FASHIONISTA SPOTLIGHT: Michaela Raffin

The semester is quickly winding down before our eyes. Finals week gives us a “to-do” list longer than usual, and often times looking cute and fashionable isn’t at the top of that list.  This Fashionista firmly believes in the “dress well test well” mantra and knows exactly how to combine cute and comfy when getting dressed during the most stressful week of the academic year.

Name: Michaela Raffin

Year: Sophomore

Major: Marketing / Strategic Communications

CollegeFashionista: How would you describe your style on a regular basis?

Michaela Raffin: I like to look very put together. I don’t like looking messy. Even if I’m in something relaxed, I like it to look like me.

CF: Where do you find inspiration for your style?

MR: Sometimes if I see other people wearing things and I think I can pull it off, I’ll try that. I also love InStyle, I look in that magazine all the time! I have some style icons that I always try and emulate like Audrey Hepburn. I’m not very trendy, but more classic.

CF: What is one thing you love about winter fashion and one thing you hate about it?

MR: I love boots and sweaters, they’re my favorite and I love the combo. I dislike that it’s so cold in Indiana so you have to wear tons of layers. I kind of wear layers anyway, but I’m not a fan of frigid weather.

CF: What is some advice you would give students on how to dress fashionably yet comfortably during finals?

MR: I think a really good way is to invest in a good pair of jeggings, because they look really cute but are also really comfy. That’s what I’m wearing right now. I’ve been wearing them all week, because they’re so comfortable but they also make me feel good about myself, like I put effort into my appearance for finals week. Sweaters are another good piece because they’re comfy as well.

How To: As this Fashionista pointed out, jeggings are a great way to “fake it ‘til you make it” when you want to be comfortable without looking like a total bum. She pairs here jeggings with an amazing pair of brown leather boots with a small heel which look totally sophisticated! Stay warm and look classic-cute with a chambray and sweater layered combo. The combinations of colors and fabrics are endless! In temperatures this cold, don’t forget your winter coat. This Fashionista opted for a puppy periwinkle winter jacket. The color makes her stand out from the crowd and pops against the drab snowy sidewalks.

FASHIONISTO SPOTLIGHT: Michael Mueller

There is nothing better than a well-dressed man. True, that is an opinion, but this Fashionisto really knows what he’s doing when he gets dressed. From small details like cuffing the bottoms of his jeans to a patterned scarf, he has a lot of easy but great clothing elements to emulate.

Name: Michael Mueller

Year: Sophomore

Major: Marketing and Entrepreneurship

CollegeFashionista: How would you describe your style?

Michael Mueller: I tend to go for the “J.Crew look.” My favorite combination is a button-up with a sweater over it. I think I dress up more than the average male student, but I enjoy looking nice.

CF: Who is your style icon?

MM: I don’t really have a specific celebrity or anyone I look to for inspiration. I have two sisters who are really into fashion, so I’ve learned a lot from them. My mom also taught me how to dress when I was young.

CF: What is your favorite winter look?

MM: I love layering. My go-to winter look includes a button-up and a sweater with a peacoat and a scarf. It’s my favorite thing to wear.

How To: For male Fashionistos, it’s all about the details. Turn an average pair of denim into a more unique outfit choice by cuffing the bottoms. Switch up your everyday sneakers with a pair of casual boots to take the look up a notch. Guys need to keep warm in the winter just as much as girls do, so try layering a lightweight button-up collared shirt under a warm sweater. Peacoats tie a whole outfit together and add a feel of professionalism. Don’t forget the scarf to help bundle up! Dress for success this winter and try some of these subtle outfit changes.   

FASHIONISTA SPOTLIGHT: Analise Love

Even though it’s that time of year when staying warm seems to be the key factor in choosing our outfits, it’s important to remember that fashion doesn’t have to suffer. This Fashionista kept her look casual and classy for school underneath her winter coat.

Name: Analise Love

Major: Strategic Communications

Year: Freshman

CollegeFashionista: Where do you seek personal style inspiration?

Analise Love: I’m constantly looking through fashion magazines for ideas. I’d say my style is a good combination of comfortable yet still cute and put together. I think my clothes and vibe are a bit rustic.

CF: Where did you get the pieces for your current outfit?

AL: Both of my tops are from Forever 21, my jeans are from PacSun and my shoes are from Urban Outfitters. I love each of these stores and buy a lot of my clothes from all three places.

CF: What are a couple of tips you have for college students about dressing fashionably?

AL: Honestly, I’d say taking the time to actually wake up and pick out an outfit for class is half the battle. In college, it’s easy to wake up and throw on the yoga pants and sweatshirt, but just as easy to put together a pair of jeans and a sweater. Probably just as comfortable too! I would also advise shopping at thrift stores because there are some awesome finds for unbeatable prices.

