CLASS OF 2014: Sarah

I can still remember sitting in my dorm room, waiting for Amy to call me for my CollegeFashionista phone interview. It was right before winter break of my freshman year here at NYU, and this would be my first-ever fashion industry experience. I had always loved clothes and I knew I wanted to be a writer, but it was hard for me to wrap my head around the fact that there was a space for me to combine these two passions. I would hardly call the Style Guru position a job of any sort. Writing about campus trends and spotlighting students with killer street style was like a dream come true. And now, when I consider the fact that I’m moving on—leaving my CollegeFashionista roots behind and searching for a new position that will allow me to write about clothes—I feel a great deal of nostalgia.

I watched CollegeFashionista grow from an idea backed by a lot of drive and ambition (Amy’s, of course), to a website destination that’s expanding every time I blink my eyes. I’m so proud of the work I’ve submitted, mostly because I know it’s helped me grow. CollegeFashionista is where I honed my writing skills and tried my hand at tasks I never could have predicted (I spent a semester helping out with social media and marketing and two semesters as an editor). I got the chance to write for various online publications, such as USA TODAY and Teen Vogue University. I also participated in some of the greatest campaigns and advertorials. The reason I want to do what I want to do and be what I want to be is because of this very site. So, in other words, being a Style Guru for CollegeFashionista has been, hands down, the most rewarding “job” I’ve had throughout the past four years.

Now, as I begin to take on new endeavors and search for my next title, I must admit that I’m anxious. The truth is, I’m always a bit afraid of change. But, I can say with confidence that I feel adequately prepared. I’m currently a contributing writer at Refinery29, and I hope to continue freelancing for the wonderful lifestyle site. But I’ve also been applying to various other companies and exploring additional options that, at least in the fashion world, seem pretty endless. One thing’s for sure—wherever my career path takes me, I owe all of my progress to CollegeFashionista and to that 10-minute phone interview I had with Amy just four years ago.

WHAT TO WEAR: Meet The Parents

There are a few reasons why that casual, yet prim and proper sundress has become one of your go-to wardrobe staples. You probably wear it so often you don’t even see the point in hanging it up. It’s right on point for interviews, with a pair of tights and booties. You can rock it with an oversized cardigan and a top knot for early class. You can layer an athletic sweatshirt over it and slip on your sneakers for weekend errands, letting the print peek out and giving off the illusion of a skirt.

But, when you sport it as is, you let the silhouette speak for itself. It can be admired in all of its glory. And, because this simple frock is so appropriately demure, you should absolutely choose it for a day out with your significant other’s parents. Whether you promised to show up for brunch or you’ll be spending the day walking around, a polka-dot number with a peter pan collar like this Fashionista’s will see you through.

I love how she paired hers with a neutral carryall and TOMS slip-ons. Ultimately, the look screams “effortless.” And, that’s how you should strive to appear when you’re meeting anyone for the first time. Her swipe of bright red lipstick works wonders, too. It suggests she’s got a lot of confidence, and doesn’t mind making a statement. But, she’s wearing flats, so she’s easygoing and carefree. She’s spontaneous and up for anything. You see—there are a lot of things you can tell just by looking at someone. And, when that person’s foundation consists of a really great dress, well, all perceptions are sure to be positive.

One Simple Change: This Fashionista’s daytime, baby doll dress could easily transition to a night out. Just grab some strappy shoes, tie your hair up and pick up a statement clutch in a bold color. Of course, red lips are still totally welcome.

WHAT TO WEAR: Shopping

Picking out an outfit to throw on when you’re headed to SoHo—or anywhere else for that matter—is truly an art. You’re probably planning on collecting a few shopping bags, so you want to go for something that’s movable and something that doesn’t weigh you down. On the other hand, you don’t want to simply pull on your sweatpants and call it a day. After all, this is New York and it’s always fun to get noticed.

As for the weather—well, it’s still a bit unpredictable at this point. You want your outfit to scream “spring!” without making you freeze your toes off. You want to give off a fresh sort of aura, since you’re planning on picking up wardrobe staples that do the same. But, you probably don’t want to look too overdone. Remember—you’re going to be discarding your clothes in the dressing room and then putting them right back on again.

