With looming papers and finals in the last couple weeks of the semester, even the most stylish of Fashionista/os might be too stressed to give much thought to their wardrobe. But as this week’s Fashionisto points out, it’s important to end the semester on a strong sartorial note. And so, turning to the collegiate classics — like cardigans and Sperry’s — can help you look the part of a polished student, even when you’re at your most stressed. It even help you stay focused on your last few academic tasks of the year.

Name: Dolapo Demuren

Major: English

Year: Freshman

CollegeFashionista: How would you describe your style?

Dolapo Demuren: I think my style is a mixture of spontaneity and John Coltrane.

CF: What would you recommend a Fashionisto in college

DD: Whatever you like! I know that’s sort of a loaded answer, but really, if you’re interested in something and you think its comfortable and presentable go ahead and put it on your back. Being comfortable is really important. You shouldn’t be wearing something just because it fits some sort of image. It’s always nice to engage in being classy, to intentionally put something together that you are aware is very neat, very crisp. It’s a good feeling, and it almost mirrors how comfortable you are with yourself on the inside.

CF: What classy items would you recommend?

DD: My roommate says socks — get comfortable socks. I recommend alpaca wool socks. Also I think dress shirts are great, then get a cardigan to put over it. That way you don’t necessarily need a tie.

CF: Where do you like to shop?

DD: I just sort of pick things up. I gather things. For example, this sweater is Abercrombie and Fitch, the pants are Gap and the shoes are Sperry’s.

CF: How do dress for finals?

DD: I think it’s good to end the semester professionally. Dapper and suave. It’s impressive to finish with a bit of a bang. It’s good for the soul.

How To: American Apparel always has a great collection of cardigans, like this cardigan, that would look great over any shirt, even a button-down. Sperry has a great gold colored Top-Sider that adds a little flair to the classic brand. And finally, keep Dolapo’s advice about socks in mind and try out these alpaca wool socks.


Neutral patterns come in many shapes and colors if you get a little creative and expand your conceptualization of a neutral. Polka-dots and leopard print are two prime examples of patterns that can serve as neutrals in your wardrobe. Stripes, a popular pattern so far this spring, are another great example. This week’s Fashionista used navy and white stripes as the neutral base for her outfit and paired it with other prints that all came together well in her outfit. I especially liked the high-waist belt over her asymmetrical cardigan.

Name: Melissa Thevenot

Major(s): Psychology and Philosophy

Year: Senior

CollegeFashionista: How would you describe your style?

Melissa Thevenot: Kind of classic, but I like to mix it up a little bit. I’m really into bright neons which have been hot this spring, so that’s been fun. Usually accessorizing, but not today when I’ve been up all night writing a paper! I'm usually eclectic but also classic.

CF: How do you like to mix prints?

MV: I love mixing prints. It’s a little nerve wracking sometimes because you don’t look like you just threw on the first thing you saw in your closet but it’s really awesome when it works.

CF: How has your style changed in college?

MV: I guess I take more risks now since I was a freshman/sophomore. I don’t pay as much attention to what other people wear.

CF: Who do you pay attention to?

MV: I love Mary Kate and Ashley, this is actually an Elizabeth and James piece. I usually can’t afford it, but they inspire me. I’m really into the Atlantic-Pacific, she’s a fashion blogger.

CF: Where do you like to shop?

MV: I like department stores. BCBG is one of my favorite brands.

How To: When wearing stripes keep in mind the width of the stripes as different styled stripes can be more or less flattering depending on the wardrobe item. A striped scarf, such as one of American Apparel’s several striped circle scarf designs, would go well with many looks. This J.Crew striped blazer could easily go over almost any outfit when you need a little extra warmth. This Anthropologie cardigan would also look great over most outfits. This article from CollegeFashionista editor Amy Levin has some practical tips on wearing stripes on stripes.


