Why I Never Leave Without a Camera

We live in this big, crazy world filled with beauty and creativity tucked every corner. Even so, it’s incredibly easy to miss all of these little wonders. Life happens, your schedule fills up, and you’re rushing from place to place. Keeping busy is great, but sometimes we get so preoccupied that we overlook some important sources of inspiration.

I go to an art school where I study photography, but that’s not why I can’t leave my house without at least three cameras. It is the reason that I found this life discovery, though. I have sufficiently trained myself to be a competent passive looker, but I’ve found that when I have my camera and am actively taking in my surroundings, I see so much more.

I’m not just talking about a pretty landscape that would make for a good picture. I see people with amazing, entrancing style, architecture with imaginative shapes and designs, and I hear music with captivating sounds and voices speaking words that transcend into disquisitions in my ears.

I try to walk as my main mode of transportation. I get a big backpack and load it up with cameras of all kinds. I throw on a pair of comfortable (but still fashionable – obviously) “walking” shoes. And I put on my pink sunglasses because life really is better looking through rose-colored glasses.

My point is that every creative experiences a dry spell of inspiration from time to time, and I’ve decided that this simply happens when I’m no longer looking. Even serendipity requires some sort of stimulus. Having a camera gets me in the good habit of taking in as much as possible, and providing me with abundant content to compile a collection of inspiration to create with.

Life is just so miraculous, and sometimes we forget to take in the wonders that are right next to us. Hopefully anyone in a creative rut will find my weird lifestyle to be of some intrigue, or maybe those that are still constantly motivated will appreciate a new method of gathering inspiration.

Are you capturing the world around you? Tag @Cfashionista in your posts!

Maximum Fun, Minimum Cost

Spawning a sensational summer while having a full-time job and a tiny budget can be tricky. Luckily, you have me, the self-proclaimed queen of frugality, to hook you up with all of the tips and tricks for achieving maximum fun with minimal costs.

Become a Coffee Snob 

I don’t think I’ve ever met someone that didn’t like brunch. No, seriously. Clearly, everyone must love it because people love posting pictures of their brunch dates and people love seeing other people’s brunch date pictures. Lately, I do more of the latter because the proper brunch is posh and kind of pricey and an improper brunch is worse than no brunch at all. My resolution, though, was to replace restaurants with cafes and start my search for the best cold brew and be able to definitely declare my favorite type of pastry. I feel just as spoiled going for a fancy coffee in a comfy pair of heels as I would attending a fancy brunch, except I am just as satisfied, and I’m not terrified to log into my banking app.

Enjoy the Little Things

While I am definitely envious of my friends going on luxurious, tropical getaways, I have become more than content deeming a hike in the local state park an excursion. Sometimes all you really need to feel the effects of a successful vacation is a change of scenery and a little bit of added greenery. My friends and I have hours and hours of fun exploring new places and taking some pictures. We stuff our backpacks and make a day of exploration and adventure.

Cherish Your Community

Living in Philadelphia is quite different than living with my parents in northeastern Pennsylvania but in the most exciting way possible. There are always things going on and fun, interesting happenings to occupy my

time. Just a few weeks ago, I had the best time of my life covering my face in glitter and walking in the Philly Pride Parade.

I also consider the people that surround my life included under the community umbrella. This includes the wonderful members of the Guru Gang. This summer CollegeFashionista set up a wonderful community space in NoLIta to come and hang out. Honestly, I don’t think free fun gets much better than a clubhouse sponsored by Sephora.

Hopefully this was helpful and gets you inspired and excited to have a summer full of fun and a wallet still full of rent money. A little creativity goes a long way. Tag @Cfashionista in your Instagram photos you post on your next frugal adventure!

Glitter, Sparkles, and Shiny Things 101

School is done for the semester, and regardless if you’re taking summer classes or not, the summer is the perfect time to learn and refine those skills that serve a more personal interest. The topic for today’s lesson is beauty on anything that twinkles or shines. When the concept of face highlighter first started popping up, it didn’t take much convincing for me to get on board. As someone who has been saying her favorite color is silver since she was three years old, I’ll take any excuse to add extra shimmer wherever I can. This is how I became a highlighter connoisseur and self-proclaimed expert. However, while most people were complaining about certain products containing glitter that was too chunky, I was scoping out the market because I couldn’t find one whose glitter was chunky enough.

Highlighter is great because most people love to glow. My approach to it is to go big or go home. I love all things sparkly, glittery, metallic, etc, so as I was testing out tens of different highlighters, I kept thinking that there had to be some way to step it up. My coworker used to always wear gold star stickers on her face, and that’s when I started to realize all that cosmetic glitter I had for my eyes could easily work as very sparkly highlighter on my face. All I needed was a glitter glue to adhere it, and bam, I was in business. After a while basic glitter became blasé, and I did a big glitter haul at the craft store, which is where I got the jar of these fabulous little stars.

