I don’t know about you, but I have very distinct memories of having some ugly, ugly vests as a child. I remember I had a fall vest that was embroidered with pumpkins and leaves and such, and the thought of it now gives me some mild anger towards my mother for ever providing me with such a thing. Even in the media, vests have gotten a bad rap in the past. Anyone remember that scene in Mean Girls where they talk about Karen getting banished from the lunch table for wearing an ugly vest? I think this is the second time I’ve made a Mean Girls reference in a post… clearly I watch that movie too much… Anyway, the point is, in the past, vests have definitely not been placed in the best of lights. However, all that has changed. The vest is back with a fashionable vengeance.

This week’s Fashionista is showing just one of many awesome ways to wear a vest. She’s wearing a long, navy vest from Target layered over a white dress of the same length. This a great look for summer because it allows you to add some interest by layering, without making you too hot. To keep her looking feminine, she’s added a belt (borrowed from her boyfriend) to cinch the two pieces together at the waist and keep everything figure flattering. Finally, she has finished her look with green canvas boots that add another pop of color while still fitting in with the earth tones seen throughout the outfit.

Now, today's Fashionista’s long flowy look is just one of many ways to rock a vest. Vests come in all sorts of shapes and colors. Another style I really like is the shrunken denim vest, like this one from Urban Outfitters. Wearing denim on top had made a huge comeback in recent years and the vest is no exception. A denim vest can give any outfit a little bit of edge, and since denim is neutral iit's easy to pair. Fur vests were a big trend for winter, however, now that it’s summer you might not be too into wearing fur. However, this shearling vest from ASOS is cool rendition of that style that is definitely appropriate for summer and would add a really unique touch to any look.

Hint: These are just a few examples of the many styles that are out there. Now that the weather is warm, try layering a vest on your outfit in the same way that you would a cardigan in the fall. You’ll add a super fashionable touch to your outfit and find that those embroidered pumpkins and leaves are a thing of the past, thank goodness.


If you watch as many style related reality shows as I do, you’ll know full well that hearing the phrase: “too matchy-matchy”, is basically a death sentence. Tim Gunn makes designers optimistic faces melt with these words. Whitney Port was told this at Teen Vogue on an early Hills episode and I’m sure there are many more examples of poor reality stars getting their outfits dissed. Luckily for those reality stars whose fifteen minutes of fame are still ticking, many of this year’s big names in fashion have thrown matching out the window entirely.

Mixing prints was a huge trend in the past year. Of course one of the designers on the forefront of this is the always-crazy Betsey Johnson. Her fall 2011 collection put together pieces you would never imagine being in one outfit and made it look flawless. From leopard print and floral to lace and bright colors, she made those patterns work. She wasn’t the only one to do this though, designers like Anna Sui, Dolce and Gabbana and Thakoon also got in on the mixing trend.

Today's Fashionista is in on it too. She’s wearing a black and white print dress and has paired it with a white infinity scarf with a bird pattern on it. I really liked this combination because it is one you wouldn’t expect but she clearly makes it look effortless. The colors in her brown belt and that bright red bag really pull it all together. She’s also wearing cat eye sunglasses that are a really cool touch for summer and TOMS shoes, one of my favorite brands!

Hint: Mixing prints isn’t always the easiest to pull off. While it may seem as though you can simply throw anything together there’s definitely some thought that goes into it. Try and start by using a similar color scheme in all your prints. That way you don’t have to worry too much about the colors clashing.


The romper has been making waves in the fashion world for a few years now and I must admit, it took me awhile to embrace this style. The romper is one of those trends that have clearly proved its worth, staying around spring after spring and summer after summer, while still remaining fairly controversial when it comes to the who, why, and how one exactly goes about wearing a romper.

Rompers come in all kinds of colors and cuts’, ranging from looks perfect for a night out to those better suited for a day by the pool. While, a dressy romper with a pair of heels and cute accessories can definitely be a great look for night, my personal favorite is the daytime romper. This week’s Fashionista is proving why I love this look. She’s truly embracing the warm weather with her striped cotton romper. This simple look really stands on it’s own giving off a nautical vibe and looking chic while still being very comfortable. I found a similar romper at Urban Outfitters. She’s paired this look with simple lace up tennis shoes and an oversized bag making her ready to spend the day running around campus. She’s also wearing a fun headband with floral details that’s perfect for spring.

