STYLE ADVICE OF THE WEEK: Perfectly Impermeable

To walk anywhere in the city during a downpour is to sample the life of a salamander. Sloshing from point A to point B is particularly unpleasant for those dressed inappropriately. I spotted this Barnard student stepping out for groceries; her outfit is perfect for fending off giant droplets and inconsiderate bus drivers’ wakes.

Her light camel colored raincoat is a mixture of a trench coat and an anorak; the paper-thin translucency breathes more readily than that of a clunky, hot trench coat, and nuanced details of the coat’s construction add a modern and young twist. The neutral beige tone further enhances the garment’s versatility. Beneath her paper-thin shell she wears a flouncy coral blouse. The lightweight fabric is particularly functional for damp days, as it doesn’t absorb every drop that it meets.

The Fashionista pairs her top with a pair of Urban Outfitters denim pants. Their high-wasted simplicity anchors the lighter hued and less structured counterparts of her ensemble.

The sartorial student pairs her slightly preppy look with classic leather accentuations. She wears light brown leather flats and a shoulder slung satchel bag. The classic color and material further cement this look as a classic, albeit modern, one. If you’re looking for a way to slosh around in a put-together frenzy, dress yourself in breathable fabrics that are basic with an updated twist. Pair an anorak, like the aptly named Uptown Anorak from NASTY GAL with a pair of leggings, or opt for a cropped version of the classic trench, and pair it with a pair of lace shorts.

Don’t let the rain reign on your imagination parade. Instead, show mother nature who’s boss with a serious impermeable attire.


It's been unbelievably nice out these past few days in the city. In post-finals shock, I have accepted the climbing temperatures with limp open arms and a numb brain. After spending hours caged in the somber confines of many a musky library, I finally remembered that the world outside still existed, and set off for Central Park.

While walking through the park I spotted many things of the green variety, namely grass, foliage, popsicles, and some suspect (and obviously naturally colored) beverages, and of course, this stylish young woman. Wearing an asymmetrically cut blue dress that swayed behind her with each step she took, her springtime relaxation reverberated through the ripples of her garment. The green detailing served to further prove her immersion in nature.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, mostly because I have a very little brain power remaining, but sunglasses can truly create a look. This Fashionista’s translucent green Urban Outfitters shades block the sun in an unexpected way. Their square frames and unconventional color pop, even in the lush forestscape that is the heart of New York.

So if you too are suffering from Post Traumatic Finals Stress Disorder, and are therefore find yourself questioning, “why do I look like a hobo?” or “why am I eating cereal for every meal?” then take a few pieces of solid advice from this post. Remember that comfort, especially in such a comfortable climate, is of the utmost importance to looking and feeling great. Slip on a cotton dress like this park stroller and slip on a pair of eclectic shades (like these that The Man Repeller has selected). You’ll be ready to soak up the sun’s rays and forget the last semester’s troubles.


At the end of the semester, the all too familiar feeling of exhaustion plucks students from sanity and leaves them dangling, fighting for a few winks of sleep. If you’re ready to kiss your finals and the year goodbye, you’re not alone. During stressful stretches of the semester, many not-so-considerate people neglect sartorialism for the path to enlightenment. Students’ studious pursuits therefore render the library almost insufferable with the scent of body odor.

Don’t fall into this same trap of utter fanaticism. Instead of kissing your personal hygiene and personal sense of style goodbye, simply wear an outfit that is as comfortable as it is aesthetically pleasing. I love maxi dresses, so when I spotted this student stepping out of her apartment, I had to snap her photograph. In a floor length tye dye maxi dress, this Barnard woman appears calm, cool and collected, and attitude that will certainly help her in the testing environment.

The amazing thing about maxi dresses is that they appear so elegant to the average passerby, yet feel like a dream to the lucky girl wearing them. Opt for a maxi dress that is made at least partially of spandex, for it will allow you to move freely beneath the flowing swaths of fabric. This finals season try your very hardest not to forget firstly that you are A) human, B) still breathing and once you have come to terms with the aforementioned circumstances, throw on a maxi dress. The amount of time is takes to step into the comfort of a floor length blanket-with-straps is about as long as it would take you to decide which library to venture off to.


It's reading week. You know what that means! Stressed, crazed overachievers scouring the campus for places to study and cry. During times like these, when class notes and textbooks seem to be your only friends, it's important to dress casually and comfortably without forfeiting total presentability. I spotted this Fashionista donning a cozy oversized BCBG sweater to shield her from uncharacteristically chilly winds and characteristically chilling study sessions.

Her large cream-colored sweater, fuzzy and puffy, is paired down by her tight black American Apparel dress. Beneath her midnight sleeve, she wears transparent minutely fishnetted stockings. The tight elements of her ensemble, namely her tights and her dress, are juxtaposed by the looser fitting pieces she selects. Her Steve Madden booties, which flare as they envelope her ankles, perfectly accentuate her streamlined leg wear.

