6 Ways to Make Being Green Easy

That new Forever 21 haul might look great on you, but it definitely does not look great on the earth. The fashion industry is the second biggest pollutant on the planet.  From production to post-consumer, the process of fast fashion needs as much of an update change as a winter to summer wardrobe—it takes 18,000 gallons of water just to grow the cotton for a pair of jeans, and about 400 gallons for a single cotton T-shirt.

According to Newsweek, “The EPA estimates that diverting all of those often-toxic trashed textiles into a recycling program would be the environmental equivalent of taking 7.3 million cars and their carbon dioxide emissions off the road.”
Yep, definitely not looking good.

So, you might ask, how does one keep a rad, on-trend wardrobe while reducing global warming?

Last week, I attended a panel in Detroit on sustainable fashion, hosted by local designers, clothing-conscious store owners, pattern makers, and buyers. Here was some advice they gave for making green the new black:

1—Quality over quantity. Have a few well-made pieces that will last rather than buying fast-made trend pieces that get thrown away season to season; curate your closet with key, quality pieces.

2—Look for transparency. Good sustainable brands show working conditions and the cost to create, such as Reformation (carrying clothing at good prices, upcyclying, and listing what resources went into their products) and Matt and Nat (vegan “leather” goods).

3—Thrifting is your friend! Mom jeans super-ultra in style right now? Instead of buying new, why not stop in at your local resale or goodwill and search for an authentic vintage pair?

4—Reduce, reuse, recycle, rewear. When it comes recycling fabric, due to a lot of the chemicals that go into processing clothing, most used or deadstock clothes end up in landfills. However, it’s not all wasted—the fashion panel I attended featured designers who up-cycled car interior leather, automotive metal, ex-TV cabling, and even furniture covering and old blankets…and made them totally wearable.

5—Take up knitting. Not only is it therapeutic, it’s a zero-waste way of making accessories and garments from a single “thread.”

6—Spread the word. A major issue with fashion sustainability is awareness. Tell others, thrift and share your stores, check out and share websites like Not Just A Label. It is totally possible without breaking the bank or wearing the same T-shirt for the rest of your life to work a little more “green” in your everyday style.

In the words of Phillip Picardi of Teen Vogue, “To tell a teenager that she should stick to lip gloss—when she’s being directly impacted by the policies, and they’re directly affecting her lifestyle and the lifestyle of those around her—is frankly irresponsible […] young women […] should have a firm opinion of what’s going on.” This quote applies to all Fashionistas/os and general clothing consumers; It shouldn’t just be about “who” you’re wearing anymore, but “what” you’re wearing.

How do you incorporate going green in your everyday looks? Tell us and tag @CFashionista!

Pop, Drop, and Crop It—Taking Men’s Fashion Week Trends to the Street

This one goes out to the Fashionistos. From to Gucci to Thom Browne, it’s been refreshingly rad to see a surge of variance and vivacity in the pretty mono-style world of menswear. The entire idea of menswear is based on uniformity (like, literally. Look it up), so seeing agender runway show styles is such a breakthrough for men’s fashion and society—and I for one am all for it.

Feeling inspired by S/S 18 London Men’s themes from Topshop Man to Vivienne Westwood, but not quite sure how to take these fashion week looks to the street? Here are some styling tips from a Fashionisto who makes the term “menswear” his own.

1—Shopping outside the men’s section. There are so many garment styles, yet most menswear is so limited! (Seriously, if I were a dude I would be so frustrated with my choices). Sometimes, you have to think outside the box… or at least the men’s section. Maybe the buttons go the other way, but that shouldn’t stop you from trying out some high-waisted bell-bottoms! If there’s a style you dig but can’t find it the men’s section, don’t be afraid to cross your comfort zone and the store. This Fashionisto got the majority of his garb from the women’s section and received nothing but compliments on his ensemble.

