TREND: Preppy Lives

I spotted this Fashionisto at a friend’s house sporting a traditional and timeless preppy styled outfit. I love preppy styles on men because it is a classic, clean look that men can easily wear. Wearing a burnt orange V-neck sweater with a striped blue and white button down collared shirt underneath along with khakis and brown leather loafers, this Fashionisto should have sent in a submission to CollegeFashionista’s Ivy League contest!

The color pallet of this outfit coordinates with the timeless preppy style as the burnt orange color from the sweater and the blue from the blue and white striped butto down collared shirt contrast and complement each other. J.Crew has a cotton-cashmere sweater in vintage apricot just like this Fashionisto’s that would look great with Banana Republic’s slim-fit bar striped shirt in blue and white. Although this Fashionisto and I are fans of C-neck sweaters, some men prefer crewnecks so this J.Crew cotton-cashmere crewneck sweater would also look great with a collared shirt underneath. If you’re looking for something different, yet still preppy, try this J.Crew collared cardigan that would also look good with a collared shirt underneath. When it comes to preppy, you apparently can never have too many collars.

Lastly are his loafers or as some prefer to call them, drivers. Macy’s has these Sperry Top-Sider drivers similar to the Fashionisto’s. A little different from the Fashionisto’s loafers are these Polo Ralph Lauren penny drivers. If you want to try something different I recommend these Diesel lace-up boots to add some edge to your look or these Converese oxfords or Sebago saddle oxfords to further enhance your “preppy-ness.”

Preppy outfit or style is a timeless look, especially when it comes to college campuses, so find your inner Ivy League!

TREND: Embellishments and Flashy Accessories

Once things start speeding up at the beginning of December when finals commence, we tend to abandon our attempts at looking trendy and fashionable and turn to sweatshirts and sweatpants or jeans and a T-shirt to ease the pain and stress of finals. However, there are many ways to remain comfortable while being productive and getting work done. This Fashionista demonstrates how that can be accomplished by wearing items with a little flash and embellishment.

As you can see, this Fashionista is wearing a sweatshirt; however, this sweatshirt isn’t from your lazy-day sweats ensemble. No, this Fashionista’s unique sweatshirt contains studs and rhinestones embellished on the shoulders. Additionally, the Fashionista wore a long brassy, vintage-looking chain necklace to complement the studs on her shoulders. Other flashy items of her ensemble included her argyle flats and her Betsy Johnson Betsyville bag that, like her sweatshirt, contained studs as well as skulls and hot pink roses. This Fashionista demonstrates how you can still wear the sweatshirt-and-jeans look while still looking trendy and fashionable through wearing pieces with a little embellishment and additional flashy pieces such as shoes or a purse.

Hint: To get this, look for items with a small amount of embellishments such as her sweatshirt with studs and rhinestones. American Eagle has a similar sweatshirt to this Fashionista’s with jewels and beads on the shoulders. Also containing beads, Bloomingdale’s has an Ella Moss embellished sweatshirt that would look cute and also be comfortable while studying for finals. In terms of flashy accessories such as the Fashionista’s shoes and purse, have fun and choose extravagant pieces such as these adorable plaid Keds and Kate Spade’s zebra-patterned bag. I really encourage you to try this look because looking good helps you feel good and you definitely want to be in tip-top shape for finals. Good luck on those papers and exams, Fashionista/os!

TREND: Supersize that Scarf

I spotted this Fashionista walking toward the Diag in an amazing oversized scarf. When I asked her where she got it she replied that it was a birthday present. Well, what a wonderfully cozy and trendy present! Oversized scarves are a wonderful and simple way to keep warm while looking trendy and fashionable. Because of their dramatic size, oversized scarves can single-handedly make an outfit. Therefore, I recommend keeping the outfit simple. This Fashionista is a perfect example of how to wear an oversized scarf. Worn with simple, dark and solid-colored items such as a navy blue jacket, jean shorts, black leggings and flats, this Fashionista keeps the attention on the scarf rather than wearing distractive accessories and colors.

Another thing I love about this oversized scarf is the large stitch it has. It emphasizes the scarf’s large presence. I found many similarly large-stitched, oversized scarves at Etsy. Etsy is a wonderful website that serves as a venue for individuals looking to sell homemade things such as clothing, jewelry, and artwork. 

