An Outfit for the On-the-Go Young Adult

As a college student, one way to describe myself is busy and on the go. Between getting the grades I want, having a social life, and having an internship, I stay doing something at all times. With a busy, on the go schedule, we lose the need for creating looks we feel great wearing. I know when I’m in a rush, I tend to throw on whatever I can grab first, not caring about what looks good or what I think is a good outfit. Usually an XL T-shirt and leggings will do the trick for me.

What we don’t realize is that creating a simple outfit is easy to do, and it doesn’t interrupt our on-the-go schedules. A fun, casual look only requires seconds of throwing together a few pieces, and then you’re ready for the day—no matter where it decides to take you.

First, what you’ll need is a nice, comfortable, and chic top. In the pictures, I’m wearing a pale pink velvet crop top. This shirt is perfect for any occasion. It feels good to wear, adds color to my outfit, and isn’t too casual dressy. It’s perfect for a picnic and day of exploring. You could also see a movie, grab coffee, or even go to the grocery in a top like this.

Next are some fun bottoms. Once again, comfort is key. In the pictures, I’m wearing boyfriend jeans. These are simple, but also make an outfit just a little bit cuter than a normal jean or jean shorts. I can wear these anywhere I need to go without looking like I’m trying hard, but still maintaining a sense of style.

The final step is shoes. As an on-the-go student, you don’t want to walk around in shoes that’ll hurt your feet and give you blisters, so this is where a simple sandal or slip-on shoe is perfect.

Having a few on-the-go outfits planned and in your closet will help you look your best at all times. These outfits are perfect for wherever life takes you! Post your on the go looks on Instagram and make sure to tag @Cfashionista when you do!

Rocking the Decades—’90s Edition

Recently feeling like you’re in an episode of Beverley Hills, 90210 or swear you just saw Bayside hottie Kelly Kapowski walking down the sidewalk? Well, don’t get too excited, you haven’t been transported into your favorite retro television show. Instead, the fashion got sent to you. The ’90s are back, baby!

When it comes to trying your hand at retro fashion, there’s always the concern of looking like you’re walking into a Halloween party. You want to rock the decade, not win best costume. So here are this Fashionista’s tips on bringing back my favorite decade.

1—Make it authentic. Because the ’90s were not too long ago (hard to believe right?) you can definitely still find authentic clothing at your local thrift store. My favorite thing to snag is a nice retro T-shirt. Sometimes it’s hard to find the perfect style and fit while searching through racks of vintage clothes, so don’t be afraid to personalize it! Because you aren’t (and shouldn’t) be breaking the bank with this purchase, imagine what it would look like with some DIY alterations. I love finding an oversize T-shirt and cutting it into the perfect crop-top.

2—Mix old and new. Now that you’ve got your vintage piece, head to your favorite retailer and check out those re-vamped ’90s trends. High-waisted jeans and shorts are so in right now, so you should have no problem finding your perfect pair. Don’t forget to add your favorite kicks to the look. Bulky white sneakers are all that right now, and bonus points if you want to rock the platform.

3—Keep it simple. While I absolutely love ’90s accessories and any excuse to bring out my scrunchies, chokers, and barrettes galore, it’s always good to make sure not to go overboard. Overdoing accessories is the biggest culprit in getting you into that “costumey” category. I like to pick one ’90s accessory (typically a dope choker) and use this to complete the look.

What’s your favorite way to rock this decade? Show us on social media! Don’t forget to tag @Cfashionista.

Exclusive! Iskra and Halima Get Candid on Self-Love and Breaking Stereotypes

Created with American Eagle Outfitters

The official CollegeFashionista podcast is taking the internet by storm! As a top ranked and noteworthy podcast on iTunes, we are excited to share with you more episodes and continue to provide unique content you won’t hear anywhere else!

What could make CollegeFashionista’s IRL podcast recording even better? How about having not one but two incredible women who personify the term “Girl Power” as our guests?