How To: This Fashionista’s look is completely cool and collected, and each piece comes together for the perfect winter outfit. It can’t be said enough – a pair of dark skinny jeans are an absolute necessity for any season. Her skinnies are even a bit high-waisted which looks perfect with her tucked-in blouse. Layering is a key survival tool during the frigid winter months, and she does so with a chunky cable knit cardigan. Her boots are one of many versions of the popular fashion statement this season. Enhance her look with a statement necklace or some gold stacked rings and bracelets.

FASHIONISTA SPOTLIGHT: Emma Young

Among the frigid and gloomy winter days, this Fashionista was a definite ray of sunshine. Her look incorporates a dark floral sweater, cuffed skinny jeans and tan suede booties creating the perfectly chic look for the transition between fall and winter style.

Name: Emma Young

Year: Freshman

Major: Strategic Communications

CollegeFashionista: Is there a celebrity whose style you love to emulate?

Emma Young: I really love Kylie Jenner’s style. I think she dresses with a good mix of edgy, soft and cutesy.  

CF: What is your favorite trend this winter?

EY: I have a few favorite winter trends. One of them is layering. I love layering sweaters with collared shirts underneath. I also like wearing vests and infinity scarves. My favorite shoe trend is wearing boots with fun, frilly socks peeking out the tops of the boots.

CF: Are you the Fashionista who picks out her outfit the night before classes or do you make your outfit decisions when you wake up in the morning?

EY: I definitely pick out my outfit the day of class. I like to mix and match different pieces before deciding what I think works for a particular look. Typically I choose a certain item I know I want to wear for sure, like a sweater or a skirt and base the rest of my outfit off of that one piece.

How To: Florals are wildly popular in the spring and summer months. However, the way this Fashionista incorporates the print into her sweater with darker colors like red and black makes it completely appropriate for the current season. Her dark skinny jeans create a more polished feel to her overall look, and she adds detail by cuffing the bottoms to her ankles. Dark skinny jeans are simply a wardrobe essential, as they literally go with everything. Her tan suede booties add a bit of color differentiation from the dark color scheme in the rest of her outfit and are fashionably casual and comfortable. Booties are also a great buy and an alternate option to the typical knee-high riding boots we see in the fall. Recreate this Fashionista’s winter floral look on your college campus!

FASHIONISTA SPOTLIGHT: Jordan Lightner

A thin layer of show has skimmed the tops of the fallen leaves introducing us to winter, ready or not! This Fashionista looks stunning in her shades of gray and black, not to mention her hunter green puffy jacket! Her ensemble almost makes winter weather seem exciting!

Name: Jordan Lightner

Year: Freshman

Major: Art and Design

CollegeFashionista: What inspires your style?

Jordan Lightner: My style is inspired by the collections of nationalist designers like Burberry, Dolce and Gabbana and Ralph Lauren as well as classic films. I always imagine myself on the runway in that specific culture or as a character in a film, then become engulfed in the persona and lifestyle they emit through fashion. Obviously it’s always changing, but I tend to stay true to simple pieces with unexpected details.

CF: If you could raid any celebrity’s closet, who’s would you choose?

JL: I would raid Emma Watson’s closet! She always appears so effortlessly classic but definitely doesn’t shy away from edgier dramatic looks at events.

CF: What is a fashion faux-paus you just can’t get into?

JL: This may be controversial coming from a college student, but I’m not a huge fan of leggings alone as pants. I will admit I’m guilty of it on occasion, but throwing on a pair of jeans looks much more polished!

CF: What piece of clothing or accessory are you most looking forward to wearing this winter?

JL: I can’t wait to pull out my Sorel boots this winter! They go great with everything and are perfect for playing in the snow!

How To: Black is the new black, especially in the winter months. Investing in a polished pair of black skinny jeans isn’t a bad idea, and they look fabulous with boots, flats and even a casual pair of heels. Pair your jeans with a warm top like this Fashionista’s charcoal gray sweater. Her black boots take the popular combat boot to the next level and look amazing with her dark, cool-colored ensemble. Of course, no college student can survive the freezing Indiana winters without a winter jacket. This Fashionista chose a hunter green coat, one of the most popular colors of the season, with fur accents on the hood. Follow her lead and look beautiful in the basics!

FASHIONISTA SPOTLIGHT: Jessica Ciesielski

The colorful fall leaves are beginning to fall off the trees and land among our feet, leaving the trees bare. In Indiana, this tells us that winter is quickly approaching. Being in college requires a lot of walking, so staying warm is absolutely necessary. On this chilly fall day, this Fashionista found the perfect combination of warmth and style. It is evident that she is embracing the cold weather without sacrificing her passion for fashion.

Name: Jessica Ciesielski

Year: Freshman

Major: Public Relations

CollegeFashionista: Do you stick to one style on a day-to-day basis or does it change often?

