How to Be Comfortable at Work

We’ve all been there, when you want to look decent for work but also want to be comfortable. If you’re lucky enough to have a work setting where you don’t have to wear business professional or right on that border, it’s a little easier to get away with more comfortable apparel. If you have a work setting where you can wear business casual, you’re likely to get away with outfits as long as they aren’t jeans. But some work settings jeans are totally acceptable as long it’s not leggings. Each level has a limit. This mermaid vibe look is perfect for all levels up to business professional. Business professional is pretty straightforward; you’re wearing a suit.

This outfit is both comfy and trendy. You can wear it to work, to a bridal shower, or on the town. The lace-up front for a top is seen everywhere. On a black top it’s perfect for a night out, on this floral top it’s fine to wear to work. Mix it with a comfortable green maxi skirt, and you’ve got yourself a perfect boho outfit. The Fashionista wore black sandals with this outfits. Some employers will allow that, but others will not. Therefore, you can pair it with flats as well. The Fashionista also has an amazing Little Mermaid and a few other inspirational Alex and Ani bracelets which deserve recognition. Alex and Ani bracelets can be added to any outfit and look fabulous.

In conclusion, you can be both comfortable and work appropriate. For the Fashionista it’s a comfortable, yet trendy top matched with a maxi skirt. My work place allows for jeans, so I wear them all the time. If you need comfortable slacks, Ann Taylor Loft has my personal favorite in the Marisa fit. Gap has super comfortable girlfriend chinos in multiple colors that could be worn in a business casual setting as well. Just remember, just because the dress code maybe more than your average “walk around campus with a baggy sweatshirt and leggings” look, it doesn’t have to be the most uncomfortable outfit in the world.

How do you stay comfortable in work clothes? Share your work outfit and tag us @CFashionista

God Bless Ribbon Belts

Summer is upon us which means more outdoorsy activities! Who isn’t looking forward to the classic American summer: pools, BBQs, fireworks and that summer heat! Even though it can get pretty toasty in the Cincinnati area, it does not mean you have to sacrifice style. You can be both comfortable and stylish with the heat waves coming through. One piece you can use that’s stylish and classic is a standard ribbon belt. Ribbon belts would fall under the fashion category of preppy, but a good ribbon belt can make an outfit standout.

The summer is full of classic American holidays like the Fourth of July, in which case the use of flags as a prop was necessary (as you can tell). I’ve included both photos of a male Fashionisto as well as myself modeling ribbon belts. The reason being is because ribbon belts are not for one gender; they’re for all who choose to wear them! As you can see they’re colorful and fun, yet classic. You can wear them with casual looks (as the Fashionisto and myself are demonstrating), or you can wear them in a more business casual look with khakis or other slacks. The Fashionisto is showing a look that’s more suited for a relax business atmosphere, while mine is 100 percent casual.

The Fashionisto chose colors that highlight the belt. A blue button-down, blue jeans, and the brown leather dress shoes accentuates the purple and green in the belt by F. H. Wadsworth. On myself I decided to pair my belt with a classic white button up and mom jean-shorts, as well as brown faux leather sandals. I really wanted to stick with the red, white, and blue theme, seeing as my ribbon belt resembles the American flag. For ladies, it’s easiest to pair your makeup based off the color the belt. For this particular instant I chose red due to the fact that the main accent color was red.

There are so many different ways to make a ribbon belt work! Feel free to tag @CFashionista with your tips on styling a ribbon belt if you have one that you love as well!

WHAT TO WEAR: Game Day Swag

March Madness took the nation by storm, but it’s over now and we have a new NCAA basketball champion. Opening Day has passed by now, and Cincinnati has rejoiced, celebrating the Reds. Pretty soon football season will have its shining moment yet again. We are in an endless cycle of awesome sports! In the northern Kentucky/Cincinnati area, there are quite a few teams to support. The Reds in baseball; Bengals in football; University of Cincinnati, Xavier (Go Muskies!), and Northern Kentucky University (Go Norse!) in NCAA basketball. Sports are a huge thing to support around here!

So how do you dress up your sports gear so you still look fashionable? There are many ways to do so. You can wear your favorite sports team shirt and a pair of high-waisted shorts in the warmer months, which is a personal favorite of mine. You can wear jeans, a team-related shirt, and a cardigan; or, as this Fashionista has here, a classic sports team sweatshirt, leggings, and booties. Cute, comfy, and classic.

To give some background, Northern Kentucky University’s (NKU) first year for eligibility in the NCAA tournament was this year. What’s most exciting about that is NKU made it into the tournament, which is a huge deal here in Kentucky because we are a basketball state. So it was a great time for NKU, as stores were quickly selling out of NKU gear.

