WHAT TO WEAR: Graduation

It is that time of year again when students are graduating and moving on to the next chapter of their life. Students across the world are attending their last lectures, taking their last finals and culminating their college years. These years are often the best times of our lives and deserve to be treated as such. As we celebrate our fellow classmates’ accomplishments and reminisce about fun college memories, it is only fitting that our graduation outfits parallel the fabulosity of those entering the real world.

This trendy Fashionista’s look is great for any graduation event. Whether you are graduating or attending a friend’s graduation fête, a sheath and chunky heels are the perfect combination to carry you from the ceremony to the party. This Fashionista’s Lilly Pulitzer sheath is cheerful and classic. The subtle pink stitching of the fabric and the pearl embellishments give the dress a girly, preppy vibe that is perfect for graduation.

She artfully tones down the preppiness of her sheath by pairing it with her awesome, floral platforms. These patterned, chunky heels are great because they are comfortable enough to wear all day. The shape of these shoes give off a very ’70s vibe that looks so vintage and cool when combined with a girly sheath dress. I also love how the big, silver buckle on these heels make the floral shoes more fashionable.

This Fashionista finishes off her look with some sunglasses. Her awesome cat-eye glasses are so stylish right now and are a universally flattering shape. The floral detailing on the glasses match her shoes and are a fun way to spice up simple shades. My favorite thing about her look is the way she makes normally girly colors and patterns look edgy and unbelievably cool.

One Simple Change: If this Fashionista’s look is a little too out there for you, switch the heels for some simpler sandals. Add a light sweater and simple earrings to your sheath dress and you are ready to rock that presentation!


I love going to brunch. Although the idea of brunching may sound a bit pretentious, this mid-morning meal is always a good time. Whether you are meeting up with your friends to discuss last night’s shenanigans or going back to your favorite breakfast place from home with your family, the conversations and laughter shared over brunch will always be joyful memories. Like the typical Fashionistas we are, a great meal would not be complete without a great outfit to match. This Fashionista’s simple, yet stylish ensemble is perfect for a casual Sunday brunch.

This Fashionista proves that a simple outfit can still be super trendy. I absolutely love this Fashionista’s maxi skirt. Maxis are making a huge comeback and this cute, pink skirt is the perfect maxi for any occasion. The light pink of the fabric is neutral enough to match many hues, yet vibrant enough to brighten up any look. I also love the bow detail on the side of the skirt. It gives her outfit an adorably sweet vibe that is excellent for a casual weekend brunch.

While I love the bow on her skirt, this Fashionista does a great job mixing sweet with edgy when she pairs her maxi with a fitted, white crop top. Her top is a great basic that can accompany any high-waisted bottom. It is also long enough so that she doesn’t show too much skin for a family brunch.

She completes her brunch-ready look with an awesome, chunky gold cuff. Her bracelet adds a little pizzazz to her otherwise simple outfit. I also love the earthy vibe that the leaf detailing brings to her ensemble. Combine a trendy maxi with an edgy crop top and a chunky cuff and voilà, you have the perfect brunch getup!

One Simple Change: This Fashionista could make her look a bit more fierce with a cool statement necklace and some bold makeup. Add this collar, some neutral wedges and a swipe of this striking lipstick for a casual date night!


As a frequent errand-runner, I have often been faced with the clothing dilemma of comfy vs. cute. Whether I am going to the market or to get my haircut, I just want to be comfortable. Unfortunately, I have never been one to be satisfied with leggings or sweatpants. Although I will always refuse to rock sweatpants in public, I still make sure to wear something cozy when I am out and about. This Fashionista shares my philosophy of errand attire when she wears this comfortable, yet stylish romper.

The romper is easily one of my favorite clothing items. It combines the comfiness of a dress with the functionality of shorts or pants. This Fashionista’s romper is made from a really cool black and neutral lace material. The fabric makes the simple cut of this romper way more glam. Rompers are perfect for running errands because they are so comfortable and you can quickly throw one on. This Fashionista created a simple and stylish look in the few seconds that it took her to pair her romper with glasses, sandals and a chunky watch.

