As someone who has lived in the Northeast their whole life, if I had to pick one winter essential it would probably be a puffy coat. Combating the cold and wind in all one swift move, it is every Fashionista’s own personal superhero. I am going abroad next semester to Ireland and, when previous students told me I did not need a puffy coat, I looked at them in awe. No layers of multiple marshmallow-like padding in January? I think I would feel lost.
Despite our recent heat wave in Boston, it finally feels as though December has settled in making this essential even more relevant. This week’s Fashionista is not only rocking an extremely comfy-looking puffer but paired it the right way as well. The key to working such a high-volume piece into your wardrobe is to slim it out with the rest of your outfit. That usually entails skinny jeans or tights and boots on the bottom and a slim fitting sweater or shirt on the top. If you go too baggy, the whole outfit will look like a slightly sloppy '90s rapper.
For a great puffer jacket, check out this one from J.Crew. I personally own it and not only is it warm, but its slim fit won’t make you feel like you gained 20 pounds overnight. Looking for something a little more sturdy? Although it might have the stigma of being associated with your childhood multi-colored snowsuit, L.L. Bean puffers are probably some of the most comfy and warm coats out there. Just don’t forget your gloves.
While for some December might be a long-anticipated season of holiday cheer and joy, for me it means something completely different… mainly what I like to refer to as “the gray season.” Anyone who grew up or lives in the Northeast knows what I am talking about — the long period of time from December to February where the sky turns the most lackluster and frighteningly depressing shade of gray. This is why I think this is one of the most perfect times to bring out some bright colors in one’s wardrobe — not only will you look fashionable, but you will be a beacon of hope to those around you.
This week’s Fashionista has an eye-catching bag that does just that. With its bright colors, braided handle and fun tassels, it instantly transports me to a Caribbean vacation — not to mention takes her outfit from something simple to something unique. A colorful bag is the perfect way to incorporate some color into your wardrobe if your usual attire could be mistaken for Morticia Adams'.
Try this purse from Anthropologie or a beaded clutch from Forever 21 for a more traditional look that still incorporates that bright island twist. If you are feeling more adventurous start throwing more bright colors into your standard winter wardrobe. This bright jacket in coral from J.Crew will keep you warm with its lined fabric and colors reminiscent of a house in the Bahamas. With all that color it may get hard to remember you are heading out to freezing cold temperatures.
When one thinks of the colors black and blue together, there are many connotations that come to mind — a bruised fighter’s eye, the Carolina Panthers, but not necessarily a fashion statement. The two most basic primary colors are certainly staples of any Fashionista’s wardrobe but one of the oldest faux pas in fashion is to wear them together. But, since this is no longer the time of Elvis and sock hops, restrictive “rules” about matching should be updated with the modern century in which we now live.
The key to wearing these neutrals together, however, is to fit them in the right combination. It is hard to make a navy shirt with black pants, as well as its vice versa of navy pants and a black shirt, work — which is why a unique play of textures, materials and length is the best bet for this color combination. It is also important to try and incorporate one item that includes both black and blue in the outfit to tie the whole look together.
This week’s Fashionista incorporates both — the contrasting lengths of the denim skirt and short trench and the slim silhouette of the tights along with the black and blue patterned scarf allow the colors to be mixed flawlessly. For those afraid of breaking their grandmother’s most sacred rule, start with a small accessory item that combines the two colors, such as these oxford style heels from Anthropologie or a Missoni-inspired scarf from Forever 21. So go out there and be a style rebel — just don’t be surprised if people think you’re a Panthers fan.
Stripes have a complicated history in fashion. There are rumors that they will make you look fat, rumors that they will make you look frumpy and everything in-between. But stripes are also one of the more classic prints in fashion — they evoke a certain Brigitte Bardot in the south of France vibe when worn correctly. Apparently most fashion designers agree with this assessment as well. On the runway recently, stripes were absolutely everywhere — from slinky skirts in Prada's to ‘70s-inspired flare dresses in Marc Jacobs'.