With that being said, the Fashionista here was super excited to show off her NKU gear and Norse Up. As mentioned, it’s a simple outfit that you will often find on college campuses. I also want to mention that keeping the bottom half one color brings the focus to the upper portion of the body, as well as makes the body look longer.

This Fashionista is also one of those natural beauties without makeup. Ever since Alicia Keys came to the forefront as a no-makeup advocate, it has really taken off. All women should feel beautiful with or without makeup based on their preferences, and it is important to remember there are women who don’t wear makeup and look beautiful doing so.

Go support your teams and schools during whatever sporting season you love!

STYLE GURU STYLE: All You Need is Flannel

Hello again fashion-forward friends! I hope the winter blues haven’t been getting you down. To cheer you up here is one of my favorite casual pairings: blue jeans, flannel, ankle boots, dark lip, and a top-knot bun. I would call this a country-hipster look, because you could either find this on a coffee shop worker or someone going to an Avett Brothers concert. Personally, you’re likely to find me at either.

I have discovered the older I get the more I love flannels. It’s definitely because they’re cute and cozy. But they can also be used so many ways. You can wear flannel to work, layer it under a sweater, over your workout attire, or tie it around a dress to make it more edgy. Flannels are actually the most versatile staple you can own. They’re also easily accessible. My personal favorites are J.Crew Factory with Urban Outfitters in a close second. Both are soft, great quality, and affordable.

This flannel in particular is from Target; they have a large assortment at decent prices. These high-waisted jeans are from Gap. High-waisted makes me feel confident about my body, plus I feel like my body looks longer when I wear high-waisted anything. I mentioned it in my bio, but I just wanted to reiterate cuffing of the jeans. If you’re shorter, like myself, cuffing the jeans ensures that jeans do not bunch up at the bottom making you look shorter. Plus, cuffing with ankle boots has been a huge trend lately.

Every time I’ve worn this outfit, I have paired it with a top-knot and a dark lip. I’m definitely the person who has a matching lipstick for almost every color in my wardrobe. Unicorn Blood by Jeffree Star has become my favorite lipstick of all time. Anastasia Beverly Hills liquid lip in Heathers is a great dupe for this shade if Unicorn Blood isn’t available. The top-knot is perfect because it’s easy and great when you’re feeling lazy but also want to look put together.

Go enjoy your flannel my fashion-forward friends!

STYLE ADVICE: Stay Classy and Warm

Hello there fashion-forward friends! The reason why winter is my least favorite is because of the cold. Here in the Northern Kentucky/Cincinnati area, winter gets pretty brutal. One day it could be close to 60 degrees, but for the next week it’ll be -10 degrees. With those conditions, it’s hard to stay stylish when you’re more focused on being warm. So here are a few tips based on my Fashionista’s attire on how to remain fabulous and not frumpy during the harsh winter season.

For one, sweaters are your best friend. Sweaters are great because you can layer them or wear them solo and still look cute while being comfortable. My Fashionista is wearing a classic black sweater, which is easy to layer with undershirts or scarves or anything because black is classic. For this look, a scarf was layered on top, and this scarf matched perfectly with the tan socks worn to layer the boots. Layering boot socks over blue jeans is quickly becoming super popular this season, and it’s understandable why. It’s warm but it adds a new dimension onto a look. The boots themselves are a classic ankle boot with a heel, but what’s unique about them is there is a bit of red on the back, which matches perfectly with the accent color within the scarf.

Another thing to remember about the winter is simple is key. If you layer too much, when you go inside to a heated space you’ll burn up. Plus who really wants to overdo a look when that isn’t your top priority. To keep it within the simple theme, my Fashionista is only wearing a watch for jewelry. This watch actually has a story to accompany it. The watch was her grandmother’s who recently passed away. My Fashionista mentioned that even before her grandmother passed she would wear it, even though it didn’t work. Therefore, my Fashionista wears it all the time because of how sentimental it is to her.

There you have it. To remain stylish and warm remember important elements: sweaters, scarves and simplicity. Stay warm my fashion-forward friends.

STYLE GURU BIO: Hattie Clark

Hello fellow fashion forward friends! My name is Hattie Clark, and I am writing to you from the Northern Kentucky area right outside of Cincinnati. I go to Xavier University pursuing my MBA right in Cincinnati. Cincinnati, to me, is one of the coolest up and coming hipster towns in America. If you ever have the opportunity to stop here, be sure to check out the murals and the cool, fun places in the Over-the-Rhine neighborhood, which is where my photos were taken for this article.

