5 Skills Every College Student Should Master Before Graduating

Before you know it, your four years in college will pass by and you’ll be wondering where the time went. I’m currently a junior in college, which means I’m halfway done—but it also means I’ll be in the real world soon! Graduating from college is both exciting and full of uncertainty. Luckily, there are five skills every college student can master that will help you in life and your future career.

PHOTO: Ali Bell

1—Time management

College is filled with endless distractions, and it’s easy to waste time on social media. Procrastination is every college student’s worst enemy when it comes to completing that long to-do list. If you’re easily distracted, turn off your phone and use a temporary website blocker to eliminate the temptation to procrastinate. Be sure to use a planner to help you stay on top of your assignments as staying organized will help you manage your time effectively.


A lot of college students hate doing group projects in class, but it’s important to learn about collaboration before you enter the workforce. Teamwork teaches you to listen to other people’s ideas, respect the opinions of others, and use persuasion to develop ideas. A company is stronger when individuals work together as a team.

PHOTO: Julia Michael


College is the best time to connect with people of different backgrounds and learn about different perspectives. Getting involved in the community helps you become a more empathetic person. Being empathetic decreases the risk of conflict in the workplace and helps employees work together; bosses who are empathetic are proven to be more successful.

4—Public speaking 

Public speaking is a lot of people’s greatest fear, but it’s a valuable skill to learn if you want to advance in your career. Whether you pitch an idea to your boss or lead a company presentation, public speaking will get you where you want to go. Most jobs require lots of interactions with people, so learning how to effectively communicate is important both in your personal and professional life. Don’t forget that your outfit also communicates who you are as a person and a professional, so don’t forget to dress appropriately and make a good impression.

PHOTO: Lex Kelly


College is the best time to start networking. Go to career fairs, maintain good relationships with your professors, and be sure to create a LinkedIn account to show your accomplishments and keep in touch with your connections. Don’t forget to connect with your peers as well, especially if they are in the same industry as you. College fashionista has given me the opportunity to connect with Style Gurus around the world who have a passion for fashion; we all inspire each other, and this community gives me a taste of what the fashion industry will be like in the future.

What skills have you utilized in an internship or job? Let us know in the comments below. 

Fashion Inspiration from the Yves Saint Laurent Exhibition

I recently attended the Yves Saint Laurent: The Perfection of Style exhibition in Richmond, Virginia. Yves Saint Laurent was a trendsetting designer that became a global phenomenon for his original and creative style. As he so wisely stated, “Fashions fade, style is eternal.” He was a pioneer for models of color, and he wasn’t afraid to play with gender representation in his designs. Saint Laurent also popularized ready-to-wear high fashion. Here are some ways you can get fashion inspiration from his designs and incorporate them into your wardrobe.

PHOTO: Kristi Mukk

1—Primary colors. This trend is making a comeback, so get ready for bold and confident looks. If you’re afraid to play around with color, try bringing it into your wardrobe gradually by experimenting with accessories such as red shoes or a blue bag. I also love the look of a primary color paired with denim or black. For a more dramatic take, try scarlet or cherry red looks as they are trending on the runways this season.

PHOTO: Kristi Mukk

2—Embroidered and jeweled statement pieces. Embroidery has been around for a long time, but it has become a huge trend again recently. Choose an embroidered piece as the statement of your outfit and build the rest of your look around it. Whether it be an embroidered shirt, shoes, or jeans, be sure to keep the rest of your outfit simple. If you like making a statement, try jeweled or metallic pieces that will make your outfit shine.

PHOTO: Kristi Mukk

3—Color blocking. This mod shift dress is an iconic style from the ’60s. There are two ways to create color-blocked outfits: you can either choose complementary colors that are opposite each other on the color wheel, or you can choose analogous colors that are next to each other on the color wheel. Choose hues that are complimentary to your skin tone, and complete your look with neutral accessories.

PHOTO: Kristi Mukk

4—Menswear-inspired fashion. Saint Laurent created pantsuits and tuxedos that were tailored to women. Don’t be afraid to incorporate menswear looks into your style. When wearing a pantsuit, wear a feminine blouse underneath like the polka dot bow blouse pictured above. You could also experiment with a pantsuit in a feminine color such as the pinkish-beige ensemble above. Don’t forget to finish off the look with a stylish heel and feminine accessories.

PHOTO: Kristi Mukk

Which designers inspire you? Let me know in the comments below. 

