New Ways to Style Military Boots for Fall

There’s no need to defend my feet from dirty trench water, because I stick to pavement and the occasional puddle. The only thousand-yard stare I have experienced is spotting a must-have item from across the store and instantaneously falling in love. What can I say? Military boots are just super cute right now.

PHOTO: Leana Concepcion

Originally created to withstand harsh weather conditions and mortal combat, military boots were made to be sturdy. Nearly indestructible, but definitely not cute. However, when chunky boots became a style rather than a necessity, the cuteness factor skyrocketed. Now anyone can purchase full-on glitter military boots, or even a pair with heels.

Combat boots come with a stately, traditional vibe. They’re structured, neutral, and classic. These shoes are popularly styled with jeans and a flannel; however, the possibilities are endless in terms of style. A baggy sweater or cropped T-shirt with chunky boots are also popular combinations. I wear maroon Dr. Marten’s regularly, and that slight pop of color adds so much spunk to my outfits.

For some Style Gurus, the masculinity of military boots is overwhelming; however, I think even the girliest of girls should give them a go. Boots look great with pants as well as dresses and skirts. Outfits should be chosen based on what you find stylish in your comfort zone. A flowery dress with boots is always a pleasant surprise in terms of street style.

Everyone loves a good guilty pleasure outfit. This summer, I lived in Birkenstocks. They’re the most convenient shoe for my everyday business. Once it gets colder and I replace shorts with sweatpants, I pair my Dr. Marten’s with acid-wash sweats and a casual shirt. It’s easy, comfortable, and appropriate in snow and rain; however, it looks edgy for a lazy day outfit.

Pro tip: do not settle on full retail prices. Dr. Marten’s boots are great quality but sell for well over $100 at popular stores or on the website. It’s important to check thrift stores before committing to a big purchase. In times like these, it’s also nice to have places like Plato’s Closet or apps like RetailMeNot.

Military boots are a staple for any Fashionista’s wardrobe. Show us how you style yours and tag @cfashionista on Instagram!

Additional photos by Leana Concepcion.

How I Found the Designer in Me During High School

When I was in high school, I always stood out in the crowd by wearing ‘different’ outfits. I would wear flannels, ripped jeans, and a graphic T-shirt. Granted, it was the years 2013-2015 so I was really standing out for my small town in Alabama.

This is when I became completely obsessed with fashion, real fashion. How different outfits really show how a person has individuality and a personal style. I would drive an hour to go to the closest mall and just look around all day and window shop to get ideas and inspiration. My senior year of high school I got the opportunity to participate in the Rising Design Competition for Birmingham Fashion Week.

For the competition you were told to make an outfit out of ‘non-traditional’ materials under a category that supported Alabama; for example, agriculture, technology, etc. I chose technology because it was something I could really be creative with. I decided to do a skirt out of sheet music folded and stapled. The top was made out of screened in porch material, with hot glued piano keys on top with crushed computer board on the shoulders. All hooked together by a command strip!

I made it to the top 20 of the competition out of 150; this is when I realized that I really love designing and designing is what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. Following what I loved to do lead me to great experiences and opportunities to meet new people throughout this field of study.

Fast forward a year and a half later and I am at The University of Alabama studying apparel design. One of our projects was to make something out of non-traditional materials for a fashion show called “Tee Time.”

This time around I made an entire outfit out of white paper. It was a huge hit and I was very proud of my work. If I hadn’t been different in high school, I would have never been lead to do Birmingham Fashion Week. Then I wouldn’t be at the University of Alabama studying apparel design and then I wouldn’t be participating in this internship today.

By working hard you will find that being goal oriented is the best way to really figure out what you want to do with the rest of your life. If it has to do with design or anything fashion related, keep something big in mind at all times.

My advice for people who are having issues deciding whether they really want to study design in college is do not second guess yourself and constantly carry a notebook with you around. Write down any inspiration you see and anything you think might make you smile about fashion. It keeps you engaged and you never know how it will help you in the future with your career. Also, if you love something it will follow you forever and you will be successful in it.

Is there something that made you love fashion? Let me know in the comments below!

How to Look Stylish Effortlessly

With school coming right around the corner everyone wants to make a good impression. However, we know how hard it can be to get up for that 8 a.m., let alone to look presentable for it. Of course, you could just throw on an old oversize sweatshirt and leggings and call it a day, but if you can make it look like you spent hours getting ready without the effort, why not? Here are a couple of tips we’ve found to look like you tried without actually trying at all.

