FASHION FROM ABROAD: Back to the Basics

When it comes to personal style here in London, looking put together and cohesive is extremely important. Fashionistas are extremely aware of what pieces look good together and focus on this when they shop, instead of buying one piece without any regard for what it might look good with that already exists in their wardrobe. Surveying the clothes you already own is a smart and effective way to go about layering and outfit pairings. In this way, you avoid duplicating a piece and can think of innovative and fresh ways to wear things you already own mixed with your new finds.

I spotted this Fashionista in Hyde Park doing just this, as she pairs a standard pair of black skinny jeans with a creme silk top with a vintage rose-colored blazer she already had. She completes the look with a leather shoulder bag and brown moccasins. To recreate the look, I would wear dark jeans like these by Acne and this blouse from Topshop. Top the look off with this blazer in a blush shade also from Topshop. Moccasins like these from Frye and this satchel from Urban Outfitters.

Hint: Don't worry too much about matching when you are creating an outfit similar to this one. A navy blue or brown blazer would also work great with this top and bottom combination. If you want to easily transition this look from day to night, throw on a pair of heels to dress up the look even more like these nude pumps by Black Rooster.

FASHION FROM ABROAD: Harems for Spring

As a religious wearer of black leggings, it is always refreshing to divvy it up a bit and go for not only a different color bottom, but a different cut and style as well. There is nothing bigger right now than the harem pant for spring. From Badgley Mischka to Moschino, they were all over the runways this season and are growing in popularity in mainstream stores for their casual yet functional appeal. They have come a long way from the days of pants we associate only with MC Hammer into a true staple that spices up any top.

This fly Fashionista is pulling off the harems perfectly. She rocks a pair of turqouise ones, like these from Alice San Diego. She wisely rocks a casual white raglan sleeve sweater as her top to not distract from the pant. A simple one like this from American Apparel will work just perfectly. She also rocks a great pair of leather wedges with grey socks, which is a unique approach that makes the look that much more individual and cool. Get the same look with wedges like these by Diane von Furstenberg.

Hint: Though this Fashionista rocks an infinity scarf, the temperatures are slowly rising, making it far too warm for that. I would wear a simple crop top like this one by Catherine Malandrino as a substitute more appropriate for spring.

FASHION FROM ABROAD: Subtle Color Blocking

Recently, every magazine I have flipped through has deemed color blocking one of the biggest fashion forecasts for spring. This trend is popping up everywhere, from bright dresses to trousers in a range of different hues; people can't get enough of the color craze. Everywhere I turned at Paris Fashion Week, I saw people celebrating spring and flaunting different shades of color. This group of Fashionistas really caught my eye, as the approach they took was less of a cliche color blocking approach, and more of a subtle one, fusing colors together that I wouldn't normally think of or expect. They are all rocking black wedges, which are a staple shoe that work with almost any outfit. I love this pair by Marc Jacobs. I love the Fashionista on the left's fur combined with a lilac colored dress, as it makes for an unusual yet intriguing pairing. Try a similar dress like this one from ASOS. The Fashionista in the middle is sporting one of the most essential items in any wardrobe: a peacoat. I love the camel hue and find it to be universally flattering, complementing a wide range of skin tones. Try this peacoat from Neiman Marcus to get the look. The Fashionista to the right wears a great pair of red pants. As a lover of leggings, I recommend these red jeggings from Urban Outfitters as a good alternative to pants. They still achieve the same look, yet take a route that is more focused on comfort.

Hint: Color blocking does not mean over the top. Avoid looking like a box of Crayola crayons exploded and go for a more subtle route. Step out of the box and pair colors together that you normally wouldn't think of. I guarantee the results will be better than you expected.

FASHION FROM ABROAD: Mixing Seasons

As springtime is upon us, it is the common conception that we should immediately toss our winter accessories into the dark corners of our closets and replace them with sundresses and sandals. If you are like me, however, you have a hard time letting go, because you have grown overly attached to your cold weather add ons. You paired them with every outfit, loved the feeling of the extra warmth, and simply like the way they look on. This season try to adjust more gradually, incorporating and mixing winter pieces with springtime ones to create a balance that is just right for your aesthetic, and the climate as well.

