STYLE ADVICE OF THE WEEK: Winter Shorts and Tights

While DePaul undergrads are taking advantage of their winter break, some unfortunate students, like myself, are stuck at the university attending courses for December intercession. Today’s Fashionista was spotted enroute to class in Lincoln Park rocking a faux cheetah jacket and burgundy, floppy hat and looking absolutely fabulous!

I idolize this Fashionista who has strategically paired Rugby cable-knit merino wool leggings with J. Brand jean shorts for a style a’ la’ Nicole Richie, avoiding cold temps with a high configuration. Her ensemble is glamorous and easy to put together. Any Fashionista can pair winter worthy shorts (denim, knit or wool) with leggings or a pair of  patterned tights for a look that is stylistic ratther than your generic jean or legging alone.

Today’s Fashionista accessorizes accordingly with a striking burgundy felt, floppy hat and emerald flowy top. Both colors play beautifully off the young lady’s hair and complement the rest of her look. The faux python bag and Stella6 buckle back, mid-calf combat boots add a rough edge to tone down the diva-esque hat and fur coat and give this Fashionista's outfit a city street vibe. Everything cheetah is a major winter trend, but if animal print is too aggressive, pair the shorts and tights with a loose top and crop leather jacket or embellished blazer.

This is a great look because every piece (aside from the fur jacket) is completely transitional, whether seasonally or from day to night. Add a pair of hot wedge ankle booties, such as this pair by Steven, amp it up with more skin by adding TopShop’s Puerto snake platform sandal or even take it that extra step by selecting the Lillie cherry trim sandals with a neon Lucite heel. The best looks do not have to crush your foot or wallet: all pairs are comfortable platforms and under $100, too!


Classes have officially ended and DePaul University’s highly anticipated six-week winter break has begun. The barren campuses are a result of wind and weather that forces students into hiding and hibernation. Amid the stark Loop campus, I spotted today’s Fashionista whose outerwear and accessories caused commotion and halted traffic.

Everyone is familiar with the dreadful “sleeping bag” coat. Large, puffy and unforgiving, the jacket can even dwarf and fatten a Fashionista with a model bod. The trick to staying warm and stylish in a long puffy coat? Belt it and accessorize accordingly. Today’s Fashionista avoids the employable snowman look by selecting a slim jacket with a fur trim hood and a tight, high waisted belt. The puffer jacket is the perfect way to stay warm and look hot during Chicago’s infamously cold winters. Wrap yourself in a warm puffer and complement the look with bold accessories. I love the collaboration of multiple winter trends into one unique look; countryside class meets urban street chic. Today’s Fashionista freshens the city and inspires those to explore their inner hunter/fisherman/equestrian, while remaining practical in a winter worthy black jacket. 

The fashion maven sports masculine trends by pairing a plaid scarf and trooper style hat with matching riding boots. The lovely lady's cat eye shades add femininity to the look and contrast against her dark locks flowing from under her trendy cap. The trooper hat is a definite favorite and the fur trim adds to the appeal by corresponding with the Fashionista’s belted puffer coat's fur collar, her Ralph Lauren wool plaid fringe scarf and DSW’s Unisa Terena riding boots.

Any Fashionista can get this look by selecting the proper outwear and extras. This season, do not say no to the puffer jacket in fear of looking like the oversized Michelin Man. There are many stylish options such as the Juicy Couture nylon puffer coat, Neiman Marcus faux fur puffer coat or the affordable Ivanka Trump faux fur, collared puffer coat. Interested in a trooper style hat? Visit here, for a variety of stylish aviator and trooper caps. Select a hat with fur trim like today’s Fashionista or further embrace the countryside style by choosing the tweed sherpa lined trooper hat, both under $30!

Don’t let the winter winds challenge your sense of style, instead take the cold by storm in a fitted puffer and trendy hat, scarf and gloves!

STYLE ADVICE OF THE WEEK: High Fashion Under High Anxiety

The packed library and endless line at Starbucks signifies every student's favorite time of the semester: finals week. Sweatpants and pajama clad students wander across campus clutching notes and skimming texts before the next exam. I have even stepped over a few peers who decided to nap on the floor in between classes, although I cannot help but sympathize as I wander, half asleep, through the halls. However, today’s high style student proves that lack of sleep and time does not hinder the wardrobe of a true Fashionista.

