STYLE ADVICE OF THE WEEK: Passion for Polka-Dots

Fashion is a cyclical process and trends always seems to be repeating themselves all across the globe. High waists, ruffles, polka-dots and chic glasses are all the rave right now. However, this is not the first time these items have been hot for street style. Once upon a time, polka-dots were reserved for the youngest among us. As little girls, we donned little pink polka-dotted swimsuits with ruffle skirts, wore polka-dotted bows, and even enjoyed the occasional polka-dotted sundress. But for whatever reason, as we aged, polka-dots fell to the wayside. Once a favorite print, we found ourselves turning up our nose at the dots, instead opting for more “grown up” patterns.  Not this Fashionista.

I spotted this polka-dotted Fashionista on my walk to class one morning.  Her black-and-white ensemble is what initially caught my eye, but as I came closer, I loved the faint, polka-dot pattern that covered her blouse. She put aside age restrictions, and embraced this youthful print. I also loved how fearless she was in mixiing her polka-dotted top with a chevron-striped pea coat. 

This Fashionista proves that polka-dots should not be restricted to your baby sister’s closet and can make the transition to adulthood with you. To keep polka dots up to date, choose pieces with mature silhouettes, like this button-up top or this dress. Both will keep the ensemble from looking too young.


Winter has a bad reputation, there is no denying that. It's cold, it's gray, it's snowy, and in the Midwest, it seems to last forever. However, there is also no denying that winter is here. And let me tell you, as a Fashionista, it’s a tough task to keep warm while still remaining stylish.  As a Southern California native, I am about to experience my third real winter here in Iowa City (because apparrantly that month of 50-degree days in Southern California simply doesn’t count), and I must say, I have learned one important lesson on how to survive a winter in the Midwest: a good, warm coat is a necessity.

While those long, puffy, hooded North face coats are absolutely essential for 20 degrees and below, a good peacoat is also a must-have purchase for the upcoming months. They are perfect for relatively warm winter days (which seem to be scarce), a night out with friends, a dinner date and for those transitional months like November, December and March, when the sun just can’t seem to decide whether to shine or not.  

Peacoats come in a wide variety of colors, lengths and prints. You can try a classic hue like black, camel or gray, but the coats are also available in brighter colors like cherry red or acid blue.  Prints are very popular this season, and peacoats are not to be excluded from this hot trend. Aztec-inspired, plaid and leopard are a few common peacoat prints I have spotted. Peacoats are available in a variety of lengths as well, including cropped, mid-thigh and floor length styles.

If you are looking to staying warm while still maintaining your Fashionista status, look no further. The peacoat is your answer.

STYLE ADVICE OF THE WEEK: Fall in Love with Neutrals

Fall is my absolute favorite season of the year. While spring and summer are fun for bright, bold colors, I can’t help but love the muted tones that October and November bring. Army green, navy blue, cream, gray and all the various shades of brown are just a few of the colors that come to mind when I think of this season of cool breezes and falling leaves. 

This particular Fashionista was incorporating a few popular trends while remaining classy in a palette of brown, gray and beige. She sported a pair of chocolate brown combat boots and a pair of brown high-waist trousers. On top, she wore a romantic cream-colored top and threw on a gray button-up sweater to finish off the look.

My personal wardrobe consists mainly of neutral pieces, and owning separate items that are easily mixed makes outfit planning on rushed mornings much less of a headache. Trust me, I speak from personal experience. Not to mention, neutral tones flatter a variety of complexions and hair colors. They work wonders on fairer skin, like my own, during the winter months when sunshine is rare.

Don’t be deceived. Neutral does not mean dull. This season, create chic, streamlined ensembles by mixing and matching with muted tones. Who knows where they will take you?


A forecast of 70 degrees and sunny in Iowa City in November is unheard of. I spotted this Fashionista on Nov. 1, quite possibly the final warm day of 2011. Beautiful weather in Iowa must be taken advantage of, because half of the year it is so cold outside it can be difficult to brave the cold temperatures, especially with bare legs.

This Fashionista was certainly embracing the warm weather. Clad in a printed mini skirt and loose, flowy top, she appeared colorfully chic. Most students on campus this day were not expecting such high temperatures, but clearly this Fashionista checked the weather forecast. Seeing her bright colors and bare legs was quite refreshing on a campus otherwise clad in much gloomier colors.

