FASHION FROM ABROAD: Back to School in Style

It’s that time of year again Fashionistas and Fashionistos! The time of endless back to school shopping and savings, leather boots, fall colors and pumpkin-flavored coffee. I certainly am not complaining. How are you preparing for this fall?

This Fashionista is ready to take autumn by storm with her fit perfectly paired head-to-toe. One trend that is sweeping Europe is culottes. With the right crop top and wedge sandals or peep-toe pumps, they are definitely a statement piece. I know I’ll be bringing this trend back home with me.

Classic black and white is, of course, one of my favorite go-to fashion staples and goes so well with fall fashion. This Fashionista kept it classic-chic with the black and white for back to school. I loved that she added the leather textures and the original circle sunglasses. And of course to add that pop of color to her outfit she kept it simple with a cherry pink for her lip color. Adding a small pop of color with any black and white outfit is sure to give it some pizazz.

So how can you make this your best back to school look? Start with a pair of black culottes as your base; I personally prefer the more structured pairs to really add some dimension to the outfit. Next, pair a sleek white button-up with a black accent. Go back to school in style with an Italian backpack from Mia Bag, as worn by this Fashionista, and throw on some edgy motorcycle boots. Don’t forget your sunglasses and your pop of color! My all time favorite all-in-one lipstick/stain/liner/miracle worker is Kat Von D’s Everlasting Liquid Lipstick. I swear by this; it goes on like a gloss and mattifies in seconds to give an all day solid lip color that doesn’t budge! Now you’re ready to slay the school scene!

Captured: This Fashionista was spotted in Florence, Italy


Who says you can’t feel jolly any time of the year and that reds and greens only belong on a Christmas tree? Not this Fashionista. She is practically taking the holiday for herself with this iconic look. From the bright red overcoat to the olive green leather skirt down to the red tassels on the edges of the clutch, this is one look that I’ll be setting aside for more than just the holiday season.

This Fashionista’s look is all about textures. One of my favorite style tools is pairing different textures together to add detail to any outfit. It can really take your outfit to another level. This Fashionista played with the textures in almost every piece of her outfit. I loved the solid color-blocking in this too, pairing such rich colors together to make one chic look is always a fashion “do.”

So how can you recreate this fierce look? Again play with textures. Start with a leather skirt with cutouts as your base and work outwards, like this Fashionista did. Pair with a white chiffon shirt and cropped red jacket draped over the shoulders. Finish off the look with some strappy black sandals, a true summer staple. Now, for the fun part. This Fashionista’s clutch is truly unique. If you’re into summer DIY projects, you can make your own pompom-trim clutch with just a few items. All you need is a straw clutch and some pompom trim and a glue gun and you’re in business! This is a great summer handbag that can really add some fun to any outfit. Because this look is so fab on its own, you can keep the accessories simple and throw your hair into a cute topknot bun to keep everyone focused on the fit.

Captured: I came across this Fashionista in Pitti Uomo, Florence, Italy.

WHAT TO WEAR: Day To Night

Hot pink certainly is HOT this summer. Each Fashionista is finding a different way to incorporate it in her wardrobe, whether to the beach, on vacation or a night under the summer sky. This is one color that I don’t want to see go.

This Fashionista stole the show with her hot pink, box-pleated skirt paired with a spin on a classic leather jacket. The black lace top paired under the two-tone leather jacket was a great addition to throw in some dimension and play with textures. My favorite feature of this outfit was the hot pink lipstick to match the skirt. Talk about color coordinated. This Fashionista did a great job of sticking to two primary colors and playing with textures to show off her personal style, one of my favorite fashion tricks. A great go-to lip color, especially for humid summers, is Kat Von D’s Everlasting Liquid Lipstick. They have a color for every occasion that goes on like a lip gloss then mattefies for an all day and all night wear. Make sure you add this to your beauty must haves.

