New Ways to Style Military Boots for Fall

There’s no need to defend my feet from dirty trench water, because I stick to pavement and the occasional puddle. The only thousand-yard stare I have experienced is spotting a must-have item from across the store and instantaneously falling in love. What can I say? Military boots are just super cute right now.

PHOTO: Leana Concepcion

Originally created to withstand harsh weather conditions and mortal combat, military boots were made to be sturdy. Nearly indestructible, but definitely not cute. However, when chunky boots became a style rather than a necessity, the cuteness factor skyrocketed. Now anyone can purchase full-on glitter military boots, or even a pair with heels.

Combat boots come with a stately, traditional vibe. They’re structured, neutral, and classic. These shoes are popularly styled with jeans and a flannel; however, the possibilities are endless in terms of style. A baggy sweater or cropped T-shirt with chunky boots are also popular combinations. I wear maroon Dr. Marten’s regularly, and that slight pop of color adds so much spunk to my outfits.

For some Style Gurus, the masculinity of military boots is overwhelming; however, I think even the girliest of girls should give them a go. Boots look great with pants as well as dresses and skirts. Outfits should be chosen based on what you find stylish in your comfort zone. A flowery dress with boots is always a pleasant surprise in terms of street style.

Everyone loves a good guilty pleasure outfit. This summer, I lived in Birkenstocks. They’re the most convenient shoe for my everyday business. Once it gets colder and I replace shorts with sweatpants, I pair my Dr. Marten’s with acid-wash sweats and a casual shirt. It’s easy, comfortable, and appropriate in snow and rain; however, it looks edgy for a lazy day outfit.

Pro tip: do not settle on full retail prices. Dr. Marten’s boots are great quality but sell for well over $100 at popular stores or on the website. It’s important to check thrift stores before committing to a big purchase. In times like these, it’s also nice to have places like Plato’s Closet or apps like RetailMeNot.

Military boots are a staple for any Fashionista’s wardrobe. Show us how you style yours and tag @cfashionista on Instagram!

Additional photos by Leana Concepcion.

3 Guilt-Free Guilty Pleasure Snacks

The food police would cuff me in a millisecond for my terrible eating habits. Every January, I try to turn a new leaf and eat healthy, but I fail within days of making my resolution. My palate is so not refined that it could be considered coarse. I just really love greasy pizza and fake cheese, okay?

One thing vegetarians, carnivores, and everyone in between can agree on is that comfort foods are imperative for sanity. In each individual’s diet, there’s at least one food item that can pull us out of our darkest of days.

There are countless excuses to eat, and the easiest foods to grab seem to be the least healthy options. I chose three go-to snacks that typically give me post-consumption guilt, and I substituted a healthier option, the sweet potato, in for a major ingredient.

PHOTO: Lex Kelly

1—Fries. If you don’t like fries, I don’t trust you. Cut a sweet potato into long, thin rectangles, and evenly coat them in corn starch if you prefer extra crispiness. Spread them out on a baking tray. Drizzle olive oil over the entire spread, and add any preferred seasoning besides salt. Adding salt during this stage will minimize the crisp-factor of your final product. Bake the fries for 10-15 minutes on each side at 400 degrees. You’ll know they’re ready when the edges start to brown. Take them out and then add salt… or don’t if you’re healthier than I am.

2—Nachos. Another fan favorite. Chop the sweet potatoes into thin discs to mimic chips. Turn them around in olive oil on a baking sheet and bake them for 10 minutes at 425 degrees, then for another 10 minutes on the flip side. And now for the fun part: add tomatoes, cheese, beans, and basically anything else that brings your nachos to life. Go the extra mile and make some guacamole. Once you dress the chips with colorful accessories, bake the nachos for another two minutes to melt everything together.

3—Cinnamon sticksWhat kind of junk food connoisseur would I be without dessert? Cut the sweet potatoes into long slices similar to the fries and coat them in corn starch. Bask them in olive or coconut oil, and add your desired amount of cinnamon sugar. Toss the fries around until each has a fair share of sugar. Once again, place the cinnamon sticks on a tray and bake for 10-15 minutes on each side at 400 degrees. While waiting for your masterpiece, gather marshmallows or fluff spread to make your dessert even sweeter.

Sweet potatoes have a lot of health benefits. There’s more fiber, vitamin A and C, and less carbs and calories; however, the best part about each dish is that you can eat a whole tray and not feel guilty.

Try choosing orange potatoes over white potatoes and see what magic you can cook up, and share with us on Instagram by tagging @CFashionista!

All photos by Lex Kelly.

Here Are Resolutions for When You’re in These 5 Funks

Back to school means back to reality. We mess up, we get overwhelmed, and we get into funks. Here are tips for when you’re at school and feeling frazzled, uninspired, homesick, worn out, and sad.

1—Frazzled. There are good days, and then there are days that make us want to scream. Running out of shampoo mid-shower is earth-shattering, and deciding where to eat is a life-and-death predicament. Despite the trivial matters, there’s adult business to tend to. Get your hands on a planner to keep track of everyday tasks and long-term goals. Utilize blank space to make to-do lists, and actually stick to filling in the calendar each month. Not only will it boost productivity, but it will also prevent forgotten duties.

2—Uninspired. For my fellow English majors, writer’s block can wipe us out like the plague, so I constantly search my surroundings for inspiration. Sometimes it’s as easy as taking a break from my phone and going outside. Instagram is great for recipes, workouts, art, and everything else under the sun. I gawk over the everyday posts from @EarthyAndy and @DoYouTravel. Another option is to enjoy a podcast that makes you want to get out and move. The world is at your disposal, so find what works for you.

