This Chicago winter has been unlike any other winters we have had to deal with before. One minute it is beautiful outside and the next minute I am wishing I had my Hunter boots on to walk through the rain or snow. As a commuter, the crazy weather changes can be a bit of a nuisance because I cannot do quick outfit changes whenever I want; life isn’t a Britney Spears concert (too bad, though)!

The best fashionable solution to this dilemma is to love to layer. It is best to have items on for both climates so you can adjust to the weather accordingly. During the winter, having at least three layers under your jacket will keep you warm and leave you with options when that Chicago weather changes on you. These layers should essentially be a tank top, T-shirt and a sweater that will keep you toasty. It is also a great idea to wear a scarf because it can be taken off easily when you’re too hot.

This Fashionista was on her way to the Metra when I spotted her look with a ton of layers. She has a total of four layers on top: a tank top, a T-shirt, a warm sweater and a cargo jacket. Let’s also not forget her trendy circle scarf, an accessory perfect for layering. The weather drastically got warmer in the afternoon, so she conveniently took off her jacket. Since she had on enough layers underneath, she was neither too warm nor too cold. This is why layering is the perfect solution for this Chicago winter. This Fashionista is a layering expert!


When it comes to fashion, it is important to break the rules sometimes. There are tons of rules and myths in the fashion world that people follow and believe in. At Columbia College Chicago, the students who make their own fashion rules instead of obeying the common fashion dont's are often the most stylish students around campus.

It is a common belief that you should not mix brown and black pieces. When I saw this Fashionista have a brown and black ensemble on, I was ecstatic. I love when people break away from fashion myths and create their own style. I personally think brown and black go well together and do not believe in this myth; you just need to know how to complement the colors in order for them to look well together.

One way to mix brown and black well is by utilizing a variety of fabrics or textures to create more of a contrast. Wearing different textures also make your outfit more interesting and unexpected. This Fashionista mixed different textures by wearing a black leather jacket with brown suede moccasins. Another way you could do this is by wearing black leather boots with a brown knit top. You should also try to add some vivid colors to make the black and brown ensemble look less dull. This Fashionista wore a bright blue denim pant and a brown leather bag with a colorful print that showed off her personal style. She proves that brown and black are indeed a perfect match.


When I saw this Fashionista walking down Wabash, I instantly wanted her jacket. I have been on the look out for a military jacket with a great fit. Army-inspired jackets are a must-have item in your closet. They give a masculine touch to a feminine outfit. The classic green also works great with most colored pieces, so it’s a versatile coat. On top of that, most military jackets are made with material that will keep you warm, so it’s a practical item to have during the winter.

What you should keep in mind while purchasing a military jacket is the fit. The way a military jacket fits you is very important because most are too bulky and look oversized. Although the military jacket is not intended to show off your curves, it should not make you feel as if you have none either. So, try a military jacket that is neither too long nor wide. For a Fashionisto, it may be easier to pull off this oversized look, but if you’re a Fashionista, you don’t want to be swimming in this already masculine coat. Look out for jackets that have drawstrings inside to make the garment more form fitting. You can even find a military jacket that is made out of lighter material so that it would be less bulky. This lightweight jacket would be more suitable for the springtime though. If you want to stand out from the crowd, try this fur collared military jacket.

What you wear with the military jacket is the next challenge. This Fashionista wore a pair of laced up boots (a popular trend seen around campus) over some tight fitting denim pants. Her printed scarf, turband, and crossbody bag added some color and originality to her look. Her crossbody bag was an excellent choice because it made her military jacket seem less big. What a Fashionista!


After having a love-hate relationship with leopard, I finally decided to love and embrace leopard print. Sometimes too much leopard is tacky but when you are wearing the right amount of leopard in your outfit, it puts a good twist on your look. This Fashionista was wearing leopard perfectly. Her leopard hat and scarf caught my attention but did not distract me from looking at what else she was wearing.  Instead of making leopard the focus of her outfit, she used leopard print as an unexpected accessory. By doing this, it did not make her ensemble seem too busy.

Since leopard is such a loud pattern already, you do not want to overdo it. Try wearing one leopard piece and then having the rest of your outfit consist of basic items that are neutral. For instance, wear a leopard pump to spice things up. Then, pair those pumps with black denim and a tan blouse to balance out the leopard print. There are even comfortable, leopard choices out there like these leopard flats and TOMS shoes (another love-hate relationship of mine). If you want to be bolder, wear a leopard knit sweater as long as you tone it down with a dark, solid scarf and/or with black leggings.

This Fashionista wore a classic black trench coat, black boots, and grey leggings with her leopard print. By pairing classic pieces with an original print, it gave her an overall chic and unique look. Opposites do attract after all. Next time your outfit seems a little dull, when in doubt, add some leopard print!


It was hard not to miss this Fashionista walking down Michigan Avenue. Her striped coat and distinctive style was what made me avert my eyes from my cell phone to her stylish outfit. Like I said in my Style Guru bio, I am always looking for unique items that nobody has. I always appreciate it when somebody does not wear something ordinary and can pull off something that nobody would dare to try on. This Fashionista was wearing a bold coat with a fur trim hood that I have never seen on anyone before. I rarely see this color palette and stripes on outwear so of course, I had to run after her for a picture.

