For many years, Fashionistas/os have strictly obeyed the “rules of the season”—especially when determining to the appropriate choice of colors to wear during a particular season. This long list of unspoken rules is the birthplace of the popular claims that condemn wearing white during the winter and rich tones like burgundy and gold during the summer. Among these rules is one concerning pastels specifically. A group of colors consisting of mint green, baby blue, lilac, coral and many others, pastels have always had their place in women’s fashion; however, it is not until recently that their presence has been noted heavily in men’s structured blazers, trouser pants, as well as trouser shorts. The look has been adopted by celebrity Fashionistos such as Kanye West and Brad Goreski. Reminiscent of the elegance and grace of women’s fashion, pastels in general have been described as light and flowery. Perhaps it is these associations that have led them to be regarded as constituting a palette that is characteristic of the spring season – when flowers are in bloom. I personally cannot shake the parallel to the colorful wardrobes of Sonny Crockett and Rico Tubbs in the popular '80s television series, Miami Vice. No matter what the discourse surrounding them, however, it is safe to say that pastels rarely make an appearance in the fall and winter seasons. Nevertheless, this Fashionisto, a true risk-taker by nature, manages to make the look happen.

I met up with this Fashionisto at Square 80 on a frigid, but sunny afternoon. His mint green trousers coupled with a burnt orange V-neck sweater made for an eye-catching ensemble. Altogether, the look announced spring!

Having already brilliantly defied one of the rules of fashion, which restricts pastels to spring and summer seasons only, he pushed the envelope by accessorizing with a horizontally-striped steel blue and crimson tie held together by a tie clip that mirrored the color scheme of his outfit. To finish off, he wore polished deep brown work shoes and playful argyle socks that were revealed by the heightened hem of his trousers.

Wedged in a sea of students in the conventional neutral colors of fall, this Fashionisto’s decision to opt for a lighter palette worked in his favor. Often criticized when implemented in fall fashion, pastels can be complimentary when worn properly. For example, while pastels best complement each other, it is important to avoid combinations that are overwhelming. Also, in some instances, soft pastels may be preferable rather that hard or dark pastels, and vice versa.

Contrary to the “rules of the season,” I find it more applicable for Fashionistos to “dress like the weather” instead. That is, one should not pass up the opportunity to wear a colored blazer on a dry and sunny day just because it is the fall season. Color schemes should be illustrative of the weather, not the season exclusive to particular seasons, and should differ on a day-to-day basis.

Hint: For a similar look, start with coral chinos with a skinny fit and cuffed slightly at the hem. On top, layer a solid white or periwinkle button-up shirt with a steel blue V-neck sweater. Finish of the look with Desert Boot Originals by Clark or two-toned wing-tipped oxfords. Alas, a pastel look for the fall that is sure to turn heads!


There’s nothing more exciting than a defiant Fashionisto. These bad boys of fashion will have your heads spinning with their risk-taking ensembles and cool demeanor. Less than obedient to the fashion “rule book,” they will use the pages to wipe the scuffs off their wing-tipped oxfords when they’re done. Fashion police? Oh please!

This Fashionisto’s supposed crime: wearing a hoodie under a blazer. Hailed as one of the “Sins of Style,” the hoodie-blazer combo has long been scrutinized by fashion critics everywhere. But this Fashionisto brilliantly finds a way to make the look work. He does this by turning this concept completely on its head.

First, instead of wearing a regular hooded sweatshirt, he opted for a zip front hoodie instead, which he wore unzipped. This allowed him to layer with a white V-neck shirt underneath.

The Fashionisto also opted for a blazer made out of sweatshirt material, which allows for comfort while still maintaining the structure and style of a conventional blazer. Also, by doing this, he lessened the extent of the business versus casual dichotomy can be overwhelmingly obvious in the hoodie-blazer combo.

As for the bottom, This Fashionisto wore a pair of fitted, dark-washed denim jeans. Following the trend among other Fashionistos this fall, he cuffed his jeans at the ankle to reveal playful socks. What’s more, while he could easily have gone for a more casual look by wearing a backpack and canvas sneakers, he added surprising twist to the look by wearing a pair of camel wing-tipped oxfords and a versatile maroon tote from Jack Wills. Finally, he accessorized with a multitude of jelly bracelets and rings and a leather wrap Fossil watch, and finished off with a a paisley-print handkerchief to add the “business” in business-casual.
What a smooth criminal!

