There are those who sit back and wait for opportunities to knock on their door; and then there are those who go out there and make opportunities happen by seizing them. Jose Quinones, a former Style Guru from DePaul, is definitely in the latter category. From the moment Jose started as a Style Guru, I could tell he was a hard worker, driven and passionate about fashion. After two years with CollegeFashionista and several other fashion internships, Jose searched out the perfect job that married all his wonderful talents. Now as an Assistant Buyer for Neiman Marcus, Jose shares with us his story and how he found his way to this coveted role.

I’ve long graduated college and stepped foot into the ‘real world’ since my last interaction with CollegeFashionista. Two years worth of dedication and passion led me to realize that when you truly enjoy something, you feel like you’re only having fun. It would be quite the understatement to say that I didn’t grow as a person while interning with the site, but I did—and that maturity came from the passion that I saw from all other Style Gurus and from Amy.

Since leaving the site, I knew that I needed to delve into other aspects of the fashion industry to see what road I would begin taking once I graduated. I was able to make networking connections around Chicago and land two dream internships with both Chanel and Jil Sander in their respective boutiques. I had gone from fashion writing to fashion living and both brands really showed me what it took to be successful at the retail level.

It was Jil Sander, though, that led me to the realization that something in retail would be quite ideal for me—at the corporate level. I began to send tons of cold emails, resumes and cover letters, but nothing seemed to be showing up. I knew that companies didn’t want someone fresh out of college without experience, so I narrowed my search to development programs, figuring it would help me become more well-rounded. Eventually, I was able to put my experience to work and land a coveted position with Neiman Marcus as an Assistant Buyer.

They say to “never say never,” but I never thought I would end up living in Dallas, Texas, when New York City was my lifelong dream. Yet, the experience has been nothing short of exciting, demanding and enriching. From handling vendors to keeping track of orders and negotiating prices, the job never has a boring day. I am grateful that I was able to explore my choices, starting off with CollegeFashionista. The experience from CollegeFashionista has only been building up to now, where I will continue to develop my skills and fine-tune those I have mastered.

I know deep down inside that my heart belongs in New York—and that is somewhere I will end up soon. This grand opportunity will work as a stepping stone for what I ultimately envision myself being: a game-changer.


I’ve been on a recent mindset of how much I love the simple things in life. Like a smile, a hug, almond butter or a nice clean outfit. It could be that over the past two years that I’ve been with CollegeFashionista, I’ve learned to see the aesthetic that I like in style: crisp, simple and minimal. While there are many people that think having an outfit that speaks volumes means crazy layering or out-there prints, a person that simplifies themselves and chooses a more minimalistic approach to their style will have more to show off.

Walking the streets of the city has always inspired me with all the different types of people that you see, especially when they have good sense on how to dress. While doing my last street style search, I found this Fashionisto who worked perfectly with the simplistic mindset I’ve been having. With nothing but his sun faded pink oxford shirt, gray suiting blazer, dark-wash jeans, caramel-colored oxfords and white pocket square, he was ready to go. The thing I enjoyed about it the most is the effortlessness in this outfit. It was so simple, yet so many people wouldn’t think of putting it together. He completed his look with the classic Ray-Ban wayfarers.

Sometimes the simple things we don’t think work, really do end up working (i.e., a smile, a hug) in making something (or making someone feel) grand. While there is nothing wrong in opting for pieces that are outspoken, you should always try to be subtle about style. Don’t overbear your style with obnoxious graphics or prints. If I’ve taught anyone anything in the last two years through writing, I hope it’s that simplicity/minimalism are the best options. Always remember: less is more.

CollegeFashionista X Foster Grant Advertorial: DePaul University

In relevance to fall transitioning, a Fashionisto should always stock up early on the fall necessities. Staples such as cords and wool sweaters should always become a “must-have” item in the closet. Yes, the sun may still be sweltering, but if you wait to purchase an item that is more fall appropriate, till fall, then you may luck out by then. I say that attaining these pieces early on—especially those transitioning ones—will make your life less of a hassle later.