I want to always make a statement with my appearance. Sometimes my clothes get plain (as I love basic striped shirts and these girlfriend jeans so much) and I need some other catharsis to brighten up my day. Some people give me weird looks, but tons of people compliment me while I’m at work. I mainly do it for myself, though, because glitter is very nostalgic to me. It reminds me of happiness and purity and that everything just might be okay if you sprinkle a few more sparkles on it.

Are you rocking the glitter look this summer? Share your take on social media and tag @cfashionista!

STYLE ADVICE: More Metallic

Okay, so admittedly this article might be slightly biased. I love anything that sparkles and shines because I think that such phenomena is so whimsical and pleasant, and can we really have too much of that in our lives? In my opinion, the answer is no. Sometimes that little extra glimmer in our wardrobe is all we have to combat dreary, miserable days.

This Fashionisto’s look is perfect for any day, but this is a particularly stellar option for finals week. I think the key to remaining human through a week of absolute chaos and disaster is to keep shinning, and I choose to employ this mantra through my outfits.

This is an outfit that is definitely comfy and relaxed, but still conveys a sense of style and craft. Our Fashionisto’s simple T-shirt features trendy text and dying techniques that work perfectly with the basic, relaxed shorts that transcend lethargy to athleisure. For the finishing touch of punch, he sports ultra metallic skate sneakers. Sometimes, utilizing a statement shoe is that hidden key to turning your banal, everyday looks into a super on-trend fit.

It’s also worth noting that people tend to associate metallic with feminine styles, which is obstinate and vapid, in my opinion at least. Current fashion has become so androgynous, which is quite exciting and wonderful. No one should have to sacrifice creativity and expression for some frivolous gender role that has been arbitrarily inflicted by the mossbacks of society. Carry a purse, paint your nails, smear glitter on your face, do whatever it takes to express your artistic freedom and be the truest version of your self. Anyone that gives you a hard time for looking a certain way could learn a great lesson about confidence and empowerment from you.

Keep shining, you’re little gems.

WHAT TO WEAR: Mesh Moves

Spring is finally upon us. After what feels like the longest, coldest winter, we’ll soon be engulfed by flowers and sunshine. Furthermore, we will be all wrapped up in gentle springtime fabrics, and one of the most popular this year is, of course, mesh.

This Fashionisto’s eclectic look radiates serious ’90s vibes and uses bold pattern and textures to give this daily outfit a nighttime alter ego. As we’ve seen, ’90s style is a craze infecting all facets of fashion, and I’m all for it. However, the ’90s contained some intensely crazy trends, making it a little too easy to go overboard sometimes. Yet our Fashionisto does a perfect job of using these trends to embellish the look but not engulf it. He achieves this with the use of a bold retro jacket paired with a simple mesh T-shirt and a classic pair of distressed black jeans.

Springtime weather is such a happy medium between warm and chilly, making it the best time to experiment with layering and fabrics. It contains the ideal temperatures for ripped jeans, and allows cute lightweight jackets to become a necessity. No more sacrificing comfort for style, this is the season for innovative, dynamic outfits to be discovered. There’s lots of fun new trends to mix and match and really play around with. The colors and materials for this season are so fun and whimsical. I know that I’ve been having so much fun pairing together different patterns, colors, and fabrics. I feel like I’m creating outfits with the same methods I used in first grade. Sometimes, I feel like that’s exactly what we all need.

STYLE GURU STYLE: Saturday Sun Spells

Lately, the temperatures outside have been alarmingly high. Instead of dwelling on the environmental impacts of climate change, I exploited the beautiful weather by walking as many miles around Philly as my little legs can take. I took an exorbitant amount of photos and broke out my summer wardrobe.

This denim jacket is one of my favorite pieces, and it only cost me $15 at a consignment shop in Brooklyn (not just a great deal, but a great find for a college gal on a budget). A bonus is that it’s a major staple piece, especially for this crazy, unpredictable weather. Sometimes, I leave my apartment and it’s 50 degrees out, then in a mere two hours it’s up to 75.

Not only are layers super in trend, but they are also super functional. This striped bodysuit—far superior to any style of shirt—has a low back, which is great for hot days. It also has an effortless component to chilly morning looks thanks to the addition of the awe-inspiring denim jacket. Add in your favorite pair of skinny jeans, cuffed in correspondence to the temperature, and viola! You have a recipe for fierce, functional fashion.

To really top off this look, it’s time to break out the statement shoes (but when isn’t it the right time for that?). Personally, I have a substantial bias towards all things shiny, glittery, and metallic. Therefore, anytime I invest in a statement piece (or, I guess, any type of clothing), that’s intrinsically the direction I lean. These shoes are my latest obsession due to their sparkly nature and style. They are the perfect pair of springtime heels—low and chunky for comfort, pointy and open-back for sass. Not to mention that the color is astonishingly easy to pair with oodles of outfits.

As you can probably tell, I have really been appreciating and trying to utilize these sporadic bursts of warmth. Spring is on its way, and I am standing with my arms wide open, preparing to give it a fervent embrace.

