Many fashionable women tend to sacrifice their look in the office, feeling that their fashion sense is better kept at home. This battle of brains versus beauty doesn’t have to end badly; brains and beauty can live harmoniously side-by-side, ladies.

On her way to an interview, this Fashionista looked refreshingly calm during IU’s infamous week from hell. When I asked to snap her picture, she admitted, “Well, you gotta dress up for someone I guess!” She donned an oversized navy suit jacket garnished with gold buttons. Paired with classic black and white wingtip heels, she redefines businesswoman. Additionally, her chocolate briefcase shoulderbag screams intellect.

With the limited array of style that business-wear clothing can give, it’s hard to separate yourself from the rest of the pack. Therefore, paired with your resume credentials, personal touches to your outfit will ensure that you’re remembered. Look for garments that you want to wear, not what you think you should be wearing. This camel blazer is appropriate for an interview, but still keys an onlooker in to your personal sense of fashion. Pair with tapered trousers that are perfectly professional, but feature unique details to set you apart. Finish the top and bottom off with this Pendleton messenger bag, ideal for your business needs and fashion wants.

Hint: When shopping for business clothes, I try to pick up pieces that I know I can wear to an interview, out with friends, or even a feel-good day on campus. If you separate your professional clothes from your every-day garb, you end up eliminating your personal style from your buisiness wear. So in this case, you don't need to separate personal from professional! Show employers what they're really looking for – you.

STYLE ADVICE OF THE WEEK: Single Shoulder Schoolgirl

On the IU campus, you can taste summer. Two weeks until freedom. Two weeks until pure laziness. Two weeks until clothes that scream at the sun for more light. To alleviate the anxiousness of students’ countdowns, summer outfits are in full bloom in Bloomington, Indiana.

This single shoulder dress was the perfect sign that the summer season is just ahead. This Fashionista flawlessly rocked a sea-foam green, summer dress with one shoulder free. The covered shoulder is accented by a fun flower detail, drawing attention to the single shoulder style of the dress. She adds a similar hue, vintage earring to tie in the unique color of the dress. Her strappy sandals complete this summer ensemble.

Your single shoulder dress doesn’t have to be over the top with details—the look of the covered one shoulder is gives enough power to the outfit to draw endless, jealous attention. Look for something simple, like this Greek-inspired garment from Top Shop. Continue to add simple details, like this Fashionista, to make the outfit pop.

Hint: Add a belt to accentuate your curves, as one shoulder dresses tend to fit more like a loose tunic.

STYLE ADVICE OF THE WEEK: The Little Black Dress

Black isn’t a color, it’s a statement. The infamous “little black dress” is arguably the most popular and recognized piece of clothing in modern fashion. The LBD’s prehistoric origins trace back to the 1920s expertise of Coco Chanel. Audrey Hepburn famously donned the garment for the legendary designer and changed the status of any old black dress forever; the LBD was from then on considered essential to every woman’s wardrobe.

It was obvious to me that this Fashionista had found her little black dress. As she seemingly cat-walked towards me, I could taste her confidence in the air and her trust in the stupefying effect of the dress. The long-sleeved, sheer LBD gave her room to move and feel the breeze on a warm, newly spring day, but was also lined with a black slip to give a slight hug to her curves. I adored the long sleeves, making the garment chic and casual, all the while re-working the laid-back, hippie vibe of the '70s.

Hint: Go for a little black dress that can be worn with boots, tights and a school-girl backpack on campus, or with ornate jewelry and pumps for an evening on the town. My pick? This lacey little black dress from Free People could do double duty when it comes to dressing up or dressing down.

STYLE ADVICE OF THE WEEK: Everything’s Better in Color

Color, sweet color. When the color television hit the shelves in the late 1960s, it rocked the worlds of every family in the nation. Although the "little black dress", not unlike old-fashioned black and white movies, will forever remain a staple in any Fashionista's wardrobe, it's an unofficial fact that any garment is better in color. Maybe the little known art critic and poet, John Ruskin, said it best when he asserted, "The purest and most thoughtful minds are those which love color the most."

