TREND: The Not So Ugly Christmas Sweater

Now you may just jump to conclusions that when someone is buying a reindeer sweater, that sweater has intentions to be worn to an ugly Christmas sweater party. However, I’d like to change that notion. Why not celebrate the icons of holiday cheer like reindeers and snowflakes in a fashionable way? If you find that to be a challenge, well a true Fashionista will always take on a fashion challenge.

What better way to merge the festiveness of the holiday and the relaxation of winter break then through a reindeer vest or sweater? This brown, knitted reindeer vest is perfect for vacation attire. This Fashionista got the vest from Forever 21 and layered a sweater and fringe scarf underneath the vest. She also accessorized with a great long strapped medicine bag snagged from a thrift store. Comfortable, festive and different, this vest screams holiday fashion, if done the right way of course and this Fashionista nailed it.

Now how you execute wearing these on the verge of being comical pieces is key. Make sure you have a more sophisticated looking bottom to balance out the childish nature of the sweater. Wearing a pair of black jeans (or even dark blue jeans) or black slacks will do the trick. A tighter bottom will present a more pulled together look and will give your body some shape compared to the weightier and bigger nature of the sweater or vest. Shoes here are key. Selecting a sleek pair of leather boots or heeled ankle boot wedge like this Fashionista are your best bet. A dressier and trendier pair of shoes will take your outfit from being pitied at to being awed at.

Hint: If you aren’t to keen on the super festive reindeer and Santas boldly adorning your sweaters, there are definitely festive patterns that represent the holiday spirit without literally having Santa’s reindeer parading across your sweater. Try looking for red sweaters, wool sweaters, knitted sweaters and sweaters with patterns like this to achieve a snazzy and comfy holiday look.

TREND: Knitted and Things

Knitted accessories are taking Syracuse by storm this December. Hats, gloves, headbands, scarves, and just about any other winter related accessory can be found in knit and can definitely be found fashionable. Hat or headband, you’ll need something to cover your head for the winter. This Fashionista’s gray knitted hat was vintage and has that skier like vibe. If this type of knitted ski hat isn’t feminine enough for your standards, try knitted headbands. Not only are these headbands adorable, but also you can manage wearing them without messing up your hair too much.

Looking for a remedy for your freezing cold legs after digging your car out of a foot of snow? I introduce to you the leg warmer. Both fashionable and practical (sometimes a hard to find combo) leg warmers are essential to your winter wardrobe. These wool knitted leg warmers worn by this Fashionista pack a lot of heat. Made by Rugby by Ralph Lauren, these leg warmers are bulkier and on the heavier side. However, there are more dainty versions of leg warmers.

As far as what to wear these knitted accessories with, almost anything goes. The leg warmers of course look great with leggings or tights, but they’ll even work with a dark pair of skinny jeans also. I love how festive and wintery this Fashionista’s outfit was. Combining the plaid, fur vest, and the two knitted accessories radiates a cozy by the fire feeling that I just love. Your best bet is to wear the leg warmers with a pair of boots, but it can be with an ankle boot or tall boot of any kind.

Hint: So maybe you are done and over with the leg warmer trend, but I’m sure you can’t be over arm warmers just yet. Arm warmers, the greatest thing since… leg warmers! Try these knitted arm warmers, also by Rugby, to spice up your outfit. Oh, and if you are super ambitious why not try knitting arm warmers or a headband yourself? They could make great holiday gifts, whether that gift is for someone else… or you!

TREND: Buying Guy

Sick of your own closet or bored of shopping the seemingly endless racks in Forever 21? How about shifting gears to shopping in the men’s section for a change of scenery? Buying guy’s clothing comes in handy when looking for a slightly oversized look or for a just plain comfortable outfit. During these busy last weeks of school filled with finals and stress turn to your guy’s closet or the men’s section for comfy and unordinary pieces.

