TREND: Stay Festive in Plaid

With holidays around the corner everyone seems to be catching the festive fever. Window displays are an explosion of holiday deals, T.V. shows have all had their holiday episodes and Feliz Navidad seems to be playing constantly. It's fun to inject a little bit of holiday spirit into your clothes this time of year and it's especially important to look fabulous when family comes to visit. Staying fashionable during the holidays is easier than ever now that bold patterns and colorful accesories are the norm. Take cues from the hit T.V. show Glee. On the holiday episode the cast rocks holiday themed outfits and not in a gimmicky or childish way (okay, maybe the Cheeri-o's candy cane socks are a bit much but you get the picture) showing that you can be stylish and ooze holiday spirit.

Our Fashionista this week looks super feminine in her blue gray high-waisted skirt, black tights and blouse. She stays warm in a cream bomber jacket with a fur-lined hood and a fantastic plaid scarf. She completes her look with black buckled boots and a studded mustard and black bag. Her outfit is the perfect example of a stylish look with a dab of festive flair and all it took to achieve this was adding a simple plaid scarf.

Plaid is a great print to incorporate into any holiday outfit. It gives off a warm, cozy feeling which parallels the holiday vibe perfectly. Plaid has been a reigning trend for several season now and it doesn't seem likely that it will disappear anytime soon. It's also very versatile since it comes in every color imaginable. For a festive outfit this winter, try out a basic red and black plaid button down shirt. This one from Target has a super cute ruffle for some added flair. Pair it with black skinny jeans, a pair of Mary Jane shoes and throw on a funky headband and you're set for a holiday party with your friends. Also, you can incorporate plaid into your accessories, similar to our Fashionista. Spice up your little black dress for the season with plaid stockings or even plaid heels.

Hint: Use plaid to stay warm! Plaid is a popular color for winter gear, so stock up on this stylish and functional pattern. Start with a super trendy plaid poncho.  

TREND: Stay Classy in a Cardigan

Here we have it folks: the cardigan. I assumed I'd come across this classic and versatile piece sooner or later and for good reason. Everyone should own a cardigan. They're perfect to dress up a casual look when you need to be chic for work and classy cover-up for date-nights. 

Our Fashionisto this week rocks out with a crisp white button down shirt underneath a bold teal and black striped cardigan, which acts as the focal point of his look. He's also sporting black skinnies, a long black wool coat and some much-loved printed vans. He finishes his look with a gray and black scarf and a black knitted cap. 

What makes the cardigan so special is that it is truly an everlasting trend for both men and women. Typically a menswear item and known for their grandmotherly appeal, cardigans have been re-interpreted in countless different styles and shapes, which allows them to be accessible for any age group and, especially, college age students. A cardigan can transition you from class to a work and they easily roll up into your bag. It's also perfect for every type of weather. They can be thrown on over a tank top in the summer or over a long sleeve in the winter, as exhibited by our Fashionisto. 

For you Fashionistos, there are tons of styling options for cardigans. Try pairing a cardigan with some courderoy pants, a basic V-neck tee and a colorful pair of shoes such as vans or sneakers.  For extra points, add a knitted cap, a la our Fashionisto.  For the Fashionistas out there, rock your cardigan with a pair of patterned leggings, an oversized tank top and some flat-soled boots. Accessorize with a skinny belt, which looks great with a cardigan and some chunky bracelets. 

Hint: Go bold with your cardigans! While neutral cardigans go with everything, a printed cardigan is the perfect way to spice up a dull outfit. 

TREND: A Reason to Shine

With the pressure of finals looming over our heads, the end of the semester can be a challenging time for Fashionistas and Fashionistos to balance cramming and fashion. Luckily, it's pretty easy to put together functional and style-concious outfits that will (hopefully) motivate you to spend that extra hour at the library.

Take for instance, the featured Fashionista.  Her plaid coat and bold red hat are a perfect blend of offbeat style and practicality. A heavy winter coat with a bright pattern is a must have for freezing Midwest temperatures. Finals week always seems to be the coldest and dreariest week of the year and a pop of colorful print really adds luster to these dull times. This Fashionista continues to shine with her brilliant dangling gold earrings and silver metallic oxfords. She adds texture and creates a unique look with her accessories. Her trendy gold metallic eyeliner is the perfect way to finish her look.

