CollegeFashionista X VS PINK Campus Essentials Advertorial: University of Minnesota

Live in what you love. For a college student, this can be a pretty difficult task at times. I know when I have 8am class on a Thursday morning and had been out at the bar studying all night, I usually don’t migrate to the most stylish, most loved pieces in my closet but rather to the most comfortable ones. The new Campus Essentials from VS PINK combine comfort and style for a truly lovable and livable line of must-have everyday favorites for everywhere both on and off campus.

One of my favorite pieces from the collection is the PINK Yoga Legging; they fit like a second skin. On a more casual day, I simply toss on a lace bandeau, a tank and a hoodie over my  leggings. Lightweight layers make it easy to transition between class and the gym, although those who know me well know that the gym and I aren’t really on a first name basis. For more of a glammed up look, I added an oversized sweater, a statement necklace and heeled boots. The bright band and sequined “Love PINK” on the top of the leggings contributes a playful pop of color and sparkle. I would definitely wear this look to class or out for post-class happy hour (much more my speed than going to the gym).

With the 2 for $28 PINK Favorites Collection mix and match tees and tanks, you can easily afford all the colors of the rainbow; however, I think PINK’s V-Neck Tee in basic white is always a strong choice. When matched with destroyed denim cutoffs, this super soft tee provides the perfect backdrop for a bright backpack that is sure to catch everyone’s attention while safely storing all my necessities. I'm not usually a fan of backpacks because many of them are bulky. But this PINK backpack is simple and gives off an old school vibe that I love. For ultimate comfort, I opt for PINK’s Signature Pant. These slim fitting, cropped sweatpants aren’t just for sleeping in; try pairing them with: Converse sneakers for easy, effortless style that makes you feel right at home wherever you are on campus.

So, if you are looking for the ultimate back to school wardrobe, check out PINK’s Campus Essentials, and if you are still looking for more ways to style the clothes, take inspiration from the gorgeous PINK models. When it is this easy, why not live in what you love this year!

STYLE ADVICE OF THE WEEK: Put On Your Sunday Clothes

While out for a stroll along St. Anthony Main one Sunday afternoon, I happened to pass by these two dolled up Fashionistas and nearly dropped my gelato in an attempt to flag them down for a photo. Seeing them in their pretty dresses immediately reminded me of a scene from Hello, Dolly! in which Dolly sings, “Put on your Sunday clothes when you feel down and out; strut down the street and have your picture took.” Very apt reference, right? Sunday mornings during the school year are usually spent nursing our hangovers and working on papers that we put off all weekend, so my advice this week is to enjoy your leisurely summer Sundays while you can by donning a dress for brunch or, like I did this past Sunday, a walk along the Stone Arch Bridge.

With their classic, feminine ensembles, these Fashionistas definitely differ from this summer’s trendy uniform of denim cutoffs and cropped tees. Besides the simple sweetness of the girls’ dresses, I love that together they showcase the two major color trends of summer: neon and pastel. The Fashionista on the left has on a lovely pleated, silk dress in highlighter yellow, and the Fashionista on the right wears a collared dress the color of peach sherbet. Both dresses also pulled inspiration from spring/summer 2012 runway shows. Prada featured silky pleats, while Louis Vuitton definitely influenced the make of the eyelet collar on the Fashionista’s H&M dress. With major color statements, I think it is best to do as these girls have and keep accessories, hair and makeup simple. While they both opted for a low ponytail, I would suggest a top knot bun or a loosely braided style for a little more dimension. 

Next time you have nothing to do on a Sunday, remember that putting on a dress and enjoying some sunshine will definitely put a smile on your face.


Asymmetrical hemlines have garnered a lot of attention this year. By now, you all have to know about the high low hem, although it goes by many other names including the fishtail and the mullet hem, that has been featured on nearly every trend watching blog out there. This week’s Fashionista kept in line with this summer’s interesting hemline trend, but in a very different way.

The surprisingly jagged hem of this Fashionista’s maxi skirt gives off a playfully bohemian vibe. The black lacey skirt is breezy enough for the summer heat, and it will also transition perfectly into fall when paired with a long, sloppy sweater. Thank goodness most sheer skirts come with a built in slip! But we still have plenty of ninety degree days ahead of us, so let’s talk about what makes this outfit great for summer.

When you wear an interesting hemline, I think it’s best to keep the rest of the outfit relatively simple with a cropped white T-shirt and chic sunglasses like the round sunnies this Fashionista dons. I also love that she mixes brown accessories with her black skirt. If you prefer to add some color, a statement necklace would be the perfect place to do it — one of my favorites is J.Crew’s Bubble necklace.  

No doubt this trend will catch on quickly, but right now there are only a few options I could find online including one from the reigning experts on boho: Free People. Anthropologie also offers us their take on the jagged hem dress.


I truly cannot believe that summer is already half over! Between work, interning and trying to maintain some semblance of a social life, the summer of 2012 has seriously flown by. I can’t say that I’m not excited for autumn; the boiling temps of July have made it difficult for even the smartest Fashionistas to stay cute and cool. One of my favorite fabrics, velvet, is generally reserved for colder days; however, this Fashionista managed to pull it off on a stroll through Loring Park.