One Simple Change: Want to take this day to night look to a date night ensemble? Depending on your personal style, you can leave the edgy jacket or go for a more delicate cropped blazed. Take your cross-body Dior bag and trade it for a clutch for the evening by simply tucking in the gold strap. Lastly, step up that shoe game by wearing a classic pair of pointed patent leather Jessica Simpson pumps, my favorite go-to pair for date night. This Fashionista definitely proved that leather jackets and pleated skirts are appropriate for any season and any look.


This week’s Fashionisto is head to toe brand loyal. Keeping it classic with black and white, it is all about the design details with this particular brand. Geometrics, bold textures and prints make this London-based brand and this Fashionisto stand out in Florence.

What caught my eye about this fit is of course the classic black and white, which I cannot get enough of. The “pop” element of this ensemble was the details of the lettering on the shorts, which were raised to give texture. The playing with textures and patterns was edgy and original. This Fashionisto definitely stood out amongst the crowd of fashionable people at Pitti Uomo. Another detail was the fit of his outfit. Lately the trend for menswear has been close-fitting to the body. This Fashionisto was bending the rules and stepping outside of the current trend of menswear fashion. This look was bold, which is exactly what KTZ is all about.

Make your own head to toe KTZ outfit with this Fashionisto’s inspo: loose-fitting harem shorts, an oversized shirt and bold sunglasses to complete the look. For a more feminine look, they have an array of edgy collections as well.

Kokan to Zai is self described on their website as a brand that “designs men’s and women’s ready-to-wear clothing with couture detailing known for its raw energy and contemporary urban edge, but also for embracing ethnographic references and multiculturalism.” Make sure to check out this edgy brand for some great original pieces.

Captured: I came across this Fashionisto at Pitti Uomo in Florence, Italy


Two favorite fashion colors that are forever crowding my closet? Black and white. They are two staples that I cannot get enough of. Every Fashionista has at least one chic black and white look. It’s a classic that can’t go wrong. This week we see our Fashionista rockin’ the black and white with a secret pop of color; see if you can spot it!

What I loved about this look is how classic yet fashion-forward it was. This Fashionista took a classic black and white outfit to the next level with just a few details. Doing all three garment pieces oversized, the harem pants, the blouse and the vest, created a whole new silhouette. Her pairing of accessories was certainly impeccable as well. The sleek black clutch pulls the outfit all together and also adds some texture detail. This is a great look that is transcendent from day to night or dinner date to out on the town.

How To: Want to recreate this chic look? Well you already have the two colors you need. Start with a looser fitting white top in chiffon like material. I find it better to do white on top rather than bottom because the top is a bit easier to manage with keeping it clean and crisp. For a more form-fitting style, grab a pair of slim cigarette pants. By doing loose on top and slim on the bottom it adds dimension to the outfit. For an added detail pair a sleek black vest, or if you’re feeling adventurous do one with some black and white design for more of a statement. Lastly, a pair of black and white peep-toe heels is all you need to take this outfit to the next level. Now just grab your fav clutch and gunmetal accessories and you are on your way to slayin’ the scene.


I don’t know about you, but this summer has me glowing. From the weather, to the beach and of course from head to toe, Fashionista style. As a Leo, gold has to be my favorite tone to accessorize with, especially in the summertime where the sun has your skin glowin’ and the accessories golden.

Gold accessories are like Otterpops in the summertime; you gotta have them! This Fashionista caught my eye with her shining accessories paired with some fab bright shorts. This color is hot this summer—the bright not quite orange, not quite red and not quite pink but still quite perfect. Bright summer colors look even brighter when paired with gold, such as hot pink, red, orange, yellow, bright green and even black for those who like to stick to the classic color all year round. This simple outfit is a great way of beating the heat and looking great doing it. I know in Florence the humidity can take a fun outfit like this and turn it into a humid, confining death trap. Here are some suggestions for how to stay cool and look cool this summer.