Hint: When attempting the hoodie-blazer combo, it is important to recognize that there are certain rules that apply. A hoodie-blazer combo, in which one or both of the pieces are oversized, adds unwanted bulkiness. Instead, try a slimming fit for the blazer and hoodie. Neat and fitting bottoms are also a must; in other words, unless you are purposefully trying to achieve the unruly look, this is not the best outfit for your ripped, acid washed denim.

For the hoodie-blazer combo done right, pair a V-neck shirt with a solid zip-front hoodie and layer with a blazer. (American Apparel has a great collection of solid hoodies!) Remember to cuff the sleeves of your hoodie so that they do not show underneath those of the blazer. Pair this with fitting jeans and wing-tipped oxfords and a leather satchel bag, and voìla!

LET’S HEAR IT FOR THE BOYS: Black on Black Beau

All-black ensembles, which have been endorsed by the likes of rapper Jay-Z (“All black everything”) and Kanye West (Black on black on black”) alike, both in their lyrics and in their personal fashion choices, have always been a safe choice. They provide effortless simplicity, and can be instantly slimming with the appropriate fit.

Today’s fashionably-endowed feature pulled off an all-black ensemble that was truly well orchestrated. On top, this Fashionisto wore a black, full-sleeved Henley shirt by the T by Alexander Wang collection, and at the bottom, he wore a pair of black fitted sweatpants by Acne. His John Summer Sweats were the perfect balance of style and comfort.

What particularly attracted me to this Fashionisto were his black leather gladiator sandals, courtesy of Balenciaga. Apart from the runway, I had never had the opportunity of seeing gladiator sandals worn by men, thus this encounter was rather refreshing. Shoes really make an all-black ensemble; while patent wing tips and moccasins can elicit a more formal look, canvas sneakers and sandals present a more casual look. This Fashionisto’s choice of gladiator shoes exhibited a laid-back and easy-going attitude that was reflective of the pleasant weather we experienced on this particular day.

This Fashionisto’s accessories were less than subtle. He paid homage to Balenciaga once more with a leather wrap bracelet in the collection, along with a silver Christian Dior watch and a Scarab ring by David Yurman. These accessories were the perfect finish to a simple and avant-garde ensemble!

Hint: In my opinion there are five colors that can be worn exclusively in an outfit: navy blue, gray, red, white and black. Wearing any other colors can run the risk of looking like one of the Fruit of the Loom characters—which can look like a horrific mess outside of Halloween season. For a similar look, start out with a black V-neck shirt layered with a black leather jacket. Pair this with black fitted sweats and black sandals, TOMS, or canvas sneakers. Accessorize with some statement jewelry pieces; a black beanie and sunglasses are optional. Voila – an all-black ensemble that is sure to turn heads!

LET’S HEAR IT FOR THE BOYS: Year Of The Gentleman

Admit it: there is always a Fashionista/o on campus of whom we are always jealous for achieving that effortless, clean-cut look on a casual day of class. For the girls, this Fashionista may be the picture of perfection in her chic pencil skirt and pointed toe skinny heels. For the guys, this Fashionisto may don his best suit on a regular class day, providing “It’s Wednesday” as his justification. 

Today’s Fashionisto is just that guy.

At first glance, I could not help but to suppress my intuition that there was something unmistakably European about today’s Fashionisto. His style radiated with such an essence that this look would not be out of place in a spread of Vogue Italia. To my heart’s content, I was delighted to be reassured of my suspicions when this Fashionisto confirmed that the European influence in his style came as a result of having lived in Paris, France.

While most of us can appreciate the go-to jeans and a T-shirt TGIF ensemble at the end of a hectic week, this Fashionisto concluded his week on a tastefully fashionable note on a Friday afternoon in Square 80. Weather-conscious, he layered a bright red button-up with an ash gray cardigan. Over this, he wore a striped navy blue suit with a pocket handkerchief that complements his red button-up shirt.

