When colder weather comes around, sometimes even the best Fashionistas fall into a style rut. The basic denim on the bottom that carries us through the season feels all too familiar day after day. Even leggings and tights become go-to pieces paired with skirts and dresses. This week’s Fashionista has found an escape from the usual winter attire.

With an eclectic, urban style, this Fashionista puts a twist on typical winter legwear by pairing fuzzy thigh-high socks with a high-hem dress. These socks are heavyweight enough to feel like the equivalent of a pair of leggings, but add a unique, feminine flair on any outfit. The exposed area of the leg between the hem and the top of the sock is just enough to add a bit of interest to an outfit.

Thigh-high socks are a great addition to a winter wardrobe because they serve multiple purposes. They provide warmth and protection against the cold. In other words, they enable more wear of dresses during the colder months! On the other hand, they're covetable accessory, adding an additional factor into outfits. They're sure to be eye-catching! A fuzzy sock with a casual pattern can be worn with a knit dress to class on an average day. With a thinner, shinier sock, an outfit can be transformed into a special occasion look. Free People has a wide variety of thigh-high socks, ranging from a heavier weight sweater sock to a lightweight knit sock.

Spotted: John Galliano’s fall 2012 ready-to-wear line featured thigh-high socks in a number of colors.

ACCESSORIES REPORT: Monochromatic Luster

Monochroma…what?! Yes, monochromatic means all the colors of a single hue. While the word sounds scary, and even more so when we think of one person dressed head to toe in pink looking like a birthday cake, monochromatic colors schemes can really make a statement.

This week’s Fashionisto uses all neutrals to create a basic monochromatic color scheme in his outfit. Utilizing primarily blacks, grays and whites, he relies more on textures and shine to create interest, rather than bright colors. First, the shoes have a shine to them that catch the light when it hits them. This gives a three-dimensional appearance and also differentiates between the other textures on the shoe. The Fashionisto’s layered necklaces spice up the simple silhouette of the gray sweater. Even thought the necklaces are a simple silver color, they also catch the light and create another facet to view this outfit in.

Monochromatic color schemes are really starting to come back around into the fashion world this season. Even pairing a dark, ocean blue sweater with a pair of pale blue chinos counts as a monochromatic color scheme. For the ladies, this could mean a pale purple top mixed with some plum purple cords. While the concept may seem offbeat, keep it simple and give it a try.

Spotted: Thom Browne's fall 2012 menswear runway show featured monochromatic color schemes in grays, blacks and even mint green. Check it out for some examples!


Disguising the fact you're painfully cold is surprisingly difficult. When the crisp, winter winds blow their gusts across campus, fingers, noses and toes everywhere are slowly freezing up, making even the most brave students wince in cold. However, this week’s Fashionisto provides a perfect example of how to embrace winter accessories all while looking fashionable and staying warm all at once.

This Fashionisto’s fuzzy, plaid scarf doubles as an indoor and outdoor accessory. The fabric is heavy enough to block the wind and cold while walking from class to class around campus. At the same time, it's lightweight enough to transition to an indoor climate when you step indoors. Not only is this item functional, but it also gives off a perfect tone of the fall and winter seasons. The color palette, featuring mustard yellow with a teal blue, has a neutral undertone to it, blending in with the gray and black mixed into the scarf. He scored his scarf at Eddie Bauer, and I found some similar styles at Forever 21 and Banana Republic.

Some of the most valuable pieces in a wardrobe are ones that can serve multiple purposes. Scarves can be entirely decorative or provide warmth and comfort. In the same exact way, hats serve those two purposes as well. Overall, the investment into a multi-purpose piece will be well worth it in the long run.

Spotted: J.Crew’s fall 2012 ready-to-wear line displays men’s scarves that are half functional, half purely for style!


As we move through the semester, our schedules are getting a bit tighter. Group project deadlines are quickly approaching, the holidays are on their way and the end of the semester has never looked so sweet. Motivation is on the lower end, meaning we are waking up later and later each week. While we may not be dressing like runway divas at this point in the semester, we can still be trendsetters in more casual ways.

This week’s Fashionista has played with color to create interest within a basic silhouette. Red and green are complementary colors; they're directly across from each other on a standard color wheel. With the magenta color of her sweatshirt being a combination of red and white, it complements the bright Kelly green creating a dynamic, exciting effect. With the colors being so bright, other bold hues blend into the outfit seamlessly. For example, the sky blue of the Fashionista’s belt accents central colors without stealing the spotlight. By adding a brightly colored pair of slip-on sneakers, the outfit is transformed from simple to attention-grabbing and allows other colors to come in and create even more interest.