Plaids and flannels are easy finds. Try wearing an oversized plaid like this Fashionista. She snagged this top from Guess? in the men's section! Aside from checking out the men's section in Guess?, check out the men's gear in Forever 21 for a variety of plaids. Stock up on your plaids and buy a range of colors; they’re comfy and affordable. You can layer them under sweatshirts, sweaters and leather jackets, among many things. Dress them up or dress them down. The roominess and softness of fabrics that many boy’s shirts and sweaters have will make these pieces some of your go-to late night studying attire.

Keep your outfit from looking sloppy by wearing a tighter pair of pants for bottoms and a flat tall boot or ankle boot. Black jeggings in a stretch cotton or spandex and nylon blend are always a possibility to stay in that comfort zone. Or you can accessorize and throw some femininity into the mix by wearing a girlier headband or bracelets.

Hint: Digging the plaid, but want to achieve a more pulled together and dressier look? Plaid patterns on jackets are a nice and modern twist. Find a cool toned plaid with grays, blacks and blues so the jacket has some versatility when choosing things to pair with it. Another great thing about plaids is that they are often made in warm materials like wool.

TREND: Fur Frenzy

Perhaps one of the only good things about the cold weather that Syracuse brings is the fact that we can now strut around in jackets and go shopping for that perfect seasonal jacket. For me, jackets have this certain luxurious feel to them that radiates when you wear one. Winter jackets, especially, and even more so fur jackets can be extremely important staple items in one’s wardrobe. Fur jackets, faux fur jackets and jackets with fur accents have exploded onto the scene this season. This Fashionista had on a beautiful leather jacket with a fur shawl collar. Pairing the jacket with black skinny’s and a pair of black ankle boots created an incredibly sleek and clean look. The contrast of the fur against the leather truly creates a statement and an edgy elegance.

Although you may not be able to find this Fashionista’s exact jacket because she bought it in Korea, you can check out Guess – among many other brands – which has a lot of winter jackets this season combining leather and faux fur and other materials with faux fur. Jackets with fur accents are a good way to go if you maybe are looking for real fur because with only accents of fur the jacket will be less expensive than an entirely fur jacket. Vests are also a great alternative and are super chic and can be layered over almost anything! I think that these kinds of jackets and vests are in fact an important staple item in your winter wardrobe because they are so versatile. They can be worn in a dressy or casual setting depending on how you style the rest of your outfit.

Hint: Want to wear fur but in a maybe more modest manner? Try experimenting with accessories that incorporate fur! Hats with fur trims or accents, scarves and gloves should all be easy to find winter gear. For those who may be looking for some over the top fur head wear check out!

TREND: Giving Thanks to Fashion

The holiday season brings many good things – one of those things being great opportunities to dress up and show your fashion expertise. During this Thanksgiving break, you can use layering and fall-tone colors to achieve that holiday feeling.

This Fashionista captured the rich tones of fall with a rusty blue cotton dress from American Eagle and tall tan leather boots, from Steve Madden. Cotton dresses and shift dresses or even knit dresses are an option for Thanksgiving time because they are dressy, yet still have a sense of casualness embodying the feel of home and family that this holiday brings. Layering one of these dresses with a long sweater and perhaps tights as well makes for a chic and festive look. Try bulky knit sweaters in rusty orange, brown or tan tones for layering. This Fashionista belted her dress with a belt she snagged from a thrift store. Thrift stores are a great place to look for accessories like belts because they have that semi-worn in vibe to them adding interest and history into the piece. 

Because the cooler colors and layering produce a more subdued effect for this kind of outfit, you can use accessories and shoes to vamp up the ensemble. Adding gold jewelry into the mix of these colors would be a nice combination – perhaps like a statement pair of earrings or bangles. Have fun picking a pair of shoes to go with your outfit, whether they are sky high boots or boots in an unexpected color, like a red leather. Even a brogue would look classy with this mix as well. The possibilities are endless! 

Hint: If tights are not the route you want to take while putting together your outfit, knee high socks are a fashionable alternative. Wear the tall socks with your boots or even with flats to accent your outfit. Having a pair of these “statement” socks, should I say, will always come in handy at some point in time. 