Yes, finals week is wretched and stress is inevitable, but that doesn’t have to take a ghastly toll on your appearance! I feel an internal motivation for success when I am dressed for success, and today’s Fashionista seems to feel the same way. I give this lovely lady an A+ for high fashion under high anxiety. This Fashionista takes simple trends and incorporates them into a comfortable and highly chic outfit; effective at shielding the cold and drawing attention. Pairing a chucky knit sweater with wool leggings and thigh high boots creates a casual high style look. She selected a Burberry classic peacoat in winter white to complement her Forever 21 cable knit sweater that can be worn alone or with a flannel oxford for an interesting twist. I adore the Fashionista’s checkered green and beige scarf as well as her burnt orange satchel, however is her thigh high boots that steal the show. Over the knee boots are a major trend right now, and I love this Fashionista’s Collin Stuart riding boot in dark taupe.

Thigh high boots hardly seem practical, but if chosen in the proper style and heel height, street chic rather than streetwalker chic, they are a college student must-have! These boots elongate the leg and add a bit of danger to your outfit. If you’re temped to try this fierce trend approach it with a few pointers in mind. First, the boot should not exceed five inches of your knee, so it is not covering your thigh. Avoid stiletto heels that are too high and fabrics such as patent or embossed leather. Instead, opt for a boot with suede or vintage inspired material in a flat or wedge. Since the over-the-knee boot is a statement in itself, minimize accessories and optimize different ways to style the shoe. Some of my favorite ways to wear the thigh high boot are over skinny jeans with a flowy top or blazer, with wool or jean shorts and thick tights, or with a volume filled skirt and feminine shirt.

Fashionsita/os do not let finals impair your look. Study hard and keep it trendy!


This Fashionista demonstrates a perfect mixture of colors and trends. Her playful cheetah wrap dress provides a feminine touch that complements her leather biker jacket and grey booties. I absolutely adore her accessories. Chanel bags are timeless and complete any outfit, and her custom monogram necklace adds a special touch to draw the eye. Cheetah has been very popular this season. The Fashionista’s BeBe Faux Wrap Printed Mesh Dress is an interesting play on both color and texture that adds personality to the popular trend. Her orange scarf also adds a fun pop of to the make the look more appropriate for day wear and accompany her Faux Leather Cropped Motorcycle jacket  found at Macys for under $75! The Fashionista's Faux-Leather Ankle Boots were a fabulous find from old navy and are now on sale for $22. Today's Fashionista has a lucrative eye for cheap finds and mixes them with designer duds for an affordable ensemble that looks straight off the pages of this month's TeenVogue.

To get the look: All Fashionistas envy Chanel, however the price tag hardly fits a college budget. I am truly indebted to this Fashionista who let me in on her secret, The website allows you to shop thousands of authentic designer bags and accessories, rent by the week, month or season, and return it for with free shipping. Cheap access to Chanel? Yes please. I cannot wait to utilize this find for the most coveted designer handbags and accessories without the frightening cost. If you wish to personalize a necklace with your first name or initials, visit Jennifer to view different styles and customized designs seen on many celebrities this year. The “hart of dixie” large circle stud necklace is number one my holiday wish list and would make a perfect gift for friends and family.

STYLE ADVICE OF THE WEEK: Fall Fashion Staples

Today’s Fashionista takes cue from celebs Sienna Miller, Kim Kardashian, and Rachel Zoe to compose a look that screams fabulous. The lovely lady’s look is runway to real-way inspiration for all Fashionistas seeking to incorporate fall trends into their wardrobe. Floppy hats, denim shirts, cheetah print, daring hemlines, and biker boots compose the majority of fashion staples and complete this Fashioinista’s outfit. Let’s explore what fall has to offer.

Floppy Hats: This summer, one of my favorite trends was floppy hats. Luckily, the fad has carried into the fall season in a multitude of colors and materials. Store straw and cotton floppy hats and trade them in for wool or felt versions that are cold weather worthy. I cannot get enough of these widebrimed hats and nor can celebrities and designers. The slouchy hats have been seen on Kate Moss and Blake Lively, while also filling the runways of Louis Vuitton and Alberta Ferretti. This trend is great because it provides diva appeal with little effort. The hat does the job for you, keep hair simple in loose curls or a side braid, and add oversized shades for ultimate glamour. The reason for the trend’s stamina is the unique way the hat adds dynamic to the overall look. There are many options for floppy hats this fall; my favorites include Urban Outfitter’s Deena & Ozzy Classic Felt Panama Hat and Jessia Simpson’s Polka Dot Floppy Hat, both only $34!

