Here’s How to Graduate in Style

Graduation season has finally come to an end and like many other students, I have just graduated from The University of Liverpool! Becoming a part of the graduating class of 2017 is equally exciting and scary, but at least I can confidently say that I put my best foot forward on the most important day of my life to date.

Whether you are graduating or are supporting someone who is, graduations are one of life’s most frameable moments. It is all too important to celebrate in style! After all, these photos will most likely be framed on your parent’s walls for the rest of time. With that in mind, what on earth do you wear!?

Some universities give suggested dress codes. For example, at my university, it was suggested that men wear a full suit, shirt, and tie while women should wear trousers and a colorful blouse. That description seemed rather uninspired to me. It is definitely important to look smart but that doesn’t mean you have to lose your own personal style and flair. This is your big day and you’ve earned the right to shine. These memories will be with you for life, so make the most of the opportunity and groom yourself to within an inch of your life.

While I was a jumble of nerves and excitement on the inside, I was a cool, poised, and polished Fashionista with a bright future ahead of me on the outside. I bent the rules slightly by opting to wear a smart, high-necked, white lace, midi length dress from Boohoo paired with some beige heels from Mango. I wore pearl earrings from Asos, gold pearl bracelets from Zara, and a gold pearl necklace from H&M.

One thing I would recommend when choosing your graduation outfit is to make sure that it can be worn more than once. There’s nothing worse than a lovely outfit that only sees the light of day once before being relegated to the back of the closet. Think of ways you can restyle the outfit for other occasions. For example, I have a wedding coming up in about a month that this outfit would be perfect for. To make it more appropriate, I would switch out the graduation gown for a light duster jacket and accessorize with a bright red shoe and matching clutch bag. Don’t let your dress be a one hit wonder—reuse and restyle!

British graduation codes are quite strict about what is suitable to wear to your graduation, but that doesn’t mean you must abandon your style. You just have to be more creative about what you wear. Make sure your style speaks volumes and your outfit is photo worthy.

Hears hoping that your graduation ceremony was great! What did you wear to your graduation ceremony? Share a photo on social media and don’t forget to tag @Cfashionista.

How To Approach Back To School Season When You Aren’t Actually Going Back To School

The summer months often feel fleeting. As August lumbers on, the sentimentality of summer reaches its peak as it dwindles out. The days are shortening, the weather is starting to dip, and everyone is ready to start making their next moves. While there is so much of summer 2017 left, it might feel for anyone who has been in school for the entirety of their lives that the turnover into September still feels like a hard reset.

(Photos via @allyfrancesca)

For recent graduates watching September inch closer, it may feel strange to not return to campus. A lot of people feel that summer is a short-lived stint—reality is sure to come crashing in the moment the sunshine begins to fade and the shorts are packed away. The lack of structure that being a post-grad brings has me struggling to envision my future past September. While some plans have been lined up, everything feels more touch-and-go than the routine university hands to you.

The feeling is scary at first, but taking a leap into something new provides more opportunity for growth. Trying out a new routine to fit your post-grad projects will give you perspective on life beyond college. While this September might leave you feeling a bit thrown off balance, your new structure allows your goals to be spread out further into the future rather than confined to four months of summer. On top of it all, working towards graduation meant working towards a lifestyle that doesn’t necessarily revolve around the school year calendar. This is a new chance to create your own schedule and find a new groove in your hustle.

August may be half-way through, but it’s definitely not over yet. Soak in what is left—literally and figuratively—but remember that summer will always come back around. September isn’t the be all and end all of good times and for any graduates ready to keep coasting through post-grad life, it’s just a continuation of new experiences. Finding nostalgia in the haziness of the summer months is heartwarming, but turning to excitement in what comes next may fill you with more joy than you can imagine.

