TREND: Rad in Plaid

 Although the typical textiles we often see during the spring are usually limited to the ever-so-popular floral print, as well as a wide array of brights, this Fashionista has taken a typical and trusty fall trend and made it “work” within her spring wardrobe. This Fashionista pairs her dual-toned plaid teal button-down with a simple pair of skinny jeans, her Sperry’s, and a basic brown messenger bag—a simple look that’s perfect for a casual stroll around campus as the school year winds down. A plaid button down also offers a perfect way for Fashionistas to have some fun with color on those cooler springtime days and nights where we would normally bundle up a bit more. Plaid button-downs are durable and can be cared for with ease, making them a great wardrobe choice for your more active springtime days—I even found this Fashionista longboarding in her’s! As far as color goes, the key to effectively adding plaid to your springtime wardrobe lies within the particular item itself. The plaid piece you choose to incorporate amongst your attire should be one with a vibrant or seasonal hue, as shown by this Fashionista. Also, choosing a plaid print that utilizes two vibrant colors within the same color palette allows the print to “work” during the spring season.

Hint: Fellow Fashionista’s should avoid wearing plaid in darker colors like black, brown, and gray. These colors are similar to those commonly worn in the fall and they often appear to be out-of-season and offbeat when worn during the springtime.

TREND: There

While we’ve all heard the tale-old testimony, “April showers bring May flowers,” I rarely remember this statement (even mildly) proving itself to be true until this spring. With rain in the forecast for the past eight days, and continuing for the next five days to come, I truly cannot wait to see what kinds of spectacular may flowers are in store for spring. It’s unlikely that I’m alone in my feelings of dreary despair, and although this weather can make it tedious and tiresome for fellow Fashionistas to put their best faces forward every morning, this Fashionista did just that. Not only did she face an 80% chance of showers in style with help of her beige tiered-ruffle trenchcoat, coral scarf, basic dark denim skinny jeans, brown boots and brown bag, she also never forgot to smile! Trends like tiered ruffles are a great and creative way to modify any basic item, try adding tiered ruffles to an otherwise ordinary staple item. Modifying a staple item, like your everyday trenchcoat—allows you to create an inventive look for spring that remains classic, but still feels brand new. This Fashionista found her tiered ruffle trenchcoat at Express. Dressed up or dressed down, in rain or shine, this trend is a sure way to bring a smile to your face, and a little bit of sunshine into your life—regardless of whether or not the weather chooses to cooperate.

Hint: The tiered ruffle trend can also be incorporated amongst your other basic spring items. For instance, a tiered ruffle floral dress is a fun twist on a springtime staple that will surely turn heads as you walk by!

TREND: Tights with Shorts

"A case of the Mondays” can get the best of us all, including myself. As I walked to class Monday morning, my mood was down in the dumps, due to the dreary weather – not to mention the snow that covered my front lawn. On a day like this, the weather itself could’ve created “a case of the Mondays” for just about anyone who was seen wandering around campus. Anyone except for this Fashionista, that is.

While the vast majority of students pulled their pants and sweaters back out of their winter wardrobe, this Fashionista chose to instead, pair her spring apparel with something different. By pairing her classic leather jacket, striped shirt and burgundy converse with a pair of simple black tights, this Fashionista got to wear her favorite items from her spring wardrobe, like her distressed denim shorts – even on a day where the weather didn’t necessarily call for springtime attire. Wearing tights with shorts is not only a great way to warm up a springtime outfit on an otherwise winter-like day, but it is also a great way to dress up a casual pair of shorts for a night out with friends. The key to making this look work for nighttime is to make sure that your shorts are a bit looser and to make sure that your top is appropriate. For example, wearing a blouse or a button down with your shorts and tights is a cute and easy way to keep your outfit classy, not trashy, for a night on the town.

Hint: When choosing what pair of shorts to wear with your tights, think “denim for day”, and “darker, or different texture for night." For example, tweed and velvet shorts are a great choice for nighttime. Distressed denim, as previously demonstrated by this Fashionista, works best when worn during the day.

TREND: Lace-up Your Oxfords

Ah, the oxford shoe. A throwback from one of my favorite eras. When thinking of a pair of oxfords, many picture a traditional boyish version, often in a basic black or brown hue – similar to those worn in the ‘20s. Today, however, the trend is taking a turn from it’s original form and can be worn in various prints, patterns, colors, and textures.

While the oxford shoe has often been viewed as a essential item owned by many men, the trend is no longer limited to the male population. This Fashionista shows us how to make the “male shoe” take on a look that’s far from masculine. She perfectly pairs her nude Steve Madden oxford shoes with her blue pinstriped button up and tweed shorts, creating a classic look that is both fun and fabulously feminine.