2—Beyond the “Romphim.” The man romper is not the most flattering look for all male body types. I’m pretty sure one either slays in it or looks like a potato sack with armholes. However, a more universally flattering trend which, in my opinion, should totally get used more in menswear is the crop top. Whether a cropped pullover, tank, or T-shirt, both this Fashionisto and I are in agreement crop tops for men should totally be the next big thing. A subtle yet statement piece could be a mesh crop top similar to this Fashionisto’s—a style and gender-neutral piece that can be layered for the day or be a statement for a night out.

3—Baggage claim. Bags for men. Sure, men’s clothes might have superior pocket space, but whether you’re rocking garments from the men or women section, a bag is always a useful accessory. It’s not just European, either. A lot of backpacks or bags will give you an air of someone well-traveled or scholarly-hipster-chic and will save your pockets from “phone prints.” And, if the Alex Mullins show was any hint at soon to be trends, this is something all you Fashionistos should jump on!

Taking it beyond Thom Browne’s skirt and knee-highs, can we talk about crops? Actually flattering not-your-dad’s-shorts? Expressive, brightly colored garments? For men? Groundbreaking? Maybe. But, let’s be honest, when those pro-positivity posts go around online reading “crop tops are for everyone,” do they also mean those Fashionistos out there? Boy(s), if you can rock it, wear it!

Have you been inspired by the menswear style shift? Show us how you’ve been Insta-rocking some S/S 18 menswear trends and tag @CFashionista!

WHAT TO WEAR: Final-ly Free Fashion

After spring break, just when you think you’ve reached the point of no return, when all is darkness, late nights, and libraries… finals come. And finals go. And, finally, the light at the end of the tunnel is once again visible. Like the rest of the world coming into bloom, you, the classroom cave-dweller of a college student, are able to emerge from your pit o’ doom, gloom, and deadlines; ready to re-enter the world in full technicolor, stepping out of scholastic mode and into summer, sunshine, and sandals mode. And it’s high time to dress the part!

School’s out, spring is here, and as a Fashionista or Fashionisto, you gotta make like a leaf and bring color back into your life! This Fashionista pictured definitely pulled a Persephone—re-emerging from the underworld (of deadlines and homework that the last month of school is) in a popping shade of pink! Armed with a rose quartz pendant to detox any lingering negative vibes, she worked the theme of refresh, renew, and revive throughout her look. With a black crop top and cuffed pants combo, she lightened her look with a pink satin bomber, pastel-hued cat tote bag, nude nails, and a newly lightened ‘do.

Okay, yeah, spring’s all about colors, and blossoms, pastels (and, if you’re a college student, a new lease on life), but why pink? Color is a crazy thing: The fact that this here Fashionista told me her outfit was the first thing she grabbed once she was free from finals was hardly coincidental. Even if not you’re up on your trend guides, you’ve undoubtedly seen on social media and store fronts the plethora of pink everything, long before those April showers brought May flowers. Why the color craze? With so much worldwide uncertainty for politics, people, and planet, pink is a psychologically calming color (the desaturated shade is universally flattering, gender neutral yet feminine, a statement for strong and soft), “millennial pink,” is the equivalent of rose tinted glasses in some undoubtedly deeply dark times. From Women’s March pussy hats to pro-Planned Parenthood protests, pink is the new punk…. and definitely the color to be seen in.

What to wear on your first day of finals freedom? Follow this Fashionista’s lead and strut your stuff. Radiate strong, soft, sincere renewal in some rose-tinted accessories, and let your style get you ready to roll for a scholastic and stress-free season. Put a little spring in your step and get in the pink!

BEAUTY BAR: Red Eye at Morning

There’s a new beauty hue sweeping the nation—the red eye look. Say what?! No one wants to look like they just caught a red eye! No, not that kind of red eye. This kind of red eye is a look. Red eye shadow is in and only garnering more popularity. One of the predicted top fall ’17 trends seems to be a wardrobe brimming with bold, rich burgundy. However, this eye-catching chromatic is such power color that it’s actually catching on eyes. Yes, the pre-fall call of red, brick, maroon, and burgundies can (and has) already been seen on a lot of Instagram and beauty bloggers rocking red eye palettes.

