion tastes, but because I’m curvy, with a butt and thighs, I never thought a relationship between shorts and I was possible.

However, last summer I decided to give shorts another shot; after all, styles change and evolve all the time in fashion so I figured maybe this would be the year the booty short phase finally got the boot. I ventured into American Eagle Outfitters and off the bat found a couple styles I liked, and on top of that American Eagle Outfitters offered shorts in a variety of cuts and lengths; needless to say my inner-fashion self was doing quite the happy dance. Heading to the dressing room I was expecting negative results but attempted to put out as much good energy as possible, hoping the fashion gods were on my side, and thankfully they were. I found a great dark denim short and even a light wash pair, which I never go for in any denim capacity. Both hugged my curves, didn’t cut off the circulation in my thighs and they were even long enough to where I felt comfortable, and yes confident, wearing them. That turned out to be a great day.

So, naturally I was beyond excited when I heard CollegeFashionista partnered with American Eagle Outfitters for a shorts campaign to prep for spring break and all the fabulous warm months ahead. I gleefully waited for my shorts to arrive, and as soon as I opened the package I was in heaven. Light washed, destroyed shorts with a longer length and snug fit were my given pair and they were perfect. Because my days are endlessly busy between class, work, meetings and social events, I always need outfits versatile enough for any occasion. I push my fashion boundaries by creating looks I can easily transition from one event to the next, and these shorts posed an awesome style challenge to dress up something so casual suitable for any affair.

With the shorts in hand, I started my outfit with a basic gray top, with little structure to it because it’s so easy to manipulate for other looks. I added a snakeskin patterned, oversized shawl for some contrast against the tortoise shelled, chain link necklace, and finished the look with neutral flats and a small gold watch. This look can easily be worn for class, a lunch date or to work. To switch this look into nighttime attire perfect for dinner or a social event, take out the snakeskin shawl for an oversized knit cardigan in a bright color and tie the loose top in a knot off to the side. Swap out the necklace for a neon belt for contrast and finally switch out the flats for some neutral wedges.

Because of shorts, so many more outfit options are accessible and its one more way for Fashionistas and Fashionistos to express their style aesthetic. If you know this to be true, but find yourself sitting on the sidelines when it comes to these little wonders, make sure this season is the one you take a second look. Just like me, you might find yourself pleasantly surprised in that there’s at least one pair of these small denim designs that can and will make a huge impact on your style for seasons to come.

STYLE ADVICE OF THE WEEK: Combating The Weather In Color

When the winter weather has got you down, what can a person turn to in order to combat these unwanted blues? You may allow yourself your favorite drink at Starbucks or decide to paint your nails during your lunch break to put a little pep in your step. But in the case of Fashionistas, we turn to our wardrobes to find solace and foster happy emotions when Mother Nature wants to bring us down.

This Fashionista was spotted walking to class early in the morning combating fog, mist and wind. Despite the awful elements, she didn’t let the forecast bring her down. She wore an emerald green pea coat with a pair of dark washed jeans and accessorized with a gray circle scarf and cognac knee-high boots. Her entire ensemble was the epitome of fall fashion, but the best part of this look is the burst of color in the coat.

What better way than to carry a pop of happiness the entire day in a form of a bold, fall color? This Fashionista’s coat not only captured fall fashion, but also was a source of warm fuzzys, with every pun intended, she may need to get through the rest of the dreary day.

Want a look like this in your wardrobe arsenal to combat the drab days? If yes, start off with a pair of dark washed jeans and your favorite pair of knee-high boots. Next, opt for a beautiful colored coat in a saturated fall tone such as this single breasted, rich plum coat or this deep red parka with a fleece collar.

Next time the weather has you down in the dumps, look no more than your colorful wardrobe to pull you out of the dumps!

STYLE ADVICE OF THE WEEK: Color Combinations

With the drab of fall and winter quickly approaching Northwestern’s campus, Fashionistas everywhere are attempting to hold on to and show off their fabulous fashion sense. This week’s Fashionista is holding out for the very day when nothing but a puffer coat and winter boots will do by showing off a look suitable for chilly weather, yet full of amazing style elements like the famous black and blue color clash.

