WHAT TO WEAR: Birthday Party

There are many things we resent as we enter into the fateful twenties: added responsibilities, the inevitable entrance into “the real world,” the rising double-digit numbers and the painful never-ending, cringe-worthy renditions of “Happy Birthday.” Lucky for us, we are still in college where birthdays are a legitimate reason to throw wonderful parties and throw on your best outfit. At Wheaton, birthday parties are a whole to-do that are planned weeks in advance. Can you blame us? It’s the one day a year — no matter what day it is — that is all about you and, being on a small campus, everyone wants in on it. So when a birthday does roll around we all know to throw on our best party dress and merry spirit.

This Fashionista, caught on the way to her friend’s twentieth birthday bash, definitely got the memo. While she fits the bill perfectly with her eye-catching royal blue bustier dress, it is the integrated polka-dotted sleeves that add a spark of festivity and originality. She keeps the outfit from becoming over-the-top by opting for sensible party-hopping wedges, minimal hairstyling and makeup.

One Simple Change: This outfit is a perfect one to wear to events like Homecoming. I would simply recommend substituting the sensible wedges for a pair of these amazing cobalt blue Paisley Platform pumps and putting on a pair of Cross Hatch Fringe earrings by Rebecca Minkoff. I would also opt for a timeless and majorly sophisticated high ponytail, a simple cat-eye and a swipe of some MAC Candy Yum-Yum lipstick.

WHAT TO WEAR: Meet the Parents

The time has come to meet your honey’s parents. You’ve been waiting for this day since he first told you he loved you between two forkfuls of tiramisu. While the nerves may keep you from thinking rationally, you can’t help telling yourself that they key is to make a great first impression so they remember you for all the right reasons!

The biggest rule is to take the setting into consideration. Dress appropriately by bearing in mind the location of the meeting as well as the season. It would be a tad embarrassing if you showed up to a Sunday brunch wearing short shorts and a crop top to a Sunday brunch or a maxi to a barbeque. The possible future in-laws will appreciate your consideration.

My rule of thumb is to opt for a timeless look. Wear something classic and simple instead of trendy. Much like this Fashionista I am a big fan of the sheath dress. While hers is above the knee, the sleeves and the rounded collar keep it appropriate while the white give the look a fresh summer feel. By pairing it with comfortable black pumps and a matching clutch she keeps the outfit versatile yet put together. Remember that this is not the time for you to try a new style so keep your hairdo simple and your makeup light and natural.

After all is said and done, it’s important not to forget to put a touch of “you” into all this classicism. This Fashionista opted for tactful yet colorful earrings. She’s ready to not only meet the parents but has left room to let her personality and wit shine through.

One Simple Change: Swap the pumps for some espadrilles and the clutch for a long strand of beads for parents’ weekend!

WHAT TO WEAR: Cold Weather

It’s July so it’s summer right? Call me crazy but the weather has clearly not received the memo because I spend more time picking out which sweater or cardigan to wear with my cute dresses or skirts. One minute the sun is blazing and the heat overbearing, and the next requires an umbrella and wellies. For those of us who are currently in internships and spend our days going to and fro from errands to office, it can get pretty dicey. We often stuff our adorable bags with tights, hats, flats and umbrellas because you never know. While warmth is key, we can’t help but want to show off our summer chic. No wonder everyone has the sniffles or a downright cold!

When times become unpredictable we Fashionistas adapt with ease and grace. Much like this one who mixed vacation staples with weather appropriate pieces.   While the skies were surprisingly clear that day, the oceanic winds were at their best. Her horizontal striped T-shirt and Ray-Bans brought a youthful air to Jean-Paul Gautier’s lifelong staple while her leggings and comfortable boots inspired warmth and simplicity. While black does reign in her outfits often, she proves that it does not have to equal boring or frumpy.

This Fashionista has given herself room to play with accessories if it so pleases her. She can easily throw on some metallic bangles, a statement necklace or oversized earrings and still be in the realm of comfy chic.

One Simple Change: Red lipstick, a trendy cape and a statement bag, and you’re ready for a brunch worthy of Carrie Bradshaw.


As an active Class Council member I often feel like one of those background people at the Academy Awards. We get to put on the beautiful dresses but then comes the neon green staff pass. This would be excruciating if it weren’t for the opportunity to attend all of the senior formal events.  It’s a fashion lover’s dream to be surrounded by women in long form-flattering gowns with complementary accessories. I tear up when I see people who normally dress without care suddenly turn into Cinderella going to the ball — minus the curfew!

This copper-haired beauty followed the formal wear ABCs to the letter. She kept it elegant and classy so her inner beauty could shine all through the night. Her white pleated column dress reminds me of the dresses often seen on the mythical Grecian goddesses while her side part leading to a low bun pays homage to spring 2013’s runway favorite. The dress is fitting enough to showcase her enviable form while loose enough for her to “gangnam style” to her heart’s content.

