Cool fall temperatures should be no reason to shelve those skirts and dresses. This Fashionista had no problem going pantsless in the cooler weather thanks to her chic leg coverings.

Tights aren't just for ballet class anymore. With a multitude of textures, colors, and styles available, there are tights fit for every personality and style.

Tights — the older, lighter cousin of leggings and not to be confused with pantyhose — are the perfect addition to any skirted outfit when it's too chilly to go bare or your current limited shower time has converted you to a participant of No Shave November. Although many of us may equate tights to three-year-old ballerinas and older women, they can be the key to taking your ensemble from cute to chic as quickly as you can get them on.

Tights come in more varieties than can be imagined: opaque, sheer, shimmery, patterned, solid, textured, or not textured. 

This Fashionista chose a creamy hued pair with texture to keep things Earthy with her navy dress and brown cowboy boots. Want your legs to be the focal point of your outfit? How about embracing the animal print trend with some sassy leopard print tights?

Tights also complement any type of closed-toed footwear. Pull them on with a simple pair of ballet flats or even riding boots. Not sure what to do when your boots feel a little too roomy without your thickest comfy socks? Try some Bootights (Oprah loved 'em, why shouldn't we?)


Leather and lace: the ultimate example of “opposites attract.”

This Fashionista clearly embraced the age-old adage by pairing her delicate lace top with a more rough and tumble piece in her Rag & Bone leather jacket. When I asked about her ensemble, she noted that the peekaboo aspect of the leather top added “visual interest” and also balanced out the tougher nature of her leather jacket. Also adding to the mix was a delicate pleated circle skirt, keeping the femininity factor positive.

Leather jackets come out of hibernation this time of fall, adding a certain feminine toughness to any Fashionista's ensemble. The leather jacket is much like the cooler older sister of the denim jacket, and can be found in a wide variety of colors, styles and silhouettes.

Not quite sure if you can pull it off? Look for a silhouette that fits your personal aesthetic style. For a more classic look, try a simple style in a neutral color that can be paired with anything. Feeling adventurous? Like jeans, leather jackets have come out in full force in bright jewel tones this year. Try a bright colored jacket for an eye-catching finishing touch to an otherwise simple outfit of jeans and a white tee. Taking the trend one step further, those with more ladylike tastes can try a more feminine cut for the ultimate marriage of delicate and tough. 

Leather jackets can be a tough item to procure. Not only is the perfect fit difficult to land at times, but price point can be prohibitive. If you want to rock the look but lack the disposable income to shell out for a top notch piece, try some great standby stores for those great jackets for a steal. My Fashionista snagged her Rag & Bone jacket at T.J.Maxx, which often includes a “Runway” section featuring high-end designer pieces. Not a Maxxinista? Mall staple Forever 21 is always first to offer current trends for less, and any budget Fashionista is guaranteed to find herself a piece that fits her style. 



Over the summer, I engaged in a continuous debate with a male friend concerning whether or not it is appropriate to wear denim above the waist. I maintained that denim can be worn up top as long as there is no risk of a “Canadian Tuxedo” occurring.

I hope he sees this Fashionista, who beautifully embodies my argument.

This Fashionista was spotted on her way to an early morning class adding a bit of a twist to a classic outfit. Her denim button-down serves as the perfect complement to her patterned shorts, keeping her outfit classic and not at all fussy. 

The denim shirt can be a tricky piece to navigate, but it does not need to be so. Like this Fashionista, the denim shirt can be worn with patterned shorts when the weather is nice, or even tucked into a pretty patterned skirt. Too cool outside for shorts? Never fear. Denim shirts make a great companion to that colored denim you've been lusting after for the last few weeks. And if you're feeling particularly brave, put that light wash denim shirt over your darkest wash skinny jeans.

Not sure if the denim shirt is right for you? Take some gateway denim pieces for a spin. Denim jackets are a staple in any closet and look great over dresses and colored jeans, alike. Feeling a little edgier? Try a classic denim vest, which will add cool points to any outfit.

For fall, denim shirts lend themselves to brown riding boots for that classic collegiate look, but can also be worn as a makeshift cardigan to make your sassiest dress a bit more casual. 

With the never ending supply of ways to wear the denim shirt, there's no reason not to invest. Ignore what the boys think and work that denim shirt.

STYLE ADVICE OF THE WEEK: Positive Plaid-itude

Plaid: It's thought of as reserved for young schoolgirls, lumberjacks and your grandfather.

Not anymore!