However, the key to wearing stripes is difficult, lest one avoids the horsemen of frumpy and heavier. The most important thing to keep in mind when wearing stripes is to always match them with a solid — it will make the look polished and figure enhancing. This Fashionista captures that idea perfectly. Pairing a striped sweater with a tight blazer, leggings and ballet flats allow the stripes to look sophisticated.
Want something similar to her preppy-based look? Start out with a basic striped shirt like this one from J.Crew and add different neutral layers. However, since Boston College is entering the more frigid part of the fall, this striped sweater (from J.Crew as well) might be a little warmer on the walk to class. For those still cautious about how stripes tend to exaggerate curves, try out a vertical striped piece instead of a horizontal striped one, such as this one from Forever 21 — they are generally considered more flattering. So even if it might not feel like Cannes, with stripes you can pretend you are sailing away from that 12 page paper.
One could argue that, besides the color black, flannel might be the most versatile thing in fashion itself. Worn by everyone from lumberjacks to supermodels to grunge rockers to hipsters, the pattern’s various incarnations somehow seem fresh time and time again. Think flannel’s role in fashion is questionable? Look back at Marc Jacobs’ 1992 collection for Perry Ellis. Jacobs started the grunge look at the time (i.e. lots of flannel) and sent out a landmark collection that was praised by the critics (but not necessarily by Perry Ellis) — one that helped make his name in the industry.
That being said, however, the key to rocking flannel on your campus is to find innovative cuts and shapes of the pattern. This Fashionista’s flouncy flannel half-jacket gives a new dimension to the material and, when paired with basic black (and some patterned tights), allows the jacket to stand out without being overwhelming. For those on the east coast, the harsh realities of the upcoming winter are just beginning to express themselves, emphasizing the need for warm weather gear of any kind.
Looking for a jacket that will not only protect you but have a little more flair than the standard black North Face? Take a cue from Kurt Cobain and try some of these flannel options — this one from Urban Outfitters had a unique flared shape (not to mention a hood) and another option from Maison Scotch provides a removable fold-over collar for those intensely frigid days. Just remember to own it like you’re walking down the Perry Ellis runway in ’92.
To be called one-dimensional is never considered a compliment. No one likes to be referred to as boring, lackluster and uninteresting (some official synonyms). Being one-dimensional in the world of fashion as well is not something to aim for — however, that should not be equated with the idea of a monochromatic outfit. For those without a root in middle school Latin, a monochromatic outfit is one composed of only one color. As one can imagine, monochromatic looks can, well, come off a little one-dimensional if not done the correct way. When done correctly, however, they can look crisp and fashion-forward.
This Fashionista shows us how to pull off the monochromatic look in a good basic color for those afraid to try the trend — black. The key to making a monochromatic outfit pop, even if it is all-black, is the interplay with texture and accessories. Check out the leather combat boots, long necklace and unique bag in the picture that allow this Fashionista to be decked out in black without looking like she is going to a death metal concert.
Looking for a basic template to begin your monochromatic experience? Start with a basic tube bodysuit from American Apparel paired with a skinny black pair of Joe's. Add a black lace blazer from Urban Outfitters to put some contrast in the type of materials you are rocking. Finally, add a big statement necklace (like this turquoise one from Forever 21) to complete the look. With a look like that, I would dare anyone to call you anything like one-dimensional.
With the cold weather quickly approaching and the onslaught of midterms looming over every Fashionista/o's head, it is easy to get caught up in the lure of sweatpants and hoodies until the nights in the library are over. While I can understand the necessity of lounge gear for certain Sunday afternoons, I also understand that it can become a consistent habit. It is always important to remember that one of the best ways to represent yourself is through the way you dress — from your next boss to your ex-boyfriend, you may never know who you could run into.
One of the best ways to add some extra touches to a wardrobe is through some classic wedge booties. Not as fancy as high heeled boots but still able to put some polish on your basic looks, they allow you to leave the library behind without sacrificing all of the comfort. Pair them with a high-waisted skirt and knee-high socks for cool fall days, then switch to skinny black leggings or thick opaque tights for the colder nights.
