Before studying abroad, I spent my last day in America bleaching cut up jean shorts and shopping with one of my best friends, Sam. At the time, she had been hunting down a blush pink blazer. We scoped out three different malls, two outlet plazas and a few thrift stores, but no luck. When I came to Barcelona, I found variations of the jacket in virtually every clothing store I entered. Deep fuchsia, pastel, neon, salmon – all for a reasonable price.

I saw this week’s Fashionista when I was walking back from lunch in El Raval, a hip neighborhood with so many trendsetters it could probably have its own street style blog. I had a flashback of my friend’s search for the blazer, and I when I saw her I knew this was a trend I needed to expose.

A tailored pink blazer adds femininity to any ensemble, and this Fashionista used her Blanco one to balance out the grunginess of her classic Chucks, distressed shorts and fringe shirt (both of which she cut herself after purchasing from Secondhand in Sabadell, Spain. She also added a soul factor to her outfit by topping it all off with a jazzy Forever 21 fedora.

Kim Kardashian, Miranda Kerr and Alicia Keys are just a few celebrities that have been spotted sporting the trend. You can dress it up or dress it down. The possibilities range from the business-casual look to girly tomboy chic. Either way, wear a pink blazer to set your style ablaze.


After living in Barcelona for three months, I’ve had to adapt to the style of the locals. By this, I mean I wake up in the morning and seriously ponder what I’m going to wear for the day. If I don’t, I take the chance of getting judgmental glares. These streets are runways, and Spaniards wouldn’t be caught dead wearing Nike shorts in public or a comfy, oversized hoodie for that matter. Sometimes I miss the casualwear that is completely acceptable in the United States.

But when I saw this week’s Fashionisto in the Corte Ingles next door to my class, not only did his red, white and blue ensemble bring back nostalgia for home, but I realized you can dress casually and still look put together too. While speaking with him, he told me he is originally from China but is currently living in England. He said the main difference in style between the two countires is the degree of formality.

Jeans are a necessary staple of my wardrobe, and it doesn’t take much effort to dress them up. This Fashionisto achieved his refined but relaxed look by layering his jeans with a Topman sweater over a Trendiano chambray shirt. He added a crocheted Zara cardigan, a recent purchase from his vacation in Barcelona, into the mix. He referred to his shoes, another Zara purchase, as his rainy day shoes because of their quality. And he polished his look off with a Giorgio Armani watch and a Coach bag.

One other aspect of the style I’ll point out is how he rolled up the bottom of his jeans. As the season transitions into warmer temperatures, more people here are hitting the beach. As an ocean-residing citizen myself, I’m a fan of this trend that is becoming more widespread. Cuffed-up jeans tone down an outfit without looking too busy. What better way to look good and still be able to dig your feet in the sand?


When I was a Style Guru last semester, I found that more than half of the Fashionistas/os I approached happened to be journalism students. Perhaps it was due to the fact that I frequented Weimer Hall, but no matter where I go, this always seems to hold true. Maybe I’m biased, but when I found this week’s Fashionista, I coincidentally found yet another journalism major. What can I say, we’re just a stylish group of people.

This Fashionista wore a European staple, H&M, for a basic black top and a pair of her Mom’s jeans (not to be confused with “Mom Jeans”). But Mom’s closet wasn’t the only place she found thrifted treasures. She found her funky socks from a skate shop back home and she scored her vest for a mere $2 at thrift shop — cue the Macklemore music.

But let’s take a closer look at this vest. It’s simple, it’s a light layer and it’s unique. As the days are just beginning to heat up, the time has come to throw that heavy winter jacket aside, but not quite shorts and a tank top weather yet. A light vest does the trick.

Wool, denim, faux fur, fringe, lace — these are all possibilities of the vests you can find. Bershka’s got a fuller imitation suede and sheepskin vest while Zara has a hooded bomber-style vest. For a more feminine vibe, you can find the aforementioned lace vest at Dotti.

What are you waiting for? It’s time to invest in a vest. Get shopping!


The rain in Spain falls mainly on the plain they say? It has definitely fallen on Barcelona in endless windy bursts this past week. In a city that prides itself on constant sunshine, many Spaniards don’t know how to react to this kind of weather. That’s why this week I decided to showcase an American Fashionista’s interpretation of rainy day attire. This Indiana native’s indie ensemble functions in a range of moderately cool temperatures on the way to class or strolling down La Rambla.

Because I’m a South Floridian, I love wearing shorts just as much as the next sunshine-loving Fashionista. I admit I’ve been wearing either black or blue jeans almost everyday, patiently waiting for to say it’s 71 degrees outside without a cloud in the sky. I didn’t think it was appropriate to wear my shorts yet, but this week’s Fashionista found a way to make it work.