TREND: Wearing Whimsical

One thing that I love about fashion is its whimsy side and ability to inject humor into clothing. I also love seeing a fusion of different cultures into people’s dress here at Syracuse. This idea of humor and whimsicalness is certainly present in Chinese street-style, which this Fashionista captured perfectly. Sporting a bold color blocked hoodie with ears and a pair of flashy Nike high-tops, this Fashionista surely stood out among the crowd. 

When I saw this sweatshirt with an embroidered colorful character on the back I couldn’t help but smile, and then when I saw the ears attached to the hood I had to laugh. I love how this sweatshirt brings so much fun and energy to the outfit. This Fashionista is from China and picked up this sweatshirt while in her native country. Bold graphics on T-shirts and sweatshirts are a great way to brighten up your closet during the colder months. Depending on how quirky you want to be, you can look for character designs, like this Fashionista, or stay with more graphic patterns. Designs like these are a way to channel your personality through what you are wearing. Personally, I love sweatshirts with huge graphic skulls on them. 

If you want to go bold, buy these sweatshirts in pop colors or with crazy colored designs. High-top sneakers with whimsical designs also play into this street-style look. Nike offers a wide variety of high-tops in colorful and graphic designs, or you could always just go with Converse in a bright color. However, I also think that you’ll have the best luck finding pop-urban-like items in less well known stores, like on the streets of a major city. Discovering new brands and places to shop is always a rush and it makes your wardrobe more accustom to you and more unique. 

Hint: Customization can be key to emulating this look. Whether you are an artist and have some of your own work and images you want to use or simply if you have a favorite graphic, you can use websites like Zazzle to make your own custom T-shirts and sweatshirts! 

TREND: Cropped Up

We have definitely seen an explosion of crop-tops this year, and now cropped bottoms are making their debut. Whether it is a cropped trouser, harem pant or jean, cropped pants are a great alternative for the basic skinny pant and leggings. Not only are cropped bottoms a new way to spice up your closet’s collection of pants, but also they are great for showcasing a killer pair of shoes! 

This Fashionista is sporting a pair of cropped denim pants with an ankle zipper detail. Many stores are now carrying a variety of inseam lengths for their denim products. Ankle skinny jeans are also becoming more popular, which are just slightly longer than a cropped pant, if longer at all. Look out for pants that have little details at the bottom like these with the zipper, or many styles have buttons at the bottom, as well. 

I also love cropped trousers and harem pants. Some styles have a more professional feel to them, making them appropriate for business-related settings or for something like an interview. '80s Purple has a wide variety of cropped pant styles ranging from casual to dressy. 

In terms of what to wear the cropped bottom with, you have many options for footwear. Wearing a flat shoe will extenuate how cropped the pant is, so if you are looking to achieve that look pick a flat or brogue, like this Fashionista. Wearing the cropped pant and brogues is a more European-looking combination. You also can throw on a bulky sock to give a different vibe to the look with a flat or an ankle boot.

Hint: Try wearing a cropped pant, perhaps a cropped trouser pant, like this, to go out in one night. Find the pant in a silky or sheen material and add a pair of chunky heels. Tuck a tighter shirt into the pants, add accessories accordingly and there you have a different going out look then the standard shirt and top! 

TREND: Wild Wellies

One thing that we always can expect in Syracuse is rain. Waking up for class in the morning only to see rain and wind outside is never a good feeling, and leaves you with the task of finding something to wear that’s weather-appropriate. Tall rain boots are everywhere on campus – and sure, they are a great thing to have – but what if you want to find a more unique alternative to the common rain boot? Short wellies are the answer!!

Slip-on, short rain boots or clogs are to die for. They are perfect for the days where it’s warmer and raining or when you simply just don’t want to wear a tall boot. I absolutely loved how this Fashionista styled her short wellies, which were from Lord and Taylor. She paired them with a pair of thick socks pulled over her skinny, ripped jeans. I think that adding the thick sock makes for the perfect way to wear these slip-ons – giving you some extra warmth and coverage at the ankle. Try wearing these wellies with a skinny jean, like this Fashionista, or a boyfriend jean. The crazy and colorful pattern made her shoes stand out even more. 

