It almost feels cliché to say fall is the best season because it seems to be everyone’s favorite—especially us kids from Wisconsin. Badgers around campus usually break out of their house with autumn sweaters and pumpkin flavored everything, but this Fashionista added something more to the classic fall wardrobe lineup: lace.

I happened to catch up with this Fashionista on her way to an early dinner with friends. It was her autumn palette mixed with her own individuality that initially caught my eye. What appeared to be just a denim shirt turned out to have a full lace panel in the back, adding a softer touch to the normal dark tones associated with fall colors. I loved the way she took something like lace, normally a focal point piece, and blended it perfectly within her outfit. We all love denim, so try your hand with a lace and denim shirt and incorporate into you wardrobe.

Over the past few years lace has become a go-to fashion trend. In the summer it is everywhere, so seeing it work its way into the fall season is great news. The trick is to keep it casual to stop it from overpowering your ensemble. Try what this Fashionista did and neutralize the lace top with a great dark scarf. This keeps the look season-appropriate and effortlessly cool at the same time. Invest in a scarf like this to try with your lace trend.

If the denim and lace shirts are not your style, there are a couple of other great variations you can try this season. Stick with a simple cut and color to keep your look sharp or get a little adventurous and see where lace takes you. Regardless of your personal style, there is always a way to work some lace into your fall wardrobe, so give it a go before winter coats take over. Also, how are great are those flare pants?

STYLE ADVICE OF THE WEEK: Sublte, Never Forgettable

Occasionally I feel the fashion world is so focused on what the hot new trend is or what crazy ensemble was last seen on the streets that sometimes we forget what greatness can come from simplicity. Where eye-catching patterns or leather seems to be on-again off-again, you can always count on basic layering and style principles to stick around. What caught my eye this week is the way this Fashionista went back to fashion fundamentals.

School functional, yet memorable, this ensemble is ideal for any college student. Her outfit is effortless but perfectly collected to let it feel comfortable and fashionable. The Fashionista’s choice of gray works flawlessly alongside her choice of a jade cardigan. A gray shirt is essential to any wardrobe because it can dressed down or up depending on what it is paired with. Our Fashionista chose to add a little fancier touch to her standard gray T-shirt by pairing it with a chain link knot necklace.  To get this Fashionista’s simplicity based outfit, try your own version of gray shirt matched with a classic green sweater to add some flavor to your normal going to class garb. Both of these items are seemingly simple pieces, but will always be useful in your wardrobe.

The next great part of this outfit is her black skirt. Sometimes shorter skirts can appear too dressy or too risque for casual occasions, but in reality they can be applicable to nearly any situation. In this case, the Fashionista’s skirt rounds out the green and gray top to complete the subtle, but impeccable ensemble, further confirming that simplicity can go a long way. Not too tight or too loose, it complements the softness of the tops she was wearing while simultaneously keeping her polished. Follow suit and pick up a skirt like this for the school year.

To top it all off, what better piece to add to your collection than a great bag? Great color and design, a simple brown leather bag is uncomplicated, but a sure statement to keep around. Get yourself a transitional leather cross-body bag to keep by your side. Her bag’s multiple zippers was a fun take on the concept of simplicity by adding a modern touch. Although some people would prefer to follow more current trends, this Fashionista brings back the art of fashion simplicity and proves why this style is here to stay.

So when the fashion scene gets a little too outrageous for your taste, come back to basics and relinquish all the pizazz and flair that comes and goes. Find a few staple pieces to revert back to as to maintain some fashion grounding. This Fashionista demonstrates how to be minimalistic without being boring, which is great instruction for everyone to follow.  And when in doubt, always adhere the advice of Yves Saint Laurent, “Fashions fade, style is eternal.”

STYLE ADVICE OF THE WEEK: The Foolproof Blazer

There’s something about a blazer that always grabs my attention. Whether it is structured or a more loose pseudo construct of a blazer, they are a necessity for every Fashionista. What isn’t to love about a piece that can be business professional and effortlessly cool at the same time?