Here’s why this Fashionista nails it: Her velvet loafers are eye-catching and they round out her look that starts with the beanie sitting pretty atop her head. But, these two accoutrements aren’t too matchy-matchy. They clash a bit, but it’s offset by the shades of green that crop up on her sleeves and in the pattern on her trousers. She smartly layers on a loose, easy-to-remove cape and a circle scarf. They both work in her favor by adding a hint of casualness and helping to keep her warm—a plus, since she’s got on cropped pants.

And, yes, you might be thinking that her oversized clutch is an inconvenience since it doesn’t have handy straps. But, as soon as she picks up her first round of items, she’ll have a place to put it. Plus, its luxe, butter-soft leather is lust-worthy and it brings a boost of cool to her entire ensemble—just like her dark sunglasses. Twenty bucks says she knows all the right spots to shop.

One Simple Change: If this Fashionista was headed out for casual date night, I’d suggest she nix the bubble coat for a bomber jacket and choose a pair of strappy sandals with a mid-heel. One thing’s for sure—she wears her colors with confidence.

WHAT TO WEAR: Early Class

Mother Nature can’t make up her mind. And during the transition between winter and spring that’s to be expected. But, we’ve had enough here in New York! The painfully windy corners make long walks feel longer. A two-day temperature rise is a tease at this point. So, when we’ve got early class and we just don’t know what to wear, well, let’s just say we’re keeping our cold weather essentials on hand. No sir, we can’t pack up the cozy separates just yet.

The silver lining here is that as the day goes on, it does tend to get nicer (unless a bout of afternoon rain is in the forecast). So, it makes sense to pile on layers that can be discarded later. This Fashionista rocks the in-between look like a pro. She’s prepared for the brisk morning trek to campus, but her bright smile and bug-eye sunnies suggest she wouldn’t mind unzipping her shearling jacket for a heat wave.

Truth be told, when I stopped her to take a photo, this student called her outfit a mismatch of sorts. But, it’s plain to see that her lightweight cargos, combat boots and two-toned beanie come together to give off a rustic vibe. And, she challenges it with a silver ring and some royal blue polish. With a neutral satchel that complements her coat, she’s obviously ready for a hike, but she doesn’t refrain from ladylike touches That’s what I love about this ensemble. You can trust it’ll get you through the next 24 hours, even if you were up and at it at the crack of dawn.

One Simple Change: Picture this: It’s a few degrees warmer and you’re going out with the girls. Discard the combat boots, the jacket and the sunglasses and throw on a graphic T-shirt and chunky heels. You’ll be sporting a relaxed, downtown vibe other girls would kill for in no time at all.


Given the extremity of our harsh winter, it doesn’t feel like an exaggeration to call two 65-degree days a “heat wave.” In fact, there’s a lot of excitement that comes with such a temperature increase, especially for us New Yorkers. We can finally feel our toes, the tips of our ears and our fingers when we walk outside. And, because our bodies are so used to such frigid cold, when it’s mid-afternoon we might even find ourselves shedding our jackets.

At least, that was the case for this Fashionista on a recent (and so very rare) spring day. Let’s just say she embraced the sun better than anyone else on the street, taking full advantage of the warmer weather. Presumably, when she stepped out in the early morning, she was sporting a cardigan or a bomber. But, fast forward a few hours and the layers came off.

Even if she was a bit chilly, her bright smile—highlighted with a swipe of red gloss—hides her secret by exuding warmth. But, there are a few more key aspects of her ensemble that it’s important to take note of. Should you find yourself dying to show off some skin the next time the mercury rises, opt for casual, lace-up combat boots like this Fashionista. Aside from the fact that they’ll keep your feet cozy if it ends up being a bit breezy, this style also offers a pop of color that plays up all-black separates.

