FASHION FROM ABROAD: Mixing Darks With Lights

Black is always a great go-to color, regardless of the season. It is easily complemented and tends to flatter most body shapes. I love how this Fashionista is wearing a long black skirt, with a black fur vest and long-sleeved shirt. The all-black look is quite chic, no matter where you choose to wear it. While she is clad head to toe in black garments, I love how she added color and individuality in her accessories. Her scarf gives a very European feel to the look; it is made exclusively in Amsterdam by designer Nicolette Brunklaus. The light pastels of the silk drape around her neck elegantly, and the scarf is nicely complemented by the tone of her unique bag. The red lipstick finishes the look, tying the lighter and darker tones together. 

Although her boots aren't a part of the all-black ensemble, they are a key piece to her look. The lace up booties are an essential piece for the weather. Walking around the city, I've seen tons of Fashionista's rocking these boots, so I had to grab a pair. Perfect for the cold weather, these boots keep your feet warm and your look savvy despite the low temperatures. They are a perfect investment for the next few months of cold!

Style Guru Bio: Robin Shapiro

Hello Fashionistas/os! My name is Robin Shapiro and I am a junior at the George Washington University. Fashion has always been a passion of mine, whether writing about it, or reading countless magazines and blogs to keep up with the latest trends. Last summer I spent three months working at a fashion company in New York City, and this upcoming semester, I will be studying abroad in the beautiful city of lights, Paris. While there, I will be taking an extensive communications class about fashion around the world and its evolution in society. This class will take us to different fashion companies, such as Chanel and Louis Vuitton, and their headquarters. Although I have never traveled to Paris, or even France at all, I cannot wait to begin by adventures and document them on CollegeFashionista! 

TREND: Working with Winter

 Winter fashion, along with year round East Coast style, puts a strong emphasis on dark tones. Shades of gray, black and navy are essentials in the shift to cold weather. This limited color palette sometimes makes it difficult to find exciting outfit options. This Fashionista, however, shows that you can make your look stand out, even in the winter. I love how she chose a warm, oversized camel coat instead of a generic winter jacket. With the addition of a tie around the waist, she has the opportunity to work with a variety of belts to compliment the camel color. The size of the coat is also a great way of looking cute and staying warm at the same time. Her color choice exemplifies unique style, and she's a perfect model of working with interesting tones that are appropriate for the season.My favorite part of the Fashionista's look, though, are the sparkled flats. Matched with a pair of black jeans and a dark gray sweater these adorable flats added a bit of glam to the solid tones of the outfit. This Fashionista shows that bright metallics or sparkles can be just the right touch. I absolutely love how she isn't afraid to work with color in a distinctive way, without going overboard.

Hint: While a little bit of bling to your dark outfit palette is a great way of adding a bit of edge, don't go color crazy! Less is more. Narrow down a couple of pieces that you think would be good complements to your darks and you'll have just enough sparkle to make your look complete.

TREND: How to do Finals in Style

It's easy to tell when finals season is rolling in, not only because of the seemingly endless hours spent in the library but also the change in style seen around campus. We're all guilty of it – we tie our hair in a high pony tail, while leggings and/or sweatpants (both if it's especially cold outside) and big sweatshirts make their way out of our pajama drawers into our daily outfit routine. But this Fashionista shows that you don't have to sacrifice your style in the face of the pressure from finals. I love how she is wearing ripped tights with an adorable vintage-looking dress and a layered blazer on top. She shows how it's important to keep your style interesting and unique, while comfortable and unrestricting. The key seems to be finding good substitutes. First, instead of reaching for your generic pair of black leggings in the morning, opt for a warm pair of black opaque tights and lace up booties rather than UGGs. Then, find a loose, cozy dress to throw over your tights. I love how this Fashionista is wearing an adorable multi-colored dress that's long enough to feel both confident and savvy. For long hours of comfort, knit sweater dresses, or a loose frock that ties around the waist might be your best bet. The empire waist is perfect for the library; you can even rock an oversized sweater dress with a thin leather belt. Last, find the perfect jacket. While this Fashionista complements her outfit adorably, you might not be as inclined to reach for a blazer when you know you're headed for the library. Layering a cute, thick vest over a cashmere zip-up hoodie is another great technique of staying stylish without exerting too much effort into your look. Again, the layers work wonders!

