CollegeFashionista X Michaels Advertorial: DIY at USC

For most college students, shopping consists of scouring stores for the best deals. A great way to save for the upcoming school year is to make some of the season’s most desirable pieces yourself—a do-it-yourself (DIY) project. With many store locations nationwide and an unbeatable selection of products, Michaels’ is the place to go for all your DIY needs.

Recently, a few friends and I made bracelets, head bands, and necklaces using supplies from Michaels’. The endless selection of materials ranged from metallic chains to crystal pendants to even parachute chords and the final products were just as diverse. Some of us created traditional charm bracelets or necklaces while others created headbands consisting of a linked chain intertwined with parachute chord and the best part is each piece was personalized to the individual who created it. While it may initially seem intimidating to create fashionable DIY pieces, straightforward instructions delineating the entire creative process are available through Michaels’ as well as various online sources. Our DIY projects turned out great but the greater reward was the fun that came from making them. We gathered with friends, laughed off mistakes, shared summer stories and left with our own DIY mementos of the day. The experience ignited our creativity, leaving us inspired to create other pieces. Check out all the photos from our DIY escapades by searching the hash tag #CFxMichaelsDIY on twitter.

DIY projects just became even less expensive! Until September 17th, save 20% on Michael’s DIY fashion and school supplies by texting SEPT 17 to 27283. Redeem the coupon online or at any Michaels’ location.

LET’S HEAR IT FOR THE BOYS: Deference for Details

In a world abounding with fashion faux pas, some people just seem to have a natural ability to create outfits that conform to every overarching style commandment while still maintaining a sense of individuality and creativity. This week’s Fashionisto — and my final Fashionisto for this semester — seems to embody this perfectly. By integrating ideal fits, color choices and proportions, he is able to create a well-articulated, business casual outfit.

The combination of his navy Forever 21 cardigan with white accents, similar to this, and light gray H&M jeans create an understated base for the more quirky qualities that come from his bright red vintage bow tie and H&M socks, similar to this and this. The color of the jeans is a perfect pick for spring as the pants don’t have the same heavy quality that dark wash denim does and create a more formal quality. Likewise, it complements the color of his navy cardigan and helps to reign in the red accents from being maladapted to the workplace. Both the cardigan and jeans have a slim fit and are well-proportioned, with the former ending right above the waist and the latter skimming the top of his shoes. These astute choices create a professional appearance with a European sensibility.

As any good Fashionisto knows however, the outfit is made in the details. Today’s Fashionisto builds on his solid base by adding pieces that create a unique flair. His Michael Kors aviator sunglasses, similar to these, are a quintessential accessory for any Californian outfit. His dark gray Forever 21 gingham shirt, similar to this, contrasts with his jeans and adds an eye-attracting pattern to all his other monochrome pieces. The bold color of his bow tie and socks create a fashion statement that appears effortless. Details like these convey a sense of personality while not losing deference for professionalism. His socks and bow tie match, as well as his belt and well-polished Hugo Boss dress shoes, which help to create a more formal look. Additionally, he leaves the last button on his cardigan undone. It’s adhering to the more obscure rules of fashion like these that identify this Fashionisto as an expert rather than a novice.

Hint: Since the details are important in altering the over-all appearance of the outfit, experiment with different looks. Hair style and even a degree of stubble can be just as effective in creating a look as the proper shoes, belt, and watch.  Try testing different details and see what each change adds to your outfit.

LET’S HEAR IT FOR THE BOYS: Disheveled and Disorderly

When I first read that the disheveled and carefree look was in for menswear this season, I must say, I was a bit displeased. I couldn’t understand why anyone would—on a daily basis—want to look poorly put together, even if it looked intentional. Judging from my observations, I didn’t see this trend really taking hold, however I have seen some Fashionisto’s embrace the trend in a unique way that made me change some of my conceptions.

This week’s Fashionisto was definitely someone who caused me to reconsider the aesthetic. While he isn’t wearing torn, oversized clothing head-to-toe, his untied and weathered black leather combat boots clearly fit the broken down trend; the aesthetic is further augmented by his bunched, bright blue H&M chinos. This Fashionisto confines the style primarily to one piece, in this way embracing the trend, but still creating a composed outfit overall. The boots, similar to this unscathed version, add an industrial, edgy quality that contrasts with his bright and preppy chinos and Superdry letterman like sweatshirt. The vintage-esque play on the faux lettermen creates an ironic, almost retro look that is mirrored in his black rimmed glasses and tan, Forever 21 Messenger bag. The color and classic style of the bag adds a very utilitarian quality, making it easily utilized with a variety of outfits.