Usually a color saved for cheek or lip tint makes for a super statement. Red itself is already the most attention-grabbing color on the spectrum, but used as an eye color is straight up stellar—talk about a wow factor!

This Fashionista ran red throughout her whole look, coordinating her nails, lips, and eyes. The red eye shadow she went for looked radiant on her skin! Not only is this look stunning, but it’s extremely versatile. The pictured Fashionista also happens to be a practicing freelance MUA (makeup artist). She pointed out that this look is her personal go-to at the moment, both for herself or others. While a lot of makeup color trends are limited to light skin tones or work only on certain eye colors, this trend is extremely versatile for all melanin amounts in skin or irises. Her technique was combining palettes and building up layers of eye shadow to create an almost luminescent effect. By pairing her eye shadow statement with a slightly darker matte lip and coordinately-colored nails, she pulled the look together while still keeping it all about the eyes.

Another fun factoid about this rad red look is that it is a great style for day, night, or any occasion. This Fashionista chose to play up her eyes but dress it down. On an unseasonably warm day, she opted for a pair of denim overalls with a black cross-back piece and sandals. This kept the look casual, clean, and accentuated the boldness of her makeup.

This is one trend that’s tried and true. The saying goes red, bright, and blue, right?

STYLE ADVICE: Parks and Represent

Fashion and politics don’t mix? Try me. There’s a time and place to break rules, and gonna have to break my own about not putting politics in with work. It’s not just words you use to express yourself, it’s what you wear. Style mirrors the state of society, fashion a reflection of what’s happening in the world. From the “pussy power” pink hats of the Women’s Marches, to Balenciaga’s Bernie-inspired runway ensembles, taking a stand is definitely in style.

After several weeks of shocks, surprises, and admittedly some major scares to democracy, perhaps the biggest surprise of this past week has been one of encouragement—one never predicted in any of the dystopian apocalyptic novels: The rise of the National Parks’ and US science associations’ social media staff members (BTW, totally stole that off the internet). I think the Fashionisto I spotted on campus saw the same post going around social media, and took a cue for his clothing.

Going to an art and design college in the US, silence on the current state of affairs isn’t an option. This Fashionisto is definitely making a statement in style, wearing “armor” from his armoire. With a fish print button-up, tapered overalls, and an all-weather field parka jacket, his look echoed that of eco defenders. Something tells me khaki and combat boots are about to very in, and this Fashionisto’s one step ahead of the game. He combined a mainly monochromatic color scheme for a heck of a strong statement. His look says informed and in style; utilitarian, anti-authoritarian; fighting possible fascism with Field and Stream-styled fashion…and maybe a little ode to the Orwellian.

The internet is a powerful tool, as is language. Clothing is an immediate, visual language— sometimes the best defense is dress. Instead of turning the other cheek, stay chic. Now’s a chance to make a real style statement. It’s rad to have rights.

ALL IN THE DETAILS: Out From the Trenches

If there’s any garment that represents the shift from 2016 to 2017, the trench is it and the Fashionista pictured is about to be right on trend. Trench coats were designed as an alternative to the heavy wool serge coats originally worn by WWI British soldiers.The trench was invented as a lightweight, streamlined, flexible, and more weatherproof garment to the stuffy military wear for officers in, well, the trenches. And a stylish one at that. Wearing these trench coats as a post-War civilian outfit was a statement both in survival and style, and was soon in-demand for both men and women in Britain and across the pond.

Twenty-sixteen may have gone out like a lion, but you better believe 2017 won’t be coming in like a lamb. Twenty-sixteen was a year of a retro resurgence in fashion, tapping into nostalgia of our parents and our own from the ’70s and ’90s. Twenty-seventeen is all about a new year and a new look, seen via the runways. Some up-and-coming trends are tapping into ’80s influence, such as shoulder pads, sashes, chainmail, metallics, and all the trench coats. And them styles are fightin’ looks.

I spotted this Fashionista on an unseasonably warm winter’s day. On campus and on point, she was dressed in a pair of distressed black skinny jeans, a throwback black KISS top (fittingly homage-like to all the greats gone to soon), and the “It” accessory of 2017, a classic trench.