Lounging in the my favorite spot on campus, the Hogwarts-style room at IU's Union, I found this Fashionista popping with color. She lit up the room with her ensemble of primary colors, a perfect combination of red, blue and yellow. A permanent part of her wardrobe: that firey red hair. With that head of hair, it's easy to believe that she lives for color. Clearly playing off of her red strands, she opts for tights of a similar hue. To compliment the primary fushia-red, she dons an ever-pretty floral dress from Marshalls, a simple yellow scarf and a flourescent, light blue shoulder bag.

To be a Fashionista full of color, choose hues that compliment each other. Red, yellow and blue work well together because they're opposite eachother on the color wheel. For you fashion lovers who have put sixth grade art class out of your memory (I don't blame you), that means those three colors can be mixed to make other, secondary colors. My advice? Find pieces that are simple, but stand out with color. You don't want too many statement pieces fighting for fame, so find garments that aren't overkill, but still represent your personal style. Here's a few that do the trick: this navy blue cotton dress, these soft yellow peep-toe skimmers and this red turnlock satchel.


When I hear “fedora” I think Frank Sinatra: classy, cool and dashing. The legend was commonly seen sporting a classic fedora. The trend has continued far after “Old Blue Eyes” and thankfully has become an androgynous look that will never go out of style.

I was sold after first sight of this Fashionista’s headgear. The navy fedora tops off her funky look and transforms her outfit from casual to classy. It’s not always easy to pull off, but the ease of her flowing hair allows for the fedora to sit nicely and to produce an aura of vintage smoothness. Her navy laced, oxford-esque sandals perfectly compliment the hat and round out the outfit from head to toe.

Ladies, don’t be shy to pick up a men’s cap and call it your own. You’ll look every ounce the feminine mystique—in a way that says, “Hey, it’s a woman’s world too.” There’s a couple of hats I may or may not have drooled over. The Gain Fedora by Brixton is a embodies the classic fedora look and offers everything a fedora was made for: fun, a fresh look and feathers. The Saxon-Caribou by Stetson gives a feminine twist on a classy look with the addition of the bow detail around the crown. The straw Swine Stingy Brim Fedora by Christy adds cool color and texture. The Redwood Fedora and the Benjamin Fedora, both by Bailey, add sophisticated color and give life to any outfit.



Nearby artists, hole-in-the-wall burger joints, hand made jewelry—local flavor is everywhere. What’s better than supporting those who give you a cooler place to live? Think about it—your favorite coffee spot, clothing store and ethnic restaurant are most likely as local as they come. Walking distance: check. Cheap: check. Endlessly cool: check.

While getting my vintage fix at a local place on campus, I spotted this Fashionista. While snapping her shot, I asked her where she got her clothes. She quickly retorted, “From here. It’s hard not to!” And trust me, in this store, it’s very hard not to buy everything in sight. Cactus Flower is a two-story apparel emporium with a whole floor devoted entirely to vintage finds.

Her necklace is as homemade as ever: the copper underlay is garnished with a couple randomly selected silver charms. She informs me the piece of jewelry is hand crafted by Bloomington artist and friend, Janice Bone. It’s cool to wear something you love, but when you know the source of the goods it’s always a plus.


Etsy is the artist’s eBay. The online emporium features an oasis of merchandise bought and sold by virtuosos from around the world. The site is overflowing with items, many of them handcrafted by the original sellers or handpicked as part of a collection of masterpieces, that are right at your fingertips.

This Fashionista completely inspired my Etsy stumble. She buys and sells on Etsy and, may I be so bold to say, the site has treated her very well. Her pine-green and caramel bag stood out like a sore thumb (in the best possible way a sore thumb can stand out). The floral-patterned fringe scarf pairs effortlessly with her oversized knit grandpa cardigan. With spring break looming around the corner, she opts for denim shorts and tights in dreams of warm weather to come. The simple cowboy boot completes this dashing, Etsy-blessed ensemble. My favorites? After looking for 15 minutes turned hour (whoops), I'm starting to believe in love at first sight because of: this tote, this dress, these shoes.

Along with the virtual megastore, Etsy also boasts a blog complete with “How-To” posts like how-to create your very own couture blouse, to local events where you can walk away with a fringe scarf made by yours truly. The blog also spotlights sellers that are immersed in the hobby of making and selling garments. This recently featured seller, Mine Kurtulmus, comments on her handmade garb: “Handmade is like giving life to an object. When you create something, it owns a piece of your soul, a piece of your feelings and taste.” Also, if you’re a vintage freak, read up on old-school saleswoman Lauren Naimola. I died when I saw her DearGoldenVintage collection.

