I was so pleasantly surprised to run into this Fashionista on the rainy campus one afternoon. She always sat a few seats away from me in my Sociology class, and although I often admired her outfits, we never exchanged names, only waving hello to each other every class. So when I spotted her from afar looking stylish during a stormy day, I was so excited to have my camera with me. She was on her way to a meeting, so our exchange was rather brief, but here’s what I learned:

Name: Atti Worku

Year: Junior

CollegeFashionista: Hi! It’s so good to see you outside of class. I love your outfit, do you mind if I photograph you quickly and ask you a little bit about what you’re wearing and what inspires you?

Atti Worku: Thank you! Of course you may. I’m actually on my way to a meeting, so I have to rush, but here’s the scoop: I’m originally from Ethiopia. I love fashion, and was a model for a bit before I enrolled as a student here at Columbia. I travel a lot; my brooch is from Thailand. So I gather inspiration from the colors and cultures that I experience as I travel.

How To: Even though she only had a few moments to talk to me, I think this Fashionista's outfit is the perfect example of how to avoid looking frumpy on rainy days. I love the way her brooch jewels match the color scheme of her skirt, pulling everything together. You can also get away with showing some leg in a flirty skirt when it’s stormy, but pair your bottoms with a long boot to maintain an elegant feel. Finally, a crisp white shirt and a fitted, feminine blazer keep you looking sharp before a meeting! Don’t forget a cute umbrella.

If you’re inspired by other cultures like this Fashionista, don’t feel the need to wear an outfit that’s 100% imported. Throw in an item that you got abroad; be it a headband or a pair of jeans. I love these Wayuu Taya bags — they’re colorful, convenient and support an empowering cause. Nothing feels better than staying stylish while supporting a great cause.

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