I could go on and on about how cool Cincy is, but now I want to talk about my style and influences. My style ranges anywhere from the girl who stepped out of a J.Crew catalogue to someone who should probably be a barista at the Coffee Emporium (hipster coffee shop in Cincy). I also have my athleisure chill days too, which is what I’m most likely wearing when I’m not at work. Although I sometimes dress preppy, I know how to get the good brands on a budget. Never deny the power of a good thrift shop or following company websites for the big sales.

Many magazines, blogs, and websites give excellent fashion advice. For instance, one piece of advice that has stuck with me for years is cuffing your jeans if you are shorter—which is myself. This advice really helps if your jeans bunch up on the bottom. My other favorite place for fashion advice is J.Crew itself. This past summer was the season for tying button up shirts—before that it was the half tuck—which I paid attention to and learned about all from J.Crew. When I was younger I enjoyed Lauren Conrad’s blog as well.

My featured outfit is definitely inspired by J.Crew, considering two of the pieces are from J.Crew Mercantile. I love layering sweaters with a button up shirt below it. I’ve had a friend ask how to style a button up with a sweater, and here are a few easy tips for you. First, wear a lighter fabric. This way you won’t overheat at work or school when you’re hiding from the frigid temperatures outside. Second, make sure you’re wearing a women’s fit blouse. Third, always cuff or roll the button up shirts sleeves on the sleeves of the sweater. If my sweater is not to flashy I often layer a statement necklace with it too. This outfit I managed to color coordinate perfectly. My green corduroys are from Ann Taylor Loft, and my shoes are the Toms wedges. I’m not a huge fan of wedges, but for some reason I love these. I’m a huge makeup fan, especially lipstick. Therefore, I wanted to point out that my lipstick is Jeffree Star’s pumpkin pie.

I’m excited to continue my second semester with CollegeFashionista and hope you continue to enjoy my content.

ALL IN THE DETAILS: Ode to The ’90s

Fashion forward friends, I have to admit I am obsessed with my Fashionista’s outfit. It’s perfect if you are trying to say, “I love the ’90s but I’m adorable.” It’s comfortable, put-together and trendy.

Each piece matches and fits with the others like a faultlessly constructed puzzle of fashion. For instance, my Fashionista is wearing sparkly tights in a burgundy shade, while her flannel’s accent color matches the color. The blue of her flannel matches the color of her socks, which she has perfectly layered over the tights. She is faintly mixing patterns with the stripes of the socks and the plaid of the flannel. The rule with mixing patterns is matching a color, which she has executed. Her flannel also helps bring attention to the blue jean skirt she is wearing. The skirt is actually a skort found at a thrift shop. Talk about a true ’90s throwback!

Although the tan top and gray-tan boots do not fit the color scheme of burgundy and blue, they help accentuate the primary colors while being a muted accent color. My Fashionista informed me the boots are from a company called G. H. Bass and have been great boots in regards to quality. It’s always a great thing when you find a pair of boots that are cute, affordable and high-quality!

One of my favorite features from my Fashionista’s look are her cute top-knots with her fantastically curly hair. Being blessed with curly hair myself, I know it’s hard to figure out how to make a popular trend work with curls. Obviously my Fashionista has perfect hair and the top-knot compliments it’s awesomeness.

One thing I wanted to mention about her outfit is that her mother made fun of this outfit. I instantly defended it telling her how incredible it is! I’m sure she gets many compliments from people around her as well. How could she not? It relays her fun and relaxed personality, as well as being trendy and adorable. This outfit is a perfect ode to popular flashback to the ’90s trend.

WHAT TO WEAR: Leisurely Cool

Hello fashion forward friends! Do you know what the comfiest, yet hippest trend around is? Athleisure! We all have our gym clothes. Some actually wear them to the gym, others wear them to lounge around in. To be comfortable, we sometimes sacrifice being fashionable. Now that more and more brands are making cool work out clothes, that is not an excuse any longer!

Take for example my Fashionista, she is wearing one of the coolest jackets around. It has a beautiful pattern that reminds me of marble and lightening. It’s made by RBX so it is the perfect fabric for athletic wear. It’s thick but has no fleece on the interior. On RBX‘s website, they describe it as a “scuba bomber” that’s made from neoprene. The best way to describe the neoprene fabric is wearable foam. RBX’s site also describes it as being “quick drying and designed for movement.” If one wanted to, they could run in this jacket and stay warm and dry in cooler months. Or you could just wear it around town on a nice fall day before, after or ignoring a workout.

My Fashionista’s shoes may not be adidas, which is a hot brand right now, but they are from another high quality athletic brand. These Under Armour athletic shoes are fashionable, yet practical. They aren’t bulky like other athletic shoes, yet they are supportive enough for athletic activities. Keep in mind, all athletic shoes are different and if you do intend on partaking in athletic activities get shoes that match your needs.