These shorter-style rain boots are just starting to pop up more and more in stores. Sperry has a wide variety of patterns and colors in a short slip-on or clog rain boot. Also, Ugg has even made a short boot that has their famous sheepskin lining inside! Ankle-height rain boots are also available – giving you a little more coverage, but are still a more unique take on the tall Hunter boots you see everywhere around campus. 

Hint: If you are still hooked on the tall rain boot, then try to find a rain boot with an interesting pattern or texture to make your look more unique. Chooka rain boots have a great selection of different patterns and textures. They have lace prints, animal prints and more. Chooka also makes a croc-embossed boot and a mixed plaid fabric and rubber boot – giving a textural dimension to the boot.

TREND: Patterned Tights

Prints, colors, lace, netting – come one, come all. Tights, especially patterned tights, are a great add-on to make any outfit more unique. So whether you are looking for a sexy way to vamp up your going-out ensemble or just want to look stylish going to class – tights are the way to go. 

Patterned tights are so eye-catching that it was easy for me to spot this Fashionista. I love how these tights were half netting and half lace, and showed some skin but in a tasteful way. The simplicity of her dress and cardigan balances out the funkiness of the tights, creating a contrasting dynamic. 

Since most tights are inexpensive, you can stock up on all different kinds of tights to add new elements into your wardrobe. (Check Top Shop for a wide variety of tights!) I love when shorts are worn with tights underneath. Whether the tights are a patterned lace or netting like this Fashionista’s, or if they’re just a solid black, the look you create is unique and urban. I also love wearing tights to go out in. They cover the leg, but in an understated sexy way and can even keep you warm! Wear tights with a simple silhouette or plain dress to achieve a more subdued and updated classic look, or pair tights with busier pieces to achieve a more eclectic look. 

Hint: Tights are a definite go–to item when looking for a way to spice up that little black dress. Sure, the little black dress in itself is a classic and chic piece, but hey – let’s step outside the box. Layering a black dress over black tights of some pattern or texture adds a twist to this iconic and classic look. Wearing all black pieces together can be incredibly chic if you mix and match different textures and fabrics. 

TREND: Making a Statement

Whether or not statement necklaces are deemed in our out by the magazines, I believe that they are one trend that should never fade. Having that one powerful piece of jewelry that takes the most simple outfit and kicks it up a few notches is essential. From bold color to chunky chain to braided and ruffled fabric, statement necklaces require you to go big or to go home. 

I spotted this Fashionista across the room solely because of the vibrancy of her necklace. She is wearing an orange, braided necklace that she picked up from a street vendor in New York City. What’s so great about this piece is that the interesting texture and bold color unite to make a statement that is bold, but not over bearing. Using fabric manipulation to create pieces is a modern and different take on jewelry. Texture becomes a main focus of the necklace, giving the piece an extra dimension. Look for necklaces that have fabric braided, used as fringe, sewn into shapes like flowers, or even intertwined with beads and chain. 

As to how to wear these statement pieces of jewelry, it’s quite simple – dress simply. This Fashionista layered the orange, braided necklace over a basic, dark blue striped sweater. I love how the necklace really pops when layered over its complementary color. If your outfit consists of only subdued tones and neutral colors, throw in a statement necklace featuring a bright and bold color to spice up the outfit. I also love the idea of the simple silhouette – a black dress with a huge and loud necklace draped around the neck. These necklaces will get you noticed, so the shy need stay away! 

Hint: Realistically and unfortunately, most of us can’t afford to buy every piece of jewelry we fall in love with. However, there’s a loophole! You can make your own jewelry! Constructing your own necklaces, bracelets and earrings with beads, chain and fabric has become very accessible to everyone. There are many books and magazines on how to make jewelry, filled with different techniques. There are also catalogues and websites that sell jewelry making tools and materials. So have a D.I.Y attitude, and test out your jewelry-making skills!