Take Your Favorite Pieces From Casual to Business Casual With These 3 Hacks

“Dress for the job you want,” is a frequent utterance from fashion gurus and motivational office posters alike. But what do you do when you have the job you want and you’re just adjusting to the whole business casual look? Adapting to office attire after years of collecting clothes for campus can be difficult, especially if you’re a recent graduate just getting started in a career field.

While the clothes at workplace-friendly stores like J.Crew and Banana Republic have caught my attention in the past (and definitely found their way into my wardrobe), I am definitely not the kind of girl with a closet brimming with corporate digs. In recent years, most offices are taking a more laid back approach; you can count on fashion industry jobs privileging creativity over traditional professionalism. But, there are still some jobs that require you to look a certain way—and I’m here to test out office-appropriate looks.

I took a look at my old casual wear OOTDs to see what I could rework for an office casual look. With a few button-downs and slacks, I found the perfect mixture of my own style. These outfits meet workplace standards without purchasing new pieces. Dressing for the job you want is ideal, but sometimes you got to get through readying your wardrobe for the one you currently have.

The Accessory

Silk bandanas are simply work-appropriate chokers—and who doesn’t love that? Throw on an ascot to add some intrigue to a typical casual look.

The Top

This J.Crew top’s sweet lines make for the perfect blue denim companion, as per a previous article of mine for CollegeFashionista. I wanted to make it work for the everyday work environment after associating it with the everyday for so long.

The Suit

Who said that all power suits need to be boring? Taking a culotte jumpsuit and layering it is perfect for a heavily air conditioned workplace. It has the drama of a suit without all the fuss and (sometimes dated) look.

Have a garment or accessory you are struggling transitioning to your post-college life? Let us know below in the comments and we can help transform the piece from casual to business casual!

3 Tips for the College Grad to Take Things to the Next Level

It’s summertime. For recent college grads, this is the real deal and it’s game time. School is out and it is time to start the beginning of something beautiful, the rest of our lives. Year after year spent in school, we have dedicated our lives to furthering our education in order to be competitive in the workforce, successful, and make our families proud. Now that senior year has finally come to a glorious end, the real question is: are you ready?

Here are some helpful tips to get the ball rolling in order to get from where you are now to where you want to be in the future.

1—Take a hard look in the mirror. Decide what it is that is in your heart and think about what you can dedicate a lifetime building a career in. It is critical that you spend serious time dedicated toward figuring out what you actually want and then develop the steps to take you exactly where you want to go. Create a road map to your dreams. Whether it’s applying for grad school, traveling abroad, or getting a job, get after it and set the bar high.

2—Put your best foot forward. Get active and start moving because it is time to hustle. We must capitalize on our youth to build momentum for our future endeavors by branching out and networking now. Start with a candid conversation because it is truly important to communicate with others and share ideas. In order to create contacts that foster future mutually beneficial relationships, we must put ourselves out there by stepping of out of our comfort zones to show the world what we have to offer.

3—Polish your style. Refine your look and create a classic image that caters to your lifestyle. Like they say, the habits you have today form the person you are tomorrow. Are you doing what it takes today to become the person you truly want to be? Now is the time to make the necessary adaptations to ensure you are on the path that leads you toward your desired goals and aspirations, because if not now, then when?

This is the time to figure out what we want and to lay the foundation for our futures. We are at a pivotal time in our lives. It is vital that we seize the opportunities that lie in our paths and venture further than the expectation to not only succeed but to excel.

There are so many ways to step up the game. Share in the comments below how you plan to take things to the next level this summer. Show us your refined style on social media, and don’t forget to tag @CFashionista!

The 3 Things Every Recent Grad Needs To Hear

Recently, I find myself fantasizing about life a year from now. If you’re a young person (or anyone with a sense of imagination/sentimentality/boredom), you may be pondering the same thing. During your post-grad year, your rootlessness can sometimes turn to restlessness. The need to keep evolving and changing is always present—and sometimes that can mean be scary.