Though accessorizing with a pastel pink structured bag and a pair of heeled Chelsea boots, this Fashionista’s look says “I’m up and ready to fight,” underneath her soft-colored exterior. From her distressed skinnies to her coat’s structure, this look exudes a new kind of power look—less blazer, blouse and tailored jeans, and more Jean d’Arc.

Maybe 2016 wasn’t “just a bad year,” but a legitimately-destined-for-badness-because-it-was-written-in-the-stars bad year. Maybe having four Mercury in retrograde cycles in Aquarius, Taurus, Gemini and Capricorn had something to do with it. Either way, it’s time to take dressing to the nines to a whole new level, as it’s also written in the stars (and numbers) that 2016 was the end of a nine-year cycle. So here’s to bouncing back from the trenches, and making 2017 the epitome of a style statement.

STYLE GURU BIO: Natalie Miller

Getting revved and ready to start of a new rad semester with CollegeFashionista and a whole new year off with a bang (and actual bangs)! My name is Natalie, and this will be my fifth (!) semester as a Style Guru with the CollegeFashionista team, and my third at College for Creative Studies in Detroit. I’ll be officially adding to my advertising design major by taking on a minor in the recently-interned fashion accessories department in fashion marketing and trends—I have no idea what’s in store, but my spidey-style senses feel more tingly than trepidatious at this new venture.

I was reading an article on Man Repeller about finding “your silhouette,” the go-to style that defines “you.” I took a serious look through my closet and found that mine is something of a throwback-gone-edgy look—like 18th century Romantic meets ’20s glam meets rocker chic. It makes sense, trust me. I might wear pieces from fashion’s past, but I’m also having a love affair with the glitter brow trend and a new ‘do. In the look pictures, I kind of conglomerated that, mixing a vintage blouse with a pair of high-waisted skinnies, socks ‘n’ strappy wedges, and, with ’80s being the next big thing, a punk-style moto vest in my fave maroon hue (shoutout to Who What Wear x Target).

However, what really personalizes a look for me is the accessories. Going to school in Detroit, a city founded in 1701 (before the U.S. was even a thing), I’m surrounded by history and rebirth. One of the major parts of Motown was the Hudson’s department store. Though now gone, the shopping hub really was the heart of the city. Besides a couple of crystals, I accessorized with a vintage Hudson’s charge tag—matching the Hudson’s store insignia tattooed behind my ear. Something there to remind me to branch out while staying rooted in myself.

Though what I’m studying is all about looking at what’s ahead (both in advertising and fashion accessories), the quote “sometimes, you have to look back in order to understand the things that lie ahead” really resonates with me—something I tend to reflect in my sartorial choices. Nothing is new, and everything is recycled.

So, here’s to using the past (yes, even all that nasty 2016 negativity), and turning it into a red ‘n’ rad shiny new year!



I see a red door and I want it painted black/No colors anymore, I want them to turn black/It’s not easy facing up when your whole world is black…”  The Rolling Stones’ lyrics resonate with pretty much every college student during this time of year—RIP social life, sanity and possibly GPA. It’s finals (with a capital F). However, that “F”-inal can be turned into “fabulous”  or “fashionable”—feeling #dead? Work that funerary feel with fashion’s favorite shade.

This f-otographed (too far?) Fashoinista was seen rocking black like it was nobody’s business. With the unusually warm weather for this time of year, it gives Fashionistas and Fashionistos a rad chance to be creative with their seasonal wear. For this Fashionista, she played up the impending doom of December due dates with her all-black, cut-out mesh top and sheer lace skirt—no hoodie or sweatpants on sight. No doubt her dark, drape-y layers are rep’in’ her taken-too-soon sleep schedule and socializing.

She accessorized her black-on-black lace-layering look with a black leather backpack for some additional scholastic chic and contrasting texture. Though there’s hardly been a flurry of snow, there’s been plenty of slush on the sidewalks. Dressing for anti-slush success while tying in her backpack, the Fashionista’s feet sported a pair of Beatles-esque Chelsea boots that pulled together her look’s eccentric-cool vibe.

