STYLE ADVICE OF THE WEEK: Cafe Cream

While eating a quiet breakfast at the Macomb Family Dinner last weekend, I spotted two fashion devotees casually sitting next to a window, enjoying their meal, and appreciating the drizzly weather. Looking out of the corner of my eye, I couldn’t help but stare. This couple had a certain poise and unquestionable confidence about them, and the more I looked, the more I got intrigued. It may have been the two-toned gladiator sandals, or the gutsy vogue mustache, but all I knew is that both of their ensembles were extraordinary and very well detailed. And let’s be honest, it’s uncommon to see a remarkably trendy pair like this in Macomb. Captivated by their urban sophistication and well-put together outfits, I quickly ran home, grabbed my camera, and rushed back just so I could take a picture of them. These style setters were dressed to kill and with so many up-to-date trends. not taking their picture would have been a mistake.

With an olive high waisted skirt and a taupe biker jacket, this Fashionista has classic casual down to a tee. She chose an earthy color scheme of camel, white, and green and selected staple items to create fine points within her ensemble. Her jacket highlights her shoulders, and the brownish belt emphasizes her waist. As for this modishly charming Fashionisto, he is donned in a deep black v-neck and ASOS shoes. To mimic his footwear, try these suede lace up brogues from Urban Outfitters. Not only does this Fashionisto break the barriers of men wearing rich colored pants, but he also demonstrates how to pull off white cardigans and subtle leather bracelets.

By wearing cream accents and plenty of undeniable minutiae, this pair knows how to create fashionably unqiue outfits, and I was so proud to capture this pick of the bunch. Together they convey inner-city style and tastefulness. It's couples like this, that give smalltown Macomb a good name.


 

STYLE ADVICE OF THE WEEK: Dash of Dandyism

Who said menswear is button-down boring? I’m a firm believer that modern menswear can be easily worn, even with a typical charcoal button-down like this Fashionisto’s. Cary Grant once said, “All it takes are a few simple outfits. And there’s one secret – the simpler, the better.” Straightforward pieces have a way of being bold and uncomplicated. Throughout this Fashionisto’s outfit, there are sharp lines that accentuate his best features. The zipper pocket detail draws your attention upward, emphasizing his buff shoulders, and the dark-denim jeans slenderize his legs. And for all the hipsters out there, these massive white gages are the personalized oomph for an already stylish outfit. Stores like H&M and Urban Outfitters are synonymous with button-downs, but to find a great deal on these classic shirts, look no further than Rue 21. They offer everything from long sleeve chambray shirts to striped, button-front cardigans. Looking for something more exclusive? Try this military inspired shirt from Metropark that has a metallic luster to it.
 

STYLE ADVICE OF THE WEEK: Revival of ’90s Fashion

The ‘90s brought us many unconventional fashion items – think scrunchies, loose-fitting overalls, mini backpacks, grungy corduroys, and flashy vests. Like many trends, some of the 90’s favorites have escaped time and have blended into the new millennium. I’m not talking about tall socks and skorts (yikes) but more timeless styles, like the ever-so-popular crop top and plaid flannel that have both emerged in recent years as top trends. And I’m excited to say that short jean vests have finally made its way back into the hearts of trendsetters today.

Notice how this Fashionista has all the attributes of '90s fashion incorporated into her outfit – from the artsy headband to the Dr Martens to the subtle floral detail in her shirt, she literally has ‘90s wear down to a science. A chained purse paired with studded bracelets creates a scruffy yet distinguished look. Even her tattoos and aviator sunglasses add character and moral fiber to her enticing appearance. The itty-bitty jean vest is just the right amount of flirt for daytime, and the contrast between the vest, the flowery shirt , and the boots gives her that rocked out confidence.

Hint: Lucky for you, this trendy vest can be worn with plenty of variations – a simple sundress, shorts with tights, black skirt, or dark or light skinny jeans. Depending on your signature clothing style, make sure you'll spot the vest that brings out your inner fashion diva.
 