Oxfords are a great way to pull together your everyday casual look for spring, and in some of the newer styles seen this season, the design of the basic oxford shoe has even been modified to work for warmer summer weather as well. For example, the unique style of this pair of oxfords is sure to keep you feeling cool and looking chic as summer arrives. Oxfords are also great because they provide a comfortable alternative to your everyday spring sandals, while still allowing your overall look to remain casual and chic. They can be worn with virtually any outfit, and the wide array of oxford shoes seen throughout almost every store this season only adds to the trend’s high level of versatility. Dress them up with a sundress or dress them down with your denim shorts; rock them out with a little bit of leather or incorporate a vibrant version to add a pop of color to your overall look. All of these options are sure to be super chic, super cute, and most importantly – super comfortable.

Hint: Looking for a steal? Check out the wide array of affordable oxfords here!

TREND: Check Out Those Converse

Spring has finally arrived, and students can enjoy warm weather and the outdoors once again. While the spring provides us with many opportunities to get back outside and enjoy the weather, melting snow and April showers often force us to endeavor many muddy situations along the way. This being said, it’s not always practical to pull out a new pair of shoes or wedges while putting together an ensemble. There are few items that are more classic or comfortable than a pair of Converse. In 2010, the line of Chuck Taylors released by Converse and Missoni proved their collaborative efforts to hold a vast amount of success. As a result, two new designs will be released by Converse and Missoni for the spring 2011 season. Not only have the Converse-Missoni collaborative efforts created new Chuck-Taylor designs that differ extensively from those often seen in the past, but collaborative efforts like these have also led many students to seek out new creative looks for this age-old trend. This Fashionisto takes a new twist on the classic Chuck-Taylor trend. He pairs his perforated leather Chuck Taylors with a plaid button down, cuffed deep-denim jeans, a classic leather jacket, and Ray-Ban aviator sunglasses. His Converse are incorporated perfectly amongst his ensemble. By pairing his leather Converse with leather elsewhere in his ensemble, this Fashionisto allows his look to maintain its classic component, and his plaid button down provides just enough color to add some excitement to his overall look. The key is to incorporate a color palette throughout your entire look. Doing so will allow you to effectively modify a classic and incorporate a new and creative Chuck Taylor design amongst your ensemble.

Hint: If loud prints and colors are not your favorite, try some Chuck Taylors with a unique print or texture instead. This is a great way to modify your classic Chucks, while still keeping their color neutral and maintaining their versatility.

TREND: A Double Dose of Denim

While students on various campuses are commonly seen sporting the classic “jeans and T” look, this Fashionista shows us a whole new take on how to wear denim. Denim is especially plentiful on college campuses, and this Fashionista makes her use of denim even more plentiful than the average student. By incorporating a double dose of denim into her look, this Fashionista creates a look that’s both unique and eye-catching. She pairs her double denim look with a pair of classic moccasins, her navy blue Betsey Johnson sunglasses, and a floral print backpack. Her look is far more refreshing than the everyday “jeans and T” look often worn by her college counterparts, and the simplicity of her look allows her to incorporate multiple prints amongst her ensemble – perfect for spring. This Fashionista’s floral print backpack adds to the overall look of her outfit. Also, the ability to add fun prints like floral print makes the “denim on denim” trend especially perfect for spring. While the idea of wearing double denim can be a frightening thought for many, the key to making this look work is incorporating a variety of accessories and textures to your look. You can also customize your denim, for example–by using patchwork—to create a look with a more rustic feel. This particular Fashionista customizes her denim by pairing two different tones of denim together, breaking up the denim’s uniformity. Not a fan of accessorizing? Simply dress your lips in classic red lipstick to add some contrast to your overall look.

Hint: Pairing the denim on denim look with something more feminine allows you to minimize the masculine aspect of your look, while still successfully executing a look that is fashion forward and stylish, not frumpy. Also, avoiding western-wear can prevent this trend from looking “costumey”.

TREND: Never Too Many Neutrals

Not only are neutral tones emerging in the environment, but they’re also showing up in many ensembles this spring. A new take on neutrals is making a name for itself on the University of Iowa campus as well. The use of a vast array of neutrals within the same look is both an exciting and refreshing trend this spring. This Fashionista is one of many who have taken a liking to this new trend. She incorporates a number of neutral tones throughout her look including an olive tone as well as an array of brown hues. This Fashionista pairs her olive colored tunic and dual-toned brown belt with a camel colored cross-body bag and sand colored Sperrys. By mixing a number of different neutrals amongst her outfit, this Fashionista allows her look to stand out, and makes her look a little more exciting than it would otherwise be. While many olive toned items were seen on the runways pre-fall 2010, it seems that this color, as well many other neutrals, are becoming popular for spring. Many Fashionistas loved last season’s minimalist look, and incorporating a number of neutrals in your outfit provides a great way to incorporate a new kind of minimalism amongst your spring ensemble. Neutrals are also a great investment for spring, because not only do they go with virtually everything, but they also can easily transition into your fall wardrobe.

Hint: make your look more exciting by incorporated a number of neutrals through your use of layering. Layering neutrals from similar color families makes for a unique, exciting look that perfectly captures the same effect achieved by incorporating softer neutrals for spring.