Hint: Fabrics to keep in mind for finals season are wool, fur, cashmere and flannel. So, while work is pouring in throughout the next week, relish the fact that you'll be studious and stylish, simultaneously. Staying classy may not keep the sleep deprivation or caffeine away but it will make you feel that much better when you walk to your last set of exams in style!

TREND: Savvy Comfort for Fall

We all know the feeling: it's a Monday morning and you look outside to see a cold, rainy morning and the last thing you want to do is dress up. While many girls find it easy to stay comforable in a pair of leggings and UGG boots, Fashionistas around campus have been opting for something a little different this season. Your best bet to looking savvy in the unpleasant weather is staying comfortable but not lose your trendiness. This Fashionista shows how you really can do both. With the easiness of high waisted pants and a cotton T-shirt, I love how she threw on an oversized, gray wool sweater to add a bit of style to her look. With big sweaters recently circulating fashion blogs as a trend for fall, finding the best one and style to wear it is the key. I also love how this Fashionista rocks hers with a black top and black studded oxforts. The brown bag also adds a nice festive tone, culminating a perfect outfit for fall.

Hint: The great thing about wearing big sweaters is being able to wear anything with them. One trend I've particuarly grown to admire is wearing a big sweater over a vintage dress, intricately designed tights and combat boots. Or, you can even opt for strutting a big sweater with black leggings and a pair of leather thigh-high boots if you're not feeling up to wearing a dress in the morning! Nevertheless, don't let the dull weather get you down and stay comfy in your most savvy outfit!

TREND: Tights Time

We can all relate to the sadness of having to retire our favorite summer dresses and jean shorts when the summer turns to a chill, but tights make this transition just a little bit easier. Whether it's knee-highs, black opaque, or intricate designed lace, tights keep you in those dresses just a little bit longer. It may be difficult at times to figure out the best way of integrating tights into your attire, and working with the right dress or skirt.  This Fashionista shows an adorable way of working with the trend. I love how she is wearing black tights with an adorable blue floral tights and gray boots. With colder weather it's always more appropriate to wear darker colors, and I love how she complements the navy dress with black and gray. The chunky silver necklace is also a perfect finale, adding a  bit of sparkle and individuality to her outfit. Although just casually walking around campus, this Fashionista looks trendy and put together.

While this Fashionista rocks her tights simply, but perfectly with the intricacy of the dress, tights offer the ability to add a bit of uniqueness and distinction to an outfit. I've seen countless Fashionista's around campus rocking a simple vintage dress and an oversized sweater with all different kinds of knee-highs and designs. When you're lacking individuality, tights add so much excitement to your favorite black dress!

Hint: If you're new to the tights world, starting with black opaque might be your best bet. Black is a great investment, and works perfectly with almost any color. I adore the concept of wearing black opaque with a pair of high-heeled ankle booties under a pleaded or velvet skirt. Grey wool is also another good asset to have in your closet. For exciting styles and interesting colors, Wolford Hosiery has a wide variety of patterns.

TREND: Get Dolled Up

The winter holidays are finally in our midst, which really only means one thing: start dressing it up! Recently, faux fur has made its way into the trend world as a perfect piece for the cool weather. But I've heard numerous Fashionistas around campus discussing their struggle about how to rock their favorite fur piece appropriately, and the excitement of the holidays is a great opportunity to perfect the technique. While you could opt for a less casual look by complementing the fur with a pair of jeans and flats, I love how much you can dress up a vest to really stand out. This Fashionista glams it up perfectly, and she's a great model for how to prepare for holiday dinners. She apears in quintessential New York style; she terrifically sports an oversized, comfortable white tunic over a unique pair of shiny leggings, adorable black suede booties, and a big fur vest to finish the outfit. The four pieces make for a comprehensive, savvy look, without overdoing it. I love her confidence in wearing the distinctive leggings with the high heeled ankle boots, looking fabulous on her way to class.

I also adore how this Fashionista complimented her bold vest with a large brown leather bag to carry her books to class, adding to the different tones she's wearing. Without wearing too many colors, her style is perfectedly dressed up, without being too flashy. She truly keeps it adorable and classy, while following the latest trend.

Hint: In the spirit of Thanksgiving, follow the latest fur trend, but add a little bit of thrill to your outfit. Opt for an adorable pair of fall-friendly high heeled boots for a unique style. You'll look adorable and fully dressed to impress!