It is my love of a great blazer that lead to this Fashionista grabbing my attention. Light pink, cuffed and a great length, this jacket fit the criteria for a perfect pre-fall ensemble. It was tailored just enough to be professional, but lightweight enough to be a casual garment. What makes this even better is her outfit follows the short suit trend perfectly. Like what we saw in Jil Sander and Victoria Beckham at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, the pairing of a blazer with a great chino or cotton short is a tricky, but fun trend to try out this fall. And trust me, if a Spice Girl says it’s cool, you better believe it is. Wear a jacket just like this to work, school or out on the town to get that great cut of a blazer just like this week’s Fashionista.

If a short suit is a little too much for you at first, add a cool factor like this Fashionista and pair your blazer with a super cool graphic T-shirt. We’ve seen the animal print T-shirt trend before, but she made an unorthodox choice to pair it with a blazer. The cut-off, tiger print T-shirt relaxes this ensemble immediately, creating an approachable, laid back style. This Fashionista’s tiger T-shirt was eye-catching, yet remarkably balanced underneath the long lines of her blazer. Get a shirt similar to this Fashionista’s to try your own hand at this trend.

Polishing it all off, she accented her outfit with the perfect accessories. Few jewelry pieces add sophistication like a beautiful leather band watch. It should be one of your go to items in your closet. Not to mention, this Fashionista added her own flair to a simple watch by using gold and turquoise bangles. Invest in a classically stylish watch now and I promise you’ll wear it for forever. In reality, every single piece this Fashionista is wearing are very re-wearable items, so start picking them up for fall now (but especially the blazer, people).


In all aspects of life it is essential to have balance and fashion is no exception. Whether it’s texture or colors, maintaining a harmonious aesthetic is the way to perfect an outfit. It’s how you take a potentially overbearing piece that is too glittery, patterned or textured and make it wearable for day to day use. Don’t get me wrong, there’s a time and place to wear all the eye-catching pieces in the world, but being able to master this style tip will up the use of those pieces. For example, with all the leather we will be seeing this fall, on myself specifically, it’ll be good to start practicing pairings that will subdue the wow factor that leather brings.

This week’s Fashionista caught my eye because of her fun take on balance. She took what would normally be just another patterned summer dress and paired it will a long sleeve button-down, transitioning this look straight into the next season. Not to mention the monochromatic pairing was almost too good to be true. The pattern of the dress, albeit subtle, was a great candidate for this week’s advice because it’s a perfect gateway into mastering balance. Her satchel added to the casual nature of her outfit, keeping the look very down to earth. This Fashionista’s colors are great for summer and early fall, but once the leaves start to settle in, work in your darker colors.

This fall bring out your own personal style while sustaining outfit harmony by grabbing a strong pattern and neutralizing it with a piece that either mirrors or matches. As I mentioned before, I love the leather trend we saw from Alexander Wang, Helmut Lang and others, so take a shirt like this to pair with the aforementioned patterned dress. Get yourself a great carry-all satchel for the extra things that don’t fit in your backpack. It’s time to get those pieces out that you imagined being only one-time outfits and start working them into everyday wardrobe.


With everyone talking about getting ready for school, it can be easy to forget to live in the moment and enjoy the last few days of summer. Drop the school shopping list and get yourself to a pool because three months from now, you’ll wish you would have. Before walking out the door, follow this week’s Fashionista in order to achieve the perfect end-of-summer cool look.

When it comes to summer fashion choices, it is not essential to sacrifice style for utility. In a sea of running shorts and spaghetti straps on the lake docks, this Fashionista stood out by deciding to pair her swimsuit with a casual, fitted cotton dress. The simplicity, yet timelessness of a subtle polka-dot makes this dress useable for years to come. Take a causal summer dress and match it with your swimsuit to upgrade your “going swimming” look. Try this variation of a polka-dot summer dress to achieve that effortless feminine and functional piece.

She humbled the outfit by pairing it with a pair of simple flip flops. Then, by matching her swimsuit choice to the color of the dots in her dress, she allowed the two pieces to intertwine perfectly.

This week, revel in the final days of freedom and warm weather and throw on some polka-dots. They are a trend that always comes backs and maintains its place every summer season from dresses to itsy-bitsy, teeny-weeny, yellow polka-dot bikinis. Use the pattern to create a great look for the final days of summer.