This Fashionista pairs hers with a floral pattern dress, which adds some edge to an otherwise feminine look. Want to replicate her style? J.Crew has a great pair of booties in a classic style with neutral colors. They are definitely an investment piece but are well worth the price for how long they last. If you want a pair you can dirty up a little more, check out this similar style (and price friendly) option at Urban Outfitters. Just be sure not to pair them with those old soccer sweatpants.
As someone with negative five vision in one eye and negative six in another, I never perceived glasses as an accessory as much as a necessity. However, the connotation seems to have changed recently from “four eyes” to “nice eyes.” With models rocking off-duty frames, fashionable celebrities like Anne Hathaway wearing hers to movie premieres and Zooey Deschanel rocking them on her show, the geek-chic look is becoming a trend in its own right. But how does one pull off this look without looking like they never leave the library? There are two things that ensure this won’t happen — choosing the right kind of frames and making sure your outfit looks polished.
When it comes to frames, recently I have been digging the thick hipster kind — it looks great on most faces and comes in unique colors like tortoiseshell. I personally own these ones from Ray-Ban and not only do they serve the practical purpose of enabling me to see where I am going but they allow me to walk there in style. Lucky enough to not have the vision impairment but still loving the look? Forever 21 has some great options that don’t require a prescription. As for the second piece of advice, our Fashionista proves that the construct of the outfit as well plays a huge factor in being able to pull off frames. Her feminine and fashionable dress with heeled boots and a jean jacket ensure that no one mistakes her for having a lazy day where she didn’t want to put contacts in. Follow these rules and I guarantee people will think twice before pulling out that “four eyes” comment again.
In every picture from my childhood, there is one critical component that is always the same: no matter the season or the location, I always am dressed in patterned leggings or shorts with a big T-shirt (usually tie-dyed) and, depending on hair length, matching scrunchies. Call it what you will — I mean, I was a child of the early '90s, a time when style was not only seriously missing in most situations but seemed to be completely deceased in others — but it is hard to imagine wearing such heinous outfits. Considering my bad experience with the aforementioned patterns, it was always hard for me to accept wearing any type of bold bottom. It seemed as soon as I would try some type of obviously patterned option on I was instantly transported back to the days of Barbies and Beanie Babies.
However, this Fashionista caught my eye and gave me a whole new perspective on the pattern situation. Pairing her high-waisted floral patterned shorts with the classic basics of a cardigan and pearls take away any childhood stigma that might have been associated with them. As she demonstrates, the right way to wear patterns on bottom is to make them the center of your outfit and use basics for whatever else you are pairing them with. This pair from Forever 21 would look great with a white leotard or peach oversized shirt in addition to some classic tan booties and military jacket. The scrunchies, however? Those are probably best left in the past.
For every student in Boston, no matter the school, there are some things that are essential to do during the four-year experience. This would include, but not be limited to, dinner in the North End, a game at Fenway, and — my personal favorite — a visit to the Museum of Fine Arts (the MFA). Besides being housed in a beautiful building, the MFA has such a gorgeous collection of art, it is one of the best day trips you could ask for.
My favorite wing in the MFA though has to be the one involving ancient Egyptian art — especially the vast collection of jewelry from this era. One thing that always sticks out at me is the extremely decorative statement necklaces — decorated with gold and jade that, despite being thousands of years old, looked like they were pulled fresh off the runway.
This Fashionista caught my eye because of the way her necklace reminded me of those I had seen behind the glass at the museum. Statement necklaces are the type of bread and butter every girl — from Cleopatra to today — should have in stock. They can dress up even the most basic “roll out of bed and go to class” look or be layered over an old cocktail dress (especially an LBD) to give it a new and updated feel.
Statement necklaces are available in a variety of price ranges — from this floral one at Forever 21 to this unique bubble-like piece from J.Crew that is truly an outfit-maker. Like the whole idea of being a modern Nefertiti? Try this gold option from NASTYGAL. Just don’t blame me if they think you are stealing ancient artifacts.