TREND: The More the Merrier

Winter is the best season for fashion because you have to layer different pieces together to make an outfit. In the summer there’s only so much you can take off to keep cool but in the winter you can pile on as much as you want to keep warm. This means we are due for a shopping trip to pile on the clothes and to get prepared for the cold moths to come. Layering is an essential tip to keep in mind for the crazy, unpredictable weather San Diego has.

Here, the sun shines but the air is definitely cooler and this Fashionista keeps warm with her black sweater dress, tights, and shrug boots. She brings some color into her outfit with her multi-colored scarf that gives her outfit an exotic element and will solicit questions of “Omg where did you get that?” In fact that’s what I noticed first about her ensemble. She comes prepared for changing weather with several layers. Say for instance it got warmer she could take the scarf off and in turn if it got colder all she would need is a jacket over her dress.

Today's Fashionista’s sweater dress is also a trend to take note of for this winter. They come in several varieties and can be paired simply with boots or with leggings. Even oversized sweaters can be used as dresses like this marled wool one from Victoria's Secret that would look fabulous with dark skinny jeans or leggings. Or check out this olive-colored cashmere dress from J. Crew that is fall festive for a different approach. H&M also has a variety of large sweaters and sweater dresses that have more of a young look.

So come this chilly winter season, pile on the layers because the more you have the happier (and warmer) you will be! Happy shopping!

TREND: Balancing Act

An important tip that I always follow when dressing myself is to balance my outfit. And what does that mean you might ask? Well, it’s when you mix tight and loose-fit clothes in one outfit, such as a tight top with loose or voluminous bottoms, and vice versa. Loose-tight mixing creates a visually appealing look that compliments every body type. Matching tight with tight might not be as flattering, and similarly loose with loose might drown you in clothes. Finding the right harmony in your outfit will make the best impression.

As you can see on this Fashionista, she matches her full skirt with a tighter shirt for her balanced look. Even the bright pink of the top contrasts with the darkness of the skirt, to make the look even more put together while at the same time complimenting her figure. On the other hand say she chose to wear a baggy tee or a bulky jacket with her skirt, it wouldn’t have that equilibrium that makes her outfit special.

To rock the balancing look, pair those skinny jeans with your flowy shirts like Leighton Meester. Or go the other way and pair your tight tank tops with harem pants like Cloe Sevigny. There are an infinite number of combinations to try here and with things you already have in your closet. But if you want to get our Fashionista’s look hit up Cotton On for good prices. There you’ll find tops with those puffy sleeves like our Fashionista’s, that have been seen all around campus recently.

TREND: Jackie O-M-G

In kindergarten we all learned a valuable life lesson: playing dress up can be fun. We made a special time for it in our days and sometimes even took dressing up as homework sporting our mother’s clothes for fun. As children we all look up to those around us and our mothers were our biggest style icons. From her pumps that fit too big to her rose-colored lipstick we picked up on her allure and incorporated it into our dressing up routine. In a way we still do this, we take from our idols around us and emulate their fashion.

I found this Fashionista on her way to class in a retro ensemble of a lace embellished dress, a cobalt pea coat and nicely topped with a classic pearl necklace. He sophisticated look reminds me of classic Jackie Kennedy with a modern twist. Like seen on Instyle, Cobalt is hot color for this fall and winter and contrasts well with the black of her dress. Her pearls and coat say '50s but the bright blue and strappy sandals say avant-garde.

To achieve her look, ditch the saying of diamonds are a girl’s best friend and get acquainted with your new best friend, pearls. These timeless pieces are found inexpensively in stores like Forever 21 or Charlotte Russe. And if you’re not a classic strand kind of girl, these stores have so many types of pearl jewelry to choose from. Pearls with a pea coat are the epitome of classic elegance and this combination will surely catch on in these upcoming cold days. Although we live in a relatively warm area, an investment in a good pea coat is a good idea for those random chilly San Diego days. Ross has some inexpensive ones but look in big department stores like Macy’s to get durable coats that will last you many winters to come.

TREND: Wear the Pants

Many publications in the fashion industry predicted that menswear bottoms would be very hot in the fall and designers like Marc Jacobs and Michael Kors incorporated menswear for women in their fall collections. But let’s be honest, as students, we don’t have many occasions to wear monochrome business suits unless you work at an office (and even then many don’t like them). But ladies, don’t think you need an occasion to look like the boss. This look doesn’t need to be so formal or boring and good way to keep it young and casual is to counter these neutral color pants with feminine blouses, like our Fashionista did here. The pink blouse nicely balances the gray of the pants for a more feminine look that is very flattering. The thin belt with metal embellishments is a charming detail that completes her outfit. She absolutely pulls off the men’s wear trend even without the need of a bulky jacket or matching vest.

