Whilst visiting one of my best friends in Indiana, I was constantly surrounded by Fashionistas. I had never been before, so seeing so many fashion forward people was a bit of a shock to me! There seems to be a stereotype here in California that people in the midwest aren’t the most stylish, but that theory could not be farther from the truth! Everyone puts loads of effort into their appearance and looks like they are ready to walk the red carpet at any given moment. Of course there were countless Fashionistas I could have snapped pictures of, but I didn’t have my camera with me at all times (one of my greatest regrets)! I was, however, able to get some great pictures of this stylish cutie out and about one sunny day.

I think what drew me to her outfit was the simplicity of it. Simplicity is so overlooked nowadays! She was sporting classic, basic pieces which I feel many people don’t think to wear anymore. We are often so caught up in the latest trends and what we can wear to draw the most attention to ourselves, but when did we decide that a classic gray turtleneck and blue jeans not categorize as “hip and trendy” anymore?

This Fashionista was wearing a gray cashmere turtleneck from Zara, high-rise skinny jeans from Madewell, and white Converse. I especially love her turtleneck because it keeps her warm in the unpredictable, Indiana weather. After spring she says it rarely gets below 50 degrees, but can get pretty breezy at times! Having a great quality sweater and trusty jeans are always a great go-to for just enough warmth.

Of course I am a devoted fan of all the best new trends, but going back to basics is always something I admire. To be able to pull off nothing but a sweater and jeans, and to make it look so chic is a goal of mine! I will be sure to turn to this Fashionista for inspiration in the future.

WHAT TO WEAR: Comfy, Cozy, and Cute

Do you ever have those days where more than anything you just want to be comfortable? Maybe you woke up feeling exasperated, and you just want to throw on an outfit you know you can rely on to look cute and still feel cozy. If this is the case, you are going to want to pay attention to this Fashionista’s ensemble! She has mastered this “comfy, cozy, and cute” look down to a T.

The key to this look are the staple pieces. First, she started off with a simple pair of black, high-waisted jeans. Everyone should have a pair of trustworthy black jeans in their wardrobe. They can be worn with absolutely anything in your closet—perfect for a day where you don’t have the energy to put hours into carefully strategizing your outfit. Second, she grabbed a loose-fitting white T-shirt that hangs on her petite figure effortlessly. It’s a bit bigger than the average T-shirt would fit, but this way she can knot it in the front to add a bit of personal style to this simple look. For the last staple piece of this outfit, she picked out an oversize cardigan. It’s just baggy enough to still be considered chic but be careful, don’t go too baggy or it might come across as frumpy. These big sweaters are always such great additions to easy outfits because they create depth and tie all of the pieces together beautifully. I mean, look at this Fashionista’s glow! She is so confident and comfortable in her outfit.

For her accessories, she kept it on the minimal side. I really love a simpler approach when dealing with accessories, because I am a firm believer that a little truly does go a long way! She layered two sterling silver necklaces. One is a long smooth chain and the other a choker with minute details to it. Last but certainly not least, she threw on her trustworthy checkered Vans. These classic shoes are another piece everyone should have in their closet to rely on for a casual day. They’re easy to put on, look adorable with any outfit, and have just enough pizzazz to give you some spunk throughout the day.

I hope you’ve gained some useful tips on how to put together a comfy, cozy, and cute outfit when the time calls. You don’t always have to go above and beyond when getting dressed for class because let’s be real, it’s just class! But there are definite ways you can still dress to not only impress, but to stay true to your inner comfort fiend as well.

BEAUTY BAR: New Year, New Look

Do you have thick curly locks? Golden bronze skin? If so, this everyday beauty look is the perfect way for you to ring in the new year. In reality it’s quite easy to put together… but the result looks like you’ve put in hours of effort into your appearance. I am obsessed! I’ve always envied women with bouncy curls and a gorgeous tan complexion, but now there’s another reason for me to be jealous! This look screams trendy, chic, sexy, and cool. This glamorous Fashionista has inspired me to look more into this genius hairstyle and makeup look.

During our interview (that I wish could have gone on longer), she let me in on some of her personal beauty secrets. For her hair, she uses a coconut oil-based conditioner every other day to give her curls lots of life. She says to use shampoo sparingly, because curls need your body’s natural oils to retain moisture. However, use conditioner like there is no tomorrow! By doing this, her hair is left soft to the touch and very manageable – something all girls with curls strive for! After washing her hair, she lets it air dry because that gives it the most natural appearance.