Jean Blouses: Button downs have forever been a fashion staple; so it is a must to try a fall take on a favorite piece by adding masculine edge with denim. There are many ways to wear denim blouses; loose, tucked in, or tied with leather pants, colored corduroys, or jeans for a denim on denim look. I suggest Current Elliott's The Western Blue Washed Denim Shirt, True Religion’s Rocky Denim Western Shirt, or Lucky Brand’s Palomino Splatter Denim Shirt.

Cheetah/Leopard Print: These wild prints are everywhere and available in a variety of styles and colors. I particularly enjoy colored prints in grey and blue hues. These prints are not the only animalistic styles popping in recent collections. Feathers, skins, and furs have appeared on the runways on Gucci, Chanel, and Oscar de la Renta to further inspire the zoological looks of the season. I recommend MICHAEL Michael Kors Faux-Fur Chubby Coat for extreme outerwear or BeBe’s Wrap Dress for a colorful interpretation of prints. If you feel that the animal print is too extreme to wear, opt for animal accents such as these wild wedges by Matiko or Jeffrey Campbell Cheetah Jezabel Pump or ASOS’s Warehouse Cheetah Print Scarf.

Daring Hemlines: I love how this feminine trend incorporates dramatic draping and slits. This style of dresses and skirts is very sexy and versatile. The trend is visible on the runways of Diane von Furstenberg, Michael Kors, and Jason Wu, so look to these designers for contemporary inspiration. Dress the look up with a kimono style skirt, short blazer, and print heals, or down with a high waist skirt, cropped tee shirt, and booties. I suggest Nation LTD’s Versailles High Slit Maxi Skirt paired with heels, a graphic blouse, and a cropped denim blazer, or ASOS’s Midi Skirt with Side Slit that also incorporates the trend of the A-line length.

Biker Boots: These boots add kick to any outfit. This look is tough, but styling with the footwear is easy. Pair the boots with jeans, leggings, or a floral dress for an interesting take on the motorcycle inspired trend. I adore these two versions feature studs and military buckles, Sam Edelman's Lockhart Boot and Miz Mooz's Josie Boot.

Today's Fashioinsta sets the example and raises the bar for DePaul fashion this fall. Want her exact look? Find her skirt and accessories at TopShop, shirt at Levi's, and boots at Frye. Rocking all trends takes serious style, strategy, and courage, consolidate all trends into one look or wear separately for an impactful look.

STYLE ADVICE OF THE WEEK: Popping Colors and Peacoats

Fall is simply the season I anticipate most. Its not the crisp air, or the changing colors of the trees, nor is it the fun filled spirit of Halloween, it’s for one reason and one reason only; the clothes. And while I adore high boots and fitted trenches, I equally enjoy viewing how the boys will interpret the change of season into their wardrobe. There is something more mature about this time of year, and anything that brings maturity to men is definitely valuable. I spotted this trendy gentleman veering the corner and sprinted to catch another glimpse. The Fashioinsto easily stood out from the crowd of men dressed drably in boring blacks and grays, the fashion standard and favorite of the downtown campus in a navy pea coat that refused to be ignored.

Pea coats are a perennial fall favorite for men, women, and designers. The pea coat is updated each season to incorporate emerging trends and keep the style updated. This Fashonisto keeps his look fresh with a double-breasted wool jacket in royal blue. Color continues throughout the outfit with his Polo striped green oxford and buttoned bright purple sweater. The use of complementary colors is always effective in a look, and a treat to the eye. Purple and green play wonderfully off each other, and balance the Fashionisto’s dark blue coat and beige trousers.

