STYLE GURU BIO: Tori Kobayashi

Hey y’all! I’m a rising senior at the University of California, Davis, studying Design and Professional Writing. I’m a huge music fanatic and hope that my career will allow me to work in the music industry after graduating from college. This summer I’m exciting to be joining the CollegeFashionista team (again) and having the opportunity to share my personal style with readers like you!

This summer I will be reporting for the Tuesday column STYLE GURU STYLE where you get a peak into my wardrobe. I’m especially excited for this to be writing for this column because I will be moving from NorCal to SoCal this summer to intern at the Vanessa Mooney and Cynthia Vincent design headquarters. Not only will you guys get to stalk my style, but I’ll definitely discuss my experiences working and how it effects my style choices.

I’m excited to dive into the fashion industry and get a behind the scenes look at what it takes to be a part of successful and established fashion labels. Vanessa Mooney is a sexy, bohemian jewelry line that is expanded to screen printed tanks and produced a shoe line with Dolce Vita. Cynthia Vincent is a high end boho-chic clothing line that makes every woman look long and beautiful. I am in love with her dresses. Working for both of these companies will give me a reason to dress up and look fabulous all summer long.

I love going on adventures and meeting new people. Every once in awhile you can catch me at a music festival, and that is where I always see the best fashion. The pictures that fill my tumblr feed don’t even compares to everything you see at these magical places (especially Coachella!) so my biggest piece of advice is to stalk music festival trends when you’re browsing the web or flipping through magazines for inspiration.

For summer 2014, expect some flower child and gypsy fashion from my new home in Los Angeles. I hope to inspire my fellow Fashionistas and feel free to also follow along with me on Instagram or Twitter via @toraaae.


We’re at the height of summer music festivals whether you’ve already attended Chicago’s Lollapalooza, San Francisco’s Outsidelands or awaiting to attend First City Festival in Monterey or Sacramento’s Launch Music Festival. Everyone’s got the buzz and the hippy-bohemian trend is booming.

A summer music festival staple is a cute bralette. A simple black bralette is always a great basic to layer under tanks or crotchet tops. I’ve been drooling over bralettes at Only Hearts—I continue to save for them because they are quality and so cute for a peek-a-boo of something extra for your outfit. They also have adorable lace crop camis that are great layering pieces. Don’t be afraid to show some skin when it’s scorching hot outside—you can wear a nude bra underneath your cami or bralette and it is the perfect top to pair with high-waisted shorts for a festival.

It seems so obvious, but a sick pair of high-waisted shorts are a must-have for not only festival season, but summer as well. I am in love with these UNIF shorts that are a very feminine cotton candy pink, but have a masculine touch with big oversized studs. I recently featured these shorts on my blog and fell in love with them after trying them on. Try rocking a statement short this summer and keep it clean with a white crop top to balance out the craziness you have going on with your shorts. Slip some crazy tights on underneath if you’re attending a festival with colder weather, or with cold nights to keep warm.

This Fashionista finished off with a lightweight cardigan, which is an all-day adventure essential because of those nippy summer nights—especially for San Francisco’s Outsidelands that just occurred this past weekend. Now add a backpack with a ton of pockets and you’re set for any festival. Urban Outfitters has a great variety of backpacks that are also great for school as well. They carry simple faux leather designs as well as funky prints if you’re going for a statement piece.


The preppy fashion trend has always tended to be clean-cut and well put together. I love how this Fashionisto took this classic summer look to another level by subtly using complementary colors in styling his outfit. Even though his look is dominated by neutral colors, green and red make his outfit pop because they are opposites on the color wheel. The average prep is a minimalist master wearing a simple top and bottom and somehow styling it formal enough to wear to business events for the warmer months. A plaid shirt is a timeless piece for the summertime and perfect for brunch, a family outing or even to class. Plaid is quite reminiscent of a picnic blanket and is a quirky twist for the average button-up. If you feel like mixing it up, try a floral print in the summer and spring to give off an uplifting vibe to your ensemble.