This Fashionista was spotted rocking plaid in the best way. Wearing a boyfriend button-down over the skinniest of skinny jeans, she embraces both sides of the gender boundary without coming across as adrogynous. Her loose fitting shirt is large enough to keep her covered (jeggings — like leggings — aren't necessarily pants, either!) without creating a tent-like effect. Add to the mix some sassy booties and this girl has got herself an ensemble fit for hiking to and from class beneath the new fall foliage.

Adding to the femininity of the outfit is her long key necklace, which adds to the uniqueness of her look. Not one to be fussy with her apparel, this Fashionista opts to pull her hair back with a simple brown headband, keeping the eyes where they should be: on the plaid.

Fall is all about the plaid, and bonus points are to be given if it comes in flannel form. Layer a plaid shirt with a utility vest for warmer seasonal transition days or jacket when the temperature starts to drop, and you're set for anything life throws at you. Pair it with heavier, antique jewelry for the perfect marriage of style and substance that will spice up your outfit without detracting from the focal point of your outfit.

If there's one thing that'll help you get through midterms, it's a positive plaid-itude.


Once upon a time, polka dots were reserved for the youngest amongst us. As little girls, we donned little pink polka dotted swimsuits with ruffle skirts, wore polka dotted bows, and even enjoyed the occasional polka dotted sundress. But, for whatever reason, as we aged, polka dots fell to the wayside. Once a favorite print, we found ourselves turning up our nose at the dots, instead opting for more “grown up” patterns.

Not this Fashionista.

Putting aside age restrictions, she embraces polka dots with her navy and white dress. Her peter pan collar and button-down front add a touch of old-school preppiness, balancing out the thought-to-be childish-nature of polka dots. Her vintage-looking earrings also pack an old-school punch, adding maturity to her ensemble. Keeping her dress current is the addition of pockets — the ultimate utility in today's fashion.

This Fashionista proves that polka dots don't have to be relegated to your baby sister's closet, but can also make the transition to young adulthood along with you. To keep the dots looking up to date, choose pieces with mature silhouettes that will keep the ensemble from looking too young. When working with a polka dotted dress, it is best to opt for simple flats, as to not distract from the detail. Polka dots can easily be worked into other outfits, as well, including classic polka dot tops and skirts.

At this point in life, it can be difficult to find the balance between childhood and adulthood. The youthful nature of polka dots fused with more mature pieces can help bridge this gap between life stages, while looking chic in the process.


The state of Tennessee is now officially feeling fall, and this Fashionista is fully embracing the nicer weather. While mornings are cool and crisp, afternoons can still pack a punch of warmth. But, have no fear, this Fashionista has it all figured out. Western boots make the perfect complement to any skirted ensemble, striking the perfect balance.

While this Fashionista undoubtedly makes wearing boots with a skirt look easy, the task is not always so effortless. When combining the tough and the feminine, it is imperative for Fashionistas to consider the balance of their outfit. Making it look like a no-brainer, this Fashionista adds a multi-hued blue eyelet scarf to balance the weight of her beautiful brown boots. Also adding to the aesthetic balance of her outfit is her long sleeved brown T-shirt, which simply and effortlessly grounds her outfit. 

Boots are the ultimate for fall, as they keep your feet warm without getting overheated and can handle the dewy mornings and occasional light rain that greets us when we wake up. On those ambiguous mornings when the forecast says warm, but you feel cold, boots are the perfect piece. Whether cowboy or classic riding, they casually increase the chic-factor of any outfit. Paired with a chunky scarf or sweater up top, boots help us get through even the dreariest of Mondays by giving us something solid to rely on.


Every new school year in Nashville starts out hot, but about three weeks in, the weather changes, and not necessarily for the better. The mornings are cool and crisp, but the afternoons are warm and muggy, leaving Fashionistas in an awkward sartorial situation. Is it better to be cold in the morning and hot in the afternoon? Or vice versa? Somehow, this Fashionista seems to have it all figured out.

She opted for tight olive jeggings, which would make most of us swoon with heat exhaustion. However, by playing with volume above the waist, she creates a look that is not only flattering, but also necessitates air flow. She successfully bridges the gap between summer and fall by combining the earth-toned hue of green with the sweet color of cream, adding a pop of summery yellow in her espadrilles as a nod to the season that we all know and love. 

When playing with volume like this Fashionista, it is a must to strike the perfect balance. Her flouncy top perfectly complements her body-hugging bottoms, keeping her from venturing into tent territory. Just like any polished Fashionista, she polishes her look with a bevy of necklaces and bracelets that once again pay homage to both the coming and going seasons. As a bonus, this Fashionista dares to wear a black bag with her earth-toned outfit, proving that great outfits can come with unexpected color combinations.

