Keep it simple, students… and non-students, as well, to those of you who have graduated! Summer is here and the weather is working on catching up. For some, that means suits, pencil skirts and ‘business casual.’ For others, it means flower-child festival gear and three months without shoes. Whatever your summer personal, remember that sometimes too much really is too much. Take a few tips from the week’s Fashionista and focus on clean lines, cleaned up hair and just a little bit of tearing it up.

Name: Molly Coleman

Major: Political Science and History

Year: Junior

CollegeFashionista: Where do you get your style inspiration?

Molly Coleman: My style inspiration generally comes from the city where I happen to be at the moment. Every place that I’ve ever lived has had unique ways of dressing and it’s fun to try to combine it all together into my own personal style.

CF: What is your favorite piece in your wardrobe?

MC: My favorite wardrobe piece is the brown leather jacket that my parents bought in Italy for my 21st birthday.

CF: Any other pieces with an interesting history?

MC: Definitely the bright pink harem pants that I bought in Morocco. I’d been looking all over for them and I finally found the perfect pair, but there was no changing room or anything, so I basically just hid behind a counter and tried them on. It took me awhile to figure out how to actually wear them, but now they’re one of my favorite pairs of pants!

CF: What are you looking forward to wearing over summer break?

MC: Jorts, obviously.

How To: Need to clean up your spring to summer wardrobe? Follow this Fashionista and pair breathable (read: ripped) denim with easy sweaters. Lighter washes are big this season and a high-rise will balance out the tearing. Remember that although neon is in and the runways are pigmented, you can’t beat the color black. Black sweaters and black flats keep you from looking sloppy. If you want to delve into the colors start with cobalt. It has been called the color of the season, and a bright blue shoe will keep your look clean while saying hello to summer. And on that note, in the words of every middle school yearbook signature: have a great summer, Fashionistas!


On a monochromatic and soggy spring day, sometimes the best thing to do is get on board with the monochrome. Neutrals are your friend when the sky is gray and you can’t muster up the courage to battle it with brights. Take tips from this Fashionista and mix preppy pieces in muted tones.

Name: Abigail Schaefer

Year: Sophomore

Major: Interior Design

CollegeFashionista: Tell us about your outfit today!

Abigail Schaefer: I was sitting in on a round-table discussion today with four professional designers and I always think that impressions are important especially in the field of design. I am wearing a simple, A-line pleaded top dress with tights and booties that are good in the rain.

CF: Where do you go for fashion inspiration?

AS: I usually get fashion inspiration from Pinterest or award shows.

CF: What challenges have you found with dressing in new and unique ways in Wisconsin?

AS: Mainly the weather is the biggest challenge. I hate having to plan around rain and not being able to wear swede in the pouring rain or thinking about whether I want to walk across campus in those heels.

CF: What’s one runway trend you want in your closet this season?

AS: I really would like a black lace dress. I also have always wanted a pair of white Chuck Taylors, not that those are high-fashion runway shoes. I think that those two items really shows my range of style, though. I do not follow too much runway trends, athough this year’s color is very eye catching. I am more of a fan of the 2010 color of the year of turquoise, so we will see how much radiant orchid gets into my closet this year.

How To: Considering the weather, the classic trench coat is your best option. Not only does it clean up any look, but it is also the chicest way to escape the elements. Play with layering and let a cute skirt peek out from the bottom. Add in a cute shoe with a slight heel to dress up the look and keep your toes from getting (overly) wet. Finally, top it all off with the ultimate rainy-day accessory: a clear umbrella. The world will still be able to appreciate your look without you getting exposed to the elements!


There is something to be said for the “New York” look, especially in the Midwest. Here, the “New York” look is essentially the ability to wear all black and still draw people to your outfit. This is half due to well-fitting clothes and an attention to detail. The other half has to do with attitude and confidence in what you wear. As soon as I saw this Fashionista, I knew she was rocking both. Sure enough, she was from New York and embodied the New York style from head-to-toe.

Name: Nuala Keating-Beer

Major: Psychology

Year: Freshman

CollegeFashionista: Where do you get your style inspiration from?

Nuala Keating-Beer: I don’t have one specific icon. I get inspiration from many different people and tailor that to my own style.

CF: What is your favorite part of your outfit?

NK: My little leather backpack. I use to every time I have an exam, it’s turned into a ritual/good luck charm.

CF: What trends are you looking forward to for spring?

NK: Although I love my dark colors, I’m excited to wear a lot of light neutrals and pastels. If I’m daring enough, I’ll try out the all-white look.

CF: Do you have one particular designer or store you would consider to be your favorite?

NK: I don’t have one favorite. I have a big range of designers and stores that I love, but I tend to focus more on the individuals pieces.

CF: What is your current favorite piece in your closet?