This Fashionista strutted around campus wearing an oversized black sweater with pieces of embellishment paired with blue wool shorts with black accents. She tied the look together with sheer black tights and short black booties. The best thing about her outfit wasn’t that it all flowed together, but instead, it was her chic compilation of black and blue.

Black and blue was all the rage at New York Fashion Week’s fall/winter 2012 shows as seen at Preen, DKNY and Marc by Marc Jacobs. The two colors came together in an epic combination for electrifying looks on otherwise highly feminine designs.

To get this Fashionista’s chic look, opt for a pair of black pants, like these liquid jeggings and an oversized blue sweater, like this rich blue with a contrasting black zipper in the back. If you’re looking for an added edge, try this blue sweater with lace sleeves and an open back.

If a black and blue clash does not appease your style aesthetic, try combining other popular fall/winter colors for an interesting look. Berry hues are all the rage this season, ranging from raspberry to oxblood. Paired with a winter white item, this look would be unstoppable.

Before fall turns into bitter winter, make the most of these final weeks by showing off the best your fashion sense has to offer. Branch out and utilize varying color combinations for the ultimate style status.

STYLE ADVICE OF THE WEEK: Parka Perfect

This fall, there’s an array of jackets and coats to choose from to not only complement your outfit, but also to combat the ever-changing fall weather. Marshmallow puff coats, leather jackets and trench coats all do the trick, but the best option for this time of year is exactly what this Fashionista is rocking: the parka.

The parka became a closet staple a few seasons ago, easing itself into the wardrobes and hearts of Fashionistas with the introduction of the rugged and hard military trend. It’s a great option to break up the fall staple look consisting of a sweater, scarf and jeans; let’s face it, Fashionistas need something different from time to time. This Fashionista wore her parka paired with leggings and peek-a-boo socks, a sweater and a stylish canvas backpack. Her outfit is overall simple—consisting of staple pieces—yet together the entire look comes to life. Her parka is the exclamation point for this outfit.

Want to get in line with this Fashonista to break up your own fall wardrobe? Find your favorite oversized sweater and pair it with black leggings or think outside of the style box and opt for some neutral floral jeans. Next, pick your parka depending on your personal style. For a jacket that aligns with this Fashionista’s, opt for this twill parka in the traditional olive color. If you want something a little different, choose this faux fur trimmed hood in a rich quilted berry to appease this color trend. But if you want something very different, go for this dark tan parka that features fleece lining and a cool finish.

And there you have it—never again will Fashionistas have to struggle to make fall looks interesting or different this season thanks to the ever-popular and evolving parka.

 

 

STYLE ADVICE OF THE WEEK: Lusting For Lace

Amongst all the marshmallow coats, chunky cable knit scarves, heavy boots and soft mittens, Fashionistas have a tendency to lose their fashion punch because when fall hits, and as winter approaches, people tend to see you more in your outerwear than they do in your fabulous outfit. Although fall is my favorite season for everything — celebrations, fashion and the beginning of a new school year — I can’t help but feel my individual style gets cheated because all I resort to is denim, an oversized sweater, a thick sweater scarf and combat boots; a great look but overly boring after a few weeks. Luckily, this Fashionista schooled me on how to implement varying textures and colors in order to create a weather-appeasing, unexpected, fashionable look.

This Fashionista incorporated differing colors including navy, olive green, cream and black, which all came together to create a highly feminine outfit. She also included different textures such as wool and fur, but my absolute favorite component is the lace skirt.

Lace has been a running theme across NU’s campus, whether it’s featured in skirts, sweaters or blouses, it’s finding a home in many Fashionistas’ closets. Implementing lace into your every day attire is a sure way to not only mix up those fall staple looks, but since it can be worn in a variety of ways, it always serves as an appealing feminine detail.

Look to WhoWhatWear’s informative post on Chantilly lace to get the run down on this trend in high fashion and a report on the do's and don’ts. Better yet, go investigate on your own for beautiful lace pieces! For a lacey item like this Fashionista’s opt for this black mini-skirt or go for some black lace tights to wear under your favorite fall frock. For a more simple approach, opt for this crewneck sweater with Chantilly lace inserts for an interesting detail. If you’re seeking more drama, choose a heavy lace item like this all-lace dress in the ever popular black and blue combination.

