FASHION FROM ABROAD: Bright Winter Blues

One of the most exciting parts of studying abroad is having the chance to meet people from all over the world. So far I´ve met an 18-year-old Canadian traveling solo for a year, a band of hipster German men and of course, Spaniards. If you thought America was a melting pot, you need to come to Europe.

This week, I was sitting on a bench waiting for class to start and enjoying my favorite pastime: peoplewatching. As a couple walked by, a glint of bright hues caught my gaze. When I approached this week´s Fashionisto and his friend, I learned they were Belgian travelers. I asked him if I should go to Brugges or Brussels (they both agreed on Brugges if you were wondering), and he was more than happy to have his photo taken.

This time is winter in Spain right now. Although there have been some sunny days this season, normally the weather is cold and brittle. Winter shades are usually dark grays and deep blues, so it was refreshing to see a change of pace on the streets. He didn’t have to be wearing neon to stand out.

He paired a Zara button-down shirt with EBTM teal pants and a Scotch and Soda jacket. Next, the Fashionisto paired a gold Michael Kors watch with Ray-Ban aviators for a rich color accenting the turquoise tones. Brown leather boots with emerald, also known as “color of the year,” soles from a store in Belgium called Sasha played up the semiprecious stone similarities his outfit was emanating.

This comfortable, functional and travel-friendly ensemble reminds me of the beach because of the clear ocean colors and seahorse print of his shirt. In a coastal city like Barcelona, this Fashionisto proves that a pop of bright color can beat the winter blues.

WHAT TO WEAR: Traveling

There was always something really elegant about the Mad Hatter. I think his grace came from being free from caring what other people thought, free to be ridiculous and mad. This Fashionisto is free in that same way. It also doesn’t hurt that he speaks in a British accent. Here’s to beautifully bold VCU characters! This Fashionisto had a method to his madness, if you will; wearing almost all vintage.

In January of 1797 a designer in England wore the first top hat. It was such an astounding look for the time and then a large, captivated group crowded around him. The police arrested him saying he was disturbing public order. After being released, the papers of that time put out that the police made a mistake and that soon all men would adopt the style. Talk about a fashion statement!

The papers were right. In the 18th century men who wore top hats were known as dandies. The dandies formed “The Macaroni Club” after traveling all over Europe. They wanted to bring southern elegance to their overcast country. They made top hats associated with traveling, which brings us to our dandy Fashionisto.

Our Fashionisto is ready to travel to class in the cold or to travel the world in his getup. The tan felt top hat is brilliant upon brilliant; one was not enough. I love this bold choice but if you want to take the top hat even further, check out this awesome steam punk top hat. I also love the double breasted long coat this Fashionisto is rocking. I found a similar look at an incredible price in the trench coat version; it is still vintage and has a wool lining as well!

Now, let’s talk about these incredible shoes. I found a very similar pair of Taupe Suede Oxford Dress Shoes. The first real Oxford Shoe was shown in London in 1925: the Red Oxford Shoe. It is pretty incredible that styles from that far back can still make an impact and inspire us so deeply today!

One Simple Change: Take the on-the-go scarf off, and you have a great fancy night out look.

WHAT TO WEAR: Traveling

Studying abroad in a place like London opens up many opportunities to travel around the United Kingdom, as well as Europe. And one of the best parts of traveling is the people you meet along the way. While traversing train stations and cobblestone roads in this vivacious city, I encounter many unique characters and spot a myriad of interesting outfits.

I met this Fashionisto while standing in line to top off my Oyster card AKA put money on the card that lets me onto the Tube. His outfit caught my eye immediately because it was so well accessorized and sharp. His black bowler hat, big-framed glasses, checkered scarf and brown leather messenger bag give his ensemble a whimsically professional air. The dark gray blazer further contributes to the formal aspect of his get-up, but he adds a quirky twist with his subtly purple and black checkered skinny jeans that show off his teal socks and black flat platform wedges. The well-tailored blazer also emphasizes the polished quality of his attire, which is additionally highlighted by the color-coordination running rampant. His teal socks match the teal button-up shirt underneath his blazer and there is a consistent theme of blacks and grays from his hat to his shoes.

His choice of clothing is perfect for travel because it allows for easy identification. The splashes of bright colors and checkered patterns help him stand out in a crowd, so if he is meeting up with friends they can quickly find him in a mob of people. This saves a lot of time that is often lost in the Where’s-Waldo-esque search at airports and train stations. Moreover, a blazer is preferred when traveling because it allows for more efficient mobility, while maintaining the warmth provided by a heavy jacket.

