Fashion is all about making a statement. Often times, trendy clothing items are an outfit’s main attraction. Crazy, printed sheaths and intricate blouses do not need accessories to add pizazz. However, basic pieces need to be spruced up with some great pieces in order to make a statement. This week’s Fashionista brought her simple, black dress to life with an awesome, layered chain necklace.

This Fashionista’s outfit demonstrates how jewelry can complete a look and provides an easy formula for a comfortable and stylish ensemble. She starts with a basic piece, like her cotton, black dress. Her frock has simple spaghetti straps and a cute layer over the rest of the fabric. There is a deep V-neck on the back that adds a little sexiness to her basic piece. An easy, black dress, like this Fashionista’s, is a staple for everyone’s wardrobe because it serves as the perfect canvas.

She turns this basic look into a stylish outfit with the addition of her layered, chain necklace and cat-eye sunglasses. Her necklace is simple, yet chunky and adds to her outfit without being too distracting. The delicate layers of chains look almost dainty without the cool pendant. The half-moon pendant on her necklace gives off a funky, vintage vibe that could be paired with many outfits. As a final touch, she wears a pair of Oliver Peoples cat-eye sunglasses. The large frame of these glasses are trendy and easy to wear.

Spotted: Lanvin’s fall ready-to-wear collection featured tons of chunky chains. Their necklaces had huge, heavy pendants that said words like “cool” and “love.” Talk about a statement piece.

STYLE GURU BIO: Nicole Lettiere

My name is Nicole Lettiere and I am starting my junior year at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. After several changes of heart, I have finally decided to double major in Communications and Political Science. I always knew I would study Communications in college because I love learning about the media and the ways it affects our society. Political Science is a new addition to my college education and I could not be be more psyched to study government in such a politically charged city. All in all, I am so excited to be back in Madison for another year of intriguing classes, beautiful scenery and crazy memories.

I grew up in Santa Monica, California, so I have always been surrounded by amazing fashion. Los Angeles has so many unique inhabitants who all have tons of different styles. On any given day, I could walk down the street and see an outfit that I never would have thought to pair together. No matter where I am, Angelenos constantly inspire me to try new things with fashion and push the envelope.

Although I am deeply saddened that summer is ending, I cannot wait for fall to begin. The autumn months come bring football season, beautiful colors and enjoyable weather. While falling leaves, cool air and Badger gear are all amazing attributes of fall, the best part about the upcoming months is the fashion. Autumn style is all about chunky sweaters, leather boots and silky scarves. These stylish items are only a fraction of the fabulous fall garments that we get to wear during this great time for fashion. I cannot wait to share my favorite fall fashion looks with all of you in my ACCESSORIES REPORT posts every Friday.

WHAT TO WEAR: Casual Date Night

Oscar Wilde once said, “You can never be overdressed or overeducated”. This saying always stuck with me because I was constantly self-conscious that my outfits were way fancier than the rest of my classmates’ ensembles. As the only girl wearing platforms to school in ninth grade, I would repeat this quote to myself whenever I was having fashion doubts. While Oscar Wilde’s prideful advice gave me confidence in my high school days, I now recognize that dressing correctly for an occasion is an important skill. When it comes to casual evenings out on the town, it can be hard to straddle the line between appropriately stylish and overly showy. This Fashionista perfectly mixes casual and dressy items for a perfectly styled, casual date night look.

This Fashionista’s outfit is the perfect balance between fancy and informal. She wears a long sleeved, black shirt with a fitted black skirt. The combination of black on black is always classy and dresses up any look. However, the jersey knit fabric of her top makes the look more casual. The interesting tiering on her skirt also keeps her outfit from being too plain.

While this Fashionista’s clothing items are a great blend of dressy and casual, her shoes are an even more perfect combination of fancy and informal. Sneakers and heels are on opposite ends of the fancy spectrum. What is more perfect way to straddle the middle of this spectrum than to combine the dressy and the casual. Her Nike wedges are trendy, cool and comfortable. They are not as sloppy as running shoes, but not as formal as heels. This Fashionista maintains her commitment to style, while staying comfortable enough to mesh with a casually dressed crowd.

One Simple Change: This outfit is perfect for a casual date night, but with a few simple tweaks, a similar look would be great for a dressier occasion. For a fancy date night, I would pair a similar black skirt with a sexy tank and heels. Add an awesome necklace and a purse for a posh nighttime outfit.

WHAT TO WEAR: Weekend Wear

There’s a reason why an entire restaurant chain is called TGI Fridays. Every Friday (or Thursday for most of us college students) marks the beginning of a few glorious days where we are free to do whatever we please. Saturdays and Sundays mean sleeping in, errands, farmer’s markets, movies, hikes, concerts and friends. With such a variety of weekend plans, it is important for us Fashionistas to have the perfect outfit that can take us from activity to activity in style.

