TREND: Bling it Up for Back to School

Well Fashionistas and Fashionistos, it seems that we have reached the end of the fashion road. This is my last post for the summer, so I wanted to stress one of the most important tips when it comes to fashion: It is ALL about the accessories. No matter the outfit you have on, the accessories (and of course the attitude) are what is going to make the outfit. Accessories are also useful because you can mix and match them with different outfits to create a new look every time you were that favorite T-shirt or dress.

This Fashionista is a perfect example of making use of a number of accessories to spice up what would be a plain dress, otherwise. She paired the red cotton dress with a headband and a large bangle on her wrist. Though these two accessories may seem small, they make a huge difference in her outfit. But my favorite accessory of hers was her large L.A.M.B. tote bag. The tote has a lot of detail and personality, spicing up her outfit perfectly.

So, as the school year approaches and you are purchasing those last minute additions to your fall wardrobe, don’t forget the accessories.

Hint: For awesome accessories like this Fashionista’s, try stores such as Nordstrom Rack for a selection of designer bags, clothes and jewelry.

TREND: Rocker-Chic Look

With just a couple of weeks away from the start of the new fall semester, Fashionistas are beginning to wonder what they should wear as the season begins to change. For those Fashionistas/Fashionistos who like to wear street fashion trends, one of the easiest looks to pull of is the rocker-chic style. You may think that you don't have the personality or clothes to pull off the rocker-chic trend, but this look is actually quite effortless to put together.

This look is a popular favorite for many celebrities on the street. Taylor Momsen, Ashley Tisdale and Lauren Conrad are among the many fashion-forward stars seen rocking this style. The appeal of this look is that it makes you look sexy, while giving you a hardcore edge with total atitude appearance.

This Fashionista pulls off the rocker-chic look by wearing signature ripped skinny leg jeans and a fedora. She keeps the look simple by adding black gladiator sandals and a matching black tote bag. 

There are no real guidelines to complete the rocker-chic trend. All you really need is the confidence to pull off this eccentric style. Here are some quick tips on how to look rocker-chic this fall:

  • Converse kicks are perfect for wearing with skinny leg jeans or even leggings to achieve a sportier vibe. 
  • A classic leather biker jacket can add edge to any bland look.
  • Casual T-shirts or rock band T-shirts paired with skinny leg jeans can create a ready-to-wear outfit
  • Accessorize by adding a simple hat  or a leather bag with fringe or studs on it. 

Hint: For a more high-end rocker-chic style, make a statement with your shoes by adding black stilettos or black studded booties. 

TREND: Corduroy Cut Offs

Corduroy immediately reminds me of a pair of pastel pink corduroy jeans my mom would make me wear as a child during the winter. Needless to say, they were not so fashionable. But corduroy can actually be worn in a fashionable way…and in the summer nonetheless! Introducing the corduroy cutoffs. These shorts are a great way to keep cool during the final grueling heated days of the summer.

The cut off short is definitely a trend that has caught on this summer. The best part about it is that they are popular with Fashionistas and Fashionistos alike. Celebrities like supermodel Gisele Bundchen and pop star Miley Cyrus have both been spotted sporting cut off shorts along with actors Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens.

I found this Fashionisto in downtown Iowa City, sporting a pair of navy blue cut offs. The shorts kept him comfortable while still keeping him looking casually well dressed. He finished the look with a striped v-neck and flip-flop sandals. The look was a unique twist to the normally winter friendly fabric.

Hint: For a pair of your own corduroys, try these Levi’s.

TREND: Double-Duty Clothing

It's sad to say, but summer is quickly coming to an end. Soon the scorching heat will be gone and the cool autumn breeze will be sneaking in. But despite the cooler weather, don't fret just yet — you don't need to start worrying about packing away your summer wardrobe to make room for warmer clothes. Every frugal Fashionista knows that a great way to save money is by transitioning your summer outfits into the fall.

This Fashionista displays how easy it can be to work summer styles into fall fashion. By pairing a long-sleeve, plaid shirt with denim shorts, this Fashionista not only incorporated vital pieces for both seasons, but also created a comfortable, ready-to-wear outfit. The cotton-knit shirt is perfect for those cooler evenings or late-night movie trips. It can easily be taken off if its a little too warm and you don't have to worry because the tank top and shorts look is still a flawless summer look.