Hint: Don’t like the trends of the moment? Confidence is always stylish and trendy. Make your clothing an extension of your personality and express yourself through it. You will like what you’re wearing more and others will most definitely take notice.



No matter the trend, fit makes the fashion. One should always have the utmost consideration for the way the outfit falls on the frame. Unfortunately, finding the perfect fit can be cumbersome in a world of diverse body types and buying custom pieces can get prohibitively expensive. As someone with a thin build, I consistently struggle to pieces that fit ideally. When attempting to find an outfit for an interview, even the slimmest of collared shirts have sleeves that make me look like I have wings and a pocket on my abdomen rather than my chest.

Apparently, fitting issues don’t seem to constrain this week’s Fashionisto; his double breasted navy Buffalo suit jacket and coral H&M chinos both fit perfectly. The length of the jacket, similar in cut to this jacket, and the rolled-up pants—huge trends for this season—add a modern and ironic element to the outfit. Likewise, the bold color of his pants adds a youthful and unexpected twist; it creates a kind of “off-nautical” palette in combination with the navy jacket and white boat shoes. The broad lapels of the jacket add bulk that help to create an ideal, broad chested silhouette. His unbuttoned, white H&M collared shirt lends a casual vibe. A chunky Michael Kors watch is the perfect accoutrement for his rolled-up sleeves, enhancing the polished quality of the ensemble.

Hints: Invest in a well tailored formal suit. It’s a permanent staple of menswear and for the occasions in which you intend to use it, you will want to look composed. In these instances, you don’t want onlookers to think you borrowed the outfit from your dad’s closet.



With summer quickly descending upon USC, the days of wearing jeans and sweaters are numbered. As a lover of winter and fall fashion, I am strategically attempting to wear some outfits I didn’t quite get a chance to wear this winter before I am forced to succumb to shorts, t-shirts, and flip-flops. As an aspiring Fashionisto however, I would never want to appear “sooooooo last season” by adhering to the trends that are slowly falling out of favor.

While this week’s Fashionisto dons winter apparel, his pieces still incorporate the prominent trends for spring and summer. His horizontally stripped H&M sweater, similar to this, is key to creating this look. Orange and navy promise to be huge this season and graphic color blocking is a trend that is already taking over. His gray H&M scarf, similar to this, breaks up the pattern and adds a soft texture to the ensemble. When it comes to this Fashionisto’s pants however, he takes a much edgier approach. His drop-crotch, navy Gap skinny jeans add a modern and unexpected twist. This quality is further augmented by his industrial, urban combat boots from All-Saints. Tucking the tapered jeans into chunky boots adds a subtle and hip punk effect. His blue tinted Gap silver-framed aviators, similar to this, are the perfect final addition to make his outfit effortlessly cool.

Hint: When recently helping a friend pick out a new pair of jeans, I realized that many people who don’t know exactly what they’re looking for can get caught up in the abundance of options at their disposal. If you become lost in a sea of trends and options, the safest bet is always going for a classic fit and style.



Between invites and job interviews, there are many occasions where formal attire is required for college students. In these instances, you want to standout and be noticed, however the clichéd black suit, white shirt, and red tie is not your only option. Instead of conforming to your dad’s idea of interview attire, true Fashionistos are able to dress formally while adding a fun, personal flair.

This week’s Fashionisto is able to communicate his personality while still dressing appropriately for any formal occasion. While he dons a traditional suit, he breaks it up with creative details that set him apart from the crowd. Although he mixes his navy Brooks Brother blazer, white Zara Oxford shirt, and grey wool Banana Republic trousers, the muted colors don’t clash. The addition of a baby blue and navy Banana Republic silk checkerboard tie adds an interesting pop and creates a coherent color palette with the other pieces in his outfit. Likewise, his brown leather American Apparel belt and Brooks Brothers bluchers complements the blue hues in his ensemble perfectly. This Fashionisto makes his outfit his own through a colorful Hermès bangle and Fendi sunglasses, similar to this and this. These additions break from the norm in a subtle yet noticeable way, essential for a formal event. No matter where this Fashionisto is headed, he’s sure to be a standout.

Hint: Swap out a traditional pair of navy or grey trousers for bright blue chinos. The unexpected color choice will keep your outfit young and intriguing; although, you may want to save this look for a formal social event rather than a job interview.

LET’S HEAR IT FOR THE BOYS: Follow the Brights

Growing up in Nevada, I didn’t have a lot of exposure to fashion; in fact, it wasn’t a passion of mine until I began to affirmatively seek the information for myself later in high school. For this reason, my “education” in fashion has just recently begun. Reflecting on my past “styles”, I can’t help but chuckle at my former naivety and the vast discrepancy between them and my style now. One of the more prominent aspects of my high school attire was my unwavering adherence to gray, navy, white, and black. Fortunately, I followed the bright light to saturated colors and they make an almost daily appearance in my outfits. This new appreciation is all-the-more timely as the “neon everything” and color blocking trends are taking over.