I’m all for feminine accents in an outfit. Bring on the bows, frills, lace, floral print and pearls. The best way to offset such a feminine look is by incorporating a more masculine clothing item into your outfit, as this week’s Fashionista demonstrates. I ran into Kacie as she was preparing to sing and play guitar at the weekly UMD farmer’s market, and I loved the oversized plaid shirt she wore over what was otherwise a very feminine outfit.

Name: Kacie Baker

Major: Biology and Environmental Health

Year: Sophomore

CollegeFashionista: How would you describe your style?

Kacie Baker: My style is free, summery and earthy. I like being outdoors — I like to surf and hike, so really earthy. I like earth tones more so than bright colors. I’m also a fan of plaid.

CF: Which decade influences your style best?

KB: The '60s — I like long, hippie style skirts. I generally like flowing clothing that’s not too tight. Overall, I like the colors of the '60s and the freedom of expression. I look to '60s musicians like Joan Baez for wardrobe inspiration. 

CF: How do you dress for your performances?

KB: I like whipping out the long skirts and the summer dresses for my music performances. I like dressing in layers to add different colors and depth to the outfit.

CF: What are your college wardrobe essentials?

KB: Earth-toned flannel to go over outfits. I like Bermuda shorts. Cardigans are always good. And my down leather jacket is essential. I like to layer it with undershirts, and I'll wear it with a hoodie to add some extra edge to the leather jacket.

How To: Shorts with paper bag waistlines such as Kacie’s are not only stylish but comfortable as well. Try this pair from Forever 21. It would go well with this ultra feminine, texturized corset from Free People. As for a plaid shirt, I suggest borrowing an oversized one from your brother, father or boyfriend, but if you’d like one of your own, don’t be afraid to shop the men’s section. This plaid shirt from the men’s department at Gap would a great finishing touch to your otherwise ladylike outfit. And if you'd like to check out some of Kacie's '60s, folk-inspired music, check out her Facebook page



I once profiled a Fashionisto who emphasized minimalism in his wardrobe. He cited Coco Chanel and her simple style as one of his inspirations. Such minimalism is an aesthetic that I often overlook, but when well executed, it makes for a classy look. Class was the first adjective that came to mind when I spotted this week’s Fashionista. Her blazer added a professional touch to her outfit, and her multi-colored polka dot bag offset her outfit's neutral colors.

Name: Charlia Aceree

Major: Communications and Public Relations

Year: Senior

CollegeFashionista: How would you describe your style?

Charlia Aceree: Simple, classic, with a little funk. I actually like loud print stuff, like this polka-dot bag; so a little pattern, too, with the simple.

CF: Dressed up for any occasion in particular?

CA: I was just going to wear the dress but I added the jacket because it’s my one year anniversary and my boyfriend wanted to dress up. I was at first going to wear jeans today but I couldn’t let my boyfriend outdo me!

CF: How do you plan your outfits?

CA: I usually do it at night. I look at the weather and look at where I’m going during the day, like if I’ll be outside or inside more. I like to keep it as simple as possible without too much going on. I try and have one accent item, usually it’s my shoes; today, it’s my bag.

CF: How would you say your style has changed in high school?

CA: My style was a lot more disoriented. I didn’t really have a style before. I just wore whatever. It was disjointed. I used to get what I liked at the moment and not think about how often I would really wear it. Now I feel like I choose things that I can see myself applying to multiple situations. Like today [my outfit is] kind of dressy and kind of classy. I like versatility.

CF: Where do you get your style inspiration?

CA: I look at this app called FlipBoard. I go to their style section and they’ll have a blog from Elle and a blog from Vogue. I look at the trends of the season and see how I can fit that into my wardrobe. Like color blocking. I might not wear the loudest yellows and oranges but I might do pink color blocking. I derive my style from the changes that I see present.

How To: J.Crew is a great go-to for basic, elegant dresses — like this Hailey Dress. Add a blazer if need be, like this shiny linen blazer from Charlotte Russe. For a bold accent piece to your outfit, try this tote bag from Jessica Simpson. Fellow UMD Style Guru Amy Kelly has some great style advice on how to maximize the basics of your wardrobe. And if you need a little style inspiration, take a cue from Charlia and turn to FlipBoard, which has an app for both iPad and iPhone.