NK: My denim jacket. I love how versatile it is. I can wear it with anything—from a thick sweater and leggings to a summer dress and sandals.

How To: Start by constructing an outfit (and closet) based around simple basics that are high quality. A well-made top can be plain white and still make a statement. Then, add in pieces like this Fashionista’s leather backpack that have meaning behind them. A necklace that represents a time in your life, a purse that reminds you of your best friend or a bracelet you wear every day are all made more beautiful by the added importance. Wearing these meaningful pieces will help you feel good about your outfit and adopt the confidence inherent in New York style.


Fashionistas have recently become obsessed with the idea of ‘normcore,’ a sort of neutral uniform. To reject normcore, some fashionistas have begun wearing wild, artistic outfits that border on ridiculous. This Fashionista says ‘no’ to normcore in a much more chic and realistic way. She turns to classic prep with a girly twist, stylishly stating that she dresses like an individual without having to wear a costume.

Name: Jen Anderson

Major: Journalism

Year: Sophomore

CollegeFashionista: How would you describe your style?

Jen Anderson: I am very feminine and preppy. I go for softer colors and materials that make me feel innocent and fresh. I like to think that even though my style is very innocent looking in nature, I work well at incorporating accessories that make my outfits more sophisticated (like my vintage clock necklace above).

CF: What is your go-to outfit?

JA: Although I, like most people, can fall victim to the whole leggings and sweatshirt fall back, my absolute favorite go-to lazy outfit is a white tshirt, boyfriend jeans, and my biker boots or boat shoes. This outfit can be accessorized if I have enough time, but it is cute and chic on its own as well.

CF: Speaking of spring, what trends are you looking forward to most?

JA: This spring, I really want to experiment with longer skirts. The runways have been full of midi to maxi length skirts for spring and in the past few seasons. I love the idea of flowy skirts for the spring that aren’t too revealing–I think they’re perfect for the femininity and girliness of my style, especially in floral prints or with eyelets.

CF: Where do you find your style inspiration?

JA: I will forever take my inspiration from fashion magazines. I have an obsession with looking at the advertisements in magazines, because ads are full of such rich artistic fashion. I know this sounds weird, but I also like looking at how mannequins are paired on online shops and in stores.

How To: Start adding spring and preppy pieces back into your wardrobe! Instead of reaching for a leather skinny, grab a light-wash denim and turn up the cuffs. Say no to moto boots and dig out your flats as the weather gets warmer. Turn to light or bright hues and inject your wardrobe with a bit more color; try a Peter Pan collar if you feel ambitious. However you decide to style it, bringing back an actual style is the best way to turn away from normcore and turn towards the warm days ahead!


Leather and neon are two big trends that have extended across several seasons. That is not the only characteristic they share; they are also the two trends that can be easily overdone. When this Fashionista walked by with the right balance of both trends, I had to steal her secrets. Read on to learn how a love of leather can balance out pieces that are preppy and girly, add fun to neutrals and pair well with even the biggest statement necklaces.

Name: Lauren Keepers

Major: Psychology

Year: Senior

CollegeFashionista: What is your favorite part of your outfit?

Lauren Keepers: I love leather regardless of what time of the year it is, so I’d have to say my jacket. Although I love wearing multiple metals, so I might have to say my necklace, too.

CF: How do you get your style inspiration?

LK: So many places! Shopbop, J.Crew, BCBGMAXAZRIA and their instagram accounts, the website Refinery29 and my fellow Twiglets, my coworkers at Twigs, the retail store I work at.

CF: Where is your favorite place to shop?

LK: Nordstrom! Unfortunately there isn’t an actual store in Madison—yet.

CF: How would you describe your personal style?

LK: Edgy. Leather, shredding, mixed metals and a few pops of bright color.

CF: What trends are you looking forward to for spring?

LK: I’m excited for sheer neutral layering pieces and white and black graphics!

How To: This Fashionista has mastered the balance of wearing a lot of interesting, trendy pieces all at once. The trick is to wear a little of each, rather than an overload. Balance leather leggings with a bright pop of color on top, but keep it muted under a blazer. If you want to throw some bling into the mix, keep it in the same color family as any other hardware you have on (zippers, clasps etc.). Stacks of mixed-metal rings are easy to throw on and subtle enough for beginners. Once you’ve mastered the balance of the trends, experiment and try going a little wild! Just remember, you have to master the rules before you can go and break them.


Rainy day chic is nearly impossible to master. No matter what happens, your feet seem to get wet and your hair will poof out. As for the clothing, well… it gets soggy, misshapen and generally uncomfortable. When I saw this Fashionista gliding along, I saw a student looking extremely fashionable outfit regardless of the weather. The fact that she had created the perfect weather-proof ensemble and still looked amazing was something that needed to be documented!

