Happy Homecoming, Fashionista/os! Hope you've been able to keep focus through another week of classes. While the weather was going from smoldering hot to eeriely windy, everyone's outfits on campus fluctuated just the same. My pick of the week? An 80s take on school spirit.

While 80s fashion seems to be a "love it" or "hate it" style for 21st century young adults, I am personally always loyal. This Fashionista paired her DYI off-the-shoulder Indiana tee with an acid wash high-waisted skirt (don't tell me you've seen this done before!) and a pair of snake skin flats. Who says school spirit at IU has to be cream and crimson clad? To top off this already ambitious look, our fabulous Fashionista paired her ensemble with a multi-chain necklace: can't choose between pearls, gold, or bronze chains? You don't have to! Mix it up and combine all three.

So this weekend, while you're rummaging through your closet for that "buy 1 get 2 free" Indiana tee from T.I.S., change it up. Modify the top with some self expression and layer the piece with an unexpected counter-part (my favorite kind). After all, when you go to a university with 40,000+ students, you've got to make yourself stand out!


Happy Friday, Fashionista/os! Hope your eyes are still in healthy shape after countless hours of staring at your computer screens, updating yourselves on the Fashion Week photos! Just because there isn't technically a Fashion Week in Bloomington doesn't mean we're not going to look our best anyway, does it? My favorite find this week: Ikat. In tribute, I plan to use as many "i" adjectives as I can muster up!

This inspirational Fashionista caught my attention in one of my classes this week. She paired a perfect Ikat patterened skirt with an unexpected plum cowl top (what a breath of fresh air from the typical black). What accessory caps off this look, you may ask? A simple, gold chained necklace, of course! I specifically remember mentioning a few posts ago how I am all over tiny gold chained necklaces; paired with a perfect, albeit little, charm is immaculate! Let's just say the days of shopping Charlotte Russe's "2 for $8" rack for a long, chunky chain with a bunch of charms at the chest are over. They've updated their inventory and so should we. So, go delicate and tiny with a priceless gold chain. Keeping the accessories simple allows us to focus on the important parts: the clothes!

This Fashionista wasn't the only one sporting my new favorite pattern: our unfailingly impressive designer Anna Sui incorporated Ikat into her Spring 2011 line this Fashion Week. Whether you believe fashion trends trickle down from the runway to the streets or designers nab up our intriguing fads for their racks, it is undeniable that trends spread like wild fire. 

So instead of going for a herringbone or houndstooth pattern this weekend, pick out a mid-west inspired Ikat. After all, don't you want to be able to say you wore it first?


Happy Friday, fellow Fashionista/os! Even with the overwhelming duties and assignments of college, I was on the prowl this week to find a favorite weekend find; and I did! A little flame of interest has been sparked inside by, drum roll, please… DENIM! Let's break down this trend, shall we?

I hopped off the bus after a grueling day in the heat, I spotted this Fashionista venturing home and had to get a picture. Clad in one of the simplest and most classic silhouettes, our fashion-forward friend paired this adorable piece with some white roped thongs (a breath of fresh air from our familiar fad, the gladiator sandal). If you're going to try denim, I think the best color to accessorize with is definitely white: it's a clean color that won't contrast with the twill of the denim.

After analyzing her look for a second, I decided my stance on denim is this: with the right wash, I would gladly purchase a piece. This Fashionista got it just right: a muted dye with (here's the important part) no fade! Nothing screams "high school" more than a denim piece with obvious faded strips. You know what I'm talking about: that pair of Hollister jeans you bought sophomore year of high school with those dreadful streaks of bleach down the thigh to "elongate" the leg- bleh!. I think the wash of a denim dress is crucial: a dark denim would have come across too 1995-second-grade-teacher-like.

So, with the heat ablaze this weekend, don't force yourself into a two-piece set. Cross over to the denim-side and grab a delightful number like our Fashionista's here! After all, shouldn't we pay our dues to the fabric that's made its appearance in every year, season, and occasion of our busy college lives?


As students at Indiana University, we here specialize in multitasking: whether it's balancing studying with going out or shopping for clothing with shopping for food, we are masters in the circus ring of overlapping responsibilities. Why not add another task to our already busy lifestyles? Let's mix our responsibilities as shoppers and philanthropists! Enter TOM'S Shoes.

