STYLE ADVICE OF THE WEEK: Tennis Pleats Please

You know those clothing pieces that transport your memory to a specific time in your life? Good or bad, you can’t deny that they bring a warm, nostalgic feeling to your own style evolution. Pleated skirts are that clothing piece for me: my first day of school, special picture days and my go-to pieces today for chic, playful outfits. The tennis skirt, more specifically, is one that has transitioned its wear from the tennis court to the runway with preppy, sporty looks at Hermès and Lisa Perry‘s ready-to-wear spring 2014 collection. A few Fashionistas have already jumped on the tennis skirt bandwagon and are sporting them with fall necessities like this Fashionista.

She paired her black tennis skirt with a simple striped T-shirt and Mary Jane ballet flats. I can’t think of any other more classic pieces she could have paired her skirt with to create a leisurely, sophisticated look. She finished her ensemble with a brown leather backpack that’s spacious enough to carry a laptop and notebook to class. Her outfit isn’t only limited to class however — it’s perfect for those upcoming fall festivals and carnivals where you’ll want an easy and casual look.

No doubt, you’ll find several occasions for your tennis skirt. Once you’ve found the perfect one, keep the rest of your outfit simple by coordinating with a striped T-shirt like hers. An oversized fit will draw attention to the more fitted waist and emphasize the smoothing pleats while the stripes add an interesting element of horizontal lines versus vertical pleat lines. Add an academic touch with Mary Janes and a satchel backpack. You’ll be inspired to wear pleats more often!


When it comes to men’s fashion, a little detail can go a long way and a lot can, well, go even further. My appreciation for a guy in a well-dressed outfit is infinite as it’s easy for anyone to assume that guys put less effort into their appearance than women. Let’s all make it clear that men may have it even more difficult as variety in clothing pieces is presumably less than that of a woman’s. If there’s one thing I’m admiring in men’s fashion right now it’s printed button-down shirts: florals, stripes, polka-dots, you name it. These pieces are great for giving a summery outfit a more layered, fall look and in the right pattern, can completely make an outfit.

I came across this Fashionisto picking up a couple button-down shirts himself while wearing one that caught my attention. Paisley is a pattern that somehow always seeps into fall fashion but the cool blue tones in his thrifted version gave this trend a refreshing, new appeal. He chose to let the pattern stand out with a cut-off white T-shirt and rolled up shorts in a similar blue tone. Scrunched up socks, a leather belt and round sunglasses finish his look and show that he’s paying attention to all the small details.

Take inspiration from his ensemble by looking for unique button-downs and layering it over simple colors that reflect the print of the shirt. Make it more season appropriate by looking for long sleeve versions and pair it with skinny pants. Ladies — you too! You’ll have an easy, transitional outfit that will inspire you to get creative with fall trends.

CollegeFashionista X Shopbop: University of Central Florida Student Style

Do you remember your first online purchase? I was probably 13 when I first bought something off the web and thought it was the greatest concept ever. Fast forward to little old college student me and I still think it’s the best thing to exist. There’s something so thrilling about finding a unique product and waiting for it to arrive at your doorstep—a feeling you can’t really get anywhere else. For those on a budget looking for quality fashion, Shopbop encompasses everything you could possibly imagine; a dreamland of the best designer goodies with enough variety to keep you searching for days. Luckily, their student section in partnership with CollegeFashionista helped me pick out a few things in a matter of minutes. It was like shopping love at first sight.

Since I’ve been keeping my eyes peeled for good transition pieces that will work year round, my first pick was Blank Denim’s Vegan Bomber Jacket. My initial thought while slipping this on was how soft and perfectly worn in it was so I paired it with a floral vintage dress, comfortable enough to swish in on any given occasion. What’s great about this jacket is that you could wear it with a casual dress like mine, a more structured, semi-formal dress for a night out or a T-shirt and jeans combo and look completely put-together. The secret is in its classic design with an aviator neckline to up the sophistication and cool factor.

My second pick was a classic Kanken backpack in Forest Green. Living in Orlando, I’m exposed to tons of cultures and this backpack was actually one I had seen on several tourists. Made by Swedish company Fjällräven, this school rucksack is super utilitarian and practical with carrying handles and the ability to open the entire back. Anyone with four or more class classes, an internship and full-time job knows this is a luxury. Its simple design ultimately won me over and proved to be the perfect match to my relaxed, dark ensemble for the upcoming season. I finished my look with studded flatforms for comfort, a Casio watch and of course, my eyeglasses.

Head over to Shopbop Student for fundamental pieces you’ll be wearing all semester long.

STYLE ADVICE OF THE WEEK: Transitional Textures

We’re officially mid-way through October and while the season here in Florida doesn’t change as dramatically as it does in the North, we Floridians have our own way of making a seasonal change to make things a bit more festive — clothing! Nothing makes me happier than walking outside in long sleeves and not immediately melting away in the sun. Even more exciting than that is seeing retail stores change from summery hues to rich, textured fabrics like velvet and lace. This Fashionista shows she has already started her transition and she couldn’t be any happier either.