If you want to turn heads and look as if you just stepped out of a fashion magazine, like this stylish fiend, play with the business man look by adding in wacky accessories and flashy colors. Start with a blazer on top of playfully patterned jeans, and follow with a plain colored shirt underneath the blazer to avoid the messiness of too much clutter. After the apparel is pieced together, go to town with accessories! Add a scarf, glasses, a watch, etc. Then, put on your best runway face and strut past your fellow adventurers in all your posh glory!

One Simple Change: By switching the scarf with a bow-tie and ditching the hat, this outfit transforms from fitting travel gear to an ideal fancy date-night suit. Add a sweater vest or suspenders for jocularity and impress your date with your ritzy sense of style!


FASHION FROM ABROAD: I’m Leaving On A Jet Plane

Bags are packed, ticket is printed and all that is left is the long day of traveling ahead. The hardest part about traveling: figuring out what to wear.  Especially on a long flight like mine, comfort is key. Although I always want to reach for sweats and a hoodie, the Fashionista in me craves a look with a little more style. When entering a new place, I want to look my best — particularly when I am planning to sightsee as soon as I reach my destination!

This Fashionista wears the perfect combination of comfy, practical and stylish. For myself, I search for an outfit guaranteed to keep me warm, because lets face it, the blankets provided on the plane aren’t always that cozy. Her moccasins, multi-colored knit scarf and puffy down vest are great for ensuring warmth, while also adding some thoughtful layers of style. The three pieces are easily removable, which comes in handy when traveling from the balmy temperatures of Los Angeles to the cold winter weather in London. She pairs the scarf, vest and moccasins with a basic light pink sweater and blue jeans. The simple duo creates a basic palette that is comfortable enough for a plane snooze yet can be easily transformed later with boots and a coat for dinner at a pub. Practicality comes in the form of her oversized cross-body bag, which provides ample room for all the airplane essentials.

So, thanks to the help of this Fashionista, plane wear is made easy! A look that combines comfort and style is destined to make you feel as fresh leaving the plane as you did getting on. Most importantly, it will ensure that you are ready for a day of exploring!


When dressing for a ten-hour flight from Los Angeles to London, you automatically want to grab yoga pants, UGGs and an oversized sweatshirt. It’s wise that you want to be comfy in the cramped seats with limited legroom. The only problem is that you find yourself at your destination wearing that exact same outfit. On top of feeling drowsy, exhausted and completely drained, your clothes reflect that just as well. But looking put together doesn’t always mean you have to sacrifice comfort.

As I was waiting in the airport terminal for my flight, I came across this Aussie Fashionista exiting the terminal near me. She looked cool, calm and collected for someone who had been traveling for fourteen hours. Wearing a pair of stretchy caramel colored corduroy jeans, she looked put together yet comfortable enough for a long flight. To top it off, the cozy cashmere sweater she wore provided some warmth dually for the flight and her destination. It is always important to remember not where you are leaving, but also where you are going. Since California has a pretty mild winter, she wears light boat shoes. They provide easy comfort and add a little more class than the typical sneaker. Her backpack completes the look of a young jetsetter with its corresponding color and easy accessibility for trekking around.

Traveling isn’t always easy, but that doesn’t mean your outfit has to be a challenge either! When you wear clothes that look like you just got out of the gym or rolled out of bed, you can come off as looking sloppy and disorganized. Especially if your flight lands in the middle of the day, like mine did, you don’t want to start your first day off dressed for bedtime. In forgiving materials you can find an equal balance between comfort and style. It’s a great feeling when you can step off the plane dressed in style and be ready for the adventure that awaits!


ACCESSORIES REPORT: The Traveling Satchel

Here in my hometown, we love our markets. It is the perfect activity on Sunday mornings. You can delight yourself with a coffee and sugared jam donut while you browse for a unique thrifted item. When it comes to summer time, however, we like to change it up a notch. Our night-markets behold everything from live bands, food trucks, fashion stalls and arts and crafts. Considering that my university is nearby to the local night-market, it is perfect for a stroll after class.

