STYLE ADVICE OF THE WEEK: The Tiny Hot Pink High-Waisted Mini Shorts

This post's title reminds me a bit of the famous — and repetitively named — Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini (which I've never worn but always sung along to). I could have also used descriptors like zipper-equipped or tweed-look-alike to cue this Fashionista's shorts, but those just don't have the same quality ring to them. This title is lengthy but full of character, and I think the latter accurately describes the mini shorts. The color is undeniably flashy (it captures the eye immediately), but the shorts still have an almost business-casual look to them, and the combination of belt and tucked-in shirt adds a J.Crew feel to this Univervisty of Tampa Fashionista's outfit. At the same time, her black Marc by Marc Jacobs tote — a solid option for carrying books — gives a sense of utilitarian campus style. If you're at all hesitant about bright colors, just go look at the Nanette Lepore spring 2012 collection. If this is okay (in my opinion, it is), then pink shorts are definitely okay. Taken together, the high-waist style of this Fashionista's shorts and the height from her wedges make her look like a runway creature herself. 

On a more sad and completely unrelated note, this is my last post with CollegeFashionista. The spring season will official end in less than a month, and if I can offer any advice for the summer, it's to wear your bathing suit as much as possible — but not simply to lie out and tan. Be active, go swimming and enjoy wearing close to nothing when it's actually socially acceptable to do so. But when you do have to wear clothes, look to this week's Fashionista and try a pair of tiny hot pink, high-waisted mini shorts. 

STYLE ADVICE OF THE WEEK: Question What You See

I believe that we should question everything. I haven't always thought in this way; there was definitely a time when I just accepted things as they were because questioning them simply wasn't a priority. I wasn't hurt or disadvantaged by not questioning them. But now I know that accepting things at face value is detrimental, and it inhibits learning. I think that this direction of thought is similar to the underlying ideas behind the OBEY Clothing line. When a person wears an OBEY shirt, the wearer makes a statement — like this University of Tampa Fashionisto did — whether he or she really intended to or not. In my mind, it's a “stick it to the man” à la School of Rock kind of statement. But even if someone wasn't at all familiar with OBEY, the shirt's design in itself elicits wonder and hopefully causes people to question its meaning.

The act of questioning is another thing that's so interesting to me about the fashion world. When I read show reviews on Style.com, I'm usually reading about the inspiration behind a collection. What was the designer going for when he or she built these pieces? What were they trying to convey? There is usually always an answer, always a reason for the visual beauty we initially see. It seems pretty obvious that a designer is influenced by something most of the time, so why not question that influence as soon as we see the clothes? After you question it, go find out what's right. Go beyond admiring (or bashing) cut and color; ask about what went into producing both the heartbreakingly gorgeous and the plainly mediocre pieces. 

STYLE ADVICE OF THE WEEK: Overall, A Solid Choice

When I was younger, I didn't feel weird or dorky wearing overalls. To me, they weren't really associated with anything except Mary-Kate Olsen and Ashley Olsen. The young actresses wore them in a couple of films, which was all I needed to know for the outfit to be considered cool. Anything and everything Mary-Kate and Ashley did was considered cool. In general though, I guess kids wear overalls because throwing on a one-piece is simple, straightforward and more conducive for playing outside.

This Fashionista, whom I caught up with at Davidson College, proves that overalls can be a style staple for the grown-up crowd too. Looking at Junya Watanabe's spring 2012 menswear collection only solidifies this. I love how Watanabe styled the overalls look in such diverse ways. There are overalls that seem to me to hint at everything from sailors to farmers to city dwellers, and maybe even to an alternative wedding party. Although most of the outfits are more fitting for the spring, the ideas behind them can be kept in mind for the summertime. For example, if you're going to the Newport Folk Festival in July, you should consider tranforming the sailor look into one that can be worn on a July day. On hot days I would also suggest following this Fashionista's sleeveless example. It's quick, it's good for lounging and it doesn't cover up too much. She got her overalls from a thrift store, leading me to give this advice: Always check thrift stores first.

