Apparently, rules on wearing white before and after certain days were created by and for the snooty elite around the 19th century. The rules were established to ensure that affluent members of society stayed cool during the summer months while being distinguishable from the working class, who usually wore darker neutrals. Fortunately, today’s fashions are open to all, so wear white without regard to the time of year. This Fashionista’s outfit is perfect for celebrating the end of the semester and the start of break.

A crisp white garment is an optimal piece for summer wardrobes because of its versatility. While some interpretations of style may not have a place for such a piece, a classic white shirt or shift dress is generally a great basic. This Fashionista’s tunic dress features pretty embroidery, adding some extra dimension to the look.

Her white dress serves as great foundation upon which she builds with mostly metallic accessories. In addition to wearing simple jewelry with gold and silver accents, this Fashionista sports classic flats in a soft golden hue to round off her outfit.

Like this week’s Fashionista, forget those silly rules and wear white whenever it feels right. Since the color is so easy to work with, the possibilities are endless! Channel this Fashionista and go down the more subtle route with mostly dainty accessories or go bolder by playing with punchy patterns as a pairing to your white item. When in doubt, denim is always a safe option; just half tuck an oversized white shirt into a pair of jeans, slip into footwear of choice and add a statement belt as a finishing touch. No matter how it is worn, a basic white piece can do little wrong.

What is your STYLE ADVICE OF THE WEEK? “The right accessories can turn a simple outfit into a ‘wow’ outfit.”


Some of my favorite street style looks are monochromatic. It takes some gusto to be able to put together, for example, an all-white or all-red look. Some colors are easier to work with, making the look more mellow than striking. This Fashionista sports a sneaky and versatile version of monochrome, incorporating a clever twist to make it more campus friendly.

She wears almost all blue, broken up with a little black via a basic tank top. The blue is soft but enough to make a statement. She made the smart choice to go with a medallion-printed kimono to top everything off. Patterns are great for adding dimension to outfits, but they also can distract from the overwhelming feeling that wearing one color head to toe can give.

Of course, her kimono is perfectly on-trend; its boho vibes are quite relevant with it still being festival season and with the recent popularity of the ‘70s. Also, it works as the perfect layering piece during this last bit of spring. The weather is always unpredictable in New Jersey, especially during season transition, so layering is always a good idea.

On that note, enjoy the start to summer with a monochromatic look like this Fashionista’s. If feeling bold enough, kick things up a notch and go for a brighter hue to make things shocking in the best way possible.

What is your STYLE ADVICE OF THE WEEK? “A breezy top with a pair of shorts for sunny weather is a great go-to outfit.”


Final exams require a lot of focus, but everyone needs a break here and there. Get some creative juices pumping by coming up with fresh outfits to wear during exam week. Having fun with color is always a great idea and coral is a great one to incorporate this spring. Look to this week’s Fashionista for tips on picking an outfit that features a fun pop of coral.

She sports an outfit that has great dimension without being too busy. The five hues in her outfit’s color palette do not clash at all, despite consisting of a mix of warms and cools. A basic white T-shirt serves as a great foundation upon which she builds her outfit. She pairs it with pants in a deep navy floral print, keeping things quirky, yet sophisticated. For outerwear and accessories, she wears a lightweight olive green jacket and a large burgundy tote, respectively.

All the colors work well as neutrals, but the pop of color from her lace-up coral sandals really elevates the look. The shoes are an unexpected addition to this outfit, and their flat, simple silhouette is perfect for the casual vibes that exam season needs. They add comfort and versatility as well, as they can easily take this Fashionsita from a chill coffee break with friends to a serious evening study session at the library. No time will be wasted and stress will definitely be reduced; additionally, aching feet will not be an issue. Therefore, neither fun nor style have to be compromised.

How To: This finals week, brighten things up with some color. For subtle touches of coral, opt for earrings or footwear. For more bold statements, pick a tote bag that features the bright hue.


When malls are saturated with sickeningly trendy items that practically everyone owns, it becomes difficult to stand out among the crowd. Local boutiques are great when looking to freshen up a wardrobe with unconventionally stylish pieces. Downtown Princeton’s Zastra is the perfect example of such a boutique; the store specializes in skirts, dresses and accessories that incorporate South Asian cultural motifs with Western silhouettes. I had the opportunity to chat with owner and designer Aruna Arya, who provided great insight as to everything Zastra has to offer.

Name: Aruna Arya

Role: Owner and designer at Zastra

CollegeFashionista: How do you curate the items in your store?

Aruna Arya: I use my personal inspiration, which is based on the colors and patterns I see and love. Sometimes, I look at fabrics and decide what I can do with them to make them unique. My customers also give me input as to what they want: low waists, above-knee hemlines, below-knee hemlines, etc. The colors, patterns and silhouettes in the store are based on what is inspiring me during the current season. 