Every Fashionisto needs a pair of solid khaki shorts in their closet for the warmer months. Jean shorts are out of style fellas and have been for quite some time, so if you haven’t you should head over to Gap for their classic and affordable styles. They even have cargo shorts for days when you’re hanging out with friends or just simply want more pockets. If your summers aren’t as warm as ours in Sacramento, you should head over to Levi Brand Jeans and check out their khaki pants. They currently have a great student promotion going on their online site so you should definitely check it out if you’re on the ball for back-to-school shopping!

This Fashionisto finished off this classic summer look with a pair of loafers. Sperry Top-Siders have always been a great classic shoe, and a lot of them are on sale at Nordstrom for their anniversary sale. Stick to shoes in classic or muted colors. Sperrys can be worn any season and to many different occasions, so they are great shoes to have in a color that is versatile for color coordinating with many different outfits. Shoes are also an investment, they’re what you need to walk around in every day and be comfortable in, so choose wisely!


Gray isn’t necessarily the first color that comes to mind in the summertime because of undesirable sweat marks in the hot, hot heat, but this Fashionista has taken summer festival fashion and translated it to something sweet and chic. Gray clashes well with bright summer colors, so don’t be afraid to pair it with something neon blue or a bright coral. If you’re not sure how to wear gray, try a sick graphic. Flowy graphics are great because these tops allow ventilation and are perfect to pair with high-waisted shorts for an effortless look.

Whenever you wear gray, don’t be afraid to pile on a bunch of silver toned jewelry with pops of neon to brighten up your overall look. Lately I’ve been constantly browsing Etsy for handmade and unique jewelry designs to add to my collection and love Vivid Venus and byfrancisfrank. Vivid Venus is a jewelry designer from Sacramento, CA, and sells her designs through local boutiques, Etsy, occasional flea markets and is lauching her new website. Her metalwork is perfect to accessorize in the summertime because of the minimal look. Francis Frank has a boho rocker vibe coming from Los Angeles that will provide you with the sickest summer festival accessories that complement gray toned clothing well. I just purchased this hamsa hand chain and I can’t wait to wear it to San Francisco’s Outsidelands next week!

She finished off her look with a pair of gladiator sandals, which should be any Fashionista’s summer staple. With a simple summer look go bold with a statement sandal. I love Jeffrey Campbell and the edgy style their brand carries. For any girl who loves platforms, this glammed-up rocker brand is known for their in-your-face shoes and owning a pair would be a dream. Sam Edelman is at a slightly lower price point and makes the most durable sandals I have ever owned. I love their bohemian style and the soles of the sandals have a little cushion that feels great to walk in all day long. These sandals are definitely worth the investment for something stylish and made to last your for many seasons to come.


I always go into summer with a minimalist mindset when it comes to my every day style. Something comfy and basic, but I always like to dress it up with dainty accessories. This Fashionista caught my eye because her simple beachy style reminded me of the Brandy Melville girls I constantly see on their Instagram feed (@brandymelvilleusa).

Brandy Melville is one of my favorite minimalist places to shop—if you need some cute basics made out of super soft material this shop is for you! They have cute maxi and mini skirts in solid colors as well as fun prints, so no matter what mood you’re feeling, there will be a skirt for you. Many of the clothing is one size fits all on the website; however, if you ever get the pleasure of stopping by a store they’ll have more items and variety. I really appreciate Brandy Melville for the classic SoCal skater girl style that provides girls with a great line of basics with a flirty edge.

A rose gold watch has been an every day essential for me in 2013, and I think rose gold is a great color to wear on your skin in the summertime when your skin has a nice glow! This Fashionista snatched this deal at Nordstrom. A watch is a great statement piece in the summertime when dangly jewelry isn’t desirable for all the fun-filled summer activities.