STYLE ADVICE OF THE WEEK: Baggy Is Best

Once again, I found a Fashionista who was surprised that I was asking to take her picture. Maybe she didn't think that her baggy shorts were stylin', but I did. I've always been a fan of baggy bottoms — of baggy anything, really. Wearing things that seem too big for you adds a feeling of frivolity to an outfit.

Loose clothes were all over the place at the spring 2012 3.1 Phillip Lim show. The pieces were airy, even tent-like, adding interesting shapes to the frames they covered. That's how I perceived this Fashionista's shorts — the waistline started at the end of her fitted sweater and then the shorts flared out, like an upside-down flower. Their wrinkles made them look slightly sloppy but in a relaxed, even aesthetic way. 

Another note-worthy part of the outfit is her ring. She said it was her grandmother's ring. I've talked about the allure of heirlooms in a post before, but vintage jewelry is a whole new subject in itself. It is probably the epitome of timeless fashion. At no point will wearing that ring be out of style, and that's a pretty comforting constant to have in the midst of hectic life. It must be at least latently nice to wear something that has been worn by people with wholly different experiences than you. Etsy is a good place to start looking for vintage pieces

STYLE ADVICE OF THE WEEK: Hats Off To An Alumna

“Old school” is what first comes to mind when I look at this combination of the sideways cap, the classic denim jacket and chunky headphones. In light of this outfit choice, it shouldn't have been at all surprising to learn that this Fashionista is a former CollegeFashionista Style Guru. But I was a little struck by the realization of a miniature timeline of Style Gurus, prompting me to wonder how CollegeFashionista has changed since 2009, and how it will change over the tenure of future Style Gurus. Will fashion really be that different in five or fifteen years? Does style even change if we keep bringing pieces back again and again? The denim jacket has been around for awhile, but what really gets me is her version of the newsboy cap.

The nostalgia-tinged newsboy cap is cutesy in one way and sophisticated in another. While a distinctive piece in itself, this Fashionista's hat seems to somehow complete her eclectic outfit. I think it takes a good amount of reckless ingenuity to mix so many visually exclusive things and still look this together. And I bet she looks even more old school wearing those headphones atop that cap. 

 

STYLE ADVICE OF THE WEEK: Patterned Prep

I’m not really the preppiest person. I own a few Lilly pieces and I’ve worn Jack Rogers before, but I tend to shy away from the very concentrated sphere of prep. Nevertheless, I admire this sphere. Those who wear preppy clothes wear them without shame. Sometimes it’s a bright, loud and über-patterned shift, and sometimes it’s a navy Lacoste polo with khakis. I usually find that the people wearing these things don’t care about whatever negative reputation the preppy style might have attached to it. Or maybe they just don't waste time thinking about it. Either way, they embrace their clothes.

But sartorial genres aside, I’ll admit I’m biased in saying that I appreciate this outfit. Patterned pants rock my world. I would wear them every day if I could. They’re different enough to be eye-catching but they also make an outfit look clean, as most fitted pants do. Anthropologie usually lures me in with the patterned pants they carry. This floral pair by Peter Som is magical. Who would have thought that splashing flowers all over pants was anything but a silly idea? We can always count on fashion designers—and creative people in general—to show us something new to judge and perhaps fall in love with.

STYLE ADVICE OF THE WEEK: The Tie Top

Seeing shirts with ties in front usually throws me back to a time when tie shirts were definitively “in” style. After a bit of researching, I think I've figured out that this time was the '70s. If this was obvious to you, I'll defend myself by saying that tie shirts have shown up various times since the '70s (hence my decade confusion). Back then, however, the shirts were tied higher and showed off the midriff, suggesting a more open flirtatiousness.

These days, it seems that girls are sartorially flirtatious in more modest ways. At least during the daytime — I'm clearly excluding club attire here. And while I'm a follower of the more modest way of dressing, I do find something magical in the midriff-showing clothes of yesteryear.