How to Stay Informed as a Busy College Student

Let’s face it, you probably scroll through your emails, Twitter, Snapchat, and Instagram several times throughout the day. There’s a way to use these platforms and stay informed—even on a tight schedule. You can impress your employers, coworkers, and professors with your knowledge of current events. In this digital age, it’s easy to stay on top of the latest news headlines just by using your phone. Here’s how to make reading or listening to the news a part of your daily routine.

1—Subscribe to a daily newsletter. The top news headlines can be delivered straight to your inbox every morning. Some of my favorite subscriptions are from The New York Times, The Skimm, Need 2 Know, and the Morning Brew. These email newsletters have a good mix of breaking news, politics, business, entertainment, sports, and media headlines. This is an easy and efficient way to get your daily news fix as stories are briefly summarized with all the important details.

2—Listen to a news podcast. The New York Times offers a great podcast called “The Daily” which is released five days a week by 6 a.m. Most of the podcasts range around 20 minutes, so it’s perfect to listen to during your morning commute. NPR also produces an hourly podcast called “NPR News Now” which provides the latest news in just five minutes and is updated hourly.

3—News apps. Aggregated news apps allow you to view stories from a lot of different sources all in one app. This can be helpful because it allows you to see multiple perspectives on the same story. I like to use the news app on my iPhone to see trending stories; I can even set my favorite topics and news channels. A lot of news apps also allow you to get breaking news notifications straight to your phone in real time.

4—Twitter and Snapchat. Follow your favorite news outlets on Twitter. Some of my favorites are @nytimes, @BBCWorld, @AP, @washingtonpost, and @Reuters. Snapchat’s Discover feature also offers stories from The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and CNN. NBC is also bringing anchor-style reporting to Snapchat through short three-minute shows that cover the most important news stories.

5—Fashion news. Some of my favorite websites for fashion news are The Business of Fashion and Fashionista. Subscribe to daily newsletters from both of these sites to get major fashion news headlines straight to your inbox. For podcasts, the Vogue podcast is perfect for Fashionistas who can’t get enough of Vogue (it’s also hosted by André Leon Talley). I also love the American Fashion Podcast which features weekly conversations with fashion industry insiders such as designers, executives, and writers.

How do you stay informed? Let me know in the comments below. 


7 Reasons Why You Should Try Short Hair

When I tried short hair, I felt like a weight lifted off my shoulders (both literally and figuratively). I always hid behind my long hair; it was like my safety blanket.

When I first discussed cutting my hair short with my friends, many of them expressed concern that boys wouldn’t find me attractive with shorter hair. Some people applauded my bravery for cutting off my hair and said they would never be able to pull it off. But you can and should try short hair. If you’re happy with short hair, then no one else’s opinion should matter. Feel free to redefine societal beauty standards! Here are some perks of having short hair.

1—It’s a liberating experience. I feel like an entirely new person. Short hair gave me confidence and a more professional, polished look. I even feel more feminine with shorter hair. Short hair can be more flattering than long hair as it brings more attention to your facial features. It’s a great way to change up your look. If you’re thinking about experimenting with short hair, a long bob or “lob” is a great starting point.

2—It’s low-maintenance. With my long hair, I was either straightening it or curling it every morning. Now I can embrace my hair’s natural texture. I wake up, tousle and scrunch my naturally curly hair, and maybe add some product to define my curls. Sea salt spray is an easy way to get that beach wave look. Short hair also air-dries incredibly fast. This means I can sleep in longer since I can get ready faster with less styling time.

3—It’s convenient. I never carry hair ties anymore because my hair is always off the back of my neck. I can go to the gym or dance practice without worrying about my hair. It also helps during the summer to combat the heat.

4—It’s fun. Hair flips and dancing with short hair are some of the best feelings. Lighter locks naturally give your hair better bounce and movement.

5—It’s healthier. Say hello to healthy hair. The ends of my long hair were damaged and my hair was always tangled; it looked dry and weighed down. Now, my hair is always voluminous and shiny.

6—It’s cost-effective. Save money by using fewer hair products such as shampoo and conditioner. Getting your hair colored or cut will also cost less with short hair, although you will have to take more frequent visits to the salon if you want to maintain the length of your hair.

7—It’s always in style.There’s something very timeless about short hair that has been embraced by women from the 1920s to today. Just check out these vintage Hawaiian tourism posters pictured below that show the timeless hairstyles of a bygone era.

Summer is the best time to experiment with short hair. Have you tried short hair? Let me know about your experience in the comments below! 