Color can be used in so many different ways to spice up a look without necessarily taking a lot of effort. Color combinations have also been expanding in recent years. While the old rule of not mixing navy and black still applies, monochromatic is no longer the only color scheme being utilized. Some of the most unlikely color combinations—blue with yellow, purple and orange, and brown and black—are all being paired together, showing the fashion world that color is more versatile than it's sometimes thought to be. For example, J.Crew features a navy, green and red plaid button-up shirt shown with a pastel pink, purple and blue floral skirt.

Spotted: Balenciaga’s fall 2012 ready-to-wear line featured pops of unexpected color in the footwear paired with each look.


Accessories show themselves to the world in all shapes, sizes and colors. The category is the most broad in fashion and accessories can truly make or break an outfit. Statement pieces occur when the accessories steal the show in an outfit. Sometimes though the accessories can be little and sweet, acting as tiny accents that gently adds the finishing touch to a look.

This Fashionista has managed to utilize a select few accessories that polish off her already stunning look. The basis of all the jewelry is a silver color, which blends seamlessly with the gray sweater and scarf, just with a bit more shine. On her left hand, she has a series of six rings, all simple silver bands, some with rhinestones and others more plain. The small bands are easy to wear and they're completely stackable. When stacked, each ring has its own design and together they create a dynamic, three-dimensional appearance. The single band on the right hand slightly balances the look without taking away from the bold rings on the left hand. In addition, she wears a pair of stud earrings, made up of a series of rhinestones in various shapes. The earrings are sparkly and shiny, drawing attention to the Fashionista’s face. The earrings ultimately tie in the accessories to the overall outfit. To get earrings like this Fashionista, I found this similar pair at Charlotte Russe.

Spotted: Derek Lam’s fall 2012 ready-to-wear show featured a dainty, simple silver chain necklace that perfectly accents some of his looks. Check out looks 20 and 21!


It’s no secret that Ames, Iowa is stuck right in the middle of farmland. Upon reaching the outskirts of the town part of Ames, you reach a very rural area quite suddenly. So, it was a pleasant surprise to find this week’s Fashionista rocking an outfit with an urban spin on it.

This outfit is a perfect example of whipping together a simple outfit and making it spectacular with the use of accessories! A bright yellow, long sleeve T-shirt with skinny jeans and a vest is a great way to stay warm during the fall season. But starting with the shoes, the simplicity stops. Even though the silhouette is a basic high-top, the style combines a sneaker with a boot, keeping it lightweight, yet still warm. The raw edges on the seams creates a rough, not-so-sharp appearance.

Working up, this Fashionista combines different metals within her bracelets and rings, which gives off an industrial feeling. I found these similar bangles at Ruche. Adding even more interest to the ensemble, the necklace sticks to the suit of metals in jewelry, but it also adds in an accent color of vibrant orange, enhancing the dimension of the outfit as a whole. Next to the hoop earrings, the orange really makes its pop. And the accessory that takes the cake in this outfit is the scarf tied as a headband. It incorporates all the existing colors in the outfit while holding true to the warm colors of the vest and denim.

Headbands of this sort are not only adorable and a statement piece, but they conveniently provide a quick hair fix on the day you wake up late! It's an easy way to appear well put together, even when you’re running late. Here are a few options, one from Free People, the other from River Island.

Spotted: The Moschino Cheap and Chic fall 2012 runway show featured various headwraps, knotted at the center. Adorable!

ACCESSORIES REPORT: Best of the Basics

The days may be getting increasingly dreary here in the Midwest, but the fashion sense is as vibrant as ever. Along with the sharp bite of the Iowa wind, fall colors have made their way back into our lives and we're seeing deeper, richer tones in our clothing. And while the chilly temperatures may not be so comforting, Iowa Staters seem to be accepting the transition from summer to fall wardrobes with open arms.

This week’s Fashionista has expertly paired a few basic colors with warm undertones to create an outfit perfect for fall. Her oversize, striped sweater paired with a pair of black leggings establishes the theme of the outfit; rich brown in a camel tone with black, a must-have basic color. Topped over the sweater is a huge, knit infinity scarf that's double wrapped. The scarf is the color of sand on a warm beach, blending cohesively with the undertones of the hues in the sweater. The biggest feature in this comfy-cute outfit turns out to be the shoes. On first glance, the shoes shoes appear to blend in with the outfit; they fit the color scheme to a T, tying in the camel to the lower half of the body. But with deeper inspection, the shoes are actually animal print! With a mid-height heel and a Mary Jane style strap for support, these shoes are not only showstoppers, but are also practical in a campus setting. Zappos has a pair in a perfect maroon color for fall and I also found a pair with a wedge heel of similar height at DSW.

