When you live in Iowa you definitely don’t lack options in the coat department. You need a waterproof jacket for rainy weather, a windproof jacket for windy weather and of course winter jackets for all occasions. This includes puffy coats for snow storms and wool peacoats for fancier occasions.

By now, I personally am sick of wearing coats all together, but seeing these two Fashionionistas on an afternoon shopping trip inspired me to rekindle my broken relationship with coats, at least until spring rolls around. What I love about these Fashionistas is that the basic breakdown of their outfits are the same, however each of their personal styles shine through in the small details. Both have on long wool coats perfect for the brisk winter weather that is still lingering as we enter March. What’s great about their jackets is that each of them still look fashionable despite the fact that their coats cover majority of their outfits. The details such as the embroidery, color and fur help them stand out from those around them as well as from each other.

Both of these Fashionistas are proof that just because it is winter and majority of our outfits are covered by our coats, doesn’t mean we have to give up on fashion all together. So the next time you are shopping for a winter coat, go for one that expresses your personal style. Whether that be through toggled buttons, faux fur lining or a fun pattern, choosing a coat with detail will promise to keep you fashionable even when you are freezing your bum off.


Every Fashionista needs a go-to shopping outfit, or two. I must admit, when I caught this Fashionista headed into a small boutique near campus with a friend, I myself was doing a bit of Sunday afternoon shopping.

If you ask me, this Fashionista’s outfit is one of the ideal combinations for a shopping trip. The perfect outfit must be comfortable for a long day on your feet. It must be easy to slip on and off when in the dressing room. You must layer, but not over-layer so you have to carry your coat around while going from store to store.

In terms of accessories, I adore this Fashionista’s choice to bring a clutch with the necessary items only, this way you can just throw it in your shopping bag and not worry about a bulky purse. Of course, finishing off her look with a pair of cobalt blue suede J.Crew flats is just the icing on the cake of the best shopping outfit ever. I have a few pairs of these J.Crew flats thanks to the outlet nearby. They are the most comfortable flats I have ever purchased. Not even a need to wear a band-aid on your heel when breaking them in; and that’s saying something.

This Fashionista proves there is the perfect shopping outfit and it is both comfortable and stylish. It isn’t every Sunday you get to go on shopping dates with your best friend. So why not have fun with your outfit! Nothing like an inspirational outfit to get you in the shopping mood.

STYLE ADVICE OF THE WEEK: Knowing When to Splurge

When you are both a college student and a Fashionista, you are forced to learn how to work the items you already have in your closet into a semester (or two) of outfits that express your personal style. However most college Fashionistas/os spend the money they do have on staple items for their closet. It wasn’t until college, in fact, that I learned to shop wiser to accomodate my tight budget. Now I rarely go shopping. However when I do, I make sure I am completely in love with the items I am purchasing and can see them as pieces that work with what already exists in my closet.

This Fashionista is a girl after my own fashionable heart. The second I mentioned her statement boots she beamed. “I bought them on Etsy,” she said, “I usually wouldn’t spend that much money on a pair of shoes, but these vintage boots were worth it.” I recognized the smile on her face owning her stylish decision. Finding a statement piece that proves to be a great investment is always joyful for a Fashionista/o on a budget.

I must admit these boots seemed to fit her perfectly. She was able to take key pieces that were already in her wardrobe (white denim, wool jacket, red scarf) and create an entirely new outfit thanks to those intricately embroidered boots. Of course, she finished the look with some other statement-making accessories including a red scarf, sunglasses and a mustard beanie.

While some college students may be spending their money on trendy pieces that might get them through four years of college at the most, college Fashionistas are spending their money wisely on key pieces that will work in their wardrobes for years to come.

CollegeFashionista X American Eagle Outfitters: Day 18

After a long drab winter the first thing that gets me excited for spring is bright colors! For some reason, by February I am always itching to pull out my most colorful skinny jeans and swipe on a few coats of bright nail polish. Just as colored jeans have been in vogue the last several seasons, so are colored shorts. I instantly fell in love with these fabulously blue American Eagle Outfitters trouser shorts. The color is perfect for the transitional weather that comes between the hot and cold seasons. The periwinkle blue doesn’t scream, “NEON-SUMMER” but got me out of the jeans and corduroys rotation I had been stuck in all winter.

The key to dressing for this transitional period between seasons is of course, layers. To combat the chills that come in the morning when walking to 8 am classes, I chose to throw on a plaid button-down over a simple tank. When the weather gets warmer throughout the day, the button-down can easily be taken off and tied around the waist while lounging in the sun on the quad.

In the spring, my go-to shoe is always a simple flat tennis shoe. I adore these American Eagle Outfitters two-toned high top sneakers. They are sporty yet girly with a touch of pastel color that scream “spring” and are perfectly comfortable for getting around campus.