Remember those pants that have been hiding out in your closet since your friends mentioned jokingly offered you a boat and a paddle the last time you wore them? Well, since then, “high-waters” have lost their fame to the politically correct “rolled cuffs.” Lately, the trend among many Fashionistos on campus has been to hike the hems of their pants higher and higher, and some have incorporated some fun into the trend by wearing ankle socks with eye-catching prints. (In other words: it’s cuffing season—pun intended.) This Fashionisto was no exception; he cuffed his tan-colored pants right at the ankles to reveal his grey trouser socks and camel-colored moccasins.

As for accessories, he chose a burgundy, envelope-style document case in a leather finish—complements of le Sénat (French Senate). He also wore a pair of black, square-frames sunglasses, and a simple black scarf to combat the chilly weather.

This look is simple, and the color palette and warmth content are great for the fall season.

Hint: As clean-cut as this ensemble looks, it can be achieved effortlessly. To re-create this look, start with a solid button up shirt layered with a solid cardigan and suit. (The pocket handkerchief, also known as the pocket square, is optional, although it adds a nice touch.) Pair this with your favorite pants, cuffed right at, or above, the ankles, and pointed loafers or moccasins, which Bally has a great collection of. Finally, accessorize with a document case like the one featured. If you do not own a document case, a brief case or murse will do. And voilà!


Earlier this year, I attended a spoken word event at Le Poisson Rouge, a sizable venue in New York City, where talented spoken word artists shared their moving pieces. I was especially taken by Zora Neale Howard’s piece “Brother Boat Shoe,” which began with an unapologetic, “Brother boat shoe. Brother bow tie. Brother, scholar trying to bag me at these Ivys; emphasize try.” While the witty opening, enough to knock me off my feet, kept me in anticipation of her next words, perhaps it should have been my hint that these two items would be this year’s hot ticket items.

The boat shoe has manifested into somewhat of a staple item at GWU – for girls and boys alike – that we know. I figure that it has something to do with unanimity within the students – perhaps a “We stand together” sort demonstration of our unity in exacting social change in the shoe industry. I don’t exactly own a pair, so I cannot be fully certain. The bow tie, on the other hand, has made a well-deserved come-back in the past year, and its popularity is resonating in GWU’s Fashionisto community.
Bow ties allows for a great deal of versatility; it can be paired with skinnies, a collared shirt and a sweater for a more casual feel or it can complement a fitted two-piece suit for a cleaner look. One thing we can certainly agree on is that the plain black bow tie–the kind reserved for the groomsmen – is slowly losing its fame to its brightly-colored and patterned kin. No complaints here! Yet, it should be understandable that chasing today’s featured Fashionisto across a busy street was well worth it.

This Fashionisto’s bow tie was a seller! Courtesy of Urban Outfitters, it features is a vibrant canary yellow color, accented with thick black stripes. Here, our Fashionisto used his bow tie to complement a white collared dress-shirt, layered with a yellow (or as we would say at GWU – yellow à la buff) V-neck sweater. As for the bottom, he wore a pair of tan dress trousers and dress shoes. He finished off with a maroon cross-body, Greek apparel and a silver Thomas Joseph and Son watch.

This look is clean, and the bow tie adds a pop of cheer to the subtlety of the look. It is definitely a switch-up from the casual wear of most Fashionistos on a regular day of class! 

Hint: Because of the versatility of bow ties, they can be paired with most anything to a create a similar or drastically different look. Urban Outfitters and MyAfricanista are great places to find this popular accessory!


I remember my very first pair of corduroy pants–chestnut, with a wide-leg fit and thick cables. Looking back on it, I cringe at the thought of looking like a bona fide hippie in my groovy new pants, but it was certainly impossible for me to escape the comfort of the soft cotton. With comfort in mind, it’s no wonder that so many Fashionistos are surrendering to the powers of the cords in these early stages of the fall season. Many are incorporating the soft cotton material into their headwear, sporting fitted corduroy caps and newsboy hats, and in their jackets, blazers and of course, trousers. Today’s Fashionisto is no exception.

This Fashionisto took a modern spin on this classic look, by opting for a more modern fit. Many designers today are creating these trousers in a slimmer fit to accommodate for the younger and more fashion-conscious generation of Fashionistos, who too would cringe at the thought of being mistaken for one of Shaggy’s long lost relatives.

While I find that corduroy trousers are best complemented by long sleeved, solid-colored Henley shirts, which is how our Fashionisto wore his, they can truly be paired with just about anything! In the spirit of fall weather, our Fashionisto also layered with a tan shawl-collared cardigan. As for accessories, he wore oversized specs and a camel cross-body with an adjustable strap and finished off the look with worn in boat shoes.