If you would rather stick to buying from stores, many have been featuring the infinity scarf, which is an oversized scarf whose ends are connected, making it a big “O.” Macy’s has Fever and Steve Madden infinity scarves with a smaller-stitched, ribbed texture. If you’re not into the large-stitched or ribbed scarves, Nordstrom has a Rubbish scarf with a very small pattern that will have the same effect. If you’re not a fan of knit scarves, you can still find scarves, such as this Madewell faux fur scarf, that are just as large and dramatic as an oversized scarves.

Ultimately, I encourage you to try something bold and big, such as an oversized scarf, that will catch attention and liven up your winter look.

TREND: Cap It Off

With each week getting progressively colder, we need to stop relying on that one thick sweater or fall coat. So begin pulling out those heavy coats, gloves, scarves, earmuffs, mittens, thick socks, and hats out of the back of your closet and start layering up! If you’ve been to any university campus in the Midwest during the winter, I bet you’ve noticed how everyone sort of dresses alike. You know, the Northface jacket with UGGs boots. Yet I’m not writing this post to bash individuals wearing those jackets or boots. After all, if you have to walk through a tundra to get to your class, by all means, wear whatever brand or boots keeps you warm! I just think there are ways to individualize these looks and winter accessories, such as hats, are a wonderful way to do so.

These two Fashionistas are an excellent example of how wearing a hat can personalize and liven up any outfit. There are a myriad of different types of hats to choose from. The Fashionisto on the left is wearing a lumberjack-type hat that has flaps on the side to keep ears warm. Banana Republic has a great plaid cap similar to the Fashionisto’s. The Fashionisto on the right is wearing a great driving cap that can be found in a variety of places like the Gap and Banana Republic. Macy’s has a great fedora and trapper hat that are other types of hats that you can wear during winter months.

Hint: This look is for women as well! I even recommend Fashionistas to wear these more masculine hats with feminine pieces such as heels and fitted jackets.

TREND: Autumn Colors

Once Halloween is done with, we’re all put in this transitioning period to the holiday season when the weather starts getting chillier, we start seeing Christmas displays in stores, hearing holiday music, and Starbucks begins using their red cups. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves, people, otherwise we’re going to miss this beautiful fall season leading up to Thanksgiving!

This Fashionista seems to be enjoying the season through wearing fall colors like warm shades of brown, orange, and yellow. I especially liked her look because the array of colors seen from her jacket and her dress. This Fashionista contrasts these fall colors against black accessories such as her patterned tights, combat boots, and leather cross-body bag.

As someone with an eclectic style, I admire the way in which she combines different styles and patterns. Combining patterns has been a major fall trend and to some it may be intimidating. This Fashionista presents a way in which you can combine patterns in a subtler way through the use of solid-colored patterned tights. Urban Outfitters has a variety of patterned tights in solid colors that you can add to outfits with multicolored patterns just like this Fashionista’s outfit.

Another eclectic aspect of her outfit is her combat boots and leather jacket. Through wearing edgier boots and a jacket with a softer, more feminine dress, the Fashionista balances masculinity with femininity. Steve Madden has a variety of boots to choose from to acquire this look, including the actual combat boots this Fashionista is wearing. She said her jacket was from a second-hand clothing store located in Ann Arbor in which she purchased for only a few dollars! As I’ve said in previous posts, The Get Up is a fantastic vintage shop here on campus where you can a leather jacket similar to this Fashionista’s.

Hint: To get this look, be spontaneous and more eclectic through mixing patterns and styles. Be patient and hold off on all that December holiday cheer and get inspiration from the season.

TREND: Little Black Jacket

These two Fashionistas were walking out of North Quad on a chilly Sunday afternoon when I spotted them. What I liked about the pair, besides the fact that they were strikingly stylish, was that they had distinctive styles from each other, yet, at the same time, had some similarities. The most notable of the similarities is their black jackets. Although the jackets are different in style, they both used them as major additions to their outfit that not only kept them warm but also finalized and pulled together their outfits.

We’ve all heard about the legendary little black dress, or the LBD. So I was thinking, why not propose something just as versatile, however, more casual and weather appropriate? Cue LBJ: little black jacket. Any cute jacket is a wonderful addition to an outfit however, if you choose the right one, LBJs can be so versatile you can add it to a variety of styles and outfits.