Although this look is more informal than a say a business suit, it can still be appropriate for an office setting, interview, or meeting. It is all about how you accessorize your outfit that will make it proper (for both a formal setting and for your own style). For example her small shoulder bag is more easygoing and more right for her age than a cumbersome clutch or hang bag. The bag adds a personal touch to her look. On the other hand, the closed-toed pumps are good for an official presentation if that’s what you aim for (but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t sexy too!).

And if you are thinking this trend is more of an office look, you can also rock this at school! Many designers like Tommy Hilfiger, incorporated dress shorts with dark stockings as an alternative to men’s wear pants. They are a fun way to try this look and can be paired up with oxfords or ballerina flats. Check these cute shorts from BCBG or these from J. Crew but they can also be found in many smaller, less expensive shops in malls.

In the relationship of you against the world, YOU wear the pants so strut it!

TREND: Buckle Up

Accessories are an important part of any outfit; they can transform the simple and plain to a piece of art. There is a delicate balance and too much embellishment can happen if you add one too many pieces. But if you want to spice up an outfit with one accessory, let it be waist-clinching belts. They come in various types to fit your personal style. These have been hot for many years (decades even) and recently I have noticed that they have been the most popular accessory around campus so far this quarter. I have seen many types all over campus, for example like the one this Fashionista here is wearing. I found this fabulous Fashionista on Library Walk rocking a waist-hugging belt paired with a striped tube dress. Although her belt is part of her dress, what I found particularly interesting is the large baroque-looking metal buckle. The size of the buckle is a real eye-catcher and really pulls together her simple cut dress. The contrast between the blue stripes and the white of the belt creates a very flattering hour-glass figure.

Wide belts secured around the waist not only create curves on tube dresses like the one our Fashionista wears but also give shape to plain tops, pencil skirts, and rompers. They can also give definition to loose-fitting clothing like T-shirt dresses or full skirts too. You can achieve this look several ways, such as adding a brown braided belt to a bright dress like Selena Gomez did at the 2010 Nickelodeon Kid’s Choice Awards. This contrast in earth tones against vivid ones is out of the ordinary and very visually appealing. To get one of your own hit up our local mall; the prices at Forever 21 and Charlotte Russe are reasonable. Or even better, the Vendor Fair comes to UCSD October 25th to the 29th so you don't have to look far to get some cute accesories like this one.

Hint: If you like to walk on the wild side, try the sexy snake theme that is hot in accessories right now. This serpent style had been seen on Kate Moss and has definitely been carried over to some students around campus. Keep this trend going ladies because this look is dramatic, interesting and just plain awesome!

TREND: Show Me Some Skin

San Diego has been experiencing a record-breaking heat wave this past week and students here have been heading to the beach and sporting their skimpiest clothes to stay cool. I’ve seen everything this week from mini dresses to male short-shorts but one trend that is absolutely fabulous and a great way to stay fresh is cropped tops. These loose fitting and belly-button revealing tops are great for hot weather and look super cute.

I found this Fashionista at a local San Diego hot spot showing off her mid-drift with a maroon cropped tee shirt that looks fantastic and very comfortable. She keeps it classy by styling it with high-waisted shorts and oxford style shoes. While the other girls are wearing tight black tops and super high pumps to clubs, this Fashionista shows that she doesn’t need all that to stand out in the crowd. Her look is down-to-earth and very trendy right now. There are many ways to achieve this look and can be rocked for both a day look and a going out look. If you don’t like to show too much skin, you can still rock this look with a tight tank top underneath or high-waited bottoms like our Fashionista did here.

These fashion must-haves come in different types like long sleeves or off-the-shoulder or with different embellishments such as lace or sequins. It really all depends on what you are dressing for but there is a large variety out there to choose from. In my own experience to find a cropped top, the key is to shop around. Cotton On at UTC Westfield Center had some good deals but I also found some online (if you are willing to splurge). Or if you have a lot of time on your hands, why not make one? Make your one-on-a-kind top by cutting a shirt any way you want and adding fun embellishments. This week, stay cool in both sense of the word by wearing your cropped top!

TREND: Finding Comfort in the Classic

UCSD is finally coming back to life after a summer that seemed to have lasted forever. There are new faces, new classes, and best of all new clothes! After a summer of shopping for back-to-school, a trend I see coming this Homecoming season is a return to the classic. Observing great numbers of students at their best these first days back, I have seen everything from florals to faux pas, but what I realized is that you can’t go wrong with a classic jeans and white T-shirt look. It’s an essential combination for everyone including our Fashionistos out there.

I found this Fashionista’s look flawless; while others are piling on clothes to impress on their first week back, she takes a minimalism approach. Sometimes less is more and in this case she makes a statement that she doesn’t need much to look (and feel) fabulous. This iconic style looks good on every body type and is very easy to shop for. It will make you and your pocket book very happy. White T-Shirts are very inexpensive and can be found in most clothing stores. I recommend those in cotton because it’s breathable and in my experience, easier to clean than synthetic fabrics.