CF: What brings you the most happiness from owning your own clothing store?

AA: Seeing a happy customer; the biggest reward for an artist is when someone truly appreciates the creations, enough to want to spend money for them so that they can enjoy them as their own. Seeing my customers being wowed by my designs and posting pictures wearing them on Facebook—that is what I love doing on an everyday basis. 

CF: Does your store have a signature aesthetic or do you base the setup off current trends?

AA: No, I never follow the current trends. In fact, I hardly read or follow what’s going on. Everybody’s style is different, every body is different and every mindset is different. What you see on the ramp is never going to work for everybody. I always design to suit a little bit of every style. I do have my own sense of style—I focus on streetwear clothing.- I have a few party dresses in store as well, but they are done in my signature silhouettes. I pay close attention to detail, always using the best fabrics. Colors are my forte. My style involves pieces that are not too out there, but not too conservative either. I like to think of my pieces as timeless classics. 

CF: What are your three wardrobe must-haves?

AA: I love a nice knee-length well-fitted black dress. Also, a beautiful patterned, loudly colored scarf is a must. I also seriously think everybody should have a long dress because it is very feminine, will never go out of style and you can wear it on any day, good or bad. 

Learn More: The next time a wardrobe refresh is in order or a special event is around the corner, head to Zastra, located in Palmer Square in downtown Princeton, for truly one-of-a-kind pieces.


When the woods are alive with the chirping of critters, I consider it springtime. Unfortunately, the temperatures on the East Coast do not always agree with this sign of spring. Shorter sleeves and hemlines only become completely doable once the season comes closer to an end, but there are still fun ways to enjoy it sartorially. This week’s Fashionista was on her way to class in an ensemble that is perfect for this time of year.

Sporting a billowy printed top and some great boots, this Fashionista kept things simple and sweet. The soft, light fabric of the top was perfect under the sun’s rays but protective against any cool breezes. The graphic print of the blouse was in tune with the brightness that comes along with spring.

She paired her top with some comfortable denim, which acted as a good base for the outfit. Also, her boots added just the right amount of edge to finish off her look. They work as an interesting contrast to the softness of the top with the tough vibes they exude.

It is so easy to give into the teasing that spring can bring; in reality, East Coast springs are still chilly and require some coverage. This does not mean, however, that one must sacrifice style because there are so many options out there—it just all comes down to taking chances and being creative.

One Simple Change: When the temperatures do rise a bit higher and summer comes along, switch out the jeans for another denim option: overalls. Opt for the skirt variety and enjoy being able to sport bare legs without worry of feeling too cold.

STYLE GURU STYLE: Showing Those Stripes

Print-mixing can seem daunting, especially when the results end up looking busy and wild. This was the exact reason, however, that once made me a huge fan of the styling technique. I loved to challenge style norms in the most outlandish ways. While I still enjoy pushing the boundaries with unexpected pairings of clothes, my tastes have become slightly more sophisticated. Coming across the Temperley London spring 2015 show made me rediscover my love for print-mixing, while making me also realize that it can be done tastefully.

Alice Temperley cleverly designed her clothes so that lacy cutouts and embroideries looked just like two-dimensional prints until scrutinized. She also used textured fabrics to represent various patterns. A few of the looks she sent out featured silky and gauzy stripes in juxtaposition, and others featured vertical and horizontal stripes paired together. Truly inspired by the innovative use of stripes, I decided to take on the show’s print-mixing.

Sporting a slinky, silk blend shirt with an asymmetrical fitted dress, I tried to channel the show via the patterns and the silhouettes. I kept within the neutral palette and wrapped up the look with black leggings and boots. To add a slight pop of color, I went for a petal pink on the nails, which also acted as a nod to the show’s intermittent use of pastels.

I love how fashion is so cyclical; it allowed me to revisit print-mixing, something I used to enjoy so much. I am now ready to re-approach patterns, but in a more mature manner.

Get My Look: 1. A silky striped shirt. 2. A dress in an opposite striped print. 3. Some pastel nail polish.


Issey Miyake’s spring 2015 collection is like a breath of fresh air with its mostly monochromatic, neutral looks. Although the pieces gradually get brighter and more print-heavy, representing the spring season’s lively nature, the main focus of the collection is on keeping things simple in the color department. The most captivating part of the collection was its incorporation of unique textures, layered over each other.

The idea of textures for spring is definitely groundbreaking to me; after seeing far too many spring runway shows featuring airy botanical prints in similarly breezy fabrics in pastels or mega brights, I feel jaded. In an effort to spice up my usual routine, I decided to take note from Issey Miyake’s collection and try out mixing textures on my own.

I immediately reached for an oversized sweater in a very large purl knit and a recently acquired mini with a jacquard effect. The subdued colors and interesting layout of the non-floral pattern keeps it interesting and not mundane. I topped it all off with my favorite biker jacket, which actually features its own play on textures via the cushioning effect on the arms.

