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.

5 Ways to Get the Most Out of Thrifting

If you are like me, fellow Fashionistas, you are someone who is always keeping an eye out for the latest trends. One major fad that you may have noticed, especially on Instagram, is the resurgence of the ’90s vibe and vintage clothes. This trend is high-waisted bottoms, vibrant colors, graphic T-shirts, brand names, and more. Because this style is from a slightly older era, I figured that thrifting would be a fun way to find trendy clothes for less!

I shopped at three different thrift stores during a period of seven days. I only ended up finding good stuff on five out of the seven days and at only two of the three stores that I went to (Plato’s Closet and Goodwill), but what I did find ended up being pretty rad. Here are some of my tips for first-time thrifters!

1—Take your time. Look through everything in the sections since things often aren’t always placed back in the right section. I wanted to find something to add to an all-black outfit for an upcoming concert. After about 45 minutes, I found an oversize red, black, and white flannel, completing my outfit!

2—Look everywhere. Clothes do not fit everyone the same so you can definitely make things work for you no matter what area they’re from! Also, clothes in thrift stores are often not in their correct sections. I ended up finding two of my favorite pieces of the week in the pants section! A red skort and a black and white flannel.

3—Try everything. Okay, not everything, but definitely try the things that catch your eye. You would be surprised how different types of styles and clothes fit you!

I looked in the Men’s section and found a ’90s flame graphic bowling shirt! I probably would not have picked this up on a usual shopping trip but it ended up being one of my favorite thrifted items!

4—Come back soon. Don’t be afraid to come back to the store the next day or a couple of days after because people do drop off new clothes every day. On my final day (after going 3 days in a row) I found an amazing item: the Adidas tear-away tracksuit bottoms that a lot of celebs have been rocking.

5—Wash your stuff. Clothes may be washed when they’re put on the racks but people do come and try things on and those items are just placed back on the racks. So wash your clothes as soon as you get home just to be safe!

How do you feel about thrifting? Can you see yourself incorporating thrifted threads into your style? Let me know in the comments below!

How 20 Dollars Can Thrift You a Style for School

Those dreaded back to school signs are starting to appear everywhere and your first reaction is probably the constant flinching from the money signs flashing in your brain. While getting ready to go back to school usually means buying expensive textbooks and figuring out how many loans it takes to be in forever debt, dressing for a new semester doesn’t have to be added to your financial build up.

What… what… what… Macklemore shouldn’t be the only one getting deals at a thrift shop! These stores can be packed with fashion trends that you can’t find cheaper anywhere else! You can find popular store label pieces for half the price! Just pair it with any kind of vintage brand to get your own personalized look.

Flannels have become my ultimate weakness over the past years, and every single one that I own has come from a thrift store—more specifically, from the men’s department! My personal style finds me constantly in the men’s section of the store where I believe the best deals can be found. The material is usually much more comfortable and looser, more preferable than the noodle tight fit that you can find on many of the women’s flannels on display.

I found my red flannel in perfect condition on one of the racks for only $5.99! Any flannel can’t be finished without pairing it with a graphic T-shirt which I found here for a smashing bargain of $1.99! It was also a bonus because who doesn’t love New York?

My denim mini skirt was from Abercrombie and Fitch for only $3.99! This was definitely a steal! A mini skirt like this can go perfectly with any kind of leggings or tights which can give it an edgier look.

My favorite pair of Sag Harbor wool shorts comes from the thrift shop as well, with a price of also $3.99! These shorts are great because you can dress them up or dress them down. Here they’re displayed with a graphic T-shirt for a casual look. You can dress it up by pairing it with a fancy, solid color top if preferred!

Turns out you really only need 20 dollars in your pocket!

Find any other thrift shop deals as good as these? Let me know in the comments below! Or show us on social media! Remember to tag @Cfashionista.

3 Ways to Reinvent Your Flannel Shirts for the Summer

Levi’s and Dr. Martens were originally crafted to withstand hard labor, and here I am buying pre-ripped jeans for $50 and gallivanting to class in boots that I thought were super cute. Originally a source of practicality for men, flannel shirts were recently brought to the style forefront and became a common thread for each gender and class. Everybody loves a good flannel shirt, but there’s a fine line between lumberjack and Fashionista. Sometimes plaid is redundant and the colors mush together. I have a stack of flannel shirts that remain loyal to me on lazy days. However, I’m always looking for new ways to bring life to these garments.