Jessica Ciesielski: I think my style is kind of boho casual, but some days I choose to completely change it up! A new day calls for a new style.

CF: Where do you seek style inspiration?

JC: I usually look for style inspiration on Pinterest or the Nordstrom and Free People apps. They are always posting trendy new things on these apps, which I then use for inspiration.

CF: What is your favorite look or clothing item this fall? Why?

JC: My favorite clothing item this season is definitely a sweater! It’s a nice way to make a statement while still keeping warm and cozy.

CF: If you could shop at one store for the rest of your life, what would it be?

JC: I would shop at Nordstrom for the rest of my life if I could. Every time I walk into a Nordstrom it’s like entering the gateway to heaven. The options are endless!

How To: Hunter green is the focus of the fashion world this fall. This Fashionista incorporates this “it-color” into her wardrobe with a fabulous lightweight jacket that pairs perfectly with her chunky cream sweater and dark skinny jeans. She accessorizes with black combat boots (another fall necessity) and a floral statement necklace. Her look is fairly simple to imitate and incorporates a lot of great fall pieces that can easily be worn throughout the winter months as well. Switch up her look by pairing a sweater with a skater skirt and a pair of opaque tights. This outfit would also look great with a leather bomber jacket. Take a lesson in layering from this Fashionista and her impeccable style!

FASHIONISTA SPOTLIGHT: Steph Wolfred

College is all about growth, learning about yourself and becoming the person you want to be. This Fashionista believes that fashion is a huge part of your identity and the way others perceive you. She totally rocks the sophisticated yet fashion-forward look on her way back from giving a class speech.

Name: Steph Wolfred

Year: Junior

Major: Strategic Communications, Journalism Concentration

CollegeFashionista: In a city like Indianapolis where fashion may not be the center of attention, do you find it easy or difficult to be a trendy Fashionista?

Steph Wolfred: It’s easy for me to be trendy and live in Indianapolis at the same time. I have worked at a boutique for years, and I also have my own fashion blog. I think there are more fashion-conscious people in Indianapolis than it appears.

CF: What impression do you think your style gives off?

SW: If I had to choose three words to describe my style, I’d say chic, edgy and girly. I think my style is a good combination of all three. I like to help others have fashion awareness. I think it’s important to dress how you want others to perceive you and always dress for success.

CF: What are your best shopping tips for college Fashionista/os?

SW: For those who want to stay trendy and fashion-forward, I would suggest shopping the Von Maur sale racks for some awesome deals and good merchandise. Forever 21 is great for finding basic pieces. Never underestimate the power of accessories and use them to your advantage.

How To: This Fashionista’s look is completely appropriate for something like giving a speech or even going to an informal interview. A simple black blazer is basically a wardrobe essential for any Fashionista because it is so versatile. She pairs hers with a pair of dark jeans, a sparkly tank and a Mary Jane-styled shoe with a slight heel. This combination creates a look that is effortlessly chic and classy. Blazers also look fabulous when paired with a pencil skirt or even a dress. She keeps her accessories consistently silver and her fingers are stacked with a number of different rings. Take this Fashionista’s advice and dress for success…fashionably, of course!

FASHIONISTA SPOTLIGHT: Hannah Riffe

Okay, so it’s no surprise that it’s getting colder and colder outside by the day. With slight chances of snow in the Midwest in these final weeks of October, layering is key to staying warm. This Fashionista brightened an awfully dreary and freezing cold day with some great fall pieces. She paired a chambray with black leggings, knee-high black leather boots, a colorful chunky scarf, a vest made of two very different fabrics and then tops off her look with a nice pink lip.

Name: Hannah Riffe

Year: Senior

Major: Recording Industry Studies

CollegeFashionista: What kind of vibe does your style give off?

Hannah Riffe: Casual, but always put together. I like to wear whatever I feel comfortable in without looking like I just rolled out of bed. My style changes every day.

CF: Where is your favorite place to shop?

HR: My favorite store would have to be Madewell. I also do a lot of shopping in resale stores.

CF: What are some of your shopping tactics?

HR: When I shop, it’s pretty spur of the moment. If I see something I know I’ll wear a lot, it’s hard for me to pass it up even if it’s a bit of a splurge. Since I’m a college student I try to be thrifty as well. I always check the damaged sections of sale racks, because the prices are usually ridiculously cheap and I can almost always mend the small damages on my own.

CF: What is the best way to stay warm during the fall and winter months?

HR: I’m a big fan of a chambray top and scarves. Those are probably my staples for staying warm and comfortable.