I love how this Fashionista paired a navy tank with white distressed shorts to give a beachy and nautical vibe to her outfit. I always thought pairing navy and white together gave off a nautical vibe because they’re typical colors of a sailor outfit, and it’s a great color scheme for summer. The sweet little knot on the side of her tank gives an oversized top a more fitted silhouette that is more flattering in the summertime.


The summer scorcher has finally set in with daily sacrifices we make for fashion; however, this savvy Fashionista definitely knows how to make the perfect summer compromise. Tops that have peek-a-boo cutouts are a great way to let your skin breathe in the heat. I liked this Fashionista’s unicorn print on her crop top—it adds a playful attitude for a great summer time vibe on a day out or even to summer school.

Crop tops are a summer staple of mine, but if you don’t have one with a cute back cutout you should check out Brandy Melville. This boho skater BM girl only sports the cutest cage bralettes and tanks for summer that really show some skin. Their material feels great on your skin at a good price on a college budget! Another great website to check out is NASTY GAL, a trendy girl with a lot of sass. They have a lot of basics with a twist, and rad edgy pieces for summer nights on the town!

Maxis are great to pair with crop tops and I’m always scanning ASOS for their latest! They give students an awesome student coupon code when the sign up, which eases my mind when scrolling through all the variety. This Fashionista styled her crop top with a solid colored maxi. Maxis are perfect and I’m loving bright prints this season for days at the pool with friends because they give me a beachy, SoCal feel. I always wear my maxis at my waist when I’m wearing a crop top because it accentuates your beach bod that you’ve been working so hard to show off this time of year!

STYLE ADVICE OF THE WEEK: Chillin’ Out, Maxin’

With triple-digit weather hitting us in Davis, getting dressed for summer school can be one of the most daunting parts of the day. How does one prepare for the extreme heat and air conditioned classrooms that nearly feel like Antarctica after bearing the intense heat on your walk to class? This Fashionista managed an effortless look perfect for those of you who deal with the hot summer heat yet have to cover up when you go indoors.

Maxi skirts are a great basic for summer because they can cover up your legs from the sun but they’re flowy enough to let them breathe. Maxis can sometimes be a struggle for short girls, but look for something with a raw cut that can be easily hemmed by anyone with a pair of sharp scissors. I am loving the sexy leg slit trend that I’ve seen countless times on fashion blogs like my favorite NYC blogger WeWoreWhat by Danielle Bernstein. She recently guest blogged on CollegeFashionista’s editor’s column and someone you should definitely check out for awesome style inspiration.

I like how this Fashionista coordinated this auburn colored maxi skirt with this dark floral printed bustier top. It matched so well that I initially thought this look was a maxi dress! The floral bustier gave this outfit a nice contrast of structure paired with this flowy straight maxi skirt. She finished off the look with a skinny brown belt worn at the waist and minimal jewelry that’s perfect for a casual summer school look. Don’t forget to bring a neutral cardigan for buildings that keep their air conditioners on blast and then you are set for a casual summer day on the town!


This summer I’ve been heavily drawn to the fringe trend; I think it’s a great way to minimize the need for extra accessories during summertime when everyone is going for an easy, minimal look. I love the white fringe along the neckline on this Fashionista’s top, it reminds me of a tank version of the top Pocahontas wore in the Disney film. I think fringed necklines are great for girls with small busts because of all the movement it creates on the body.

Fringe is also a great way to add some mystery and drama to your wardrobe because it allows your skin to peek through without being totally revealed. I’m really digging these fringed bandeaus from Urban Outfitters—they are great for the hot summer weather and to avoid those pesky strap tan lines. I’ve also been drooling over this fringed maxi cape from Free People; it’s the perfect extra layer for those summer nights and the perfect bathing suit cover up for pool parties! If you’re not into wearing fringe on your body but still want to try out the fringe trend, boho bags with fringed ends are the perfect summer accessory.

