Jewelry through the ages goes through certain stages of refinement. There were years with glorious necklaces dripping in jewels with matching earrings, times of simple charm necklaces, decades of costume jewelry in entire prisms of colors and then you have today. Today you see statement necklaces galore, classic metal bands and boutique style bracelets. This jewelry can say whatever you’d like it to, but it’s all about how you wear it.

Today’s Fashionista embraces jewelry wholeheartedly. Her ears are adorned with mismatched earrings in simple metals, going through multiple piercings or cuffs. On her fingers she wears a plethora of rings in different metals, sizes and styles. She uses a heavy gold chain to make a statement. She even brings the gold through her outfit with black tights flecked with gold sparkles, and ripped for a bit of edge. All of these accessories accent a blue velvet dress and a popping red lip — an otherwise simple outfit brought to life.

These days jewelry is mostly found in simple metals, cut into more interesting shapes than the typical silhouettes of the past. Rings fit on two fingers instead of one, and it doesn’t have to be the ring finger. Earrings have chains connecting different holes or disregard piercings altogether and just cuff around the cartilage. It’s innovative and freeing, allowing the wearer to take things into her own hands. This Fashionista uses jewelry to take on a more grunge approach. The mismatched jewelry is freely applied but with a certain amount of deliberate styling. In the end, it’s all about mixing things up.

Spotted: Jean Paul Gaultier layers mismatched necklaces for a rocker look in his spring 2011 ready-to-wear collection.


Spring has officially sprung, Dormistas, and that means we’re seeing a reemergence of those pretty pastels. They were spotted all over the runway, predicted to be popular at least up until spring 2015. The Zuhair Murad spring 2014 line is the epitome of perfect pastels. The floral and lacy pastels are all matched with a gold leaf belt, expressing femininity and elegance. If there’s anything I’ve learned about decor styles, is that they too pull from the runway trends, trickling into your throw pillows and floor lamps.

If there’s anything that brightens a mood it’s pastels, even on a rainy day (those spring showers are unavoidable), so integrating the color into your household is bound to brighten up a space. Most lean towards white when looking for light decor in a dark room, but pastels bring the perfect amount of soft color into a space.

This Dormista doesn’t overdo it on the pastels, but has the perfect amount to balance out the rest of her dark outfit. Her pinstripe pink and white shirt peeks out of a gray cardigan, and her pastel pink belt contrasts nicely over her deep blue jeans. She accessorizes with lighter color tones, keeping the entire look bright and feminine. These cues can be applied to the home as well. Use a pale pastel table runner over a deep wooden table for a contrast that brings out the colors of both. The light with brighten the dark and the dark will tone things down.

Here are some pastel items to get you started:

A fluffy pastel purple beanbag to add a little fun

A cute birds nest inspired minty green soap dish

Ultra-feminine pastel green ruffled drapes

An adorable dining set in mixed soft hues


Well Fashionistas, the semester is finally wrapping up as students go their separate ways for the summer — and some for longer. Those graduating seniors are donning their caps and gowns to finally step into the real world. But for the ceremony they’re also putting on their Sunday best. While these dresses may be covered by long gowns, shoes will always be seen, and this semester wedges are the shoe of choice.

These two Fashionistas were getting their graduation photos taken at the sample gates, along with a sea of other seniors. Along with their spring inspired graduation dresses they wore simple accessories like statement necklaces and rings. But they were just two of many donning cute and classy wedge heels. Wedges are a strong choice for graduation, because although they may be high, they are much easier to walk in. No Jennifer Lawrence moments for you as you walk across the stage during the ceremony!

Wedges come in a variety of styles that each give off their own vibe. The classic incorporates a cork heel for a summery look. But wedges can also be found in strappy sandals for night looks, bold metallic heels for a bit of edge, crazy colors for weekend fun or more refined styles for work appropriate wear. The wedge certainly gives off a different feel than the typical stiletto, and opens up so many style possibilities.

Spotted: John Galliano used dynamically edgy heels for the spring 2014 ready-to-wear runways. With color blocking and 3-D details it’d be hard wearing these shoes to graduation but great for a night clubbing!


Thanks to the talent of app developers, the parameters of Instagram are expanding when it comes to creative expression. Users can download quirky sticker apps, funny face warping apps and apps that stitch photos together collage style. However, my personal favorite are those that allow users to create new filters and show off their photographic prowess. Ashley Martin (@TRASHLEYMARTIN) uses VSCO CAM, an application created to allow photographers to pair their skills with a more advanced editing software. Ashley is just a college student from Indiana with a background in photography and a major sense of style. Her Instagram is literally picture perfect.

CollegeDormista: You’ve been involved in photography throughout high school and into college. How has this affected your Instagram usage?

Ashley Martin:  I was really into photography in high school, but I just like to use Instagram more as a photographic journal than anything else. I think knowing the basics of photography, such as composition, lighting, etc., has helped my Instagram create some kind of appeal to other instagrammers.

CD: What is VSCO CAM and how do you use it?