On that note, I’d recommend choosing pieces it’ll soon be too hot to wear. This student’s pleated leather mini is a perfect example. But, even a body-hugging midi skirt will make you sweat during the summer months. So, go for your transitional numbers while you still can and, of course, don’t forget the staples—like a classic cross-body bag and your sunnies.

One Simple Change: In a few hours, night will fall and this Fashionista might find her arms covered in goose bumps. If she rocked a white, lightweight blouse her look would be very bohemian rocker and very appropriate for a night out—whether that means date night, dancing with the girls or a spontaneous concert.

WHAT TO WEAR: Meeting With A Professor

Here at NYU, teachers certainly don’t expect their students to dress conservatively. In fact, an eccentric and extremely varied fashion sense is celebrated. Nevertheless, if you’ve got an appointment for a one-on-one with a professor, it’s important to look presentable.

A casual touch, like this student’s Dr. Marten boots, is obviously okay—ideal, even. After all, the leather motos add a bit of grunge to her ensemble and that’s a vital part of her overall look. She wouldn’t be expected to sport heels in the name of professionalism, especially if she were just going to get a few tips on a rough draft of an essay. But, she happens to appear quite demure on top, from her knee-length wool shift dress to the opaque leggings she’s rocking underneath.

A two-tone peacoat and a neutral satchel are probably a part of her everyday uniform—and they happen to be right on point for the transitional period between winter and spring. But, a pair of tortoise Ray-Bans and an eye-catching geometric necklace suggest she’s put together and totally prepared. In other words, it’s clear she didn’t roll out of bed. She’s present, alert and ready for an academic conversation. Bring it on.

One Simple Change: This Fashionista’s awesome chain happens to be made by her friend, designer Alynne Lavigne. I think we can all agree that a piece of fine crafted jewelry deserves the spotlight. And, a stylish, deep V-neck top would certainly do this necklace the justice it deserves. Pair with your favorite skinnies and heels and you’re ready for a night out with the girls.


Here at NYU, stepping onto campus (or into Washington Square Park) is like throwing yourself into the midst of a fashion show. Only, everyone’s sporting looks from totally disparate designers. And, of course, every student is his or her own stylist. No matter the season, people here tend to keep their sartorial game in check. There are the classicists, with button-up collared blouses and oxfords.

But, there’s one type of style maven that seems to stand out—and that’s the vintage-obsessed, quirky cool girl. She’s thrifted most of the pieces that make up her ensemble and she sports them with her own, signature flair. She carries herself with ease and she seems to wear her personality on her sleeve. And, she turns heads wherever she goes—yes, even once she steps off the “quad.”

This Fashionista is the epitome of such a clothing connoisseur. Surprisingly, she could hardly believe it when I asked to take her photo. But, her humble attitude only added to the genuine air about her. And, perhaps it’s her free spirit that allows her to pull off about six different shades of green in one getup. From her fur coat to her ‘60s, zip-down tunic and leather gloves, it’s clear she’s got a wardrobe many of us would die for.

But, it’s with the addition of a white turtleneck, thigh highs socks and flat mules that this Fashionista highlights her killer sense of style. Essentially, she fits in perfectly at NYU, for the very reason that she seems to shine. And, trust, this campus has got room for plenty of stars.

One Simple Change: A winter night out might mean nixing the undershirt and stepping into a pair of unique booties. Throw on a chain strap purse (in this Fashionista’s chosen color), and, yes, keep those knee-highs right where they are.


On a cold day, when you’ve got a lot to do and little tolerance for the wind chill and all of the slow walkers around you (yes, this is actually a problem we New Yorkers suffer from), sometimes it helps to get lost in your music. Slip on your headphones, and you’ll often arrive at your destination before you know it. The fact that they also happen to make for a killer outfit accoutrement is just a bonus.

Maybe this Fashionista didn’t think about how her all-white accessory would offset the rest of her ensemble when she plugged in. But, her casual black layers—from her circle scarf and sweater down to her harem pants and leather tassel boots—were calling for a dose of contrast.