Sometimes people tend to stray away from bold stripes because of the common belief that stripes on garments make a person look wider than they actually are. Horizontal stripes do make your body figure look heavier, but this can actually work in your favor. If you want to appear curvier, wear a piece with horizontal, bold stripes. If you would like to look slimmer and chic, put on something with vertical or diagonal stripes. The direction of the stripes determines this body figure illusion so, really, anybody can pull off stripes! Stripes are a trend that will never go out of style.

Learn from this Fashionista on how to wear horizontal stripes fabulously. She paired her striped coat perfectly with some tight leggings and laced up boots. The rest of her outfit’s simplicity made her striped coat seem less busy and made her unique coat the focal point of her look. You can find a similar striped coat to this Fashionista's designed by Marc by Marc Jacobs. Finally, she wore a cute, brown cross-body bag and cozy circle scarf that complemented her outerwear’s color scheme. Be bold, buy something striped and be as stylish as this Fashionista!


Now that the weather is getting even colder in Chicago, it is hard to choose your more fashionable coat over your oversized warm jacket when it is twenty degrees outside. On my way to class, I see students choosing practicality over style regularly because of the climate. This Fashionista wore a coat that had both comfort and style. Her faux fur and unique ensemble is what made me chase her down for a closer look.

By wearing a faux fur coat instead of a typical winter down jacket, this Fashionista is both stylish and warm. It is wise to invest in a great faux fur item, especially a coat, because it will never go out of style. Faux fur is a timeless trend because of its ability to be warm, practical and fashion-forward all at the same time. This trend is even seen in the women’s Gucci fall/winter 2011/2012 collection. It is easy to find faux fur coats similar to this Fashionista’s at stores like Zara and ASOS. You might even want to buy a faux fur vest. They are perfect for layering during the winter.

To pull off this look, take tips from this Fashionista and pair your faux fur with leggings and boots. Her leggings balance out the puffiness of the coat and give her more of a chic look. Then, wear some laced up boots for a more casual outfit. Next time you are heading outside, choose faux fur and you will stay warm (and stylish) for sure!


STYLE ADVICE OF THE WEEK: Back to the Basics

Sometimes, less is more. If you want to stand out in a crowd, you don’t always need to wear a flashy outfit to grab others’ attention. Mixing basic clothing items together can create the perfect outfit that’s both comfortable and fashion forward. I spotted this Fashionisto walking to class in a simple and well-fitted look. His look caught my eye because it was neat, went together nicely and described him well: a simple, fashionable guy.

This Fashionisto created his look by putting together the most basic wardrobe essentials, jeans, a T-shirt, a jacket and sneakers. His varsity jacket is what stood out to me the most. It was basic yet different because of the all black style. Usually, I see people wearing varsity jackets with flashy colors, but this all black style gave him a classic look that was well put together. He matched his jacket perfectly with black leather Vans sneakers. This Fashionisto knows that black goes with everything yet he buys basic wardrobe essentials that are unique by choosing black leather. He is a true Fashionisto!

Achieving this look is easy and encourages you to complete your basic essential wardrobe. The part that will take some effort is finding basic items that have a twist, like this Fashionisto did. For instance, instead of just choosing a plain color, choose items with a different texture or fabric. Remember, it’s always wise to purchase items that go with multiple outfits so you get the most out of your money.


On cold Chicago days, I usually see people walking around in dark outfits consisting of black and gray. However, this color scheme often gets boring. This Fashionista made me take a second glance because of her courage to step outside of the box by sporting vibrant, colorful pants during the winter.

It is easy to abandon your favorite spring colors when it becomes cold outside. Instead, be bold and incorporate them into your winter outfit like this Fashionista did. By doing so, your spring clothing items will not go to waste and it will give variety to your winter wardrobe. Take cue from kate spade new york’s reoccurring fun color palette throughout all of the seasons — hot pink, green, yellow, red and blue. Wearing these shades will add a splash of color to your outfit, which will make any winter outfit seem less dull.

Colorful denim is a smart, fun way to add excitement to your winter look because they are both warm and comfortable. You can easily find this item at Topshop and Urban Outfitters. Colorful pants have become a popular trend so you can spot them in most stores year round. They are a must-have item in your wardrobe because they can be paired with almost anything and they effortlessly make your outfit more interesting. To complete the look, do as this Fashionista did and even wear a colorful scarf. Then, wear a black leather jacket or basic top to balance the colors out. Don’t be afraid of adding more than one color to your look. It is always best to stand out in a crowd than blend in, so as kate spade says, “live colorfully.”

Style Guru Bio: Sarah Luke

My name is Sarah Luke and I am a Fashion Design major here at Columbia College Chicago. I am very excited to share with everybody the latest trends seen on the very streets of our Chicago campus!

I love fashion because you are able to create your own identity and style with clothes and accessories. My style is very chic and simple. If you peeped into my closet, you would see black, grey, white and tan pieces with hints of gold and sparkles. I am also a huge fan of faux fur. I have a minimalist look and I am always on the lookout for unique items that nobody has. I love mixing labels with more affordable pieces as well. My fashion role models are Rachel Zoe and the Kardashian sisters. They all have an edgy, fabulous look and they are not afraid to be different — that is what I love about their style.

I enjoy reading blogs, magazines and such to keep up with the fashion world. I have also worked for BCBGMAXAZRIA in the past, so I am always surrounded by fashion and hope that it will always be that way. After graduation, I plan to be a designer for a major fashion brand or a stylist for a company.

I can’t wait to embark on this fashion journey with everyone and see what Columbia Fashionista/os are strutting down our concrete runway with. Remember, dress like everyday is a fashion show because you never know who you might run into!