On the other hand, a good pair of jeans is harder to find. Sometimes it’s worth the money to invest in a good pair that actually fit you right and will last you a long time. But if you want to get our Fashionista’s distressed jean look, you might want to embark on a DIY project. Although she confessed she didn’t rip them herself but were actually from Chralotte Russe, transforming old jeans might be a fun endeavor while you have the time. So play around and make your old jeans into something new for this quarter!

Hint: To avoid looking like everyone else, add your own flair to it. Try a faux leather jacket like this Fashionista did (see smaller pictures) or a unique necklace. To keep in the minimalist classic look, try keeping things simple.

TREND: Full of Life

Fashion week this time around has given us a good peak into what will be in style come this spring. An overwhelming trend that I noticed with all the collections is lots of leg; short skirts and short shorts causing shortness of breath (and not in a bad way). This is definitely a take home point and something to incorporate into your wardrobe this fall season.

High-waisted full skirts were a common element in many designers’ styles. From the all-American style of Tommy Hilfiger to a more retro feel in Jonathan Simkhai, these skirts are going to be big this season. This Fashionista shows her interpretation of the full skirts and does it in a very interesting way. The dramatic bright blue paired with the leopard print of the sweater is an unlikely but intriguing combination. This is a very interesting outfit that's perfect for standing out on a campus with thousands of students. Her pointy flats in black complete her vintage look.

This evocative style is overreaching in many lines and not just in skirts but in dresses like in the Thuy and Lela Rose collections, both with leg-loving pieces. Short dresses and skirts are perfect for this season to show off your summer tan and enjoy the last warm days left. Even when it gets colder you can style them with a sweater like our Fashionista here or with thick stockings. Although this is a thing of the past, showing a lot of leg is perfect for a fun and fabulous look that will definitely make heads turn.

Hint: Pair full skirts in solid colors with bold prints like leopard. If your personal style is more outgoing you can mix and match prints; just make sure that one is more subdued than the other or else your look might be confusing.

TREND: Decorate Yourself

In Southern California, we don’t experience seasons like the East Coast does. This means that our fall fashion doesn’t necessarily mean that we head for the chunky knit sweaters and leggings just yet. In a city where it’s sometimes hot in November, summer seems to be extended for San Diegans. Flowy dresses and sandals are in style up until Christmas. This Fashionista it the epitome of that trend. Her cute accessories give the typical dress and sandal combination a true edge.

This Fashionista is fabulously clad in a dress paired with a floppy shrug. The most interesting thing about her look is the way she adorns herself with bohemian accessories. These little details really embellish a simple black dress for a put together look. Unique pieces like her long necklace and brown belt are good finds to make an outfit. What makes her look even more adorable is her braided hair that completes the bohemian theme.

Although it will eventually get colder and we'll have to layer on the sweaters and sport the boots, accessories know no season. One can dress up any outfit for any type of weather. Bohemian touches can amp up simple monotone basics like t-shirts, rompers, skirts or dresses (like our Fashionista here). With this added flair one can take any outfit from drab to fab! One place you can find cool jewlery and belts is Shopbop, but to find something truly one of a kind, hit up flea markets or the UC San Diego vendor fair. There are usually many stands with bohemian trinkets at affordable prices.

Hint: Mix-and-match accessories with your friends, siblings, or roommates for a new look every time. Another way to do this is by matching pieces that you would have never though of combining. This might give you an unexpected, cool look. So come this season, FALL in love with bohemian accessories!

TREND: Convertible Clothes

If you are on a college budget (like me) you must know that it’s very difficult to find good-looking clothes at low prices. Sometimes it’s worth the money to buy certain items that are what we call “convertible” clothes because certain pieces can be used for many types of situations.

For women, there are many options such as blouses that can be worn at the office as well as for going out. Then there are the less practical examples, like the “infinity dress” that is many dresses in one (they sell some version of this on Library Walk sometimes). But for men, this convertible concept is harder to achieve. As far as I know, there is no infinity trouser polo combination, unless it’s those zipper cargo pants that were trendy in the 90s. But what men can do to have clothes for many occasions is to buy basic essentials.

I’m no expert on men’s fashion but I do know when something looks good on a man. This Fashionisto is dressed in an easily convertible outfit. Black jeans are a must in every man’s closet for the simple fact that they can be dressed up or down for any occasion. They come in a variety of styles and cuts; they fit every type of guy and let’s face it are just attractive. His button-down plaid shirt can be worn open like that with a graphic tee peaking through for a day look or can be buttoned-up topped with a fedora and voila: a night look. One can have many different looks without spending so much money!

Hint: Buy good quality basics like black jeans at big department stores like Macy's and JCPenny that carry many brand names at a variety of prices. Plaid shirts in many different colors are found in stores like American Eagle and Urban Outfitters. But remember, an important tip for finding a practical convertible outfit is to shop around. So have patience and shop on!