TREND: Think Feline

Finally, the cool weather has made its way into the city, and I couldn't be happier. I have an amazing fur vest to keep me warm wherever I go this season and finally the weather is allowed me to wear it daily. A great piece for fall is fur because it can be dressed up or down for all kinds of occassions. Moreover, no matter where you flaunt it, fur has become an excellent asset for this season's weather. I absolutely adore this Fashionistas use of it on her boots. The black suede accented with brown mink transition her a/w booties into a one-of-a-kind shoe for the season. I also love how she dresses the boots down with black denim tucked in to the fur, and a warm gray cashmere sweater on top. In this outfit, she can look chic on her way to class, and then feel comfortable enough to go straight to dinner after. 

Scarves are a timeless piece for the season, but a person's style can be exhibited in patterns, colors, and tones. The animal print scarf is a great look for fall. The color of the Fashionista's scarf on top of the gray sweater shows that she isn't afraid to layer different colors, and that she has put thought in her use of prints. The application of the intricate pattern on the scarf on top of her casual, single-toned top is a perfect way of drawing attention to the gorgeous animal print. I love how she chose two pieces that really pop and complemented them with simple jeans and a sweater to make a statement about her unique style. The fur and animal print compliment each other in such an adorable way that this Fashionista's unique style really caught my eye!

Hint: While animal print and fur have been seen all over the runways this season, this Fashionista shows that you can truly add the look into your everyday style. With just a couple pieces that pop, you can tone down the canine look with basic jeans and T-shirts to let your individuality stand out.

TREND: Get Sophisticated

G.W. is lucky to have a campus filled with young Fashionistas eager to look savvy by adding their own bit of flare to the latest trends. Yet, what seems to stand out the most among a campus filled with stylish ladies is the abundance of Fashionistos seen in some of the best outfits around Foggy Bottom. I absolutely love this Fashionisto's perfect fall outfit. He breaks boundaries with his mix of black and browns in an interesting and distinctive way; he doesn't overdo it, but takes bold strides in the face of fashion. His basic, soft gray and white striped shirt looks adorable tucked under his big pea coat, which is an absolute essential for the fall weather. His jeans are a perfect cut as well, not too loose or tight, and the perfect shade of blue.

What's best about this Fashionisto, however, is his adventurous side. While combat boots have been all over the women's fashion scene this season, this Fashionisto shows that the options for combat boots aren't limited to women. Using a masculine twist, I love how he follows the trend in his own, sophisticated manner. The Fashionisto's brown leather boots match with his oversized school bag, creating a truly unique and dashing finish to his adorable ensemble. It is one of the most unique school bags I've see around campus and the elbow strap of his bag is a perfect alternative to the classic satchel often seen on other male students around campus. It's a great tote for traveling or carrying all of your books to Gelman Library after class.

Hint: I adore how this Fashionisto is fearless in his use of color and style. I couldn't help but stopping him as he walked down the street just to capture his individuality. This week, take a walk on the wild side by wearing something that is unique to your wardrobe and style.

TREND: Leather Heaven

Finding a comfortable outfit for a day on Foggy Bottom isn't difficult. This Fashionista shows it perfectly: jeans, a simple black long sleeved cotton top, an oversized tote, cute metallic ballet flats, and an adorable hair bow to complete her look. But what makes her outfit, and what's always a perfect addition to any fall outfit. is her gorgeous black leather jacket. Finding the right leather jacket for fall really isn't as easy as it looks. You have to find that perfect cut, length and shape to match your body, while considering the occasions in which you are going to wear it. Color is also significant in making your final decision. While the plain black leather jacket is truly a timeless piece, I've seen more and more Fashionista's around campus sporting light greys, and browns. I've even seen the addition of furs on the inseam of jackets to stay warm in the windy fall. Adding fur is also a great example the faux fur trend seen on the recent runways.This isn't a small investment! From experience, I know mine is a great piece to have for every day use; whether it's to class, dinner with the girls, or even to an internship, I love how easily accessorized leather can be. Throw on a gorgeous classic scarf that compliments your jacket and look unique. And I just can't get enough of this Fashionista's amazing find!

What's best about leather, however, is that you don't have to discriminate to just wearing it on your jacket. I love wearing cute leather skirts with black opaque tights, and a warm cashmere sweater on top to soften the intensity of the skirt. This gives a perfect excuse to throw on your adorable pair of black ankle booties that have been hiding out from summer. Accessories like leather gloves are also perfect with a big wool coat once the snow starts hitting the ground!

Hint: While leather truly is a wonderful fabric for fall and winter, be careful not to wear too much! Rocking one piece with the material is more than enough for one outfit during the day.