This Fashionista has the perfect weekend outfit. She looks comfortable, happy and trendy in her simple black frock and boots. Her dress is breezy and easy to wear. The trapeze shape is very on-trend and is just as comfortable as a pair of leggings and a baggy tee. I love the cutout on the back of the dress, which makes her simple piece a bit more interesting and stylish. Instead of a standard bra, which would show through the cutout, this Fashionista wears a cool, orange bra under her dress, adding a necessary pop of color to her look. The funky orange hue of this undergarment is the perfect way to add some pizzazz to her otherwise monochromatic outfit. She finishes her ensemble off with a pair of cute, ankle boots and some thickly rimmed glasses for a very classic, collegiate vibe.

The main reason why this outfit is great for a busy weekend day is because it is so versatile. This black dress is perfect for layering so she can take her outfit from day to night with ease. She can add a blazer or cardigan over her jacket to make her look appropriate for a night out on the town.

One Simple Change: This black dress is a wonderful piece to own because it could mold to work for any occasion. If it’s finally time to meet the parents, throw on a blazer, chunky heels and some jewelry for a more conservative, yet stylish outfit.

WHAT TO WEAR: Out With Friends

As the weekend approaches, all I can think about is relaxing. With summer internships and full time jobs, it seems as though life is all work and no play. That’s where the weekend kicks in. By Friday, my stress levels are high and I am so ready to kick back and relax. Whether I am going to a concert or out to dinner, being able to go out with friends on the weekend takes all my work worries away. However, a great night out needs to be matched with an equally fabulous outfit. This Fashionista made sure that her night out was not only fun, but also fashionable.

My favorite part about this Fashionista’s outfit is her combination of black and brown. For some odd reason, people think it is a fashion faux pas to mix these two dark hues. It has become one of those silly fashion rules, like don’t wear white after Labor Day. Contrary to popular belief, I find the pairing of black and brown incredibly chic.

This Fashionista proves my point when she wears this stylish outfit. Her black, lace tank is breezy and versatile. It would look great tucked into a skirt or with high-waisted cutoffs. For this look, she pairs her trendy top with awesome, brown leather pants. They are a perfect, deep brown that looks great with any color. The wide-leg cut of the bottoms makes the pants give off a sexy, bohemian vibe. Add a chic hat, chunky heels and a black bag and you have the perfect look for an outing with friends!

One Simple Change: If you are going on a fancy date night, wear a similar pair of flared, leather pants with an ethereal cream top and cool wedges. The top will show your femininity, while the pants and shoes will give your look a bit of edge.


WHAT TO WEAR: Vacation

July is a great month for many reasons. Summertime means barbecues, swimming pools, picnics in the park and last but not least, vacation. This is usually the time of year where my family and I pack up our stuff and head to a relaxing destination. This week’s Fashionista’s easy, stylish look is perfect for a vacation night out on the town.

While bright colors are great for summer, I am a big fan of white. There is just something about wearing head to toe white that looks so crisp and trendy. She starts her outfit off with simple, sheer top. This shirt is a great option for a vacation because the color is so versatile. You can also pair this piece with a multitude of bottoms, making it an efficient top that works with almost all outfits. She then pairs this sheer, chiffon shirt with classic, high-waisted jeans. The extremely light wash of these pants appear almost white, which creates a flattering, streamlined look for this Fashionista. These jeans are also are a great piece to bring on a vacation because they can be worn on the plane, out to dinner or for a night out on the town. Efficient packing is extremely important when on vacation because the limited suitcase space makes creating outfits difficult.

This Fashionista finishes off her look with trendy gladiator sandals. These simple shoes look great with jeans, shorts or a dress, making them another perfect vacation item to throw in your suitcase. She keeps her accessories light by wearing a small bracelet and a vintage ring. Lastly, she carries her things in a brown, leather purse that is extremely versatile. The crossbody style of this purse is also great for sightseeing in a foreign country because you can keep your belongings safe.

One Simple Change: This outfit is so simple that it is the perfect blank canvas for any occasion. Switch the sandals for a crazy, colorful pair of heels and add earrings and you are ready for a girl’s night out!

WHAT TO WEAR: Study Group

While some of us are fortunate enough to avoid summer classes, others are not so lucky. As summer term midterms are approaching, Fashionistas all over the country are taking over the cafes and coffee shops. This Fashionista’s comfortable, airy dress is the perfect item to get her through all-day study sessions.

When I think of my ideal studying outfit, I think of leggings, a sweater, a scarf and boots. Unfortunately, this comfy clothing combination cannot be worn in current temperatures. A jersey knit dress is just as cozy as a sweater and leggings, but is way more wearable in the summer heat. The soft fabric of this blue dress feels like you are wearing pajamas and will keep you comfortable for hours on end. The high-low cut of this dress is very on-trend right now, making this study outfit super fashionable. The vibrant, electric blue hue looks great and is more interesting than a simple black or white dress.

This Fashionista makes her look even cooler by layering a classic, distressed denim jacket over her dress. A denim jacket is a great choice for warm, summer months because it provides just enough warmth to fend off a cool, nighttime breeze. This jacket also looks great in contrast with her darker blue dress. Her all blue ensemble looks casual and trendy. This denim jacket is the perfect piece of summer outerwear because it is so versatile. Jean jackets are a closet staple for any Fashionisto/a!