Whether you’re planning to go for either a market stroll after class or a dinner with friends, or you are running from class to class all day, you want to look, at least, a little bit stylish on-the-go. You need a bag that can be used dawn to dusk. I recommend a satchel just like this Fashionista’s, which I spotted while I was at the markets. The satchel is perfect to place your school books in, during the day, and is suitable for any extra knick-knacks you may have at night. Plus, it is super trendy! Spring 2013 ready-to-wear collections had the satchel covered: Diane von Furstenberg, Tory Burch, 3.1 Phillip Lim, The Row and Chris Benz x Cambridge Satchel Company.

Before I snapped a photo of this Fashionista, I asked where she got her satchel bag. She said, with a beaming smile and little chuckle, “I got it from Vietnam!” She explained that she traveled to southeast Asia within the past month and practically stayed next to the coastal beaches for the entire trip. Her quirky top, with mild blue hints, her chunky necklace and her pair of pastel green shorts all resembled tropical, oceanic colours. Thus, her choice of outfit made sense–I could see the inspiration from the beach. Her bright blue satchel added an extra touch of brightness, and the bag perfectly complements her outfit.

Traditionally, the school-boy bag was crafted in leather and came in either brown or black. Today’s satchels come in various bright hues and ethnic patterns, yet remain classic, preppy and trendy. This Fashionista’s satchel, in particular, is smaller in size than most, but it’s perfect to carry little notebooks, pens and basic essentials, such as your keys, wallet or phone.

Spotted: Tory Burch’s backpacks populated the fashion scene in fall 2011. However, this spring/summer 2013, we will be seeing Tory Burch’s satchels everywhere. During Burch’s collection’s runway show, the “life on the prairie”-inspired collection revealed a traveler-twist, so ethnic prints were quite prevalent. Follow this Fashionista’s ensemble and Tory Burch’s collection, showing inspiration from travels, and accessorize with a coloured or ethnic-inspired printed satchel.

WHAT TO WEAR : Traveling

After spending the holidays munching on cookies while curled up by the fire with old Buster, it’s finally time to make your way out of the comforts of mom’s home cooking and back into the adventure that is dorm life. Moving back in after winter break is surely easier than it was in September, making it a breeze to look good while carrying those heavy boxes full of sweaters. I ran into this Fashionisto in my hometown the day before classes started at the University of Kentucky as he was heading into his house with an armful of duffel bags.

You cannot miss his 100 percent lambswool winter sweater. Instead of complaining about the below freezing temperatures, borrow this Fashionisto’s ironic smirk and welcome it, with a side of sarcasm of course. The attitude appeals to the “go-to-hell” preppy aesthetic with its playful critter prints and bold colours. This Fashionisto’s look is a more subtle version that does play with prints, while keeping the colours more subdued with browns and dark greens.

The whimsical print of his sweater is toned down by a simple jean, perfectly tailored. It’s not only women that struggle to find the perfect fit. Find one that is a happy medium between the skinny-girlfriend-jeans and the baggy-1990s-boyband version for a clean-cut look. Naked and Famous has three different fits. Try the SlimGuy cut in Raised Selvedge.

The outfit is then finished off with Clark’s Originals Desert Boots in sand suede. This boot is a staple to any wardrobe paired with warm wool socks — easy to pull on and off, and perfect for when you want to look put together on more casual days.

Playfulness and warmth are key for this outfit. Clean details with a tinge of irony are what you need for safe travels back into your cozy dorm, and you’d still look good for the new girl that just moved in across the hall.

One Simple Change: If the printed sweater is a little too bold for your taste, try it peeking out under a jacket for a look that is equally great for meeting with a professor.

WHAT TO WEAR: Traveling

One great thing about Lipscomb University is that we have all kinds of opportunities to travel, such as study abroad and mission trips, experiences that are great for future careers. This Fashionista is taking advantage of one of the super cool opportunities offered here. I saw her pulling a suitcase across campus and decided to ask her where she was going. It turns out she is on her way to Santiago, Chile along with several other Lipscomb students. They’ll be gone for the whole semester. As a Fashionista myself, I can’t imagine packing outfits, accessories and shoes for a trip that long. I wish them all luck!

Although she is not leaving just yet, I thought her outfit was a great one for a travel day. She is wearing a knit blazer, V-neck, jeans, ankle boots and accessories. My favorite part of the outfit is her knit blazer. The bold stripes make it stand out while the soft fabric makes it super comfortable. This way she will feel great all day at the airport and not have to worry about discomfort or wrinkling. Check out this similar one from Macy’s. Jeans are a great option for travel as well. They are comfortable, not too hot or cold and again, no wrinkling. It is always best to wear low maintenance, easy-to-care-for items when traveling. You never know when you may have a delayed flight or unforeseen spill!

