The year 2013 could be considered the year of the detox. If you’ve been overdoing it on the sweets, alcohol and/or fats the solution is the same. A few days of all natural, healthy, earthy foods blended into a detox. Although it might be harder to fix your wardrobe with a bunch of kale and a teaspoon of chia seeds, even your style needs to find its roots now and again. How do you detox a wardrobe? Take a break from the summer brights, crazy cut-outs, dizzying graphics and high-waisted up-to-there shorts. Instead, throw on some earth tones and hand-made accessories and get the tailoring out of your system for a few days.

If this Fashionista was picking a detox juice, she’d be all green all the time; she knows what she’s doing! Her muted golden-rod dress has a subtle floral print. From far away the dress looks dappled, but closer up the delicate blue flowers appear. Her gladiator sandals are chic and on-trend, but a dark brown keeps them earthy rather than flashy. To top it all off, her jewelry looks like it was collected from wanderings abroad. The pieces are exotic while looking hand-made. Rather than looking manufactured, they appear personal and natural, a good fit for her dress.

Want to detox your wardrobe? Go natural with earth-tones, loose items, and jewelry that even your study-abroad friends couldn’t find. A pair of dangling earrings with a street-market or festival feel such as these will add glamor to an earthy outfit. Pair them with a loose dress inspired by summer blooms. Think you need to start with the beginner cleanse? For a bit more tailoring, try a loose earth-toned button-up with a pair of cinched drawstring floral shorts. Last but not least, get earthy all the way down to your toes with your own pair of gladiators. Just like a detox makes your body feel better, a wardrobe detox will make you a bit more relaxed and refreshed. You might even feel more in touch with nature afterwards… especially when your heels sink four inches into the grass at the next outdoor wedding!


Sleek, tailored and pulled-together…none of these describe how we feel on a hot summer morning. We would all rather wear a swimsuit than a real suit (even if it is Le Smoking from Yves Saint Laurent). Sadly, the workweek or internship week doesn’t stop for hot weather. What do you do when you have to get dressed for anything that doesn’t allow flip flops? You turn to the staples; in this case, the blazer. It doesn’t have to be hot and stuffy and it can help your summer wardrobe get professional. Use it to top breezy dresses, bright colors and even a bit more skin. Keep your blazer working as hard as you do this summer, and start wearing the ‘summer suit’.

This Fashionista’s look is the perfect example. She matched her basic oversized blazer with summery pops of color. Its larger fit and a breezy white shirt makes it easy to build a look, keeping the colors from overtaking the outfit. With such a solid, neutral canvas, adding in color is easy. However, if you want to keep your look put-together, choose brightly colored flats (like her adorable patent orange pair!) rather than a strappy sandal, and keep your shorts a bit longer. The bright green shoulder bag on this Fashionista is a handy carry-all for going between work and play. The color pops work together to make the outfit playful without overwhelming the professional vibe.

Have fun this week playing with the ‘summer suit’. Dig out your black blazer from the ‘fall clothing’ box and start playing with brights. Take your sundress from beach cover-up to office wear by topping a primary colored piece with a fitted blazer. Trouser shorts in intense hues can be matched with a boyfriend blazer and loafers for a menswear inspired look. If your place of work is heavy on the air conditioning, try a bright pair of pants. Just pair them with black shoes that match the blazer; a color overload can be as bad as a work overload! Finally, tuck your swimsuit away for later in a bright carry-all. A workday might get dull, but your outfits don’t have to; a good ‘summer suit’ can keep the sunny feel going even off the beach… in my own professional opinion.



Sometimes in the sluggish summer months, it gets easy to fall into a rut. Not just in your schedule (beach day after beach day? Internship 9-5?) but in how you dress as well. I tend to fall into a color rut and stick with black and white. You can throw them on and look pulled together without much thought. But what fun is a rut? Summer is all about having a bit of fun and trying something new. Mixing bold colors might take a bit of extra effort in the morning, but with a bit of thought, well-paired colors can look as elegant as black and white.

This Fashionista picked a gutsy color combination: pink and blue. The bold colors are most visible in her solid top and bubble-gum bright wristlet. To keep her look from being overwhelmingly bright, however, she repeats the two brights in the delicate pattern on her paper bag shorts. The result is a fun twist on a girly summer look. Would it look pulled together in black and white? Yes… but the color makes it unique and memorable. Color is quintessentially summer, and amping it up in any of your looks will set you apart.

To add summer brights into your wardrobe, do what this Fashionista did; find a piece with an interesting, colorful print, then match your bolds to that print. The solid items will stop your outfit from being too ‘busy’, while the pattern will make it more refined. Bright-on-bright might be fine for elementary school, but at the college level — we can handle a print or two! If you think you’re on the 500 level class, try mixing prints in the same color scheme. For beginners, try a printed romper with solid accessories, such as flats and a belt. For night, try mixing your bold colors in one dress and match it with brightly colored heels and a bold jacket. If you need to ease into the trend before jumping in, a printed bag or wedge can be a small way to start…we all need an intro course sometimes!