The accessories that this Fashionista paired with her romper makes her look ultra-glamorous. Her oversized shades are a great shape and give her an excuse to skip the makeup when she runs her errands. She pairs this chunky, rose-gold menswear watch with her sunglasses to make her outfit even more chic. A menswear watch is really trendy right now and is such a versatile accessory! This Fashionista finishes off her look by wearing a pair of black Tory Burch sandals. These shoes are really comfortable so they are the perfect footwear for a day of running around town. By accessorizing her simple romper with shades, a watch and sandals, this Fashionista appears fashionable and ready to take on her busy day.

One Simple Change: If you don’t have time to change before a night out, switch your sandals for a pair of fun heels and dangly earrings. This simple swap allows you to take your romper from errands to a girl’s night out!

STYLE GURU BIO: Nicole Lettiere

My name is Nicole Lettiere and I am an incoming junior studying at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. I am majoring in Communication Arts and getting a certificate in Digital Communication Studies. This is my second semester writing for CollegeFashionista and I am so excited to be writing the WHAT TO WEAR column this summer. This past semester writing for CollegeFashionista has taught me so much about street style and trends. I can’t wait to share my summer inspiration with all of you!

I was born and raised in Los Angeles, California, so I have always been surrounded by people who take fashion seriously. The city of LA is like a runway; there is never a shortage of unique ensembles out on the streets. My mom also works in the fashion industry which helped ignite my obsession for clothing early on. As a child, I always loved playing dress up in my grandmother’s closet and putting on my mother’s makeup. Fashion and beauty trends have always fascinated me. Whether I am reading one of my five favorite style magazines or shopping with my friends, I am constantly thinking about fashion. I love how styles are always changing and people put their own spin on every trend. Fashion is the perfect way to express ones individuality.

I’m excited to return to CollegeFashionista to highlight the eclectic and stylish ladies and gentlemen of Madison. Although Madison is a relatively small city, it has so much to offer in the realm of fashion. I’m looking forward to showcasing the multitude of trends that Wisconsinites will be wearing this season. Cheers to a wonderful summer!

LET’S HEAR IT FOR THE BOYS: Build Me Up, Button-Up Baby

As the year comes to a close and finals loom upon us, it is becoming increasingly difficult to find the motivation to do almost anything. The few hours of sleep we all get during finals week are barely enough to fuel our constant studying. Unfortunately, this often means skipping out on life’s frivolities, like fashion. While no one expects us sleep-deprived students to create fabulous finals outfits, there is no reason to sulk around campus in sweatpants and a T-shirt.

This Fashionisto found a happy medium with his comfortable yet polished button-up. Instead of opting for a plain T-shirt, he pairs his classic blue jeans with a stylish button-up. He layers a black The North Face jacket over his shirt and adds a pair of tennis shoes to complete the look.

A button-up is a great option for those times when you don’t feel like dressing super trendy. Although this Fashionisto’s outfit is fairly simple, he still looks sophisticated. The linen material of his shirt is also extremely breathable, so he won’t be too warm in Madison’s current heat wave.

Hint: If you want some more outfit options to take you through finals week, try leaving your shirt unbuttoned. Wear a pair of black jeans with printed T-shirt. Layer an open, pastel button-up over your shirt for a fresh, summery look. If you are not a fan of wearing jeans in 70-degree weather, switch the jeans for a pair of shorts to stay cool. Finish your look off with some stylish eyewear like this Fashionisto, and you will be ready to conquer finals week!

LET’S HEAR IT FOR THE BOYS: Beautiful Brights

After what seemed like the longest winter of all time, Madison is finally in 70-degree territory. A typical day in Madison now consists of terrace and street performers instead of libraries and snow. Everyone seems to be in a general state of bliss. As a Fashionista, I obviously think the best way to express ones happiness with the current weather is with fashion.