STYLE GURU BIO: Taylor Lee-Clarahan

I’m Taylor Lee-Clarahan and I’m a junior at the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Studying management and finance, I’m essentially biding my time until I become the next Anna Wintour, except with an adventurous style and flexible hair. Luckily, CollegeFashionista has allowed me the agency to follow my dreams in the fashion industry by asking me back for another semester as a Style Guru.

I would love to help shape the way people appreciate fashion. I’ve personally witnessed a lot of judgement toward the industry, whether it’s about cost, models, design concepts, etc. Some people say they don’t understand the big deal or are not fashion-oriented, but in reality, everyone is a part of the industry. Everything you wear at some point was a sketch on a piece of paper. High-waisted pants, leather and cropped tops came back into style because the top leaders in the industry decided to bring them back (fingers crossed shoulder pads are never reincarnated). You may not have bought it right off the runway, but the shirt you’re wearing is a deviation from some high fashion’s brainchild.

My love of all things fashion started from childhood dress up and became firmly embedded as I started working in the industry. With local success in the Midwest as a model, as well as working and living abroad in Hong Kong and Taipei, I’ve been blessed to live within the international fashion world. Besides the appreciation for the craft of fashion, modeling has allowed me to see ingenuity and beauty within street style, and it is through this lens I plan to observe campus for Fashionistas and Fashionistos.

Although I would be totally okay with Olivier Rousteing designing my entire wardrobe, I still find love for all different styles. I believe great style comes from confidence and individuality, so that’s why I find the nomenclature of labeling style semi-limiting. By labeling what you think your style is, you’re implying there is something you are not and I’d prefer not having restrictions on my outfits. I normally operate within the parameters of classic pieces with unorthodox matching, but hey, who knows, maybe tomorrow I’ll like something bohemian. Regardless of my fashion affinities, I love all that Madison street style has to offer and can’t wait to share it with the rest of you.


With summer coming to a close, we start thinking about what’s awaiting us this school year, HA just kidding. Going back to school depresses me just as much as it depresses you, so let’s skip that dialogue and focus on having fun with the days we have left like this Fashionisto.

On his way to meet up with some friends before a concert, this week’s fashionable boy went with a great easy-going summer ensemble. As difficult as it is to dress for an outdoor concert (Jacket? No jacket? Rain? Moshing?), this Fashionisto surpassed most options by going with a comfortable match up of two returning trends — plaid and graphic tees.

It was his graphic tee that got my attention first. By having a unique design occurring as it’s focal point, rather than a sport’s team or a phrase, it elevates a T-shirt from work out gear to going out wear. Additionally, the stark contrast between the black and white make it very eye-catching. Follow this Fashionisto and grab a well-designed graphic tee to stay comfortable while looking collected, like this pick from Zumiez.

Next, of course, are the ever popular plaid shorts. These style of shorts have proved themselves permanent by their reoccurrence through every season. A got to favorite of this Fashionisto, he picked a subtle coloring of plaid from his closet to complement his shirt. Perfect for summer, this style is easy-going, works with relatively everything and of course hides stains really well, so ideal for the carefree guy. Pair these shorts from PacSun with the aforementioned graphic tee to create a great summer outfit.

Hint: Frequently I see plaid shorts that are too matchy-matchy with the wearer’s shirt. Try not to take the main color from the shorts and pick a tee in that same color, for it can be overbearing. Instead, take one of the background or quieter hues of the shorts to match your shirt to.



Let’s face it, working inside during the summer sucks. Sometimes we all wish we could be kids again, running around in the hot summer sun trying not to get in trouble and dreaming of the day when we are grown ups. Little did we know, with the maturity that brings us our licenses and own apartments comes other burdens like car payments and wrinkles. Yuck. To keep some of that childhood fun alive amidst our resume-building, coffee running, classic college summer employment, we may have to depend on our wardrobe.

Luckily, this Fashionisto is able to keep some joy in his summer obligations by keeping his attire fresh and memorable. By staying away from the traditional work wear colors, he creates a more personal look that keeps him from blending in with other interns.