Today's Fashionista is definitely not alone in embracing this look. Several designers showed rompers in their Spring/Summer collections, proving the style is here to stay. Diane von Furstenberg showed several pattern heavy rompers in her Resort 2011 collection, in a similar style to this week’s Fashionista. The romper look is also ever popular at big music festivals such as Coachella where fashion is almost as important as the music!

Hint: Clearly the romper is here to stay. As the weather continues to get warmer take the risk and try one. You’ll be in great company.


I remember one day back in middle school, one of my teachers decided it would be fun to play a little prank on us. She told us that too many students had been violating the dress code so the school had decided to implement school uniforms that we would all be required to wear in the near future. Our twelve-year-old selves were outraged. We couldn’t believe the school would make us do this, and no one looks good in a long plaid skirt!

Luckily, my preteen wardrobe was saved by the fact that this was simply a cruel joke meant to teach some sort of lesson, blah, blah, blah. But, the moral of this story comes many years later. Recently, designers and consumers alike have realized that maybe that school uniform look isn’t so bad, maybe it’s even possible to be schoolgirl chic! Whether this was the doing of Britney Spears prancing around in her pigtails and belly-exposing button down skirt in "Baby One More Time," or the characters of Gossip Girl who could make the ugliest of uniforms look like they were designed by Chanel, the schoolgirl look has gone from dreaded to hot. Several designers even showed schoolgirl inspired looks in their Fall/Winter 2011-12 collections. Fendi was one of my favorites, with their ruffled blouses and knee length skirts making the models look like the most fashionable librarians I’ve ever seen.

So now let’s see how this week’s Fashionista took schoolgirl chic and made it her own. My favorite part of her outfit is the knee length socks with the menswear inspired flats. Nothing says schoolgirl like a knee sock, and the shoes are not only in style, but also go perfectly with her look. She’s paired these with a pastel cardigan that matches nicely with the floral details on her high-waisted skirt (perfect for spring) and a white polo with a rounded collar. The final touch that I really enjoyed about her outfit was that khaki messenger bag, which is perfect for class and much cuter than your average backpack.

Hint: If you don’t want to go all out try adding subtle schoolgirl touches to your outfit like a collared shirt, knee sock or long skirt. And remember, just because Britney Spears pulled off fuzzy scrunchies doesn’t mean it was a good idea.


When I’m sitting in class and out the window the sun is shining and the weather warm, I always wish I could be magically transported to a beach, a boat, anywhere near water. Being on the water makes me think of fun times and summer days. But, if you can’t get to the water or the sun doesn’t last you can still be reminded of those fun times by rocking a nautical inspired style.

The nautical trend seems to come around every spring and this one is no different. Designers showed everything from nautical stripes to sailor’s knots in their spring/summer collections. Dior even went so far as to deck their models out in sailor’s hats! But, you don’t need to go totally literal. Try little touches like the stripes in the Junya Watanabe collection or a simple white breezy button down like Viktor & Rolf did.

However, I think this week’s Fashionista is some of the best proof that anyone can go nautical. The nautical style stripes on her oversized tank are what really caught my eye in her outfit, but once I got a closer look I really came to love how she put it all together. The bright yellow cardigan she layered over her tank really compliments the blue and white stripes and I think it goes well with the nautical aspect as well. Her Sperry’s are a cute touch. I mean how much more nautical can you get than a boat shoe? She paired them with classic dark jeans and some key accessories. Our Fashionista’s Ray Ban sunglasses keep the sun at bay whether she’s on a boat or just hanging around campus, and her Longchamp bag is both practical for class and a great bag for the outfit.

Hint: On campus or on that beach try for little touches like our Fashionista has done. A nautical inspired piece with a classic staple will keep you looking modern and on trend.


After months of feeling like the snow would last forever, we’ve finally managed to get rid of it. In Ithaca, this is often such a relief that as soon as the sun reappears and the snow has melted (most of way), the students here are ready to break out the shorts and flip-flops. Now I understand their eagerness. I, too, have been impatiently waiting for any hint of warmth, but I must say that sixty degrees, with a few lingering snow drifts, is simply not summer weather. Spring may be significantly shorter than winter, however, it’s a whole season! Don’t skip spring, embrace it!