This Fashionisto’s colorful ensemble looks great and matches Madison’s bright, spring weather. In just a T-shirt and shorts, he creates an easy, comfortable outfit that is also stylish. He pairs his bright shirt with a pair of simple chino shorts. The sky blue shade of his bottoms is extremely wearable and looks cool with neutral or bright colors. This Fashionisto stays comfortable by wearing a pair of sleek athletic shoes. Finally, he finishes his look with an awesome backpack. The leather material of his bag is trendy and adds more texture to his outfit than a canvas backpack would.

I absolutely love the details of this Fashionisto’s shirt. Not only do the colors work perfectly together, but the color blocking makes this shirt way more interesting. The orange pop of color on his pocket is toned down by the gray and navy shades of the T-shirt. Although simple, a bright, color blocked T-shirt is an easy way to upgrade your look.

Hint: Colorful T-shirts are the perfect way to brighten your summer wardrobe. Take a hint from this Fashionisto, and choose a shirt with fun details. The map pattern on the pocket of this plain red tee is a cool detail that adds graphic appeal to the top. If you want a funkier shirt, try this cool patterned T-shirt from Topman. Both of these shirts would look great with a pair of khakis and some Converse. Add a pair of wayfarer sunglasses and you have yourself a stylish summer ensemble!


This past Saturday marked the 139th Kentucky Derby. Every year, sports aficionados and fashion enthusiasts join forces and tune in to this famous national event. The sports enthusiasts love watching the best racehorses and jockeys in the world duke it out for the number one spot, while the Fashionistas/os look forward to one thing and one thing only: the glorious hats.

Although Kentucky Derby hats may not be the best streetwear, less extravagant hats are perfect accessories for any occasion. Whether it be a fedora, a sunhat or a bowler cap, a hat adds style to any outfit.

Even though he is wearing a simple outfit, this Fashionisto exudes coolness and class because of his stylish hat. I love how it is a unique combination of a fedora and a bowler hat. Instead of wearing an outdated fedora, this Fashionisto channels Mad Men’s Don Draper with a more circular hat with a wider brim. The chocolate brown fabric of his hat looks extremely luxurious and is easy to match with any color.

He keeps the rest of his look simple by pairing a solid button-down shirt with slim dark wash jeans. Finally, this Fashionisto ties his outfit together with a pair of brown, distressed combat boots. These shoes are a great alternative to sneakers because they are just as comfortable and they give off a trendy, vintage vibe.

Hint: If you want to rock a hat like this Fashionisto, follow his lead and keep the rest of your outfit simple by wearing a T-shirt and dark jeans. If you love this Fashionisto’s classy hat, try pairing this hat with some loafers in a matching shade. For a more casual look, switch out the jeans for a pair of shorts and try wearing a snapback instead of a fancier cap!


There is something about a simple polo that is so crisp and classy. Although polos are often associated with country clubs and old men, polos can make anyone seem more put together. Classic brands, like Lacoste, make the perfect polos that cause any Fashionisto/a to exude class.

As I was eating lunch by the food carts, this Fashionisto quickly commanded my attention with his vibrant yellow polo. I love how this particular yellow is bright enough to add a great pop of color but muted enough so that it is not overbearing. He pairs this stylish polo with a pair of classic dark wash jeans for a comfortable yet sophisticated look. I love how he cuffs his jeans, allowing his cool, brown boots to take center stage. By combining three classic pieces—a polo, dark wash jeans and boots—this Fashionisto creates an easy outfit that can work for any casual occasion.

While the color of this Fashionisto’s polo brightens up his whole outfit, it is the long sleeve cut of this shirt that really makes his look. When people think of polos, they usually think of something with short sleeves. This Fashionisto switches things up by choosing a long sleeve version that gives of a vintage vibe. I love the long sleeve version because it not only looks cool, but it is also extremely functional. A long sleeve polo is perfect for those days where it is too warm for a jacket, yet too cold for a simple T-shirt.