Who said dressing as dead as you feel inside (thanks, finals week!) means pullovers for a seven days straight? Take the advice of The Rolling Stones and paint it black, paint it all black; make your finals week style a statement, and go out with a bang before break!

ALL IN THE DETAILS: Rule With a Velvet Glove

Soft, smooth, sumptuous to the touch and eyes, velvet has once again come around as all-the-rage (seriously, it takes so well to the camera). Especially great for this upcoming season of snow, essentially, velvet rules. Sophisticated, sleek and soft all at once, velvet flaunts form and function—is a statement fabric a thing? If so, velvet is it.

Definitely NO velour tracksuit (shudder), velvet (and velveteen) has surfaced as this fall’s once-again “It” fabric. Thanks to its renaissance roots and resurgence in the early part of the 20th century (old Hollywood dresses, sofa covers, drapery), this material gives a decidedly regal feel to any look. And, though the season’s may have changed, the mode of the moment is still ’90s, ’90s, ’90s and so is the oh-so-edgy decade o’ grunge’s take on velvet—crushed velvet.

This Fashionista, a student attending downtown Detroit’s Fashion Speak 2016 event, stood out by utilizing her outfit architecturally—working her take on velvet with a mesmerizingly maroon velvet mockneck (feat. the crushed velvet trend), paired with a similarly-hued structured duster and a black vegan leather mini.

She further played to the material’s inherently soft-yet-structured feel with some heeled suede-style ankle boots (the boots gave a ’90s nod with their lace-up detailing), and a squared-off mini black tote (featuring a wine red pom).

By nature velvet wants to take the spotlight (probably something to do with that theatre curtain association), so why not let it? Whether worn as a statement piece, or just for layering, pairing velvet with architectural details and deep jewel tones will seriously take you from just stylish to #slay this season.


BEAUTY BAR: Punk’n Calling

Though not directly in the Pantone color forecast for fall 2016, oxblood, maroon and burgundy all have burst on the street-wear palette scene, from shoes to sweaters. Heavily predicted for the spring-summer 2017 season, these rich red-purple hues have come out to play while still on the runway—and rightly so. What better color for the season? Warm, inviting, reminiscent of the shifting leaves on sugar maples, yet with just that touch more blue, adding in a mix of mystique-meets-punk. And anyone who’s picked up any fashion publication this season has seen the ’70s are in…so of course punk comes with the territory.

This Fashionista stood out, not just with a serious ’70s cropped denim vest and super RAD high-waisted trousers, but by pairing her vintage Sears catalogue look with plum-meets-maroon tresses that even Dame Vivienne Westwood would surely approve of. Despite her blunt bangs and undercut, her hair’s purple-maroon hue seemed to blend right into her look: an effortless combination of ’70s style from both sides of The Channel.

Not only does this color and cut work for summer to September season, but carries right over to October, and all its tricks and treats. A naturally versatile color in clothes, Pantone 216 U (respectively) becomes an accessory in itself. Though in this case, aforementioned Fashionista opted for the sweet “treat”-ment (see: softening the look with minimal makeup, balancing out her bold hair with the contrasting colors in her pants, and tying it altogether with her pink-soled oxfords), this hair could easily be made to pop. With some dark lipstick, black midi and leather jacket, she’d be all set to go for a night out at some October-evening event. The “trick?” No necklace necessary—cue up The Clash (maybe some faux fangs?), and she’d be ready to roll.

Anyway she might work it, the only accessorizing she’d need for the day—or night—would be her plucky, plum-tone hair; It’s straight-up rock’n’RAD, man.

With this trending color seen on the streets, it’s easy to pull off edgy or effortless. Whether you’re feeling “London Calling,” trying to find a way to make maroon your own or maybe just wanting to take your summer color to spooky season without going Morticia Addams, this is one rockin’ color that’s simply to “dye” for. Find the shade that’s right for your skin tone, and go for it! For the subdued daytime style of this Fashionista, try pairing the maroon hair hue with a orange-neutral tone lip and bold brows to play down the purple while keeping the “pop.”