An Open Letter to Fashion Outsiders

Does the fashion industry have more issues than Vogue? It’s an enigma to outsiders. Some common stereotypes classify the industry as shallow, self-absorbed, and superficial, but industry insiders know that at the heart of fashion is art, self-expression, and empowerment. Let’s face it, the fashion industry has a tremendous impact on society. Consumers have an emotional connection to fashion. Fashion can be poetic, political, radical; it is never unimportant. However, society criticizes fashion for its vanity while simultaneously valuing the importance of appearance. What you wear says a lot about who you are. Caring about fashion doesn’t mean you are shallow. People are able to express themselves through their style.

I’ve gone through various style phases in the process of finding my identity and gaining self-confidence. However, sometimes this industry that I love creates unrealistic ideas about beauty and also struggles with diverse representation. Those in the fashion industry need to be especially critical of these issues, but times are changing and brands are stepping up to combat these issues. Consider the positive body image campaign launched by Aerie that features models of various sizes and skin colors with no digital retouching. The fashion industry is constantly evolving, and with the industry’s great power comes great responsibility.

Working in fashion requires discipline, passion, intelligence, and perseverance. Fashion projects an image and a feeling, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the industry has no depth. Fashion is hard work and creative energy—it’s not all fashion week or The Devil Wears Prada. Another common stereotype is that fashion is unattainable for those without substantial financial means, and everyone only wears expensive designers from head to toe. But if anyone can appreciate the thrill of a finding a good piece at Forever 21, Zara, or the thrift store, it’s fashion people. 

The fashion industry and those that work in it deserve a better reputation. An interest in fashion is no more shallow than any other interests that people have, so why is only fashion labeled as “shallow” while other interests are considered valid? Parts of fashion are glamorous, but we must not overlook the dark side of the industry as well. I encourage outsiders to no longer look down on the fashion industry. Instead, celebrate it for its ability to make people happy and confident while simultaneously inspiring art, beauty, and identity.

What does fashion mean to you? Let us know in the comments below! 

WHAT TO WEAR: Summer Brunch

Summer is officially here! What better way to celebrate a semester of hard work than brunch dates to catch up with friends and family? Some say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but brunch is the perfect excuse to get some extra sleep and get dressed up. As a brunch lover myself, I know that half the fun of a brunch date is choosing the perfect outfit and taking Insta-worthy pictures with your food. Summer brunch outfits are all about being eye-catching and effortlessly stylish while still being comfortable. Take a few tips from this Fashionista for the perfect brunch outfit!

The key to a chic yet casual brunch look is the mixing and matching of casual and dressy pieces. You can never go wrong with stripes, floral, bold patterns, or bright colors for a killer brunch look. I love how she paired her lemon-patterned navy and white pants with her yellow bag for a pop of color that ties the summer theme of the whole outfit together. The white ruffle blouse adds a touch of femininity and movement to the look. She accessorized the outfit with a straw floppy hat that gives off summer vibes and silver jewelry like her necklace, her Folli Follie watch, and her Swarovski ring. A straw hat or sunglasses are perfect for blocking out that summer sun while still being stylish. She finished off the look with comfy brown sandals that are perfecting for walking off those calories post-brunch.

This summer brunch outfit can easily be transitioned from casual to formal by adding heels and a dressy blazer to elevate the look. This outfit is a great example of a carefree and chic summer brunch look that will be the envy of all your fellow brunch-goers; just be sure to wear loose clothing that will leave space for all that food! Brunch on, Fashionistas!

ALL IN THE DETAILS: Say Goodbye to Boring Denim

Two-tone jeans are still reigning supreme in 2017! Two-tone jeans have been seen everywhere, from the runways to the streets, ever since the Parisian design collective Vetements debuted them last year. Rather than using denim as a foundation piece, make it your statement piece. I know I’m guilty of wearing the same go-to pair of blue jeans and neglecting how a fun and unique pair of jeans can upgrade your entire look.

Denim can be dressed up or dressed down, and designers recreate the denim look each season with a unique twist. Whether you choose two-toned, embroidered, painted, embellished, bejeweled, or patchwork, you can say goodbye to boring denim and hello to statement denim. Even the small details like raw hems, frayed edges, high-low hems, slit hems, or tassel hems can go a long way in spicing up your denim. A cool and unique pair of jeans should be a necessity in every Fashionista’s closet. 