Perhaps the attractive quality stems from the confidence that has to go with wearing something like that. This Fashionista managed to wear the tie shirt in the modern, modest way while maintaining a tone of confidence. Her sassy House of Harlow 1960 sunglasses probably helped with this, wrapping up the outfit with a burst of insta-cool style. 

STYLE ADVICE OF THE WEEK: She’s Got That Babydoll Edge

I know why I like this outfit, but I can't exactly put my finger on whether it channels femininity or masculinity. I'll let you figure this one out, as there is nothing I'm better at than indecisiveness. I will say, with rare absolute conviction, that her blazer is one of those things I'd like to put in a museum (optional read: my closet). Mind you, it's definitely a trendy piece, but it's trendy in the right way. In other words, it should be placed on a pedestal and ogled by all lesser trends. The combination of unique symmetry, navy material and black accents screams put-togetherness to me.

And as the post title gives away, this Fashionista has got the babydoll edge, a term I might have just coined. She looks so sweet and girlie, and then swishes in the blazer to add edge to her outfit — in both the representative and literal senses. Her pale shirt and shiny oxfords give off an air of indie professionalism, which mingles well with her school girl-esque skirt. Whilst writing this post, I've convinced myself that her look is more feminine than masculine. (Indecisiveness conquered.) I could try to say something along the lines of “blazers give a masculine feel,” but I think I've conquered that stereotype too. She's feminine, she's edgy and she rocks.

 

STYLE ADVICE OF THE WEEK: Denim and Activism

This is how you wear denim on denim. Some people cringe when considering this seemingly monotonous combo, but it can be done, and he's doin' it. However, he's probably not thinking about the mild sartorial feat he accomplished simply by getting dressed that morning. He's probably thinking about fracking (and the problems with fracking, in particular). I say probably as I don't want to put thoughts into his head, but I know it's at least 98.5%  true because he was handing out flyers for a meeting to discuss fracking issues in North Carolina. This all combines to make him a double winner. What's fashion without activism? What's activism without fashion? Tons of things, of course, but for the purpose of this article, I'm combining these separate topics into one super-hybrid. 

The reason his denim-on-demin look is worth all of this raving is because of the different shades of denim. The pants are non-matchy to the extent that they might not even be denim for all you onlookers know. He got the shirt from a thrift shop, and it's essentially the most perfect jean shirt I've ever seen. The buttons are simple, and I like the slightly seductive vibe given off by his rolled-up sleeves, which I'm sure is what he was going for. And if my memory serves me, he got his shoes from his mother's fiancé, which is pretty random and cool. But still, his activist persona is what passers-by will remember, making that stack of flyers in his hands the most stylish bit of the bunch.

STYLE ADVICE OF THE WEEK: Raid Your Dad’s Closet

In a way, this outfit is what I imagine every 6-year-old boy in New England wears to his weekly sailing lessons. I don't mean this in a demeaning way (and I don't actually mean to stereotype all the boys living in one region). I just mean that the man's got character. His outfit is playful, almost innocent. But since we're being serious, I dearly hope you would not bring that beautiful leather out to sea. Too risky for my liking. The leather is my favorite part. (It's just so crinkly.) This Fashionisto said it was his dad's old bag, which prompts this plea from me to you: raid your dads' closets, everyone. Now.

If you want to look like a boyish sailor, or a nautical adult for that matter, J.Crew is clearly the place to start. Just roll these bad boys up five times, and you're half way there. Striped shirts are wicked easy to find, but any pastel hue will also do. The spring equinox just passed, meaning it's time to party in your pastels — not that it's not allowed year-round. And if you've already heeded my advice by secretely (or not so secretely) borrowing/stealing a leather bag from Dad's wardrobe, you'll have an edgy safety net to offset those sometimes spineless pastels. The last thing I'd like to point out is this Fashionisto's belt. Note that there is no belt buckle showing in the front. I can't convey how happy this makes me. I mean, what a raging rebel, right? That's not sarcasm. I love when people don't show their belt buckles. It's off-putting, and it makes you (or just me) slightly confused, like a dose of sartorial philosophy.