TREND: Playing With Proportions

The spirit of Fashion Week was alive and well on the campus of Indiana University this week. And, in true Fashionista form, this student arrived on campus in style. It’s not every day that I get to witness a figure riding a bicycle in heels, so, I jumped at the opportunity to capture her photo. It’s my opinion that heels make everything better, bike riding included. If you look closely, you’ll notice that these heels are a spin on the classic oxford—just one more way to get your oxford fix this season.

Another stand-out feature of this Fashionista’s ensemble is her use of proportions. Notice the bracelet sleeves of her cardigan and the hint of ankle peeking above her heels. This is a great way to transition into your fall wardrobe without covering up completely. Additionally, cuffing your jeans is not only practical for riding a bike, but it’s a great way to show a little skin. This look works best with skinny jeans and the hem of the pant should hit right above the ankle—any higher and they will look like capris, and nobody wants that.

One last thing: I love the color palette here—white, grey, black, and a pop of a primary color. Love it.

Hint: Bracelet sleeves are the perfect opportunity to show off a great watch or a set of bracelets. I like these evil eye bracelets by Jennifer Miller.

TREND: Cosby Sweater? Yes, Please!

Gucci did it. So did Prada. Now, you too can sport a piece of American iconography this fall. If your friends give you any grief, just show them this sweater from Mary Kate and Ashley’s "The Row." Retailing for nearly $1,200, this sweater only looks like it was found at Goodwill.

The Fashionisto seen here certainly seems to know what he’s doing. In a nod to fall’s cooler temperatures, he has cleverly mixed summer’s windowpane shorts with this fall’s chunky knit sweater trend. I like the way this Fashionisto chose to mix patterns. In this case, the patterns work well together because neither pattern is too bold. Also, because they are both in the blue family, they complement each other well. Lastly, because he mixed a heavy knit with a light cotton, the fabrics balance each other out.

Boat shoes were a big trend this summer, and if done right, this look can take you through the fall as well. This Fashionisto is wearing a version of the boat shoe that I haven’t seen before. Lovingly worn-in and sans laces, these shoes add even more character to his look. Worn-in leather is a great year-round accessory, but it is especially fitting for fall.

Hint: For a boat shoe more appropriate for fall, try the high-top boat shoe.

TREND: Aaaaaaanimal Prints

If you’ve taken a look at any September issue of 2010, I’m certain you’ve noticed that animal prints are back in a big way. And you can bet that your neighborhood fashion retailer will be all over this trend. My recommendation? Go for it! Cheetah prints will be an easy addition to any fall wardrobe. The neutral shades of brown and black fit in well with fall’s traditionally neutral palette. To keep this print from looking tacky or trashy, stick to ladylike silhouettes. The Fashionista seen here is a perfect example of cheetah done right. While her skirt may have been inexpensive, she certainly doesn’t look cheap.

In addition to looking classy, this Fashionista knows how to dress for the heat and humidity of Bloomington, IN. School may be in session, but it is hotter than ever outside! This ensemble manages to be appropriate for hot weather and for the classroom. And for that, I say "bravo."

Hint: Accessories are a great way to try a new trend. They are often less expensive than a skirt or blouse. Try a pair of cheetah print flats or a skinny belt.

TREND: Spectacular Spectacles

Blind as a bat? Great! Embrace your inner geek with this season’s bold new frames. The Fashionisto seen here is the epitome of geek chic with his heavy black frames. The best way to wear this style is with a frame slightly larger than your face. For those of you without visual impairment, there’s no reason to feel left out– sunglasses can be a year-round accessory! With Labor Day and a new school year upon us, this is the perfect time to see your eye doctor and experiment with a new style.

This look can be completed with a button-up shirt and cuffed jeans. Today's featured Fashionisto is wearing an oversized plaid gingham collared shirt that suits his geek chic spirit perfectly. Consider adding a tie in a complementary pattern/color. What's more, the addition of a cuffed pant is an easy way to spice up your wardrobe. If you don’t like it, simply unroll them! J. Crew has a great variety of men’s gingham shirts and wool ties for the fall season.

Hint: The Sunglass Hut has put together a selection of Geek Chic sunglass choices for you in order to make the search easier.

TREND: The Return of Ladylike Dressing

Well, it’s that time of year again, time to go back to school. But before you start pulling out your Ugg boots, corduroys, and flannel shirts, remember, ITS STILL SUMMER! So, why not try one of fall’s latest trends in an adaptation more appropriate to the dog days of summer?

As we all know, trends come and go with the seasons, but this fall, the return of ladylike dressing stands to make a lasting impression. Take this Fashionista for instance, her ruffled neckline and defined waist create an ultra feminine look. I can see this piece transitioning into fall with the addition of tights, a cardigan, a waist cinching belt, and cute ballet flats. J. Crew is well known for their ladylike aesthetic, and a simple search for “ruffles” from J. yielded many affordable layering pieces.

This Fashionista also makes a great statement with her timepiece. Often rejected in favor of its stainless steel counterpart, a gold watch can be an intimidating accessory. I love the way this Fashionista wore hers with a navy blue dress. I am inspired to try the look myself!