Athleisure is fun because it turns our favorite items of clothing into fashion. We all love our yoga pants, sports bras and tanks. But wearing these items all the time doesn’t always give the put-together vibe we seek. Brands are now making high quality pieces with cool patterns and flattering shapes. High quality athletic wear isn’t cheap, but remember there are discount stores like T.J. Maxx that often has popular brands. The RBX jacket was purchased there and I have seen brands like: Nike, Calvin Klein, Athleta, etc. The important part is that we can show off our squat booties or couch booties and look fabulous doing so.

STYLE GURU STYLE: Fall Back to ’90s Grunge

Fall is officially here my fashion forward friends! Temperatures are finally below 90 degrees here in the Northern Kentucky/Cincinnati area, which means that everything is pumpkin spice and everything nice. Fall is the best time of the year for fashion and the fall essentials are now being released into the world again. The fall staples of sweaters, boots, vests, leggings and flannel are what we will see on all females.

A personal fall and winter staple of mine is velvet. A large portion of my fall and winter wardrobe consist of velvet items. This is why the fabric had to be featured in this post. The look consists of a classic black velvet skater dress, with a black velvet chocker, a blue and white flannel wrapped around my hips and black sneakers. This is a fun, confident outfit to wear with the resurgence of the ’90s grunge trend.

A flannel wrapped around the hips with a shirt dress or a skater dress really accentuates womanly features, while making an outfit pop. It’s what makes an outfit go from basic to fashion forward. Plus, it’s convenient if you get cold; you can just unwrap the flannel and put it on.

Now where does one find this cool stuff? The velvet choker and dress are both from Forever 21. The dress is from a few years ago, while the choker is recent. The flannel is from J.Crew Factory. My favorite flannels come from J.Crew and Urban Outfitters, primarily because they are made from soft not stiff flannel. My sneakers are from Target and the purse is from Old Navy. It’s a great beige color, has a suedette feel and has plenty of room.

Another key component to this ’90s grunge vibe is the hair and makeup. The hair is very simple to do. Because my hair is super thick, I do have to do it in three pieces or it does not turn out right. I grab a small front portion, a small portion from each side and put it up in a clear ponytail holder. The makeup is a simple look: winged eyeliner with a dark lip. The lipstick is one of the plums from the fall edit on Colourpop called Notion.

Fall is the best time of year. The temperature, smells and colors all around are perfect. I’m ecstatic that I can now wear my fall staples and enjoy the fall hot drinks. I hope you’re as excited as I am. Happy fall y’all!

STYLE GURU BIO: Hattie Clark

Hello there fashion enthusiasts and welcome to my page. My name is Hattie Clark, and I am coming to you from the Northern Kentucky/Cincinnati area. This is my first year as an MBA student at Xavier University. I am a huge nerd who is obsessed with furthering my education. Not only that, but because I am in graduate school, I now get to pursue being a Style Guru for the first time.

I love Cincinnati and I love my state of Kentucky. Maybe because mine is the best, but I will never understand the people who don’t believe in having state pride. Other things I love include: cats, beautiful landscapes, dancing, singing, theatre, photography and traveling.

My sense of fashion derives from the need to constantly look professional. I gather a lot of fashion tips from J.Crew and Gap. I browse Target’s clothing at least four times a week. I graduated from Lilly Pulitzer to Kate Spade the minute I no longer was considered an undergraduate student. A good description of my primary fashion sense is classic and retro. You can also find me dabbing in darker territory. Black is classic and flannel is one of the best gifts to human kind. I’m totally fine with the ’90s comeback trend. With that being said, you can find me perusing Urban Outfitters. Admittedly, I can’t always afford a lot of my favorite brands. Therefore, thrifts shops are where I find a lot of my clothes.

Another important element to my style is makeup. I just recently discovered how much I love it. This is coming from a girl who only wore makeup once a year until she was 18 and even afterward it was sparse.  But now it is probably where all my money goes. My grandmother always says, “you never leave the house without color on your lips.” Because of that, my lipstick collection is huge. I have a shade for every mood. I have also been told I’m known for rocking weird shades.

The outfit pictured is one of my favorites. It’s a male Ralph Lauren button up, with multiple items from Target; such as the jeans and lace up flats. The Ralph Lauren shirt reminds of Doris Day, I can wear it with leggings or jeans and I feel like I stepped right out of a 1950s film. Plus, it’s the most comfortable shirt I own. My favorite shirt also happens to be a thrift shop find! And these classic lace up flats just so happen to be my favorite. Right now they are my only pair in the style, but I want multiple colors to complete my wardrobe.

I can’t wait to continue this path as a Style Guru and I hope you appreciate it as well.