Now with a diploma in hand and tassel on the other side of my hat, the future feels more pressing than ever. I bounce between pangs of nostalgia for a few months prior and repeating “If not now, then when,” to myself as I take my first baby steps in post-grad life. The thing is: I’m realizing this is totally 100 percent okay—life will be different in 365 days from now, just as it was last year at this time.

Growth is inevitable and important. Not being able to see the end of the tunnel can be scary, but it’s also a fact in not being a student for the first time in your life. I asked three former Style Gurus for their perspectives on being out of school—from their personal lives to careers to general advice, these girls are one year out and one year wiser.

Megan Gegler (@gegmegler)

“People always says that best of your life is college. For me, I’m having the best time now,” said Megan on life outside of school. “Although I’m busy and have my hands in a few pots at work, I’m learning so much about myself and my work ethic. Outside of work, I’ve loved being able to enjoy all the city has to offer [since not being in school].”

And what she’s discovered in the last year? “Since graduating and moving, I’ve learned the value of alone time—it’s essential in a place as busy as New York City.”

Reina Sekiguchi (@reilucy)

Last year, Reina graduated from Barnard College and has worked at Bloomingdale’s in buying and merchandising ever since. “As someone who was always eager to enter the “real world” while I was a student, I have enjoyed the social and financial independence that has come with adulthood. And not having homework isn’t too bad either!”

“I am lucky that many of my college friends have stayed in New York City after graduation,” she added. “Having such a strong support system has made the transition out of college relatively seamless, and I have felt extremely grateful for my friends, both old and new, in the past year.”

Eva Thomas (@_evavictoria_)

Eva offered some perspective to any new graduates: “Even if things might not be working out the way you planned, there are wonderful things happening in your life every day!”

“Focus on those and all other things will fall into place.”

Feeling lost? Been there, done that, and lived to tell about it? Sound off in the comments below to continue to conversation and inspire others to keep on keeping on!

How I choose my Picture Perfect Outfit

As summer came around, I knew I would have a lot of events to go to. With all these upcoming weddings, graduation parties, and brunches, I could barely find a moment to spare. All I could think about is my outfit! I know I’ll be taking a lot of pictures and these pictures will be posted everywhere. In order to have a picture perfect photo, I need to have the picture perfect outfit.

Looking through my closet, one outfit seemed to outshine all the others. With these deadly temperatures in the burning sun, I chose an outfit that would keep me refreshed at all times. I reach for my newly bought striped blue dress from Abercrombie & Fitch. It is the perfect mix of classy and fun. To top it off and have the perfect balance between casual and fancy, I put on my brown wedges. There’s just something so simple that I love about wedges and how easy they are to pair with any outfit!

I am going for more of a simple look with hardly any jewelry or accessories, but there’s so much more you could add to this outfit. My look is for a graduation party so I didn’t feel the need to accessorize. However, I know a choker would look absolutely lovely with the deep cut of this summer dress. For a wedding, I would even throw on a simple jeweled bracelet to just add a little something.

What makes the look so perfect isn’t just the way you wear the clothes, but also how you wear everything. For instance, for the makeup, I keep it very simple and light as I don’t want to be sweating the whole afternoon. With the sun shining on my skin all day, I didn’t want to look too oily and flushed, which always something I want to avoid for pictures. I know my cheek and nose tend to get the oiliest so I decided to focus most of my makeup on my eyes. Highlighter was a definite must for me as the sun would be radiating off my skin. Why not show off my cheekbones given the chance?

I’d like to call this look simple and classy. It’s great for a special event or just a casual outing. I’m all about making a little go a long way and I think this look exemplifies just that. Even though I’m not wearing every type of makeup I can on my face or a load of accessories, I’m able to create this almost flawless look.

Let us know what your picture perfect outfit looks like! Don’t forget to tag us @Cfashionista!