This Fashionista has proven that attention can be grabbed while wearing an ensemble of all neutrals. Comfy, cute and bold, her outfit incorporates all the perfect factors that go into a fall outfit.

Spotted: Louis Vuitton’s fall 2012 ready-to-wear line featured a look very similar to that of this Fashionista’s; check out look number three!


This week I was on a class trip to the windy city—Chicago! The purpose of the trip was to learn about different businesses and job titles in the apparel industry. On this trip my classmates and I were very busy taking a tour of the Von Maur headquarters, helping Anthropologie make their holiday floor displays and, of course, we saved some time to shop! In between enjoying Giordano’s pizza and drooling over the fabulous displays at AllSaints Spitalfields, we were attending numerous appointments to help us network with leaders in the fasion industry. This means we've been outfitted in business casual dress for almost a week. While sometimes business casual can become repetitive, one of my classmates knows just how to spice up an outfit while keeping it professional.

This Fashionista uses all elements of an outfit to tie together a cohesive theme of professionalism. Sticking with a signature black dress and shoes holds a formal connotation while the purple jacket has a playful, fun effect. What truly holds the magic in this outfit is the jewelry. Pearls are considered semi precious gems; they are such a classic, timeless representation of beauty. Incorporating pearls into an outfit polishes up an look instantly. However, the shape of this necklace and the arrangement of the pearls add a more modern spin, keeping the outfit on trend and up to date. The Fashionista’s necklace is from J.Crew; here are some others I found at Topshop and Piperlime. Her supporting accessories, a gleaming Michael Kors watch and a simple gold ring reading “lucky,” create the wholeness of the outfit.

Business casual is a method of dressing we all need to master for some occasion in our lives. But never fear! A youthful, playful business casual look is possible, as proven by this week’s Fashionista.

Spotted: Tory Burch combined a business look with a non-traditional use of pearls in her fall 2012 ready-to-wear collection.


Metal working is one of the oldest and most unique forms of jewelry making. But that’s not to say the trend hasn’t stuck around. Today, some of the most contemporary jewelry pieces are based on the formations of metals, with or without gems.

This week’s Fashionista incorporates metals into almost every aspect of her outfit. First, her necklace has an effect similar to color blocking. The shine of the metal rests on the vivid blue of her tank top turning into a vibrant color addition to the outfit. She scored her bracelet, my personal favorite of her numerous accessories, at Urban Outfitters. Check out these similar ones from Piperlime and Topshop. As tiny add-ons to the ensemble, her multiple rings, individually and as a whole, reinforce the theme of the outfit already set in place. The use of these metals in the cohesive way that this Fashionista has demonstrated allows each piece of jewelry to take center stage, no piece outshining another. At the same time, while each accessory is evident in the outfit, the unity of the metals permits the bright, lively blue of the tank top to have its own moment of glory. It’s almost like two different entities, the clothing and the accessories coming together to create this masterpiece.

Outfit harmony isn’t easy to achieve, and as a student with a limited schedule and tests to study for during this awful midterm week, it's even harder to pull off, however, this week’s Fashionista nailed it! Don’t be nervous to try an unlikely combination. Rough metal with delicate chiffon turned out to be the perfect combination so start pairing, and see what beautiful things you can come up with!

Spotted: Marc Jacobs’ fall 2012 ready-to-wear featured metal accenting on the shoes, paired with the too cute safety pin to secure scarves, doubling as shawls.


On an unexpectedly chilly day in Ames, I stumbled upon a beauty that has mastered the art of functionality while maintaining a trendy appearance. Now, let me backtrack for just a moment to explain.

It’s all too often that college students run into certain constraints that limit their ability to express style. Maybe it’s the fact that stress translates into sweatpants, or you haven’t slept in 24 hours and the energy just isn’t there. Another problem could be a lack of practicality: when you ask yourself, “Will I rather be barefoot than wearing these 4 inch wedges by the time 3 p.m. rolls around?” Walking around campus stylishly sometimes takes a sacrifice; the famous trade-off between comfort and fashion.

And this brings me to the Fashionista of the week. She manages to rock a comfy shoe that doesn’t look cozy at all! Her short ankle boots she claims she’s had forever feature a small heel, about 2 ½ inches. The height is absolutely manageable and not difficult to walk in. At the same time, the shoe has the appearance of a heel rather than a flat boot. It conveys just the right amount of polish, an air of professionalism and sophistication. These ankle boots from Steve Madden, found at DSW, and these 7 For All Mankind boots from Nordstrom have a similar feeling of refinement but, combined with trendy pieces, puts a clean spin on any ensemble.

Spotted: Gucci has some gorgeous pairs of walkable, practical boots online at Neiman Marcus with manageable heel heights.