With the aforementioned sweltering heat, Chicago wasn’t shy this weekend when it came to how hot it should be. Lollapalooza was taking place and I was feeling a little blue because I wasn’t able to take a part in it. I decided to dress the part, but incorporate those pieces that really spoke to what fall would be all about. A tartan shirt should always be a staple in a Fashionistos closet because of the multifaceted functions it has it working both during the cooler and hotter days. It can be said that it is main transition piece. The corduroys seemed appropriate to incorporate because of the trend with fall that was taking place. These are a great piece to have in stock for the fall (and possible winter). In order to escape the blue feeling, I opted for gray bucks (which still held on to that depressed feeling I was going for). My staple piece for fall was the chambray bowtie, which mixed in perfectly with the blue combination I was going for. To finish the look, I chose my new favorite brand of sunglasses, Foster Grant. Not only do they adhere to that classical aviator look, but they also manage to grasp a trendy aesthetic that I just couldn’t keep my hands off of.

Just like college students adore Foster Grant shades, celebrities do as well which is why Foster Grant named Brooke Shields the face of their brand. This actress will be featured in the eyewear brand's fall campaign ads just like legendary Woody Allen, Peter Sellers, Anthony Quinn and Herschel Walker have in the past. 



The prestigious blazer is a coveted item in the menswear world. When it steps into the boundary of women, though, it doesn’t become much of a highly held piece. In the universe of women’s fashion, blazers can also be seen in menswear-inspired suits or just casually worn to bring a pop of chic into an outfit. The blazer in the women’s world is more to be used as a staple for a chic outfit.

This Fashionista was brightly lit as she was walking towards work, when I caught her in the Loop. The bright peach color stripes of her tie-neck top were brighter because of the navy that came from the double-breasted blazer. She kept the whole outfit laid back with the jeans and brown leather sandals. The glasses were a good pick and wearing her hair down helped her look cool, calm and collected.

The function of a blazer is to make you look put-together. It is your third piece that comes in place of a cardigan (when you want to step up your dressing game). The look of this Fashionista could’ve been done just as well if she opted for some booties, which would make the transition into fall. Keeping the blazer, some jean shorts could be mixed into this exact same look, but would make it more hip and happening. Always be sure that the blazer fits from your shoulders and doesn’t disturb you when you try to move your arms around, because then we have a problem.

STYLE ADVICE OF THE WEEK: The Grungy Gentleman

What is it about a man with tattoos that can drive a girl (or guy) wild? It could be the dangerous persona that that person can have or that tattoos are just pleasing (for the most part). I always found it appealing to have a grungy looking gentleman with a bit of a bad side to him — it made his demeanor more alluring. A Fashionisto, especially, who dabbles in both the bodily aesthetic of tattoos and the vain aesthetic of style, is a prime example of what a grungy-looking gentleman should look like.

This Fashionista is the epitome of a grungy gentleman. His sleek hair with the tattoo sleeve is everything that goes from grunge (including his stubble) to gentleman. The striped oxford shirt was tucked into his dark-wash jeans. By choosing a tie that didn’t go with the vertical stripes of the shirt, he made it seem like it was the perfect option. With the bottom of his jeans rolled up, he gave a clear look to his wingtips. The scrunched up sleeves not only showed off his tattoos, but also flaunted his Timex watch. The loose tie knot was a good option to show that the look was laid back (and to give a good view of his neck tattoo).

A grungy gentleman should always have the laid back look. There should never be too much of one thing, because then the whole persona isn’t going to work. If you don’t have tattoos, make sure to work with the beard and have that be shown off. Always choose pieces that don’t make too much of an impact. Be subtle in what you wear, and have the pieces go with one another, so that the look can be completed with how you look, rather than how you’re dressed.


A man of the hour needs to look spiffy if he’s going to take up an hour. Well tailored, complementing looks and a keen eye to the detail he is wearing are neccessities. In Chicago, you always see businessmen in suits, but they aren’t always as tailored as they should be. When it comes to a suit, you need to have it not drape over you, but rather it should fit you comfortably. When you have an amazing suit selection that comes from J.Crew or the newly opened SuitSupply, you need not worry any longer on how to wear it right.

This Fashionisto elevated the standards. His khaki ensemble was everything right for that cool summer day. When it comes to colors for the summer, khaki should always be an option (if not, choose a linen suit). Of course, without his jacket, he still looked as dapper as dapper can be with the suit vest. He opted to complement the khaki with a red and blue mini-gingham shirt. The wingtips were the perfect pair to wear with his outfit (and definitely shoes that should be invested in).

Don’t think that a suit has to be the classic one with the jacket involved. Like this Fashionisto, you can pull off the look just fine with the suit vest and get as many compliments, if not more, as with a jacket. Always remember to get your suit tailored so that it can fit you right. A man in a suit is just a man in a suit. A man in a fitted suit is a man with power.