The key to dressing for spring—as well as fall, winter and summer— is always accessorizing. My favorite part of getting dressed is accessorizing, so when I went to style this outfit I picked out a few key pieces that helped take this outfit to the next level. As I said before layers are important, which is why I decided to throw on a pop-of-color beanie and fun socks beneath my tennis shoes for warmth. Also, I never leave the house without my trusty sunglasses. These purple aviators are so on trend for spring and the purple lenses are the perfect final detail to campus-ready spring ensemble!

STYLE ADVICE OF THE WEEK: Two Layers Are Better Than One

In Iowa, we are known for constantly discussing the weather. But who can blame us, the weather here is unpredictable and always drastic. In the last month we have had everything from an ice storm to a sixty-degree day immediately followed by a snowstorm. The weather here is just plain crazy, and as many of you many know, a serious pain in the butt.

As we approach spring, I get sick of wearing my big winter coat and resort to the trustiest style trick in the book, layering. I spotted this Fashionista on a sunny Sunday afternoon. The weather that day had already come full circle and after a cold, rainy morning and I was beyond ecstatic to see a Fashionista in more than a oversized sweatshirt and rain boots.

She too was taking advantage of the suddenly sunny weather as she walked to a late brunch with a girlfriend, who she admitted, dressed her from head to toe. “I owe all of this to her,” she claimed, nodding towards her blushing friend. Her outfit in fact embodied “Sunday afternoon.” Her trusty best friend had the great instinct to layer her up in efforts to prepare her for whatever the weather decided to do as they went about their afternoon festivities. The first layer consisted of the necessary basics including leggings, a tank and a chambray button-up. Because accessorizing is the key to dressing for any season, this Fashionista’s mustard beanie, shearling vest and lace-up boots added the final touch to her already genius look.

While the weather may not always be on our side, this Fashionista and her sartorially generous friend prove that sometimes two heads (and two layers) are better than one when it comes to picking out an outfit for any campus occasion.


When the weather outside is frightful, we as dedicated Fashionistas/os are constantly discussing fashionable ways to keep warm. The last two weeks, my STYLE ADVICE column topics have focused on cold weather outerwear. While outerwear is crucial for keeping warm while getting to and from classes during the week, it is also important to make sure you are dressed accordingly when the outerwear comes off and you settle into your desk for a boring lecture.

With spring right around the corner and a long winter almost behind us, it can be easy to jump the gun and begin sporting your new, colorful, light-weight spring gear. While I too am tempted by the pastel shades of skinny jeans that have been folded in my drawers for far too many months, nothing makes me shiver more than a Fashionista in a spring outfit on a cold winter day.

Even though we are now into the first few weeks of February and spring break is literally weeks away, this Fashionista didn’t let the spring-wear-itch hinder her loving relationship with winter’s number one staple item: the oversized chunky sweater.

This sweater screams winter with its chunky knit and nordic pattern. Such a pattern instantly makes you feel as if you should be sitting in front of a warm fire sipping hot cocoa as the snow falls outside your cabin window. Okay but back to reality… By pairing this sweater with thick riding pants, warm wedge boots and a collared shirt (for added detail), this Fashionista was more than prepared for the frigid temperatures on campus.

With a blanket of snow on the ground that seems as though it may never go away, open-toe wedges, bright colors and light-weight fabrics will begin to tempt you. However, just like this Fashionista, you must resist the spring-wear-itch for just a bit longer and pull out your favorite chunky knits before winter is over and you are forced to pack it away for next season.

STYLE ADVICE OF THE WEEK: Cold Weather Fashionisto

I found this Fashionisto in an ice storm, and I am not being dramatic. If the weather would have been only a few degrees colder it would have been a beautiful snow storm, instead the entire campus was covered in a layer of ice with sleet falling form the sky leaving my hair damp and cold. I was caught in a storm (literally) and everything from my soggy hair to my even soggier boots were proof of that.

This Fashionisto on the other hand, must not have been caught in the same storm as I because he was briskly walking across campus looking dapper as ever with his thick (not yet soaking wet) waves, knee length pea coat and perfectly wrapped scarf. I was instantly jealous as I always am when I see someone who looks more fashionable (and warmer) than I feel. In fact, many Fashionistas/os could take notes from this gent who decided to step up his fashion game even on a day when the weather can make you want to do anything but.

The best part about this look is that, other than the dark wash slim fit jeans he elegantly cuffed at the bottom, we have no idea what he is sporting under his outerwear. When the weather gets crummy we often tend to throw all our fashion sense out the window, and those of us who still attempt to put together a look are forced to hide our fabulous ensembles under all sorts of shapeless, unflattering outerwear. This Fashionisto proves that fashion doesn’t stop when you bundle up and head outside.