Growing up in Sweden, today’s Fashionisto was taught to embrace color in his wardrobe. He does this in a trendy and bold way by choosing a bright vermillion Ralph Lauren collared shirt. The rolled-up sleeves reveal a white and blue, horizontally stripped cuff. These, in combination with the navy Fred Perry sweater he effortlessly layers over his shoulders, creates a classic preppy flair. The color of these two pieces coordinate with his navy Filippa K (a Scandinavian brand) chinos, although their subtly still allows for a perfect color blocking clash between the bright hue of the shirt and dark shade of the pants. His pants are contrasted again with the bright white of his Converse sneakers. The cuffed legs create a graphic divide and a pant length that has recently gained popularity. The brown leather Zara messenger bag and Audemars Piguet silver watch, similar to this bag and this watch, are functional additions to his stellar outfit.

Hint: Ask international students about the trends in their home countries or simply take note of the subtle differences in their construction of outfits. This information can provide some ideas on how to wear pieces in different ways that will allow you to expand your fashion repertoire.



From presidential candidates to professional athletes to world famous actors, including Oprah, in 2004, the must-have fashion accessory was a bright yellow silicon bracelet that retailed for one dollar. The popularity of the LIVESTRONG bracelets didn’t derive from the aesthetics, but rather the symbolic importance behind them. Making a triumphant comeback from a debilitating bout with cancer, professional cyclist Lance Armstrong created the bands to encourage people to live life to the fullest and had all proceeds created from its sale go towards cancer research and awareness programs. Since then, similar bands have been used (and overused) as symbolic gestures for everything from charitable causes to birthday favors. Today, the charity minded fashion accessories have been resuscitated with recent additions such as the KONY 2012 bracelets. Wearing a cause has, once again, become fashionable.

This globetrotting Fashionisto found his cause when working in a nursery school in a Tanzanian jail; the faded blue and green handprints on his backpack represent his charitable work there. Through details like this, he makes a statement about his philanthropic cause and wears a reminder of its personal significance in his own life. In fact, many of his items have an interesting background story. The backpack itself was imported from Columbia and used as a travel bag to exotic locales like Ethiopia, China, and India. While back at school, it also doubles as a functional and fashionable accessory that coordinates perfectly with his brown leather Ben Sherman Oxfords, similar to these. The bright red bracelets were tied to his wrists by monks in Southeast Asia. The ALLSAINTS pinstriped sweater he adds over a beige Burberry collared shirt was purchased while studying abroad in Paris. The navy blue Zara jacket layered over the sweater adds a structured quality to the ensemble. The blue and white color scheme adds a nautical theme. His Zara beanie and cat-eye Ray-Bans (purchased with Rachel Bilson at Fashion’s Night Out LA) add a casual college flare.

Hint: Fashion isn’t limited to the aesthesis. Wearing things that are personally meaningful gives your fashion individuality and significance. Another’s comments or inquiries on your unique accessories provide the opportunity to share your causes and social values with others, giving your fashion an even higher purpose.


Exclusive Feature: LA Fashion Week Recap

L’Une Collection
Part fetishistic, part prim and proper, the collection “Breakable,” created by designer Anh Volcek for her label L’Une Collection, focuses on pain and overcoming it. In her showcase of 12 looks, Volcek channels the physical manifestation of affliction not through gory imagery, but rather evocative symbolism reminiscent of Frida Kahlo’s depiction of pain in the painting, “Broken Column.” Molded bodices made of glass and plastic allude to the fragility of the human condition. Volcek’s inventive incorporation of unorthodox materials carries over to accessory pieces as well, with items such as painted zip ties, black industrial chains and seat belts fashioned into necklaces, headdresses and dress straps. In many of her looks, there are conspicuous additions to otherwise polite ensembles, including a cropped faux white mink boucle jacket, floor length white gowns and vintage, Victorian style hats. Despite the bodily turmoil, the women experiencing the discomfort maintain a staid composure. “I wanted to show how the body heals itself and the beauty of it,” says Volcek. “When we find that we are breakable is when we find the strength of the human spirit.” The collection successfully expresses that sentiment. The strict adherence to a white, black and blood red color palette, save one burgundy number, creates a unity among the varied looks, perhaps to say that the physical aspect of pain is standard — regardless of its many forms.

Fashionistas will appreciate the variety of lengths of the dresses. The drama of the collars and chain necklaces will probably be interpreted as cowl necks and chunky jewelry on college campuses. For the Fashionistas craving to have the runway pieces, jewelry from the collection can be purchased here.

