When I spotted this week’s Fashionista I knew I had to get her picture. First I saw her great, unique hair and then I saw her tailored coat, which immediately gave her a look of sophistication. Besides that, she is wearing riding boots, a very cute animal print infinity scarf and a casual, plaid men’s shirt, which she borrowed from her boyfriend.

A true Fashionista can find style anywhere, so if you have a bunch of older clothes, or a boyfriend who doesn’t mind sharing, take advantage of that and create completely new looks. Don’t throw your old clothes out just yet, because with a couple of simple D.I.Y. tricks you can make a T-shirt into a scarf or a big shirt into a dress. However, if you are going to borrow your boyfriend’s shirt, I wouldn’t advise you to cut it up and be creative… he might not like that!

A huge trend right now, one that can easily be recreated at home, is sheer cut-outs. All you need to do is take an old T-shirt or a blouse, cut a piece out of the back or the sides, and then sew in a mesh fabric or a see-through polyester… and voila, you have created a sexy, mysterious shirt out of a boring old T-shirt. Another big hit are studded or embellished collars, which can also easily be done at home. All you need is either some studs (you can get cheap first time studding kits online) or some beads that you can sew on the collar edges. All these D.I.Y. tricks are very simple, won’t take up much of your time, and best of all, they are the cheapest way of making new outfits for the holidays.


Now that the winter has “hit” Chicago and the cold winds make it almost unbearable to walk the streets in the morning, the fashion found on campus has reduced itself to mainly warm coats and high fur boots.

This week’s Fashionista is an exception because unlike many others, she has chosen a classic trench style coat to keep her warm. The trench coat is a classic and a staple piece needed in every Fashionista’s closet.

Thomas Burberry is the inventor of gabardine fabric, which is used a lot for suits and coats. Burberry waterproofed the fabric and used it for their trench coats, which were first used by British and French soldiers during World War I. Although many men wore the trench coat after WWI, it wasn’t until the '60s when it gained “fashion status.”

The original coat had to be double-breasted with shoulder straps, D-rings and a specific number of buttons. Today, those rules are much looser and you can find a variety of styles based on the original trench coat. The knee long version is the most common one, but there are also a lot of jacket-inspired versions which are shorter and often come in a variety of colors.

The trench coat is a great coat to have if you are looking for something a little more formal and dressy. It’s a classic and you will be able to pair it with basically everything and keep it for a very long time. Some coats come with a removable inner lining, which is great if you’d like the option to wear your coat all year round. Also, choose a version with a belt, because the belt will give you the opportunity to adjust the coat’s size to fit you perfectly and create a very nice silhouette.


My favorite color is black (let’s discuss whether it’s a color or not some other time) and while black is definitely a safe color during the fall and especially during the holidays, it is not the only color you should wear! I know we all get a little “depressed” with our closets during the colder months due to the lack of variations and the age old problem of function vs. fashion.

However, there is a simple solution. Take a hint from this week’s Fashionista and spice things up with a color popping coat like her green one.  A bright colored coat is a great piece to have, because you can still wear all your black pieces with it and it won’t look like you are about to attend a funeral — don’t get me wrong, I love all-black outfits, but as a Fashionista we have to change things up a little every now and then!

While any jacket will do, a peacoat is a nice solution if you want to go bold with the color but still stay classic with the style. Another great reason to buy a peacoat is that it really goes with everything. It’s a classic, and you can never go wrong with a classic.  Also, I really like the tailoring of the peacoat, because it gives you a somewhat sophisticated, more professional look and prevents you from looking like a five year old with your primary color coat.

STYLE ADVICE OF THE WEEK: The Iconic Dr. Martens

When I spotted this week’s Fashionista’s shoes I knew that I had to get her picture. Dr. Martens are by far one of my favorite shoes, and not only because they are extremely comfortable and sturdy but because they stand for freedom, individuality and rebellion.

On April 1, 1960 the first 1460s boots rolled of the production line after a collaboration between Dr. Klaus Maertens, his friend Dr. Funck and the Griggs family, a British shoemaker known for their innovations and freedom loving-spirit. The first Dr. Martens were made and worn by workingmen, but the boots soon caught the eye of skinheads trying to mimic the workingman and a “trend” was born. When Pete Townshend, guitarist from The Who, wore a pair of black 1460s on stage the success of the shoe was guaranteed. Townshend was once quoted for saying that he goes to bed only with a cognac bottle and a Dr. Martens boot; a sentence that shows the kind of affection and lifestyle the iconic shoe evoked.