Hint: If you want to copy this Fashionisto’s classic look, you’re in luck because there are infinite polos in various styles and colors. If you want to stick with a neutral polo, try livening things up a bit by wearing colored bottoms. These blue chinos are extremely wearable and would look great with an understated, neutral top. If you feel a little more adventurous, try wearing a polo in a fun print. This dip dye polo would look awesome with a pair of black shorts and black loafers.

LET’S HEAR IT FOR THE BOYS: Fabulously Furry

Although the weather in Madison has finally started to warm up, it still isn’t time for sandals and the Terrace. The current weather is a perfect mixture of winter and spring, and, unfortunately, it can be tricky to dress for. For this reason, fleece pullovers have become man’s best friend. A pullover is the perfect lightweight jacket to carry any Fashionista/o through these confusing transition weeks. This Fashionisto’s outfit is a perfect example of how one can create an easy, functional look with a classic fleece.

This Fashionisto’s Patagonia pullover has an interesting twist. Instead of standard fleece material, the jacket looks like it is made out of fur, adding a cool, unique texture to his ensemble. The material of his Patagonia is not only appealing to the eye, but also extremely soft to the touch. In addition, the olive color of this jacket is a wonderfully neutral hue that matches almost any color scheme.

This Fashionisto creates a casually cool vibe by layering a standard sweatshirt with his pullover. When the weather can switch from a morning rainstorm to a sunny afternoon, it is important to have layers to adapt to the changing temperatures. The sweatshirt and fleece combination looks great with his baggy, dark wash jeans, which are a staple in any Fashionisto’s wardrobe.

Hint: If you want to emulate this Fashionisto’s casual, cozy look, try creating an outfit around this fun, patterned Patagonia fleece. The pattern of this jacket is unique and spruces up an otherwise generic pullover. The light and dark brown combination of this fleece is also extremely wearable and would look great with a pair of simple khakis and Sperry Top-Siders.


Every Fashionisto needs a few staple items in his closet. These items allow a Fashionista/o to combine various clothing items to create a unique look. What I love about this Fashionisto’s outfit is the way he combines five staple pieces to create a basic yet stylish ensemble. The five basic items that every Fashionisto needs are a T-shirt, a versatile jacket, jeans, cool shoes and a hat or beanie. This Fashionisto’s trendy outfit is a perfect example of how to combine multiple basic pieces into a modern look.

This Fashionisto starts off his look with a pair of casual jeans and a white T-shirt. This combination of jeans and a white shirt is a perfect blank slate for any outfit. A Fashionisto can create almost any vibe with jeans and a T-shirt depending on the jacket, shoes and accessories. He adds a cool charcoal blazer and matching suede boots to stylize this simple look.

My favorite part about this Fashionisto’s outfit is his charcoal blazer. Dark gray is such a great color because it is extremely versatile but more interesting than black or white. I also love the cut of this jacket. The front looks trendy and sophisticated, while the attached hood gives off a more casual vibe. A blazer is a perfect piece of outerwear that looks great with almost anything.

Hint: If you love this simple look but think it needs a little extra oomph, try playing with the colors of your basic pieces. While this Fashionisto’s neutral colors look great together, choosing colored denim or a pair of bright sneakers can definitely enhance this basic outfit. Start with a pair of colored jeans in a fun color, like this green pair, and then add a matching T-shirt. When choosing a shirt, pick a color that complements the jeans instead of a color that will clash with them. If you decide to wear standard blue jeans instead of colored denim, you can spice up your outfit by wearing a pair of bright sneakers. These Nike shoes bring a great pop of color to any basic outfit. Finish off either look with a neutral piece of outerwear, like this cardigan or this black jacket.