Now that the weather is getting warmer, the perennial question arises once again: Just how sheer is too sheer? Sheer clothes can be classy wardrobe items, but wearing clothing underneath sounds too stifling as the temperatures start to climb. This week’s Fashionista had a sheer, ruffled top that showed her bra but not too much skin. By wearing a delicate bra that matched her navy shorts, Diana made what could have been a risqué look respectable.

Name: Diana Daisey

Major: Studio Art

Year: Sophomore

CollegeFashionista: How would you describe your style?

Diana Daisey: I’m an art student so visual stuff is important to me. It’s fun for me to wear lots of different colors but I don’t feel like it [my style] is too deliberate. I also try not to spend a lot of money.

CF: Where did you get the shirt from and how do you generally wear sheer clothing?

DD: I've had this shirt since high school. I’ve been more and more daring in my wardrobe because, in college, no one really cares. My high school wasn’t too conservative but you had to wear more clothes under sheer items. No one really wore cropped tops, so college has changed things. I think people should be able to wear whatever makes them feel comfortable.

CF: How would you say being an art student influences your style?

DD: I really like and play around with color and pattern.

CF: How has your style changed since high school?

DD: More relaxed. It hasn’t changed too much because I haven’t bought a lot of new clothes. I’ve challenged myself not to buy anything without seeing if I can buy it in a thrift store. I'm careful about consumption. Friends and I have done clothing swaps which is a great way to not consume anymore but change your wardrobe and talk about clothes. We usually give whatever is left over to charity. Since high school I also wear more plaid and am more farmer chic. I find that I wear more masculine clothes.

CF: How do you turn a farmer look chic?

DD: I have a pretty small, feminine face. I often felt like even though I always liked feminine clothes I felt too girly so I’ve really enjoyed playing with gender and utilitarianism. I dress more for work [on the rooftop garden on campus] and so I’ve incorporated work clothes into my style. I’m still looking for stylish overalls!

How To: American Apparel has some great sheer items, like this chiffon secretary blouse. Wear your favorite bra underneath, perhaps one like this lacy Victoria's Secret bra. If that look isn't your style, you can always pair your sheer shirt with a cami. Tailored shorts like this pair of chinos from J.Crew is a great way to keep your outfit clean-cut. If you're also interested in a more androgynous look, check out the style blog Man Repeller for some ideas. 


The almost 90 degree days arrived on campus a bit too earnestly this spring, so students are already breaking out the tube tops and summer dresses. This means that it’s perfect weather to romp — by wearing a romper, that is. I loved the sandy pink color of Alex’s rompers and the neutral based color palette she paired it with, including her oxfords. Pairing the romper with oxford flats is a great way to take advantage of the last days of spring appropriate closed toe footwear.

Name: Alex Leston

Major: English

Year: Freshman

CollegeFashionista: How would you describe your style?

Alex Leston: I try to dress classy — clean cut. My mother says there’s no casual, which I don’t know if I totally agree with, but I do try and look classy whenever possible.

CF: What are some of your favorite classy wardrobe items?

AL: The shoes that I was wearing today. I’m very attached to my oxfords. I got them from a friend for my birthday a couple of years ago. I also like to wear this nice chiffon button down shirt from American Apparel. I try and wear solid colors, clean cut. I don’t really wear patterns or jeans.

CF: Where do you like to shop?

AL: I shop a lot at thrift stores. Also Etsy, ASOS, NASTY GAL, Urban Outfitters and American Apparel.

CF: What are some of the warm weather items you’re looking forward to wearing?

AL: I recently got a pretty cool lace, sheer maxi skirt with a short, lined skirt. I have a couple maxi skirts and dresses that I like to wear. I’m pretty excited to wear shorts, I have a cool pair of leather shorts I’m excited to wear.

CF: Any style advice for college students?