One Simple Change: This look can easily be transformed to a casual date night look with some accessories. Pair a similar dress and jean jacket with some awesome earrings and a necklace for a casual, yet fashionable nighttime look. Switch the flip flops for a wedge and you have the perfect casual date night ensemble!

WHAT TO WEAR: At The Beach

It is officially July. Even though the school year ended over a month ago, July feels like the true beginning of summer. This wondrous month is filled with barbecues, popsicles, sandcastles, adventures and most importantly, the beach. Summer beach days are happy, carefree and calming. This Fashionista’s outfit perfectly embodies everything wonderful about summer and the beach.

While looking fashionable is always important for Fashionistas, it is important to make sure your beach outfit is comfortable and easy to throw on. This Fashionista’s combination of a breezy crop top, denim cutoffs and sunglasses is the ideal beach outfit. She starts with a simple black bikini that is the perfect foundation for any beach look. Her light green top is a pretty, neutral color that is flattering for all skin tones. The delicate, cream lace embroidery on the front of the shirt is a pretty detail that adds to the feminine feel of the shirt. I also love how she pairs her romantic, girly shirt with a pair of vintage-inspired denim cut-offs. The high-waisted shape of these bottoms creates a great contrast to the feminine vibe of her shirt. High-waisted denim cut-offs like these are perfect for any summertime outfit. The shorts are a classic summer piece that look great with any shirt. She finishes off her look with a pair of cool, retro sunglasses. Her black Wayfarers look classic and awesome with any summer outfit.

One Simple Change: If this look seems a bit too casual, switch the sandals for a pair of  awesome heels. Instead of a casual crop top, pair your denim cut-offs with a fancier shirt. This velvet top would look great with these black shorts and heels for a beachy night on the town.


When people think of summer colors, they think of hues like turquoise, coral or white. Most people do not think of black. When I saw this Fashionista walking around in her all-black summer ensemble, I began to reconsider my thoughts on black as a summer color. While black is often thought of as a dark, dreary hue that is meant for winter and funerals, this Fashionista proves that black can be equally chic for summer.

Head to toe black is a bold choice for summer, however this Fashionista totally pulls it off. The trick to looking summery in black is sticking to light, breezy fabrics. This Fashionista’s chic black shorts, chiffon crop top and draped jacket are the perfect black, summery pieces for an outdoor concert. The shorts are structured and high-waisted, making them a great, versatile bottom for any occasion. Her awesome vintage crop top is perfect for a summer concert because it is comfortable and breathable. This Fashionista’s draped jacket is the perfect piece of outerwear for this outfit because it is lightweight and can provide just the right amount of warmth for an outdoor show. Her all black ensemble is the ideal combination of edgy and chic, making this Fashionista ready to take on any concert.

While each clothing item looks cool in its own way, this Fashionista really brings her concert look up a notch with accessories. This Fashionista’s great vintage statement necklace is the perfect piece to add some muted color to her outfit. The beading of the necklace give off a cool, ethnic vibe that parallels many concerts. Finally, her structured black bag, round sunglasses and suede booties are timeless pieces that add a classic twist to this Fashionista’s edgy look.

One Simple Change: For more of a nighttime look, switch the tie-front crop top for a sexier, textured leather top. A leather top, black shorts and a pair of killer heels create the perfect outfit for a Girls’ Night Out!

WHAT TO WEAR: Early Class

I am not a morning person. When I need to wake up any time before 10, it’s a struggle. For this reason, I have always dreaded morning class. As if waking up early isn’t bad enough, us Fashionistas are expected to look stylish at all hours. This Fashionista’s outfit is perfect for early class because she combines just the right amount of trendiness with comfort.

This Fashionista’s layers are the perfect way to hastily look put together. She starts with a simple, sky blue T-shirt. She then layers an oversized, striped button-down shirt over her tee. The black and white stripes look great with her blue tee and add a needed pop of print to her ensemble. This Fashionista then adds a lightweight, chambray vest as her final layer. I love how all three of her layers are different fabrics. The combination of denim, chiffon and cotton creates an interesting mix of textures that makes her outfit more interesting.

This Fashionista pairs her lovely layers with ripped cut-offs. These shorts are a summer staple and can be dressed up or down. Her casual, comfortable layers go well with the laid back vibe of her bottoms. This Fashionista’s black, leather boots add some polish to her look and tie in perfectly with the black stripes on her button-down.

My favorite part about this Fashionista’s look is her accessories. Her clothing is casual, which is perfect for morning classes, but she makes her outfit more stylish with the simple addition of some jewelry and sunglasses. This Fashionista’s long necklace gives off a cool, ethnic vibe that goes well with her overall look. Her beaded bracelets and multiple rings are interesting details in her otherwise simple ensemble. This Fashionista finishes her look with trendy, round sunglasses and an oversized black bag. Combine her simple layers with cool jewelry and you have an easy outfit for morning class!

One Simple Change: Denim shorts are extremely versatile. Instead of wearing them with boots and layers like this Fashionista, try pairing the shorts with sandals and a tank for the beach!