Whenever you feel your style is down in the dumps, turn to this Fashionista for inspiration on how to give your fall/winter style a much needed face lift. Whether it’s by implementing fur, embellishment or beautiful lace, you’re sure to be back on top of the fashion circuit. Don’t forget, we get by with a little help from our friends.

STYLE ADVICE OF THE WEEK: Feminine For Fall

Every now and then during the autumn months I get so caught up in my sweater, jeans and scarf ensembles that I sometimes feel I lose my feminine edge. There’s hardly anymore color, dresses and skirts are a thing of the past since they can’t keep up with Chicago’s bitter cold. Since late-August, anything floral ceases to exist.

Luckily, subtle ways do exist in order to stay true to a girly style aesthetic yet appease the fall season—take a que from ASOS’s fall trend guide or simply look to this week’s Fashionista for direction. This Fashionista’s look represented the perfect marriage of fall essentials and the feminine touch with floral leggings. She stayed true to autumn’s fundamental components by incorporating a chunky, oversized gray sweater with short, black motorcycle boots. She then showed off her girly side by pairing the ensemble with floral leggings, resulting in a happy medium between fall necessities and maintaining a girlish appeal.

In order to get this look, start out with a floral punch and then incorporate your fall staples around it. If you want subtle floral, try these oxford shoes with a metal toe cap or this double-wrap watch. To follow in this Fashionista’s footsteps and use floral more substantially, try this soft blazer or fitted pant. Next, choose your fall pieces such as a pair of dark skinny jeans, a circle scarf and a soft blazer to balance out the outfit.

This fall season make sure you parade around in the season’s best items but don’t completely abandon fashion’s greatest feminine finds.

STYLE ADVICE OF THE WEEK: It’s The Vest Option

Here at Northwestern, whether it’s the weather man or the iPhone’s weather app, no student can take either source of information seriously. Walking into class it may be sunny and warm but by the time it’s over, an hour or so later, it’s blustering winds and clouds for miles. In these situations it’s easy to feel defeat no matter what you choose to wear in the morning, however this Fashionista found the perfect solution to those many, many forecast woes.

A puffer vest might be one of the best kept secrets of street fashion. Not only is it practical for unpredictable weather — wearers stay warm in the cold, dry in the rain, cool in the heat and fabulously fashionable all at the same time. It’s literally a triple threat to every other piece in a Fashionista’s wardrobe. This week’s Fashionista wore a pair of worn in denim jeans tucked into Frye boots, paired with a classic J.Crew button-down layered under the vibrant lime green vest, also from J.Crew.

Not only is this outfit perfect for the uncertain Chicago weather, but it’s also wonderfully stylish. With a play on colors and incorporation of pattern, the look is interesting but not overdone; the vest delivers a perfect pop of color but serves her well to combat whatever Mother Nature decides to dish out for the rest of the day.

For a look like this Fashionista’s, start off by grabbing a puffer vest of your own! Try this fitted gray wool vest for differing textures and accents with a furry hood or opt for this Helmut option featuring an asymmetrical cut for an interesting element. Puffer vests not in your aesthetic? Instead, try a faux fur vest for an extra dose of style that still serves up the same practicality.

However you decide to represent the vest this season, whether it’s puffy like this Fashionista or a different spin, make sure this item finds a home in your closet; it’s forever an ally when facing those seemingly unsolvable weather woes.

STYLE ADVICE OF THE WEEK: Get Graphic

Every Fashionista should have arsenal in her closet to combat those days when getting dressed feels like more of a chore than an exciting style adventure. When exhaustion overcomes your body and sleeping in for 10 more minutes is more appealing than choosing a killer outfit, that’s when any Fashionista needs a go-to item to make it through the challenging fashion days—such as the ever popular graphic T-shirt.