AL: I guess the one thing I would say is that I try to look nice. A lot of college students go to class in what’s comfortable because they’re running around but I personally don’t feel like I can get anything accomplished without putting myself together. Getting dressed and getting ready to go out into the world helps me adapt. It separates relaxing and working. So my advice would be to get dressed!

How To: Rompers work well for any warm weather occasion, from the day to day to the more formal. For the former, try this sweet ruffled romper from Anthropologie. For the latter, try a more sheer look like this romper from Venus. If you need more ideas, Teen Vogue has over 30 romper options for under $100. And finally, for a more springtime look, pair your romper with these oxford flats from Topshop.


In the cooler days of spring, my beloved scarves are my go-to accessory to keep me warm from the occasional breeze. When I spotted this week’s Fashionista campaigning to raise awareness about Trayvon Martin outside of the student union, I instantly noticed her knee socks, which struck me as another way to keep warm in the spring. Knee socks are great to experiment with in this transitional weather, and they made for a fun touch to Mary’s denim shirt and khaki shorts. The neutrals of Mary's outfit made her elaborate jewelry, which she considers her signature look, stand out. Her orange nails added a nice pop of color to the ensemble.

Name: Mary Smith

Major: Government and Politics

Year: Sophomore

CollegeFashionista: How would you describe your style?

Mary Smith: Bold, colorful and energetic.

CF: You’re wearing a lot of interesting jewelry pieces. How did you pick them?

MS: These are my favorite signature pieces. No matter what I wear these with every outfit.

CF: How do you dress for spring weather?

MS: Definitely with a denim jacket, which I wore earlier today. I also like stockings, specifically fishnets. And slouchy, baggy sweaters.

CF: Any particular way you like to wear stockings/knee socks/etc.?

MS: I’m really interested in leggings, especially colorful ones that are different from the rest. When I wear them I like to wear boots or shoes that cover the ankle part of the leggings so they look like stockings and not leggings.

CF: What’s your favorite trend this season?

MS: I usually don’t follow trends but I really like bell-bottoms right now.

CF: How do you like to wear bell-bottoms?

MS: I like to wear them with heels so the legs of the bell-bottoms brush the ground. That way the legs of the pants aren’t cascading everywhere.

How To: American Apparel has a wide array of different colored knee socks — I’m a fan of the neon colors in particular. Madewell offers a flattering chambray denim shirt, which would pair well with J.Crew chinos in khaki. And finally, Essie nail polish in the orangey capri hue would add colorful flair to any neutral based outfit.


The Olsen twins are permanent fixtures on the style scene. They’ve been a notable presence in the fashion world for several years; this year, TIME Magazine named them one of their 100 all-time fashion icons. I was reminded of Mary-Kate Olsen when I spotted this week’s Fashionista by McKeldin Library. Emily’s kimono style jacket from Fossil paired with a scarf is reminiscent of Mary Kate’s famous boho layered look. Mary-Kate wore a similar kimono style jacket that was featured on Who What Wear. I think Mary-Kate would also approve of Emily’s quirky accessories, including an oversized gold ring and eye earrings.

Name: Emily Fisher

Major(s): Art History and Women’s Studies

Year: Senior

CollegeFashionista: How would you describe your style?

Emily Fisher: I would say [my style is] if you could make edgy clean, somewhere in there.

CF: What kinds of pieces do you wear to achieve your style?

EF: I have this pair of Jeffrey Campbell boots that are blue felt and lace-up. They’re kind of Spice Girl-ish and are my favorite. I like pairing edgy items with otherwise calm, cool, slightly classy things.

CF: What kind of classy staples?

EF: I have this oversized black Zara blazer with dropped shoulders that’s really big and loose. I also like high-waist jeans. I really like the high-waist look in general.

CF: Where do you like to shop?

EF: I like to window gaze at Topshop, Marshalls, thrifting, particularly at Value Village [a thrift store in College Park]. I just got a never before worn pair of Lee brand '90s “not supposed to be cool” high-waist shorts from Value Village that are now cool. I just cut them off a little bit because they’re a little long.

