TREND: Put Some Prep in That Step

After looking in my planner and merely pulling my hair out over the combination of work, exams, papers, and other obligations that were about to consume my life, I took a few seconds to breathe, grabbed my car keys, and sped to the mall for some retail therapy. I left the mall with what I thought was a brand new and adorable outfit only to arrive home and realize I already owned three sweaters exactly like it. This is a problem I think a lot of us Fashionistas run into, but before we go ahead and make drastic wardrobe changes, we should simply just try mixing a couple styles together.

This Fashionista exemplifies everything I'm talking about. She casually mixed a plaid button down, a cardigan, and converse shoes together and got a brilliant, preppy-but-edgy look. This inspiring combination features an unexpected yet fashionable mix of colors and patterns that forced me to look twice.

At first glance, I saw all the pieces of this outfit as separates. I recognized the blue classic plaid button down that many girls wear to presentations, lunch dates, class, and can be found at J.Crew. I felt the power of the bold black cardigan and I envied the fact that she was wearing skinny jeans and comfortable converse shoes while I had on my over-worn and salt-filled boots.

However, It wasn’t until I took my second look at this outfit that I saw it for its entirety. Mixing plaids with stripes and blues with yellows isn’t something many people have the audacity to try, but this Fashionista executed the look flawlessly. In fact, her look is something that I strive for and encourage others to try as well.

Hint: Play with stereotypes in order to achieve bold and unexpected looks. Her preppy-but-edgy look stood out because it was out of the ordinary. Maybe wear something rocker but chic or feminine but masculine?

TREND: Inspire Spring

Yesterday was a remarkable day. The sun was shining so brightly that my eyes needed a few seconds to adjust. The trees were swaying back and forth to the tunes my iPod was blasting in my ears, and there was one of those gentle winds that felt great after being trapped in class. Thinking about all of these factors makes me anxious for spring; however, I am not about to become one of those crazy kids who sees the sun out for the first time in awhile and decides to go to class in shorts. Instead, we should all look for outfits which inspire spring but are still practical for the indecisive weather.

This Fashionista executed this concept perfectly. She simply took a vibrant orange jacket and paired it with a black embroidered top, a paisley skirt, black leggings, and metallic shoes. Every element of this outfit radiates spring with a warm spin to it.

First off, this Fashionista chose an untraditional but vibrant peacoat. Unlike most peacoats, this jacket is a fierce orange color and only has one set of buttons going down the front. This makes the jacket stand out and allows it to be worn during the spring transition.

Next, this Fashionista chose to take her black top which is embroidered with tiny white flowers and pair it with a long paisley skirt. Paisley is very in this season, and I recommend this adorable Paisley shirt from J.Crew. Both the embroidered top and the long paisley skirt are unforgettable on their own. However, when they are worn together, they exemplify the spring theme of flowers. I personally love this combination because it is unexpected but fashionable.

To complete this look, this Fashionista wore black leggings and an unforgettable pair of metallic shoes. I have been seeing a lot of metallic shoes like these this season, and I personally think there isn’t a better item to make people look twice. I recommend buying a metallic pair of TOMS to get this bold and comfortable look.

TREND: Survive March with Your Animal Instincts

The month of March is a magical time of year. The sun starts to shine through the bitter winter skies. The snow begins to melt. The rich green grass promises us flowers, and the air feels a little lighter as we smile and remember that spring is within our reach. While these changes are exhilarating to watch, it is important that we adapt our wardrobes as well.

This Fashionista decided to take her adaptation advice from the most knowledgeable critters of all, animals. Brilliantly decked out in animal prints, this Fashionista offers us several tips on how to survive the transitional month of March.

First off, our primary instincts may tell us to keep all of our animal print shirts and accessories separate; however, the combination of animal prints actually compliment each other beautifully. I personally love how her dark grey and black cheetah sweater compliments her snakeskin bag. As long as the color scheme of the two items is within the same family, there is no need for the animals to be.

Now that we have distinguished how great these items work together. It is time to take a look at them separately. First off, this Fashionista decided to shed a layer, her jacket, and replace it with a thick, loose fitted sweater. I recommend purchasing ones like these from Express. This sort of sweater is perfect for early spring because it is still thick, but it doesn’t carry the weight of a jacket. This Fashionista also reminds us how fabulous oversize bags are, especially when you’re headed to class. A bag like this is bold because of both its size and its pattern. I recommend purchasing others like this one from The Buckle.

Lastly, this Fashionista reminds us how important it is to balance out our outfits. Since her bag and sweater are so fierce, it is important to keep the rest of the outfit relatively tame. Therefore, her black leggings paired with classic suede grey boots is a perfect way to avoid over-kill.

TREND: Be Bold in Blue

Some people believe that you can have too much of a good thing; however, when it comes to the color blue, I don’t think anyone can ever have enough. That is why I was so excited to hear that blue is one of the highlighted colors for Spring 2011. In fact, this spring features a wide range of blues: aqua, sky blue, and my personal favorite: navy.

I love navy because it is one of the most versatile colors. It can be worn with anything, with any other color, and at any time of the year. So when I saw this Fashionista drenched in navy, I instantly recognized it as the perfect in-between season color.