Finding Structure in Your New Post-Grad Structureless Life

The structure of school has been the steady cadence of your life ever since you were five. There’s the long stretches of continuous writing, schoolwork, and finals that fill your days in every year of attendance. The breaks in between are stunted periods of time that allow you to relax, until you have to dive right back into those semesters of work. Sometimes you can squeeze in a pivotal summer job, a trip filled with self-discovery, and any other experience to beef up your Instagram feed and, if you’re ambitious, summer school to get ahead of the pack. Life until graduation is an ebb and flow of pushing your abilities to the limit while under time restrictions and a rigid structure.

And then you graduate. In metaphorically and physically crossing this moment, I have noticed my own life take on a new dynamic as that structure slowly slips away. While I don’t miss the hectic class schedules, I have found it means I am now in full control of how I spend my days, something I had previously only had to worry about during those aforementioned breaks. What differs in post-grad life is that this isn’t a break anymore: there isn’t a need to repose for the next semester because the rest of your life starts… Now?

(Photo via @kierraxmakayla)

Melodrama aside, graduation is a monumental occasion (you’ve worked so hard to get here, go you!), but it’s also easy to let it get you down when closing that chapter feels overwhelming and like stepping into a brand new life. Finding structure in the post-grad structureless life is possible. Whether you are working, pursuing new studies, or trying things that have been backburnered while you hit the books, there is so much you can incorporate into your life that will make every day in the real world feel exciting and purposeful.

(Photo via @itsandie)

Take up something that makes you plan out your days

Coding classes, gym routines, or even getting a book club going with your close friends are a few (very specific) things to tackle in the “real world.” Make time to do something other than the work you have laid out for you; finding something that is fun—and even free—can make the transition easier and more exciting.

Make time for friends, family, and everyone in between

This may seem like a given, but sometimes solidifying plans with your friends can slip through the cracks when times get tough during school. Spending time with others is a great way to unwind from work, applications, or other commitments.

(Photo via @nebraskajones18)

Plan ahead and schedule yourself

Get your to-do lists or agenda going on a weekly basis to keep everything in order! Finding down time is great and days off are even better, but sometimes not having a routine can make motivating yourself tough. Plan the time that isn’t centered around pre-scheduled things to tackle chores and side projects effectively.

(Photo via @lib_bart)

This time may be scary as you wade into the waters of post-undergraduate life, but it’s obviously more exciting than anything. As I freshly enter the post-grad life, I will be contributing to CollegeFashionista on a bi-weekly basis—offering my own reflections in my first summer of adulthood. Remember: many have done it before you and many will do it after—there’s a lot to look forward to and changes that can be made in your life to keep you on track.

Hey “adults”! Any tips on how to navigate this post-grad life? Let me know in the comments below.

Don’t Panic, Graduates—We Have the Ultimate Real World Survival Guide

So you’re graduating from college—a simple statement with a huge meaning. If you’re like us, you’ve probably spent the past four years dreaming about moving to an awesome apartment in a big city to start your dream job. As nice as that sounds, we all know that’s not always so realistic when you really start the messy part of achieving those goals. Finding a job is potentially the hardest, most draining aspect of being an adult, and it becomes a constant grind from the moment you start your senior year until you finally land one. Then come the money struggles, which we all mistakenly believe are going to end once we leave college, only to be rudely awakened by our still-dwindling bank accounts. Adulting sure is a blast.

So when reality smacks you in the face and you realize that being in the real world is not all fun and games, where do you turn? Finding relevant information on the internet is almost as daunting as adulting itself, and often even parents and professors are out of touch with the struggles we face in the 21st century (sorry, Mom). Luckily, we’ve put together a simple guide to break down the basics of what you need to know to make it in the real world. Just call it your real world survival guide.

Finding the Job

The internet is a really big place, which can make even the thought of searching for a job seem daunting. However, when it comes down to it, there are a few ways to begin the search. The best place to start is to make a list of the companies for which you’d like to work. Almost every company has a career board on its website (typically at the bottom in very small font), and you can see any openings they have listed. Many companies also have an email address you can contact for job inquiries, so if you are very sure of what you’d like to do and have a lot of ideas, you could also reach out to the company asking about jobs with a reason for why you think you’d be a good fit.