Tribal-inspired clothing was incredibly popular in Iowa City during this summer, and this trend has continued into the fall season. There are a multitude of ways to incorporate this trend into your wardrobe through the cooler months. For a skirt similar to this Fashionista’s, try this hot pink mini skirt, and pair it with black tights underneath to keep your legs warm. If you’re looking for an Aztec-inspired print a little more practical for the cooler months, try this oversized open cardigan.  It would look great with an army green jacket over it and would be incredibly easy to use as a layering piece in the cooler weather. If you’re particularly daring, try these tribal-inspired leggings.  They have a gray fleece lining to keep you extra cozy during the winter months. If a piece of clothing isn’t quite your taste, this trend can definitely be incorporated into your wardrobe through footwear or accessories.

STYLE ADVICE OF THE WEEK: Stir Up Some Excitement with Riding Boots

There is no denying it; fall has arrived. Here in Iowa City, we have had phenomenal weather, with few rainy days and unusually comfortable temperatures. The best way to welcome this season of warm colors and cool breezes is with a pair of tall brown riding boots. It will surely add a bold boost to both your step and your outfit.

Every season boots are a staple accessory in any Fashionista’s wardrobe. Recently, lace-up boots and ankle booties have been incredibly popular; however, tall riding boots continuously appear throughout campus, regardless of popular fads.  Whether you’re grabbing a cup of coffee, heading to class or hitting the town for a night out, throw on a pair of riding boots to make a stylish statement while still staying warm. Whether worn casually with a military jacket and jeans, like this Fashionista shows us, or jazzed up with your favorite fancy frills, boots make any fall outfit festive.

This Fashionista savored her style while still remaining studious. She paired her tall brown riding boots with a cropped striped sweater and a military jacket, creating the perfect autumn ensemble. She also toted a plum shoulder bag, big enough to carry all of her school belongings.

Looking for a pair of boots that matches your personal style?  Tall riding boots are stomping the racks in stores right now and will continue to do so through the winter season. But don’t wait!  Find various options to fit the style and price range of your wardrobe on, a website that will direct you to the latest designer styles. This season, invest in a pair of tall brown riding boots and stir up some excitement with equestrian-inspired footwear!



The weather is changing, the leaves have finally turned (or fallen off the trees), and the holiday season is just beginning. It's one of our favorite holidays here at CollegeFashionista, Halloween!

Though this Fashionista was not donning her Halloween costume, she was certainly in the spirit of the this spooky holiday with her orange and black ensemble. I spotted thus Fashionista en route to class and felt very refreshed. On a gloomy day like this, most students on campus seem to be clad in colors reflecting the weather, like black and navy blue. This Fashionista was not going to allow the dreary weather to affect her mood or her outfit. She paired a burnt orange sweater with a pair of skinny blue jeans and a tall black boots. She added a leopard print scarf to polish off her outfit with a pretty but bold pattern.

Orange has been one of the hottest colors this season, and is especially popular during the month of October.  If you’re looking to add some more orange to your wardrobe, try this loose orange top. It would be a great way to incorporate some burnt orange into your fall layers.  If you’re particularly daring, give these burnt orange jeggings a try.  They are so versatile and can be worn with a variety of fall colors like army green and chocolate brown. Orange can be an intimidating color, so adding orange nail polish or an orange bangle is an option for incorporating this bold color in smaller doses.  This season, don’t be afraid to get in the holiday spirit, and start early by adding a pop of orange for Halloween!


In the fashion world, we almost always opt for the real deal. But when it comes to fur, well, there is really only one option: faux. The best part about the faux fur trend is that many different designers create the very best options out there. And this season this certainly can be applied to the amazing array of faux fur vests, jackets and coats available now. Not to mention, the quality of these animal-friendly styles are quite exceptional: mink-like finishes, silky plush, fuzzy shearling imposters and luxe fox impersonators, to name a few.

Faux fur looks great thrown over any nighttime ensemble, but it's a particularly refreshing daytime look as well. For a look similar to this Fashionista’s, pair a cozy pullover sweater with a brown faux fur vest.  In the spirit of fall layers, another way to style a furry upper half would be to pair your favorite vest with a white t-shirt and denim button-up.  For a particularly chilly day, don’t be afraid to throw on your favorite toggle coat over your fur to keep extra warm.  It looks great peeking out from an unbuttoned coat.

This season, snuggle up with something plush, fuzzy and soft. Snuggle up with something faux, and remember that the only type of faux we allow is fur.

