CLASS OF 2014: Janelle

I graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University on May 10, 2014! It is the end of an era, and that sounds so unreal to say. I started off as a freshman here, and for the last four years, VCU and the Fashion Department have put me through just about every test imaginable, but it was all worth it. I have had amazing experiences as a student here, made great friends and mentors.

This semester alone has been the best of all four years. I helped produce the annual fashion show, started styling officially and joined CollegeFashionista as a Style Guru. These past few months have been truly amazing although sometimes a little difficult to manage, but that is fashion! I have loved being a Style Guru, and although I have only been for one semester, I have learned so much. CollegeFashionista has forced me to step out of my comfort zone, and to never settle for the average. It will be an adjustment not to search for a student to stop each week, but  I am grateful for the experience to work with the entire CollegeFashionista team.

Now that school is a wrap, the plan is to move to New York at the end of the summer and to get started on this stylist quest. I want to work primarily as an editorial stylist so I am making moves to intern and assist stylists as a start. School is over, but like my professor said, it is only the beginning. Catch you later my loves!


Finals are over, and summer has officially commenced. Campus is getting empty, but as I made my last rounds of campus searching for a stylish student, I stumbled upon this fellow. Today’s Fashionisto keeps it classic and summer simple on this hot day. He sports a classic plaid button-down with Bermuda shorts and brown boat shoes, a look only fitting to sail away on the best of boats.

Name: Sam Elder

Major: Biology and Business

Year: Sophomore

CollegeFashionista: How would you describe your style?

Sam Elder: My style is preppy, but relaxed. I like short shorts, and my style is almost fratty in a way, but I am not in a fraternity. I like to wear button-down shirts, shorts, skinny jeans that are not too skinny and Sperry Top-Siders. Sperry Top-Siders are a staple for me.

CF: Who is your style icon and why?

SE: I really like the way that Lana Del Rey dresses, not that she inspires me. I just love the way that she looks— the style that she has and what she wears.

CF: What is favorite part about dressing for the summer?

SE: I like being able to show off my legs, especially if I have a tan and just being comfortable.

How To: To achieve this classic ensemble, locate a simple short sleeve button-down. Make sure to keep the fabric light to suit the warmer weather. Next, find some trendy Bermuda shorts. You can buy the shorts at knee length, or do it yourself and cut an old pair of jeans. Then, find a classic brown or black waist belt and pair your look with neutral Sperry Top-Sider shoes.


The art of taking a basic look and building it up to something amazing is a skill that I love to see on campus. Today’s Fashionista does just that as she decks herself out in a warm weather savvy ensemble. She pairs a basic sleeveless white top with boyfriend jeans. Then, she adds a beautifully printed kimono with stylish sandals. She takes her look even further with Warby Parker clear frames and statement accessories. Soak in a style tip from this Fashionista because she is on it!

Name: Pooja Bhaskar

Major: Fashion Merchandising

Year: Senior

CollegeFashionista: What best describes your style?

Pooja Bhaskar: I do not really have a specific style, but I love adding masculine inspired pieces into my very feminine wardrobe. It adds a unique twist that keeps my wardrobe very interesting!

CF: What inspired your look today?

PB: Casual style! I wanted a comfortable look that seemed effortless but still very stylish. I chose to keep my look simple and then build it up with staple accessories that bring the look to life.

CF: What are your go-to brands for revving up your summer wardrobe?

PB: ASOS, Zara and Topshop because they always have unique, trend savvy pieces that you can slowly add to your wardrobe. They are affordable and keep your style ahead of the game.

How To: To recreate this Fashionista’s season savvy look, you need to start off with the basics and build up. Find a plain white sleeveless top and pair it with some stylish boyfriend jeans. Then, get your hands on a unique, lightweight kimono or cape to add some flare with a intricate embroidery or print. The kimono is perfect for summer nights! Then, get edgy with some statement sandals. For accessories, add on a chunky necklace and some intricate earrings to make your look unforgettable.


Looking back on the semester, I find that streetwear is a topic I have left a bit untouched. As the semester winds down, I see more of this relaxed style everywhere I turn. Streetwear has a knack for oozing personality, and today’s Fashionisto has the style down pact. He sports a graphic Bruce Lee T-shirt with black Kith joggers, bright red Nike Air Max sneakers and a corduroy Supreme hat. Check him out!

Name: Tyerell Dotson

Major: Psychology and Sociology

Year: Senior

CollegeFashionista: How would you describe your style?

Tyerell Dotson: I would describe my style as simple but distinctive. I like to wear black and brands like Bape, Supreme, CDG, Marcelo Burlon, Hood By Air T-shirts and A.P.C. Pigalle.

CF: What is your idea of the perfect outfit?

