TREND: Festive Fashion

Winter break. This simple phrase is probably one of the most holy and sacred to college students all around the nation. Break is not only a break from school, but many times a break from fashion too. Us Fashionistas/os spend the entire school year looking fabulous, but sometimes it’s nice to just put on some flannel pajama pants, stay inside to watch to the snow fall and call it a day. But the really great thing about winter break, besides the sheer fact that you basically have nothing to worry about for a month, is all the fun and festivities that take place. With the holidays right around the corner you can count on multiple holiday parties and family get-togethers. However, you can bet your family won’t be too happy if you show up to your holiday card photo shoot wearing your oldest footie pajamas. This holiday season is all about keeping the easygoing spirit of winter break alive with the festive, high-energy spirit of the holiday season.

If you are in college, chances are you know all about ugly Christmas sweaters and ugly Christmas sweater parties. What is admirable about today’s Fashionista is her revamped “ugly Christmas sweater” look. Her sweater is the main focus and component of the look. Instead of drawing eyes to her sweater because it has a horrible screen print of cats in Santa hats, her look pulls in stares for all the right reasons. Though it may not appear to be your typical holiday sweater, the wool material and traditional Nordic print makes this sweater perfect for the holidays. The unique bright colors are a great way to spread the festive cheer while the sheer size and warmth of the sweater will make you feel like you’re cuddled up next to the fireplace.

Hint: Trade your knit wool sweater for a knit wool tunic sweater. Pair it with leggings instead of jeans for ultimate comfort.

TREND: Snow Daze

It’s finally here. Wintertime in Chicago has crept up on us when we least expected it (or we did expected but prayed it wouldn't come!) Chicago weather being as unpredictable as ever, tricked us all into believing we had a few more weeks of sun and unusually warm weather. That not being the case, this great city was transformed into a winter wonderland over night. The first snow fell and everything appeared to be a scene straight out of a snow globe. While we kiss fall goodbye and usher in a new season, that also means us Fashionistas and Fashionistos are also moving aside our fall wardrobes and making space for winter’s newest accessories.

Everyday winter fashion is all about warmth, practicality, and of course looking great. After all, you don’t want to get stuck in a freak Chicago blizzard in nothing but a sweater and jeans. What this Fashionisto effortlessly pulls off is his combination of practicality and warmth while still staying ruggedly stylish. Peacoats are a great alternative for men who would rather be warm and chic instead of just warm in a normal ski jacket. His fitted jeans are perfect for tucking inside his Hunter wellington boots. Not only are these boots comfortable, they are far better at keeping your feet dry in the snow than a gym shoe or leather working boot. He tops it off, (literally), with a knitted beanie that is sure to keep his head toasty while adding the finishing touch to his outfit.

Hint: For Fashionistas and Fashionistos a like, try adding a  mens-inspired wool scarf to your ensemble for extra warmth and style. 

TREND: Fashion and Finals- A Winning Combination

Thanksgiving Break is long gone and the most dreaded time of the year for college students is creeping up fast. Before us kids get to go home for three weeks and enjoy doing nothing but staying in our pajamas until 2:00, we have to suffer the worst. It’s finals time. For some, finals can be great if your teachers are merciful. For others, finals are a time of pain, tears, baggy eyes, coffee, and your iPod on shuffle for 32 hours straight. With so much stress and work to do, the last thing on many people’s minds is fashion. Who has time to look nice when there are papers to write and tests to take? During this hectic time, added with the nasty weather, it is so much easier to grab your comfiest sweater, oldest pair of sweatpants and call it a day. However, today’s Fashionista shows us it’s okay to be fashionable, comfortable and studious all at the same time.