STYLE ADVICE OF THE WEEK: Fall for Autumn Colors

One of my favorite things about fall and fall fashion is the colors.  As the leaves begin to turn, our ensembles, slowly but surely, begin to change, as well.  We fold up our corals, yellows, and teals, and give them a rest until spring.  We swap these brighter colors for more muted tones, like army green, mustard yellow, maroon, and navy blue to complement the cooler weather.  We put away our sandals and tank tops, and swap them for scarves, tights, and closed toed shoes to keep us warm through the breezy fall weather.

I was strolling downtown on my way to work last week, when I spotted this Fashionista, flaunting her favorite fall colors that complemented one another perfectly.  She paired a navy blue printed blouse with gold buttons with a burnt orange mini skirt.  To keep cozy on this sunny, but breezy fall afternoon, she added a pair of gray textured tights with a pair of simple black slip-ons.

If you are one who embraces all colors the fall season has to offer, and adore the look put together by this Fashionista, here are a few great items for you to try.  Pair this gray printed top with a plum colored mini skirt.  Add a pair of black textured tights underneath, and slip on your favorite pair of boots or oxfords.  This season, fall for autumn colors.  Summer has ceased, and the leaves are changing; don't be afraid to let your ensembles follow suit.


The warm, summer months have ceased, the sun certainly isn’t perpetually shining, and at least for us here in Iowa City, rainy weather during the fall seems far too frequent for my taste.  Whether it be a colorful handbag, pair of shoes, or essentially any other accessory, on any dreary fall day, a sure way to revive your smile is to add bold colors to your daily ensemble.  This season, colored pants are all the rage.  If neon hues aren’t exactly your cup of tea, never fear.  These hot pairs of pants are available in a variety of more muted tones, like maroon and light pink, perfect for fall!

I spotted this Fashionista while strolling through one of Iowa City’s chic boutiques, Inbox.  And yes, these pink pants are available at Inbox (and on sale!) for all you Iowa City residents.  She paired these hot pants with a simple black tank, knotted at the side, nude sandals, and a long pendant necklace.

When styling a colorful bottom half, I’d suggest two options.  The first option, is mixing in a more neutral color palette, and pairing pants with more muted tones, like beige, gray, and white, like this Fashionista did.  This focuses all the well-deserved attention on your get-me-noticed pants.  Another option is sticking to this colored theme, and adding other colorful pieces to your outfit.  If you choose this option, pair with caution.  Don’t mix colors that are of the same hue, but rather use completely different ones.  For example, pair slate blue corduroys with a tangerine button-up top, or mustard yellow skinnies with a forest green sweater.

It’s the beginning of October, and cooler weather is brewing.  Just because the weather may be dreary, doesn’t mean your outfit should be dreary too.  This fall embrace color and embrace bold.  Let a bold pair of pants steer your wardrobe into the cooler, colorful months ahead.

STYLE ADVICE OF THE WEEK: Life’s Better in Leopard

Fashion is a cyclical process, and the Fashionistas of the world have certainly managed to cycle through various print obsessions over the years. But nothing exudes raw power quite like some good ol’ leopard spots. This 80's staple piece has resurfaced season after season, and has arrived this fall in full-force.  Leopard appears on a plethora of clothing articles: scarves, sweaters, shoes, skirts, making it easier than ever to be a bit of a wild thing. I know it may seem like another fleeting trend, but I am determined to stick with it. After all, you just can’t change your spots, you know?

Finding the perfect print can be pretty tricky, but you can never go wrong while sticking to a classic. I am a certified leopard-lover with an eye for outfits that are precariously cool. I spotted this Fashionista on my way to work one afternoon, looking downright dangerous- in the best way possible. Donning a sheer, maxi skirt, a top-knot bun, and red lips, this Fashionista was sharp. If you too, are daring, try this pair of leopard skinny jeans, another ultra-cool way to don leopard this fall. This Fashionista paired her skirt with a simple, graphic t-shirt tucked in, which created a much more casual, daytime look. On her feet, she wore a pair of simple baby pink flats, and toted a black, vintage bag.

This skirt looks fabulous in the daylight, but is perfect for a night on the town, as well. Trade the t-shirt for a sheer, black top, add a pair of heels, but keep the red lips. Leopard is this season’s fiercest print.  Sure, they may be primarily warm-weather felines.  Don’t let that stop you from carrying some of that inner wildcat into these cooler months.