“When I feel bad, I like to treat myself. Clothes never look any good, food just makes me fatter; shoes always fit.” While 'In Her Shoes' didn’t necessarily win Best Picture in 2005, it paid homage to arguably the most important accessory to stand the test of time: shoes. Now, I’ve never been one to discriminate against footwear, but there’s something about pumps and stilettos that has me acting like a kid in a candy store. Apart from being a crucial aid for the vertically challenged, high heels are flattering, empowering and easily take an outfit from casual to business to va-va-voom in a matter of seconds. While I admit that the bruises, blisters and other consequences of the five-inch monsters aren’t exactly pleasant, they’re a small price to pay for the versatile and revolutionary aspect of the shoes, which come in a variety of styles and colors. Clearly boots are not the only things made for walking—find a fabulous pair of heels and you’ll see exactly what I mean.

Today’s Fashionista was spotted in downtown Princeton looking casual with a hint of glam. Her outfit is basic: black pants, a crisp gray undershirt and a sleek blazer. While that’s interesting and all, the real showstoppers are the pumps. Blue, velvet and beautifully sky-high, the heels bring everything together and add a sophisticated, yet unexpectedly rebellious, vibe. They elongate her legs, add a bright splash of color and debunk any rumors of black and blue clashing. They don’t, so there.

As you can see, achieving this look is incredibly simple. I know I generally advise against loud patterns and too many colors a la Rainbow Brite, but you really can’t go wrong with a pair of statement stilettos. From a chunky heel or a pointed toe, they’re all the same to me. Follow this Fashionista’s lead and invest in a fantastic pair of pumps; you’ll love the view from the top.

Spotted: Fantastic heels seen at the Pre-Fall 2012 collections of Band of Outsiders, Proenza Schouler and Jason Wu.


You know those people who need to keep their foods separated at all times? Carrots can’t touch mashed potatoes, pasta can’t touch the salad; the rules go on and on. I’m definitely not one of those people. I’m actually the girl who goes into 16 Handles, piles every flavor and topping possible in my measly cup, and stirs like there’s no tomorrow. In fact, I’m a firm believer that the mixture of flavors— the fusion of spicy, sweet, sour and tangy flavors– is what makes food worth eating. And, to relate it to fashion, maybe mixture is exactly what makes clothes worth wearing. It is unusual and surprising blends of textures, patterns and cuts that make fashion a breath of fresh air and a fantastic vehicle of self-expression. Blunders become beautiful, accidents become awe-inspiring and mistakes simply don’t exist; variety is everything.

Today’s Fashionista, who I spotted on her way back from an interview, holds this philosophy true from head to toe. Her neutral, army green dress and black cardigan serve as understated base pieces of her ensemble and take the backseat to her playful and colorful accessories. I was immediately drawn to her tribal print scarf, which she’s casually wrapped around her neck for comfort, warmth and attitude.  From there, it’s obviously hard to neglect her nerdy-chic glasses and steel-toed flats, which fall on the opposite ends of the fashion spectrum but blend together to create a tough, yet somewhat dainty, feel. Last but not least, her distressed leather satchel adds a rustic touch, somehow complimenting its tribal, nerdy and fierce counterparts in the process. Now that is some serious mixing.

The key to combining accessories is to make it look effortless yet multi-dimensional. “This old thing?” is what you’ll be replying to your friends, when in reality it took you half an hour to pair different textures and patterns for the perfect look. Winter is the best time to put your skills to the test, so be bold and pair that tartan scarf with your studded booties. Mix it up, and you'll be glad you did.

Spotted: Combinations galore on the runways of Acne, Fendi and John Galliano.

