Patterned, colorful dresses make quite the appearance during the summer season, but with such a standout wardrobe, a Fashionista must have neutral, tasteful accessories. This student showed off her classy summer style with a patterned sundress and an adorable cognac Michael Kors handbag. Her abundance of fashion knowledge makes her look appear entirely effortless. Find out more details about this Fashionista and her simplistic style below.

Name: Nicole Obach

Major: Fashion Merchandising

Year: Senior

CollegeFashionista: Who are your celebrity fashion idols?

Nicole Obach: Victoria Beckham and Lucy Hale.

CF: What is your favorite article of clothing?

NO: My bright and colorful dresses!

CF: Who is your favorite designer?

NO: Marc Jacobs and Michael Kors.

CF: If you could live inside of a store, which one would it be?

NO: Nordstrom. I would never run out of new outfits.

How To: When wearing two fabrics in one, such as lace and chiffon, like this Fashionista did, a skinny belt breaks up the sundress perfectly and makes it look like it actually came as a set for the outfit. Also, when picking accessories, gold and brown look fabulous together when there are shades of orange in your ensemble. This Fashionista contrasted the orange with turquoise and gold jewelry that spices up her attire without making it too colorful. On the contrary, busy wrists are totally in, so remember to pile on those bracelets, but be sure to keep them in the same color family. To start off your collection of arm candy, try an elegant watch. Check out Charming Charlie to stock up on affordable wristwear.


For most of us college students, the summer means having to find the perfect look for an internship. This Fashionista demonstrated an outstanding example of how to dress business casual, while staying trendy. She layered her adorable sundress with a colorful, zebra print cardigan and enlivened her outfit with a statement necklace. Wedges are ideal for the working woman because they are dressy and feminine, yet still comfortable enough for a long day on the job. If you are working this summer, take some tips from this admirable Fashionista by reading more about her fabulous style.

Name: Caitlyn

Major: Fashion Merchandising

Year:  Junior

CollegeFashionista: What are you wearing and where is it from?

Caitlyn Mayhorn: My cardigan is from J.Crew, my shoes are from DSW, my dress is from Victoria’s Secret, my necklace is from Blu and my bag is from Michael Kors.

CF: If you could steal anyone’s wardrobe, who would you choose?

CM: Nichole Richie. Hands down.

CF: What are some of your favorite brands?

CM: My top two are definitely Tory Burch and Michael Kors. I love all of their accessories. 

CF: How would you describe your style?

CM: I would say my style is very feminine, but also a little bit edgy.

How To: A tote bag is an absolute essential for the working Fashionista, and since you must have one, you should consider purchasing one that is as adorable as this Fashionista’s. The bright fuschia color makes her entire ensemble stand out. Playful colors like pink, purple, red and aqua are great eye-catchers. If you cannot splurge on a brand name like Michael Kors, I recommend checking out a Longchamp tote.


With the ever changing Midwest weather, what’s a girl to wear? I spotted this Fashionista, who had the perfect day-to-night outfit, without even having to layer. For a day in the mid-70s, a lightweight sweater isn’t too warm, and by the time it cools down at night, it is just enough to keep you from shivering. The sweater and shorts combination is a flawless, comfy and casual ensemble.

Name: Allison Gibson

Major: Elementary Education

Year: Senior

CollegeFashionista: What is your favorite accessory?

Allison Gibson: My initial necklace. I wear it every single day. It goes with every outfit, and I love that it is personalized. 

CF: Where do you shop most, and why do you love it so much?

AG: Lately, Francesca’s. They have the best accessories and their clothes are durable, reasonable and versatile. You can dress them up and you can dress them down, which is perfect for my future profession.

CF: What are you looking forward to wearing this summer?

AG: Swim suits and sandals! It was a long, cold winter and I can’t wait for the hot summer.

CF: Overall, how would you describe your style?

AG: Feminine, with a large side of sparkles. 

How To: Allison’s style might be neutral and casual, but she adds a touch of sparkle with her bold accessories. Big earrings, a statement ring and a colorful handbag bring her outfit from ordinary to spectacular. From the classroom to a night out with your best friends, this Fashionista’s wedge sandals are what make her ensemble so versatile.


The best items to have in your closet are the ones with the most versatility. This Fashionista’s outfit included two different pieces that can be dressed up or dressed down quite easily. I loved her aqua shorts with the scalloped edge and her black cap sleeve turtleneck, which made her look dressy and cute for a summer night out. The top and shorts put together make the outfit more fancy, but when each of them are paired with a more casual piece, it would be a superb daytime outfit as well. Read more about this versatile Fashionista below!

Name: Kristen Shetler

Major: Art

Year: Senior

CollegeFashionista: What are you wearing and where is it from?