After all, this week’s heat wave has a lot of Fashionista’s fretting over what to wear, but this Fashionista recognized the slight change in temperature as an opportune time to break out her navy cargo jacket. Cargo jackets are one of the most practical items to purchase this spring. They are light weight, perfect for class, and they come in fabulous colors like this Fashionista’s navy blue. I recommend purchasing one of these cargo jackets from Nordstrom.

This Fashionista chose to pair her fabulous cargo jacket with a matching pair of navy corduroy pants. I am personally obsessed with these pants because of the wide flare at the bottom and the bow around the waste line. These two elements work together to make this pair of pants stand out. Not only am I in love with this pair of corduroys, but I am a fan of corduroys in general because they’re not only soft, they’re warm as well. This provides a perfect balance when you are wearing a lightweight cargo jacket like the one this Fashionista has on.

Corduroys are also a great item to have in your closet because they come in so many colors. Therefore, it is fun to find complementary accessories to complete your look. This Fashionista decided to pair her navy apparel with a baggy white shirt and a gray scarf. This gray scarf has a subtle blue tint, which ties together the entire outfit.

TREND: Sweater Dresses

When most of us think of dresses we often think of the sun beaming down on a hot summer day as our hair breezes back and our cute floral patterned dress flows from side to side. While we unfortunately can’t change the weather in order to have this picturesque kind of day, we can change our thoughts about dresses. Dresses are meant to be worn 365 days of the year. This may sound crazy especially since we just had the largest snowstorm in decades; however, there are certain dresses that are made to be worn during the winter months: sweater dresses.

If you ask me, the concept of a sweater dress is a genius idea because it combines the warmth and comfort of a sweater and the head turning qualities of a dress all into one bold fashion statement. This Fashionista shows off her daring look by wearing a simple black sweater dress to class. This black sweater dress is unique because of its cow neckline. The uniquely cut neckline works to dress up this look while providing extra warmth to this Fashionista’s neck. Another thing making this outfit standout is the metallic belt that this Fashionista has fastened to her hips. This eye-catching belt helps hold the loose sweater dress closer to the Fashionista’s body while providing extra warmth.

To further winterize this outfit, this Fashionista paired her bold sweater dress with grey tights. Tights come in all different patterns and thicknesses making them an easy way to accessorize a simple sweater dress like the one this Fashionista is wearing. In fact, I recommend buying tights from Hue. To complete this sweater dress look, all you need is a pair of trendy boots. This Fashionista chose to pair her sweater dress with black boots that are draped in fur. Boots like these work well with a simplistic sweater dress because their bold look balances out the outfit.

So remember, next time you reach in your closet and grab out a trendy dress, don’t start daydreaming about the smell of the beach and your sun kissed hair. Instead, think about how to make that dress work in the winter time by adding some key accessories like tights and boots. 

Hint: If you are unable to winterize a dress you already have, check out Express's selection in order to achieve this look!


One foot digging itself out of the knee-deep snow after the other, the whirlwind of snow that stormed through Iowa City serves as a perfect excuse for those of us who are avoiding productivity to stay sprawled out on the couch all day. However, some of us have work, homework, and winter wonderland adventures to attend, forcing us off of our couches and on to the battlefield of snow. But before we rush into battle, it is important for us to stop and put on our winter armor. By that, I mean a jacket, a scarf, earmuffs and boots.

This Fashionista serves as a reminder that your winter gear can be both warm and flattering. In fact, this Fashionista’s earthy green parka is insulated with down providing her with enough warmth to go into battle. This Parka also stands out to me compared to the others I’ve seen around campus because it actually gives this Fashionista’s body some shape. The belt that hugs her hips allows this Fashionista to show off her curves. This parka is further embellished with cargo pockets. This makes the jacket both trendy and useful. I recommend purchasing one of these from Nordstrom. Although they may weigh down your college budget, the fashionable winter Parka is a heavy jacket that you’ll need as long as we’re at war with Mother Nature.

Another item necessary for warfare is a bold scarf. This Fashionista’s scarf has a bohemian vibe which picks up the earthy green tone in her jacket and compliments the gray in her earmuffs and boots. In my opinion, these earmuffs are another must-have item to fight off the winter flakes. These aren’t your traditional earmuffs. In fact, it is a one-piece wrap-around knitted band that fasten in the back. The crocheted flower tops them off and makes them stand out.

To complete your snow day uniform, you need over-the-knee boots. This Fashionista’s boots go up so high that there are only a couple inches between them and the jacket. This provides more coverage against the fierce winter breeze. So for those of you ready to join the Fashionista troops and battle the winter weather, be sure to grab yourself an insulated jacket, a scarf, earmuffs, and boots.

Hint: Add some trendy gloves from Shopstyle to this outfit so you don't have to hide your hands in your sleeves!

TREND: Distressed Leather Booties

With a new semester comes new habits, and I can’t help but notice the tendency for fashionable girls on campus to simply slip on a pair of UGGs and go to class.  While pairing comfortable boots with your outfit is easy and warm, it isn’t necessarily the most original or trendy shoe to add to your going-to-class look. In fact, this Fashionista is a reminder of how important it is to be fashionable from head to toe.