I love that this Fashionista styled her neutral colored fringed top with a bold, lavender cut-off shorts. The lavender cut-offs really soften up the look and make it feminine. She finished off her look by stepping into a pair of red Sam Edelman gladiator sandals. I really like how the red studded detailing give the sandals a sassy flair. Whenever I’m wearing any shade of brown I love pairing it with something red or coral because those colors together really create an earthy vibe to one’s outfit. Altogether, this Fashionista is rocking the perfect minimal look to combat the summer heat. If it’s really hot where you’re living this summer read more ways to beat the summer heat by the editor, Amy Levin!


Now that the summer solstice has passed we’re seeing a lot more minimal looks to beat the heat; however, minimal does not necessary have to mean simple. Try out funky prints to pep up your outfits. Summer basics like crop tops and denim shorts are all we want to wear in the scorching heat of Sacramento, but you can spice it up by buying embellished or printed basic items.

I tend to gravitate towards tribal prints in the summer, maybe because of festival season and the ever popular hipster trend gives me tons of summer style inspiration. This Fashionista has a dressed down festival look with a mint Aztec printed crop top paired with black high-waisted shorts. I loved the studding she added to herself. I always appreciate the hard work one puts into their own style because it makes it that much more one-of-a-kind with a DIY touch. Purchasing studs off Amazon or Etsy and adding them to a pair of thrifted mom-pants cut-offs can be a cheap alternative to my favorite UNIF high-waisted shorts.

Gladiator sandals should be any Fashionista’s summer staple that can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion. Lately, I’ve been gawking over Sam Edelman‘s designs and think it’s an awesome brand to check out of you’re in the market for a new summer sandal.

My summer style tip would be to purchase a lot of basics, but instead of getting solid colors, look for tanks with an awesome print, a fun cut-out or a cute embellishment that you like. This way you can just throw on a shirt and shorts and you’ve already got a rad outfit, making jewelry less of a necessity to complete your look. In the summer time you’re always on the move whether it’s going on vacation, work, a summer internship or simply having a night on the town.


Now that summer is upon us, I feel as if everyone around me is on the hunt for a summer job, and this Fashionista was spotted in a perfectly polished ensemble. Although she is wearing simple pieces, I love how it looks so dressed up with her bib pearl necklace and all-black heels.

Start with a sheer button-up with a cute collar. Things are really starting to heat up in Sacramento and I am a lover of all sheer tops that give my body some breathing room. Whenever you’re wearing a button-up, tuck it in to whatever you’re wearing on the bottom to look cleaner and more professional—whether it’s for an interview, lunch date or a girls’ night out! Pair any button-up with something high-waisted on bottom to enhance your waistline and really give your body that hour glass shape, or you can try to fake it, right?

I loved how she paired a nice pop of cobalt with a white peplum skirt. I think wearing white in the summer not only makes your wonderfully sun-kissed skin appear tanner, but it’s also exceptionally flattering on thinner body types. An easy way to jazz up a simple ensemble is adding a statement heel or necklace. I loved how this chunky pearl necklace really added an elegant essence to her outfit, making it look super chic and more formal.

If you’re not someone who likes wearing sky high pumps, try a simple black sandal or closed-toe flat. My two favorite places to shop for summer sandals are Steve Madden and Dolce Vita. Steve Madden always has classic styles, but each season they always tweak these classic styles into something tastefully funky to really make a statement with your feet! Lately I’ve been really drawn to Dolce Vita’s more electric and dynamic style that is very similar to the much more expensive brand, Jeffrey Campbell.

Just remember, pairing even your most basic pieces together can be remixed into something formal with ONE snazzy statement piece. I recently stumbled upon Samantha Wills’ jewelry line, an Australian brand, that has the perfect style for NorCal summers and festival season! I love her elephant bone designs, giving the jewelry an ethnic appeal and adding an edgy vibe to any outfit. Her collar necklaces are my absolute favorite statement pieces. I love pairing her rustic jewelry with something feminine in the summertime when I’m channeling my inner edgy bohemian.