This Fashionista epitomizes how to do this flawlessly with her eternity scarf and wool headband paired with a vintage frock, leggings, and wooden wedges. To re-create this look, try a scarf like this one from Urban Outfitters. Pair it with a headband like this from ASOS and a printed top like this one from Anthropologie. Get a basic pair of leggings from trusty American Apparel and throw on some wedges by Jeffrey Campbell and you're good to go.

Hint: If an eternity scarf and headband are too bulky for the temperature, try lighter accessories that won't drag you down. If you are sick of black and darker winter colors, spruce up your look by adding extras that are colorful and bright. I love this soft washed wool scarf from J.Crew.

FASHION FROM ABROAD: Let One Piece Inspire the Other

There is nothing better than a cohesive outfit that incorporates accessories impeccably. As a huge fan of statement pieces, whether it be necklaces or a scarves, I recognize the importance of ensuring that the rest of the outfit is up to par. Deciding on a color scheme and taking hints from the hues of your outfit is the easiest way to look polished and uniform.

I spotted this Fashionista in Paris. She epitomizes the idea of looking pulled together without trying too hard by pairing skinny jeans with a simple black shirt and light beige knit. She adds a great pair of black leather booties, a brown hobo bag, and an oversized floral scarf to complete the look. I love how she takes accents from every piece and brings it all together with a patterned scarf. To get this look, try a knit or cardigan like this one from See by Chloe. Add a basic black shirt from American Apparel and skinny jeans by BDG. Try these booties from Steve Madden. Add a patterned scarf like this leopard one and a hobo bag, both from Topshop. 

Hint: You can take the opposite approach when forming an outfit by pairing a patterned knit, blazer, or cardigan with a solid colored scarf. I love this cardigan from Forever 21 paired with a basic black pashmina. Let pieces inspire the other, making colors complement without being overly matchy.

WEEKEND FORECAST: Fusing Your Frocks

Nothing says urban chic quite like a dress and leather jacket. It fuses a perfect balance between sophisticated and edgy and can be worn from season to season. It is an ideal outfit choice if you are spending the day in class, because it is comfortable enough when worn with flats or boots. You can dress it up and make it even more versatile by throwing on some accessories and pairing the outfit with heels for a night out.

It is so simple to get this same look. Pair a simple cotton dress in the color of your choice with a black leather jacket. I love this one from YOOX. Maroon is a great color to wear when transitioning from winter to spring. A similar leather jacket can be found at Juicy Couture.

Hint: Since both pieces to this outfit are solid colors, add even more intrigue with a pair of patterned flats. I love these leopard ones by Tory Burch.  

Style Guru Bio: Sarah Citrenbaum

Hi! I’m Sarah Citrenbaum and I am a junior at GWU. This will be my third semester writing for CollegeFashionista and my third city as well. I started out at Columbia University in New York City when I was interning at a Public Relations firm there this past summer, and I continued into fall semester at my school, George Washington University in my home of Washington, D.C. I am so excited to continue for the spring in London, where I am spending my semester abroad. I’m eager and interested to see how trends across the pond are translated into cohesive street wear and how this differs from American style. 

As for my own style, I am consistently pairing high-end designer pieces with cheaper boutique finds and could spend all day sifting through the racks at vintage stores. I love the mod look as well as 1920s fashion, yet I will always have a soft spot for classic preppy and conservative pieces. I love scanning blogs for inspiration and can’t get enough of Lookbook and The Sartorialist. My favorite designers are Alexander McQueen, Yves Saint Laurent, Diane von Furstenberg, Marc Jacobs and Chloë Sevigny. I am a big believer in flirting with different patterns, silhouettes, and extremes, while still maintaining a refined and put together look. I love the idea of personal style, and the concept of waking up everyday and having endless options of how we want to express ourselves through clothes is what drives me and gets me out of bed. Fashion is exciting, just how life should always be. I can’t wait to see what the UK has in store!
 