For a look like today’s Fashionisto, try a budget friendly classic like Michael Kors double- breasted pea coat or this Alpha Industries’ version. If you have already invested in a classic pea coat and are searching for one that assimilates fall/winter trends, there are many options available. Fall fashion trends for men include the inspirations of military, British countryside, English schoolboy, and sport savvy. If you desire to sport the military pea, search for a coat in hues such as army green, gray, and cameo with dramatic hardware or structured shoulders to completely modernize the classic. Look for jackets like Reiss’s military mackintosh coat or Rag & Bone’s Short pea coat with a napoleonic collar and angled welt pockets. For a look that details British countryside choose a toggle coat like this one by Rugby in a neutral such as beige or gray. If that is too lifeless opt for a pea coat in muted colors, such as burnt orange, mustard, or eggplant. For the Fashionisto who wishes to encompass the affluent equestrian theme to the extreme, try an argyle pea coat seen on the runways of Ferragamo and Louis Vuitton. If you wish to consolidate the theme of British schoolboy, the modification is simple: plaid and more plaid in every color and pattern. Banana Republic makes a versatile version that is subtle and simple if you feel the style is too audacious. Transforming the peat coat to a more sport inspired style is achieved through selection of fabrics. Choose a coat that has athletic material such as nylon, or lycra with zippers such as Vince’s nylon puffer pea coat. Pea coats are a fall must have, whether you choose a classic or contemporary version be sure to have this staple in your wardrobe.


Today’s Fashionista capitalized on the Windy City’s strange flash of fall heat. The offbeat mixture of patterns and volumes makes this lovely lady’s look pop with interesting dynamic and swag. The wafer style shades put a retro spin on the look, but my favorite accessory is this Fashionista’s extra long flowing locks; a fall trend in itself. The best part about the rapunzel inspired do, is that you do not have to be blessed by the gods to get hair that looks this good. Any Fashionista who can work a comb and a pair of clip on extensions can accomplish this glamorous look.

My favorite looks are those that cause you to question them at first glance, but upon the second reaffirm why you looked so hard in the first place. This Fashionista nails every piece of her outfit together by making sure each item compliments the next. Her green/grey boho crop top matches her woven wrap wedges perfectly, while emphasizing the pop of color in both her body hugging skirt and satchel. Extra attention was taken into consideration while pairing the neon Aztec high waist skirt (multiple fall trends in themselves) with a bag that plays in the eye catching blue that initially caught your attention. The Fashionista’s wafers and boyfriend blazer add sophistication and versatility with a look that can be mildly altered for a day to night ensemble.

Replacing common neutrals with colors that are mild, yet versatile was a trend visible in prior seasons with metallic’s and yellows and it's once again emerging this fall. The new neutral; Mustards, greys, and military faded greens. Our Fashionista is walking proof of this strategy’s effect. Try it yourself by combining a colorful solid or graphic patterned skirt with the new neutrals of the season. For a style similar that weathers the cold more efficiently, opt for winter worthy grey accessories such as this fur scarf from Intermix or DSW's affordable booties.


Shanghai is the business capital of China and it is the most inhabited city with a population exceeding 23 million people. While abroad this month, I was lucky enough to experience the Chinese Golden Week, a seven day festival commemorating National Day of the People’s Republic of China. The celebration included over a million and showcased the vivacious vibe of the ever-growing city. Situated at Pu Dong’s Century Park in the Bund (Shanghai's equilivant to Grant Park and Michigan avenue) gathered throngs of people to watch patriotic displays of fireworks and enjoy traditional music and food. The scene provided the perfect atmosphere for Shanghai fashion with every inch of the strip overwhelmed by the masses decked out in their finest.

Within the first day of my trip to Shanghai, my previously held notions of the city had immediatelyl changed. Sure, it was overcrowded and the language barrier proved difficult, but the energy and temperament of the people was beyond what I had expected. Telling of this was the fact that this week's bossy Fashionista had approached me to inquire about a pair of vintage aviators I had on, she even joked about a potential trade for her black stripped umbrella. Bubbly and vivacious, this curious college student informed me that she loves Vogue by pulling a copy from her woven backpack. While this Fashionista did not speak English, she affirmed; fashion is a universal language. 