The main component of this Fashionista’s outfit is comfort. Her dress is just loose enough to be comfortable, but she cinches it with a belt to create a little form. Her baggy, wool sweater is the perfect piece of clothing to keep her warm walking to and from the library and soft enough to feel like her favorite hoodie. After all, no one wants to be itchy and constricted when pulling an all-nighter. Her tights are the perfect cross between jeans and sweatpants. They have the slim fit and fashionableness as jeans, but are stretchy and relaxed like sweatpants – the perfect combination when you’re planning on staying long hours inside, buried in books. This Fashionista proves that there is such a thing as fashionable finals.

Hint: If you are really opposed to the cold weather, try an oversized sweater that covers your whole body, down to your knees. It’s great for comfort and keeping away the frigid winds.

TREND: Go For Faux Fur

Ushanka; otherwise known as fur hats, Russian hats, or those hilarious looking mounds of fuzz that are precariously perched on top of people’s heads during the coldest months of the year. While even I find myself chuckling at these funny looking headpieces from time to time, no one can deny these hats are making a comeback this year. They are warm, they are cozy, they come in multitudes of colors and styles, they keep your hairdo in tact and safe from the wind. However hilarious some people may find these hats, they gained huge popularity in Russia in the 20th century and are still around today. While they are traditionally made from sheepskin, rabbit, muskrat or mink fur, the new stylish way to go is faux fur. It’s less expensive, it’s just as warm and it’s fashionably humane.

Today’s Fashionista shows us just how stylish these fur hats can be. Her brightly colored pea coat is playful and shows that sometimes the best fashion is the fashion that doesn’t take itself too seriously. This approach is the perfect attitude to pair with her fur hat. Though these hats can sometimes appear comical, the best way to combat this is to go along with the humor, not fight it. Her Chuck Taylor shoes are the perfect choice of shoe for this approach. Though she could have gone with a sleek, all black outfit draped in fur and knee-high boots, she opted to go for a younger, more frivolous look. The combination of her vivid coat, sneakers that remind you of being 10 again, and the outrageously furry hat gives this Fashionista the appeal that she is so chic and cool, that she does not have to even try to be chic and cool. The result is a fun, playful look that is guaranteed to make you look cool, and keep you warm.

Hint: Try a faux fur trimmed coat to go along with your hat. It will keep you feeling toasty, leaving you free to ditch a cumbersome scarf.

TREND: Blaz(er) Your Own Path

The fall weather is in full swing here in the Windy City. Many natives opt for big, black or brown, puffy coat that leaves you looking like a cold marshmallow. Being warm is practical, but what about those nights where your inner Fashionista wants to come out? While big bomber coats are great, blazers are a necessity in any Fashionista’s closet. They are practical, stylish and come in a variety of styles – from boyfriend blazers, to fitted blazers and even cropped blazers. Blazers are a great alternative to heavy coats and bulky sweaters. They leave you looking polished and clean and are appropriate for nights out, dinner, class, and even job interviews. They are versatile and can be paired with almost any style whether it’s jeans, skirts, dress pants, dresses, or rompers.

What I loved best about this Fashionista’s blazer is the mustard yellow color. While classic black blazers are a great look that will never go out of style, this Fashionista earns major points for being a bit more fashion-forward. The rich color of the jacket is simply fantastic, and the absolute perfect color for fall. The color is rich enough to look sophisticated, but not so dark that it looks too stuffy. The look is paired with a pink, floral bubble skirt. The skirt's print has hints of yellow in it, making it the perfect match with the blazer. My favorite accessory to this daring Fashionista's outfit is her opaque, turquoise-blue tights. They are the perfect accessory to keep your legs warm and add an extra pop to the ensemble. This look is fun and flirty and with the right tools, easy to pull off – so easy to blaze your own trail in your fashion world.

Hint: Wear a pea coat over your ensemble to keep your classic, polished look and stay warm at the same time.