STYLE ADVICE OF THE WEEK: Layers of a Wildflower

Last week, I was awoken by floral prints, wishy-washy colors, and a burst of female pizzazz. Nothing compares to brisk weather and spring outfits. It’s that time of year when students are jogging, taking dogs on walks, playing Frisbee golf, and enjoying the great outdoors. But with the humidity and wind sifting through Western Illinois’s campus, the question arises – what can I wear that is warm enough for the chilly mornings but cool enough for the steamy afternoons? The answer is layers. And this Fashionista clearly knows how to make her outfit work in any type of climate. Decked out in botanical prints and khaki colors, this Fashionista is blossoming in an impeccable spring getup. Underneath, she is wearing a pastel pink button-up that she purchased from Salvation Army and a silver-tiered necklace with white gems. Then, she accessorized with a mustard-yellow slouch beanie and an army green jacket matched with taupe ankle booties. However, the most essential part of her outfit is the colorful flower leggings that add the perfect feminine touch to this ensemble. This Fashionista can easily take off the jacket and the outfit would still be complete. To all the style setters out there – don’t be afraid to mix unique colors with floral patterns. Notice how this Fashionista combined a girly look with an edgy flavor.

Hint: If you love to follow trends, think about finishing off your outfit with an unexpected item that no one else would wear. Take a look at the Innocent Meadows line at Forever 21 to find the floral item that works with your wardrobe. After all, there’s nothing like preserving your fashion individuality.
 

STYLE ADVICE OF THE WEEK: Pretty Meets Punk

The classic princess punk has never left the fashion world. She is said to have many faces but only one soul. This “rebel without a cause” style statement comes with many alternative looks – maybe scattered safety pins and oversized heels, or a Ramones T-shirt with a studded leather jacket. Whatever the look may be, punk rock and biker fashions are a top trend for spring/summer 2011. One designer that comes to mind is Balmain, who has created a stylish blend of glam rock and feminine details within his line. Additionally, Betsey Johnson’s collection will always leave an everlasting impression on female punk rock ensembles with animal-infused prints and plush accessories.

This week’s Fashionista is flourishing in a simple, striped V-neck and skinny jeans. What makes her outfit so captivating is not only her clothes, but it’s the short hair with dip-dyed colors and the use of punk accessories. Grafiti headphones with highlighter-hued sunglasses builds a credible proto-punk outfit.

Hint: Rock out with these leatherette biker boots from Forever 21 this spring. As for the boys, this glazed biker jacket will have you set for those chilly spring evenings.
 

STYLE ADVICE OF THE WEEK: Rethinking Men’s Garnishes

Recently, I cannot seem to get over the latest hat styles! Last week, the focus was on the female version of the bowler hat. But this week, I could not help but take a picture of this stylish Fashionisto wearing his fedora-inspired cap. He is the perfect version of a Midwestern hipster (kind of like Jason Mraz crossed with Justin Timberlake). His appearance also reminded me of a new age James Dean because of the rusty-colored T-shirt, statement hat, and the abundant amount of accessories. With a short brim and burgundy detail, his hat is a curiously unique accessory, especially for a man. From the Dolce & Gabbana jeans, to the ASOS sneakers, he represented a street-smart look that is well detailed and down-to earth. Even though the strikingly red watch, earth-tone bracelets, and houndstooth scarf are on opposite sides of the fashion spectrum, this Fashionisto has a way of making all of his garnishes go perfectly together. Here in the Midwest, men’s fashion revolves around graphic T-shirts and ripped jeans. But this Fashionisto defies all of those rules. My style advice for the boys is to challenge yourself by wearing a sweet array of masculine accessories.

Hint: If you’re in need of some manly inspiration, start with this archie cuff bracelet from Buckle for everyday wear, and work your way up to this Flud gold-green watch from Metropark, which is in the shape of a classic turntable.

STYLE ADVICE OF THE WEEK: The Spring Chapeau

Preparing for the blooming season is the chief duty of all Fashionistas. With the sun shining in Macomb, students are finally veering away from sweatpants and scrubs and showing  fresher, breezier apparel with distressed jeans, florid tanks, bright polos, and sandals galore. Those who wish to walk at least one-step ahead of the new season’s style tendencies should check out this new trend. The Chapeau. The stylish hat trends for 2011 will definitely meet the changing expectations and preferences of the fashion armada. Build up a signature outfit that will help you break out of the box in the quickest and most tasteful manner. Whether you desire wide brim, trilby, bowler, straw, or even floppy – there is a hat for every lifestyle and persona.

We are all aware of the essential spring accessories including lightweight scarves, flaccid bracelets, funky headbands and belts, or maybe even the occasional flowers in your hair. But take for instance this uniquely animated Fashionista, who paired an androgynous straw bowler hat with denim-on-denim. Reminding us of the '70s, a straw hat looks great with high-waisted jeans, whimsical dresses, or a swimsuit. She purchased this trendsetting cap from the boys section at H&M – a tip for all of you Fashionistas out there! Borrowing signature pieces from the boys can truly go a long way. Whether it’s the plaid shirt in your dad’s closet, or your brother’s trendy tie that you made into a belt, menswear has a way of always looking effortless.

