Last weekend, I returned to New York City on the eve of my junior year at Barnard College, Columbia University. Within the first few hours in the catwalk of a city, I came across this Fashionista, a native Californian and aspiring model. What struck me about her outfit was the use of classic, relatively simple pieces that still managed to look youthful, trendy and fabulously up-to-date. Part of the interest in the ensemble is the intermingling of the masculine and feminine pieces. As seen with Coco Chanel, this confident mix may be regarded as the pinnacle of an effortless, grounded and modern style of dress.

The Fashionista’s shirt added feminine flair with subtle blush color and slightly puffed sleeves. The puffed shape definitely complemented the pinkish shade, and together put a fun spin on the white shirt tradition that we all undoubtedly cherish. However, the black chunky heels, tied in with a classic mini skirt, weighted the youthful delicacy. Although these shoes added some definite height, they were sturdy and neutral enough to be worn during the day or at night. Such chic clunkers are always a great fall addition to any closet. You can score a pair at Nordstrom. Another back to school staple is the utilitarian backpack. Said carry-alls come in a variety of patterns and colors – yet by choosing the military-esque beige, you will insure it’s relevance year in and year out. A timeless choice like this will dutifully cradle your academic belongings while adding a tough spark to any daytime outfit creation. Look out for similar styles at Urban Outfitters.

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