Tom's Shoes brand was created in 2006 by a Mr. Blake Mycoskie in efforts to create fair labor opportunities in Argentina, China, and Ethiopia. The name "TOM'S" is derived from the original project title "Shoes for Tomorrow Project". For every pair of TOM'S shoes sold, a pair gets donated to a child in need in lesser circumstances. Customers and students can purchase a pair of innovative, comfortable, practical shoes for a reasonable price while contributing to a global charity: business spurs a manufacturing opportunity in other countries while donating shoes to children without any.

This Fashionista paired her charcoal pair of TOM'S with a mid-length pair of cut-offs (a definite favorite of mine this fall- the best pair? You can buy them pre-cut OR you can make your own from an old pair of denim!) and an understated but oversized three quarter length top. This classically-clad Fashionista told me she works at Journey's where she actually sells those terrific TOM'S- oh to be a part of something so fantastic!

So take a break from your favorite gladiator sandals or Old Navy flipflops and visit TOM'S Shoes website to pick up a pair of globally conscious kicks: let's make one more reason why IU's students are the best and brightest!


Welcome back, returning students and hello new Hoosiers! With school kicking off this week, I'm sure everyone's exhausted from seemingly endless lectures and more reading assignments than thought possible in the first week of classes, but bear with me! With the first week of classes comes the first official weekend at Indiana University, and I will settle for nothing less than the best of dress from my fellow Fashionista/os!

This Fashionista definitely grabbed my eye (and a few others' eyes, too) during this glorious era they call Welcome Week. Dressed in a fantastic Missoni-inspired number, I couldn't help but pull her aside and grab a photo. Usually I'm not the biggest fan of the Missioni herringbone pattern (it can be a little overwhelming in some cases), but the soft and simple colors of this Fashionista's dress made me consider giving the Missonian staple another shot. Paired with  a simple pair of leather sandals and a chain link cross-body bag, this Fashionista is definitely ready to make a splash during her first week back at IU.

No matter if your classes were surprisingly laid back (lucky you) or dreadfully intense, take a break from "school talk" this weekend and resort back to one of fashion history's classics: Missoni. Whether you're out meeting your new neighbors or reuniting with friends you haven't seen all summer, remember to look fabulous while doing it! We're in for an excellent semester of style, I can already tell.

WEEKEND FORECAST: Have Faith in Your Oldies!

Welcome back, fellow Hoosiers! I know everyone's crazed with things to do before fall semester starts, but I'm glad you stopped in for some quick Fashionista advice! This week's topic: recycling! Ok ok, I know you're all thinking about how tired you are of hearing the word. However, I've got a creative twist on our favorite little "green" word. Let me introduce you to Rae Faith.

As you're unpacking your endless wardrobe into your new flat for the fall, you're bound to come across a few pieces that, let's be honest, are probably seeing their last glimpses of daylight before making their way to the back of your closet for good. Instead of wasting hanger and drawer space with these old faves, put them aside! IU fourth year, Rachel Milen, is the head revamper at Rae Faith, a budding company that takes worn denim and collegiate apparel and transforms them into hip, fashion forward pieces. Using bleach, lace, and other unexpected embellishment styles, Milen turns drab to fab! My favorite piece is an acid washed denim vest with a fabulous lace cut-out on the chest and a lace back (drooool!).

So, if you've got some old pieces that have seen their fair share of wear, don't trash them to the back of the closet just yet. Leave it to the professionals and get yourself in contact with Rachel Milen to get your hands on a Rae Faith original. I've said it once and I'll say it again: weekends are about taking risks and getting yourself noticed! What better way to make a statement than sporting an excellent piece from one of our own?

Style Guru Bio: Amanda Travis

Happy Friday, Fashionista/os!

This fall will be my second term with College Fashionista and I can't wait to get back to my Weekend Forecast reports! While keeping you up to date on the latest and best happenings on our beautiful Bloomington campus, I will be continuing my pursuit of an Apparel Merchandising degree. I marvel at the work of Marc Jacobs, L.A.M.B, and Betsey Johnson (my most updated top 3). If I'm not at class, you can probably find me on Kirkwood grabbing a joe and roaming the local shops (what Fashioinista/o doesn't?).

Looking forward to being back!


While I'm not exempt to being a fan of taking your friends out to grab a drink, walk around, and shop, sometimes it just isn't the day for an afternoon stroll. Whether your friends are busy, it's rainy outside, or maybe you've caught a cold, it's best to have a backup plan if you can't literally shop til you drop. Not to fear: I've got the answer!