Today's Fashionista may not be wearing your average springtime outfit, but don’t think your only outfit options involve floral and pastel. There are tons of trends meant just for spring. Punk inspired outfits were all over the spring runways. Jeremy Scott and Burberry, just to name a few, sent out models with definite bad girl style. This week’s Fashionista is rocking that look with a cut up graphic tee and black Dr. Martens, giving a boyish style a feminine twist. Another big spring trend is a definite flashback. Designers like Marc Jacobs combined trends from the 80s like neon with 70s inspired silhouettes to make a mash up of old school style. Today's Fashionista’s high-waisted acid wash shorts reminded me of this look and I think those shorts really bring her outfit together.

The other reason I think spring is great is that it lets you mix and match your favorite warm and cold weather pieces into one so you can have the best of both worlds. This week’s Fashionista broke out her shorts. However, just in case that sun doesn’t last she has paired them with boots and over the knee socks. I also love her surplus style jacket that falls right into line with her shorts and goes great with the overall style of her outfit.

Hint: Don’t rush summer; springtime is good for more than just April showers and May flowers. Find a spring style that suits you and embrace this season while it lasts. Eighty-degree weather everyday sounds good right now, but your fashion sense may appreciate the mild weather.


I remember back in high school I would do just about anything to hide my socks. I’d try and slip my bare feet into slip-ons or flats, only to end up horribly uncomfortable. Then I’d begin a hunt for the tiniest socks I could buy and do everything I could to hide them under my shoes. Well, those days are long gone. In the past couple of years, designers have fully embraced the sock. These socks are far from that average white one you throw on with your gym shoes, these socks make a statement and peek out everywhere from boots to high heels. Designers like Rag & Bone and J.Crew are still embracing this look in their most recent collections.

Today's Fashionista is definitely making a statement with her socks and is showing what a great option this look is for spring. The sock is one of those great trends that are actually incredibly practical and comfortable additions to your wardrobe. No one is really excited when designers send 6 inch stilettos down the runway but when you can wear a cute shoe with a warm sock, who can object to that? This week's Fashionista has layered an over the knee Betsey Johnson sock on top of sheer tights. Layering in this way allows you to wear those short shorts and mini skirts before that warm weather has arrived. I also love the floral detailing on her socks adding a touch of spring to her look.

To balance out her tights and short skirt, this Fashionista is wearing a chunky cardigan and winter jacket. I always think it’s a great idea to pair smaller bottoms (whether it’s shorts or skinny jeans) with a bigger top so that you’re highlighting just one area. She also used neutral colors on top to continue that focus, which works well, especially because her socks are such a focal point. Finally, she’s completed her outfit with menswear style shoes that are a cute addition and work well with the girly sock.

Hint: Keep those legs warm as we keep waiting for that summer weather. Don’t be afraid to break out your shorts and skirts a bit earlier than normal. Just like you might throw a cardigan or jacket over a warm weather top, you can add tights or socks to those summer bottoms and make them perfect for spring.

STYLE ADVICE OF THE WEEK: A Little Bit Rock and Roll

In the past couple weeks, I’ve been noticing how many little touches are out there that can easily spice up an outfit that’s a little, shall we say, blah. In my last post, I talked about how I’ve never been a huge accessories person, but I can definitely get behind using a couple key touches to take your look to a new level. One I’ve been seeing a lot lately, and am really into trying, is crazy nail design. Sally Hanson recently came out with nail decals that can give you an instant cheetah print manicure. And did anyone see Ke$ha’s nails in her Blow video? I only wish I could have that much bling on my fingers.

Anyway, the point is that it doesn’t take much, and adding a crazy little touch could be exactly what you need to add some edge. This week’s Fashionista is showing us how to do that while also giving an awesome example of a spring trend: bad girl details. I think today's Fashionista’s shoes and bag are what truly make this outfit. All black can easily turn into a little too much, but the way she has played with texture and detailing makes it look just right.