They key to transitioning from summer to fall is choosing versatile pieces that you would feel comfortable in for both seasons. Here are some hints on how to effortlessly turn your summer clothes into the beginning of your autumn wardrobe:

  • Switch out your sandals for a pair of flats. One of the easiest ways to dress up or dress down an outfit is by wearing flats. Sporty flats will make a shorts ensemble look more laid-back, while ballet flats can be more elegant.
  • Invest in a pair of boyfriend jeans. By rolling the cuffs up or down you can achieve distinctive looks for different occasions or variable weather.
  • Don't forget to layer! If you're wearing jeans and a T-shirt, consider adding a jacket, sweater or even a scarf to keep you warm. Leggings and stockings are also perfect for layering.

TREND: Do it Yourself for Date Night

The summer is everyone's time to take a break from the demands of the school year, catch up on reading, pick up a few hobbies and just relax. It also means open summer nights to go out with the girls or the guys and spend some time together you wouldn't otherwise have during the other busier seasons. These nights are great outlets to express yourselves like a true Fashionista or Fashionisto. And what better way to truly express yourself than by sporting a do-it-yourself look?

I get it. The term “do-it-yourself” triggers flashes of images of awful fashion disasters in my head too. But, it’s really not that hard! This Fashionista told me her outfit was less than $15 all together, shoes and everything. Instead of wearing jeans, she keeps cool with denim colored leggings. She is wearing a simple camisole and accessorizes with a belt and scarf. Her “cardigan” is actually an old shirt she decided to cut in half. This Fashionista’s look is the ultimate do-it-yourself look. It is perfect for a variety of occasions including a night out with the girls or a relaxing evening in. The best part about this look is that it is inexpensive and it’s easy to change out a few accessories for a completely different look.

Hint: Want a simple, do it yourself look? It’s all about the accessories. Ragstock is a great, inexpensive location for some great jewelry, scarves or shades. Pair accessories with simple clothes from stores like Target and you’re ready to go! 

TREND: Playful One-Piece Romper

The first time I saw a romper hanging on a rack at Nordstrom I immediately thought "Honestly, who the heck would wear that?"  I presumed rompers were going to be the new fashion faux pas that we would be forced to look back at ten years from now on 'VH1's Worst Fashion Mistakes Ever'.  To me, rompers were just another classic example of fashion gone terribly wrong. I would have included them amongst the ranks of fanny packs, unicorn sweaters and tuxedo shirts. 

Much to my dismay, one day when I was shopping with friends one of them convinced me to try on a romper (of course a little coaxing from the sales person was needed). After looking in the mirror, I was completely and utterly shocked that I actually liked this one piece wonder! It was not only comfortable, but form-fitting and surprisingly, very fashion-forward. My previous worries that I'd look like a toddler in a onesie or a convict in a jumpsuit were all suppressed when I succumbed into buying my very first romper. That's when I realized that the romper craze was here to stay and the only thing to do as a Fashionista was to embrace this trend. 

Although rompers are a great look for a night out on the town, they're also perfect for wearing to class or for a casual evening with your friends. They come in a variety of sophisticated styles – tailored, loose fitting, sporty, basic or dressy – making it easy to find one that fits your personal aesthetic. 

This Fashionista demonstrates the versatility of this adorable trend. She chose a solid colored romper and paired it with silver accessories and purple, hipster sunglasses to create a more contemporary feel. The no-sweat ensemble was finished off by adding a simple pair of sandals.

Hint: For a fiercer vibe, throw on some sexy, edgy booties or try adding a cropped jacket for a more refined look. 

TREND: Striped Simplicity

Flashback to when summer was first creeping up on you. For many of you, it meant the end of unbearable winter temperatures and, even better, the chance to bring back your summer wardrobe. Now return to today and if your summer has gone anything like mine, you are likely tired of the summer heat and have exhausted your summer wardrobe. Not to worry Fashionistas and Fashionistos, we will make sure that you stay on top of your style so you spend the last few weeks of summer as fashionable as the first.

First of all, it’s important to remember that you can always do one thing if you feel you have run out of things to wear: mix and match outfits. This Fashionista’s outfit is a perfect example of that. Normally, she would wear this chic ruffled dress if she were going out to spend the day shopping with friends. But since she had work that day, she decided to pair what she would normally consider a “party dress” with a simple white tee to make it appropriate work attire. She finished the outfit with some metallic flip-flops. The end product is a simple look that is perfect for any occasion.