Glitzy accessories add a spark of fun to any outfit and during finals week anything that can add a touch of brightness is welcomed! Try out a pair of cascading earrings, which are trending on the red carpet right now. Rock them with a casual outfit to add an element of glam to take your usual look to a to a whole new level. Also, look to funky oxfords for when you're pulling an all-nighter – they're comfortable and stylish. Don't be shy and look for other metallic accessories such as headbands, belts and, of course, a fantastic metallic laptop bag, which is mandatory for study trips to Espresso Royale. 

Hint: Metallics can be used as a neutral in any outfit, so try switching out your black and brown for gold and silver to brighten up your closet. 

TREND: Faux Flair

As I prepare myself to study abroad in Sweden next semester, I've been following (stalking) the Stockholm fashion scene. There is something so glamorous, yet modest about their fashion that really distinguishes itself from American styles. While they are very different from one another, Sweden and the Midwest have one very important thing in common during the winter: it's cold. This means that while we have plenty of fabulous Fashionistas here, there are Swedish Fashionistas rocking it over there and it's a great place to find inspiration for the winter weather. One fashion trend that has exploded over here that has also been a major trend over in Stockholm and that would be faux fur

Today's Fashionista struts her aviation-inspired look to class, keeping it simple while using key pieces to spice up her neutral get-up. Black tights, black flats and a tan trench make up the majority of her outfit. She adds touches of whimsy with her faux fur hat, cat-eye sunglasses and bowed bag. Our Fashionista is a perfect example of how to mix several different trends together to create a cohesive and contemporary look

For some this trend seems way too out there, but faux fur can really add opulence and class to your wardrobe. Anything and everything covered in fur is in this season and this trend can be easy on a tight budget. I've spotted fur vests at Target and be sure to check out Claire's, which is where our Fashionista scored her super trendy faux fur hat. When wearing fur, don't be afraid to add prints into your wardrobe. Florals and striped complement fur excellently. You can style faux fur in a variety of ways, especially depending on the faux fur piece your wear. If it's a vest, which seems to be the most popular look right now, style with a pair of dark-wash skinny jeans, boots and a skinny belt. If you're rocking faux fur as an accessory, stick to one faux fur piece at a time and pair with neutral colors. 

Also, check out these other Fashionistas featured on CollegeFashionista for more ideas on how to wear a faux fur hat. 

TREND: Lace Yourself!

This week, as I was getting ready for class, I pulled on my favorite pair of boots. They are my most beloved go-to accessory that always gives my look that extra boost. It's obvious how much I wear them because as I pulled them on, my foot went through the bottom heel of the boot! Needless to say, I was devastated, but there is a silver lining. The end of one pair means I have an excuse to buy myself a new pair and I already have a style in mind. I've been mentioning lace-up boots all semester, so I think it's about time they get their chance in the limelight. 

I got some inspiration from today's Fashionista this week who rocks a pair of fabulous cognac colored lace-up boots, which she scored at Forever 21. Her outfit is simple, a wine colored skirt with a comfortable gray hoodie paired with a washed-out jean jacket. It's the perfect look for a chilly day on campus. I love how she made her boots the focal point of her outfit, pairing them with some cream-colored wool socks and black tights. She kept her accessories simple with a gold chain necklace and and an over-the-shoulder bag in cognac to complement her boots. 

Lace-up boots are a key item in every Fashionista's wardrobe this fall. They've been spotted all over the runway, red carpet and especially in street fashion. Lace-ups are a huge trend now and I don't believe that it will die out any time soon. The most exciting thing about lace-ups is that they can give you a completely different vibe depending on the style you choose. Take this Fashionista's lace-ups for example. They provide a foundation to her outfit and give her look a vintage vibe, due to the color and height of the boot. Lace-ups can go grunge too if find a pair of short, black combat style boots and throw in tights and a leather jacket. They also complement the huge variety of other trends this season. Add them to your military-inspired outfits, classic aviation looks pair great with lace-up boots, and even the trendy '60s looks go great with a pair of peep-toe lace-up boots

Hint: If you're shorter, opt for heeled lace-up booties. They'll make your legs appear longer. If you're a taller Fashionista, try out just-below the knee lace-ups, just like today's Fashionista's.

TREND: For the Love of Leopard

Is it just me or does everyone seem to own a dark colored winter coat? Whenever I walk to class in the winter months, all I see is black, gray and brown coats. I always think to myself how much I miss the fun, bright colors of the warmer months. So, what's stopping us from mixing it up a little bit? Is it because the weather is more drab that people think they need to dress more drab? I don't think that's an excuse. My advice to combat the dreariness of winter weather? Go bold with a leopard print jacket

Leave it to our Fashionista this week to break up the monotony of the basic winter ensemble by rocking an uber-trendy leopard print jacket. She pairs her busy jacket with a cream checkered scarf and a pair of classic skinny jeans. Her Sperry's add a preppy touch to her outfit, as well. Today's Fashionista looks on-trend as she makes her way to class, and it's easy to replicate her look for yourself.