Hint: So, if there’s any slogan that would describe Etsy, “Mi casa es su casa” would do the trick. Sellers buy, buyers sell, sellers sell more and buyers, well, buy more. It’s like Christmas, just all year round.


The Lacoste brand redefined sportswear in the 1930s, advertised during the time as “the status symbol of the competent sportsman.” The company, founded by tennis player Renè Lacoste, was the first to feature a brand logo on the outside of an article of clothing. The infamous Lacoste crocodile even originates from Renè’s zealous tennis career; his on-court nickname was “The Crocodile”. Clearly, the legend lives on and stands to define a certain population obsessed with prep, a high-class look and a brazen logo.

This Fashionisto would no doubt make Renè proud. As I beg to take his picture, his friend announces, “And you thought you looked like crap today!” Well, I’d like to see his outfits on his good days. His fearless red cardigan is the highlight of the outfit. It’s old-school, he tells me, rummaged from a vintage shop nestled somewhere between a cheese steak joint and a vinyl record shop in Philly. The royal blue croc logo featured on the sweater looks stunning against the red and perfectly matches the blue and white striped v-neck tee underneath. Get his look with this classic name brand cardigan. If you’re digging the Lacoste look minus the button-up feature, this crewneck sweater is utterly dashing. And, how perfect is this Lacoste watch? I can’t imagine a better accessory.

Hint: Ladies, don’t feel left out; you can replicate this look with the same ease as your male counterparts. Pick up a vintage Lacoste cardigan from Etsy. Women's Lacoste watches are to die for, but here are my favorites: a unique oversized white stunner and a retro-inspired multicolored watch. Pair the aforementioned items with this crewneck sweater dress and you'll look completely á la Lacoste.


Yes, indeed, ladies and gentlemen, spring is on its way. Spring 2011 Fashion Week brought glimpses of a colorful, vibrant spring season to come. A noteworthy trend throughout this season’s biggest seven days was a neutrally toned outfit garnished with a boldly colored bag. Maybe designers and Fashionistas/os are making up for a colder than average winter, but bright, popping colors are getting their fair share of attention.

I couldn’t help but oggle at this Fashionista’s soft, electric purple shoulder bag. While waiting to get a seat at Bloomington’s favorite breakfast joint, the color was taking up enough of my periphery that I knew I had to turn my head to get the full effect. With the addition of the bag, this outfit instantly attains a level of quirkiness and personality that only a fantastically purple bag can. Like most wonderful finds, of course, this one was redeemed from my best friend, Goodwill. She has no idea who it’s made by and, frankly, doesn’t seem to care. Well, neither do I.

Hint: It’s a safe call that most of us don’t have a closet brimming with purple. I’ll be the first to admit that purple isn’t my go-to color, but I do have several purple garments that I know have made my clothing collection a force to reckoned with. Love her bag? This Mulberry find is a stunner if you have the funds. Forever 21 is a great option for those of us on a never ending budget.



A good t-shirt is like gold. When I think of my favorites, faded lettering, worn down fabric and completely random insignias come to mind. What makes a good t-shirt great is not necessarily what the writing means or what the logo stands for, but how you came to acquire that precious gem. The best ones are those that make little sense or have little relevance to your specific path of life, but continually contribute to pop culture.

Okay, a vintage tee isn’t necessarily high fashion, but it’s an item that adds the same amount of personality that a pair of Jimmy Choos do. This Fashionista exudes monstrous levels of personality through only her t-shirt, and the rest of the outfit follows suit. The garment reads, “Stick to Coffee and Alcohol.” How fitting that I found her during a Starbucks date, and right around the corner from Bloomington’s favorite bar. She admits, “I love this shirt, but I don’t even know what the Japanese writing means.” If anything, the uncertainty makes it even more of a keeper; the English is enough for me.

Hint: My most treasured tees have been hand-me-downs, Goodwill finds or traded with friends. A fair trade (t-shirt for t-shirt) with a friend adds excitement to your wardrobe—who cares if you didn’t play soccer at Orchard Park High School? Now you have a bangin’ shirt and a conversation starter. If you none of the previous options are possible, Urban Outfitters has vintage-inspired tees galore. In addition, Palmer Cash has a quirky mix of t-shirts that will garner some interested attention from onlookers.