ACCESSORIES REPORT: California Dreamin’

Coming from a family scenario where I was the only girl sandwiched between my two brothers, I find myself well versed with the daily wardrobe of a midwestern prepster. The usual cold weather ensemble almost undoubtedly consists of chinos and a button-down oxford or a half-zip sweater. The most variety found in my brothers’ outfits was what palate they found their collared shirt falling into that particular day — pastel or patterned. Although many in the male population around Notre Dame campus fall into this all too familiar category of everything prep, there are some exceptions. This week’s Fashionisto mixes things up with his ulterior take on how to embrace the winter school day.

From head to toe this student portrays a laid back style on his way to class. On a sunny and clear-skied day here in South Bend, he follows suit by brightening things up with a pair of sky blue chino pants. Instead of Sperry topsiders or Timberland boots, which are staples here, this trendsetter keeps the relaxed look going with a pair of sidewalk surfers by Sanuk. Along with his backwards hat, these items all compliment the main features of this Fashionisto’s outfit: an embroidered shirt of blues hues to opt against the classic oxford, and a navy sports coat to top off the outfit.

The featured Fashionisto this week gives insight in to how to chill out even when combating winter’s elements. He boldly sports a pant and shirt combo that could easily be seen on the sidewalks of southern California. To maintain this look, he blends it with closed toed shoes and a chic sport coat. He’s comfortable, casual and is a refreshing standout in the sea of midwestern prepsters here on campus.

Spotted: On the runway for Calvin Klein's spring 2012 collection, the concept of blending a blazer into a relaxed and casual outfit is brought to life just in time for the warmer weather.

ACCESSORIES REPORT: Getting Retro on Mod Quad

Anyone who has experienced the wonder and beauty of fresh, winter snow is also no stranger to the not-so-glamorous slush that follows. This week at Notre Dame, as the temperature rose, students also rose to the occasion with their fashion savvy. Although this dreary transition period left our environment somewhat monotone, a cascade of students brightened campus up through creative fashion choices.

This week’s spotlighted Fashionista isn’t fazed by the less-than-desirable climate outside, and makes a statement through vivid hues and retro-inspired accessories. To keep her ears toasty, she ditches the standard winter hat or headband and dares to be different with lemon-colored ear muffs with cream sheepskin lining. She continues the stylish yet playful theme with another staple accessory during these slushy days of winter: rain boots. This Fashionista makes a splash on the campus sidewalk with her groovy, multicolored rubber boots designed by Emilio Pucci. To balance out her bold accessories, this stylish student stays warm and practical in a black winter parka by Theory and her favorite pair of skinny jeans.

If you feel inspired by this week’s Fashionista and her retro printed boots, check out the many styles that the luxury rain boot company of dav offers. Try adding a pop of color with a brightly printed infinity scarf over your everyday winter jacket.  This is another one of the season’s hottest trends. With more drab winter days surely ahead of us here in the Midwest, it’s time to stand out against the gray background with confident and colorful accessories.

Spotted: This Fashionista sports rain boots by Emilio Pucci to complete her look, and Pucci provides further inspiration with bold prints and colors on the runway in his spring 2012 collection.

ACCESSORIES REPORT: Undergarments Unwrapped

With a couple weeks at school under their belts, the students on the Notre Dame campus are starting to get back into the swing of things in and out of the classroom. Intramural sports are picking up. The steady homework stream is starting to flow. Students are back adjusting to campus life (or as much as they ever will). As the pace of academic activity starts to pick up, so does the fashion scene around campus.

On a gloomy weekday, I spotted this Fashionista making a splash in the rain with her stylish ensemble. She stays cozy with an oversized sweater and her favorite pair of leggings by lululemon, but she makes a surprising statement from an unexpected source — what lies underneath the clothes themselves. The classic notion of undergarments are that they are meant to be hidden, but this Fashionista breaks away from the norm with her sophisticated take on a new look. To add a hint of floral to her color-blocked outfit, this trendsetter layers a cropped cotton camisole top from Free People. The theme continues as she chooses to pair her Frye leather boots with cream leg-warmers to add variety and comfort to her outfit. To translate this style concept for another look, perhaps try a lace bandeau under a looser cut tank to add both color and femininity.

The trend brought to attention by this week's spotlighted Fashionista is all about the subtle surprise factor. Culture tells us to cover up our undergarment pieces, but don’t “under”estimate the potential for these staple items to make a fashionable pop.

Spotted: In alice + olivia’s spring 2012 ready-to-wear collection, the undergarment look is spotlighted through the outfitting of a structured camisole paired with a floral printed skirt just in time for spring.