1—Lipstick. Lipstick is debatably the easiest trick of them all. By rocking a brighter color on the lip, it gives the implied idea that time and effort were put into the look. Additionally, bright lipstick draws the attention to your lips as the center of the look, leaving room to wear whatever cozy options you want to throw on without looking lazy.

2—Statement sleeves. Statement sleeves are a huge trend right now. Both tops with classic bell sleeves or tops with short, wrist flares can be just as comfortable as a basic sweater, but they still have a more feminine and refined vibe.

3—Dresses. Wearing a dress automatically makes people think you look nice for the day while only taking about five minutes to do it. Just throw on any dress, pair with a sandal for a polished look, and walk out the door.

4—High-waisted. High-waisted bottoms have made a huge comeback. Not only can they be more comfortable than low/mid-rise jeans, but they put the emphasis on your waist and thin you out. Once you find a pair that fits you perfectly, they’re a great option for when you want to look more dressy than you feel.

5—Short heels. Not all heels necessarily mean giving up your comfort to look cute all day. Many options including shorter, thicker heels can be super comfortable (and easy to walk in) while still changing the intrigue of your outfit to be posh.

6—Statement bags. If you invest in a bag with bright colors or a bold pattern, you can utilize it to be the center of your look. Keep the rest of your outfit simple with neutral colors, and let the bag steal the show.

Let us know your effortless fashion secrets. Show us on social media and don’t forget to tag @Cfashionista!

Mesh and Patches—A DIY Love Story

This years summertime DIY project began when I fell in love with a midi mesh dress from Forever 21. As soon as I laid eyes on this dress, I knew it was the perfect canvas to transform it into something special. After searching through my beloved fashion Pinterest board for inspiration, I stumbled across a photo I saved months ago of a Valentino trench coat. It was decked out in sparkly embroidered bumblebees, beetles, and butterflies. I was once again in love. Not fully convinced of its trendiness? Lots of other designers including Gucci and Dior have also played around with buggy fashion. And with that, my project was born. I bought my patches from Jo-Ann’s but if you’re looking for uniqueness I recommend Etsy. Here are the steps to create this nature-inspired dress.

1—Before you begin to sew, remove your patches from their wrappings. If the patches have an almost sticky backing to them, do not try to remove it! It’s there to keep the patch together. Next, play around and arrange your patches exactly where you want them to go. It’s your personal piece, design it exactly how you like it. Be creative! Take a picture when you’re done so you can always go back and look at your original layout.

2—Make sure you have a sharp sewing needle, pins, thread, and scissors. You’ll want to pick a thread color that matches the edges on your patches unless you’re your inner creative goddess desires a contrasting color for design reasons. Thread your needle (you can double up the thread to strengthen it, which is smart when working with mesh fabric) and tie a knot at the end of your string. You don’t want the length of your string to be too long because it can become a hot mess very quickly.

3—Secure your patch with pins so it doesn’t move when you’re sewing.

4—Start your stitch on the inside of your garment to hide the knot at the end of the thread. Push the needle through the fabric and the patch. Weave in and out around the edge, making sure to keep the stitches close together.

5—Once you’ve made it all the way around your patch and it is completely sewed on, a knot needs to be made so your stitching doesn’t unravel or become loose. On the backside of the garment, insert the sewing needle under the first stitch you made and pull until a loop forms. Stick your needle into the loop and pull gently. This will create a knot. Repeat this about four times.

6—If you’re feeling glitzy, try sewing on beads for the perfect finishing touch like I did!

Finish this outfit with a crop top and bodycon skirt, a tank with pants, or a simple nude slip underneath!

What DIY projects have you mastered this summer? Let us know in the comments below!

How to Shine Like a Rainbow After a Storm

Summer is the season for festivals, concerts, cookouts, and exploring. Any activity under the sun is a great chance to spend time with loved ones while soaking up some vitamin D. Unfortunately, gray clouds sometimes interrupt the fun, literally and figuratively. With warm weather comes more revealing clothing and not everyone feels comfortable enough in their own skin to get out there and enjoy the heat. This look is the perfect confidence booster that embraces a woman’s shine and stunning personality: a rainbow after a storm.

The main focus of this look is the flowy, maxi dress. This piece is very flattering with the natural waist and long skirt. Its colorful, vertical stripes are eye-catching and bring an element of joy to the simple maxi dress shape. However, the best part of this dress is how dynamic it is. The flowing skirt bounces and twirls as you move; so run, spin, and dance! Find delight in how your body moves: your dress is celebrating with you.