She starts off her trendy look with a traditional gray peacoat. The combination of the wool material along with the gray color of this pea coat makes this coat perfect for any occasion, especially going to class.

Along with this coat, this Fashionista chose to drape a circular two-toned black and grey scarf around her neck. Circular scarves are my favorite type of scarf because their shape makes them easy to throw on and keeps your neck extra warm. This Fashinista’s scarf worked as a great layering piece because the colors really picked up the rest of the outfit. I suggest buying scarves like these from Urban Outfitters.

The black and gray theme moved down the outfit as this Fashionista effortlessly paired comfortable black leggings with bold shoes. These gray distressed leather lace up boots set this outfit apart from all of the other going-to-class looks I see around campus.

I am a particular fan of this shoe’s color and style. The rustic gray with black undertones make this shoe neutral and bold. It also allows this shoe to be paired with just about anything. In addition, the style of these booties works to positively impact the outfit. The mere concept of a bootie is feminine but when you add the laces into the picture, the boot is made edgier causing people to look twice.

I believe these shoes are great because they are both comfortable and trendy. Plus, they’re the perfect thing to wear to class on the days that it isn’t actually snowing.

I recommend purchasing these shoes from Lorenz on campus or DSW for all of you online shoppers.


TREND: Battle the Snow with a Slouchy Beanie Hat

Waking up to a freezing cold room and bitter dark skies makes just about every college student want to pull their fluffy blankets over themselves and press the snooze button a few more times before mustering up the energy to get ready for class. After finally deciding to go to class, all the College Fashionistas on campus are quickly faced with another problem: how to look fabulous while staying warm.

This Fashionista made her winter gear both warm and fashionable with the help of a key accessory, the slouchy beanie hat. This white knitted hat is a season’s must have. This Fashionista’s hat works so well because she contrasted her light accessory with her dark apparel making the slouchy beanie stand out. Not only does this look work because it is bold, it works because the crocheted flower on the hat adds femininity to this relaxed going to class look. In addition to style this hat also provides warmth. This Fashionista’s hat slouches perfectly to the back of her head providing full coverage of her ears with a hidden elastic band. This makes the slouchy beanie hat an even more practical accessory for battling the gusty winds around campus.

I believe that the greatest part about this accessory is its ability to be paired with others. This Fashionista added a pair of black and purple striped gloves to her ensemble providing more warmth and fashion to this look. In order to further warm up this look, I would suggest adding a scarf. My favorite place to buy scarves from is Nordstroms. Because of their vast  selection and array of prices, there is something for everyone.  The true beauty of these accessories is that they aren't required to match. In fact, this Fashionista’s colorful mix of accessories worked so well because the accessories were so independent of each other.

Hint: Check out Urban Outfitters for more trendy slouchy beanie hats.

TREND: Cardigans are In Again

It doesn’t matter if it is classic, boyfriend, flowy, button-down or embellished, cardigans are an essential part of any Fashionista’s wardrobe. This Fashionista flawlessly executed the cardigan look by opting for a simple black cardigan with minor embellishment on the side. While the buckles on the side of the cardigan are a minor detail, it is in little details like these that a Fashionista’s look is made memorable. To add to this fashionista’s picture perfect look, her cardigan crosses over in a way that showcases her white tank top and adorable scarf.

The scarf is my favorite element of this outfit. The grey, pink, and turquoise flower pattern adds color to this Fashionista’s look. By adding these bold colors, this outfit is made eye catching. In fact, the trendy look on top allows this Fashionista to sport simple black leggings on the bottom. Along with her comfortable leggings, this Fashionista is also wearing a relaxed pair of black slouch boots. This combination makes this outfit perfect for class.

However, the cardigan look can also be dressed up. By pairing this cardigan with dark denim, heels, and a purse, this fashionista would be ready for a night out in Iowa City. As long as they are worn with the right accessories, cardigans work great for every occasion: class, dates, presentations, work, and more. I recommend buying scarves from Urban Outfitters to bring the cardigan look to the next level.

So fashion lovers, keep this in mind the next time you are panicking over what to wear: Cardigans are in, comfy, and easy to dress up or down – just some bold accessories and you’ll be ready for any occasion.

Hint: Get this cardigan and ones like it at Forever 21.

Style Guru Bio: Staci Eisenberg

My name is Staci Eisenberg, and I am a Journalism major, pursuing a degree in Public Relations and a certificate in Entrepreneurial Studies at the University of Iowa.

My love affair with fashion began as early as pre-school. Every day I went to school in a dress that I effortlessly paired with tights, mini heels, and a bow. Needless to say, when my mom sent me to preschool in pants, I cried until my teacher had my mom rectify my fashion emergency.

While my feeling about pants has changed over the years, my love for fashion has remained constant.

My love for dresses expanded to skirts, my passion for tights now encompasses leggings, and my obsession with accessories goes far beyond bows.

Because of my passion for fashion, I can’t wait to capture all of you trendy fashionistas and fashionistos around campus.