ACCESSORIES REPORT: Chilled Out Corduroy

As we endure these cold winter months, the temptation to fall into the easy pattern of sweatpants and UGGs for daily class is one many of us face. However, instead of throwing on a bulky sweatshirt promoting your favorite sports team in this bitter weather, it’s time to embrace the concept of layering to keep warm. During this chilly season, more is better when it comes to throwing on light layers and giving yourself the opportunity to explore your closet with varied textures and patterns.

This Fashionisto is seen perfecting the concept of layering through his relaxed yet pulled together style. From head to toe he encompasses the “prepster” look complete with a pair of classic Sperry Top-Siders. He follows the ensemble through with a plaid button down layered underneath a sensible yet fashionable Ralph Lauren half-zip pull over. To complete the look, this Fashionisto plays off the variety of textures with his Vineyard Vines corduroy baseball cap. Its natural brown tone, along with its texture and warmth, make it a formidable winter accessory.

An inventive approach to mixing and matching add a twist to the classics in your wardrobe. It’s easy to look pulled together through casual layering as the spotlighted Fashionsto did with his flannel and half-zip combo. For the Fashionistas out there, perhaps try a pair of patterned sweater leggings to stay warm under your favorite winter-appropriate dresses or layer a button-down of your own with a blazer or sweater of your choice. Function and fashion can make for playful, attractive combinations during these frosty days of winter.

Spotted: The Bottega Veneta fall 2012 collection sported in Milan on the runway executes the layered look while also playing with different textures and patterns to make the look a more interesting one.


After much anticipation, whether paired with excitement or dread, the snow has finally made its way to the Midwest. It is time to dust off our snow boots, and pull our buried mittens and scarves out of our closets to embrace the cold weather. As this chilly wave rolls in, however, one may ask if their crocheted Free People winter headband is still the latest trend as it was last year, or if their style is as behind as the snowfall. Go ahead and pull out your old winter favorite accessories, but this season also be prepared to introduce something new to your wardrobe; fur.  

Whether you opt for faux or the real thing, fur is taking the fashion scene by storm. Particularly in these cold winter months, where some bundling is welcome, doing so in style is simple with the follow through of this cozy trend. This Fashionista chooses to display the latest furry movement with her faux headband. She makes a subtle impact with her winter head accessory as the tan shades play off her blonde locks, and complements the color scheme with a taupe infinity scarf. To work with the animal friendly theme of faux furs she wears a pair of black winter boots, and balances out the look with a classic Barbour jacket. If a fully fur wrap-around headband, like this Fashionista sported, isn’t in your comfort zone, then perhaps go for a more tamed look of fur earmuffs or fur accented mittens.

For the bold trend-setters out there, to take this fur accessory trend one step further, make a statement with a fur vest. Give your classic puffy vest a break this winter, and stay comfy by adding this wooly layer to your wardrobe.

Spotted: This fur trend was seen on Michael Kors’ winter 2011-2012 runway in his lush and imaginative coats, and has hit the college campus in the more moderate form of more subtle fur accessories such as the headband.


Style Guru Bio: Elizabeth Willis

As a 20 year-old sophomore at the University of Notre Dame, I am a Psychology major with an emphasis in Education, an animal lover and someone who often falls victim to retail therapy. As my packed closet has become more crowded over the years, my passion for the art of fashion has continued to grow and develop. Coming from a small northern suburb of Chicago — known for its preppy outfitting and oversized pearls, green and pink floral and everything J Crew — my transition into a new college environment was met with open arms. Thus far on the Notre Dame campus I have found my own relaxed style through breaking out of the uniform fashion culture of my hometown, and into my own.

Taken away from the comforts of shopping at home while at school, I have become more creative in working with what I have in my limited-space dorm closet to put together new ensembles (with the occasional online shopping relapse). Although I have my staple fashion items such as my best-fitting Paige jeans and lululemon leggings to my everyday Dooney & Bourke tote bag, I thrive on building off my “staple” bases with unique clothing items and accessories.

Whether I am dressing for the classroom or on-campus nightlife, I strive to select pieces that deviate from the norm, with a hint of current trends. On a daily basis, I try to incorporate items into my wardrobe that encompass their own original flare through subtle variances from styles I see in my campus environment and in the media. Apart from my mantra of choosing items that differ from the standard look, I also find value in forming an outfit using pieces from all different price points. While I love to accessorize with my Michael Kors watch, or an alice+olivia scarf, I also rely on having my “favorite T-shirt” from Gap on my closet shelf. Especially in college, I believe fashion is about working with, and making the best of, what you have available. In the spirit of a true Fashionista, I embrace each day on campus as a welcomed challenge to make a distinct statement through my own personal style.