She paired opaque Eddie Bauer tights under Forever 21 daisy dukes. She layered up a comfortable Laura Stevenson and the Cans concert T-shirt with a classic American Eagle cardigan and a market-bought scarf from Urbino, Italy. Her bold maroon coat highlights the subtle colors in her tribal Target belt and the flowers in her umbrella. The belt’s colorful pattern is also accented by her teal cardigan. Faux leather boots from Nylon give the outfit an edge and balances out the layers.

Rain boots and windbreakers are usually everyone’s first go-to wardrobe staple for gloomy weather, but don’t be afraid to mix it up. An outfit like this will lighten the day.

FASHION FROM ABROAD: London Fashion Week

When I discovered the weekend trip I booked to London fell on the same days as London’s Fashion Week, I was ecstatic and knew I’d have to take advantage of the opportunity to feature a Fashionista/o while there.

It wasn’t difficult to find someone sporting stylish threads. I could have blindfolded myself, pointed at any spot on the street, and my finger would have landed on a walking, breathing fashion editorial. The trick was choosing just who to approach. The grunge crowd with their silver metallic pants, bold red lipstick, big-rimmed glasses and courageous hair styles? Or the posh crowd, with their elegant dresses, Peter Pan collars and altogether polished look? But then I found this Fashionista who balances these two predominant scenes.

I found her at the Camden Market, an endless source of cheap and chic trinkets and clothes. I was drawn to her because of her funky Oxfam Originals jacket that she managed to pair simply with leather pants and a feminine bowler hat. Oxfam Originals is a second-hand shop based in the United Kingdom that gives back to the community by selling products to help other countries overcome poverty. So not only did she snag a dashing find, but she contributed to a noble cause as well.

The leather/denim duo trend is in full swing right now, as well as pairing a denim jacket over a hoodie. But this Fashionista found a vintage outer garment functioning as both at the same time. The floral strand between the leather makes the jacket both edgy and delicate, and the fit is neither baggy nor fitted. For a temperate day in London, the ensemble worked for a sunny day and later on for a colder night.

Any way you cut it, her outfit was the best of both worlds.


Warning: killer pair of heels ahead. But really. These beautifully crafted works of art by Russian designer Paolo Conte are as intriguing as Medusa’s mane—you just can’t look away.

When I saw this model-esque Fashionista strut by me on Carrer de Balmes on my way to the Universitat de Barcelona, those shoes were impossible to overlook. I’ll even go as far to say these shoes share the same qualities as diamonds. I am of course talking about the three Cs of cut, clarity and color. With a sharp mint color, a carved heel and rainbow-swirled patterns hidden below, this heel is a hot commodity. Diamonds may be a girl’s best friend, but shoes are more affordable.

Christian Louboutin is known for his collection of show-stopping heels with a different splash of color underneath. You may be familiar with the classic black pointed-toe stiletto with a red underside. Colored soles and patterned prints under heels have become more prominent on the streets recently. A peek-a-boo detail adds a certain versatility to an already standout shoe.

This week’s Fashionista displays the trend in perfect harmony with the rest of her Zara-based wardrobe. She used sheer tights, a classic charcoal peacoat and a flowy dress as undertones for her pumps. The bold red tote and ivy green gloves work to highlight the shade of her shoes. A light scarf with leafy detail complements the earthy tones and minty hue of her ensemble.

This outfit is infinitely chic on its own, but it really came to life because of the Fashionista’s confidence and poise. The camera loved her, and she was all smiles while talking to me. In my opinion, clothes will only get you so far. You have to own your style. Here’s some advice from Yves Saint Laurent, a man I’ve quoted many times before: “Over the years, I have learned that what is important in a dress is the woman who is wearing it.”

FASHION FROM ABROAD: Holler for a Collar

I met another traveling duo this week during my search for Barcelona´s Next Top Fashionista/o. Taking off a year to travel Europe, this South Korean has already explored Germany, Slovenia, Turkey and more. Not only is he enriching himself with a once-in-a-lifetme experience, but he has been shopping along the way.

He picked up his H&M pants in Poland, his shirt and Atlantis coat online and his shoes in Spain´s ever-popular Zara.

Aside from his intuitively balanced color combination and effortlessly stylish Giorgio Armani shades, this Fashionisto is displaying a worldwide fashion trend: the collar.

Worn by itself or paired under a v-neck sweater, button-down collared shirts are a versatile solution to any boring outfit. They can be worn solo in warmer weather, but even in cooler temperatures, a collar is the way to go. It is a great base layer for coats and heavy knits. With a variety of colors and prints, you can play up your image with different types of collared shirts. Take for example the chambray shirt.