I think I love velvet so much because it exudes a timeless luxury. If I could decorate my bedroom with velvet wallpaper, sheets, pillows and so on, I don’t think I would ever leave that room! When it comes to wearing velvet, I prefer black velvet. While colored velvet can be fun, I think it can get quite Christmas-y. This week’s Fashionista stuck to simple stripes of the pretty textile mixed with lightweight heathered gray stripes so she didn’t swelter in the late afternoon sun. For a full body, summertime appropriate velvet dress, check out American Apparel’s Velvet Tank Pencil Dress, in black or navy to keep in non-seasonal of course. Like this Fashionista chose to do, always keep your accessories simple when dealing with velvet. Black or nude flats are great for transitioning from work to afternoon happy hour. A classic Coach purse will last you for ages; I love the bright colors and the simplicity of the bags from Coach’s Legacy Collection.

As it gets closer to autumn, just throw a leather jacket or loose, cable knit sweater over your velvet dress with ankle boots or low rise Converse to achieve a snuggly, comfortable look that totally works for going to class. Learn from this Fashionista and work some black velvet into your wardrobe for a luxurious looking outfit in any season.


Today’s pastel and chambray clad Fashionista has obviously mastered the art of mixing trends. The successful outcome of this talent is tangible in her casual, summery ensemble that is perfect for an afternoon shopping trip, lunch with friends or really anywhere you find yourself going in and out of air conditioning.

I love my chambray button-up shirt just as much, if not more, than the next girl, but long sleeves have been seriously difficult to pull off during the recent spike in heat and humidity. Solution: the chambray vest. Buttoned all the way up is great, but leaving a few undone lends a laid back vibe. A light-wash style like this Fashionista’s button-up vest will not absorb heat as much as darker colored chambray and will make your tan pop. Of course, you could summer proof your current long sleeve chambray shirt by cutting the sleeves off, but why do that when Urban Outfitters can just do it for you with two options found here and here.

Colored denim hasn’t really been my favorite trend this season — it generally gives me unsavory flashbacks of Hot Topic purchases in high school — but this Fashionista’s mint green pants are perfectly saccharine. The color is subtle enough to act as your everyday summer denim. Since I am obsessed with the loose, comfortable fit of boyfriend jeans, I adore this pair from Gap. Keep accessories simple with a cross-body bag and brown sandals. A silky headband doubles as a practical way to keep your hair back and as a jolt of color.

When mixing trends, remember to keep it simple for a perfectly casual daytime look.


The easiest part about summer, in my opinion, is being able to simply pull on a dress to deal with a hot day. Although autumn’s layers may make for more interesting and versatile outfits, it takes a lot less time to get dressed in the morning when you can just put on a dress and go. The simplicity of this Fashionista’s summer ensemble, plus her unique hairstyle, caught my eye on a super sunny afternoon.

A flouncy spaghetti strap dress like the one on this Fashionista is the best style for crazy hot weather because it allows for maximum air flow, unlike body con dresses, and doesn’t chafe like strapless dresses tend to. Choose a dress with a fun pattern like the floral motif on Club Monaco’s Martina Silk Print Dress. A cutout dress increases that precious air flow and lets you show off even more skin. NASTY GAL’s Bugged Cutout Dress is the perfect combination of sweet and sultry with polka-dots all over and cutouts in the back. It’s easy to accessorize these day dresses with simple sandals that don’t leave as many awkward tan lines as strappier styles. This Fashionista added waist definition with a chunky, braided belt, but this look would probably be uncomfortable for humid weather. For super humid days, I suggest a loose fitting number like NASTY GAL’s Topanga Dress. Obviously, you can’t beat the heat without a great pair of sunglasses. I love the vintage rounded style of this pair by Karen Walker.

As for hair, this Fashionista pulled off an updo more interesting than the basic ponytail. Although this tutorial is technically for bridal hair, you can easily make it an every day style by adding some simple flowers. Real flowers, like the ones this Fashionista used, obviously wilt easily on a hot day but are still prettier than fakes.

Before you turn up the air conditioning this summer, try out these tips for a cool outfit to beat the heat.


I caught this Fashionista in early May, which explains her attire of long skinny jeans and layered sweaters. Her lovely leather bag and shoes, on the other hand, are appropriate for nearly any season on campus.

A gigantic leather satchel is the perfect alternative to a backpack if you are like me and won’t sacrifice style for the comfort of a traditional two-strap backpack. However, I always end up making a bag lady statement since I cannot fit all my stuff into one normal bag and have to distribute my things between my purse and my flimsy school bag. A carry-all tote like the one that this Fashionista nonchalantly rocks under one arm is obviously the answer to my problems. Just look at all the room this Marc by Marc Jacobs tote provides; I love that the inside pocket contrasts from the Marc Jacobs print so you should always be able to easily pinpoint where your keys and phone are, instead of dumping your whole bag out like I usually do. Major plus — the ostrich-embossed leather will only look better with age. If bright and shiny is more your thing, then this patent leather kate spade tote is the perfect school bag. I also tend to see a lot of the Longchamp Le Pliage around campus. While technically this bag is more nylon than leather, the super sturdy leather uppers basically make broken straps a non-issue.