AM: VSCO CAM is my favorite editing app! I like to consider it an Instagram for photographers. I find a lot of great talent on there. They also have a huge variety of great filters & they make it easy for anyone to edit pictures.

CD: You have an absolutely adorable apartment which you show off on Instagram. Could you tell us more about your decorating style?

AM: I can’t even put my style into words now that I think about it. I like color & prints, but I also like clean & simple. I just like pretty things & attempting to make it all flow together. I’m a fairly broke college student, so I pretty much make do with the stuff I have collected over the years. I’ve picked up a lot of cool things from Goodwill, Salvo, & antique shops around Fort Wayne, IN.

CD: What are some tips you’d give to fellow Dormistas in regards to decorating an apartment?

AM: Always look for new inspiration, but also stick to decor you actually like & are comfortable with. I’ve ended up buying stuff because I thought it was trendy, but never ended up actually using it. Also it helps to have a roommate for a second opinion with similar taste.

CD: What are some other ways you express yourself creatively? 

AM: While I have always loved photography, I really like clothes, a lot. It’s a problem…almost. I think fashion is the most literal sense of expression of how you’re feeling at any given moment. I also really enjoy poetry. I’m not a poet myself, but I was an English Literature major when I transferred to IPFW, so I’ve attended my fair share of poetry readings.

CD: What’s your favorite Instagram filter?

AM: I’m actually not a big instagram filter user, since I mostly stick to VSCO, but if I had to choose, I would go with Mayfair. 

ACCESSORIES REPORT: Flauntingly Floral

I’m trying so hard to resist any “Devil Wears Prada” references in this post, but today we’re talking about florals for spring and how they may or may not be groundbreaking. Even though the idea of florals in apparel may be a little overdone for spring, we just can’t seem to get enough of it. Who doesn’t like cheerful flowers, right? But lately, to revamp the dried out trend, designers are finding more innovative ways to flaunt the floral.

Florals found on the spring 2014 runways are more artfully done, with crazy patterns, extreme close-ups, painterly expressions and hyper-realistic graphics. They are still the ever-prevalent florals we know and love, but have a little edge.

Today’s Fashionista took on the floral trend full-force. Her leggings are smattered with photo-realistic roses. While attempting to have such a large chunk of outfit taken up by such a loud trend is bold, she manages to work it with simplicity throughout the rest of her outfit. The pattern is toned down with a black base and hues of blue, purple and green. She accompanies the outfit with a solid blue shirt, a small charm necklace and a color-blocked low heel with a Mary Jane strap.

When shopping for florals, seek out designs that turn the pattern on its head. Find designs utilizing bold colors, photorealistic prints, 3-D aspects or altered patterns. This spring make your florals a little atypical.

Spotted: Elie Saab was all about reinventing florals in his spring 2014 couture line. The models wore elegant ball gowns with a smattering of tiny florals, appearing to have exploded on the fabric.


Spring is here, summer is on it’s way and so is the long awaited internship season! Now that we’re in college it’s time to, unfortunately, ditch the lounging by the pool and step into big girl shoes. And with those big girl shoes, you need big girl clothes to match. No short-shorts and bandeaus this year, Fashionistas. But this doesn’t mean you have to ditch all those fun trends cropping up. It’s still entirely possible to incorporate cute summer looks in a professional manner. The best way, of course, is through accessories!

This Fashionista managed to pull together a bright and springy look that still declared professionalism. Her neckline is high, but not matronly, with lace appliqué detailing. She covers it up with a blushing pink blazer, black pants and simple black flats. The most eye-catching aspect of her outfit, though, is her statement necklace.

With the plastic statement necklace trend being so huge, it’s hard not to be reminded of the ’90s with clunky plastic costume jewelry in crazy primary colors. But lucky for us, the trend has reemerged with grace. Jewelry is toned down, often seen in the pastels of the season and made with higher quality and more aesthetic design. When incorporating these plastic pieces into business wear, you should still be careful though. Search for pieces that will not overwhelm an outfit, but complement it. In the office, trends can be followed but kept in the box, depending on the circumstances. Save the more daring outfit choices for the weekend.

This Fashionista’s accessory choices are a great example of complementary pieces but not overpowering. Her necklace pulls the powder pink from her blazer with a more milky tone and contrasts it with a light clear blue. It pairs well with the white top underneath. The light colors are also followed through with her white watch and pastel earrings. The outfit is trendy and fun yet professional.

Spotted: On Oscar de la Renta’s more colorful spring 2014 ready-to-wear designs, he incorporates statement necklaces in bold colors, yet in delicate and perfectly office-appropriate styles.


With the springy weather IU is finally breaking out some of their best accessories, those that don’t involve bundling up. One of my favorites appearing on campus is often under appreciated: the hat. It’s finally reappearing in the fashion world, and I’m so excited.