I came across her last weekend at Orlando Pride where hundreds of people gathered to express their support as a loving community filled with diversity and acceptance. Among the eccentrically dressed, she stood out in a classic ensemble: an ivory lace dress layered over a slip, a black pleather belt for a little structure and coordinating black suede wedges. The mix of sheer and opaque with soft and tough balances her simple look which she can easily take into the night time for dinner by the lake.

Don’t be fooled by its simplicity as it offers a lot more than you’d expect. Dress this look down with flats and a velvet cardigan for class to keep the transitional textures going on. For cooler nights, throw on some sheer tights, roll up the sleeves and add an elegant circle scarf. The key to making a simple dress stand out is to let the textures take center stage by choosing a high contrast color palette such as hers. From there, dressing for the new season will be a breeze!


Last fall brought out the best in cutout dresses and this year, I only expect it to keep getting better. Cleaner silhouettes are in — forget the high-low trend and extreme piling of varied lengths. The simpler the design, the better the fit. Lately, I’ve been seeing a lot of fit and flare dresses with a small waist and open skirt that gives off a sophisticated and feminine feel. These dresses are up on my “to buy” list for their versatility and ability to transform from day to night.

This Fashionista is already ahead of the game with her Gloria V skater dress. This gives the LBD a new take with its open back and mesh-paneled front. The three-quarter sleeves are appropriate for the chillier weather coming up and the open skirt offers a more fun approach to the otherwise typical bodycon dress. She made this dress more day appropriate by pairing it with casual tennis shoes and a velvet beaded cross-body bag. A vintage hair bow finishes her sweet and girly look.

Take a look in your closet and I’m sure you’ll find an LBD that you’ve worn only once and probably only at night. Give it a new purpose with casual and simple accessories like her for a look you can transition. An oversized sweater knotted at the waist would be perfect for early morning classes and requires almost no effort to look put together. Conversely, a long cardigan can be just as comfortable and reveal your meshy approach to cutout dresses. When you’re done for the day, change up the shoes and bag and you’ve got another outfit for an evening out.


We’ve heard it a million times — diamonds are a girl’s best friend. When it comes to Fashionistas however, diamonds are probably out of the daily picture. Chances are you save your most luxurious accessories for those special nights out and you replace them with simple studs and rings for class. Lately, I’ve been wearing no jewelry at all (gasp, I know) but fellow students have been reminding me just how much a few accessories can change an outfit (and even convincing me to start wearing more).

I came across this colorful Fashionista who I’m now declaring as UCF’s accessory queen. She caught my eye for her bright color palette and retro taste. She based her outfit on a simple striped shirt and form-fitting denim skirt, perfect for Florida’s warm weather. From there, she let her accessories do the talking. Her patent red shoes, gloves and string of pearls couldn’t be any classier and of course, what’s better than adding more hints of red through heart-shaped anchor earrings and an oversized hair bow. That — on top of her gorgeous purple-pink hair and cat-eyeglasses — makes her look completely her own.

The lesson to take here is to not only appreciate a few quirky accessories but to also personalize in a way that strengthens your aesthetic. Feeling retro? Combine a few staple accessories like gloves and a hair scarf with classic prints: leopard, polka-dots, stripes. Be open to mix and match on a smaller scale. Also, don’t forget to keep the focus on your accessories by keeping the rest of your outfit simple. You’ll be sure to turn heads (purple-pink hair optional)!


STYLE ADVICE OF THE WEEK: Jelly of Your Jellies

The lingering summer humidity is in full blast here although unbelievably we’re already welcoming September. We’re in a state of transition: letting go of summer and changing color schemes while still trying to hold onto summer trends that we just can’t get enough of. Anyone else have jellies on their mind? What started this trend still strikes my curiosity but I don’t question it too much when I see Fashionistas rock them in their own special ways.

Take this Fashionista as the perfect example. On a rainy and humid day, she stood out in a bright orange skater dress and paired it with clear, glittery Juju jelly sandals. My favorite element of her outfit is the way she paired it with white frilly socks, adding an element of playfulness and balance. She finished her simple ensemble with oversized eyeglasses and a vintage bag small enough to carry only the essentials.

The lesson to be learned here is as easy as it gets: less really is more. Throw on a skater dress and jellies for those blustery school mornings and your day will be 10 times more cheerful (trust me, the amount of nostalgic smiles you’ll get will brighten any rainy day). Carry a simple cardigan for chiller mornings and out the door you’ll go. Let the dress and sandals speak for themselves and forget about unnecessary accessories. Everyone will be jelly of your jellies!