Flannel shirts aren’t typically worn in the summer, so I compiled three simple ways to style these favorite, but admittedly boring, articles of clothing. These outfits revolve around the top like the solar system, so be imaginative when creating your own.

The recent cropped sweatshirt epidemic inspired my first look. All you do is cut the torso part in half, which instantly turns an arguably boring top into a head-turner. Plus, it’s totally versatile; the excess fabric can even be used as a scarf for your dog. A bralette pairs well with the renovated flannel shirt and prevents you from flashing a crowd on accident. It’s a win-win. Here’s a tip: Find a line in the plaid pattern to follow with your scissors for a straight cut!

The second flannel shirt was completely olive green until I got a hold of it. In order to successfully dip-dye your fabric, start by filling three buckets: half water and half bleach, pure water, and half water and half vinegar, respectively. Dip your flannel shirt in the water-bleach solution first to strip it of its color, which creates an ombré look. Once you achieve your desired color, dunk it in the water bucket to get rid of the bleach. Lastly, dunk your flannel shirt in the water-vinegar solution to stop the bleach from bleeding. After it dries, wash the shirt alone before wearing it so the bleach doesn’t ruin any other clothes or irritate your skin!

The third and final project is the most challenging, but also my favorite. I got inspiration from the trend of mismatched shirts. I used two flannel shirts for this one but cut them both in half. Yes, you heard me—right in half. Take the left side of one and the right side of the other and sew them down the middle of the back panel. What’s even better is that once you have your new flannel, you’re left with the shirts’ other halves. Sew those together, too, and give a fellow Fashionista a rad top of her own!

Show us how you transform your flannels and share with us on Instagram by tagging @CFashionista!

Blast From the Past—How an Old Accessory is Making a Comeback

The latest fashion accessory? It’s not mules. Nope, not mesh. No, it’s not vintage sunglasses either. Belts are back. The great thing about this new trend is that there is not one particular style—buckle belts, skinny belts, high-waisted belts, or your non-traditional belts such as scarves, chains, flannels, and corsets are all great options.

Whether you are wearing jeans, a skirt, or a dress, a belt is a perfect accessory to top and complete your look. I decided to style this girly, polka dot romper with some ’90s-inspired grunge belts. The difference in sizes and styles add variety, but the black, silver, and chains add enough unity that the three pieces complement each other nicely.

Neck scarves don’t have to be only tied to your neck! Why not tie them to your waist? By using a square neck scarf as a belt, you get a unique look that offers a difference in texture and pattern.

For the final belt, I transformed an old flannel into a belt. Often times, I find myself tying flannels around my waist, so why not DIY a flannel shirt only into a belt? Just cut the sleeves portion and use that to tie around the waist. That way you still get the cute look of a flannel, but you don’t get the bulge from the rest of the shirt in the back.

Since belts are an accessory, they are cheap enough to grab a couple! Show off your own look and style an outfit by adding a belt (or two). Make sure to post a photo on Instagram and tag @Cfashionista!

What to Wear When Hanging With the Guys

It’s finally that time of the year where you might be trading books for boogie boards, stuffy classrooms for road trips to the beach, and professors for your best friends. You’ve put your winter wardrobe to rest, and now it’s time to make sure you have all the essentials for kicking it with the guys for the next few months. Summertime means longer days and a lot more play time, so here’s everything you’ll need to be cool (both literally and aesthetically) and comfy all summer long.

Kicking off summer break the right way, this Fashionisto is headed to the beach wearing the perfect outfit for a day with the guys. Showing off the basics every guy should have, he is wearing a pair of blue distressed skinny jeans and a plain white T-shirt, both from H&M. While the weather here in Ohio can be tricky, you can get away with wearing jeans almost any day. The plain white T-shirt is light, keeping him cool. This is something that should be found in everyone’s closet.