How To: Want to recreate this look for yourself? Grab a pair of bright high-waisted shorts with a looser fit around the thighs to add dimension and keep you cool. To add some design detail and some air around your midsection, take the white button-up to the next level with a tie crop top. This cute, casual daytime style can go to a bright night style with just a change of shoes. Some chunky black and gold heels adds some flirt and ties in the gold accessories, two in one! The key to accessorizing is picking one tone and going for it, like this Fashionista did starting with her gold-plated belt. She used the one accessory color and brought it out in multiple places. Tie in the gold with a bracelet, earrings, shoes or a Prada satchel to keep some uniformity to the outfit. All-gold everything, right?

STYLE ADVICE OF THE WEEK: Around the World In Style

This week’s Fashionista is certainly loyal to her brands. A fashion and travel blogger herself, her fun flirty style definitely caught my eye on a gloomy Florence afternoon. Her blog, History In High Heels, is dedicated to fashion, travel and lifestyle tips. Travelling abroad and being fashionable can sometimes be a delicate balance, whether you’re stumbling on the cobblestone in Florence or dodging the summer showers that come and go as they please. But as Fashionistas, we are fashionable year-round, in rain or shine. For the perfect look for every location, make sure to check out this Fashionista’s blog.

As you know, my favorite fashion tool is a focal point. This Fashionista used the distinct pattern from her skirt as the focal point, then kept the other pieces toned down to hone in on the skirt. My favorite added touch on this outfit was the Furla bag, which also added a muted pop of color with a tea rose pink. The navy blue and floral is also a great combo for the weather and season. Keeping it classy and chic, she stuck to one of her favorite brands with head to toe J.Crew.

Want to re-create this look? Pair a patterned skirt with a simple blouse using one of the colors from the skirt, like this Fashionista did. Another one of my favorite tricks is to pair a slim fitting bodycon skirt with a looser fitting top. This adds dimension and can also reframe your body if you choose. To add another focal point, use a bold necklace with similar colors. For tackling the cobblestones of Florence, this Fashionista has a quaint pair of brown leather sandals, which are a great find in the country famous for its genuine leather!

What is your STYLE ADVICE OF THE WEEK? “Traveling with style is not nearly as much work as people think it is. It is surprisingly simple to look put together, fashionable and still be comfortable while exploring a new destination.”


This week I had the opportunity to attend Pitti Uomo, self-described as “the world’s most important platform for men’s clothing and accessory collections and for launching new projects in men’s fashion.” Everyone knew that Pitti was in town because Firenze was suddenly booming with Fashionistas and Fashionistos, more so than usual. There were quite a few common trends seen among the men and it was clear that they were all fluent in fashion.

This Fashionisto caught my eye from all the way across the street. As he was investing in the street vendor hipster-esque fedora you see above, I dodged traffic to snap a pic. His outfit alone was enough to stop traffic.

The cropped plaid pants are a statement, but paired with the rich turquoise blazer to bring out the color in the pants, they tied this outfit together in a bold way. The Oxford-style textured leather loafers were a key accessory with this outfit as well. Each accessory, the fedora, the initialed gold belt buckle to bring out the gold pins on his blazer and the original leather handbag had a strong individual presence, but this Fashionisto eloquently paired all together to create an entirely BOLD look. Cropped pants were very popular among the men at Pitti Uomo, and each one was styled to their unique taste. I’m certainly a fan of the cropped trouser, and when they are used as the focal point it is easy to dress around it by pairing the perfect blazer, hat and Oxfords just by using the colors in the trousers, perfectly demonstrated by this Fashionisto! I loved that he used each color from the plaid to put together this ensemble; from the classic white button-up tying in the white details in the plaid and on the leather bag, the black leather shoes to match the plaid and tie in the black bag, the bright turquoise blazer to bring out the turquoise in the plaid and finally adding the gold accents.