Sporting the army-chic trend, the Fashionista on the left is wearing a leather military jacket. Jackets such as hers can be found at stores like H&M, Zara, and I’ve noticed that the recent line of clothing from Macy’s I.N.C. line predominantly focused on military styles, including jackets! The military jacket is less versatile than the blazer the Fashionista on the right is wearing, however its edginess really pays off by its ability to carry any outfit to the next level. I love that she paired the jacket with striped parachute pants yet wore nude-colored heels. She found the perfect balance between extravagance and reservation. I bet you didn't even know that was possible!

As stated above, the Fashionista on the right is wearing a tuxedo blazer, which has become a fashion staple simply because it is so versatile. Stars such as Penelope Cruz have even been seen wearing tuxedo blazers to red carpet events! Crawling its way out of the depths of office attire, the tuxedo blazer has become fashionable through becoming fitted and cropped. Its versatility allows it to be worn with formal and informal attire. This Fashionista exercises that versatility through wearing it with bleached skinny jeans (which she did herself – so crafty!) Like the other Fashionista, this blazer-wearing Fashionista creates a balance, however, in her case it’s a balance of formal and informal style among the bleached jeans, the edgy zipper Michael Kors booties, and the more formal jacket. You can find tuxedo blazers in any store nowadays, however, some of my favorites come from Banana Republic and J.Crew. They tend to have simpler styles like this Fashionista’s jacket.

Choose your LBJ wisely because, if you choose well, you will have an article of clothing that can be the cherry-on-top to any style or outfit.

TREND: Shifting Back Into the Sixties

History lesson! Today we’ll be learning about the shift dress. A shift dress is one with a simple, straight line that hangs from the shoulders. The dress fits loosely around one’s body and is pretty short–usually falling somewhere above one’s knees. You may or may not have known what a shift dress is and looks like, however, what you might not know is its historical importance. The shift dress can be seen in flapper trends from the 1920s when dresses were simple, loose in shape, and with hardly any definition in the waist. However, it wasn’t until 1958 when the shift dress made its way into women’s fashion history. We all know about the 1960s with the war, movements, and other historical events occurring around the world and country. To the youth, the dress represented their revolutionary attitudes of the time. The shift dress had special importance to women as it represented a re-appropriation or redefinition of the female body and shape. The loose-fit allowed women to move around freely and comfortably. The simplicity of the design made (and still makes) it feminine, androgynous, and completely versatile. Everyone was wearing the shift dress, including fashion icons such as Jackie Kennedy and Audrey Hepburn.

Fifty or so years later, the dress is still in fashion. Recently the dress has been seen in bold colors and patterns, possibly to recapture the 1960s retro-feel. Designers such Alexander McQueen and Missoni have included shift dresses with colorful prints and designs in their collections.

The shift dress look is easy to acquire because the design of the dress is flattering to almost all body shapes and sizes. This Fashionista said she bought hers from a vintage clothing store. The Get Up vintage clothing store located here on campus contains many colors and styles that will help you get your retro on. Personally, I LOVE shift dresses in bold and eclectic designs and colors. Designer Maggy London has a black and white swirl dress and an ornate print dress that can be found in Nordstrom. Muse, also at Nordstrom, has a purple paisley dress that emits a 1960s vibe. Sears offers a less expensive blue and black shift dress with a unique design.

Ultimately, to get this look, you have to be fashionably courageous because it is a bit out of the ordinary. But that’s what’s so great about it! You can find shift dresses in solid colors or in subtler designs, however, I love the historical context of the dress and feel that’s what’s represented when it’s bold and noticeable. So, I say, shift back into the sixties with a colorful print shift dress.

TREND: Keeping It Classy

Grabbing some iced coffee on a fabulously sunny fall day, this Fashionista captures what the season is all about through wearing classic and traditional pieces such as her peacoat, simple riding boots, and a vintage-looking double-buckle flap cross-body satchel.

A peacoat is a wonderful alternative to that puffy North Face coat you see everywhere. Not that there’s anything wrong with that coat–I have one and after all, we do live in Michigan! My point is that it’s great to have an alternative and what better one than a classic (thanks to sailors and Jackie O) peacoat that always stays in fashion. The Gap has a couple peacoat selections; However, I particularly liked the wool peacoat of theirs because of its military-like buttons. For an inexpensive peacoat, Forever 21 has double-breasted pea coat with the more traditional black buttons.