Another tried-and-true place to find jobs is LinkedIn. You can search available jobs through company profiles, or simply search for specific roles in the location you’re looking to work. Another great feature of LinkedIn is its groups—specifically the fact that it has alumni groups from colleges. People who attended the same university as you are often more likely to respond if you reach out to them, so networking with fellow alumni can be a really good way to meet people in the industry who may have news about a job down the road—or even now. However, don’t forget to make sure your LinkedIn is flawless—if you reach out to someone and they see an incomplete profile or job descriptions full of errors, there’s a good chance they’ll look right past you.

While those are good places to start, there are countless other job boards that exist. Websites like Indeed, The Muse,, and many others constantly have new job listings, so make it a point to find jobs titles you could search, and dedicate a significant amount of time looking through those sites. The more jobs you find and apply for, the better chance you’ll have of landing one.

Getting the Interview 

So you’ve found the job (or jobs) of your dreams—now what? Get ready to hustle, because this is undeniably the most difficult part of the equation. You may have found countless jobs you’d love to have, but getting the attention of the hiring manager is easier said than done. There are, however, a few tricks to catching their eye.

Before you send the same resume out to 50 different people, take a step back and analyze how you can tailor it to fit the job for which you’re applying. If nothing in your listed experience directly applies to the job you want, why would a hiring manager think you’d be a good fit? Instead of only using one set resume to apply for everything, make sure you’re altering the descriptions and skills of your resume to fit the job description. No—this does not mean you should lie about your experience (seriously, don’t ever do that). However, if you have a skill that’s not listed on your resume and you see it in the description of the job you want, make sure it’s on that list when you apply for the job!

Another way to get their attention to is to make it personal. If you’re just submitting an application and never thinking about it again, chances are that the hiring manager isn’t either. Instead of being complacent, make it a point to find a contact at the company to reach out to about the job. It may seem pointless, but putting a face or voice to your name will inevitably help you stand out more than the majority of applicants.

Landing the Job

The number one key to landing a job is being prepared. The interview is the ultimate test, and you wouldn’t show up to an exam without doing your homework, right? An interviewer wants to know that you’re qualified for the job, and that you’re the right fit for the company—so you should always know what you can bring to the job, and why you would be great for the brand. This means that you need to do your research—and be thorough. Knowing as much as you can about the interviewer, the company, and the job will show your interviewer that you care about working at that specific place, and that you’re willing to put in the time and effort to impress them and land the job.

Traditional etiquette is also a big part of landing the job. Make sure you look put together for any interviews you have. Whether you are interviewing in person or over Skype, the way you present yourself is crucial to the impression you’re giving the interviewer. Dress nicely, don’t have wrinkles in your clothing, and make sure your hair has been recently washed. You should also pay attention to the small details for the interview. Make sure you have several copies of your resume on hand just in case, and don’t ever forget to send a thank you note afterward—both an email and a physical note. Ensuring that these small things aren’t overlooked will prove the attention to detail you undoubtedly bragged about, as well as prove to them how much you care about the job.

Finding the Apartment

Finding an apartment is an ordeal, but the experience differs greatly depending on what city you live in. If you’re moving to a new city though, chances are you’re feeling a little lost. Luckily, there are tons of websites and groups available to search through that are majorly helpful when you’re beginning your hunt.

An unexpected place to search for apartments is on Facebook. There are hundreds, if not thousands of huge groups on Facebook that exist solely for people to find an apartment and/or a roommate. It doesn’t matter if you’re looking for a long or short term commitment, or looking to spend $300 or $3,000 a month—there is someone out there in a Facebook group that has what you’re looking for. Even if you don’t end up finding anything, it’s a great place to start to see what’s out there and get a feel for the kinds of apartments and rent prices in the area you’re moving to.