This Fashionista was up and at ‘em wearing a casual yet edgy look put together with simple pieces anyone can certainly throw on in time for an early class. The show-stopper of this outfit is her graphic T-shirt straight from China. It’s simple and eye-catching, which makes graphic tops a prime pick when it comes to dressing quickly and fashionably. She toned down the T-shirt and added small fairs of grunge with black shorts, a denim jacket, a textured cross-body bag and scuffed ankle boots. The entire look is effortless but compelling. The graphic shirt definitely pulled it all together.

To get a look like this Fashionista’s, opt for a graphic T-shirt that’s to your liking. Try this feather printed tank top paired with skinny jeans, a berry blazer and loafers for a more classic appeal or this long sleeved skull top to feed off this Fashionista’s edgy energy. Want to take graphic a step further? Go for tops that have adorned appliqués such as the new fall trend of animal influences as noted by WhoWhatWear. Choose this tiger pullover sweater and pair it with high-waist pants and ballet flats. For a more subdued animal influence, go for a smaller patterned item, such as this fox printed chiffon scarf.

However you decide to combat those morning fashion woes, make sure a graphic is right up your sleeve.

 

STYLE ADVICE OF THE WEEK: Walk It Out

Every true Fashionista knows there’s absolutely no item off limits when it comes to creating a jaw-dropping, fabulous look; whether it’s your grandma’s vintage garb or those shoes at the back of your closet that haven’t seen the outdoors since seventh grade, anything is fair game. Well, this week the sneaker has been elevated from the lowly status of sweaty gym floors, and walking and running paths laden with trash and dirt, to a fashion companion many Fashionistas can no longer do without.

The wedged sneaker has turned the heads of every notable person within the fashion industry, whether their reaction is good or bad, it has everyone talking including W Magazine. The trend’s founding mother Isabel Marant has a strong following, including the likes of Beyoncé, Miranda Kerr and Kate Bosworth, and just as these leading stylish ladies have caught on, it’s trickled down to street fashion and Fashionistas are surely taking notice, too.

This week’s Fashionista was igniting the streets with a simple yet sexy look complete with red hot wedged sneakers. She balanced out her outfit with a black and white ensemble including black leggings, a white, baggy button-up and a black leather jacket. She created a little more interest and a definite statement with a neon green satchel and ‘50s-inspired shades complete with tortoise pattern. Her look turned out equally carefree and edgy; the perfect combination for any Fashionista who demands attention.

To create a look like this Fashionista’s, pick out a pair of your own super-fly wedged sneakers. Either get on board and grab a pair of Isabel Marant’s famous shoes or for a more affordable option try these red, leather and suede sneakers. Try this Steve Madden taupe pair for a more casual look or these black, stud and buckle sneakers for an edgy appeal. Finish off the look with a pair of black skinny jeans, an oversized blouse and a long sweater vest for the ultimate fall getup.

STYLE ADVICE OF THE WEEK: Manly Materials

I love skirts, dresses and feminine blouses as much as the next Fashionista but every once in awhile I love to mix up my typically girly aesthetic with menswear pieces not only to change up my look, but also the way I feel.

Menswear for women is more prominent than ever for fall 2012 as noted by WhoWhatWear. Anything from oversized coats to reinterpreting the men’s button-up is fair game to achieve this style. Classic Fashionisto items such as the driver’s hat, skinny necktie and polished oxfords translated into a women’s wardrobe not only make for a fabulous clash of clothing and inovative accessories, but, for me, they also evoke a professional and top-dog appearance.

Take this Fashionista wearing a Marc by Marc Jacobs T-shirt paired with black leggings with a flirty skirt around the waistband. She adds in masculine pieces with tuxedo-designed oxfords and an oversized watch, but balances thier vibe with delicate accessories such as the gold necklace and arm cuff.

For a look like this Fashionista’s, pick items that will create a balanced female and male outfit. Try pairing a flirty skirt and gray button-up shirt with a skinny tie detail, accompanied with an oversized gold watch and oxfords. The skirt and blouse feature feminine detailing with pleats and women tailoring, while the watch and shoes add a touch of male appeal. If you seek more of a manly look, swap out the skirt for a pair of tailored trousers and add in an oversized black blazer. Both pieces feature classic designs found in menswear with a slight feminine touch.

So get on board with the Fashionistos this fall, I promise they'll have something your closet and fall style definitely need.