The other major component of this Fashionista’s classic outfit is the brown leathers of her boots and cross-body bag. Riding boots have been in style for the last couple of years and the extensive riding boots selection at Zappos demonstrates this. During those years they have been modified by adding straps, strings, and buckles and have been made in a spectrum of colors. What I liked about this Fashionista’s is its–surprise, surprise–simplicity. They are brown riding boots, subtly scuffed at the toes and nothing less, nothing more. The simplicity of the boots makes the look classic and elegant. Rockport has riding boots similar to this Fashionista’s without any embellishments or buckles.

Her double-buckle flap cross-body satchel furthers her classic style and also gives her a vintage look. While they look great, cross-body bags are convenient (especially for us college students) by freeing your arms and having the ability to carry all your knickknacks and books. Fossil at Nordstrom has a beautiful vintage-inspired leather cross-body satchel. Lucky Brand at Macy’s also has a vintage-inspired caramel-colored flap cross-body similar to this Fashionista’s. However, the best and less expensive option would be to get this Fashionista’s bag at H&M. She said she bought it for around $30–can’t beat that price!

TREND: Secondhand Style

We all know that purchasing or wearing secondhand clothing is economically and environmentally friendly, however, sporting his father’s Air Force jacket and humorous T-shirt from Goodwill, this Fashionisto demonstrates that secondhand can be stylish as well. Ann Arbor boasts numerous locations for secondhand shopping. On campus there is the Getup vintage clothing store with tons of trendy men and women’s clothing such as leather jackets, floral dresses, and cowboy boots. On the opposite end of State Street is an enormous Salvation Army. There are also online options to secondhand shopping such as ShopGoodwill, however, I recommend getting up and going because there is nothing like the experience of shopping in a vintage or consignment store.

To get this style, you must be patient. To some, thrift stores or consignment shops can be intimidating and overwhelming because of their jumbled and cluttered style. However, for these very same reasons, some see shopping in thrift stores as adventurous and fun. The gratification of finding something in these stores is worth the time and effort put into looking.

Another way to get this style is by looking through your family’s old treasures. Previous styles come back in fashion (has your mom recently gotten in your face about you mocking her in the '90s about her high-waist pants?) However, don’t be rude and nab things out of your parents/grandparents closet without asking. Besides, it’s always fun to hear their stories about where they wore it and how hot they thought they looked in it.

Whichever method you use, whether it’s going to a thrift store or through a family member’s closet, the unique article of clothing or accessory you’ve found carries history and meaning; you’ll never forget how you acquired it.

TREND: Tighten Up Your Look

This Fashionista demonstrates that you don’t have to ditch the shorts once fall rolls around. Leggings and tights have been fashion trends for the past couple years, however, it wasn’t until recently that they were seen worn under shorts. This Fashionista took the ever-so-popular cut-off shorts, wore them with a pair of lacy designed black tights, and topped off the outfit with a classic black blazer to create a grungy-yet-polished look.

Patterned tights are a great way to spruce up your outfit and take it to the next level. Tights, patterned or not, can be found in many locations such as J.Crew, Banana Republic, and Urban Outfitters. I found a black designed or patterened pair similar to this Fashionista's online at Urban Outfitters. Bright colors and patterns are fun and playful, however, sheer or opaque black is one of fall’s trendiest colors and materials. My favorite design on tights is black polka dots on black opaque tights because it creates a feminine and vintage look. Urban Outfitters has a cute black polka dot pair as well as other color options if you're not feeling the black or looking for something more colorful.

Other trendy options to wear with shorts or skirts include thigh-high tights or socks and slouchy socks. Thigh-high tights or socks have come a long way since the schoolgirl look and to avoid looking like Molly Shannon’s character in Superstar, I would recommend avoiding thigh-highs in the colors ivory and white. J.Crew has some grey and black thigh-high socks which they paired with some skirts, however, I think they would be especially cute with some tweed shorts. Slouch or camp socks look adorable with boots such as desert boots, booties, or lace-up boots such as this Fashionista’s. However, if you are feeling ambitious, many runway models were seen walking down the catwalk wearing camp/slouch socks with sandals. J.Crew also has some great pairs in both camp and slouch in a variety of colors. Whether they are leggings, tights, thigh-highs, or socks, any of these leg accessories enable you to continue wearing your favorite skirts and shorts well into the fall while also adding a little extra to any outfit.