Class of 2013: Alicia

I’m still in denial that my college career has now come to a close. While I’m ready to move on to the next chapter of my life, I still feel like that wide-eyed, 18-year-old freshman moving out of her hometown and into the dorms for the very first time. It amazes me how much I’ve grown in these past few years and how my college experience has forever shaped the rest of my life.

The biggest highlight of my collegiate years has to be my internship experience in New York City. I interned at both Michael Kors and Black Frame, a fashion PR firm, and was finally able to experience the fashion industry first-hand. Even though I had learned about the industry for years in school, experiencing it for myself gave me a whole new perspective on the industry.  At the end of my internship with Black Frame, I assisted with preparations for three different shows during New York Fashion Week. Working at NYFW had been a dream of mine since I was in high school, and it was a surreal feeling to actually make that dream of mine come true.

After wrapping up my internships in NYC, I transferred to Virginia Commonwealth University in the fall of 2011. I applied to become a Style Guru during my very first semester at VCU as a way to get myself acclimated to the fashion scene at my new school; however, this experience turned out to be much more than I could have ever imagined. CollegeFashionista has become my own little family, as I’ve connected with Style Gurus across the nation and have learned so much more about the fashion industry. CollegeFashionista uncovered my passion for journalism, and this organization has challenged me and pushed me to reach my potential. I’m incredibly sad to be leaving my adopted CollegeFashionista family, however, I’ll always be a Style Guru at heart.

Since graduating, I’m currently enjoying my very last summer before I enter the “real world” and I’m applying to jobs in the fashion PR field. Further on down the road, I plan on getting my MBA and founding my own PR firm.  Look out, world!

WHAT TO WEAR: Traveling

Classes are over, finals have wrapped up and summer has officially begun! If there’s one thing college coeds look forward to this season, it’s all the vacations and traveling that takes place. Putting together the perfect traveling ensemble isn’t an easy task – from road trips to flights, a Fashionista/o wants to remain comfortable while keeping it stylish.

I spotted this Fashionista with a glamorous yet low-key ensemble that was ideal for traveling. A maxi dress is comfortable yet effortlessly chic at the same time. Opt for a jersey maxi dress that won’t get wrinkled during a long day of traveling. Throw a cardigan over your maxi dress during a chilly plane/car ride or wear it on its own; this piece is incredibly versatile.

While traveling, go light on the accessories. A wide leather belt will define your waist, and it’s easy to slip off while going through airport security. Layers of jewelry can get tangled or be a hassle while going through security, so keep those packed in your bag. This Fashionista opted for an embellished pair of flat sandals, which add a subtle punch of sparkle to this travel ensemble.

Every Fashionista needs a great bag for their summer travels. This Fashionista scored her leather saddle bag from Etsy, but this satchel bag from Madewell is a great alternative. A leather bag is durable and a great alternative to a bulky suitcase.

One Simple Change: Switch out the saddle bag for a crossbody purse and change into a pair of wedges for a great vacation night out look.

WHAT TO WEAR: Festival

It’s the most wonderful time of the year – festival season! You’ve purchased your tickets and made travel arrangements; now the only thing left to plan are those perfect outfits for three days of musical bliss. Festival fashion exploded in popularity this season, and many retailers from Free People to H&M now carry breezy, boho-inspired pieces that are ideal for a music festival.

When planning your music festival ensemble, you must take into account the heat. Most festivals are during the dog days of summer, and you’re bound to get even hotter while standing in a large crowds of people. One piece that is essential for a music festival is the crop top. This lace crop top from Nasty Gal and this printed crop top from Forever 21 are both breezy, one-of-a-kind options for that will keep you cool while you’re having fun in the sun.

For those Fashionistas who want to refrain from being overexposed, pair your crop top with a vintage-inspired, high-waisted pair of denim shorts. Rumors always has vintage cut-off shorts in stock, but for those Fashionistas looking for a brand new pair of shorts, these destroyed shorts from South Moon Under are a great way to achieve the same look.

You’ll be on your feet for most of the day at a festival, so finish off the look with a strappy pair of flat sandals. These leather congac sandals from DV by Dolce Vita are a great option for a Fashionista who wants to be stylish yet comfortable at the same time.

One Simple Change: Going out with friends after the music festival? Swap out the shorts for a pair of skinny jeans and trade in those sandals for a pair of wedges. This is a great look for a summer night out!