Countless websites exist to find apartments and houses, but it’s important to note that not all are entirely trustworthy. Before you start searching for apartments, do your research on what websites are to be trusted, and which types of listings you should know to avoid. While there are a ton of websites out there to search for apartments, this will help you narrow them down to begin your search. Additionally, make sure you know what you’re looking for. Blindly looking for a place to live without thinking about your personal requirements is a recipe for confusion. When you know exactly what you need to be happy, you can find the apartments that are suitable for you instead of sifting through every apartment that’s available.

Affording the Apartment

A quick Google search will tell you that you should only spend 30 percent of your paycheck on rent—after taxes. A quick reality check will tell you that that’s not always possible in a place like New York City. The average starting salary in 2016 for college graduates with a bachelor’s degree in communications was $47,047—which leaves you with around $1,000 a month to spend. That may sound hefty at first, but finding even a studio apartment for that price anywhere near Manhattan is—quite literally—impossible. And even if you’re not living in an expensive place, why would you want to spend the maximum recommended amount on rent?

The easy solution to this problem is roommates. Yes, you probably told yourself you were done with roomies by the time you left college. However, having roommates is inevitably the most logical way to save the very little money you’re probably getting paid as a recent college grad. While you’re on an entry-level salary, it’s important to make sure you’re not spending every bit of the money you earn on your living expenses. Not only will this help you avoid slipping into debt, but it will also ensure that you’re able to save enough money to have something to fall back on—just in case.

Moving Into the Apartment

There’s a good chance that in college, your dad was there with his truck and your entire family in tow every time you moved. In the real world, that’s not always the case. Moving your stuff to a new apartment down the road is a feat in itself, but many students end up moving across the country upon graduating from college—an enormous task for which no one is prepared.

One important part of moving to note is that you don’t always have to take your every belonging to the place you’re planning to move. If you have a lot of huge furniture and closets full of clothes, the best option may just be to downsize. If you’re a person that doesn’t mind driving a U-Haul and dealing with hauling your couch up five flights of stairs, then more power to you—that may very well be your best option. But if you’re going it alone and you just don’t have the manpower (or the will) to go through that trouble, consider selling your furniture and buying more affordable, used pieces after you move. Not only will you save yourself a lot of trouble, you can give yourself a fresh start to your adult life and say goodbye to that twin bed that’s haunted you the past four years.

Setting the Budget

Once you know how much you’ll be spending on an apartment, you can start to work on the rest of your budget. Post grads often have a lot of expenses piling up after graduation, so those extra bills and payments should be the main focus of the budget that’s set. A good rule of thumb to follow is to try not to have your fixed expenses equal more than 50 percent of your budget. So if your rent is 30 percent, you don’t want your utilities, loan payments, and any other monthly bills to be more than 20 percent of your paycheck. That leaves plenty of room for the rest of the expenses you’ll have during the month.

Maintaining the Budget

Once you know exactly how much money will be coming out of your paycheck each month, you can start spending the rest! Okay, kidding—kind of. But this part of the budget is definitely up to your discretion. Budgeting for yourself is not a one-size-fits-all equation—you have to take into account your lifestyle, and how much you need to spend on certain things each month. Are you obsessed with beauty products, but couldn’t care less about what food you’re eating day-to-day? Factor that in! Try to plan for the products and services you know you’ll want and need to spend money on each month. Expenses that aren’t fixed are definitely harder to control, but if you set goals and boundaries for yourself, they become much easier to maintain.

Beyond the Budget

When you’re young, it’s easy to focus on the moment at hand and forget about the distant future. Yet when you’re just starting a job and branching out on your own, it’s incredibly important to set a foundation for yourself—just in case life happens. While it may seem like your budget is already stretched to its limit, there is always room to save a little bit extra. Set up a separate account for your money, and deposit something into it each paycheck, or even just each month. If you have to forgo eating out a couple times a week to save even just $50 a month, you’ll survive—and the savings will add up quickly.