After slipping into some classic boots, I felt ready to face the world in my somewhat unconventional spring outfit. Not only does it go down a different route in terms of atypical patterns and textures for this season, it also offers some warmth for the not so beautiful temperatures with which spring usually begins in Jersey.

Get My Look: 1. An interestingly textured sweater. 2. A jacquard skirt. 3. A great biker jacket.


Everyone says fashion is an art form, but not everyone realizes the immense truth behind that statement. Art is all about drawing inspiration from a variety of sources to channel emotion and personality in a unique manner. Fashion is just another means of achieving that end goal of self-expression. Even the least likely of sources, like the fundamentals of mathematics, can help someone create a truly individual outfit.

In this case, this Fashionista uses a grid-patterned scarf to add interest to her look. The neutrals in the outfit are reminiscent of the straightforward nature of mathematics and the grid scarf acts as an homage to the graphing aspect of the subject.

Geometric elements in the form of structured silhouettes and angular patterns have been prominent in the trend cycle recently; surprisingly enough, there is much versatility to mathematical design despite its general lack of more fluid nuances. Its more formulaic nature actually serves as an advantage.

It allows this Fashionista’s look to stay fresh and elegant with the stark enough, but not too jarring, contrast of the scarf against the tan coat. Keeping things casual but chic, this week’s Fashionista opts for a classic pair of fitted denim. The booties with the open heels work well as nice finishing touches.

The next time creating a unique outfit seems impossible, look to unlikely sources of inspiration. Consider least favorite subjects and make good use of any frustrations for said subjects.For example, if a certain writing class grates on the nerves, opt for a graphic tank with interesting prose as the main standout piece. Or, if biology scrambles the brain, choose an accessory that takes on the form of an anatomical structure. Just remember to have fun with it all—that’s the ultimate goal.

What is your STYLE ADVICE OF THE WEEK? “Use layers to your advantage when transitioning from winter to spring! I think practicality is important when you’re on the go.”

WHAT TO WEAR: Date Night

The idea of getting ready for a night out with a special someone always makes me think of the montages that are prevalent in romantic comedies, complete with cheesy pop tunes. The main character usually worries about finding the perfect outfit, matching it with the best pair of earrings and choosing the perfect nail color to finish off the look. In reality, dressing for a date night should not induce stress as it should be a process that is all about having fun with fashion. After all, no one should spend dates fussing about with clothing.

This Fashionista gets it right with her ultra comfortable outfit. The best part is that although it features soft and cozy pieces, the look does not lack in style. A creamy sweater dress acts as the perfect comfortable base upon which to build the rest of the outfit. This Fashionista manages that well by adding a pair of patterned tights; the lacy detail on the tights gives her look the oomph it needs to make it extra special.

With some classic low boots and a fluffy parka, this Fashionista holds onto comfort and warmth while staying polished. She sports a very on-trend backpack as her bag of choice, once again keeping with the theme of staying fuss-free.

Going on a date should not equate to dressing unnaturally to impress the other. Sartorially speaking, one should dress in a way that allows the personality to shine through. This way, comfort and self-security is ensured while staying in touch with personal style. Genuine actions and presentations are more appealing than forced trendiness or glamour, anyway!

One Simple Change: For a more concert-ready look, lose the bulky parka and opt for an edgy leather vest instead. It will make for interesting proportions, paired with the sweater dress, and will allow for freer movement.

ALL IN THE DETAILS: Bits and Baubles

When in a style rut, every wardrobe item comes off as bland and uninspiring. Playing with color feels excessive but going monochromatic feels dull; nothing seems to work and the urge to give up sartorially begins to surface. Although adding accessories to spice up outfits is just as groundbreaking as florals for spring, the idea has some truth to it. The right choice of accessories can truly inject freshness into a lackluster look.

Jewelry is often a go-to in the accessories department, and its versatility justifies its popularity. It is easy to contrast styles when pairing jewelry with outfits. Take this Fashionista, for example, who switches up her otherwise preppy look with some toothy layered necklaces. The black enamel and gold necklaces that she wears add just the right amount of edge to her outfit. While keeping circular shapes as a running motif, she matches her golden hoop earrings to the necklaces. By opting for these subtle touches of bling, this Fashionista creates interest and gives her outfit some extra dimension.

She keeps everything else neutral and in the gray and black family, except for her punchy lip color. One can never go wrong with a bold lip, and her monochrome look is the perfect canvas for her red choice.

How To: This spring, overcome any style ruts by reaching for jewelry to change up things. Keep the scarves and hats in the closet, and pick out a layered necklace with interesting pendants. Or, play with proportions and go for some long tassel earrings. Choose jewelry that contrasts with the style of the outfit to really stand out in the crowd.