This Fashionista’s head to toe styling and trendy pieces immediately captured my attention. This chic look is all about the small details like the raw hem on her two-tone jeans and the gradient coloring on the back pockets. Her jacket also puts a unique spin on a classic item as the black and white check pattern and zipper detailing make this an eye-catching moto jacket. She layers a white turtleneck sweater underneath the jacket to stay warm and comfy on this unusually cold spring day. This Fashionista topped off the outfit with stylish mirrored cap toe shoes to elevate her look.

When in doubt, make a statement with your outfit and don’t forget to style from head to toe! 

STYLE ADVICE: Dressed to the Nine(tie)s

Decade trends are making a comeback, and you can always take inspiration from the past like this Fashionista who is rocking those ’90s vibes! This outfit reminds me of something right out of Rachel Green’s closet in Friends. It is both cute and easygoing, and who doesn’t get serious style inspiration every time they watch Friends? As a ’90s kid, I remember rocking a pair of overalls, but how can you rock this trend and take it from farmer style to street style?

Icons like Emma Stone, Olivia Palermo, and Karlie Kloss have been spotted rocking the classic overalls, but if you’re not brave enough to rock the classic look, you can always opt for a more feminine spinoff like this denim overall dress that this Fashionista is wearing as the focal point of her look. It’s all about the details of the overall dress like the lighter denim wash, frayed bottom, smiley face patch, and the little pocket. The key is to blend classic ’90s pieces with items from your everyday wardrobe for a cool and carefree look. This Fashionista layers a maroon sweater under the dress and pulls the look together with a cozy faux fur coat, black Chelsea boots and tights, and a patterned wrap headband that compliments the color of her sweater perfectly. This look gives serious ’90s nostalgia while being both cool and comfortable—great for going to class or just hanging out with friends. Long live the ’90s!

STYLE GURU STYLE: Leather Is the New Black

Leather pieces are something that will never go out of style, and they can easily be paired with anything to add an edgy vibe to every outfit. My goal for this look was to put several classic pieces together to create a unique look. This faux black leather moto jacket is one of my favorite go-to staple pieces. A leather jacket is a great layering piece, and it can take any outfit from drab to fab instantly. Especially on days when the weather fluctuates, I love draping the jacket over my shoulders when it gets warmer. The black and white plaid skirt offsets the hardness of the leather jacket, while the red turtleneck provides a pop of color and softness to this look. I love how the classic turtleneck has been trending recently, and it is definitely a cozy and chic look for the winter season. 

My style in the colder months usually tends to consist of neutral colors and monochrome outfits, so I like to challenge myself by adding pops of color. I love mixing textures when creating outfits, and this look perfectly balances the hard and the soft. The turtleneck and skirt combo brings the femininity to this outfit for an edgy chic look. The structured black leather bag also adds to the overall aesthetic of this outfit, and my long silver tassel necklace matches the hardware on my leather jacket for a polished look that ties the outfit together. I finished off this look with black leather booties that are both comfortable and stylish—perfect for long walks on campus and in the city! I encourage all of you Fashionistas/os to go outside of your comfort zone and experiment with new looks! 


Hey Fashionistas/os! This is my first semester with CollegeFashionista and I couldn’t be more excited! I am currently a sophomore at the University of Richmond in Virginia studying English and Communications.

I’ve been interested in fashion for as long as I can remember because of how fashion-conscious my mom was in her style and the way she dressed me as a child. I still remember watching TLC’s What Not to Wear as a kid. Even to this day, I still dig through my mom’s closet for vintage styles of classic brands.

As a more introverted person, fashion has always been my primary means of self-expression. I love the feeling of empowerment that fashion can give to people. Gossip Girl style icon Blair Waldorf defined fashion perfectly: “Fashion is art and culture and history and everything I love combined.” My look can go from edgy, to preppy, to boho in the span of one week depending on how I’m feeling. When I’m not watching fashion and beauty videos on YouTube or reading fashion articles, you will often find me reading a book, exploring an art gallery, binge watching shows on Netflix, or practicing my dance moves.

My outfit is inspired by pieces I had in my wardrobe when I was younger. I have always had a classic denim jacket, and I think it should be a staple in anyone’s wardrobe. Underneath the jacket, I paired a simple black T-shirt with some dainty layered necklaces to balance out my striped culottes which are the focal point of this look. A statement piece like these striped culottes will definitely turn heads! I love how the vertical stripes and flared bottoms elongate my legs and give the illusion of height. The bow belt detailing on the pants also adds a cute flair to the outfit. I completed this look with my black leather Chelsea boots and a black leather crossbody bag.

Stay tuned for future posts showcasing the Fashionistas at the University of Richmond!