For this specific hair style, all she does is separate her smaller curls in the front of her face from the rest of her hair, then proceeds to put her hair in the classic half-up half-down style we have all done since childhood! Who knew such an old and simple hairdo could make the hottest trends of 2017? Fluffing her curls in the front a little bit, and making sure the mini pony tail is set in place is all that’s needed for this do! I don’t think it could get much easier than that.

For her makeup, she was able to use such simple products and pull off a luxurious and lavish look. For her eyes, she is wearing Loreal’s Voluminous Mascara to make her lashes pop. She is blessed with big, rich, mahogany eyes, so mascara is all it takes to dazzle them up on a day to day basis. She uses Benefit’s Hoola Bronzer and Benefit’s Sun Beam Highlighter to add some color and light to her radiant skin. To finish off the look she wears a natural pink lipstick on her plump lips. This makeup look is simple, and everyday friendly. I found this Fashionista strutting around campus looking this effortlessly chic! 

Of course, this look can be played up or down and be used by women with all types of hair and skin color! This look is universal, easy, and unique—something that’s quite the rave in our modern day. With the hair, makeup, and an “I can do anything” attitude, you can all take on this year with confidence and style!

ALL IN THE DETAILS: Let It Catch Their Eye

Whilst home for the holidays in Marin County, CA, I haven’t made it out of the house much. Cuddling in my cozy bed with a cup of tea and my kitten has made up the majority of my actions since the end of the semester. Though one morning after Christmas, I mustered up enough energy to get brunch with some friends from high school. Walking along the suburban streets, I saw a Fashionista who looked dreadfully out of place in this basic, cookie cutter town. Maybe it was the copious amounts of coffee I had been chugging or the food coma setting in from my eggs benedict, but this woman looked like she had come straight out of a Zara look book.

As her luscious brunette locks blew through the wind, I admired her outfit from across the street. I noticed every detail of her look, from her classic black, Ray-Ban wayfarers, to her high-waisted black leather belt with silver accents. Even her perfume caught my attention when I was snapping a picture of her! The ease she pulled off this look with is something I believe many women aspire to do. It’s as if she didn’t need to think twice about putting the pieces of her outfit together, she just casually threw them on.

The tiny details of her outfit were what made it all come together so beautifully. She was wearing gorgeous saltwater pearls, (what I learned to be) vintage rings that once belonged to her grandmother, and a neckerchief along the handle of her tote. These simple accessories caught the eye of passersby more than any other part of her outfit. Small details can change a great deal in an outfit because it shows how much effort you put into your look for the day. Anyone can throw on a pair of black jeans and a T-shirt, but think about how the outfit would change by adding a detailed belt, some vintage jewelry, and black shades. Why be subpar when you can inspire those around you to put a bit more effort into their appearance? Those little details take an outfit from simple and uninteresting, to mod and alluring. You know what they say… a little goes a long way.

STYLE GURU BIO: Gabby Dillon

Hello there! My name is Gabby Dillon, and I am a junior at the University of San Francisco. I was born and raised in the Bay Area, and have been blessed with the opportunity to study communications and psychology in one of the most phenomenal cities in the world. I have always had a deep interest in fashion, and living in San Francisco has only turned that interest into a passion. I am constantly surrounded by street style that changes from district to district while in the city. Since moving from Marin County, CA, one of the most stereotypical “cookie-cutter” suburbs in America, to San Francisco, a city known for its success in the tech, food, and entertainment industry, my personal style has evolved tremendously.

One of my favorite go-to outfits is simple, comfortable, and can be easily dressed up or down depending on the situation. Pointy nude flats, black high-waisted skinny jeans, a trendy turtleneck, and an army green bomber jacket never seem to fail me. I can wear this outfit to class, when I’m out shopping, to a brunch date with some friends, or even out on the town on a Friday night. Just by swapping out my flats for some black booties with a chunky heel, or the bomber jacket for a chic leather jacket, the outfit can go from day to night in under 10 seconds. I hope you love this simple look as much as I do!

I am beyond excited to start my journey with CollegeFashionista, and to widen my knowledge in the fashion world!