First, find a simple leopard print jacket. This Fashionista's was a short peacoat, but there are several other styles out there as well. I've seen a few options at Forever 21 and H&M. Since this look is really edgy and bold, keep the rest of your outfit simple. Pair your coat with basic black tights, a long sweater dress and a pair of laced up boots for a complete a look. Add a pop of color with a red belt or handbag (or a red lip!) Also, transfer leopard print into other items as well, especially accessories, since this print is here to stay for the winter season. Try out leopard printed pants, bags, tights and booties, which all seem to be popping up all over street fashion. If you're up for it, paint your nails wild. Take cues from this trendy chick and for you Fashionistos out there, check out Trussardi's spring 2011 menswear collection for ideas on how to rock the leopard trend. 

Hint: Stick to only one leopard print piece in an outfit. Make it your statement piece, remember – a little goes a long way!

TREND: Short + Tights Equals Endless Possibilities

Fall is my favorite season for a reason, no rhyming intended. Being the (money-conscious) Style Guru that I am, I adore playing around with my existing wardrobe and trying out different ways to wear last seasons clothes in an updated way. I'm always scoping out celebrities and especially off-duty models for inspiration on how to style pieces in exciting and trendy ways. One way to keep a modern look is by layering pieces and changing combinations of clothes in order to breath new life into your outfits. Fall is the best time of the year to experiment with clothes–especially layering and that is what this weeks trend is all about.

Tights and shorts are an inseparable duo this fall season! Celebrities and models alike have been spotted rocking this trend and the best part is that you don't have to be a celebrity to pull it off!  Our Fashionista this week shows off her sense of fashion-forwardness with black lace tights paired underneath a pair of distressed, denim shorts. She spices up her black tights with a teal and white patterned top and my everyday go-to piece–a fitted black blazer. She completes her look with a pair of neutral, light brown boots. 

Tights and shorts are the ultimate fall look, because honestly, who wants to give up that fabulous pair of shorts you bought over the summer? Every kind of short and every kind of tight is fair game with this look because it's all in how you pair them. Shorts and tights can be mixed and matched to fit every body type and every style and they are great for every weather type. To channel a grunge-inspired look, go with black lace tights like our Fashionista and pair with torn-up, high-waisted jean shorts, a long plaid collared shirt and a studded black leather jacket. Add in uber-trendy lace-up boots and some throw on red lipstick and you're set. For a boho vibe, a la Nicole Richie, throw on some brown tights, a pair of denim shorts and a white, flowy, button down shirt. Add a detailed vest over top and maybe some fringed booties to pull it all together. Turn your shorts and tights into a preppy affair with light pink tights and a pair of high-waisted wool shorts and toss on a fitted cardigan, a leather belt and some sweet Mary-Jane heels to finish.

Hint: Don't be afraid to show off some color! Tights are meant to be a statement. Check out this slideshow for ideas on how to wear bright tights.

TREND: Leather Outerwear, Anywhere

With Halloween coming up this weekend, it's about the time everyone starts narrowing down their costume ideas. There's been lots of talk about Lady Gaga, the Jersey Shore cast and PlayBoy Bunnies. Every year I struggle to come up with a unique, fun and, key word, afforable halloween costume. Being the Fashionista that I am, I hate spending money on clothing I won't re-wear and packaged Halloween costumes are expensive and usually, not fashion-friendly. That's where our Fashionista's this week come in! They are my Halloween costume inspiration, and for good reason. 

This week's Fashionistas show off their excellent taste in two different styles of classic leather jackets. A great leather jacket is the perfect piece to add to your collection since it's a fashion staple that always look chic and can add an edge to any look. A leather jacket isn't a fussy item to work with since you can throw it on over almost anything, like most classic looks. They come in every shape, size, color and fit, so the sky's the limit! These ladies show off their individual styles, while exhibiting two fabulous ways to style a leather jacket. The Fashionista on the left wears her jacket with jeans, moccasins, and a warm scarf- opting for a comfy approach. The Fashionista on the right, rocks a more edgy look with black leggings, lace-up boots and a beanie cap. 