ACCESSORIES REPORT: Tipping Our Hats to Toppings

Though I’m awful with memory, there’s one scene from my childhood that lives in the back of my mind as if it was yesterday. The year was 1997, and it was the dreaded Picture Day. Now, if you were one of those adorable, photogenic second graders, chances are you never accepted a comb that the photographer’s assistant handed out to the rest of us as we practiced our gap-tooth smiles in front of compact mirrors. However, if you were like me, you cursed your mother under your breath for ever instructing the hairdresser to give you a bowl cut and nervously combed your pin-straight hair as you waited for your name to be called. After the grueling photography experience, I sat on a crowded bus and daydreamed until I had a brilliant thought: “I want curly hair.” Emulating what I had seen my mother do with curlers for many years, I took the comb out of my backpack and wrapped a piece of hair from the top of my head around its teeth as hard as I could. Through a few minutes and a few wrestles, I realized a few things. For starters, my hair wasn’t going to curl with a comb. Secondly, I really wasn’t good with ideas. Third, and most importantly, there was a comb stuck in my hair that was going to have to come out somehow. When I reached home, my furious grandmother yanked me into the kitchen and cut the comb out with silver scissors, prompting a giant clump of short hairs to stick up relentlessly from my scalp, á la alfalfa (or a cockatoo). Looking back, I can only think of one thing that would’ve somewhat eased my misfortune: a hat.

Humans are a fan of covering their heads, from gladiators to the Royal Family. Hats are versatile, stylish and obviously protective, and can take an outfit from bland to va va voom regardless of the weather forecast. From berets to beanies to newsboy caps, these toppers range from high drama to completely low-key, balancing practicality and poise effortlessly. Today’s Fashionista showcases a fedora as part of her otherwise simple ensemble of cotton, denim and leather. She keeps her accessories minimal and her colors playful, prompting the headpiece to speak for itself on a bright November day, and adds a backpack that casually compliments the hat’s ribbon. What I love about her outfit is that it’s not overly summery, even with the use of straw; her longer sleeves and boots allow her outfit to transition right into the breezy, autumn weather without looking out of place.

Hats are perfect for the approaching winter weather, mainly because they serve a dual purpose. On the one hand, they’re totally chic and nostalgic (think Great Gatsby), and on the other, they’ll keep your head protected from snow, rain and even bad hair days. When incorporating headpieces into your outfit, you might want to go lighter on the other accessories and definitely try on a few different styles to see what looks best. Steer away from extremely wide brims and sunglasses pairings — looking like you’re fleeing the paparazzi is never a good idea on a college campus. Hats off to hats, the perfect winter accessory! 

Spotted: Hats have been seen all over the runway in a plethora of seasons, most recently at the Balenciaga, Marc Jacobs and Ralph Lauren spring 2012 RTW shows.

ACCESSORIES REPORT: Au Natural, S’il Vous Plait!

For our generation, sometimes the only memories of nature that we have include butterfly clips, tree poses or microwavable s’mores. Though I’m not one to discriminate against molten marshmallows, I felt deprived of the Great Outdoors this past summer and decided to make a conscious effort to reintroduce myself to my green surroundings. After putting my pine-scented candles away and changing into my best floral print, I approached my parents and declared, “I want to plant some flowers.” My father, a man with a brilliant green thumb and a knack for growing vegetables, looked skeptical but accompanied me to our local nursery anyway, staying out of my business as I delicately debated shrubs, bushes and blossoms. Three hours and four flower pots later, I was standing on my driveway soaking wet, admiring my connection to Mother Nature and my brilliant planting job (if I do say so myself).

Feeling green can extend to fashion too through the use of prints and textures. Today’s Fashionista gives us her best rustic impression, dabbling with denim and shades of green to transmit an outdoorsy vibe. She proudly displays her moccasins, a New England staple that is definitely underrated, a plain white tee and a bow headband, making a saccharine statement of sheer genius.  The frontispiece of her outfit is her vintage messenger bag, complete with a forest green hue and soft leather. While this outfit would look hokey on some, this Fashionista subtly tips her hat to nature and transforms from FernGully to fabulous.

When embracing natural prints—that is, camouflage, shades of green or even frolicking livestock—it is important to start slowly. Add key accessories, like a fabulous coat or simple flats, to enhance an ensemble in subtle ways, or you might risk being mistaken for a tree by an unassuming dog. Leave a bit of your green side to the imagination and take it one step at a time; It’s only natural!