To get this look start with a durable wool peacoat in a neutral color. This Fashionisto chose a knee-length coat from Banana Republic with chic pocket details and a velvet lapel. While Fashionistas these days cant seem to get enough of scarfs, I have found that Fashionisto’s are often intimidated by them. This fellow on the other hand, conquered the scarf and wore it to perfection, even throwing some fingerless gloves into the mix! I must say, when it comes to cold-weather fashion, he nailed it. I mean, don’t even get me started on those awesome boots. From head to toe, this Fashionisto makes even the nastiest ice storm chic.


When you live in Iowa you are always well prepared for winter. This year, winter has been especially mild and there were few days last semester when a full on winter coat was even needed. Now in the heart of the winter season, however, one must be prepared for whatever mother nature throws our way. While peacoats and parkas are great for special occasions and brisk—yet quick—trips to the grocery store, walking to class with snow blowing into your face calls for the shield of armor known as a puffer coat.

I spotted this Fashionista on one of those days when it was so cold it actually hurt to breath. I myself was not as prepared, running around in my peacoat and fingerless gloves (thankfully I did have a hat). As I was rushing to get indoors, I noticed she was smiling and thought, “How could anyone be smiling with this wind whipping into their face?” That was when I noticed the cold wasn’t bothering her thanks to her trusty knee-length puffer.

Now as I am sure many other Fashionistas have noticed, puffer jackets aren’t always the most flattering, or the most stylish. But when walking to class in the winter, they are definitely a necessity. This Fashionista chose the perfect puffer in a shiny black hue with faux fur around the hood and a belted waist to emphasize her shape, which can often be lost in a bulky winter coat. However, for me, the best part of this jacket is the subtle chevron pattern of the stitching. This simple detail took this winter-necessary piece from practical to perfection in a simple stitch. Now that’s what I call smart fashion!


When in college, a Fashionista’s addiction to purses can get thrown to the wayside as massive amounts of textbooks and a five-pound laptop require them to use extra durable backpacks to lug their things across campus. While these sturdy backpacks keep us from keeling over in pain from the weight of the world (literally) resting on our shoulders, they can often ruin our vision of the perfect campus outfit by causing skirts to ride up into places they shouldn’t and shirts to wrinkle much to our dismay. However, while heavy-duty backpacks may be a necessity when cramming for next week’s exam, every Fashionista should make room in her busy schedule to rock her favorite bag.

As you can tell by her polka-dot hi-low skirt, this Fashionista has a thing for patterns. However while polka-dots are one of my favorite prints (next to leopard and stripes of course) it was the print on her purse that forced me to stop her for a quick photo.

This bag takes on a classic shape in a funky pattern, perfect for CollegeFashionistas of all sorts! While we often think of Fossil for their fabulous line of watches, they also carry an amazing line of handbags made out of great leathers, in great shapes and obviously, great patterns. While we have become accustomed to the fabulous prints of designers such as Louis Vuitton, Gucci and Burberry, it is often the durability of a purse—allowing it to last for years—that makes us fall in love with it. So let’s step back and marvel at this Fashionista’s bag which fits into all of the above categories with its funky peacock print and ability to keep up with the wear-and-tear of college life.

The adorable shape and unbelievably-useful crossbody strap were the perfect finishing touches to this fabulous bag, leaving its fashionable owner with two simple words, “Thanks Santa!”


Most Fashionistas adore wearing heels whenever they can, however when winter rolls around, it can be hard to find a pair of heels that are chic yet practical when taking on the icy, snowy conditions. One slip on a patch of ice will have any Fashionista truly considering sticking to their trusty boots until spring. But with holiday parties around every corner during the winter months, heels are necessary to create the perfect festive ensemble.

When choosing the perfect heel for any occasion during the winter months, Fashionistas take note: your choice must be cute (obviously) yet practical. While stilettos are so tempting, they aren’t the safest choice when battling a sidewalk freshly coated in ice. To avoid sacrificing fashion for practicality, some Fashionistas choose to wear boots while heading to festivities, carrying their heels of choice in a handbag until it is safe to put them on. This is a tried and true option.

However, this Fashionista is proof that there are heel choices that are both chic and winter-weather proof. She has chosen a chunky-heeled boot to spice up her casual outfit for a day of post-Christmas shopping. Her bootie is neutral in color—perfect for wearing with outfits of any color scheme. While some associate a chunky heel with a casual look, heel trends are evolving. More and more, we are seeing chunky heels take over the runway in the place of platforms stilettos. J.Crew and Nine West have recently chosen to thicken their heels in order to benefit working Fashionistas who are constantly on the go and in need of a comfy heel.

Combined with the perfect boyfriend jean, a patterned button-up, a neutral scarf and a crossbody bag, she is fully prepared for fighting crowds of people at the mall. With this chicly-chunky heel and the perfect peacoat in a bold mustard hue, this Fashionista is ready to take on not just the mall, but the ice and slush in the parking lot too!