Alright, here's a question: what comes to mind when I say the word "eBay"? Muted 70s lamps someone's trying to get rid of? A signed Van Halen record your uncle might like? Wrong (though I'm sure they sell those things, too)! Over the last few years, entrepreneurs have taken to eBay like a moth to a flame. Trendy, vintage businesses can be found quite easily on eBay selling some very chic items. A definite favorite eBay store of mine is Neon Life Vintage. I can still remember moving in freshmen year and browsing their stupendous selection in hopes to upgrade my wardrobe from drab to fab (my first purchased piece was a fantastic little number shaped to resemble a DVF classic). Looking through their selection now (which is revamped every Sunday for your viewing and shopping pleasures), it's easy to find a piece you wouldn't have found anywhere else — and isn't that the point of vintage? And let's be honest; who hasn't searched online to find a vintage looking outfit and paid way too much for a wannabe? Cut that middle-man out and go straight to the source! 

So if you still regard eBay as a site your dad goes to pick up used motorcycle parts (ok ok, I'm talking about my dad), prepare to have your perceptions shattered and your interested spiked: shop stores like Neon Life Vintage to save a buck on gas and great vintage piece for that back-to-school party you've been eagerly awaiting.


With summer (quite unfortunately) winding to its close, stress for summer work and school-related issues may start to feel overwhelming. Fear not, fellow Fashionistas; I'm hopeful that you will find a little peace in your wardrobes this weekend with a few classics. With the wave of fall semester responsibilities looming before us, it's time to play it safe and relax — after all, this may be the last time we get to do that for a while.

While an over-exaggerated and dramatic outfit can be refreshing at times, when we're looking for something a bit more tame, clean and simple is the way to go. This Fashionista, doing some back-to-school shopping on Kirkwood, sports a clean white tank (an under appreciated item, if I do say so myself) with some uniquely-patterned shorts. Look closely at the shorts and you'll see a darling twist on a pair of mid-thigh greys: uneven and juxtaposed lines create an unexpected design. She adds a great (but simple) leather sandal with a matching over-the-shoulder bag for a crisp clean look! And let's face it, when you're forcing yourself back to class after a fantastic summer, what better way to dress your dragging feet than with a comfortable pair of leather sandals? And what color will better draw away attention from the dark circles under your eyes than white? I think I've proven my point!

So when your dreaded alarm goes off at 7:00 AM this fall, don't fret about throwing together a bright and bold outfit — soft and simple can ease you into your new morning routine! Just pair some of your favorite classic pieces with an item that throws a curve ball (like our Fashionista's shorts) for a bit of a kick. After all, with temperatures roasting in the 80s during that first week of classes, you'll thank me for suggesting an easy tank with some light shorts! 

BOUTIQUE OF THE WEEK: Local Thrift, of Course

If you know anything about the best of Bloomington, you're not stranger to the Cactus Flower. Residing halfway down Kirkwood Avenue, the Cactus Flower divides itself in two: a trendy boutique on the first floor and a terrific thrift store on the second. Cozily resting above the Laughing Planet (if you haven't tried their pesto quesadillas, shame on you!), the Cactus Flower deserves its very much respected reputation in B-Town. 

Walking into the shop may be overwhelming at first: the Cactus Flower offers great pieces from Free People, American Apparel, Tulle, Miss Me, and many others. But don't let yourself get lost amongst those fabulous finds; travel upstairs into their vintage closet for pieces dating back from the 50's! Whether you're in need of a great leather belt for a summer dress or an authentic vintage necklace to accent your outfit, give their second floor a shot. Blogger's advice for thrift shopping? Don't go in with a destination! Thrift shopping can be overwhelming with most pieces only offered in one size, and the variety of pieces usually outnumbers that of a typical stores. Go in with an open mind (and open wallet, of course) with some friends just to survey the options!

With summer (most unfortunately) coming to a close, a grab-your-attention outfit is definitely in need for those last summer parties: don't frequent your everyday stores — try something new (or, in this case, vintage!) and check out the Cactus Flower on Kirkwood. As I always say: take a risk this weekend! Being a local business owner is no easy feat: to survive and thrive as the Cactus Flower has done is truly an accomplishment, so trust their stunning selection!