TD: The perfect outfit for me would be all-black with a Burberry trench and Balmain jeans. As far as shoes, a shirt and accessories go, it is however I feel.

CF: Whose closet do you want to raid most and why?

TD: A$AP Rocky and Pharrell. A$AP, because of the wide range of gear that he would have, and not just high fashion like Pigalle or Visvim, but more simple streetwear like Bape and Supreme. They are brands that I really enjoy wearing.

How To: To recreate this urban ensemble, a statement graphic T-shirt is a must have. Then, hop on trend and get yourself some comfortable joggers. These are perfect for finals week to keep your wardrobe relaxed, but stylish. Try out some vibrant kicks to add some color and personality to your look. Then, pop on a cool 5 panel hat and you are set!


Contrary to popular belief, I think guys have the best choices in clothes. They are classic, and the smallest trendy accents in a look have the power to take it to a whole other level each season. That is so budget friendly, my friends. Take today’s Fashionisto as an example. He pairs a short sleeve white button-down, dark blue jeans and colorful Nike running shoes. It is so simple yet stylish. Check him out!

Name: Taevon Palmer

Major: Homeland Secuity

Year: Senior

CollegeFashionista: What does your style say about you?

Taevon Palmer: My style says that I am clean and simplistic, with a hint of retro.

CF: What do you have the most of in your closet right now?

TP: Shoe wise, I have a lot of running shoes in my closet. Pants wise, I have a lot of jogger pants, and shirt wise, I have a lot of button-ups and Bape T-shirts.

CF: Whose style are you admiring the most this season? Why?

TP: I would probably say Kanye West. His style is always clean and well put together. It is never too flashy, which is how I like to dress.

CF: What is the one thing you wish you had in your wardrobe but do not?

TP: Honestly, I wish I had more shoes. You can never have enough shoes. Also, I would like more button-ups, jerseys and hats— so, a little of everything, I guess. The one thing I wish I had is a nice pair of ripped black jeans. Those would look nice with a lot of stuff that I want to wear.

How To: To recreate this Fashionisto’s look, locate a crisp, classic short sleeve button-down. This can be a solid or a print depending on the style you are going for. Then, find some great fitted dark denim jeans and pair them with some trendsetter kicks.


Off in Richmond, the weather is getting warmer as each day passes. Wandering around campus, I have noticed the typical reemergence of shorts and sandals. However, I really found interest in the Fashionistas that pushed the envelope with easy yet trendy pieces for their weather savvy looks. Today’s Fashionista sports a classic plaid button-down over a staple black romper and paired with trendy black sandals. Get a load of how this Fashionista is styling it up for a move towards better weather.

Name: Hallie Spradlin

Major: Fashion Merchandising

Year: Senior

CollegeFashionista: How would you describe your style?

Hallie Spradlin: I would describe my style as classically modern— simple, but fun.

CF: Where are some of your favorite places to rack up on your summer wardrobe? Why?

HS: My favorite place to shop for summer pieces is Zara, because their clothes are well made, staple items that pair with things I already have in my closet.

CF: Who is your style icon and why?

HS: Françoise Hardy is ALWAYS my style icon. She is the epitome of 1960s street style and effortless chic.

How To: There is nothing like a look of effortless style and ease to achieve a look fit for the weather transition of spring. Start with a classic plaid button-down that can be worn as a staple layering piece. Then, try out a stylish yet flattering romper (it can be in print instead of just a solid color). Finally, get your hands on some trendy chunky-sole sandals to finish your flawless look.


I love a great mix of print with bold colors. Today’s glamorous Fashionista gets mixed up in print, while staying true to her feminine style. She pairs a striped sweater with a printed skirt and open-toed black heels. To add even more interest to her look, she adds a black studded purse and a red detailed necklace. Check her out!

Name: Jennifer Burchette

Major: Mass Communications

Year: Senior

CollegeFashionista: How would you describe your style?

Jennifer Burchette: I would have to describe my style as high end glam. I like to be on-trend without being trendy. I stick to more classic pieces that will be appreciated from season to season, and I don’t mind taking fashion risks. 

CF: How do you make your look work for a day on the go?

JB: Since I am literally always on the go, I honestly pick out my clothes the night before in order to save time for the upcoming busy day. I feel more organized and ready for a hectic day when I plan ahead of time. Unfortunately, I find myself day dreaming in class or at work a lot about what I am going to wear next. Like any piece of artwork or form of expression, it takes a creative process. 

CF: What items should every Fashionista have in their closet this season?

JB: A pair of ruffled socks, a versatile lightweight jacket, printed linen scarves, colored skinnies, like a bright cobalt or misted yellow and for every season, a pair of oversized sunglasses!