What caught my attention initially was the great color of his polo. A mix between a violet and an orchid, his purple polo is a great way to add a pop of color while maintaining that business professional look. The best part about this shirt is after work you can change into khaki shorts and you would have a perfect hang out outfit. To get one similar to this look, check out Ralph Lauren‘s full collection.

Additionally, what makes this a great work outfit is the color of his dress pants. Shying away from the expected black or tan, this Fashionisto donned a stylish pair of gray pants that are perfect for adding flavor to summer employment. They operate well within many color schemes and will be staying around for the next few seasons, so they are a great investment. To add grey dress pants to your work ensemble, try out these from Calvin Klein.

Hint: Make sure to consult your work’s dress code before trying anything out of the ordinary. Some employers prefer traditional colors, whereas others might not mind, or even encourage a more unique approach to professional wear.


While it seems everyone this summer is wearing tees and shorts to abide the sweltering temperatures, it can be hard to distinguish your own summer style from everyone else. To avoid being lost amidst the sea of cargo shorts and cut-offs, find a way to incorporate some personality into your wardrobe.

I was visiting my father in Memphis, Tennessee when I stumbled on this Fashionisto while he was on a break from work. Cool and comfortable, his relaxed ensemble elicited the perfect summer style. Not only was his get-up able to withstand the heat (as much as it can under the Memphis sun), he was also able to keep it unique to him by personalizing it with his effortlessly cool hat and glasses. At first what caught my eye were his great piercings and glasses, then I realized his subtle-patterned shorts paired with his two-textured sneakers.

Where at first the shorts seemed to be polka-dotted, I got closer to realize they were actually a colored pique. This type of design is a great way to add dimension to your look since it’s just a raise of stitching in the fabric. By allowing this small motif you create a composition that is interesting without being overbearing. A little more adventurous way to try out this trend is by checking out the ASOS version. Obviously these are a little brighter, but the tiny pique makes for a cool texture.

With the light and dark color contrast in the short, it is easy to see why he paired his black sneakers to this outfit; the dark colors do not clash. His long legs also help break up the colors, but hey, we can’t all be so lucky. Additionally to the color and separation by leg, the mix of leather and canvas in these shoes give a texture that would allow they to be paired with numerous outfits. Try out these classics from Converse.

Hint: Normally I don’t advise pairing dark colors (there are cardinal rules for a reason ya know?), especially if they have the same undertone. The risk can result in a large faux pas, so be sure to have a lighter shade to buffer between the two. This Fashionisto’s use of a gray shirt and the gray detail in his dark blue shorts keeps the black shoes at bay.


With the school year reserved for stress and Ramen, the summer is for late nights and relaxation; so why shouldn’t your wardrobe fit within those parameters? Of course I appreciate a well-tailored and thoughtfully arranged outfit, but this time of year calls for cotton tees and barbecue stained pants.

On a warm night I decided to take a walk through one of Madison’s little parks when I happened to stumble upon a group of guys hanging out. Ignoring the fact he was playing catch with some friends, I stole this Fashionisto away to take a picture of his summer ensemble. Comfortable, yet functional as a day or nightwear piece, the pairing of his chino shorts with a layered top work perfectly.

He effortlessly contrasted his burgundy T-shirt with a green sweatshirt, creating something more than a “playing catch” outfit. It’s the way the colors work with each other; they’re not too harsh, nor too subtle. Finding the right hue of green can be tricky because some complexions aren’t complimentary with certain shades. This week’s Fashionisto did a great job finding a soft green that will work with multiple outfits. Try this sweatshirt out from American Apparel to update the neutral colors sweatshirts normally operate within.

Although no yacht in sight, this Fashionisto matched a pair of boat shoes to his casual summer getup. These shoes seem to be a college Fashionisto favorite and I can see why; they work with every outfit. More polished than sneakers and more casual than dress shoes, boat shoes like these are a necessity for summertime.

Hint: Layering is an important word to understand when coordinating an outfit. If it is overdone you can look stuffy or most importantly sweat your face off. In the summer, only layer if the fabrics are compliant, otherwise you’ll wish you hadn’t done it in the first place. Layering allows the reuse of certain pieces without it looking repeated.