He also brought a flannel with him for those summer bonfires or chilly nights by the water. Tying it around his waist, he can easily put it on if he gets cold, and if he doesn’t, we all know it looks cool either way. As for shoes, this Fashionisto paired his casual look with a classic pair of plain black Vans. Very versatile and perfect for a post-beach skate session, he’s ready to show off and look stylish while doing it.

Girls aren’t the only ones who love their accessories; guys need them too! This Fashionisto brought with him his trusty (and trendy) backpack because where else is he going to put his beach towel, swim trunks, sun block and cool flannel all while he’s doing a 180 on his skateboard?

He also brought a basic, black baseball cap to keep his face cool while catching rays, and a pair of super trendy Ray-Ban sunglasses to protect against those harsh UVs. With all the right items, this Fashionisto has everything he needs to be comfortable all day long, whether he’s going to the beach, grabbing a bite to eat, or hitting the park with the guys.

This outfit is perfect no matter what activity your summer has in store. The distressed blue jeans, plain white T-shirt, and classic Vans make for a versatile outfit, while throwing on a flannel and some shades give it more edge. Dress it up, dress it down, wear it to the beach, or wear it playing Xbox; whatever it is, you can’t go wrong.

What are you adding to your summer wardrobe? Can you give your friends, brother, or boyfriend any summer styling tips? Let me know in the comments below or show us on Instagram, and don’t forget to tag @CFashionista!

This is Exactly How To Write a Captivating Blog Post, According to a Professional Writer

The most important part of running a successful blog is passion, but the second-most important aspect is attention to detail in your writing. Even if your blog is very image-heavy, you still need some solid writing to build a loyal following. As a blogger and professional writer, I’ve learned some tips that you can also use in your blog.

1—Focus on a Single Topic. If you are writing about a topic you are really passionate about, it’s easy to get caught up writing and get a little off-track from your main point. If you find yourself doing that, cut all of the written content that doesn’t fit, paste it into another document, then create another blog post out of it. Each post should have one primary focus, so if there are different aspects of a topic you want to cover, do it over multiple posts.

Writing blog posts on a Macbook

2—Develop a Formula. Developing a ‘formula’ for your writing not only makes things easier on you, but it also helps your blog feel consistent. The formula I loosely use for our blog, Ensemble of Elan, is: Introduction, Sound Off One (thoughts from my co-blogger), Sound Off Two (thoughts from me), Conclusion, Quote, Outfit Details (for example, this article would include my flannel top, black denim shorts, and bar necklace). This format works for nearly all of our posts, so find one that works for you.

blog post

3—Check Your Grammar. Please check your grammar. From a reader’s perspective, nothing is worse than reading an otherwise great blog post only to discover that it’s filled with grammatical errors. If you are not a grammar guru yourself, ask someone who is, or use a tool like Grammarly, which is a free, online grammar checker.

4—Preview. You know how you can only see some errors in your papers for class after you see them in print? It’s the same for blog posts. You may not catch certain things while you’re drafting it, so always be sure to preview your posts multiple times before publishing.  (This will save you the panic of realizing a sentence sounds really weird after you hit publish.)

artistic coffee mug

5—Use Quotes. I am a huge quote lover, and you should be too. If there is something you want to say, but you can’t quite put it in the right words, look for a quote. Chances are, someone has already said it far better than you could ever hope to, so insert that quote in your blog post, include an outbound link, and you’re done!

iced coffee and laptop

Have any other questions about blog writing? Let us know in the comments!

How to Stay Cute and Cool in the Summer

The first outfit is a casual summer look; composed of a T-shirt, shorts, flannel to be worn or tied around the waist, and black Vans. This outfit allows your skin to breathe through sweltering summer heat but manages to still look fashionable. The next outfit has a ’90s aesthetic and is one of my favorite looks because it is so simple and can’t be overdone. This outfit is made up of an oversize button-down (tucked) and distressed mom jeans and white Adidas.

1—Simple Street Wear. This outfit was inspired by a need to remain cool in the heat but still have a put-together look with minimal effort. A Bob Marley T-shirt paired with shorts make a great summer outfit. Throw in a few accessories, like the flannel, bag, or belt and you have the perfect outfit! If you don’t prefer sneakers, you can switch it up with flip flops or sandals. You can find any of these pieces at just about any other retail location like Kohl’s, Forever 21, H&M, Zara, or Charlotte Russe. On a day out, a small backpack is perfect for roaming the city or my personal favorite: the mall.