The most fabulous and topical element in this Fashionista’s ensemble, however, is her Alexander McQueen scarf.  The black garment, decorated with white skulls, is slightly morbid but tastefully so. A scarf, no matter the pattern, is the perfect accessory to spice up a look. The accessory provides warmth on abnormally cold spring mornings and adds an eclectic layer to an outfit.

Take a cue from this Fashionista in the dismal finals season and pair a tight, simple garment with a slouchy, comfortable one. When in doubt, add a scarf into the mix for insulation and inspiration. Hitting the books hard is notably easier when you feel fabulous and comfortable all the same.


STYLE ADVICE OF THE WEEK: Forget the Memorial Day Myth

All too often taboos whittle their ways into our daily lives and keep us from expressing ourselves freely. We all know the white lie that bars all Fashionistas from wearing white before Memorial Day or after Labor Day, but some of us choose to disregard it. I spotted this trailblazing Fashionista putting one white-jean clad leg in front of another on her way to class.

I snapped this photo early in the morning when the temperatures were still brisk. Therefore, this Fashionista wears a light-wash Gap jean jacket and scarf atop her plain black t-shirt. The thin extra cotton layers provide warmth, but don’t weigh her down.

Her outfit is preppy, but not overwhelmingly so. Her metallic gold Sperry topsiders, which she purchased at J.Crew, are a comfortable and sensible solution for a day full of classes and meeting. Her gold Michael Kors watch mirrors the shine of her shoes and adds warmth to her ensemble.
This Fashionista’s palette is simplistic but cohesive. Her bare basic white jeans, black shirt and denim jacket are dressed up and amplified by her rose, burgundy, cobalt and brown infinity scarf. The rouge red of her nail polish mirrors the red of her neck accessory.

This spring, follow this Fashionista’s example and match a pair of monochromatic jeans with a light jacket; amp up your look with warm, colorful accessories. And last, but not least, remember to forget the silly style restrictions. If your crisp white jeans scream your name from your closet, throw them on, and embrace spring.

STYLE ADVICE OF THE WEEK: Crochet Your Way into May

Don’t you love waking to a beautiful, clear blue sky? That’s what happened to me, and so I dressed accordingly. Flung on a bikini, stuffed an umbrella and towel into my backpack and trundled off to the beach. I’m kidding. It’s April and I live in Harlem. I did dress for what I thought was a warm day, yet the beaming sunny rays had deceived me and the temperatures were shockingly bitter.

I spotted this Fashionista appropriating her warm wardrobe for an unexpected, unwarranted and unappreciated “taste of January” in the thick of spring. Taking a cue from Jay-Z, this student wears (almost) all black everything: a pair of black, skin-tight Joe’s Jeans, a black bandeau top and black Banana Republic open-toed wedge booties. She incorporates spring into her palette, however, as she pairs her somber blacks with a happy pastel pink Urban Outfitters crochet sweater.

The pink sweater, much like this one on 5 inch and up, drapes loosely across her shoulders. The baggy silhouette nicely complements her clinging jeans and top. The crocheted top is the perfect transitional piece: it retains warmth yet doesn’t turn its wearer into a pool of sweat.

Take a cue from the hole-y sartorialist and if the day proves cooler than your heart desired, throw a spring sweater atop a basic pair of jeans and top. Go for something light, like the Camden Knit from NASTY GAL, or nix the sleeves all together and try the textural knit dolman-sleeve sweater from the Gap. 


The weekend is a glorious time; students are freed from the confines of cramped lecture chairs and lackadaisical courses and are given the gift of a brief intermission from regular responsibilities. Yet with great power, as Spiderman once said, comes great responsibility. This notion, unbeknownst to many Columbia students, is all too often ignored at the coming of each Sunday morning. Manifest in the sheer volume of tattered sweatpants-wearing students is this blatant affront; public indecencies are far more prevalent in the bright afternoon sun than under the cloak of darkness.

I’m only sort of kidding about the epileptic-shock inducing capabilities of a particularly dismal, tattered pair of high school prom sweatpants. Therefore, when I spotted this fresh-faced student leaving her dorm at the ungodly hour of 11 on a Sunday morning, I clambered at the opportunity to crystallize a moment of glory. This student gets it. She wears a pair of plain black leggings that are comparable to their ugly cousin –– the sweatpant –– on the comfortable scale. These simple leggings are a staple: their dreamlike elasticity lends an equal amount of structure and comfort that sweatpants simply do not.

Atop her H&M leggings, this student dons a sheer, white striped tank top. The loose-fitted shirt is breathable and a perfect alternative to your dad’s old undershirt. Layered over her sheer shir is a notably more structured Madewell denim dress shirt. The shirt functions as a jacket suitable for April’s mild temperature and adds structure to her not-so-lazy Sunday ensemble.

This weekend, instead of grabbing for the tattered heap of material that was once a pair of Bat Mitzvah sweatpants, opt for leggings. You will feel instantly free when you toss those party paraphernalia, which all too often scream “PrOpErTy of Jenny’s BaT MitZ OcTobEr 21, 2006” in capital, neon font into the trash. You can wear leggings for just as many years without the general public knowing the exact expiration date of your most comfortable wear.