The combination of comfort, effortlessness, great warmth content and a neutral palette make this look perfect for the fall!

Hint: To re-create this look, start with a pair of cords with your preferred fit. These cords can be paired with a long sleeved Henley for a more casual look, or with a chunky sweater or shawl-collared cardigan for a more fall-inspired look. Finish off with canvas sneakers or lace-up mid-calf boots. Because corduroy trousers provide more versatility than denim jeans, they can easily be dressed up or down, and are perfect for every occasion. In addition to comfort and versatility, corduroy trousers also provide durability, (and although they may eventually begin to wear, just like denim jeans, the distressed look gives it edge, and is just as fashionable.) Comfort, durability and versatility; what more could a guy want?


The three-piece suit isn’t much of a staple item in the closets of many Fashionistos. The reality is that unless a wedding, fancy soiree or ball are to be attended, there is just no need for it. Most guys also like to think that the vest is forever united with the blazer. (“I now pronounce thee suit and blazer,” said the tailor.) In other words, if the vest came with the suit, it will be worn with the suit and only the suit. Well here’s the truth: vests are not inseparable from suits. The vest or waistcoat can stand alone (although not alone entirely) and can be used to complement many looks from casual to classy and elegant.

This week’s Fashionisto took a very relaxed approach to the vest. On top, he wore a red tartan plaid button-up, with the sleeves rolled up right below the elbow, which he layered with an ash gray striped vest. His teal chino pants provided a nice contrast against his red button-up, which leads us to suspect that this Fashionisto paid a great deal of attention in art class, applying his knowledge of complementary colors to his style. Simple square-framed sunglasses are perfect to keep the sun’s rays at bay. Subtle jewelry, such as his silver necklace with an anchor pendant, are always a nice complement to any ensemble.

The vest is indeed a great investment; it can be paired with matching trousers and a skinny tie when the occasion calls or on a day when you need to give your go-to blazer a much needed break. The great thing about this vest is that you can find them at almost every outfitter, with the choice of purchasing them without a coordinating blazer. Grays, blues, blacks and browns are typically safe colors, and twill, cotton and wool never fail. To recreate this Fashionisto’s casual take on the vest, start with a button-up shirt, plain or patterned, with the sleeves rolled up. To lessen the seriousness of the look, layer with a solid-colored vest and pair it with camel-colored chino pants. (ASOS is a great resource for finding all of these items.) Finish off the look with canvas sneakers and sunglasses!    

HINT: I strongly discourage wearing a vest by itself. While I can appreciate the simplicity, this can make your outfit look thrown together at the last minute and unplanned, as if you’ve forgotten to wear a shirt, and devastatingly messy and Jersey Shore-ish. It's also best to stay away from loud or oddly-patterned vests when wearing it sans blazer, as it can resemble grandpa’s golfing outfit.

LET’S HEAR IT FOR THE BOYS: Please Print—Kaleidoscope Ken

Get into it: Fashionistos all over have made this year the year of the printed button-up. From Hawaiian to floral, to African prints, the trend has made its mark and seems to be making its way into fall fashion as Fashionistos layer with V-neck sweaters and other outerwear. The trend has many headed to their local Urban Outfitters, which features a sizeable collection of the shirts, as well as thrift and vintage stores and dad’s closet for a chance to score items from a more genuine collection. As a fanatic of '90s fashion, my heart is skipping with joy; I have found love in a hopeless place indeed.

I spotted this Fashionisto proudly exercising his right to bear prints on a grim and rainy day at Kogan Plaza. His button-up shirt, featuring a kaleidoscope of colors, pulled me in instantly. And as if that was not enough, this Fashionisto had more to offer. In the tradition of fall fashion, he layered with a lightweight, deep olive parka, and a camel-colored woolen scarf. Parkas are great for the fall and early spring, intermediate seasons that offer a great opportunity for layering, especially when heavy coats are not always necessary. While hooded parkas offer the convenience of protection from frigid and rainy weather, the brown corduroy collar adds a fashionable twist, and allows for versatility; we would not be thrown off if this Fashionisto decided to pair his parka with a suit. The subtlety in his dark-washed skinny jeans, cuffed right above the ankles, and his worn-in platform sneakers all succeeded in emphasizing his printed button-up.