When it seems like the walk to class is really a walk to another climate, don't fret. Bridge that awkward gap between seasons by giving a little on each end and playing with volume. It's okay to refuse to let go of summer for awhile.


Belts have been a touchy subject for me ever since my middle school required that every student wear them with their shirt tucked in. Somehow, this Fashionista has made me fear them a little bit less.

Her classic brown belt does not serve to hold up her pants, but acts as the perfect accent to her denim romper. While accentuating her waist, the belt also helps set the tone of the Southwestern-feeling outfit, completed with turquoise and silver jewelry, as well as beaded sandals. 

Belts have made a comeback in recent years, accompanying Fashionistas' dresses and skirts across campus, but rarely has one been worn with an item as unique as a romper. The world of belts can be a confusing one for novices to navigate (skinny, wide, woven, and leather, oh my!), but this Fashionista makes her styling decisions clear for onlookers: Less is more. Her accessory of choice — a hand-me-down from Mom — is simple and understated, allowing her to further complement her look with jewelry acquired while studying abroad in Chile. 

But accessorizing doesn't always have to be this simple. For those looking for a more playful, girly take on the look, try an ever-feminine colored belt with a bow or floral piece. For the more daring dresser, there's also the option of an eye-catching chain belt or fanny pack.

Our middle school memories of belts can easily be forgotten along with all those unflattering tiny t-shirts and tattoo chokers, replaced by the notion that belts aren't a necessary evil. When donned with a little imagination, a well-worn belt can be the perfect finishing piece to any outfit. 

STYLE ADVICE OF THE WEEK: Singin’ in the Rain

What's the only thing worse than a Monday morning? A cold, rainy one.

While the rest of us were struggling to roll out of bed and look somewhat presentable, this Fashionista donned the one campus essential many overlook: cute wellies. Instead of opting for the ever-popular Hunter Boots, she chose to stand apart from the crowd with her eyecatching peacock boots.

Donning her attention-grabbing footwear didn't keep her from selecting equally eye-catching pieces above her ankles, either. Her choice of a floral print top and heathered cardigan made for an eclectic mix of prints that helped her stay noticeable and stylish even in the grueling weather that makes most of us simply want to blend in.

Rainboots are an absolute must for any college fashionista, as walks to class can turn treacherous at a moment's notice. Not only do they keep your tootsies dry, but they can also add much needed warmth in the colder months, especially with the edition of plush welly socks. Rainboots are an ideal way to show off your individual style while making a splash, whether it be with a classic black pair or  with a more festive and bright colored pair, or even one with prints. The more unique, the better.

And while classic Hunter Boots might seem as though they're cutting into your meal budget, less expensive and just-as-cute options are always available at every Fashionista's little secret weapon: Target.

Next time the weather outside is frightful, slip on your favorite pair of bright rubber boots for a little pick-me-up. Whether they're paired with leggings, shorts or a cute dress, they're the ultimate marriage of style and substance.

Style Guru Bio: Sarah Byerley

My name is Sarah Byerley, and I am a senior at Vanderbilt University in the idyllic city of Nashville, Tennessee. I am currently wrapping up my degree in Communication Studies, and am having completely mixed feelings about bursting out into the real world nine months from now. My post-graduation dream is to find employment in journalism or publishing and to never have to wear a suit to work. 

My wardrobe is ever-evolving as I continue to find my own sense of style and myself as a person. My closet absolutely reflects my Texan background, as it includes plenty of sundresses, cute tanks and of course, denim. I have loved venturing farther north where seasons exit (albeit not above the Mason-Dixon Line) and getting the opportunity to become addicted to boots and jackets. There is currently a pair of beautiful brown Tory Burch Selma boots beneath my bed that are begging to be worn as soon as the temperature drops.

While my style reflects the simple comfort and utility of Texas, I also enjoy throwing people for a loop with a number of funky Marc by Marc Jacobs items, in addition to my embarrassingly large collection of J.Crew and Madewell staples. I love mixing pieces in unexpected combinations of prints, colors and styles in an effort to keep people guessing.

When I'm not perusing style blogs or fashion magazines, I am often found donning my cutest apron and concocting various baked goods in the kitchen, which my roommates both love and hate. When the baking is done, I am usually found watching baseball, proving that well-dressed girls can love sports, too!

I am in love with the diverse style on Vanderbilt's campus and cannot wait to share it with everyone. Students come from far and wide to attend the school, creating a beautiful melting pot of regional styles that is unmatched by any other university. I hope everyone enjoys it as much as I do.