CF: How has your style changed in college?

EF: It’s changed a lot. I feel like I’m getting closer and closer to feeling like myself. Freshman year I was more interested in looking good even if it wasn’t my style because I wanted to look like everyone else on the party scene. I went through a vintage phase later on and since then I’ve found a medium between the two. Cutting off all my hair helped, too. This is probably the longest my hair’s been in three years.

How To: Kimono style jackets are perfect for this breezy spring weather. Try this one from Wasteland or this one from Urban Outfitters. The jackets would look great with a belt. A ring like Emily’s, such as this one from Le Chateau, would make for a great everyday accessory. Finally, American Apparel is my favorite source for all things high-waisted — try these dark wash high-waist jeans.


A CollegeFashionista/o only has so much room in his or her dorm. I myself have too many storage bins outside of my closet bursting with clothes. And so, accessories and more minute details in an outfit are a great way to diversify a wardrobe. This week’s Fashionista did just that with a navy and white polka-dot pin on her jacket and sequined shoes. Jackie, a CollegeFashionista reader herself, proves that the details make all the difference.

Name: Jackie Liu

Major: Math

Year: Freshman

CollegeFashionista: Where do you get your style inspiration from?

Jackie Liu: Well I read every fashion magazine there is. I also read fashion blogs. All my friends are obsessed with clothes. I find inspiration everywhere.

CF: What fashion blogs do you like to read in particular?

JL: I really like What the Frock, it used to be called, because it focused more on thrifted clothes. Now it’s about fashion trends in general.

CF: How would you describe your style?

JL: I would describe my style a ladylike — classic with a twist. Sometimes I feel like I dress older than I am, so I like to add younger touches to my outfits.

CF: What sorts of younger touches do you add to your outfits?

JL: Ankle boots make everything look younger. I also think that not wearing too much jewelry helps. Rolling up sleeves also makes an outfit look younger.

How To: Pins are an easy way to spruce up any outfit. Try adding a pin to your jacket, blazer, backpack or scarf. I’m a big fan of brooches; try Etsy for some vintage and handmade brooches. Ban.Do makes several versatile brooches that can also serve as hair clips, like this heart pin. As for bedazzled footwear, try these Badgley Mischka sequined ballet flats


While some of us were cruising in the Bahamas or lounging on the beaches of Cozumel this spring break, others were staying in good ol’ College Park working on group projects and research papers. This week’s Fashionista was on her way to the library to research Tibetan nomads where I spotted her bright blue pants. Cobalt blue was a popular color in the fashion world this year, and Marie Laure’s cobalt blue pants were particularly vibrant against the grey skies. Keeping your outfit comfortable and colorful can help alleviate the stress of even the most arduous of assignments.

Name: Marie Laure Flamer

Major: Behavioral and Community Health

Year: Sophomore

CollegeFashionista: How would you describe your style?

Marie Laure Flamer: I don't really identify with a single style; I'm simply about throwing something on and looking put together. As we approach the warmer weather, I look towards boho style for inspiration.

CF: How do you stay stylish and comfortable when studying?

MLF: Studying at the library always brings on the temptation of lounging about in sweatpants or a sweatshirt, but I like to stick to a comfy pair of jeans or capris paired with a loose cardigan.

CF: Any particular colors you try to incorporate into your wardrobe?

MLF: I try to mix up my neutral-color dominated closet with warm accents like red, orange and yellow. Spring, here I come! I'm also a big sucker for those brightly colored ethnic/tribal prints. They add spunk and personality to solid colors in an outfit.

How To: Cobalt blue can be incorporated into any component of your outfit. Cobalt pants in particular offer a refreshing alternative to jeans. Try this pair of cropped jeans from Macy’s or these American Eagle jeggings in cobalt. Or, add a touch of cobalt blue to your outfit with these feather earrings. And finally, a headwrap like Marie Laure’s is an easy way to add a special touch to a casual hairstyle — try this polka-dot headwrap from Forever 21.