Kristen Shetler: I’m wearing a black, cap sleeve turtleneck by Kenneth Cole, aqua shorts from Club Monaco, my gold Marc Jacobs watch and scrappy sandals by Jessica Simpson.

CF: Where are your favorite places to shop?

KS: I would have to say the three places I shop the most are Shopbop, Topshop and Nordstrom. It is a nightmare for my bank account.

CF: What do you consider the biggest staple in your wardrobe? 

KS: My Marc Jacobs watch. I’ve had it for almost two years, and I wear it every single day. I feel naked without it.

CF: Is there anyone who you consider a fashion inspiration? 

KS: My older sister is my fashion inspiration. She is a personal stylist, and I am envious of her wardrobe and style.

How to: This Fashionista demonstrates how to dress up a colored short. Even though the scalloped edge and polyester material makes the short more dressy, she stuck with neutral accessories and a plain top to create a classy ensemble. The greatest part about her sandals is that they incorporate both gold and silver, so the options for accessories are nearly endless! Check out this similar pair from DSW to enhance your collection.

STYLE GURU BIO: Kelsey McCormack

Happy summer, Fashionistas and Fashionistos! I am more than thrilled to be a returning Style Guru for CollegeFashionista. I recently finished off my last semester at the University of Iowa with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Studies (although, I still have a few summer classes to sit through before I can actually receive my diploma). In the meantime, I am heading out to Los Angeles, California for an internship with West Bank Clothing Showroom. I will be on the hunt for Fashionistas and Fashionistos at UCLA, where I will be residing.

I cannot wait to head out to the West Coast for what is hopefully the beginning of my career in fashion. It will be different and exciting to have the opportunity to write about the LA style, and I have a feeling it will be nearly effortless to spot tons of stylish students on campus. Transitioning from Iowa to California may be a bit of a culture shock, but I think it will also be a pleasant change of pace. It will be fun to interview a wide array of new people for the FASHIONISTA/O SPOTLIGHT column.

I would describe my own style as mostly urban chic, but sometimes hippie, with a splash of edgy. Overall, I think my style is versatile, and I never really stick to just one look. I am not afraid to try new trends (my excuse to keep shopping) and love experimenting with clothing. My favorite designer is  Alexander McQueen and I idolize Kate Moss and Rachel Zoe. I try to mimic their style into my daily outfits as often as possible. However, the uniqueness of fashion is what I love most. I believe every one should incorporate their own personality into their style. Like Alexander McQueen once said, “It’s a new era in fashion– there are no rules.”

My dream job for years has been to become a buyer for a major department store such as Nordstrom or Neiman Marcus, but recently, I have found myself more and more interested in writing. It would be a dream come true to someday work for Vogue, InStyle or W magazine. CollegeFashionista has been, and will continue to be, a great learning experience for me. I am more than ready for an awesome summer on board as a Style Guru and can’t wait to share all the fashion I encounter!

Class of 2013: Kelsey

It pains me to write that my four years in college are coming to a close, but I am also about to embark on a very important journey to follow my dreams. As a confused freshman, I made the decision to transfer to the University of Iowa three years ago. I was incredibly unsure if I was making the right choice, but looking back now, I can say that this decision was the most important one I have made thus far in my life.

In my past three years here, I have made friendships that I know will last for a lifetime, I have made mistakes that have helped me grow into a better person, I have created memories that I will cherish forever, and I have experienced more than I could have ever hoped for. Although I am afraid to leave a place that I have made my home, I know that these experiences have prepared me for the next steps in my life.

Because I changed my major about as often as my hair color these past few years, I was worried that because I did not choose Journalism or attend a university that offered Fashion Merchandising, I would not be able to end up doing what I really wanted to after graduation. Thankfully, opportunities like CollegeFashionista have helped me gain knowledge and experience in the industry I am going to pursue. This summer, I am heading out to Los Angeles, California for an internship with West Bank Clothing Showroom, located in the heart of the fashion district in downtown L.A. It is frightening to go to a new place, especially one as large as L.A., but I am ready for the first major step in starting a career in the fashion industry.

While I love being at home in Chicago, I am open to go almost anywhere to do what I love. I believe that this is the one time in my life where I can pack up and leave, seeing where new opportunities lead me.

To those of you with years left in college, don’t let time pass you by. Do everything you can with each second of every day. They go by too quickly to waste them. And to those of you who are also graduating and about to embark on your new journeys, remember that originality is the key to success. Alicia Keys once said, “The most important thing to remember is that you can wear all the greatest clothes and all the greatest shoes, but you’ve got to have a good spirit on the inside. That’s what’s really going to make you look like you’re ready to rock the world.” The best style is simply being you.


There is nothing that complements a tan better than a clean, crisp white button-down. After soaking up the rays, this Fashionisto knew exactly how to enhance his newly bronzed skin. The school year has finally come to a long awaited close, which means there are just beach days and nights out on the town with friends now. The outfit that this student chose is extremely versatile because it’s a fabulous choice for a cooler summer day, or even better when the sun goes down.