As my entourage would tell you, I am a big fan of “less is more.” The one caveat is that the less has to carry its own weight in the outfit. This Fashionista followed the rule to the letters. She finished the goddess look with a gold statement belt hat shimmered every time it caught the light. She paired it with a delicate necklace and a metallic gold clutch. Thus, proving that the Midas touch is not a myth.

One Simple Change: Dresses like this one are known for their versatility. The best tip I picked up from this formal season is that the best way to turn one look into another is with safety pins. One of the party goers had grabbed the dress about halfway down and hoisted it up until the hem reached her knees. She then, with help from her friends, pinned it all around. She not only gave herself more freedom of movement but also created a second look in no time. Slide on a kitten heel or some sandals and you’ll be after party ready!

WHAT TO WEAR: Shopping

If there’s one thing most Fashionistas can agree on it’s that nice weather brings on a need to go scouring for good finds. Whether you’re a spur of the moment shopper or — like me — you plan the day out to a T, you need to give considerable thought to what you’re going to wear.

While most of us think it’s best to dress to the aces, I find it distracting. Much like this Fashionista, I’ve always believed in the old adage: “less is more.” It’s key to stick to the basics — mostly to reduce the time you spend in the dressing room — and favor comfort. Of course comfort doesn’t mean shabby so stay away from the sweatsuits and ratty T-shirts. I once read that these trips call for comfortable yet flattering undergarments to minimize the chances of making rash and unflattering choices. Personally I opt for whimsical Fruit of the Loom bikini panties and pair them with my favorite Victoria’s Secret bra. Why? Because that’s what I’m most likely to wear daily. That, Fashionistas/os, is the golden rule.

This Fashionista hits the nail on the head by opting for a classic knee-length button-down shirt dress that can easily slid on and off. The simple cut, rolled-up sleeves and tan color gives her a casual look that anyone can emulate. Yet by buttoning it up all the way she adds a subtle chic that is always appropriate. The lack of jewelry or accessories give extra attention to her in vogue bob and understated but defining makeup. I love her back-to-basics white tennis shoes, which give the look a clean finish while her mini wallet holds the necessities allowing her to browse without hindrance.

One Simple Change: Swap the tennis shoes for some bejeweled flip flops and throw the wallet in a tote and plop a wide brimmed hat on your head, and you’ll be ready for a day at the beach!

WHAT TO WEAR: Formal Date Night

So it happened! You’ve succeeded in getting your significant other to agree to bypass yet another night of channel surfing and ordering in Chinese. He — since he has to get dressed, might as well take it all the way — suggests going to the fancy restaurant his parents took him to during their last visit. After the initial elation, a cold wave of panic washes over you — how to look appropriate without going shopping!

Pause. Take several deep breaths and walk over to your closet. Chances are, like this Fashionista, you own a dress that is appropriate as well as feminine and flirty. Take heed on how to keep his eyes on you while putting the other patrons at ease.

If you’re a celebrity trend-spotter like myself, you might feel pressure to go for a body-hugging cocktail dress with stilettos. I think it’s time to give it a rest by opting for a dress that highlights your curves without showing too much. This Fashionista’s classic plaid dress hugs in all the right places while the knee-length full skirt highlights her every move. Another plus: this style would flatter most body types.

Summer nights get chilly, that’s a fact. One way to bypass the chills without covering up your outfit would be a solid-colored warp or pashmina. I loved the way she color coordinated her wrap with her black clutch, peeped-toed sandals and glasses. Slanted peeped-toed sandals not only keep you from teetering but also make your legs look curvier and longer. Those of us who wear specs instead of contacts know how hard it can be to embrace this fact, but fear no more! This Fashonista advises you to center your look around your glasses if you can’t do without. Chances are the look will have unexpected pizzazz and you’ll be glad to not having to squint the whole night.

As fancy as this date night is, remember that it’s not the Academy Awards. Bypass the sparkly or multitudes of jewelry and complete the look with subtle pearl studs. Thus, making the dress and the perfectly coiffed hair the main focus. Want extra credit? Dig out that pendent or bracelet he spent eight hours picking out for your birthday!

One Simple Change: This Fashionista could substitute the pashmina with a sculpted jacket, making this look appropriate to meet the parents. By opting for a high ponytail or bun, she’ll be fresh, hip and super appropriate.

WHAT TO WEAR: Weekend Getaway

For us New Englanders it’s been a challenge figuring out what to wear on a minute to minute basis. Summer 2013 has been a head scratcher thus far. We’ve been hit with rainstorms that have led to flash flooding and — so I hear — we’ll be facing a massive heat wave in the coming days. Those of us who take family vacations by the seashore can tell you that — blame it on the tides or the lack of shielded buildings — the weather’s every whim seem to be ridiculously intensified.