TREND: Funky-Fresh Fedoras

Spring is finally here, and Fashionistas on campus are ready to showcase their new looks (and spring break tans). That being said, attention-grabbing bright colors and brilliantly bold accessories are everywhere. The power of accessorizing is being practiced all over campus, and it’s easy to see why. The perfect accessory can make or break an outfit. Whether it’s the perfectly-paired purse you throw over your shoulder or the funky-fresh fedora you place on your head, accessories have a powerful impact on your look. This Fashionista adds a little extra excitement to her look by pairing her olive green shirt, basic black leggings, and grey converse with a woven fedora hat. The woven aspect of the fedora allows it to be perfectly incorporated into your spring wardrobe – and for those of us who didn’t head to an exotic island for spring break, the fedora serves as a great way to shield your face from the sun as the weather gets warmer. As demonstrated by this Fashionista, fedoras are the perfect way to transform a simple, casual outfit – making a seemingly boring look much more refreshing. Fedoras can hide a bad hair day, and are especially great for those days where you miss the alarm and find your beauty routine consists of a mere five minutes before hurrying to class. This trend can be incorporated in endless ways. Fedoras also provide the perfect opportunity to jazz-up a printed spring dress, or can provide a great twist on a nautical look when paired with a striped tee and skinny jeans. Pair one with an oversized tee for a borrowed-from-your-boy look, or, let your boy borrow it. This trend is great for guys as well, and with the increased popularity of menswear accessories this season, this trend is one that is sure to be utilized by guys and girls alike.

Hint: Spice up the typical floral-print trend for spring by adding a floral-print fedora to an otherwise simple look. This is a great way to add character to your look, and also uniquely incorporate an ever-so-popular print amongst your look. Not a fan of floral print? Add a simple flower instead. Both options are perfect for spring.

TREND: Patterned Chunky Knits

When the highly-anticipated hints of spring begin to show up around campus, many students tend to get carried away. It seems as though the second temperatures break above freezing, students go from wearing snow pants to wearing shorts, from wearing shoes to wearing sandals, and from wearing scarves to wearing sunglasses. After all, 35 degrees can feel like 60 after three solid months of subzero temperatures. To say we are excited for spring would be an understatement; and while we would like to picture ourselves prancing around in patterned dresses and flowy skirts during the month of March, this is rarely an image of reality for those of us in the Midwest. We often find ourselves bundling up well into the month of March, and the cooler days of spring call for a little extra layering to stay warm. This Fashionista practices the power of layering, while still managing to look pulled together and pumped for spring. By pairing her patterned chunky knit sweater with a jewel-toned tee, this Fashionista takes a winter trend and transitions it perfectly for spring.

Also, by incorporating a chunky knit among her brightly-colored spring attire, walking to class on a cooler day is surely a little comfier and cozier for this Fashionista than for her flip-flop wearing counterparts. Chunky patterned knits are the perfect trend item to transition from winter to spring. The patterns possess the same amount of pizzazz as the other springtime prints we often see people sporting around campus, and we can stay warm at the same time. Patterned chunky knits also serve as a great substitute for that “tell-tale tailored jacket” you’re tired of wearing, after practically living in it all winter long.

Hint: If the idea of wearing a chunky knit for spring seems a little too “bulky” for you, throw on a skinny belt to create a little more shape at the waist.

TREND: Try a Little Tribal Print

“Florals for spring?…Groundbreaking.” As ever-so-famously stated by Miranda Priestly in one of my favorite fashion-related films of all time, florals may in fact be the farthest thing from “fresh” this spring. Despite the season, there is no need to get carried away in floral print. Forget your florals and have a little more imagination by trying on some tribal print.

Tribal print is a great way to incorporate fun patterns and colors into your spring wardrobe. This Fashionista’s ethnic print blouse is perfectly incorporated amongst her ensemble. She uniquely pairs her tribal print top with an olive green military jacket, a camel colored messenger bag, black leggings, and dark brown boots. While the colors incorporated throughout her look may be seemingly unconventional, this Fashionista’s senses were spot-on. The key to making her use of multiple colors “work” lies within the print itself. By perfectly playing off of the wide array of colors that are incorporated within the top’s rich print and adding pieces to her look that follow the color palette, this Fashionita makes her use of multiple colors “work”. As you can see, tribal print is a great choice for those who love a lavish amount of color. However, it is also a great choice for those who lend much less of their look to such colorful components. That’s the great thing about this trend—it lends the individual so much room to be inventive. Tribal print can be paired with so many things, including both basic items, and additional prints. It can be added to your look as an accessory, or, it can be the primary component of your look. The best part about it though…is that it’s up to you! So, this spring, march to the beat of your own drum—by taking a little tribal print and making it your own.

Hint: Tribal print isn’t the only way to add an ethnic component to your look. This tribal theme can also be tied into your outfit in smaller ways, for instance, by adding a statement necklace or an African-inspired safari bracelet.