2—’90s Throwback. Since it’s summer, television stations are re-running old ’90s shows and this inspired this next look. A few vintage looking pieces can totally give you a ’90s vibe. This outfit, for example, exudes ’90s mom style but the distressed denim adds a little bit of youth to it. The oversize cotton button-down, even though long sleeved, allows air to flow through and thus the wearer stays cool. Still not sure of the long sleeves? Rolling them up is always an option or opt for a camisole or tank top and the belt adds a nice subtle pop to the outfit. Some of the perfect places to find pieces like it are your parent’s closets! If your mom is like mine and she would be a little upset if you raided her closet for the oldies (even though she may not wear them), you should check out your local thrift store, Goodwill, or name brand places like Forever 21. The distressed jeans pictured can be made by hand with an old pair of jeans. Living in the hipster capital of America—Richmond, Virginia, I see variations of this style or older throwbacks.

To add to either of these outfits throw on jewelry, a hat, or any other accessory.

Did these ideas inspire you to create your own look or have you done it? Share it in the comments!

ALL IN THE DETAILS: Sliding Into Summer

Here in Western Pennsylvania, “springing” into spring and summer, is not the easiest thing to do, when the average temperature may only be around 50 degrees. However, you must take the days as they are given to you, and work with what you have. This Fashionisto does that, by incorporating fun, bright colors into his wardrobe, while maintaining the light spring feel. It is difficult to use season-appropriate colors, when the temperature makes you think winter is coming. Despite the harvest-colored accent, the white base in this outfit, is extremely important, as it livens the look up, and provides a fluid pop of a season-appropriate color.

The solid white points in this look, are not only well balanced, but also bring a light summer flair. It can be a challenge to look ready for summer, and not be freezing, but this is a great way to do so. The white sneakers prove you no longer have to trek through two feet of snow, the white cap can block out some warmer weather sun, and the white hoodie allows you to showcase any tan or lighter hair, that you may have already acquired. The cap also ties the white base, and the plaid flannel, together perfectly. The simple red embroidery complements the design of the flannel, while not overpowering it.

Many of the articles of clothing shown, are mainly solid. Adding a detailed and bright flannel, like this, captures peoples’ attention. (And what fashion loving person doesn’t want to make a statement, am I right?) It is important to note that the bright-colored clothing is located in the center of the body. This draws attention to the focal point of the look, and provides a well balanced, eye pleasing outfit.

Though it feels like summer weather should be here, the temperatures are still unpredictable, especially on the East Coast. Be prepared for whatever this life throws at you, and slide into the summer months with style.

WHAT TO WEAR: Flannel Domination Incorporation

In a world dominated by trends in the fashion world, it’s hard to know what willl stick and what will die out quickly or what will be chic and fashionable for years to come. I feel like you can base this off of how much versatility it has to almost any outfit you want to pair it with. One of those staple items is most definitely the flannel.

Flannels have the ability to up any outfit. You can put a flannel around your waist if you’re wearing a skater dress, a skirt, leggings, overalls, shorts, and especially any kind of denim. In this Fashionisto’s case he paired the red gingham flannel with a inspirational graphic T-shirt, skinny sweatpants, and Converse. The flannel tied around his waist was a perfect additive that took his simple outfit from just nice and casual to chic and casual. The added accessory of a snapback gave the outfit a final touch of cool. Fashionista’s you can recreate this look and take inspiration and be just as chic and cool as this laid back Fashionisto. A favorite thing among the celebrities today is borrowing from the boys. Don’t hesitate to gravitate to the male section to get that perfect oversize flannel you can throw over a spaghetti strap dress or the classic high-waisted shorts and white crop top ensemble.

The versatility and chicness of a flannel can’t be denied. Not only this, but this clothing item has more gender neutrality then any other staple piece, other than the plain white T-shirt. They come in a variety of colors so you can find one that would go perfect with any cute, chic, casual outfit you want to wear. Flannel domination has made its mark and I think it’s going to be around for a pretty long time.