Connecting With Friends

When you move cities, it’s surprisingly easy to lose contact with the many friends you made in college—even your closest ones. While you think you’ll keep your group text going strong forever, the reality is that life gets in the way very quickly. Because of this, it’s important to make a concerted effort to reach out to friends and let them know they matter to you. Send a text once a month, or start a tradition of sending snail mail back and forth to keep in touch. Even when you’re busy, friends should never be put on the back burner. As an adult, you quickly learn that the people you love matter much more than superficial things, and they’re the ones that keep you sane. No matter what, don’t let them slip away.

Connecting With Contacts

In the professional world, staying connected with your contacts is essential. Whether it’s a former professor or internship supervisor, everyone you’ve ever made a connection with will be important to your career—which is why it’s imperative to keep them in your life. You don’t have to email them frequently by any means; however, sending them a message or arranging to grab coffee together once every couple of months will keep your connection strong and authentic. Sure, you may not need help with anything now—but a couple of months or years down the road, having connections you’ve kept up with can go as far as landing you a job.

Setting a Routine

You may have gotten away with eating terribly and never sleeping in college, but living that way as a working adult just isn’t sustainable. But when you’re just beginning your adult life, it’s suprisingly easy to forget that you have to take care of yourself along with all your other responsibilities. So before you get inundated with life and all its surpises, set a little time aside to plan how you’re going to maintain your health and your sanity. There are tons of little ways to ensure this, and it largely depends on what self care means to you. Maybe it’s signing up for a gym membership, or setting aside two to three hours every Sunday to meal prep for the week. Whatever your needs are, make a conscious effort to set the time aside to tend to them.

Maintaining a Routine

Taking care of yourself sounds all well and good—until life happens. Jobs get overwhelming, money gets tight, and you become exhausted. Yet that’s even more reason to put the effort into maintaining your routine. It’s easy to get off track, but it’s also surprisingly easy to get back on track as well. And maybe that means taking a weekend off from going out with your friends—but in the end, it’s well worth it. A few extra hours to yourself to regroup and recharge are priceless, and will inevitably help you to think more clearly about what you need. Is your body craving less exercise and more sleep? Do you need to let yourself indulge a little more? Maybe you need to adjust your self care plan to meet the demands of your life. Whatever the case may be, the important thing is to make sure you’re taking the time each week or month to think about it and carry it out. No matter what, you shouldn’t ever forget about taking care of yourself—the rest will always fall right into place.

What are your real world struggles? Tell us in the comments below!

How to Make a Statement at Graduation

Graduation day is all about celebrating your greatest achievements with your professors, friends, and family. Regardless of the degree you are receiving and whether the degree is in high school, college, or graduate school, graduation is the closing of a chapter and beginning of another. Of course, graduation day would not be complete without your tassel, gown, and cap. In recent years, students have made decorating their caps a part of the graduation experience. Not only does decorating your cap make it easier for your family to spot you in the crowd of millions of students, but it also allows you to be creative, express yourself, and celebrate your achievements in your own way.

Below are just a few images of these amazing caps that popped out in the sea of blue at the Fashion Institute of Technology graduation this past May!

Students get the chance to be creative with their caps to show them off on the big day. They are inspired by celebrities, memes seen on Twitter or Instagram, family and friends, or even the major they are graduating from. There are many forms of inspiration that help to make each cap unique and special for the graduate. Before starting this DIY project, students take time off from their busy schedules to run down to their nearest arts and crafts store to pick up the supplies needed to create their masterpieces. A few of these supplies could be ribbon, stickers, embellishments, scrapbook paper, paint, and pre-cut letters: the list goes on!

Because everyone is wearing the same-colored cap and gown, it is hard to differentiate the graduate from the mass of students. Decorated caps allow them to show off their one-of-a-kind personalities and express their ideas and thoughts. Many times, these caps have heartwarming quotes or funny sayings that others can relate to as well. Students get to add little hints and details of what makes them special and stand out. Depending on the student, some go all out and others remain more minimalistic.