This Fashionista is very smart with her accessories. She wears a hat that adds a casual aspect to her outfit without looking sloppy. This way she won’t have to worry about her hair all day. It doesn’t get any better than that. She has also added an oversized watch and bumble bee necklace for a little sparkle and fun. Her boots were planned well, too. The wedge ankle boots she is wearing add polish and sophistication while being cozy and easy to slide on and off through security. Just remember to wear cute socks.

One Simple Change: The good thing about wearing a blazer is that is has layering capabilities. You can wear all sorts of different things under it or layer accessories like long necklaces, brooches or belts. Luckily, this Fashionista is wearing a great black V-neck under her blazer. Not only does it match perfectly and provide a good, dark foundation for her outfit but it also provides a cooler option for when things get a little toasty. Just think, it will be hot when she arrives in Chile. Now all she has to do is take off her blazer and switch her boots for sandals like these from Forever 21. Her cozy travel outfit can easily be transformed into something cool and cute for warm weather.

STYLE GURU BIO: Jenna Lindley

My name is Jenna Lindley and I am a junior at Vanderbilt University. I am majoring in art history and minoring in classical civilizations. I have previously written for the STYLE ADVICE OF THE WEEK and FASHIONISTA SPOTLIGHT columns for CollegeFashionista. This semester, I am studying abroad in Florence, Italy, studying Italian and art history, and will be writing the FASHION FROM ABROAD column. I am excited to step outside of my comfort zone and see what the wonderful world of Italy has to offer, especially in the realms of fashion.

From Pucci to Gucci, Italy has its fashion bases covered. Even though I will not be in the Fashion capital of Milan, I am still looking forward to seeing how the people of Firenze interpret the art of clothing. I tend to stick to neutrals, to boots, to jeans and to adding accessories to make an outfit pop! Living in Houston and Nashville, I have developed a more western flare to my ensembles. I love my cowboy boots and my turquoise. But my travels have open my eyes to different looks and trends, so I would have to say my style is very eclectic. I have a feeling over the next few months, my outlook and sensibilities will change again. For now, I’m a Texas girl at heart who thinks of two words whenever buying clothes: cute and comfort.

While Italy is my home base, I will be traveling throughout Europe, writing and learning about European fashion! I hope to enlighten and expand reader’s fashion horizons this semester, along with my own. The Italians say: buona fortuna e auguri (good luck and best wishes); I feel like I’m going to need that during this exciting adventure.

WHAT TO WEAR: Weekend Getaway

It might just be the overdose of sunshine I’ve been soaking up lately, but all that’s been on my mind has been taking a scenic weekend getaway – so much so, in fact, that my sister and I decided to plan our own East Coast road trip adventure this summer.  I already have my favorite sunnies tucked away and a romantic maxi dress just waiting for its debut on a Carolina beach.

Whether you’re headed to a remote, sunny location or the bright city streets, dressing stylishly while on the road involves constructing multiple outfits from minimal pieces to create the illusion of a full wardrobe. I usually stick to one pair of pants, a few tops to mix and match, a pair of leggings and a maxi dress that I can dress up or down for day and night.

Maxi dresses are the perfect juxtaposition of casual and dramatic. This Fashionista caught my eye in an instant gliding through the streets of Oakland in her Lanston jersey maxi dress. The draped racer back delivers extra drama, while the nude color and cinched waist are extremely feminine and flattering. With a multitude of waistlines available in maxi dresses (empire, A-line, etc.) all Fashionistas are bound to find a style, print, fit and color that is perfect just for them. Try one similar to this in a sunnier color or pattern for summer days or an elegant silk one for nights.

Any weekend getaway with minimal clothing options requires accessories to experiment with. A delicate hand chain is an unexpected accent that’s been on my radar lately. Paired with a chunky ring on the opposite hand, this Fashionista’s adornments couldn’t be any more harmonizing. Her Lucky Brand sandals are neutral enough to pair with just about any summer outfit. Try a fancier, embellished pair of sandals or fun wedges when taking this dress from day to night.

Comfortable, fun and flattering are all key aspects to keep in mind, especially for a vacation wardrobe. Maxi dresses embody all three of these traits, and Fashionistas from coast to coast are guaranteed to find the perfect one just in time for summer.

One Simple Change: If you have an upcoming graduation to attend, a maxi is an appropriate outfit choice for the occasion. Add a denim jacket and some statement earrings to spice up the dress and you’re good to go!