Spotted: Dries Van Noten and Mulberry are completely baring it all with shows that makes you want to run outside and embark on a safari.


ACCESSORIES REPORT: Leather, Leather, For Any Weather

The leather jacket is indebted to Hollywood. Though previously applauded for being both comfortable and stable by military men and aviators, leather jackets transformed into a cinematic goldmine in the second half of the 20th century, adding an avant-garde splash to the most basic of outfits. Don’t believe me? Need I remind you of Indiana Jones, The Fonz or Neo? I didn’t think so. My first encounter with leather was via Posh Spice, every girl’s ultimate idol, but my love for the texture recently blossomed as I began to understand the eye-catching yet polished elements of the famous jacket. From uptown sophistication to downtown grunge, the leather jacket is a pivotal statement piece during the colder months, perfect for a night out on the town or a casual day of shopping.

Today’s Fashionista caught my eye as she enjoyed a beautiful November day on campus. Her smoldering ensemble of geometric prints and leggings tucked into beat-up oxfords wouldn’t be complete without her luxe leather jacket, which adds just a hint of edge and a whole lot of style. What makes her look so fantastic is the pairing she’s managed to pull off; while most girls would refrain from too much leather for fear of looking like Elvis, this Fashionista proudly displays her jacket, belt and shoes and looks fabulous while doing so.

Gone are the days when leather was risky or over-the-top. Leather adds a touch of class, structure and edge to more casual outfits, and the jackets are an ideal cover-up for the colder months ahead. Patent is a bit dressier, while distressed leather can add a hippy vibe, so pick your poison accordingly!

Spotted: Beautiful variations of the classic leather jacket were spotted on the Bottega Veneta, Fendi and Roberto Cavalli spring RTW runways, my favorite of all appearing in the Acne show.



After spotting this week’s Fashionista in class and bringing her outside for an impromptu photoshoot, I joked with her that we could go somewhere a bit more private if she felt awkward. She laughed, looked at me with bright eyes and replied, “Honestly, every minute of my life is awkward.” We snapped a few pictures and she went on her merry way, but it got me thinking about the “awkward” things in life: realizing your skirt has been tucked into your undergarments for three hours, waving back to someone who wasn’t waving to you, spilling water on your lap, the list goes on. In terms of fashion, however, it seems awkward moments arise when you’re underprepared, such as wearing denim to a black-tie event or wearing white to a wedding. During the fall months, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and confused by the ever-changing weather reports and constant wardrobe options, and sometimes your biggest daily dilemma can be deciding between shorts or pants when the temperature is all over the place. That’s where tights come in: versatile and durable, stockings will be your best friend during the breezy months, replacing awkward moments with adorable ones in no time.

Anyway, back to this Fashionista. Sporting casual headphones, mid-length boots and a delicate cardigan, she’s truly embracing the perfect fall weather and showcasing a rich blend of pretty pastels and deep jewel tones. The highlight of her outfit, however, is her adaptation of a summer look in the cooler autumn weather. While shorts are generally worn during heat waves, when pools are open and ice cream is the only appealing thing for miles, this Fashionista showcases the flexibility of certain summer pieces with the addition of wintry accessories. She throws on a pair of lace tights under her mauve shorts, breaking seasonal boundaries and banishing chill in a fashion-forward way.

Aside from being practical and protecting your legs from serious frost bite, tights are fantastic because of their accessibility and adaptability. Want blue tights? Green tights? Houdstooth tights? Chances are they’re available in every color and every size, in your nearest shopping mall to your local drug store. Furthermore, tights can be worn with flats, heels or boots of all sizes and accessories galore, so erase any rumors surrounding the contrary that you may have heard. Embrace temperature shifts in the right way and invest in a few pairs of sturdy tights. Awkward? I don’t think so.