Name: Paige Schultz

Major: Fashion Marketing and Communications

Year: Junior

CollegeFashionista: Where do you get your fashion and style inspiration?

Paige Schultz: I get a lot of my style inspiration from fashion week street style coverage, various bloggers and Pinterest. I used to look specifically to the runway or fashion magazines for ideas. However, as time has gone on I have come to appreciate the individuality of street style looks.

CF: If you could add one designer to your closet, who would you add?

PS: If I could add one designer to my closet it would probably be Burberry. The style of the label is classic, but they incorporate edgier pieces too which help their looks stand out.

CF: What is your favorite piece in your closet?

PS: My favorite piece in my closet would probably be my Vince Camuto studded trench coat. It’s a statement piece, but I treat it as a neutral and wear it daily when the weather is right.

CF: What is your go-to outfit?

PS: My go-to outfit would probably be my leather leggings from The Limited paired with my oversize Victoria’s Secret cashmere sweater, black leather ankle booties, red lipstick and my signature chain bracelet.

How To: It might be an accessory, but chic rain gear is an absolute necessity. Try out a sleek clear plastic umbrella like this Fashionista and you can show off your full outfit without getting soaked. Trench coats are absolute essentials as well. When it comes time for spring, start with the classic coat and edge it up with a bit of leather. Double points, leather does well in the rain! A leather coat can’t be beat! For the truly ambitious, try a leather dress. Finally, make sure your footwear is at least somewhat waterproof. Find a good boot or heel in treated leather with a closed toe. Throw on a statement bracelet to attract attention in case your hair does poof and you’re ready to go!


This week’s Fashionista represents the essence of true street style. She isn’t pining after the newbies that just hit the runway or trying to copy an exact look. Rather, she is inspired by a little bit of the past (both a personal past and the past in general), the grunge movement and her surroundings and a little bit of lipstick. She won’t be wearing the latest ‘it’ bag because she doesn’t need to. She has true personal style that doesn’t depend on the trend.

Name: Violet Richardson

Year: Freshman

Major: Undecided

CollegeFashionista: Who is your style role model? Who inspires your style?

Violet Richardson: I’m inspired by my mom circa 1991 and ’90s fashion in general.

CF: How would you describe your personal style?

VR: I’m not sure how I would describe my style. Maybe moderate grunge. My general goal is warmth and comfort.

CF: What trends are you looking forward to for spring?

VR: I really love how a lot of floral patterns are starting to come out as spring approaches. I love flowers and floral patterns have come a long way. 

CF: How do you stay chic in the freezing cold?

VR: I have no secret. It’s a happy accident. Bright lipstick never hurts though. 

CF: Who is your favorite designer? Why?

VR: I know next to nothing about the real fashion world. I’m inclined to say Chanel because Audrey Tautou played her in a movie.

How To: There is no perfect formula for recreating authentic street style because it comes from having inherent style. However, a good place to start is by stocking your closet with basics. Begin with black and white before building: a black pair of jeans and a well-made white T-shirt is a great blank canvas for an insane piece of jewelry or a vintage bag. When in doubt, follow this Fashionista’s advice and wear bright lipstick.


What happened to the idea of looking put-together? More and more, people run off to class looking like they threw a few pieces together without any thought. Gone are the days where men and women treated dressing for class the way they would treat any formal gathering. Take a look at the pictures from your parents’ yearbooks and you’ll have to agree. This Fashionista has translated that mentality and pulled together a look that is the chic, modern way of being ‘put together.’ Her bright oxford and white cardigan are a classic pairing and the thick gold chain gives it trendy twist that made her stand out.

Name: Annamaria Grinis

Year: Sophomore

Major: International Studies and Journalism

CollegeFashionista: Who inspires your everyday style?

Annamaria Grinis: I would have to say Audrey Hepburn, even though that is what girls have been saying since Roman Holiday. I also love Kerri Washington’s style or rather her character Olivia Pope’s style in Scandal— it’s very feminine and classy.

CF: What trends are you looking forward to as it gets warmer?

AG: I’m looking forward to wearing more pastels, especially light pink and coral. I also can’t wait to bring out my favorite trench coat again.

CF: How would you describe your personal style?

AG: My personal style is probably classic prep mixed with comfort. If I have to walk around campus all day I would want to look put-together, but at the same time still be able to walk up Bascom with relative ease! That’s why I love my wool leggings—they are incredibly warm and go with everything.

CF: How do you stay chic/fashionable in the freezing cold?

AG: Madison is so cold in the winter that layering is absolutely necessary to ensure that I don’t freeze on my way to class. I love soft, chunky sweaters layered over collared shirts and never leave the house without my snow boots and scarf. 