Even today, more than 50 years later, the shoe is still a staple piece in many Fashionistas’ closets. Especially over the last couple of years the shoe has made a real comeback due to the combat trend we’ve been seeing everywhere for a while now, and to be honest, can you think of a better shoe to finish off a grunge-inspired outfit? While the Docs are true icons, they never fail to reinvent themselves. There are hundreds of different colors, textures and versions out there, making it possible for everyone to find their perfect match. If you aren’t the combat type and you prefer a more feminine version, you might like the ones with glitter or maybe the ones with the flowers giving you a 60s nostalgia. On the other hand, if the regular boots aren’t tough enough for you, you should definitely take a look at the Izzue Stud, because those babies are badass!

Whatever your style is there will be a Doc to match it, and in case you cannot quite find the perfect pair you should simply go for the original ones and customize them yourself, because after all the shoe was invented and worn by the most rebellious known to society… surely breaking the rules comes with the territory.



When I spotted this week’s Fashionista her green crossover coat caught my eyes first… then I spotted her fur wrap and fell in love with the entire ensemble. The color as well as the cut of the jacket is perfect, the fur adds individuality and the fuschia lip color gives the outfit a total '70s feel.

The coat is actually sort of an oversized blazer, a style that can be found in many stores right now (as well as basically every thrift store). The coat is loose fitting, which gives it the desired masculinity, a big trend at the moment. Because of its loose fit and its tendency to look a little more masculine, the cut is very important. The coat has to sit right otherwise it will look like you’re wearing your dad’s old coat… and unless your dad’s coat is absolutely fabulous that is not a look you want to go for.

The crossover coat is always very simple and clean, which allows you to combine it with more or less everything: whatever suits you best. If you like to keep things simple and “clean,” play with the masculinity of the coat and wear a button-up shirt and a bold lip color, or give the outfit a more feminine look by adding a floating shirt or one with a print or ruffles.

If you want to accessorize or personalize the look of your coat add a broche to the lapels of it! Again, thrift stores will have some very unique pieces at an affordable price.




Just yesterday I was talking to a friend of mine about how a good bag (next to the right shoes) is one of the most important parts of an outfit. A lot of people, especially students, can’t afford a really good quality bag, and often go for the cheap 20-30 dollar version instead. And while that is understandable, investing in a good bag is just that: an investment. A good bag, with the right care, will last you for many years. Choose a classic style that suits your lifestyle and your personal style and you won’t regret spending the extra bucks.

This week’s Fashionista, for example, chose a simple messenger bag, which is perfect for her and her lifestyle. She can fit all her books, her laptop and whatever else she needs in the bag, and still look cute and stay loyal to her personal style.

As a student, a medium size bag that’s big enough to fit notebooks and a laptop inside is perfect. Avoid a bag too small or too big, because neither will be a piece you can use in your everyday life, which is what you want out of a bag that you have spent a certain amount of money on.

Personally, I’d go for a simple style, because those will go with any outfit and are less likely to be something you’ll eventually grow out off (unlike bags with glitter or big prints).  And with the holidays just around the corner, maybe a great new bag is just the (investment) present you should treat yourself to — after all, you just made it through a rough semester, right?

STYLE ADVICE OF THE WEEK: Beanies and Infinity Scarves

This week’s Fashionista has two major fall must-haves: Beanies and infinity scarves.

While her coat, with the cute side pockets, grabbed my attention at first, it was the metallic infinity scarf that made a lasting impression.

Now that November and its drowsy, misty weather has arrived, it’s time to get cozy; and what better way to do this than with a stylish little update like an infinity scarf that won’t hurt your budget?!

Pick a neutral color if you want to be on the safe side when it comes to mix & matching, or go for a bold color to give the drowsy weather the cold shoulder!

While a lot of scarves are made out of acrylic, wool will be your best friend if you are looking for a piece to keep you warm… Just make sure to choose a soft one that isn’t itching.