We had the whole snapback phase that lasted a little too long, the beanies which were great for colder weather and now we’re approaching a time of breezy hats of spring. Hats are some of the most difficult accessories to rock, despite the simplicity of just sticking it on your head and maybe hiding some unruly hair. With it perched in such a prominent spot, you have to be careful not to overwhelm with too busy of an outfit. Some of the most popular hats this season are vintage inspired bowler hats (worn lightly at an angle on the back of the head, not Charlie Chapman style), floppy sun hats and fedoras, mostly of the straw-like raffia variety.

This Fashionista chose to top her outfit off with a raffia fedora, banded with contrasting black fabric and a bow. Raffia hats are great for this time of year because they’re light in color and texture, keeping you cool and bringing brightness to your outfit. It’s the classic spring look. This Fashionista pairs her hat with large sunglasses, a floral crop top, gray pants and well-worn shoes. Her whole look gives a just-went-strawberry-picking-now-on-to-the-beach vibe.

Raffia hats don’t come just in fedoras but can be used in wide-brim beach sun hats, loud derby styles, the cowgirl variety or even something leaning towards Pharrell’s Grammy hat. Each adds their own little bit of spice to the outfit.

Spotted: In Lanvin’s 2010 resort line models wear raffia hats adorned with fabric trimmings.

DO IT YOURSELF: Chalkboard Flower Pots

It’s finally planting season, but living in dorms or apartments makes it difficult to embrace the gardening lifestyle. Potting your plants is a great solution, but it’s so difficult finding pots with personality. But of course, us Dormistas are crafty, so the answer lies in DIY! Create these chalkboard flower pots to label your plants and show your creative side.

For chalkboard pots you’ll need the following:

Terracotta planters (plastic wont work!)

Chalkboard paint

Paint supplies

Masking tape for precision


Step 1:

Formulate your painting plan. Use masking tape to mark out your design and ensure straight lines.

Step 2: 

Paint! Use the chalkboard paint and have fun with it. Just make sure there’s enough room to write.

Step 3:

Remove the tape and let it dry. Wait at least 30 minutes before writing with chalk. Add cute details like fabric or gems to match your decor. Plant your plants and become a master gardener!


It’s finally time to break out those dresses, Fashionistas. But the weather (at Indiana University at least) is still pretty unpredictable. The best way to get around this, as most of us know, is by wearing tights. We all have at least one staple pair in our closet in black or gray — the essentials — but can’t we do better?

Today’s Fashionsita went above and beyond the bore of neutral toned tights. Instead she decided to sport bright poppy red tights in the spirit of spring. It’s a daring move and often difficult to pull of such a bold color, however she expertly matched it with the details of her graphic printed dress.

She kept the rest of the outfit simple and neutral, with a gray cardigan, tan shoes and a black dress, besides that darling cat of course. The rest of her accessories are clean and simple as well. She wears a white bow in her hair to add to the cute, several simple gold rings and an icy gray canvas backpack.

But of course, the attention grabber is really what lies on her legs. Bright tights can be worn in several ways. Match them with a neutral look like this Fashionista, pair them with a pattern incorporating the color or go for a color block look by wearing solids in complementary tones. Want to take things a step further? Try some patterns! Tights can be found with woven in patterns, prints, lace or fun little details. Each one brings something special to an outfit. Pick your favorites, and make them the focal point of your look by keeping the rest simple.

Spotted: As if their mile-long legs didn’t stand out enough, the models in Miu Miu’s spring 2014 ready to wear show wore bright blue and red knitted tights down the catwalk.


Sometimes when it comes to accessorizing, minimalism is key. Style can be better expressed through bold color movements, perfect layering and a tailored approach to the outfit. Today’s Fashionista, for instance, is wearing only combat boots and tights to accessorize her outfit — yet it’s extremely well done.

She layers an orange sweater over a deep blue dress, which just barely hangs out the bottom, giving the appearance of a skirt. Her clean khaki blazer hits just above the hemline of the sweater, allowing all pieces of the puzzle to show. The leggings and shoes pull the entire outfit together, completing the look.

The key here is that when you don’t have many accessories, you really have to make the rest of the outfit count. Accessories are typically the hook of the entire look. They give the extra punch that makes an outfit go above and beyond its potential. But in very rare cases that punch can also be given by a lack of accessories. The effort is instead expressed through the apparel while the few accessories worn are woven into the outfit seemingly unnoticed. However without these the look wouldn’t be cohesive. Can you imagine this Fashionista’s outfit without the leggings?

With the leggings and shoes it has a feel of schoolgirl chic: a cutesy style with a tad bit of edge but is still appropriate to wear to class. One of my favorite aspects of this outfit is how the Fashionista turned the dress underneath into an accessory in itself. The collar peeks out by her neckline (who needs an imitation collar when you have a real one?) and hangs near the bottom hemline giving the appearance of a skirt or even a ruffle. The result is a simple innovative accessory.

Spotted: In A Detacher’s fall 2014 ready-to-wear collection, he uses minimalist designs and few accessories. Instead he allows the layering of pieces to add a pop of color, giving the appearance of accessories.