Who doesn’t love a little cheetah? Even the fastest glimpse of the speckled fabric makes my heart beat faster, for the pattern is simply so fabulous. This Fashionista’s feline accessory is one that even PETA can love: the cotton H&M scarf is lightweight cotton (and nothing like the real furry deal).

I spotted this speckled peer of mine leaving the Diana Center, soaking up the sunny rays of these first few April days. Her oversized sunglasses from Brooklyn's thrifty  mecca Beacon’s Closet shield her eyes and accentuate the shape of her face. She wears solely dark and earthen tones; her American Apparel stretchy high waisted jeans and gray Urban Outfitters T-shirt are basic yet sartorial all the same.

This Barnard student is fully prepared for a trek through the Sahara or a simple stroll to class in her suede, light brown booties. As I talked with this sunny student, I found that she once lived in Africa, which would explain the African-inspired infusions in her overall appearance. Her wooden, large and disk-shaped earrings tie the look together.

When searching for something inspiring to wear, grab first from your wardrobe essentials. Wear something simple as the backdrop to layer upon, just as this Fashionista has done. Because her jeans and T-shirt are so simple, her loud accessories are able to speak for themselves. Pick a snood in a playful pattern, like this leopard one from NASTY GAL, and voilá! You’re instantly safari chic.



The weather as of late has been dramatically warmer; the spring sun has sent cherry blossoms shooting from their buds and out into the light, breezy air. While Mother Nature paints the town with swaths of pastels, and sends magnolia leaves soaring from their branches, she instills a sense of optimism in the sartorialists of the Upper West Side sidewalks. This Fashionista dons a monochromatic ensemble that is anything but just “black and white:” the two-toned outfit is inspired by the soft colors, sensations and palette of spring. The rocker chick look, however tough on the exterior, is possible only because of a noticeably warmer climate.

This Fashionista’s white and grey paint splattered Tripp NYC jeans are detailed with stylistically fringed tears and abrasions. Her exposed skin beneath acts as the epitome of a transitional outfit: while the jeans’ black and white tones are definitely more commonly associated with the blustery conditions of winter, the sneak peek of the Fashionista’s skin promises for warmer months ahead.

While this Fashionista’s jeans are definitely and deliberately a little rough around the edges, the gentle scalloped front of her asymmetrical white knit H&M sweater lends a springy and gentle silhouette to her overall look. In keeping with her black and white theme, this Fashionista wears a simple black tank top beneath the sweater, and pairs her jeans with black leather Eddie Bauer biker style boots.

What drew me most to this Fashionista’s bold yet tasteful look was her perfect marriage of soft and rough aesthetics. Like the lamblike winds of a mid-March day in contrast with the lion-like rough of a cold March night’s blustery blast, this look evokes both the roughness of winter and the gentleness of summer. As spring is a transitional period, a liminal stage between two polar climatic atmospheres, the trends of the season are never static. Look to this Fashionista’s grasp on the “gentle hardcore” façade and pair a pair of roughed up jeans with a softer, albeit slightly warm, counterpart. Check out Shopbop’s collection of distressed denim for ideas, and if you’re feeling creative (or if you’re dying for an excuse to procrastinate a looming term paper) create your own pair of beaten jeans. A pair of uniquely seasonal jeans is sure to put a spring in your step.


This past week I traveled to the western coast of Southern Ireland. While I indefinitely encountered many more sheep than people on my spring break, I did manage to happen upon a handful of Fashionistas. I spotted this Fashionista on the lawn of a fifteenth-century castle that is now run as a hotel. Her outfit is fit for a walk along the intersecting and winding country paths around the grounds; it is essentially a modernized and feminized hunting ensemble.

She pairs a taupe, high-waisted linen Zara skirt with a simple Three Dot navy shirt. The two hues are then expanded upon: she takes stride in over-the-knee brown leather riding boots from Garnet Hill and shields the March winds with the help of a quilted navy Barbour jacket. The silk scarf that peeks out from the Fashionista’s collar and cascades down her front transforms the outfit and deems it tea-time appropriate.

The pistachio and lavender pigments of her sunglasses mirror not just the sun but also her silk necktie. The quirky, round-framed vintage glasses, which the Fashionista purchased at the Porta Portese market in Rome, are a unique way to shield the sun.

This Fashionista’s look is perfect for spring; the softened tones of her garments are reminiscent of those of the freshly blossoming earth. Also, the pieces are light, layered and fickle-forecast friendly. The simple pieces are perfect for both the intrepid and the not so intrepid of us.

Colder temperatures are the bookends of spring days, and therefore it is important to dress accordingly. The crisp spring mornings may leave the Fashionista gob smacked and shivering, fearfully peering into a closet full of floral dresses more appropriate for August heat. Fear not, zealous sartorialists! Pick a springy garment, like this Fashionista’s linen Zara skirt, and pair it down with a few warmer garments that can easily be torn off in a sun-induced ecstasy. Just remember not to take off every layer, a Fashionista must always be well “manored.”