When I inquired about his belt and bag, he said that they were a part of his upcoming line. Based out of Los Angeles, Dejon Marquis and his fiancé Raquel Celeste were visiting Florence to build connections for their brand ICanDress2. This is a definitely a brand to look out for! Check out their website for more information of ICanDress2 and fashion from Pitti Uomo, Milan Fashion Week and more!

Let’s hear it for the fashionable men of Florence and Pitti Uomo!

Captured: I spotted this Fashionisto at the Pitti Uomo in Florence, Italy. As the men’s portion of the Pitti Immagine collection of fashion events, Pitti Uomo is a tradeshow in Florence, Italy that’s been around since 1972. It’s a four-day market-facing event in which retailers, buyers, and editors come together to view upcoming collections.

WHAT TO WEAR: Traveling

Just as language, food and cultures differ around the world, so do fashion trends. However, the good thing about fashion is that it is universal. What I have come to learn while studying abroad is that it is important to look good wherever you go and to learn about some of the trends of the places you are traveling.

Most places you travel to, it is typically easy to spot tourists often by the way they dress. In Europe, it seems that everyone indulges in fashion. However, many trends that are popular here are not as big among Americans. I was intrigued to meet this Fashionista, who came from Dallas, Texas, indulging in some of the popular European trends. Her outfit consisted of flowy harem pants paired with a lace top and white sandals to bring out the white from the top. Her outfit reminded me of much of what I have seen on the young, fashion-forward Italian women. The color of her pants is perfect for summer, and the lace top and flowy style of the pants are also perfect for Italian weather! This Fashionista did a phenomenal job of pairing the perfect accessories, from the black Kendra Scott earrings to highlight the black eyelets in her lace top, to her pink sunglasses to match her Gucci purse (perfect addition at the heart of Gucci in Florence!) to the matching nail polish and lipstick. Relaying your colors in an outfit is one of my favorite style tricks.

One Simple Change: Let’s say your travels are about relaxing on the Amalfi Coast rather than finding the next European Fashionista. Here are a few simple changes to take this outfit from traveller to vacationer: add a floppy sunhat that brings out one of the colors of the outfit and swap out the Gucci for a fun beach bag to accompany you to the Mediterranean. This takes your street style look straight to the beach!


It’s all black everything with this week’s Fashionista. What I’ve come to learn about Florentine fashion is that it is timeless. The little black dress accented with antique accessories is a great way to turn classic into chic.

This matte black dress is an already bold piece with the oversized cuffed sleeves and high-low hem. The genuine leather belt designed by Chinese designer Shanghai Tang symbolizing the endless knot adds a flair to the outfit while also giving the Fashionista shape. The belt also pays tribute to the leather industry that Italy is famous for! I love playing with textures in outfits, so the matte dress with the leather belt is definitely a great combo in my book!

Paying homage to vintage, this Fashionista used her one-of-a-kind Chinese hand-crafted bangles and vintage Steve Madden shoes, both found at vintage boutiques, to add uniqueness to the monochromatic outfit. The single long necklace also gives another focal point while tying in the silver from the bangle. Adding bold silver jewelery is a great way to dress up a LBD.

My personal flair is to add a pop of color to the outfit as well, especially in shoes or other accessories. Check out this link of Steve Madden heels to see a pair to add to a monochromatic outfit for that little pop of color. This Fashionista added her pop of color with a red lip Lasting Finish by Kate Moss. Red certainly is my favorite pop of color to dress up a monochromatic outfit, which pops even more with this Fashionista’s fiery hair color!

Italy certainly knows how to add flair and fashion to any occasion; a night out, a day running errands and even the classroom. Keep your eyes out to learn more about fun and fashion abroad!

Captured: This Fashionista, happens to be my professor and the manager of Fly Boutique. She is also the coordinator for the school of Fashion and Accessory Studies and Technology at Florence University of the Arts, in Florence, Italy. She always knows how to dress up an outfit and make it unique to cater to her classic style.