Remember just a few short weeks ago when we were longing for warm weather after a freak April snowstorm? Well, we certainly got what we wished for and then some. With temperatures in the 80s and 90s, it seems that Mother Nature has skipped over spring and jumped right into summer. Instead of having an easy transition from colder to warmer weather, it suddenly feels like those long dog days of summer.

What piece in your wardrobe will get you through those hot, humid days of the season? A silk sundress. Silk is an ideal fabric choice for a summer ensemble because it will keep you cool, it’s easy to pack and it’s incredibly lightweight. When selecting that perfect silk sundress, stay away from skintight styles and choose a breezy fit-and-flare style for maximum comfort. Put away those little black dresses and opt for a dress in a lighter color, such as cream, blush or ivory.

Accessories are crucial in any ensemble; however during a heat wave keep them minimal. Too many accessories will make you feel weighed down and uncomfortable. This Fashionista added the perfect lightweight finishing touches to her ensemble. She defined her waist with a thin braided belt and added a hint of bling with her small pendant, studs and statement Fossil watch. Her unique braided tassel sandals gave this prim and proper look a bit of edge.

One Simple Change: Need to dress this look up for a summer internship? Layer a blazer over the dress and opt for a pair of ladylike mini-wedges. You’ll be sure to dazzle any employer.

WHAT TO WEAR: Casual Date Night

It’s officially spring in Richmond and we all know what this means: everyone suddenly comes out of hibernation and you find yourself with a jam-packed social calendar. In addition to setting up dates with our friends, it’s the ideal time of year to hang out with your crush or significant other. When the weather warms up, that’s when you can really take advantage of what the city has to offer.

There are plenty of low-key date options in Richmond; from visits to the Canal Walk, to all of the local area festivals this seasons and movie nights at the Byrd, the local date night options in the spring/summer seem endless.

Even though your date night plans might be laid back, you’re still going to want to wow that special someone. Ditch those jeans and shorts you always find yourself wearing and opt for a fun, flirty sundress. This floral dress from Urban Outfitters features a subtle mesh detail that’s subtly sexy yet sweet at the same time.

Since the dress has a lot of detail on its own, there’s no need to go overboard in the accessories department. A pair of classic strappy sandals will keep you comfortable and make you look effortlessly chic. To finish off this look, add your favorite pair of sunglasses and a bright manicure. This ensemble is sure to leave your date speechless.

One Simple Change: Have an extra special date night? Dress this look up with a pair of platform heels and a chic clutch. You’ll turn heads at even the fanciest establishments in town!


College students are always on the go. Between classes, jobs and hanging out with friends, a college coed needs to make the most out of what little free time they have. Running errands may not be the most enjoyable activity; however, a playful outfit can instantly boost your mood while running around town. I loved this Fashionista’s vibrant take on a casual ensemble. She proves that you can dress down and look incredibly fashion forward at the same time.

The key to the ideal ensemble for an afternoon of running errands? Layers, layers and more layers! If it gets warmer during the day, you can always stash any unneeded pieces in the trunk of your car. The puffy vest has been a major trend on campus this season; however, the way this Fashionista styles hers is one of a kind. She layered a simple white T-shirt and a jacket underneath of her vivid vest for an extra layer of style and warmth.

Rather than pairing the vest with jeans or leggings, this Fashionista opted for a chic brown miniskirt. This skirt paired with a showstopping pair of mustard yellow tights gave this ensemble a funky, downtown edge.

You’ll want to be comfortable while running errands, so leave the heels at home and opt for a pair of cozy, flat shoes. This Fashionista’s rugged pair of Dr. Martens toughened up this otherwise sweet look.

One Simple Change: Show off your school spirit by swapping the vest and jacket out for a black VCU T-shirt. That look would be a fun, unexpected way to show off your VCU pride!

WHAT TO WEAR: Early Class

All throughout college, I managed to dodge the bullet known as the 8 a.m. lecture. That is, until the second semester of my senior year. Seeing my alarm clock go off at 6:45 a.m. has to be one of the most painful experiences of my undergraduate years.  The only thing I want to do at 8 a.m. is stay in bed, not figure out an acceptable ensemble for class.

However, there might come a time in your college career when you have to suck it up and take that early class.  It might be tempting to roll out of bed in your pajama pants and walk to campus, but with very minimal effort you can put together a polished, smart ensemble that will turn heads for all the right reasons.