TREND: Be Thankful for Comfort

The meaning behind celebrating Thanksgiving is pretty self-explanatory. For most people Thanksgiving is about taking time to relax and spend time with your family and friends. It’s a time to give thanks for all the things and people we love and appreciate. Everyone has his or her favorite parts about this day. Some people love the parades; others live for the football games. But if you know me really well you know my favorite part is the food, hands down. What other holiday is so perfect that it allows you to feel no guilt about breaking your diet and loading up on copious amounts of carbohydrates and boatloads of gravy? Of course, if you are a food enthusiast like me and always eat way more than you should you will know that an essential part of your Thanksgiving is your outfit. After all, one needs to dress nice enough in order to feel you belong at the fancy table in the dining room where no one ever eats, except on very special occasions. But if you plan on consuming twice your weight in food then you need to dress accordingly also. Finding the perfect balance of eloquent style and comfort becomes an art form.

Comfortable and fashion-forward are the two words I would use to describe today’s Fashionista. Black tights are a necessity this fall to be fashionable and warm. Her ruffled, tiered dress is a great blend of floral, prairie-esque prints. The ruffles are a playful touch to a classic tube dress. Not only are the ruffles a great aesthetic touch, but they also have a more practical use. The tiers keep the dress from becoming too constricting. Wearing too tight clothes on Thanksgiving will prove to be the worst mistake you can make, as after your second plate of turkey you’ll be more thankful for your loosest fitting pajamas more than anything. Looser fitting clothes like her dress will keep you happy and comfortable throughout the celebrations, yet you remain stylish even after the last piece of pumpkin pie is gone.

Hint: If your Thanksgiving includes going somehwere where more formal wear is required try a dress that cinches under the bust instead of the waist. The dress will look elegent while keeping the constriction off your stomach.

TREND: Modest is Hottest

Last week’s Fashionisto from Loyola proved that being bold in a world of dull can open up a Pandora’s box of possibilities. Bright statement jewelry, crazy colored shirts, and loud printed sweaters are a great way to stand out in a crowd, but at the same time, all these things have their time and place. This week’s Fashionista shows the other side of the fashion spectrum. While being loud and proud is great for some, it’s not always the best look on others. Sometimes being impeccably polished and modest is the best choice for a college student. And what says “classic college fashion” better than a chic preppy look?

One of the best components is this Fashionista’s skirt. The color is great for fall (not to mention it is the perfect Loyola Rambler hue) while the length of the skirt hits just above the knee. The length is long enough for the fall weather and keeps this Fashionista from looking like she should be hitting the nightclubs instead of the books. The slightly pleated pull at the top of the skirt creates body and keeps the skirt from being too uniformly A-line. I admired her choice to wear a patterned cardigan instead of a solid colored one. Adding the stripes to the outfit gives the look dimension and keeps it from looking too drab. Tucking in the sweater into the skirt polishes the look and leaves her looking clean-cut and classy. This Fashionista looks impeccably put together and proves that hiding some skin and leaving something to the imagination is a great trend to follow.

Hint: Wearing a cooler weather dress is also a great way to get this chicly modern look and requires less effort!

TREND: Go Bold or Go Home

There are plenty of times in our lives where we will find we need to be demure, collected, meld in with the crowd and agree with popular consensus. Sure this way is usually our safest bet and while there is nothing wrong with appreciating the simple tranquility of some things, sometimes it’s better to be bold – to be a little more defiant in one's choices. I find that this way of thinking can do wonders to one’s style, especially when applied to men’s fashion. 

This Fashionisto clearly shows that sometimes bolder is better. And while it’s easy for a man to just slip on some jeans and a t-shirt and call it a day, I sincerely admire this Fashionisto for going the extra mile and not being afraid to branch out of the stereotypical “man uniform.” The main part of the outfit is simple and comfortable – jeans and a white V-neck jersey T-shirt. This classic look has remained a staple throughout time in men’s fashion, but this Fashionisto takes the time and effort to add his own touch. The leather vest adds a rocker chic feel that is both manly and fashionable. A vest is also a great alternative to wearing a jacket on a warmer fall day, such as the day I snapped this picture. His flat brimmed hat gives a pop of color that would have been lost without it and his accessories coordinate perfectly with the vest. Ultimately though, the outfit comes down to the shoes. While tennis shoes are the go-to-shoe for men this Fashionisto defies all convention and instead chooses a pair of printed leopard shoes. They are fun and original, a definite improvement over everyday gym shoes. When done right, bold is beautiful and to be loud is to be proud.