You know it, you love it, you rely on it: The little black dress. It’s every Fashionista’s staple; you can dress it up for a date or dress it down for every day. The LBD always looks classy and is never out of style. Sadly, there is one occasion where you can’t wear it… when the sun is beating down and the temperature hits 80+. So without giving up any love for our go-to, let me introduce you to the magic that is the little white dress.

Like the LBD, the LWD can be dressed up or down. It will keep you stylish and classy, but with the added benefit of keeping you cool. It also makes your summer tan pop. Take it a step further to heighten your sun-kissed glow with gold-toned accessories, like this Fashionista. Her thick gold chain pairs nicely with the lacy LWD while bringing out her skin’s gold tones. Since summer means showing a bit more leg, help your stems go the extra mile with leg-lengthening nude shoes, like hers.

This version of the LWD is soft, pretty, and classy to the max. However, if the LWD is summer’s answer to the LBD, there are many other ways to style it! Cinch a loose T-shirt LWD with a brightly colored skinny belt for a casual look (or a beach cover up). Want to take your little white dress out for the night? Try a more fitted version like this and pair it with this summer’s hottest shoe, a lace-up heeled sandal. If you are looking for the do-everything little white dress, snag something short but loose with a bit of tailoring to show off your shape, like this dress. As for accessories, experiment! The LWD can be styled in as many ways as the LBD! The only downside to the LWD? As perfect as it is for summer, don’t wear it to any summer weddings… you might upstage the bride!


This year’s 2013 Costume Institute exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art featured the Punk movement, and its subsequent influence on fashion through the years. Following the kick-off Gala, every Fashionista has been flooded with photos of fashion’s finest —everyone from Beyoncé to Cara Delevingne — decked out in leather, studs and a sea of black. It hasn’t taken long for this trend to start popping up on the streets and in stores.

A full punk look, a re-incarnation of Patti Smith or the Ramones, might be a bit hard to integrate into the everyday wardrobe. That doesn’t mean that you can’t be on-trend with the punk looks; a small patch of studding or a few choice leather accessories are a stylish way to add a bit of edge to your usual summer style. To keep from going too grunge, take a page out of this Fashionista’s book and mix the hardcore pieces with more feminine ones. Her look is a bit of throwback girlish, with delicate floral-print high-waisted shorts, round sunglasses and a vintage-look purse. To cut the sweetness, she mixes it up with combat boots and a skull tank for a more rebellious, punk vibe.

Skulls and combat boots, while quintessential ‘punk’, aren’t the only way to bring this trend to your wardrobe. With so many punk elements to play with, the possibilities are endless. Just make sure to play with contrasts, or your punk flair could end up a bit too much like a costume. Try pairing a floral sundress with a studded jean jacket, or switch girly for tailored and top your cut-off shorts with a sleek button-up and a simple pair of flats. Just remember that it’s all about the Clash…in more ways than one.

STYLE ADVICE OF THE WEEK: Contrast For Spring/Summer

“Florals? For spring? How original.”

We are all familiar with the disdain dripping from Meryl Streep’s mouth as she says these words inThe Devil Wears Prada. And we are all guilty of falling into the rut! As spring turns into summer, it’s easy to throw on a floral sundress and call it a day. But ‘easy’ is the problem. The higher the temperature rises, the lazier even the most dedicated Fashionista becomes. Which leads to a closet filled with the easy option. Luckily, the runway trends this spring not only agree with Meryl Streep’s character, they go one step further. They switch the floral sundress for a trend that isn’t fussy or over the top; it’s back to basics with black meets white. If playing with contrasts is one of fashion’s favorite games, then the rule book begins with black and white.

With a color scheme this simple, the focus is on how you contrast. Color blocking, patterns, layering, geometric shapes… Miu Miu’s black-splotched white fur isn’t exactly practical (though it is certainly original), but beyond that, the possibilities are endless. This Fashionista plays with prints in her tribal print inspired top, taking the trend from the runway to the streets. Make sure to follow her lead by pairing a print with a less busy item, like her black maxi skirt. While it may be fun to experiment with mixing prints, it can go wrong quickly and is far from the simplicity we seek in a summer outfit!

When the main trend is ‘contrast’, use your imagination to style black and white looks all summer long. Try switching out plain jeans for patterned denim and pair them with a solid top. Instead of topping your LBD with a light sweater, opt for a striped blazer. If you can’t quite give up the sundress, try one with color blocking! It might take a bit more thought in the morning, but playing with these contrasts will create yet another one: the way you’ll stand out in the sea of floral sundresses! Contrast of color, contrast of pattern and just plan contrast with the rest of the outfits? Now that is original.


STYLE ADVICE OF THE WEEK: Crimes Against Fashion

We all have ‘rules’ when we get dressed in the morning. It changes from person to person, but there are a few that always seem to turn up. Don’t mix your metals. Don’t wear clashing patterns. Avoid looking matchy-matchy. And, to top it off, never mix black and brown. As any Fashionista knows by now, (style) rules are meant to be broken. Entire blogs are written explaining how best to mix patterns, the suit is back in and the more metal seems to be the merrier. As for black and brown, take a look at some of the most coveted handbags (a two-tone Céline comes to mind) and you have your answer!