STYLE GURU BIO: Alinnette Hernandez

One year ago, I began writing for CollegeFashionista and I’ve not only flourished my personal admiration for fashion, but I have seen how it positively affects others. Even in the smallest way, our clothing speaks more than we do at times, often revealing our innermost thoughts and emotions that we do not express firsthand. For many, clothing is about comfort — going to and from work, class, grocery shopping, everyday life activities. In reality, it’s so much more. We are raised with an idea of how our parents want us to be and as we mature,  we venture out into things that make us feel “me-ish” and personal. For me, it was fashion.

It’s hard to pinpoint an exact moment when I truly showed my first interest in the world of fashion and its evolving properties but like most Fashionistas, it’d have to be somewhere in my early childhood where getting dressed was my favorite part of the day. I did my own hair, picked my own outfits — there was just something so thrilling about making different combinations of clothing and leaving my house triumphantly in a work of art (AKA mixed and matched twinsets, frilly socks and colored sunglasses to offset my lipstick). Between that and my grandmother showering me with custom-made dresses, I’d have to say it was a done deal that I’d be so obsessed with fashion in the future.

Since then, my style has been filtered through my slightly reserved yet spontaneous personality. Although I’m a Florida girl (only geographically), I’ve somehow attained a love for everything long sleeved, silky, intricate and with form emphasis, perhaps one of the main reasons I’m attracted to ’40s and ’60s fashion. I can spend hours rummaging through antique stores and equally visiting botanical gardens — my favorite thing to do — for inspiration. This semester, I’m excited as ever to bring you a taste of UCF fashion through my STYLE ADVICE OF THE WEEK column. With summer coming to an end, fall fashion is finally here. The most exciting fashion transition is underway and I’m ready to share it.


Summer is winding down but the summer spirit is still in the air. Fashionistas everywhere are taking this last month to soak in the sun through summer dresses, crop tops and light fabrics. There are those pieces that we wear once and other times, several times a week (high-waisted denim shorts, I’m referring to you). Somewhere between that spectrum is the clothing that we wear only once but in reality, have so many more uses than we give credit for—example: swimwear.

As a Florida girl, I know the importance of having several bathing suits on hand at once. Trips to the beach are as accessible as longer trips to class but are definitely worth it. With temperatures begging me to go to the beach, I feel like I should be wearing swimwear all the time. This Fashionista felt the same and wasn’t afraid to get inspired. She based her outfit off a plunging one-piece bathing suit in black and silver, complementing it with a pair of royal blue disco pants. The fact that they’re high-waisted make her bodysuit modestly revealing, showing only her back and sides. She finished her outfit with patent dance shoes, a couple of fun bracelets, a cross-body bag and of course, a pair of aviators. Overall, her outfit gives off a liquid metal feel with reflective and shiny pieces that capture the sun’s light and give a very sleek and cohesive appearance.

This summer brought out the best of cut-out bathing suits. Give her look a try by finding a one-piece with an interesting cut. Backless bathing suits are great because they’re a completely surprising feature! There are also a variety of side-cut and geometric one-pieces that would work great as a bodysuit with a pair of pants like hers. For that same sleek look in hot weather, try disco shorts or a pair of cut-off jeans and finish with reflective pieces; metallic and minimalist is the thought that should pop up. You’ll find that slipping in a few swimwear pieces into your everyday life isn’t as hard as you’d imagine. The curious cuts and fabrics of bathing suits will inspire you to slip more of them into your daily life, extending that summer feel all year long.


Several of my favorite summer memories include those infinitely long days in the pool, walking through water parks in jelly sandals and chasing down the ice cream truck on my bike, feeling that thrill as I stood on the pedals and let the wind take me. Of course, those summer memories weren’t complete without those summery outfits consisting of bedazzled everything and the iconic ’90s sunflower print. I have yet to find a person who didn’t have something sunflower printed. Whatever made it so popular is back and is finding a refreshing way to sneak into our daily lives, proving it never really went out of style. It’s more in style than ever.

This Fashionista shows her appreciation for sunflowers in the form of leggings. With scorching temperatures and a constant battle of rain and humidity, it’s safe to say that these leggings are perfect for your commutes between class and the outside world. Between the uncertainty of weather here and the inside of lecture halls, these allow you to be comfortable in any condition. To top off her ’90s look, she played with an element of denim-on-denim through a cropped button-down shirt and an oversized denim jacket. The overall contrast in fit (tight vs. loose) and length (cropped vs. oversized) makes this a playful outfit with dimension. She finished her ensemble with a high ponytail in a matching scrunchie (what could be more perfect?), vintage sunglasses and red pleated loafers.

This week, I challenge you to dig deep in your closet for something sunflower printed and take it to the next level. Brands like American Apparel are reminiscing on sunflower memories through not only leggings but shorts, dresses, baseball caps, overalls and even tennis shoes! Mix your print with a few contrasting fabrics like denim, leather or velvet for an interesting outfit. Don’t forget your vintage accessories. Scrunchies, mood rings, geometric earrings—it’s the details in this look that really pull it together and have me wishing it was the summer of ’98 again.