Style Guru Bio: Stephanie Cromer

I am a senior at Indiana University studying Apparel Merchandising, Business and History. In terms of personal style, I think fit is the most important element of any outfit. My current favorite fashion accessory? Lipstick! I am looking forward to experimenting with all of fall's newest makeup colors. You can usually find me at J. Crew, and my favorite designer is Diane von Furstenberg.


As the new school year approaches, what bag will you use to lug around your laptop, books, notebooks, pens, etc? As referenced in last week’s post, your choice of carryall can either add to, or detract from your overall look. These Fashionistas are a great example of how to enhance your style with a bag. So, ok, the little orange satchel would be useless for carrying anything but a pencil, but let’s talk about it anyway because I am crazy for the bright orange leather! It reminds me of the Chloé Heloise bag when it was available in orange. One day I’ll own it….

The appeal of nautical stripes is far reaching and one of those classic seasonal prints that is timeless. Typically worn in the summer months, this print can transition into fall when paired with rugged leather pieces as seen here by this Fashionista. I love the worn-in brown leather and the utilitarian quality of this bag—perfect for carrying all your classroom necessities!

Speaking of fall, as you start to think about your upcoming wardrobe transition, consider mixing fall accessories such as bags and shoes with your favorite summer pieces. This will add uniqueness to your look while also extending the life of the garment.

Hint: For those who prefer a backpack, try Tory Burch for an updated take on the classic childhood backpack.


This week I took a trip outside the walls of Indiana University to the great city of Chicago, IL. The city was crawling with people, but this Fashionista stood out for her use of a trend that I’ve had my eye on for the past couple of seasons. You may or may not have noticed that design houses such as Burberry Prorsum have sent models down the runway with socks pooled around their ankles. It’s another reinvention of a 80’s classic and one that I’d love to see catch on, but until now I haven’t seen it on the streets. As a matter of fact, the sock has all but disappeared in recent years (no-show ankle socks seem to be the sole survivors).

Now to be clear, this fashion statement is nothing like your standard white gym sock. The style works best with a thin sock in a color complementary to the rest of the palette. Since I am a big fan of mixing brown and black, this Fashionista won me over with a black sock paired with brown oxford-style heels. Additionally, as fall approaches, the sock could become a great alternative to tights!

In other campus news, as many of you know, nothing ruins an outfit more than throwing a goofy looking backpack on over an otherwise perfect ensemble. This Fashionista doesn’t seem to have that problem. Her black leather backpack adds to, rather than detracts from, her outfit.

Hint: Try the Relaxed Roll Top Sock from It's the ideal height and weight for this trend and is available in many different colors.  

STYLE ADVICE OF THE WEEK: Femininity at Its Finest

I caught this week’s Fashionista on a night out with her girls. The night’s agenda included dinner and a Michael Jackson tribute band. I told her I liked her bracelets, and she informed me that they were Silly Bandz. "What are Silly Bandz," you ask? Bascially, they are silicone rubber bands made into various shapes, mostly animals. The cool boys and girls wear them on their wrists as bracelets. These things are so popular that they are banned at many schools for creating too much excitement and distraction!

Did all of you know about this new fad? Am I the only one who had no idea that Silly Bandz existed?

Anyway, perhaps a more obvious statement about this Fashionista is her big, bold floral dress. I don’t know about you, but I have always loved big floral patterns, whether they're on a dress, home textiles or even wall paper! So you can imagine my enthusiasm when I saw this flouncy number walking down the street. The ruffled hem and pink handbag make this an ultra girly ensemble and the perfect choice for a girls' night out!

Hint: Floral dress with ruffles from Urban Outfitters, Pink Longchamp Le Pliage bag, Metallic T-strap sandals from Old Navy, Silly Bandz bracelets

STYLE ADVICE OF THE WEEK: Fashion Inspiration

If I had to guess, I’d say that these two Fashionistas had to be BFFs. That, or I just happen to find two complete strangers with near identical outfits. Let’s do a little comparison:

Fashionista I

  • Retro sunglasses
  • Lightweight linen tunic
    – Relaxed with sleeves rolled up
    – Wrinkled
  • Zebra tank top
  • Long strands of chains
  • Men’s watch
  • Distressed stove pipe skinny jeans
  • Slouchy brown leather and canvas riding boots
  • Oversized leather bag

Fashionista II

  • Lightweight linen button down 
    – Relaxed with sleeves rolled up
    – Wrinkled
  • Long strands of beads
  • Distressed stove pipe skinny jeans
  • White peep toe flats with black piping
  • Woven ethnic textile bag

While the individual pieces may vary (i.e. chains vs. beads) the overall effect is the same because the silhouettes are so similar. Keep this in mind the next time you are flipping through a fashion magazine for outfit ideas. When you spot an outfit that you would really like to replicate (even if it’s the outfit your BFF is wearing today), consider whether or not you already own a similar piece. 

My favorite piece this week comes from Fashionista II. Her ethnic textile bag brings a great personal narrative to her outfit.