Real men may wear pink, but it’s the ability to wear a murse (man purse) that separates the men from the boys. In which case, the more appropriate title for this segment should be “Let’s Hear It for the Men!” This Fashionisto dignified his murse, courtesy of MVIO, a popular Korean outfitter for men. To finish off the look, he accessorized with colorful beaded bracelets, a watch and a pair of rounded sunglasses, popularized in the late '60s by celebrities like Bob Dylan. This ensemble, a mix of fashionable pieces from various decades is a true masterpiece, and complements this Fashionisto’s great eye for details! Fellas, please print.

Hint: For a similar look, pair cuffed skinny jeans or trousers with a Hawaiian style print shirt; thrift stores are great places to find these! Add a solid-colored scarf and pea-coat, and complement the bottoms with Clarks Desert Boot Originals.  Finish off the look with a cross-body bag or murse, and statement jewelry and eyewear!


It’s official; the fall season has finally caught up to us. And although the temperatures are still hovering in the mid to high 70s, some of us have given into our impatience. We have already decided to debut our newest fall fashion pieces that have been hiding in our closets since we snagged them at that unbelievable sale at our favorite store. As we get deeper into the start of the fall season, GWU students have been bundling up for the frigid mornings with knit sweaters, sleeved shirts, long pants and boots. Despite this growing trend, not all of us are willing to give into the blues, browns and grays of fall fashion so quickly.

I spotted this Fashionisto’s brightly colored, neon yellow pants from a mile away on an early morning. Exaggeration? Maybe, but they were very hard to miss. His unusually bright choice of color added a hint of cheer to his ensemble, and his choice of an extra skinny fit for his colored denim worked very well. We can’t deny that colored denim was a hot commodity this summer – seen almost everywhere in pants and in shorts form respectively, and when it came to, this Fashionisto put his bottoms up! When it comes to colored denim, especially neon denim, the safer bet is always to accompany them with darker-toned tops or white tops, unless you’re aiming for the Rainbow Popsicle look – in which case, to each man to his own.

This Fashionisto did an amazing job of pairing his denim with a white crew neck pocketed T-shirt and a basic teal cardigan. He completed his ensemble with an oversized tan tote and a gold watch. This Fashionisto’s outfit is a great attestation that you can still find ways to match fall basics like cardigans with items that don’t typically fit in with the norms of fall fashion.

Hint: To recreate this look, start with neon denim or trousers; Levi’s has a great collection of these brightly colored bottoms! Next, pair the pants with a white or black v-neck shirt, and layer with a solid-colored knit sweater or basic cardigan. Add canvas shoes like Sperry boat shoes or Toms, and accessorize with square-frames sunglasses and subtle jewlery. And just like that, you can get a hint of the summer vibe during the fall!  


Fashionista email: jcazeau@gwmail.gwu.edu

LET’S HEAR IT FOR THE BOYS: Don’t Step On My Blue Suede Shoes!

“It’s one for the money, two for the show, three to get ready, now go, cat, go!” It’s the late 1950s, and thanks to celebrities like Kim Novak, Marilyn Monroe and Bob Dylan, American-made Ray-Bans are flying off the shelves.  Likewise, on the radio, heart-throb Elvis has popularized the phrase “Don’t step on my blue suede shoes!” with his cover of singer Carl Perkins’ hit “Blue Suede Shoes.”

I spotted this Fashionisto swinging out in rock 'n’ roll style at Square 80 on a sunny day. I immediately noticed his midnight-blue suede oxfords, accented with crisp white soles and laces. He kept it simple with a blue tartan plaid button-down and dark wash skinny jeans cuffed right at the ankle. He accessorized with a multi-colored watch by Mondaine, and of course, signature original Wayfarer sunglasses by Ray-Ban. This look is perfect because of the sheer simplicity, and is perfect for these breezy, late summer days.

To keep rocking out fashionably, pair a solid, long-sleeved button-down with a pair of fitted trousers. Be sure that the top and trousers are on the opposite sides of the spectrum when it comes to color. Don’t forget the footwear; two-toned saddled or solid oxfords will add a kick (pun intended) to this look. Finish off with square-framed sunglasses, and you’re ready to roll!