Hint: Want to keep it simple with a look you can mix and match? My favorite thing to mix and match is an American Apparel V-neck tee. Not only are these V-necks light enough to get you through the summer heat, but it’s easy to change your look with just a few accessories.

TREND: Bohemian Inspiration

Whether it's a dress that I bought while on vacation, or it's a pair of shorts and a top that I found on a clearance rack, my favorite outfits are always the ones that fuse different influences together to make a whole new creation. For this reason, I have always admired the boho style, which combines bohemian, gypsy and hippie styles to form a modern, chic look.

You may have thought that the boho style was more of a fall look, but in reality you can wear it all year long. This summer, Fashionistas have become free spirits by showing off diverse looks inspired by the boho trend. The light weight material and loose, flowing clothing make this trend a summer-made outfit for those dreary, muggy days. 

The key to this easy-to-wear, eclectic trend is inspiration. The versatile nature of the overall look encourages Fashionistas to experiment with different styles, prints, colors and even cultures. There are no rules to this look so feel free to improvise. You can combine a boho tunic with skinny leg jeans or pair a flowy, embroidered top with bermuda shorts or black leggings to fit your own individual vibe. 

If you need more insight on this trend, then look no further. This Fashionista shows off her bohemian inspiration by wearing a beautifully embroidered tunic, which she matched with navy blue shorts. The detailing in the white tunic creates a unique look that doesn't require any additional accessories. But, if you wanted to add a subtle, but charming touch, then you could finish off this outfit by wearing gold bangles or any gold accessory.

Hint: If you plan on going on vacation this summer, keep an eye out for handmade jewelry or hand stitched skirts and tops that can be used to create a bohemian inspired look. 

TREND: Summer Hats

Summer barbecues are a novelty of the season. Hamburgers and hot dogs on the grill glistening over conversation with family and friends is many summer-lovers' favorite part of the warm and relaxing season. And since you’ll be seeing so many familiar faces, it’s important for any Fashionista/o to look his/her best. One of my favorite summer accessories is a cool hat that shields you from the sun while making a bold statement. I’ve heard many Fashionistas claim they can’t “pull a hat off,” but there really is a hat out there for everyone. Christian Dior and Chanel both have stunning hat styles in their collections that are perfect for any trendsetter.

This Fashioista is "pulling off" a fedora hat, a trend that has made a comeback since it was popular from the early 1920s to the mid 1960s. Her outfit is perfect for a summer barbecue: The spaghetti strap top is girly, comfortable and will keep her cool during the day while her ankle-length Capri pants will keep her prepared in case the barbecue lasts a little later than expected. It's easy to rock a hat but if you are still a little timid, pair the hat with a simple outfit like this Fashionista did so you don't overdo it.

Hint: For the next summer barbecue, try a new look with a light, straw fedora like this one from Urban Outfitters and an off the shoulder top from MANGO

TREND: Floral Forecast for a Perfect Summer BBQ

Summer is now in full bloom and in order to enjoy the beautiful weather, delicious food and great company at the many barbecues you'll be attending, you need to be prepared. Barbecues are all about having fun and relaxing so picking out an outfit shouldn't be a stressful task. This summer, channel your inner flower girl and revert back to the 70s for a bloom-inspired barbcue!

Even though its not spring anymore, flower patterns are still a popular trend and continue to be showcased in summer runway shows. Clothing articles with flowered patterns are a perfect way to inject color into any look. The coloful floral prints allow you to go back to the basics and accentuate your feminity.

If you're a Fashionista who loves wearing black, even in the summer, then this is the perfect trend to add to your wardrobe this season. For a girl who boasts an essentially all-black closet, floral patterns are a great way to manifest my summer spirit. This Fashionista chose a black, high-waist skirt with pastel roses and added a black headwrap to further develop the flower girl feel. By adding vintage rings that she found at local thrift shops, she was able to infuse her own personal style with modern rock to create a fresh new look.

Don't think you can pull of the 'flower child' look? Start small. Add floral embellishments to any outfit like this scarf with pink roses. Wear this accessory as a belt, scarf or even head wrap depending on what mood you're in.

Whether you choose sweet, feminie cornflowers, vintage roses, or lilac wildflowers you can create your own individual bloom-inspired barbecue look.