What do their outfits have to do with a Halloween costume, you say? Their classic black leather jackets pay homage to the iconic Sandy from Grease! Sandy is the embodiment of an All-American girl, with an attitude. Best of all, every item of clothing for Sandy's costume can be worn again, because her look is so streamlined and classic, and that's always in style. To achieve Sandy's look, pick up a pair of slick, skin-tight leggings, and a form-fitting, black V-neck shirt. Throw on a stretchy black belt and any black leather jacket over top. Curl your hair, add some red lipstick and sexy heels, and you've got the perfect fashion-friendly Halloween costume. If you keep up on trends (I know all you Fashionista's do) you'll probably own half of these items already. If you don't, you'll just be adding classic, easily pair-able pieces to your closet. 

Hint: When looking for a leather jacket, find one that fits YOUR personality. If your more laid back, go for a looser-fitting, faded jacket. If you're style is girlish, go for a leather jacket with ruffles! 

TREND: Oversize Me

On a gloomy, overcast day, all I want to do is curl up in my bed and watch a good movie (Confessions of a Shopaholic anyone?) but all of us studious Fashionistas/os must get to class. While we college students do dread it, going to class  on dismal days isn't such a drag when it includes a super-chic outfit, and the best part is that you don't have to sacrifice your stay-comfy mood to achieve a super chic look.

Today's Fashionista is the epitome of comfortable in her stretchy, black leggings, which are the CollegeFashionistas go-to item for comfort. She wears a relaxed, extra-long faded red tee and tops off her look with a quirky, oversized sweater, which is my favorite fall item. She mixes the patterned sweater with some embellished, strappy sandals to pull the look together.  

Knits are always huge for the fall, because everyone needs a fab way to stay warm. The twist this year is oversized, slouchy pieces. Look for big baggy sweaters in all colors, and especially trendy neutrals such as camel. A good oversized knit instantly warm up any look, and just like our featured Fashionista, and can turn a fun tee and leggings into a stylish and, most-importantly, a snuggly look. While slouchy sweaters can be paired with pretty much anything, there are a few guidlines to follow if you want to achieve a modern look. If your oversized sweater is making you look shapeless, pull it together with a trendy belt. The belt will cinch your waist and give you a great hourglass figure, which is always in style. Also, make sure you downsize other aspects of your outfit. This Fashionista paired her sweater with black leggings, which balanced out her overall look. Stick with small and simple accessories, especially if you're rocking a patterned sweater like our Fashionista this will help streamline your look. Try a simple chain necklace or headband, to add the right amount of detail. The trick is to go oversized, not overboard!

Hint: I love picking up sweaters at my local thrift store. Oversized pieces are plentiful and usually go for less than half the retail price. 

TREND: Pairing Perfection

In this day and age, pretty much anything goes and with fashion icons such as Lady Gaga, it's clear there are no boundaries when it comes to style. Although the fashion world does seem to be a free for all, there is still a fine line separating stellar style and fashion failure. Most outfits can be saved with superb styling and accessorizing, which I believe is just as important as the clothes your wearing. Knowing which accessories compliment what outfit and which trends can be paired together is a crucial skill  every Fashionista/o must exercise. Poor pairing can land you a spot on the dreaded 'Fashion Don't' list, which is every Fashionistas/os worst nightmare. 

This Fashionista this week exhibits perfect pairing, flaunting a playful outfit full of interesting textures and patterns. She rocks a long- sleeve, black turtle neck and a black and white striped skirt with a gray vest with a bit of floral pattern overtop. The skirt has white lace trim which, along with the floral print on the vest, adds a light, girlish touch to this otherwise dark ensemble. The key to her punchy look though, lies in her accessories: fringed boots, tights, flowery bag and funky sunglasses. Each accessory stays within the color palette, but adds a punch of excitement and flavor to her look. 

Mixing patterns has been a reoccurring trend, primarily because designers like to experiment with different prints. It's always a fun way to spice up your usual outfit, but this trend can be disastrous if not paired correctly. Always use a big bold print, and then match it with a smaller print with similar colors. Also, use different textures. For example pair a tartan, wool blazer with a striped cotton blouse. The trick is to make sure each patterned piece doesn't overpower another one. A great way to break up patterns is to add accessories. Tights are a girls go-to item to make a skirt wearable into the cooler weather and while tights are functionable, they also lend a chic look to any outfit. They can be understated and classic, similar to our Fashionista's muted black tights or you can make a statement with a pair of flashy, colored tights, such as this Fashionista.

Hint: When you mix and match accessories and prints, stick with 2-3 colors that are complementary. Don't know what colors are complementary? Use this helpful article as a guide.