Another fantastic leather feature on this Fashionista is her drool worthy footwear. With masculine wingtip details and a subtle pilgrim-inspired buckle, these shoes are insanely stylish. Shoes made of a natural material like leather are both flexible and breathable. Naturally, I headed to the reigning champ of leather goods, Frye, for further inspiration and discovered the Maggie Perf Wingtip with just the right amount of chunky heel for comfortably trekking around campus. At a more realistic price tag are these Dolce Vita loafers that I will most definitely be purchasing as soon as I get my next paycheck. I’m fond of more neutral colors and will probably go with the taupe ones, although mint is a little more trendy and interesting.

Ditch those boring backpacks and shoes and upgrade your look with long lasting leather replacements this summer.


One of the biggest differences between spending the summer in my small, Wisconsin hometown and spending the summer in the Twin Cities is the plethora of events to participate in. These events tend to produce great people watching material. I caught this do-it-yourself Fashionista during one of my favorite summer street festivals, Grand Old Days, in Saint Paul a few weekends ago.

This Fashionista rocked a pair of flattering, high-waisted shorts and matched her fringed Minnetonka boots with a fringed T-shirt of, what I assume, is her own creation. I remember sneaking sandpaper squares out of my dad’s tool shed in the 9th grade so I could get my jeans to achieve the popular destroyed denim look, so I love that this girl took making a cool, easy festival shirt into her own hands as well. Copying her look is as easy as starting with a basic T-shirt. Target’s eight-dollar tees are a great jumping off point since, if you mess up, they are cheap enough to not really worry about. Once you cut the fringes, make sure to go around and pull each one taut so you get a worn in look instead of a freshly cut one. A round in the washer and dryer also help with this. Don’t waste time worrying if every strand is cut evenly; the fringes will look better if they are a little rough around the edges. Fringes are for more than just tees. Take inspiration from Free People and fringe a dress or a high-low skirt.

If you love to D.I.Y, I happen to know that on June 29th the Urban Outfitters store at the Mall of America is hosting a workshop that will provide distressing, fringing, studding and other customization of denim and graphic tees with your purchase. The event will also boast 20% off all women’s and men’s denim shorts, jeans, jackets, vests and graphic tees.

STYLE ADVICE OF THE WEEK: The Best Summer Shorts

From Daisy Duke’s iconic, sexy cut-offs to this Fashionista’s high-waisted style, denim shorts are, no doubt, the quintessential summer staple for every girl. They are much more comfortable than pants and far more casual than a dress. If this summer is anything like last summer’s incessant hundred-degree weather, denim shorts will once again be my uniform of choice.

Pretty much every retailer out there has a ton of different options for shorts, but I think there are three basic styles that should be in every Fashionista’s closet: short shorts, boyfriend shorts and high-waisted shorts. For trips to the beach or for hanging out at home — especially if you don’t have air conditioning — I recommend short shorts. A low-rise pair, like the Rae Short from GUESS, isn’t as restricting as a high-waisted short and easily covers up swimsuit bottoms. On the other hand, or should I say leg, there is the boyfriend short. I love the slouchy look of Lucky Brand's Abbey Short, which is more likely to be more work or family barbeque-appropriate than the shorter ones. Target also has a pretty good version of the boyfriend short for only twenty dollars! Finally, high-waisted shorts are perfect for almost any other summer occasion. Even a basic T-shirt can be jazzed up when tucked into a pair of shorts like the BDG High-Rise and paired with a statement necklace. This Fashionista added a pop of color to her high-waisted shorts with a striped neon sweater. Sandals always work with shorts, but I love that she added oxfords instead.

Hopefully you agree with my choices for must-have summer shorts, and if you have a favorite style that I didn’t mention, I would love to hear your comments.


Style Guru Bio: Emma Retzlaff

My name is Emma Retzlaff, and I will be one of the Style Gurus for the University of Minnesota this summer. I love being surrounded by fashionable friends in my major, Retail Merchandising, and I also minor in Management. This will be my second term highlighting the well-dressed citizens of Minneapolis and St. Paul for CollegeFashionista and its readers in the STYLE ADVICE OF THE WEEK column.

Having never lived in a world fashion mecca like New York City or Paris, my sense of style has definitely been somewhat molded from the exposure of street style blogs and documented fashion shows on Although I have always had a distinct personal style, think grandma chic, technology has helped me gain an edge on trends and given me endless bookmarks of inspiration. While I do enjoy playing around with current trends, my favorite pieces are those that have an air of timelessness to them — a little black dress, a silk trouser, a classic tee. Great basic pieces provide a perfect backdrop for any outfit because they can be easily dressed up with accessories or worn very simply. One of my style goals as I grow up is to weed out many of the cheap, fast fashion pieces that I only buy because they are affordable while I’m in college and replace them with well-made, luxurious items that will last longer and always be fashion-forward. As I write this summer, I can hopefully find links to some great products that are made with higher standards.

Summer is my absolute favorite time of the year, and I can’t wait to see what styles the city has to offer over the next few months.