3—Homesick. Modern technology has made the world a smaller place. When I go to school and my parents are in the comforts of our home, FaceTime transports me to them. The best way to feel at home again is to communicate with those you love. Homesickness therapy continues with cooking my favorite comfort foods just like my mama. Pinterest is a great source for simple recipes that amateurs like me can handle.

4—Worn out. College is the culprit for sleep deprivation and eye bags. Sleep is the answer, but it’s not always an option during weeks of finals or parties. The dire need for caffeine and sugar will only temporarily prevent you from crashing, so indulge in an energizing snack like an apple and peanut butter. There are other ways to get back to your factory settings. Pamper yourself with a calming face mask and revitalizing moisturizer to at least give the illusion that you aren’t the walking dead.

5—Sad. Some things are way more difficult than others to overcome, and I wish there was a simple solution for feeling disheartened. When you feel like you just want to close the door and be alone, do it, but take care of yourself when doing so. Have a day full of guilty pleasures: eat Taco Bell, binge-watch Jersey Shore, and shower until there’s no more hot water with Shakira on full blast. The time spent doing mindless activities is not a waste of time. Do whatever you want to get yourself smiling again.

Leave a comment with any tips or tricks you may have to defeat the back-to-school funk!

3 Ways to Reinvent Your Flannel Shirts for the Summer

Levi’s and Dr. Martens were originally crafted to withstand hard labor, and here I am buying pre-ripped jeans for $50 and gallivanting to class in boots that I thought were super cute. Originally a source of practicality for men, flannel shirts were recently brought to the style forefront and became a common thread for each gender and class. Everybody loves a good flannel shirt, but there’s a fine line between lumberjack and Fashionista. Sometimes plaid is redundant and the colors mush together. I have a stack of flannel shirts that remain loyal to me on lazy days. However, I’m always looking for new ways to bring life to these garments.

Flannel shirts aren’t typically worn in the summer, so I compiled three simple ways to style these favorite, but admittedly boring, articles of clothing. These outfits revolve around the top like the solar system, so be imaginative when creating your own.

The recent cropped sweatshirt epidemic inspired my first look. All you do is cut the torso part in half, which instantly turns an arguably boring top into a head-turner. Plus, it’s totally versatile; the excess fabric can even be used as a scarf for your dog. A bralette pairs well with the renovated flannel shirt and prevents you from flashing a crowd on accident. It’s a win-win. Here’s a tip: Find a line in the plaid pattern to follow with your scissors for a straight cut!

The second flannel shirt was completely olive green until I got a hold of it. In order to successfully dip-dye your fabric, start by filling three buckets: half water and half bleach, pure water, and half water and half vinegar, respectively. Dip your flannel shirt in the water-bleach solution first to strip it of its color, which creates an ombré look. Once you achieve your desired color, dunk it in the water bucket to get rid of the bleach. Lastly, dunk your flannel shirt in the water-vinegar solution to stop the bleach from bleeding. After it dries, wash the shirt alone before wearing it so the bleach doesn’t ruin any other clothes or irritate your skin!

The third and final project is the most challenging, but also my favorite. I got inspiration from the trend of mismatched shirts. I used two flannel shirts for this one but cut them both in half. Yes, you heard me—right in half. Take the left side of one and the right side of the other and sew them down the middle of the back panel. What’s even better is that once you have your new flannel, you’re left with the shirts’ other halves. Sew those together, too, and give a fellow Fashionista a rad top of her own!

Show us how you transform your flannels and share with us on Instagram by tagging @CFashionista!

The Holy Grail for Girls with Curls

My hair, my own personal barometer, is like Mother Nature’s mood ring. When the weather is humid, my hair becomes large and kinky. When it rains, my hair calms down. When there’s a drought, or a couple days without washing it, my hair maintains a bun formation even when it’s released from the hair tie. For that very reason, I would like to dedicate this to the broken brushes, the lifeless hair bands, the impossible braids, and the clogged drains. They have done me the valiant effort of taming the beast.

Once upon a time, you wore the tiny moose emblem on your blouse and burned your hair until it was crispy-straight every morning, even if it meant sizzling, steaming, and splitting it. Ironing your hair became more important than ironing your clothes. My ringlets were too challenging to tackle on my own, so I needed my mom’s undeniable blow-drying and straightening powers. The whole process took two hours…so not worth it.

I eventually realized people wanted my hair. Correction—we all want what we can’t have. As desperately as I wanted gorgeous straight hair, some wanted my gorgeous curly hair. I stopped fighting nature and began loving my wild mane.

There was a learning curve that came with balancing my style and voluminous hair. For example, glasses with thicker frames and hoop earrings don’t get camouflaged by curls— instead, they become statements of their own. If accessories don’t exist in your daily routine, you can always invest in quality mascara that darkens and adds volume to your lashes for prominent eyes every day.

Beneath my sink, a graveyard of half-full products becomes dusty, and the liquids within the squeeze bottles coagulate into gunk. Here lays a community of anti-frizz creams, curl shapers, and Hulk-strength hairsprays that just couldn’t do the trick. The long-retired straightener, blow dryer, and curler are all shoved to the back of my little cabinet. On top of the vanity counter is the one product I haven’t gone a day without since elementary school: conditioner.

My Holy Grail may seem anticlimactic, but don’t click away to the dark depths of the internet just yet. My dirty little secret is generic Pantene Conditioner, but you can pull whatever conditioner you normally use in your showers for the following trick. Distribute a generous amount of your go-to conditioner through troublesome areas and lengthy bits. Curl and twirl the pieces whichever way suits you; your fingers are the best tool. Clips can also be used to strategically place each hair where you want them to dry. It’s as simple as that, and my hair has never looked better.

Did you try my trick? Or are you bold enough to comb out your own curly hair? Show us your curly hair pride on Instagram by tagging @CFashionista!