Hint: If printed shoes aren’t your thing pick brightly colored boat shoes or fun fabriced boots. Try a pair of lace-ups in a variety of colors to gain the same effect.

TREND: Critique your Inner Unique

Is it said that literature, art, and music, and theater are some of the best ways to express your inner self. While I could not agree more I also can’t help but notice that many times the category of fashion is left out of the list. To some people, fashion appears to be materialistic – a world of shallow, size zero models and snooty fashion designers who charge too much for a piece of cloth. And while I find that literary works, works of art, music and theater are all great classical outlets of expression, I firmly believe that fashion is one of the boldest and most human ways to tell who we are as individuals. What better way tell the world who you are then by the most visual means possible? In a nation ripe with dress codes our clothes are out for all to see, for all to see who you are. Sure there may be some skeptics and naysayers who may argue that many stores produce the same kinds of clothes, the same styles, the same cuts, and the same colors. I say, it’s not about buying the same thing as someone else; it’s about what you chose to do with that piece of clothing and how you make it your own.

That is exactly what I loved about this Fashionista. She takes everyday, simply piece of clothing like gray skinny jeans, a black blazer, and a striped undershirt and make it her own style. Pairing her striped shirt with a solid scarf keeps the outfit from crossing over from eclectic to clashing. Her pink corduroy backpack is a nice break from the monotonous black canvas bag, or the over the shoulder messenger bag. What I admired the most about this Fashionista’s outfit was her choice to pair slouch leg warmers with her oxford shoes. Not only are oxford shoes one of the hottest commodities this season, but also choosing to wear leg warmers with them creates a very unique oxford winter boot look. This Fashionista gets everything right all while staying true to her own style. So the next time you open up your closet doors ask what you can do to express your inner unique.

Hint: Oxford boots do exist! Check them out at DSW. Or try a fancier take like this oxford pump. The ribbon laces are delicate and the use of suede and patent leather adds dimension to the shoe. I love it for it’s reminiscence of the Victorian Period.

TREND: Sunglasses and Scarves and Bags, Oh My!

It seems as of late us Chicagoans are getting that notoriously fickle fall weather. One day us Fashionistas/os need to break out the parkas and knit sweaters and the next day is sunny and breezy. While we Chicago natives are used to the guessing game, we still can never cease to be amazed. This type of back and forth weather can leave college students in quite the conundrum. What clothes do we take back home over fall break? Do we clean out our closets of every last reminder of sunnier days? Do we lug back duffle bag after duffle bag of coats, long underwear and wool socks? This is what I like to call “the in between stage”; and it can leave a Fashionista’s head spinning.

So what to do in a crisis such as this? Use your accessories to accommodate the weather! Accessories are not just big necklaces and cocktail rings. Some of the best accessories come in the forms of scarves, headpieces, and handbags. This Fashionista gets the look down pat. Everything from her head to her toe is in sync with each other, matching different hues of brown. What I like the best though is her choice of accessories. The scarf is one of my favorite components. Like any other accessory, I say the bigger the better. The scarf is the perfect length to wrap around the neck and two-tone color adds dimension and depth. Instead of falling flat, the look pops. What’s also great is the 1950s –esque feel of the cat-eye sunglasses. The gold lining is flashy, but not dramatic. Her small Burberry tote is the perfect size to carry just the essentials for all Fashionistas. The scarf is perfect for the cooler, crisper air, while the sunglasses are just right for the shining sun. The completed look is fun and polished; leaving this Fashionista ready to tackle any Chicago weather.

Hint: If you’re feeling bold, try a faux fur scarf. The result is glamorous and humane!