How To: When looking to recreate this Fashionista’s look, aim for colors and prints with impact! Try out a bright mod striped crop top with an attention-grabbing contrast gingham skirt. Then, strap on some dashing leather heels to finish the look.


Style knows no bounds, and today’s Fashionista can certainly attest to that. Riddled in layers, she pairs a cargo button-down over a detailed white T-shirt that is worn on top of a striped long sleeved top. She adds a peak of pink with a pleated skirt, and then pairs her look with deep red ankle boots. Check out this daring Fashionista!

Name: Amy Gatewood

Major; Fashion Merchandising

Year: Senior

CollegeFashionista: How would you describe your style?

Amy Gatewood: My style is just whatever I feel.

CF: What inspired you to put this look together?

AG: Honestly, my friend inspired me, because she likes to layer a lot of pieces. Recently I just wanted to put different pieces together, like a high-waisted skirt with a long shirt that is not tucked in, whereas normally you would tuck it in. I just kind of went out of the box and put really weird things together.

CF: What advice would you give Fashionistas on changing up their wardrobe for the warm weather to come?

AG: Honestly, I would say do-it-yourself projects. As the weather gets warmer, I like going through my closet and picking out the shirts that I do not really wear and manipulating them. Then, I can wear them in the summer, or while it gets warm, and make it a whole year type of thing. You can change your wardrobe completely and not by buying new things, but by manipulating each piece so that you can wear it all year round.

How To: Manipulate your look into something new like this stylish Fashionista! Start off with a not so basic, boxy striped top. Then, add on a cool, laser cut shell top with a loose fitting button-down on top. For the lower half, go for a flattering flared skirt, and get your hands on some epic colored boots to take your look to the next level.


Comfy chic is the class ready look that I find to be most of my peers’ style of choice. The look is not too jazzed up, however, it still has the perfect amount of eye-catching style to spotlight! Today’s Fashionista embraces this style as she pairs a chic black coat with a cropped sweater over a solid black button-up, with black jeans and biker boots. To add a dashing accent to her look, she accessorizes with a chunky necklace dripping in pearl details. Check her out!

Name: Cherell McManus

Major: Business

Year: Sophomore

CollegeFashionista: How would you describe your style?

Cherell McManus: I would describe it as comfy chic. I like to be comfortable, while still looking cute. I like high-waisted jeans and button-ups; I like the layered look, especially in the winter, because it keeps me warm, but you can still look cute while you are wearing it. I love to accessorize with jewelry, and I like simpleness— it goes a long way.

CF: What is your plan for transitioning layers into your spring wardrobe?

CM: I plan to brighten up the colors and wear lighter fabrics. I usually just mix it up by layering tops and pairing them with shorts, so it is not too heavy.

CF: What are some of your favorite places to shop right now and why?

CM: One would have to be Forever 21. I know there may be a lot of people that shop there, but I know that their stuff is cheap and that I can get cute stuff from them. Another place would be GoJane. It is an online store where I know I can find designer type things that are cheaper.

How To: Take some advice from this Fashionista and brighten up your color choices for spring! Try out a peachy-orange button-down and pair a versatile cropped sweatshirt over it. Then, get your hands on some black skinny jeans and pair them with some super stylish black boots. To get like this Fashionista, deck out your look with a statement necklace for that extra pop.


Amongst all prints and colors that breath such life into fashion, there is still the subtle sanctity of black. It is the go-to color for style. Today’s Fashionisto keeps his look simple with a head-to-toe solid black ensemble. I adore how he not only uses black, but uses different textures of black in his look as well. Check out Mr. Dapper!

Name: Lloyd Graham

Major: Exercise Science

Year: Senior

CollegeFashionista: What about black makes it a staple color for your look?

Lloyd Graham: I like that it pretty much goes with everything. It is very form fitting, and I am a slim guy, so it adds a bit of sleekness to my wardrobe. Black is a color of solidarity, which I feel represents me.

CF: How is your style reflected in your day-to-day outfit choices?

LG: I always have to be comfortable. No matter how good an outfit looks, if I do not feel comfortable physically and mentally I am not wearing it. I prefer wearing solids and neutral colors that catches your eye up close, rather than trying to be the center of attention.

CF: What is your favorite item of clothing in your closet?

LG: Probably my black Stussy crewneck with a cheetah print logo. I usually do not wear a lot of print, but the yellow just stands out in the black background more than it would on a white shirt. It is comfortable and warm, which is perfect for a cold night where I do not want a heavy jacket.

How To: This look is possibly the simplest it gets in recreation. A great way to put together an all-black look is to incorporate different textures. Try pairing a leather paneled T-shirt with some comfortable black chino pants. Then, stay warm with a classic black jacket and pop on some black kicks to finish off your solid look.