How To: Do you like this Fashionista’s look? Emulate her by layering a chambray over a patterned T-shirt or a comfy knit! Stick with the fall trends and wear a vest or jacket that has accents of leather (or faux leather) just like hers. Even though her pink lipstick is bright, it fits perfectly with the colors in her scarf and brightens her face. Be willing to try new shades of lipstick this fall! This Fashionista even expresses herself in her hairpins. Bold words like the ones in her hair demand attention and the bright pinks pop against her dark hair. Fun hair accessories can definitely take an outfit to the next level.

FASHIONISTA SPOTLIGHT: Sarah Stoesz

The middle of October is often when students begin studying hard for the dreadful midterm exams. This Fashionista must firmly believe the phrase, “Dress well, test well!” Her outfit is proof that keeping things classic and comfortable can still set you ahead of the game when it comes to looking fashionable. Her top has an amazing print that pops against her dark skinny jeans and navy blue cardigan. She pushes the envelope by adding a statement necklace with a similar color scheme with the addition of some magenta and teal. Her classic gold Sperry Top-Siders give her look an appropriately preppy finish.

Name: Sarah Stoesz

Year: Sophomore

Major: Exploratory Business and Journalism

CollegeFashionista: If you could only choose one word to describe your style, what would that word be?

SS: Preppy. I like to stick with the classic and timeless pieces but add my own modern twist.

CF: What outside factors inspire your style beyond your own natural preferences?

SS: I worked at Banana Republic last summer, and that’s where I really started to realize what I wanted my style to resemble. I got a lot of inspiration from the clothes we sold. I also read magazines to get new ideas and visions for different outfits I want to try. My favorites are InStyle and Harper’s Bazaar.

CF: Now that the weather is cooling down, what is your advice for staying warm and stylish at the same time?

SS: I would definitely advise layering! I wear a lot of cardigans during the fall and winter months. Peacoats are also a favorite of mine. They are adorable.

CF: How would you respond to a college student that says they don’t dress up for class because it “takes too much effort?”

SS: Actually, one of my biggest pet peeves is when people tell me I try too hard to look presentable for class. You can be fashionable and comfortable at the same time! I think that wearing a soft cardigan and a scarf is just as comfortable as wearing yoga pants.

How To: Fall is in the air, and cardigans are plentiful. They come in every color imaginable, and let you wear your summer tanks and t-shirts throughout the fall season. Cardigans are comfortable and functional. Steal this Fashionista’s look by snatching a silk top with a fall-appropriate pattern that will create an interesting visual appeal against your plain cardigan. Statement necklaces continue to be all the rage, and they draw attention to your neckline and face. Boat shoes, like her Sperry Top-Siders are popular among college students. They are extremely comfortable and a good close-toed shoe for cooler weather. Create this look in your own fashion and rock those midterm exams in style!

FASHIONISTA SPOTLIGHT: Taylor Powell

On a college campus, there is often one common denominator among the outfits of students. That commonality is comfort. This fall, get that A+ in both style and school! This Fashionista shows us that it is possible to stay trendy and comfortable at the same time.

Name: Taylor Powell

Year: Sophomore

Major: Recording Industry Studies and Journalism

CollegeFashionista: Where do you find inspiration for your style?

Taylor Powell: I still get a lot of ideas from fashion magazines. In fact, I used to write for one. I also find inspiration in what other people wear. I look at my peers’ outfits and repeat the styles I like with my own spin on them. After all, fashion repeats itself!

CF: What store do you shop at the most?

TP: Definitely Forever 21. The clothes actually last pretty long if you take care of them, and the prices can’t be beat! I’m also getting better at thrifting, I love vintage.

CF: What is a trend that’s a little out of your comfort zone but you want to start rocking?

TP: I can’t wait to buy a faux leather high-waisted mini this fall. I think they look amazing with vintage tanks, graphic V-necks and preppy collared shirts. I love the high socks trend that’s coming back. It really adds that extra bit of class to any outfit.

CF: If you could give a Fashionista/o in college any advice for keeping up with the trends while saving money, what would you say?

TP: Teach yourself to budget! That’s what I had to do. I like to scope out a store’s website before going shopping and making a list of what I plan to buy. I would much rather go into a store than shop online, but that’s just me. Also, remember that things always go on sale! Don’t be afraid to wait until the item you’re dying to have hits the sale rack.

How To: It’s fall, and that means one thing – sweater weather! If you were a fan of the crop top this summer, you’re in luck because this season brings us the newest trend of cropped sweaters. This Fashionista’s tan knit is cropped at just the right length to show off her high-waisted floral skirt. Sweaters can literally be paired with anything including leggings, skinny jeans, skirts and even shorts. Even better, a sweater is the ultimate comfort piece for fall. She incorporated the on-the-rise metallics into her look with an amazing pair of silver metallic combat boots and high black socks. Her hair bow makes her average bun look super cute and girly. Bun wire ties are extremely popular this fall and can transform your bun from drab to fab! It’s all about rocking your own personal flair this fall. How will you choose to stand out?