Madisonpark Collective
As the music began to play at the Madisonpark Collective show, dancers swarmed the stage from aisles, unsuspected seats in the audience and even from under the raised catwalk platform. It was an energetic start to an incredibly varied and timely collection. Trey Alligood, the designer behind the collection, seemed to cover all of the bases of his home territory by creating perfectly coordinated looks that fit every archetypal California style. The combination of a graphic tee, rolled up yellow capris and flip-flops would surely meet the requirements of the most fashionable surfer, whereas the paint splattered collared shirt, off-beige jeans and combat boots meets the quintessential “California cool” aesthetic. The jeans in shades of electric yellow, spring green, plum, Dodger blue and fuchsia will allow Fashionistos to seamlessly incorporate a bold pop of color into their everyday outfits while also fulfilling the “neon everything” trend. In fact, it would seem Madisonpark Collective has a jean solution to every fashion problem. A very unique and signature treatment applied to some jeans creates a sheen that acts as an unidentifiable imposter to leather; providing the comfort of jeans with the aesthetic of leather. Other treatments and additions to the jeans featured in the collection include leather detailing, fading, distressing, faux stains and whisker patterns. Despite the varied treatments, perhaps the most surprising aspect was the variety of lengths and fabrics. The addition of capris and cuffed jeans, as well as the use of salvaged denim, recycled cotton and Japanese twill, created a much appreciated diversity to the regular, straight leg denim fare.

While some men will undoubtedly mimic the styling of the show to create effortless looks, more adventurous Fashionistos will love the variety of the collection. Between the enormous assortment of colors, lengths and treatments, everyone will be able to find the perfect jeans for any occasion. Pick out your go-to pair by viewing the runway collection here

As the first few models traversed the runways, designer Jonny Cota’s previous dark Romantic collection came to mind. The collection began with looks including heavy woolen sweaters and diaphanous gowns, but quickly made the brilliant progression from a softer, organic feel to a cosmopolitan and edgy aesthetic. Cota’s innovative pieces made extensive use of leather — a staple of the house. Hooded models in black leather motorcycle jackets and floor length black skirts invoked a fetishistic and cultish feel. Conversely, the streamlined combination of a skintight gray leather jacket with gray leather leggings and skullcap created an avant garde and futuristic second skin. The asymmetrically proportioned shirt dresses, leather paneled leggings, drop-crotch jersey pants and obi-wrapped leather vests erred toward the ultramodern while the strict adherence to a black, gray and tan color scheme invoked uniformity reminiscent of urban warriors. Throughout the entire show, Cota played with texture to create inspiring combinations, culminating in  a shearling fringed leather jacket. The juxtaposition of a black, harshly stitched snake-skinned motorcycle jacket with a floor length sequined skirt was a surprising twist. Another standout piece was a wonderfully sculpted jacket with arched shoulder paneling; the subtlety of the studded appliqué only served to increase the drama of the piece.

Fashionistas should be on the lookout for the body-con leather jackets and leather paneled leggings, two must-haves for the upcoming season. Black seems to be the color the shows gravitated towards this week, although the tan and gray variants would be just as fashionable. The high-in-front, low-and-trailing-in-back shirt dresses are also a prudent buy to create the layered, asymmetry Cota composed so well. View photos and the runway collection here.

LET’S HEAR IT FOR THE BOYS: Monochrome Made Magnificent

Straightforward basics in monochrome gray and black; sounds like a shoe-in for the Most Boring Outfit of the Year Award. Surprisingly, this Fashionisto is able to translate these mundane pieces into an interesting and youthful look. He creates a layered effect that adds multiple dimensions to his outfit by adding a casual black H&M suit jacket over a gray zip-up Urban Outfitters hoodie and H&M white V-neck. The distinct color of each layer almost creates an ironic color blocking effect. The increasingly darker shades of each layer creates a graphic quality to the look; judging from the runways of L.A. Fashion Week, this season will be all about making your look graphic in subtle ways. This Fashionisto does this again by juxtaposing the sleek and streamlined texture of the structured jacket with the organic quality of the relaxed hoodie. The combination of the hoodie and black jeans with the classic black Converse high tops deconstructs the formality of the suit jacket perfectly for an informal look. The Neff beanie and Chuck Taylors insinuate a rock and roll vibe. His black rimmed glasses and modern H&M leather bracelet fall in perfectly with the minimalism of the rest of his outfit.

Hint: When you take away color, onlookers will focus much more on shape, texture, lines and fit. Use this to your advantage by creating a look that is varied and intriguing in these aspects. Make your look graphic and unexpected by creating a great outfit in one color head-to-toe. Just make sure it isn’t boring!