Spotted: Tights are generally seen on fall/winter runways, and were seen last season during the Akris, House of Holland and Prabal Gurung winter 2011 shows.

ACCESSORIES REPORT: What The Titanic Taught Me

Parental controls worked a bit differently back in the day. In my household, the way my parents censored our television viewing was by having us physically cover our eyes with our hands if something inappropriate came on the screen, promptly sparking giggles and peeking-attempts from my sister and I in order to catch a glance at whatever was going on. In retrospect, the most tragic of all censoring came during Titanic, which was the only form of entertainment during our 1997 cross-Atlantic flight to Amsterdam. Jack was just about to paint Rose when we were instructed to cover our eyes, so we followed orders and sat patiently until given the green light to resume watching. To be honest, I thought nothing of what I had missed that fateful day until years later, when I was watching the film with my friends in a dimly-lit basement. I was totally unfazed by the scene itself, but was instantly drawn to the necklace around Rose’s neck, a blue diamond that stood out atop her bare, porcelain skin. The “Heart of the Ocean” necklace, a piece fashioned from a blue diamond worn by Louis XIV, is the center of the film’s plot and easily the most stand-out piece of the blockbuster mega-hit. How important, then, are necklaces? Can a lavish neck piece really have heads turning and minds remembering? The answer, I say, is yes.

Today’s Fashionista was hurrying to class when I caught up with her to examine her outfit. She pairs a black leather jacket, a lace top and patent ballerina flats to prove that black is back, and leaves her hair wavy and sweet for effortless sophistication. The piece du resistance, however, is her vintage necklace which flows with gold and jade and completely holds its own amongst her monochromatic ensemble. While she promised me that “less is more” is normally her ultimate fashion mantra, this statement piece needs no justification. It spruces up a darker look in a cinch, adding a playful punch and retro feel that would otherwise be missing.

A glamorous necklace is the classic example of a now-or-later piece : perfect for a dreary day of classes and an afternoon ice cream date, or dolled up at night with a little black dress. Don’t be afraid to add other necklaces to the bunch or experiment with different metals; the more elaborate and intricate, the better.

Spotted: Eye-catching necklaces were seen complimenting looks at the Lanvin and Moschino spring 2012 RTW shows.

ACCESSORIES REPORT: In-Vest in Shearling

Flipping through the glossy pages of Vogue each month leaves me nothing short of inspired. Models, wearing gowns and shoes that no college student could really ever afford, stand with arched backs and toothy grins and whisper, “you can look like this too — promise.” Some trends featured in magazines this season, such as metallics or pastels, are a bit easier to emulate on simpler college campuses where high fashion isn't exactly a priority; other trends, such as enormous fur jackets or feathers can be a bit more difficult and can leave you feeling a tad ridiculous when you sit down next to a soccer player in sweatpants who promptly requests that you remove your headpiece during the lecture. At the end of the day, sometimes a seasoned Fashionista will have to pick and choose her trends in order to fully match her surroundings and stand out — in a good way. Let’s start with daring vests and shearling, shall we?

This week's accessory queen, Corinna, flaunts her style and turns heads on the streets of DC. Her base, a blush, cotton shirt and frayed white denim, is cozy and feminine yet lacks a certain wow-factor that is essential for the fashion-forward crowd. That's where the vest comes in. We're all acquainted with the fur shrugs that are appearing everywhere from TV shows to college campuses, but experimenting with bolder vests takes more guts and adds more gusto to an overall ensemble. Corinna clearly isn't afraid to take risks, piling on a wooly layer of shearling to complete her look and sticking with a lighter hue to compliment, and not overpower, her outfit.

Some of you may be sitting there skeptically reading this article and wondering how you're going to incorporate a crazy vest into your next look without looking ridiculous or over-the-top. The answer is simple: minimalism is key. Fur and shearling are fabulous starting points, mainly because they're incredibly neutral, but it’s important to keep the rest of your outfit basic. Delicate jewelry, ballet flats or a top knot can complete your look and bring it back down to earth, so don't fret about looking like a farm animal during biology lab. Stay away from too many accessories if you're worried about going overboard, though I'll be honest… I've never met an over-accessorizer I didn't like.