Sure, her military green parka and tan satchel complement the color of her locks, and they do provide a neutral touch-up, relatively speaking. But, it’s the oversized headphones that become the focal point here. They grace this Fashionista’s look with a casual, carefree vibe and they suggest a certain level of comfort that would’ve otherwise gone unnoticed.

The fact of the matter is, when we’re running from place to place—say, the bank to withdraw a bit of cash so we can hit up Gristedes for a box of pasta for dinner—loose garments are a go-to. Yes, this student’s wares are practical and stylish. But, to refrain from giving off a serious, all-business front, she shows off the importance of a little beat. And, in case you were wondering, it totally put some pep in her step.

One Simple Change: If this Fashionista were traveling, I’d recommend a pair of sneakers and a larger tote bag. Add a pair of sunnies and you’re ready to head to the airport. Or, you know, to skip down a flight of stairs to catch the subway.

WHAT TO WEAR: Traveling

The ultimate jersey outfit is the one you want to travel in. Why? No restriction from tight jeans, no overheating from puffy coats and plenty of easy, fuss-free layers of fabric to keep you comfortable. I’ve always loved the T-shirt material when it comes by way of long maxis and throw-on-and-go scarves. And, if you own a cotton jacket in a striking color, well, you’ve got a handle on your staples, girl.

This Fashionista certainly hit the nail on the head. While most people prefer to board a bus or a plane in jogging pants or tracksuits, she makes a fine case for rocking a skirt. After all, it helps to feel breezy when, in reality, you might not have a lot of legroom wherever you’ll be sitting for the next few hours.

Plus, she looks completely put together. She’s sporting a getup with bohemian flair, from her loose, wavy locks and oversized aviators to the leather boots that peek out from beneath those wide, two-tone stripes. Frankly, I’d venture to say she puts all celebrity airport style to shame. When you’ve got such a carefree vibe about you—and this Fashionista totally does—you’re simply less likely to get bitten by the stress bug on a tiresome journey. I mean, who wouldn’t escape into a Sudoku or an issue of Vogue wearing a chill, yet sophisticated ensemble like this one?

One Simple Change: If you’re heading out with friends for the night—to a bar, a cozy dinner or an apartment-style gathering, try nixing the purple peacoat and throwing on a leather moto jacket. While I love the flared silhouette of this Fashionista’s jacket, she’d make a different statement if she showed off more of her maxi. Plus, the sleekness of a cropped, black topper will make her appear a bit more rocker-cool.

WHAT TO WEAR: Weekend Wear

Have you ever survived a weekend filled with lots of work and no play? Maybe you’ve got a jam-packed hamper of laundry to wash, books to return at the library and three papers to write. Maybe that means you’ve got to cancel brunch with the girls and order in a few rounds of take out. Sure, you’ll feel productive, but two days of running errands and catching up on deadlines isn’t exactly enjoyable. If you want to feel good about checking items off of that lengthy to-do list, you’ll probably have to go outside. So, what will you wear?

This Fashionista is perfectly equipped for a busy Saturday or Sunday. She’s sporting a raglan sweater and a pair of neutral walking boots. She’s tied a cozy jersey scarf around her neck. Frankly, she doesn’t even need makeup, because of the way the deep sky blue wrap plays up her gorgeous red hair. This is a throw-on-and-go outfit through and through. In the future, I’m totally going to take a tip from her book.

Just as important as the aforementioned closet staples is her printed denim. Pulling up a pair of sweatpants would make her appear sluggish and there’s no doubt it would slow her down. The kaleidoscopic pattern on this Fashionista’s jeans is eye-catching. It’s infused with a vintage touch and it helps her emerge from the crowd as sartorially eccentric. All of this is sure to put a little pep in her step. She’s got a lot to do and she’s going to need a little extra fuel, in addition to whatever goodness she’s carrying in that Pret bag.

One Simple Change: If this Fashionista’s schedule happens to clear up by nighttime she’s up for a night out she can easily adapt this outfit. This Fashionista can nix her lace-ups for a pair of booties and throw on a leather moto jacket to bring on the edge. Oh, and as nicely as it complements her locks, I’d leave the scarf at home. She could wear a simple necklace instead.