The best part about this Fashionista’s look is that it’s simple to put together when you’re in a rush. To recreate this look, start by selecting your favorite button-down shirt in a neutral shade. A white, tan, navy or black shirt will look chic layered under a chunky knit. This oversized sweater will also keep you warm during a chilly morning on campus.

If you’re anything like me and hit the snooze button a few too many times for those early lectures, opt for a pair of leggings just in case you need to walk briskly to class. Finish off the look with a statement necklace and a comfortable pair of oxfords.

One Simple Change: Need a cozy ensemble to go shopping in? Ditch the backpack and opt for a cross-body bag for some hands-free browsing.

WHAT TO WEAR: Weekend Wear

Who doesn’t look forward to the weekend? It’s those crucial 48 hours of the week when we can escape the stress of classes, internships and work. Some of us spend the weekends relaxing with friends, while others use it as a time to catch up on errands and some use it as a chance to explore the city.

No matter what you decide to do or not do on the weekend, you’ll still want to look put together with a chic yet casual ensemble. This Fashionista had a low-key yet vibrant look that was sure to turn heads.

To recreate this look, you’re going to want start with a bright, unique piece of outerwear. Layers are essential for spring, especially with the uncertain weather that Richmond has experienced as of late. This blossom sleeve trench from Anthropologie is a one of a kind piece that will instantly dress up any ensemble.

Break out your favorite pair of dark skinny jeans to keep things casual during a lazy weekend. Ditch those flip-flops and opt for a timeless black ballet flat to keep comfortable while walking or biking around the city. Don’t forget your shades for when the sun wants to make an appearance! These round oversized tortoise sunglasses are the perfect finishing touch for this weekend ensemble.

One Simple Change: This look would work great for a long day of classes as well. Just add a chic, faux-leather backpack with plenty of pockets and compartments to keep you looking stylish yet organized.


Let’s face it: winter really puts a damper on our social life. However, now that spring is right around the corner, campus is finally coming back to life. Instead of rushing back to our apartments after class, students at VCU will linger on campus longer to chat with their friends as the temperatures warm up.

The biggest hot spot on campus has to be The Compass, VCU’s version of your traditional college quad. Here you can meet up with friends, enjoy a meal or just people watch – you’re sure to spot some interesting characters. The Compass is definitely a place to see and be seen, and you’ll want to rock an ensemble that will make you stand out for all the right reasons.

The key to building an ensemble for an afternoon of lounging at The Compass is layering. Spring in Richmond is unpredictable, and a Fashionista should be prepared for whatever Mother Nature has in store. To recreate this look, start by selecting a lightweight jacket. Stash it in your backpack if it gets warmer throughout the day. Continue to pile on the layers with a bright button-down blouse and a neutral open knit sweater.

Bust out your beloved denim shorts and layer a pair of black tights underneath since it’s still a bit chilly out. Add a few finishing touches to this ensemble with a classic gold hoop earring and a pair of black desert boots. The end result is a look that’s casual yet striking for a lazy afternoon at The Compass.

One Simple Change: Swap the jacket for a blazer to dress this ensemble up a bit for a night out with your girlfriends.

WHAT TO WEAR: Girl’s Night Out

It’s finally time to get away from school, work and most importantly – men. Girl’s Night is a beloved celebration that every Fashionista looks forward to at some point during her college career. When you opt to ditch the boyfriends and stress for a night out on the town with your girlfriends, you know you’ve got to look impeccable.

This Fashionista has the ideal Girl’s Night Out ensemble. It’s dressy enough to cover a night of dinner, dancing or any other shenanigans you might get into, but casual enough so you’ll keep comfortable during a long, memorable night.

To recreate this look, start off with a tailored leather jacket. This vegan leather motorcycle jacket from NASTY GAL will have you channeling your inner rebel. Add a subtle pop of color with an oxblood button-down blouse. You’ll want to rock your trusty pair of black skinny jeans for an evening jam-packed with fun.

Richmond’s cobblestone streets aren’t known for being the easiest to walk on, so skip the heels and wear a flat leather boot instead. It’s stylish, sleek and you won’t be in fear of twisting an ankle as the night goes on. Every great girl’s night out ensemble needs to have the right accessories. To top off this look add a bold, cheetah print handbag and some bold gold chains to amp up your look.

One Simple Change: Got a hot date coming up? Swap out those flat boots for a pair of platform heels to wow your crush or significant other.