Not only does a light weight, white button-down pair well with a tan, but it’s also a staple item for summer. It matches with a variety of items in your closet, which gives you the capability to create several different outfits. This Fashionisto chose to pair his button-down with sky blue seersucker shorts. The thin material of the seersucker in combination with the white makes the outfit airy and casual, which is necessary for a humid Iowa summer. Other prints like plaid and pinstripes would also display a similar, preppy look. Check this pair out at J.Crew.

However, all the rage right now is colored shorts, so what could be a better duo than white and a bright splash of color? All you have to do is complete your outfit with neutral shoes. This student chose the ever so popular boat shoe in navy, incorporating blue even more in his outfit. All together, this outfit is fantastic for summer!

Hint: In addition to shorts, pairing the button-down with jeans or khakis will create a simple style for those unwanted chilly days of the season.


WIth the NBA playoffs, NHL playoffs and the MLB season just beginning, it seems that everyone and their brother is rocking jerseys everywhere they go. What most guys forget is that wearing a jersey does not mean you have to throw out your sense of style. Just because a jersey has a casual connotation doesn’t mean it can’t be dressed up a tad to look better. This Fashionisto stayed fashionable while still supporting his favorite team: the Chicago Bulls.

Instead of throwing on a pair of basketball shorts or sweats to create a laid-back sporty style, this Fashionisto paired his black and red Bulls jersey with bright red pants. Not only do these red khakis show this Fashionisto’s Chicago spirit, but they also are a great choice for a cooler summer day. With the continuous heat, shorts become such a boring choice, so when the humidity is away, a lightweight pair of colored pants are the perfect option.

This sophisticated, sporty style is a much better alternative to the regular athletic getup, especially when heading out for a casual dinner, night out on the town, or even to class. Don’t forget, basketball jerseys are not the only option. Trade it out for your favorite hockey or baseball jersey, and the outfit will still be casual and spirited. Throwing on a hat from your favorite team would also be a great addition to this jersey ensemble. Sports Authority has a wide variety of different teams in their cap collection.

Hint: Heading elsewhere after watching the game? You can quickly swap the jersey out for a black or white V-neck to create less of a casual look.


This season, fashion is all about taking risks and standing out, and this Fashionisto surely did not blend in on this warm, sunny afternoon. He brought casual to the next level by incorporating spring and summer colors as well as an unexpected turtle print on his shorts.

The turtle print short is one of a kind, and it is the perfect unforeseen logo. I have seen other designer shorts that integrate their logos all over their shorts, but I like that this unique pair only has a handful of turtles rather than smothering the entire pair. Additionally, a turtle is an awesome summer icon that portrays an beachy feel. Vineyard Vines has a very comparable, nautical style with their whale logo.

Putting marine animals aside, the baby blue color is a tasteful choice for shorts and a classy substitute for blue jeans. Because its color is a cousin to light-wash denim, there are several different colors that can be paired with it. To stay striking and simple, this Fashionisto chose a white button-down. However, do not be afraid to try mixing and matching with colors such as green, navy and even maroon. If you add this blue short from Banana Republic to your wardrobe, you will be set with a staple item for summer.

Hint: Like the style of printed shorts but not much of an animal lover? Stay in the blue palette and try this more typical print from Brooks Brothers.

LET’S HEAR IT FOR THE BOYS: Keep Calm and Coral On

With the school year coming to a close, many of us are using this nice weather as an excuse to stay outdoors as long as possible. I spotted this Fashionisto about to partake in the end-of-the-year celebrations by grilling out with his fraternity brothers. However, this student did not use a barbecue as an excuse to throw on an old outfit. Pegged by his bros as the stylish one, this Fashionisto was ready to waltz in in his favorite warm weather attire.

These coral shorts are a show-stopping, casual piece that will brighten up any look. This summer, invest in a pair from Brooks Brothers for a near identical style. Khaki shorts are becoming practically obsolete with so many fresh and innovative colors that are now being offered. J.Crew also has a wide selection of hues for the upcoming season. Although bright blues, greens and even purples are being introduced to men’s fashion, I think coral is the optimum choice. Coral lightens and brightens the masculine shade of red but is not abstract enough to overdo an outfit.

To keep the focus on this pop of color, this Fashionisto chose to pair his shorts with a basic white long-sleeve tee and a staple item for every male’s closet: boat shoes. While this barbecue surely was not taking place on the river, boat shoes are a spring and summer essential. This Fashionisto informed me that out of the many pairs he owns, the navy pair are his go-to. Because his shorts are more vivid, his shoes are the neutralizing element. The perfect pair of boat shoes can be found at Von Maur.

Hint: Coral isn’t just for shorts, keep an eye out for bright coral button-downs and V-necks!