Hint: Stop throwing and start putting! Looking put together isn’t as hard as it seems. Start with a button-up rather than a slouchy tank or T-shirt. They’re just as comfortable but clean you up fast. Layer a sweater over it (cardigan or pullover) in a complementary color. When in doubt, black and white are always perfectly paired. Keep your pants streamlined and your jewelry bold yet classic, like colorful statement necklace. With only a few switches, being put-together can be as easy as throwing on that hoodie.


What with the delegation of beauty and fashion to very separate corners of the universe it makes sense that Fashionistas tend to place their focus on one over the other depending on the day. All black everything can be paired with a bold lip while the perfectly put-together ensemble requires basic make-up at best. Integrating the two has almost disappeared or worse, become as matchy-matchy as sweater sets. This Fashionista went the extra step we have all been looking for, pairing a bold lip with an appropriately wintery look that wove together the best of beauty and fashion. The Norwegians would no doubt be proud that their sweaters were worn so well.

Name: Chloe Karaskiewicz

Major: Psychology and French

Year: Junior

CollegeFashionista: Who inspires your style?

Chloe Karaskiewicz: You can’t really tell today but I’m inspired by simply chic designers like Calvin Klein and Vera Wang. Their looks are feminine but without the frills: they’re modern but with classic, well cut and flattering silhouettes. I’m also completely in love with Raf Simons for Dior. He’s a genius at integrating the House’s classic glamor and femininity with the modern woman’s lifestyle. His pieces would make anyone feel beautiful.

CF: What’s your favorite part of your outfit?

CK: I have to say my scarf. I saw the color and it was all over.

CF: How would you describe your personal style?

CK: Classy and comfortable. After studying in France, most of the color disappeared from my closet. I think my looks are mostly just very clean cut with minimal accessories, frills, or fuss. I also wear a lot of men’s sweaters. I think women’s fashion is more design-centric and we’ve sacrificed a lot of quality but men’s fabrics are usually a lot richer because they insist on being comfortable and wearing soft, broken-in clothes.

CF: How do you stay fashionable in the freezing cold?

CK: Wool. I like soft and comfortable layers with warm fabrics. Really great sweaters have been on the market this year. I’m developing a collection— or an addiction.

How To:  Take note of this Fashionista’s minimalist mentality when melding your beauty looks with your outfit. Think about the colors before you add more. If you are wearing a brightly patterned sweater don’t pull out the biggest swatch of color. Instead pull out a small detail color to highlight in your make-up and make both pop. An easier intro is to be inspired by the pieces closest to the face. Throw on a print scarf and pick up the color in a lip stain. Just remember that winter washes you out so don’t go too dark! Base the rest of the look around chic neutrals that won’t detract from the main color. This Fashionista’s light cords and black accents highlight the color without turning her look into a kaleidoscope. Start challenging yourself to integrate your outfit and make up once a week and you’ll stop choosing between the two in no time!


With the rise of social media platforms from Pinterest to Instagram (and everywhere in between), the fashion world has never been more closely knit and communally inspired. Although in many ways this is an amazing opportunity, it has also lessened the diversity of dress among Fashionistas. This Fashionista stood out in a sea of fashionable but less inspired individuals. Although there is no knocking simplicity (least of all from me), everything from her paisley skinnies to her emerald leather gloves brings a refreshing creativity and artistry to fashionable dressing.

Name: Marlee Katz

Major: Fine Arts and Entrepreneurship

Year: Senior

CollegeFashionista: Who are your fashion role models/who inspires your style?

Marlee Katz: I am a very big Instagram user. Through it, I find a lot of inspiration from models worldwide and I have become increasingly drawn to many Australian boutiques and designers. It must be the eternally warm weather that draws me in.

CF: What’s your favorite part of your outfit?

MK: I adore my paisley print Paige jeans—they include my favorite colors, purple and green and they pair perfectly with almost any sweater.

CF: What spring trend are you looking forward to?

MK: I am looking forward wear gunmetal tones and throwing in bright artistic pops of color into my wardrobe. Past trends always end up resurfacing. As always, the sporty trend is big for spring and summer—always comfortable and easy to throw on.

CF: How would you describe your personal style?

MK: I wear what I like, oftentimes a lot of black. I have started to focus on quality pieces over quantity and am excited to build my wardrobe as I move into the working world.

CF: How do you stay fashionable in the freezing cold?

MK: I don’t! Lots of bundling up in my giant Canada Goose jacket, leather gloves and my mother’s vintage mink earmuffs.

How To: As tempting as it is to create a uniform, every Fashionista needs to mix it up with some statement pieces. Treat your outfits like a canvas and use an artistic eye. Try a dress that combines patters textures and colors instead of your LBD. If dressing up is too big of a step, try jump starting your wardrobe with unusual colors. A leather jacket in burgundy rather than black will stand out while remaining a staple. For those of you who still aren’t sold, start visiting craft shows and looking for jewelry that is wearable art or even one-of-a-kind.