Altogether, her outfit is a classic look that is chic and comfortable. She manifested this urbane jean ensemble by wearing contrasting shades of blue from top to bottom and then accented with a messenger bag and beige loafers. And can you believe that these comfortable shoes are available at Wal-Mart? Add the finishing touch to your style with a chapeau this spring. You’re made in the shade with a blast-from-the-past topper that makes you feel anything but old, hat.

Hint: Select the best denim fashion item for you by rocking this folded chemise and jasmine fringe tote from Free People. 


 

STYLE ADVICE OF THE WEEK: A Solid Duo

With Macomb’s unpredictable weather lately – one day in the upper 50’s and the next day, rain is in the forecast – it becomes increasingly difficult to wear the appropriate fashions to class. Not to mention, it’s even harder to dress like your significant other and wear something that is cohesively cool and unconventional to class. Couples that dress alike are hard to come by at WIU, which is why I was pleasantly surprised when I saw this dynamic pair.

Naturally, I spotted these two as I was walking around the art gallery on campus, wearing their solid colored ensembles, which allow them to stand out like a bona fide combination with an added hiccup of color. Both Fashionistos pull off an All-American skater look, but with a more distinguished appeal. The Fashionista mixes a black and white striped tunic with a plaid Kelly green sweater and black opaque tights. This “party on top but sleek on bottom” attitude is just the right amount of exhilaration for one of those in between the weather days. Whereas, the Fashionisto, is sporting black jeans, striped zip-up, and dog tags. Yes, stainless steel dog tags – a low-key male accessory that goes with just about anything. But if you’re the kind of guy that is need of something more vibrant, try this Nixon Sea Green watch from PacSun. It’s simple, outlandish, and screams independence.

Hint: Whether it’s your friends, sister, boyfriend, or girlfriend – ask them what they’re wearing before class to give you a indication as to what you should put together.
 

STYLE ADVICE OF THE WEEK: The Philosophy of Oxfords

Oxfords. This inescapable trend went mainstream this past fall, but it is still happily breaking into this season. With so many shapes, designs, and fabrics, it’s easy to find the oxford that speaks to your personality. The once strictly schoolboy classic is now stomping around WIU’s campus, proving that lace-up oxfords are here to stay this spring. Take for example this Fashionista; her chocolate leather oxfords have a layer of fringe on the front, which perfectly convey her individuality. Who would have thought that brown lace-up oxfords could look so feminine? This Fashionista has displayed her favorite boots, which she has elegantly manipulated into a classic feminine ensemble by pairing them with a massive emerald ring, natural-colored scarf, black peacoat, and a vintage purse. These lovely shoes can instantly make a casual outfit so much more interesting. And by wearing slinky jeans, statement shoes, and cohesive accessories, she mastered the typical Midwestern appearance, all by adding some of her own urban flare.

Hint: From comfortable and extravagant flats to platforms and masculine-inspired oxfords, Mustang line and Deena & Ozzy offer different types of shoes suitable for every taste. You just have to pick those that flatter you the most and match your lifestyle.
 

STYLE ADVICE OF THE WEEK: Typesetting Faddism

Every generation, we give thanks to the person that manifests the latest black and white ensembles. Classic fashion icons like Audrey Hepburn, Edie Sedgwick, and of course – Lady Gaga will forever remain in the Black and White Hall of Fame. From classic, to mod, to ocular styles, fashion has seen a constant evolvement of complementary colors. With hot off the press prints and newfangled graphics for spring, black and white has never looked so good. Take it from Mui Mui and Karl Lagerfeld’s spring 2011 ready-to-wear collection; these designers have created color-blocking styles that move the eye around the whole outfit. Modernized black, contemporary white and a smear of colorful dye is the ideal combination when putting together a swanky setup. Today’s Fashionista is wearing a black bomber jacket paired with a shirtdress and leggings. A stylized floral design artfully advances this back-to-basics silhouette. And by sticking to neutrals, all she needed was gray flat boots and dab of turquoise – only an outline of color is needed for such a timeless put-together look. For a superior polka-dot look, try this oberek romper that will have you set for spring outings.

Hint: Looking for something more vintage? Pair your black and white ensemble with a retro Deadstock 1980s purse from LAvintage.com