STYLE ADVICE OF THE WEEK: The Cooler, The Better

After several days of intense heat and humidity, the days here in Chicago have become a bit more cool and refreshing. With that comes a change in the minimal usage of clothing that you had to do during the heat wave. You can go back to wearing what you would normally wear on a summer day and it would be okay — no one is going to judge you.

This Fashionista was able to keep cool from the sun and look chic doing it. The linen sweater is an amazing piece that you should definitely have in your closet for when the hot summer days come a-rolling. She paired it with a chiffon maxi skirt that was also a perfect choice for what the weather was like. The pairing of both the top and the bottom was good because the amazing print from the skirt went well with the solid black sweater. The accessories were minimal (the skirt did the talking) and only a bangle, the purse and the sunglasses were necessary. She opted for sandals, which is always a great choice when it comes to a maxi skirt.

Remember that fabrics are important when it comes to different seasons of the year. For the summer: lace, linen and chiffon should be your best friends. The days are only getting hotter and you shouldn’t be suffering from a heat stroke by wearing the wrong fabrics. The more you know, the better, and the better you know, the best you will look when you walk out the front door.

STYLE ADVICE OF THE WEEK: Don’t Overbear Simplicity

The hot season has begun and with that comes many decisions that need to be made on your part. While your perusing your closet, you may think to yourself that you want to layer. Stop right there. Layering during the summer is like wearing UGG’s year-round. The heat doesn’t mean that you need to strictly be predisposed to shorts and tanks, it just means that you need to select pieces that make sense and aren’t so overbearing — on top of the heat.

The Fashionista for this week seemed to have it all together. The sun was striking its scorching claws and the humidity was becoming unbearable. While she was rushing to get her morning coffee fix, I was able to get a quick shot of delightful outfit. A dress that was so simple, yet so chic, was the only article of clothing that she needed to be able to stay cool that day (and look cool doing it). The print was enough accessory in itself, but the pearls seemed like a necessity, and thank goodness for that. With so much color going on with the print, her nude heels were simple enough to not overbear the statement that the dress was making.

Dresses are always a good route to go when thinking of something that is simple, cool and stylish under this heat. Think of amazing prints that you can strut your stuff in and pair them with shoes that don’t overshadow the main attraction. If you think simple is your best option, be sure to accessorize with a single necklace and some bangles.

STYLE ADVICE OF THE WEEK: The Beauty in Confidence

When it comes down to it, standing out is all about having confidence in how you look. An unconfident person with a fur vest and YSL platform heels will not compare to a person with high amounts of self-esteem in a basic tee and flats. The fashion industry teaches us that clothing and style is what makes the person, but if you lack the worth in yourself to actually own what you’re wearing, then they’re just going to be clothes and nothing else.

The streets of Chicago during the summer show an astounding amount of people who have good sense in style. This Fashionista, though, outshined them all, because she was able to hone in how good she looks and bring that forth. From the (intentional) bun to the two-tone flats, her beauty graced and her ensemble awed. The button-down tucked in to the skirt was a wise decision, and the simple belt made it come together. Her chain necklace was a cute addition to the already-ruffled top. The beautiful ring from Intermix was a necessary accessory and her SUPER sunglasses were the finishing touch that made her beauty even more exuberant.

Minimal outfits don’t need to be boring, because when you know that what you have is good, they can become great. Be sure to create a feeling that you are confident and people will begin to view you in a different (better) light. Clothes are just clothes, you make the style effortless.


What is it about denim that is so enticing? It could possibly be the quality that many purveyors give to their pieces. Especially when it comes to jeans does it matter the most. A pair of jeans is an item that is a complete necessity in any Fashionisto/a's closet because it is an item that pretty much can go with anything (if you know how to wear them right). Regular wash, dark wash and selvedge—the basic washes you need to know about when it comes to what you’ll be investing in (just don’t do bootcut, even though it’s a style of jean, don’t do bootcut).

This Fashionisto was a good example to showcase how his high-quality Diesel jeans can be worn in a more relaxed outfit. The option to style it with a v-neck and an unbuttoned shirt gives the look a more casual appeal. What is so great about his jeans is that they stand out because of the dye/wash.

It is always a great idea to invest in jeans that cost more than what you might usually spend on a pair. Especially when it comes to selvedge (which J.Crew now carries, or you can try these from Levi’s). Denim is such a great fabric that it can nearly be used for anything (chambray shirts hint to it). Remember that a good pair of jeans can become an investment piece, especially if you plan on making some attention for yourself; be sure to delve into different styles (except bootcut) and washes.