ALL IN THE DETAILS: Menswear Minimalism

New year, new semester, same level of insanity, same resolutions to do bigger, more exciting things. I’m not too confident I’ll be able to fulfill those resolutions (between work, school, and the general craziness of life), but so far, I have been able to dabble with some new methods and projects.

I’m so blessed to work around such inspiring, creative people at my little retail job in the local Urban Outfitters. I have always been so enthralled by fashion and styling, but for so long, all of my collective knowledge was only able to translate to women’s clothes. Being surrounded by so many slick-dressing males who are so passionate about expressing their own personal style has been quite informative and refreshing.

This article’s Fashionisto was captured while I was shooting in Center City Philadelphia for a styling project that I’ve been collaboratively working on for the past few months. Like I said, I know zip about menswear, but now I can spot a good look when it’s out there. Personally, I sometimes struggle with men’s fashion because, compared to women’s, there’s a total lack of diversity. It seems like there’s a million different versions of the same three styles of shirts and pants. That’s where nitpicking the details REALLY becomes important; it can even some down to one cuffed sleeve in some instances.

These colors are neutral and the pieces aren’t particularly eccentric, but with a few key accessories, like a mini beanie and oversize, printed scarf, this is a novel, edgy, and modern look. Wrap it up with some quirky but fully-functional boots and you’re ready for a six page spread in Vogue.

I hope your semester’s off to a great start (if you’re currently in school like me), and I hope you’re all staying inspired. Keep styling and serving looks. Be your own icon.

STYLE GURU BIO: Layne Miller

Hello, there! I am so happy to be back for another semester at CollegeFashionista!

I was sad to see the fall semester end, as I loved my classes, professors, and peers so very much. However, I am kind of excited to have a moment to breathe. Last month I officially declared my major in photography at Tyler School of Art, and it feels like I’m living inside an ethereal cloud. I can’t wait to see where my studies take me and all the good things to come in the new year.

I help pay for school by working in Center City, so I don’t really leave Philadelphia too often. But I got a few days off for Christmas so I got to go back to my hometown to see my family. The only issue was that I gave myself about thirty seconds to pack, so I had to rely on my sister’s closet to get me through the holidays. It’s an interesting challenge to try and recreate your personal style through the wardrobe of someone completely different than you. Thankfully, I still brought my favorite shoes, and my sister has pretty good style. Of course, if all else fails, you can just let your makeup carry the look. I’m a lover of all things sparkly and shiny, so my favorites are glittery eyes, and metallic lipstick. If your outfit’s kind of bumming you out, at least your face will be a ray of shining light.

2016 was a wonderful year for me, and I’m so ready to take on whatever 2017 has in store. Being a Style Guru has completely changed the way that I approach fashion and styling, and I am so excited to see how I grow from this semester from my internship.


As a child, I always fought with my parents because they would continually remind me that life is not a fashion show, and that apparel should always be practical and utile. However, I did and still disagree—life IS a fashion show. But I also think fashion can be effective in both functionality and flair with enough effort.

Autumn/winter can be a tough season to style at times, especially when you have to dress for a twenty minute walk through the wind tunnel that is your college campus. Fortunately, this fall is all about layering and neutrals, a concept that is feasible and functional. Plus the whole unisex, vintage look is still quite popular so your thrift shop excursions don’t have to be limited to the department of any specific gender.

This Fashionista goes back to the basics and makes this ordinary look extraordinary with a few tiny touches of style. She layered some warm and trendy jackets paired with checkered Sk8-Hi’s and socks (super on trend, but also super great for keeping those ankles warm). To add a nice dash of feminine contrast, our Fashionista sports a pair of high-waisted skinny jeans and completes her look with fresh, clear-framed glasses and a dainty, mauve velvet scrunchie.

Winter can be sad, some great outfits might get covered by giant parkas and your favorite chokers disguised by thick, blanket-like scarves. However, this season’s love for layers and easy to thrift basics, make winter fashion a much simpler endeavor for us all.


The semester is finally in full swing and I barely even have time to get some sleep or feed myself, so one can imagine what the caliber of the outfits I’m throwing together in the morning is. Additionally, fall is slowly taking over Philadelphia and the weather is presenting an interesting challenge. It’s scarf and glove weather in the morning, and basically hot enough for shorts and a tank top during the day. What’s a Fashionista/o to do?

I think this one found the answer. Start by building your basics. Less is more and if you do it up right, simplicity makes the boldest statement. It’s that point in the semester when we’re so engulfed in our work that what we’re wearing is, unfortunately, the last thing on our list of priorities (at least that’s how it’s going for my peers and I). Building up a strong artillery of neutrals and basics is a pretty infallible way to combat the debacle that is outfit planning during midterm week.

This Fashionisto pairs a simple but trendy long sleeve with the ever classic Chucks and jeans. It’s effortless but effective in both style and comfort. Plus, this is the perfect solution to transient weather—minimal layers so you can breathe when the sun’s out and enough clothing to be protected from the morning chill.

Style isn’t a fair weather kind of deal. Rain or shine, day or night, hot or cold, there is always a way to dress for success. And with cool finesse, this Fashionista exemplifies just exactly how it’s done.