This Fashionista illustrates China’s emergence into high fashion with a look that combines the two themes of Paris Fashion week 2011: sporty and girly. After premiering a week ago, the Fashionista had already customized the ladylike aesthetic mirrored in the Marc Jaccobs, Valentino and Louis Vuitton shows and even added athletic touches featured by Alexander Wang and Proenza Schouler

Shanghai's enigmatic energy inspires the media hungry, yet culturally grounded youth. Rocking military inspired leggings and a tutu-like skirt, this trendy lady is flirty and fierce. The combination of many trends into one look derives from Shanghai’s fearless and exuberant fashion culture. Fashion is a form of individual expression; to the insightful onlooker it speaks volumes not only about Chinese taste in fashion, but also the effect of liberalized culture on a once restricted society. High intensity and attitude is the norm among cramped and cluttered Shanghai streets, on one side the historic Bund Hotel is littered with the likes of Louis Vuitton, Dolce & Gabbana and Armani, while the other is filled with teens toting homegrown, yet becoming street chic ensembles.

Fashioinsta/o's seek to experiment by integrating their personality, culture and media into their clothing. The look may be labeled “crazy” by the previous generation, but it is that energy and hint of “chaos” that makes Shanghai unlike any city. For sport inspired cargos like our Fashionsta’s opt for J Brand's Houlihan in olive green. This trend can be worn alone or with an eclectic skirt and pumps like this two tone platform or cream tutu like this one redolent of Alexander McQueen's spring 2012 runway. Shanghai fashion proved invigorating and truly genuine. In a culture where being different is viewed as inappropriate, I found it admirable and becoming how the population of youth has choosen to express themselves creatively and visibly through their fervid fashion that is hardly homogeneous.


This Fashionista is reminiscent of 50's fashion and follows a trend that will never go out of style, femininity. From her crochet top to her full floral skirt, this girly gal lightens the mood of the approaching fall season. She proves fashion savy in a frock that mimicks Prada's spring/summer 2011/12 show released days prior at Milan Fashion Week. Floral print may seem unoriginal, but there are a variety of ways to make this look unique and updated. Take today’s Fashionista who has added subtle sexiness to her floral print by pairing it with a bone colored structured corset. The look is innocent with a hint of attitude reflected in her patent navy tote and hardware bangles. I love the idea of mixing hard and soft pieces; bold, daring jewelry or accessories with a sweet sundress, or vice versa with a flirty, body hugging dress accompanied by woven loafers and a Grace Kelly inspired tote. Victoria Beckham is a celebrity master of pairing feminine and harsh looks often by sporting a preppy tight bodice and volume filled skirt, accessorized with metal stilettos and hardware filled bag.

This Fashionista took the cue from the former Posh Spice by showing off her petite figure while adding volume and impactful accessories, such as her oversized Dooney Bourke tote. The most simple way to add drama is by throwing on exaggerated accessories such as oversized shades or bag like this Mossimo large floral tote found at Target. Not only are these accessories stylish, they are also practical; throwing all your books in one bag and shades on your face saves valuable time and effort all college students need.proves fashion savy in a frock that mimicks the newly of Prada's spring/summer 2011/12 show


From the fall 2011 runways to the red carpet, polka-dots have been appearing everywhere! This season’s biggest trend will have you seeing spots. You may have sported spots as a child, but the recent creations by Rodarte, Marc Jacobs and Stella McCartney prove that dots are anything but amateur. The look is easy to wear and can be downplayed or intensified to fit your personal preference and style. For a mild interpretation of the trend, I suggest a pair of polka-dot stockings or a structured evening bag. If you desire intensity, dive into dots with pieces that feature exaggerated takes on the trend by choosing pieces with bright colors, extra large polka-dots or laser cut detailing like this dress by David Koma.

These friendly Fashionistas were spotted on campus celebrating the warmest, and sadly one of the last, days of summer. Both ladies demonstrate the versatility of the polka-dot trend with two different takes on polka-dots in similar shades of blue. One Fashionista embraces the style in a tailored sundress, while the other wears the look with high-waist pants and a wrap top. Their accessories add an interesting pop, such as the bright blue messenger bag and the cat-eye such glasses (another large trend this fall, get the look here). The Fashionistas are covered in different variations of the large summer trend; jelly shoes. One Fashionista wears cut out clear sandals for an interesting illusion, while the other dons shiny neon flats to complement her bold bag. Together these two display the largest trends of both summer and fall, and look as if they stepped off the pages of Vogue.

There are many ways to embrace this trend and there are many different styles at various price points. I suggest this Forever 21 dress and these ASOS ballet flats, for the a budget friendly option, however my favorite polka-dotted piece of the season is this sexy Stella McCartney cut out worn by Kate Winslet and other celebs.