TREND: Seasonal Sweaters

There is nothing that says the holidays are here quite like chunky wool sweaters. With a reputation for being worn by grandmothers or as pieces that you would purchase at a thrift store for an upcoming tacky sweater party. Not to mention they hardly get the credit they deserve in terms of being seen as fashionable and sophisticated. Just like any outfit formation, making wise choices are necessary to enhance the piece you want to stand out most. If you have something that is patterned and on the bulkier side on top, choose a fairly muted and more subtle option for the bottom. In doing this, you will always look perfectly groomed and put together.

I spotted this Fashionisto in the holiday spirit sporting a plain black crew neck tee, mineral wash skinny jeans and a sleek pair of black lace-up combat style boots. To top the look off, he adds the main piece, which is a maroon and white snowflake patterned knit sweater. To get the same look, pair a basic black crew neck tee with a pair of denim mineral wash skinnies, both from American Apparel. Add a pair of leather lace-up boots such as these from Dr. Martens. For the sweater, try this navy one from Abercrombie and Fitch or this green one from Rugby. 

Hint: Make even more of a statement and add extra accessories when combating the cold. Not only do they keep you warm, but they also look extremely stylish. I love fingerless gloves from Marc by Marc Jacobs.  

TREND: A Homage to Headbands

No matter how much we try to deny it, the cold weather is officially here and winter street style is in full force. This season already, I have noticed many Fashionistas paying attention to their seasonal accessories more and more, whether it be circle scarfs, cozy snoods, or fur earmuffs, they are all making a sophisticated statement with their little extras. 

I noticed this Fashionista sporting one of the most fashionable accessories for winter, a turban-esque winter headband. They are all over the place and have that extremely chic Blair Waldorf look about them, which I love. This Fashionista rocks a black one, similar to this one from Boutique to You. In addition to this amazing headband, she is rocking a perfect outfit for the cold in a sheer silk white dress, patterned black tights and a black blazer rolled up. She completes the look with one of the hottest shoe styles of the season, leather combat boots.

To get the look, try shopping at stores like H&M and Zara who have a huge selection of silk/chiffon dresses like this Fashionistas white one. For the blazer try a boyfriend style one by Silence and Noise. For the tights, try looking at ASOS. I love these. For the combat boots, you can't go wrong with the selection from Steve Madden

Hint: If you want to dress the look up even more, substitute the blazer for a sparkly sequin jacket. They are so chic and trendy and in every store's holiday display windows right now. I am obsessed with this one from Urban Outfitters. 

TREND: Spare the Sweats

Sleepless nights in the library and even longer lines at Starbucks are officially upon us. It is a common conception that since we are spending quality times with our books instead of with our friends that we can digress into looking like we just rolled out of bed. I beg to differ. Just because we are locked away in the library doesn't mean we should be sacrificing style in our outfit choices. Of course we are not going to dress to the nines, as this would require effort that we aren't capable of since our eyelids can barely stay open long enough to evaluate our closets and choose something amazing. However, by making small tweaks and substituting what we associate with comfortability, like sweats, for more refined and stylish pieces, such as stirrup leggings, we can maintain the same level of comfort yet look chic doing it. 

I spotted this Fashionista doing just this. She looks effortlessly cool and casual with a pair of stirrup leggings tucked into over the knee leather boots paired with a plain white blouse and black leather jacket. To accessorize she rocks a deep blue pashmina. All of these pieces have their less fashionable counterparts: leggings have sweats, leather boots have UGGs and leather jackets have oversized hoodies. Yet, you feel exactly the same in terms of comfort, so why not follow this Fashionista’s example and step it up a notch? To recreate this look, try a pair of over the knee boots by Steve Madden. Wear your most comfortable loose fitting blouse or tunic under a chic leather jacket, simialr to this one from Rag and Bone. Top the look off with your favorite brightly colored pashmina to give it that extra pop of color. 

Hint: Dress smart and layer up when you know you are going to be spending long hours in the library. The temperature varies and being too hot or too cold is really distracting when you are trying to focus. I love a plain T-shirt under an oversized blazer or a long sleeve basic cotton shirt paired with an infinity circle scarf.