While some have succumbed to the biting winds by taking the turtlenecks, leggings and heavy knit scarves out of storage, there are those of us who refuse to give up on wearing the cute summer wardrobe we spent most of spring amassing. While short skirts and dresses aren’t an option at the moment, denim shorts are more than welcome. This garment has made a comeback as a closet staple thanks to its various lengths, styles and versatility.These bright smiled sisters show us just how to take the staple from day to night in three easy, straight forward steps. Go for comfort with a girly lavender penny loafer and a simple pair of TOMS or femininity with a subtle body-revealing corset, a defining waist belt and leg extending platforms.

One Simple Change: These weekend getaways often end with an obligatory dinner with the parents. To make either look parent-certified, feel free to add a short, wide-collared knitted cardigan or a oversized blazer. For a dash of color, casually throw on a fun silk scarf around the lapels or inside the collar. You’ll fit in with the effortlessly chic New Englanders while eliminating the hours of primping.


Whether you want to relive the ’60s, show off a freshly toned body or wear those stunning new shoes, bellbottom jeans are most definitely the way to go. They can come in any fabric––jean, cargo and even cotton for a dressier look––but one thing is for sure, bellbottoms are still hot even after all these years. You can pair them with anything as well as dress them up or down. So put down the skinnies, grab a pair at J Brand and join the retro revolution!

If you want to be as cool as this blonde babe, make sure you consider your figure. Tall women can get away with largely flared jeans while shorter girls should opt for a wide leg but not too flared so you don’t look like you’re swimming in them. For this style heels are most definitely a must if you want to elongate your figure but if you’re looking for a grungier feel then try these adorable Dr. Seuss Converse sneakers.

While the style can be slimming make sure to choose them in a darker hue––dark blue, brown or black––with a longer bell rather than larger. I would recommend staying away from prints or loud colors since the style itself should be the main focus.

You can wear flared jeans with any kind of shirt and or sweater. Depending on whether you want to go full fledged hippy or just a modern girl looking to go retro, you would opt for a solid colored T-shirt or a printed bell blouse and throw on a groovy beaded necklace or this adorable faux suede jacket from Chico’s and a wide belt.


Hot pants as fashion wear instead of sports and summer wear came into play when most our parents were in their teens, so they had to stretch their imagination and budget. My great aunt was telling me about a time when teens were not allowed to wear pants to school unless underneath a dress to keep them warm in the winter. Can you imagine?  Velvet then was a luxury reserved for special occasion dresses so the closest they would have come to something like this was by home sewing their clothes. We have a picture on our fridge of a young woman wearing an impressive jumper-skort dress out of corduroy she’d sewn herself, paired with tights and a turtleneck top to keep warm.

The tights-and-shorts combo in winter isn’t for everyone but those fearless Fashionistas out there should feel free to indulge in the luxury of such a kicking item of clothing. While this Wheaton College junior has flown away to Australia, those of us still struggling with the weird winter/spring mix should not fear to emulate to our hearts content. Just throw on a pair of warm leggings or tights, a pair of high Dr. Martens and this amazing faux-fur vest from Liz Clayborne over a great white T-shit. Personally, I’ve been a fan since forever and don’t see why not.

These Etsy high-waisted shorts brought me back to the late ’90s when crushed velvet was all the rage.


I am not a big fan of deep winter. Ask anyone and they will tell you that at the first sign of snow I go into profound hibernation. If I could find an empty bear cave I would make my life there until the first sign of sweet spring. That said, I do have a soft spot for coats. They just have a way of tying an outfit together as well as acting as the prelude to what is sure to be an outstanding outfit—or just the good old jeans and sweater. The fact that they lend themselves to be paired with a multitude of accessories put them on my must-have list. When it comes to finding the perfect winter coat, it’s best to follow the three “F rules”: Fabric, Fit and Fill.

When it comes to the fabric, just make sure to stay away from polyester or acrylic if warmth is a key factor in your decision. The best fabrics are wool and cashmere—though cashmere rings in at a much higher price (and is less durable), both materials raise the bar in sophistication. Although for us college students, wool is a more functional material.

As for the fit, the double-breasted coats are my favorite—add a cinched waist for a more fitted, elegant look or a straighter coat for those who like to pile on the layers. They all work well for the work to evening transition. Make sure to go shopping while wearing a blazer or thick sweater, and look at more oversized, swing or duffle styles.

Finally, if you’re someone who spends a lot of time outside or just for those mornings you can’t feel any of your limbs, try opting for a down-filled coat as well as a wool one paired with these amazing Lane Boots.

Check out these stunners at ALLSAINTS and Burlington Coat Factory.