Women have also caught onto the privilegs of these tops. Sometimes tied in a knot at the bottom over a flowy skirt or adding spikes to the collar, the possibilities are endless with this one simple article of clothing.

FASHION FROM ABROAD: Bright Winter Blues

One of the most exciting parts of studying abroad is having the chance to meet people from all over the world. So far I´ve met an 18-year-old Canadian traveling solo for a year, a band of hipster German men and of course, Spaniards. If you thought America was a melting pot, you need to come to Europe.

This week, I was sitting on a bench waiting for class to start and enjoying my favorite pastime: peoplewatching. As a couple walked by, a glint of bright hues caught my gaze. When I approached this week´s Fashionisto and his friend, I learned they were Belgian travelers. I asked him if I should go to Brugges or Brussels (they both agreed on Brugges if you were wondering), and he was more than happy to have his photo taken.

This time is winter in Spain right now. Although there have been some sunny days this season, normally the weather is cold and brittle. Winter shades are usually dark grays and deep blues, so it was refreshing to see a change of pace on the streets. He didn’t have to be wearing neon to stand out.

He paired a Zara button-down shirt with EBTM teal pants and a Scotch and Soda jacket. Next, the Fashionisto paired a gold Michael Kors watch with Ray-Ban aviators for a rich color accenting the turquoise tones. Brown leather boots with emerald, also known as “color of the year,” soles from a store in Belgium called Sasha played up the semiprecious stone similarities his outfit was emanating.

This comfortable, functional and travel-friendly ensemble reminds me of the beach because of the clear ocean colors and seahorse print of his shirt. In a coastal city like Barcelona, this Fashionisto proves that a pop of bright color can beat the winter blues.


Although she is in my study abroad program, this Persian-German Fashionista blends in with the effortlessly stylish Barcelona natives. Perhaps she has caught on to Spain’s heavy merchandising of leather, spikes/studs, dark tones and the novel infinity scarf. Or perhaps she has intuition because she herself hails from Europe.

Whichever it is, there is something about European style that makes Americans feel like they stick out. I know when I’m walking down Ronda de Sant Pere who is a native and who is not. Even without Greek letters, school-colored sweaters and backwards baseball hats, I still immediately know who is who. When they open their mouths to speak, the level of fluency in either English, Spanish or Catalan confirms my beliefs. But why is it so obvious?

I think American style is more of a formula. For the American public, advertisements, celebrities and our peers shape our style and the trends we follow. Here, the people ignore preconceived notions and throw on what they like. If it looks good, it works.

When I asked this Fashionista where she got her threads, she gave me the same Bershka-Mango-Zara-Blanco feed that I’ve been getting frequently. They’re engulfed in their signature brands just as much as we find solace in Forever 21 and Urban Outfitters. Sometimes these global corporations cross paths, but they just seem to be more sophisticated abroad.

Speaking of differences abroad, if any Fashionista/o is planning on jumping the puddle in the future, Spain has huge sales all over the countries from January to February. It is impossible to escape the large, red signs boasting “REBAJAS” or in this picture’s case, “REBAIXES.” Take advantage of these sales. Spiked-leather-on-denim jacket for 20 euro? I think so.

It’ll be interesting to see if my classmates’ wardrobe choice will change significantly by the end of the semester. Will us Americans ever blend in? Or maybe we do already, and we just perceive ourselves as culturally different. Only time will tell.


Women love shoes. Everyone knows this. But Spanish women really love their shoes. Wedge-heeled sneakers, spiked suede slippers, knee-high leather boots and Doc Martens grace the streets and store windows of Barcelona.

When I was running some errands and picking up school supplies, one Fashionista’s shoes caught my eye as I was crossing the street. I shifted directions and chased after the gold-embellished ankle booties. After speaking with her, I learned she bought them from Zara. This surprised me. I thought for sure they were some one-of-a-kind designer kicks, but she found them in the same superstore where she bought her sweater. But alas, Zara is a brand that doesn’t discriminate against socio-economic status, and it produces a variety of clothes for any occasion. Just look at Barcelona-based blogger Fashionvibe, who features the brand in several posts.

Other thrifty high-end stores popular here in Barcelona include Mango, H&M, Bershka and Blanco; the latter two are staples of Spain. There are multiples outlets of the chain stores literally feet from each other in certain shopping districts near the city center.

I should really give some credit to the guys here as well. They know their shoes just as well as the women. Perhaps even more. I think that is what really separates men’s fashion here from the States. Spaniards just understand footwear. They often wear dark hues in their clothing choices, so an eclectic shoe really makes them pop. Hopefully in the future, I can feature a Fashionisto displaying an example of this.

Until then, you don’t need an inheritance to find upscale shoes. Just step into the nearest Zara, and a slice of shoe heaven isn’t too far away.