I paired this stand-out piece with a pair of brown wedges and pink sunglasses. The understated, warm, brown shade of the shoes complements the bright colors in the dress. The added height helps give that extra boost of confidence and encourages you to stand tall and proud. Pink sunglasses were the cherry on top of this look. While the dress is a statement in itself, these sunglasses are funky and adventurous. As they protect your stunning eyes, their unusual shape adds a touch of daring to the look.

Finally, I topped the look off with my favorite accessory: a smile. Fashion has always been a way for me to find my confidence. If I dress like a boss, I am a boss. However, this is only half the battle. You need to believe you are as beautiful, unique, and fun as you look, so let yourself shine. A smile reminds you that you are as wonderful to behold as a rainbow after a storm.

What look boosts your confidence? Show us on social media and tag @CFashionista!

Here’s How to Dress from NYC to Barcelona to China

No matter where we are in the world, one thing we all have in common is that we aren’t ready for summer to end. As we indulge into our last month of summer, this thought is always on our mind. I have been spending my three months traveling and consuming all of the cultures and experiences everywhere I go. From the United States to Europe to Asia, I’ve found myself diverging all kinds of cultures in my outfits. This look especially can be pulled off in any country that I need to check off. Keep reading to see how I put together a taste of each continent in this look!

One of my favorite styles by far this summer are wrap dresses. The asymmetrical lining is so flattering on the legs and the best part is that they’re always customizable in size since you tie it yourself! The front V-cut is also customizable with the adjustable straps! You can either wear it with a strapless bra for a cleaner cut look or rock it the way I did. I put on a simple white lace bralette, which to me, is much more comfortable in the summertime.

The color of this dress that I was able to find reminds me so much of summer! It could be worn strolling in Barcelona all while the print embodies an Asian floral pattern. I have been throwing on this dress all summer long, whether it’s a casual or more dressed up event, pairing it with different shoes.

This time around, I chose to pair it with these suede heeled sandals to dress it up. I love pairing this dress with a range of light and dark, nude colored sandals to find a balance between the light colored dress and my dark summer tan.

To finish the look off, I completed it with my current favorite sunglasses from Melt. Again, sticking to the neutral, warm tone.

Pair this outfit with a simple Y-shaped necklace and voila, the look is fit for a hot summer day in New York. If you’re in Barcelona, I’d throw on some flat sandals and curl the hair a bit to match the beautiful Spanish/European culture. As I find my way to Asia soon, I’ll be sure to bring this dress along and show off the print!

Finding such a versatile article of clothing is the best feeling for a Fashionista. What is your go-to outfit this summer that you would bring all around the world? I’d love to see what you guys have so don’t forget to tag @CFashionista on Instagram to share some looks! I’m looking forward to your outfits! 

How I Upgraded and Updated My Denim

Denim is a staple in every girl’s wardrobe and serves as an easy throw-on piece. Whether you’re wearing distressed jeans with a white T-shirt and Adidas sneakers or with a silk cami and heels, denim is incredibly versatile and can work with any look. Recently, however, I found myself in a style rut as I realized my tendency to throw on my favorite pair of jeans with a T-shirt every day. I didn’t want to abandon denim, but rather utilize this versatile material to change-up my look. Here’s how I did it.

First and foremost, I did my research. Fashion is a personal, individual statement, but relies on our ability to translate all the content we absorb into our own look. My starting place was to check out brands that I’ve found to be trendsetters in denim. I looked at recent campaigns and releases from Madewell, Levi’s, and Frame. From this research, I discovered not only new styles of jeans but also denim being used in atypical ways from dresses and skirts to belts and other accessories. Having been introduced to lots of new ideas and feeling quite inspired to pursue new looks, I used the little money I have as a poor college student to purchase something new, while mostly reincorporating pieces I already own to produce my new looks.

My first look was a lightweight and light wash denim jumpsuit with a front cut-out and airy, cropped legs. This outfit embodies summer weather with the light and movable nature of the material, while still looking like denim, typically known for being stiff and sturdy. This element of duality adds so much interest to this easy throw-on look.

Next, I pulled from the very back of my closet (also known as the clothing graveyard) a medium wash denim dress, more characteristic of denim due to its non-stretch nature. Although this hasn’t been a dress I’ve gravitated towards in years, when paired with a pair of trendy round, mirrored sunglasses and black suede mules, the dress takes on a new, more contemporary life.

Last, but certainly not least, I pulled out my favorite pair of denim to show how jeans can be elevated just by the use of accessories. I paired my medium wash skinny jeans with a pair of ankle-strap, cork sandals, a flowy, white silk top, and a simple updo. Simply changing my hair and shoes took an outfit from day to night and from cute to chic.