However, since it’s impossible to be as effortlessly chic as a buttery leather handbag, black and brown can become a disaster. If you want to commit one of the oldest crimes against fashion — and pull it off — follow the lead of this week’s Fashionista. Focusing on one prominent black item, like a pair of skinny jeans, keeps your look from becoming too matchy-matchy (only one fashion crime at a time!). If skinny jeans aren’t your style, try a black maxi skirt for a more summery feel.

When it comes time to mix in the browns, be careful what brown you choose! A dark brown will disappear into the black and end up looking like a mistake rather than a statement. Instead, look for a tan or reddish brown, like our Fashionista’s leather jacket. When mixing black and brown, make sure you are mixing textures as well! Just because you are playing with color doesn’t mean you can forget other ways to mix.

Finally, don’t leave the focus on black and brown. Have a little fun, and throw in a few more neutrals; a bright color might overload the outfit, but a soft nude complements both colors. This Fashionista’s asymmetrical top not only pulls another hue into the mix, it also creates more eye-catching layers. If you are going for a more pulled-together look, try a structured top such as a peplum to get an interesting hemline that maintains clean, tailored lines.

When mixing black and brown, it all boils down to this: don’t focus on ‘black’ or ‘brown,’ focus on mixing. Mix your lengths and your textures, as well. You might be committing a fashion crime, but luckily fashion is all about breaking the rules… as stylishly as possible.

STYLE ADVICE OF THE WEEK: Not-Quite-Summer Layers

College students everywhere know that the most frustrating part of summer is when it can’t quite seem to arrive. Finals are over, school is out, and everyone is ready to start living in a swimsuit. Sadly, more often than not the beginning of June isn’t always beach weather. Instead, we get stuck somewhere between jacket weather and T-shirt weather with warm afternoons and freezing nights. So how do you dress for almost every weather in one day?

This Fashionista has the perfect answer—layers! Though this trick dates back to our mothers telling us to grab an extra sweater, the execution has been updated from useful to fashionable. Each layer can be taken off or added on without getting bulky or losing the effect of the full outfit. It’s all about sticking with a color scheme, paying attention to fit, and adding in a personal touch.

When layering, keeping an outfit anchored in one color—in this case, black—stops it from being overwhelming. There is just enough going on to break the layers up, but not too much to overload the eyes. After too many days of jackets, a fitted blazer is the perfect way to stay cozy without having to delve back into your winter wear. The borrowed-from-the-boys trend of letting your collar poke out from under a sweater ensures that your outfit stays chic even after the blazer is removed. Add a new twist by picking a collared shirt with a unique pattern, like these delicate florals. Just make sure you take a page out of this Fashionista’s book and pick well-tailored pieces to keep your layers from getting bulky!

I love that this Fashionista matched her androgynous layers with girly accessories. A pair of simple flats keeps the toes warm and saves us from running back to our worn out winter shoes. And on cold not-quite-summer mornings, topping off your look with a beret like this grey one keeps you cozy until the sun is shining. It might be daunting to have to dress for every weather, but it gives us a few more days to play with our spring closets before grabbing our sandals and sunblock.

STYLE GURU BIO: Mekea Larson

Mark Twain once said, “Clothes make the man (or woman). Naked people have little or no influence on society.” As a Junior studying Strategic Communications at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, influencing people is important. As a fashion lover, however, the influential power of style has always fascinated me. Fashion isn’t just clothing, it’s how you feel when you wake up, the last runway show you watched, and a hint at what you are in for throughout the day. When we get dressed, we are introducing ourselves to the world visually.

My name is Mekea Larson, and this will be my first time as a Style Guru. I’m excited that the outfits that I see and take note of will inspire not only me, but an entire community of fashion-minded college students. I will be covering the STYLE ADVICE OF THE WEEK column this summer from the Twin Cities in Minnesota, and I look forward to showing off just how stylish the Midwest can be—when we aren’t covered in four feet of snow.

I like to explain my style as a mix of the J.Crew and Alexander Wang aesthetics, but over the past few years it become more and more ‘French.’ I tend towards classic neutrals, killer heels and I stick to the belief that everyone should own a leather jacket! After five months studying abroad in Paris, I completely indulged; half my closet is striped while the other half is black or white. My best friends are my motorcycle boots (for those cobblestones) and a bright pop of lipstick. Although the typical French girl is always the height of chic, sometimes the joy of getting dressed and playing around with fashion gets left behind. As I slowly make my way back stateside, I’m excited to explore street fashion beyond the comfort of the Parisian uniform.

I can’t pinpoint exactly when I fell in love with fashion. I have always been interested in art and creating things, and have spent endless hours at the mall searching for the perfect shoes or top. When I took a Fashion illustration class at the Minneapolis Institute of Art, I finally realized how to make these two things work together. My growing stacks of fashion magazines is proof enough that I plan on entering the fashion industry, either as the next Grace Coddington (as a creative director) or the next Rachel Zoe (as a stylist). Until then, I can be found acting as a personal shopper and stylist for most of my friends and family, working with a photographer friend on both art and editorial shoots or next to a stack of Vogues… that is, when I’m not busy finding you the best style advice the campus has to offer!