Spotted: Shearling and fur on the fall/winter runways of Celine, Calvin Klein and Cavalli.

ACCESSORIES REPORT: Scrumptious Scarves

Between my dark, unruly hair and nine-letter first name, I’ve always been told that my Middle Eastern descent is, for lack of a better word, obvious. My mother, a woman with a big personality and even bigger opinions, has always been a huge proponent of adding elements of my Persian heritage in every aspect of my everyday life, my own personal style being no exception. I’ll admit that I’ve generally stuck to Persian jewelry, mainly 24 carat gold necklaces, earrings or bracelets, for embellishment purposes and I have avoided other aspects of our traditional garb for fear of being too ethnic, but that has all recently changed with the resurgence of Eastern trends appearing in Western fashion. Sequins, paisley and beautiful jewel tones are appearing everywhere, but it is the popularity of scarves that really has me stopping in my tracks. Besides being a mandatory part of an Iranian woman’s ensemble, colorful scarves are a staple in Middle Eastern culture and the Western adoption of this accessory is both exciting and totally chic.

Today’s Fashionista, Hannah, shows us just how versatile scarves can really be. Running late for work in black denim and a black band t-shirt, Hannah throws on a Navajo shawl for warmth and major style points. She draws all eyes to her beautiful accessory, playing up a basic and neutral outfit with a bold print, a bit of shimmer and a burst of color. What I love about Hannah’s head-to-toe look is her casual and understated personality that she allows to shine through while still remaining true to today’s big trends. Her t-shirt shows off her rocker side, as do her zippered black flats and messy top knot, yet her sleek denim and timeless scarf show off a classy, sophisticated side that can easily get lost in the grim, fall weather.

Hannah’s look is effortlessly achievable and will prove to be a go-to during the cooler months. Patterns such as polkadots or Navajo are all the rage right now and can add a splash of glamour to a bland outfit when implemented in scarf-form. When choosing the right shawl, it is always important to keep the other aspects of your outfit in mind, such as textures and colors, make sure your accessories compliment the ensemble rather than overwhelming it.

Spotted: Scarves and Navajo print seen on the runways of 3.1 Phillip Lim, Carlos Miele and Isabel Marant.


The color of the season is denim. There, I said it, and I am not going to take it back. Shades of blue jean are appearing everywhere, from the obvious skinnies to the most unassuming accessories, but it’s the striking versatility of the grainy hue that has heads turning and outfits intensifying. These days denim doesn’t just have to come in the form of cut-offs or bell-bottoms, but it can make a statement in other ways; it can come disguised as tops, vests and dare I say… purses? 

Today’s Fashionsta, has clearly done her homework and is welcoming denim hues into her wardrobe with open arms. It goes without saying that white-on-black is totally classic in its own right, but a pop of blue jean accessories goes a long way and adds a splash of color to a look while still remaining subtle and subdued. George Washington girls are definitely apprehensive when it comes to color, but seeing this Fashionista on the street made me realize that blue is more than just a simple hue; blue can add a certain je ne sais quoi to an ensemble, setting a confident mood with just a basic accent. This CollegeFashionista's colorless outfit goes from meek to chic with dangly earrings and a denim saddle bag, throwing matchy-matchy rumors out the window and proving she's a Fashionista force to be reckoned with. Did I mention I'm obsessed with her boots?

Though I’m still not onboard with the denim on denim trend, I’m a full proponent of adding a splash of blue jean in the form of delicate and feminine accessories. Bags, whether cross-body or tote, are a great jumping-off point into this trend, and earrings, scarves or even the highest of heels in denim hues will allow you to test the waters without fully committing. Don’t believe me? Try it, and you may be surprised what the right blue can do for you.

Spotted: Denim Hues trapcing up and down the runways of Christopher Kane, Jean Paul Gautier and Alex Wang.