Hint: If you are looking for a cute alternative to the “regular” scarf, make sure to take a look at this faux fur & knit infinity scarf from Urban Outfitters.


STYLE ADVICE OF THE WEEK: Finding Individuality in Trends

Columbia College Chicago is your “typical” art school, meaning that there is nothing typical about it. Everyone who goes to an art school knows that the students there thrive on individuality and creativity and this week’s Fashionista is a great example of that spirit.

As you can see, she is wearing not one but several trends, and while it would be easy to look like a trend victim, she managed to make these trends her own by incorporating them in her individual style.

The [faux] fur vest is a recurring trend and a great staple piece for fall. It keeps you warm while giving every outfit that little extra touch. If you want to incorporate it in a more elegant outfit, wear it over a simple black dress or any other all black outfit. Add your favorite jewelry and you’re ready for a fabulous night out. The fake fur options are endless, and can range from very affordable to pretty pricey! If you are looking for real fur, thrift stores are probably your best bet, seeing as a new, real fur piece will cost you several months of rent.

If you love the boho-chic look, the head wrap will be your new best friend. Wear it like this week’s Fashionista or, if you are going for a more laid back look, let your tousled locks down and wear the headband over it. If you do decide to let your hair down, however, make sure to wear the head wrap slightly on your forehead (and over, not under, your hair) to avoid the “getting ready in the morning” look.

Be yourself and have fun with fashion. The rule is to break the rules!


Before we had computers and T.V.s and all those magical devices that make our lives so much easier (or do they really?) people got their fashion inspiration from the streets, from art and from travel. Inspiration was “limited” to a certain area — the area you lived and worked in.

Today, that’s a whole different story. Most of us own a computer and spent several hours on there every day, looking at pictures and videos from all over the world.  We get our inspiration from everywhere, and our style is most likely a mix inspired by several different cultures.

And while this is all very fun and colorful, every now and then it’s nice to see someone go back to the more traditional look and make it their own by adding little details. Take this week’s Fashionista: her wardrobe mainly exists out of American classics such as the leather jacket, the denim jacket and, of course, her favorite cowboy boots.

Boots are the perfect shoe for the fall, as they will keep your feet warm while being trendy and, most importantly, looking good with almost anything. This season, skirts, especially maxi and midi versions, can be seen everywhere and look fantastic paired with a great boot. Of course, you can also pair them with heels or flats, but pairing a skirt with boots will give the outfit a definite edge.

If you are looking for a skirt, a good choice right now is a sheer version, or one in a pop color such as electric orange or red. Those skirts can be dressed up and down and allow you a whole new range of outfits without killing your budget!

Pair them with a denim shirt or a regular button-up and your favorite pair of boots and your classic American style outfit is ready to be taken into town!

Don’t know where to find cheap but well-made American classics? Do what this week’s Fashionista does and go check out some thrift stores. Her two favorites in the city are the Family Thrift on Cermak Road and the one on Milwaukee Avenue.

STYLE ADVICE OF THE WEEK: Scandinavian Sweater

The end of the month is near and that means most of us are struggling with our monthly budget. Unfortunately for us the fashion world doesn’t sleep and neither does our need to consume. Fortunately for us there is an easy solution to that problem – thrifting.

Today's Fashionista is a passionate thrifter and found her Scandinavian – style sweater in a thrift store in Ohio. The Scandinavian sweater is a great staple piece for fall and a trend that won’t fade anytime soon.

Follow this week’s Fashionista’s lead and pair the sweater with jeans and boots for a casual look. Add a personal touch with unusual jewelry, like these trendy feather earrings, and you are ready for a comfortable yet fashionable day at school. Another option is to wear a longer, oversized sweater with leggings or tights and then add a pair of flats or heels depending on whether you want to dress it up or down. 

Be careful not to wear the sweater with sweat pants, because that will easily make you look like you just stumbled out of bed. If you’d still like to wear sweat-like-pants, I would go for a high waisted pair – That way you can use a belt to create a nice silhouette while still enjoying the great comfort of your outfit. A good example of comfortable, high waisted pants are these tweet pants from Urban Outfitters. They will look great combined with a big sweater, as long as you create a visible silhouette with a belt.