Summer is all about playing with patterns. This season we are seeing a lot of tribal prints, and true Fashionistas knows leopard print never goes out of style. But while these patterns are fun, nothing says summer like a feminine floral print. Floral patterns have always been a staple, worn by everyone from hippies to Jackie Kennedy, and the pattern is infamously used by fashion icons like Diane von Furstenberg. This season, Fashionistas have been rocking all sorts of floral patterns that oddly resemble grandma’s shabby-chic curtains. (I promise this is a compliment.)
Name: Mary Jane Grier
Major: Interdepartmental Studies with a business focus
CollegeFashionista: Tell me about your dress.
Mary Jane Grier: I actually got it at Target. I have been wearing a lot of florals, and pink is my favorite color.
CF: What trend have you found yourself wearing a lot of this summer?
MJG: I wear a lot of cotton dresses like the one I have on now. They are so simple and light. I woke up late for class this morning and throwing on this dress was easy.
CF: Who is your style icon?
MJG: Blake Lively. She is the it girl right now and we have very similar body types. I just love her girly style.
How To: Choosing a flattering floral print can often be challenging and many Fashionistas tend to shy away from the in your face femininity of the pattern. This season florals are everywhere and if you have been itching to take part in this girly trend, summer is the perfect time to experiment. If you are looking for an easy way to rock the print, go for a simple frock like Mary Jane’s. We have also been seeing a lot of floral bottoms in light fabrics that are perfect for summer when paired with a simple tank and bright colored sandals.
For college students, summer is all about having fun, especially when it comes to fashion. After months of wearing layers to protect themselves from the frigid weather, Fashionistas look forward to throwing on something simple and light on a hot summer day. Whether running errands, attending class or working a summer internship, a smart Fashionista’s go-to ensemble consists of quick and easy pieces that promise to keep you cool and comfortable on a hot summer day. While a sundress is the classic summer pick, lightweight rompers and jumpsuits are perfect for spicing up your wardrobe this season. Take it from this Fashionista, who chose an effortlessly chic floral romper to keep her cool while lunching with friends on a warm summer day.
Name: Megan Rocha
CollegeFashionista: What inspired your outfit today?
Megan Rocha: I just love rompers. I wanted to wear something that was one piece. It is very carefree and breathable.
CF: What trend do you love this summer?
MR: Pant jumpsuits and rompers. I am loving anything that is one piece.
CF: What brands of clothing do you often find yourself wearing?
MR: I work for J. Crew and I love their clothes. I also love Marc Jacobs and Kate Spade. I like the basic preppy look. But, really, my style is always changing. What I wear depends on how I feel that day.
How To: Rompers and jumpers are made in several different styles and are flattering on many shapes if worn properly. This summer we have seen Fashionistas rocking bright colored rompers in light, carefree materials. Rompers that cinch at the middle, like Megan’s, are perfect for showing off your figure and accentuating your waistline. A simple romper is ideal for accessorizing with colorful jewelry and shoes in the summer and for layering in the fall.
We have all been trying to perfect the menswear trend for over a year now, and it looks like the masculine-inspired style is here to stay. Celebrities are embracing the trend and we've seen everything from a classic, form fitting suit done by Jennifer Aniston to the simple and slouchy boyfriend jean brought back by Katie Holmes. But you don’t have to be married to Tom Cruise to take on the menswear challenge. Fashionistas across the country are on the hunt for masculine pieces to add to their wardrobe and are even raiding their boyfriends’ closets to do so. The menswear trend shouldn’t be hard to tackle; it's meant to seem effortless. This Fashionista caught my eye as she walked through campus with her boyfriend in a simple menswear-inspired ensemble that could have easily come right out of his closet.
Name: Danielle Wheller
Year: Graduate Student
CollegeFashionista: Tell me about your outfit today.
Danielle Wheeler: Well, I just got these shorts thrift shopping and this shirt is my brother’s. He is twenty and he grew out of a bunch of his shirts and I took them. I like to bring touches of menswear into my wardrobe.
CF: How would you explain your signature style?
DW: I always turn to staples in my closet that fit well and are made up of natural fibers that won’t wrinkle. I also have a lot of blue and I love jean cut-offs.
CF: What are you looking forward to wearing this summer?
DW: I am wearing a lot of '60s-inspired short dresses and sunglasses.
CF: Who is your style icon?
DW: I would say Charlotte Gainsbourg. She is a French actress and is known for her simple style.
How To: It shouldn’t take much effort to perfect the menswear trend. In fact, the point of the trend is to dress like men, who often roll out of bed and throw on the first thing they see in their closet. However, menswear-inspired pieces like the boyfriend jean and the blazer are often loose fitting, something that many women tend to steer clear of. The best way to achieve the trend without looking sloppy is to pick one menswear piece, like Danielle’s oxford shirt and pair it with something more form fitting, like her tight denim cut-offs. If you choose to go with a blazer, pair it with a skinny jean or a bandage skirt to even out the masculinity on top.