How do you style your denim? Show us on social media! Don’t forget to tag @Cfashionista.

The Best Midsummer Colors to Add to Your Wardrobe

Do you love summer colors but feel that most shades are either too vibrant or too soft? I’m with you. Recently, the fashion world has fallen in love with “in between” shades like blush, mauve, and sky blue, and so have I. I mean, what’s not to love about these kinds of colors? They’re flattering on virtually anyone, which means more and more people are being drawn to items of clothing in these gorgeous shades.

Just a few weeks ago a found this incredibly cute mauve cotton dress and I honestly want to wear it every day. Not only is the color amazing, but the keyhole cut-out is definitely on-trend right now! It’s the perfect way to show off a little bit of skin without doing too much. I just have to be careful not to spend too much time in the sun when wearing this dress in order to avoid a super awkward-looking tan line!

Now you may be wondering, “how would I accessorize a piece like this?” It’s actually very simple. Since the keyhole cut-out is the main detail of focus around the neck and chest, you can skip a necklace. Instead, I would suggest some cute and colorful bangles just to add some bling. For shoes, you could definitely go with a strappy neutral-colored sandal like mine or even a pair of wedges if you’re feeling fancier. You can then just add on some statement earrings to draw more attention to your face and voila! You’ve got the perfect summer look that will flatter anyone and will work for just about any slightly dressy event you have planned.

Do you have a trendy “in between” colored outfit like this mauve look that you want to share with your fellow Fashionista/os? Make sure to show it off on social media and don’t forget to tag @CFashionista! 

Top Ways to Keep Your Professional Attire Classy and Fabulous

As wisely stated by the famous Coco Chanel, “A girl should be two things: classy and fabulous.” This quote applies to many areas of fashion but emphasizes an important point. It is crucial to remember these two elements when you’re getting your professional attire ready for a day at the office, an interview, or any professional setting.

The first item you should start with is your “centerpiece.” This would include dresses, shirts, skirts, or dress pants. Decisions like these must be made early on so you can ensure that you are truly dressing to impress. It is important to note that when individuals network in business settings, the only information a person provides is what they show standing before someone. This includes what they talk about and, more importantly, their professional attire. This Fashionista knows that a simple, straight, medium-length dress is a perfect way to stay cool in the heat while still looking classy and fabulous.

Another key to maintaining a professional look is to not be excessive. A dress with a simple print like this can allow you to make a statement while not going overboard. Your “centerpiece” will be your main focal point, so you want to ensure that your accessories complement your outfit and don’t do more harm than good. A gorgeous, safe way to do this is by picking a color and maintaining it. This Fashionista balances her look perfectly with a simple black handbag, black heels, a sassy pair of shades, and a cup of coffee for her travels. While the print on the dress adds flair, the solid black accents become an asset to the look.

As much as we all want to make a statement when networking with professionals, going to an interview, or attempting to be an adult in general, always remember to keep it simple, balanced, classy, and fabulous.

How do you show your style through professional attire? Show us on social media and tag @CFashionista!

The Trend You Need to Add to Your Wardrobe

Ruffle details for summer are extremely popular and can be seen on nice cocktail dresses or a more casual outfit. I love taking simple pieces of clothing and having one element that stands out; in this case, it’s the ruffles. Search your favorite stores for garments with something extra and fun.

Casual Outfit

This outfit is perfect for a day of classes or simply shopping at the mall. It can be worn in almost every season. Swap these adorable shorts out for jeans or leggings and this ensemble can carry you into fall and winter. The sneakers add a touch of cool combined with the sleeve details of the sweater.

Dressy Outfit

Onto my favorite outfit, the dressier of the two. I love this for a fancy date night, summer wedding, or even a night out with the girls. This is an easy dress silhouette to either dress up or down. Throw on a jean jacket and sneakers or sandals to make it more casual, or add heels and a clutch purse to make it a little bit fancier. Lace-up heels are also a huge trend and work perfectly with this dress, especially with the light pink color.

Another intricate part of this dress is the back detailing, which looks awesome with a lace bralette underneath.

The silhouette is very flattering on any body type with the ruffles drawing attention to the bottom of the dress.

Keeping up with trends can be difficult and at times exhausting. But the ruffle details are here to stay! They are great paired with multiple pieces of clothing, and give the impression that your outfit is more put together than you intended—which is never a bad thing if you ask me! Be on the lookout for sleeve details and ruffles when you are out shopping.

What is your favorite way to wear ruffles? Let me know in the comments below. Be sure to share your style inspiration with @CFashionista on social media.