Her shoes are my personal favorite. Whether it’s on celebrities or the runway, I’ve been seeing studs more and more. Even designers whose looks are often more classic have been using studs, Burberry is a perfect example. In their spring/summer collection they’ve come out with leather jackets that look ready to grace the back of a Harley (although with a $6,000 price tag I might reconsider that idea) and they’ve even added studs to their classic trench. Celebrities like Emma Watson, Rachel Bilson, Kim Kardashian and even Rihanna have been seen rocking these looks. This week's Fashionista shows the same general idea by pairing her studded flats with a classic peacoat to add interest.

Her bag is also adding a fun detail. The external zipper has been a part of shirts, skirts, dresses, just about everything at this point, and bags are no exception. Designers like Christian Louboutin and Rebecca Minkoff have released bags with crazy zipper detailing and they are by no means the first. The zipper definitely adds a little bit of edge and doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. The texture of this Fashionista’s bag is also a nice touch, as the shine contrasts the soft texture the rest of her outfit.

Hint: You don’t have to deck yourself out in leather and spikes to give your outfit edge. A subtle touch can go a long way to adding interest and maybe even make you feel a little bit bad.

STYLE ADVICE OF THE WEEK: Accessorize, Accessorize, Accessorize

I’ve never been a big accessories person. I love shoes, bags and jewelry as much as the next person, but when it comes down to it, I’d always rather buy a new top or a good pair of jeans over an accessory. I’ve come to realize, however, that this is a terrible strategy. Accessories truly are what make or break an outfit. I can have a hundred thousand pairs of jeans and the cutest top in the world, but if there's nothing to pull them together, then I haven’t really gotten anywhere.

This week’s Fashionista is proving it. On a rainy, dreary day like this one, it’s easy to throw on a hooded sweatshirt and some rain boots and call it a day, but this Fashionista opted for cute accessories to keep her warm and dry. The first piece that caught my eye was her leather jacket. As I’ve learned time and again from Stacy and Clinton on What Not To Wear, jackets are perfect for completing an outfit and looking polished. Leather jackets look expensive (even if they aren’t) and are perfect as it begins to get warmer. She has matched her jacket with lace up boots in a similar color. I’ve talked about lace-up boots in enough of my posts that my obsession with them must be obvious at this point. The style of her boots is a bit different than the usual military style lace-ups, however, I really like the simplicity of them. They’re on trend without distracting from the rest of her outfit. Her bag is great as well. I’ve talked before about using a large purse that goes with any outfit and is also functional over a sporty backpack. Finally, she’s got some cute winter accessories to finish up her outfit. A knit hat is an awesome alternative to a hood on a rainy day. No one looks stylish with a huge hood covering half their face, but a cute little knit hat like this can be found just about anywhere (although it might be a bit more difficult now with all the new spring items, check out the sale section) and look good on just about anyone. She’s also working a light scarf, which, again, is great for transitioning into spring when you don’t need something too heavy.

Hint: Maybe I’m the only one with an aversion to buying accessories, but in case I’m not, my hint for this week is to pick a couple new accessories next time you go shopping. Instead of grabbing two tops, just get one and then buy a couple accessories to go with it!


The military trend was one of my favorites this winter. Lace up boots, cargos, surplus coats and all things army green filled the stores and our campuses. As we transition into spring, this is one trend that can easily make the transition with us.

Today's Fashionista is showing us how to work the trend in that winter weather. Her army style surplus coat was what first caught my eye. These types of coats are definitely a piece that will transition with you into spring. This Fashonista is wearing a heavier winter style to keep warm with all that snow, but many brands such as American Eagle offer lighter versions that would look great with jeans or even with a girly dress. Her lace-up boots are also one of my favorite outcomes of this trend. I love how she has styled them loosely and with thick socks peeking out of the top. Not only are her thick socks on trend with the military style they are also perfect for winter.

Don’t worry, just because winter is ending (at least I hope so), doesn’t mean this trend is going anywhere. For spring, try an army style shirtdress like this one from ASOS. Or if you want to go casual, try cargo shorts or pants, which look great with sandals. Even those lace-up boots can be paired with shorts to bring them into spring. The key is to pick one or two items within the trend and then pair them with more feminine pieces to balance out the masculinity of the style. This week’s Fashionista does this with her leggings. They work with the heaviness of her coat and show that she still has a feminine shape.

Hint: Jump into spring military style. Pair the winter items with warmer weather pieces and add to the trend with the new army spring styles.