This summer we have already seen a number of fashionable celebrities attempt (and occasionally fail) to perfect this season’s color blocking trend. Some Fashionistas like Kim Kardashian have paired green with purple, while others such as Cameron Diaz took a more subtle approach by mixing an eye-catching shade like red with a simple neutral. There is no doubt bold is in this season, and stylish girls everywhere are adding a pop of color to their wardrobes. Take it from this Fashionista who threw on her bright yellow T-strap sandals to brighten up her otherwise neutral ensemble while out to lunch with a friend.
Name: Joanna Sterna
Major: Business Marketing
CollegeFashionista: Who are your style icons?
Joanna Sterna: Rachel Zoe, Karl Lagerfeld, Kate Moss and Sienna Miller.
CF: What inspired your outfit today?
JS: Vintage! My sweater is vintage, and so is my belt. I tend to go back to black and neutrals. I can’t get away from them. I call it my uniform.
CF: What summer trend are you looking forward to wearing this season?
JS: I would say maxi dresses. I also just bought a great nude blazer that is long and a boyfriend fit. I can’t wait to wear it with my Jeffrey Campbell wedges and a black mini skirt.
How To: The key to bold color blocking is using colors that are opposite on the color wheel like purples and yellows or blues and oranges. Urban Outfitters has a perfect mini skirt that comes in a rainbow of colors, and it is ideal for pairing with a simple T-shirt from American Apparel. When coupling a neutral with a pop of color, follow in Joanna’s footsteps and start off with a simple black maxi dress and accessorize with a colorful cardigan, scarf or T-strap sandal.
Some Fashionistas allow themselves to splurge on luxury garments while others tend to take a greener (and cheaper) approach by thrifting and raiding friends’ closets in search for that one item to complete their summer wardrobe. Thrifting isn’t for everyone though; it takes a dedicated Fashionista to rummage through rack after rack of used clothing. A true bargain-hunter understands that when it comes to thrifting, there are good days and bad days and seeking out the perfect item can often be like finding a needle in a haystack. While some Fashionistas often come out of a day of thrifting frustrated and empty handed, others can come out triumphant, much like this eco-friendly Fashionista who found her fun summer dress at a clothing swap.
Name: Rachel Short
CollegeFashionista: Tell me about your dress.
Rachel Short: Well, I don’t know too much about it. I got it at a clothing swap I participated in with a group of friends. We all brought items from our closets that we didn’t wear anymore and searched through each other's things. My friends and I do clothing swaps once or twice a year and whatever is left over goes to Goodwill. This dress has no tag. I think it was homemade.
CF: What style are you looking forward to rocking this summer?
RS: Well I just purchased this hat that I'm wearing and I have another floppy, brimmed hat at home that I love. I think my summer style will consist of short shorts and dresses paired with wedges. Dresses are so easy and keep me cool. Wedges are my new obsession because they are so comfy and give a short girl like me a little height.
CF: Where do you tend to shop for clothes?
RS: I try to stay away from commercial stores. I like to support local boutiques in the Iowa City area like InBox and Revival. I am also addicted to browsing the Anthropologie website. I never buy anything, but it is a good way for me to find outfit ideas.
How To: A successful thrift store find is often easier said than done and isn’t for everybody. A clothing swap is a simple and fun way to ease into thrifting while still remaining eco-friendly. Bloggers like Jessica from What I Wore and Kendi from Kendi Everyday love participating in blogger swaps and some Fashionistas have even turned clothing swaps into a business. Be sure to check for a clothing swap near you or simply organize a small swap on your own. If your friends are Fashionistas like you, you are bound to find a diamond in the rough.
When I think about how I would describe my personal style in one word, the first word that comes to mind is “ever-changing”, but technically that it two words, which leads me to believe my style is too complex to sum up in one simple word. I believe what a person chooses to wear should represent who they are. On a daily basis, I choose my outfits based on what inspires me and that inspiration is constantly changing. One day I may be inspired by a piece of art and throw on a floral print dress and feminine heels while the next day I might be inspired by a '90s grunge film and leave my house in combat boots, ripped jeans and a flannel. My style changes based on how I feel, and although the outfits I pull from my closet are often inspired by looks I see on the street or in a magazine, I always make the extra effort to walk out the door in an outfit that is simply an extension of who I am: a young energetic college student who loves taking photos, blogging, and getting lost in a good book. For me, fashion was somewhat hereditary and I would like to believe I started developing my personal style from a young age simply by watching my mother dress and accessorize herself and me before school every day. To this day, I trust my mother’s fashion sense enough to allow her to dress me from head to toe and am always calling her for quick style advice. When I am not seeking style advice from a magazine or from my own mom, I turn to the streets for inspiration. People-watching is one of my favorite pastimes and many of my personal outfit ideas are inspired by garments and accessories I spot on others while walking around campus. My love for street style is what drew me to CollegeFashionista and I am excited to venture across campus in search of Fashionistas and Fashionistos alike as a University of Iowa summer Style Guru.