At the end of the day, everyone is there to celebrate your achievements. Many students have dedicated their caps to acknowledge and thank their parents, families, professors, and friends who inspire and push them to be the best and have helped them get where they are today. Some focus on where they come from and the journey they’ve taken that makes graduation day such a special experience. Others just acknowledge the fact that they received another degree to add on to the list and that they are finally done with school forever. Regardless, these decorated caps are just another touch to an already special occasion that only comes around a few times in one’s life. Don’t be afraid to get creative, show off your caps, and be yourself on graduation day because it is all about you!

Have you decorated your cap for the big day? Show us on social media by tagging us @Cfashionista.

These Real Style Evolutions Will Prove You Actually Learned Something in College

So much has changed for me over the past four years of college. I went from being a clueless 17-year-old freshman who couldn’t wait to have fun to a hardworking college graduate who can’t wait to have a career (and even more fun in the real world). That transition definitely didn’t happen overnight. Every year that went by defined my outlook on work, friendships, relationships, and even my choice in fashion.

I knew I couldn’t be the only one who felt that combination of nostalgia and embarrassment when it came to my personal style evolution. So I asked some of my fellow graduating seniors to take a trip down style memory lane and share their style evolution from freshman to senior year.

Kelsey Baska, graduate from University of Kansas, Strategic Communications Major

Freshman year: “I’m glad that I’ve ditched the kimonos! But I can say that I appreciate all the risks I took because now I can wear anything with out being self conscious of what other people will think.”

Senior year: “My wardrobe mainly consists of classic silhouettes and neutral tones, a little more girly. But I’ve learned how to modify trends to fit my personal style.”

Sofina Bassett, graduate from University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Freshman year: “My style freshman year was very soft, girly, and Blair Waldorf-esque”

Senior year: “My style has definitely evolved. And while I still like feminine clothes, I now really like more edgy, street style looks. I wear a lot more leather and black and own fashion sneakers, which freshman me would never have worn!”

Rachel Park, graduate of University of California, San Diego, Communications Major

Freshman year: “Looking back, I think I paid a lot of attention to my clothes freshman year. I planned each outfit the night before and nine out of 10 times the outfit included my trusty ol’ Dr. Martens. I loved wearing black and layered a ton (whether it was with my clothes or accessories).”

Senior year: “Now, comfort is my number one priority. I wear a lot of oversized loose items and I’m rarely caught with skinny jeans on. I’m really happy I took a lot of risks during my early college career, but I’m glad I’ve been incorporating more colorful, bright, and flowy pieces to my wardrobe!”

Alexandra Scandolo, graduate of University of Toronto

Freshman year: “I came into my first year at the University of Toronto thinking I had really found my style, that I was finally presenting my most genuine self. I had a penchant for fit-and-flare dresses and loved Zooey Deschanel; I was essentially moonlighting as her for half my first year. When I cut all my hair off and started looking at blogs more, I found myself drawn to different looks.”

Senior year: “I’m definitely more daring now in how I dress and I’ve strayed away from copying anyone. I think this is the most authentic I’ve ever been, and it took all of those phases I went through in university to get me here.”

Myself, Peyton Lee, graduate of York College of Pennsylvania, Public Relations Major

Freshman year: “I put a lot of emphasis into how I looked freshman year, but I was putting a lot of my time into other things and not making fashion a priority. I spent money on many cheap pieces of clothing instead of saving and investing in more valuable classics. I also was very afraid to stand out, and I only wore ‘safe’ clothes that no one would question.”

Senior year: “Studying fashion and living in New York City and Florence, Italy changed my perspective on clothing. I realized that while trends are always changing, style is defined by the individual. That is why I stick to classic pieces but add my own personal touches to create authentic looks. Now, I don’t care about what others think about my clothes, because it’s so much fun to wear things for just you.”

How has your style changed over your college career? Show us your style evolution on social by tagging @Cfashionista on Instagram!