Attendees at the recording were given the privilege to take part in a candid conversation with two of the most inspiring and game changing young women out there today, that faces of American Eagle Outfitters‘ fall campaign: Iskra Lawrence and Halima Aden. Besides being beautiful inside and out, Iskra and Halima have successfully quieted the noise and rose to have successful multi-hyphenated careers.

Before Iskra became the single name celebrated model-activist she is today, she had to overcome a lot of obstacles society put in her way. Growing up, every time she went to other castings, Iskra thought “‘I don’t look like these other girls. My body shape is just a bit curvier.'” But that didn’t stop her. Instead it inspired her to embrace her individual body, creating a calendar that celebrated women of all shapes and sizes with the proceeds going to cervical cancer. The calendar was a success. “From that time on, I realized I didn’t want to retouch my photos. I started talking about this online. [I then] heard about Aerie and their unretouched campaign and thought, “Wow this is the first brand and company I have ever seen that I felt like I really aligned with.'”

Self representation is a sentiment that fellow model-inclusivity activist Halima felt when she first sought to start her career. After being born in a refugee camp in Kenya and moving to the states, Halima entered the Miss Minnesota pageant not to try to fit into a stereotypical look, but rather she wasn’t seeing women like her being represented. Halima became the first contestant to wear a hijab and burkini. “I didn’t have modeling in mind; I just wanted representation.”

While their stories are different, their energy and success are rooted in the same thing: being true to yourself. “If you’re forcing yourself to be a square key trying to get into a round hole or trying to be like someone else, that space is already taken. You can’t be that person. You have to be yourself,” noted Iskra. “You will be valuable when you are yourself.”

“You can’t compare yourself what the next girl is doing. You don’t have the same journey.” Halima shared with the audience, “Share the love. At the end of the day, we are all women. We all have obstacles. We all have things we can do better at. But we have to be each other’s biggest cheerleaders.”

These two women inspired our audience and will inspire you the listener at home with their powerful journeys, messages, and advice to finding your voice.

Whether you are heading to your internship, taking a coffee break, or unwinding in bed, you can access these “Office Hours” at your convenience. Check us out the latest episode and all episodes on iTunes and Soundcloud.

Get ready to get schooled in style (and learn a thing or two in the process).

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 Get the Perfect Skincare Routine

Finding the perfect skincare routine can be intimidating, but luckily I have done the research for you. I found that there are five main skin types: normal, oily, dry, sensitive, and combination. When finding out your perfect skincare routine, know your skin type first. For me, my skin is mainly oily and sensitive.

The Clean & Clear Face Cleanser not only acts as a cleanser, but it also is an exfoliator and a treatment for pimples. Following the cleanser is the toner. Before, I never used to think that a toner would make a difference, but it’s actually one of the main elements for a skincare routine. A toner is mainly used to elevate the pH balance on your skin. I absolutely love this Clinique Acne Solutions Clarifying Lotion because of the acne medication it contains. I truly believe that this was one the products that helped out my acne.

After you apply your toner, your face is absolutely clean. This is the best time to apply any medication to treat pimples or acne scars. If I feel a pimple coming up, I use the Acne Spot Treatment from Target. It always works like a charm! Now there are times when you can get those dark spots once the pimple has been “popped.” Those are acne scars. A lot of the time, these are created due to a high sun exposure. A way of minimizing them is by applying vitamin C, which is contained in products like Neutrogena Rapid Tone Repair Dark Spot Corrector. I noticed the change in my skin shortly after applying it everyday.

After the medication, you then apply your moisturizer. Applying your moisturizer should always be the last item you put on your face. This is when you seal everything together. What I love about Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel is that it doesn’t make my skin feel sticky or greasy after applying it like other products do. In fact, it actually feels refreshing.

On days where I feel like pampering my skin, I exfoliate. My favorite exfoliator is Boscia Exfoliating Peel Gel. You apply it on your face and literally rub off the dirt. It’s always a good idea to exfoliate at least one a week.

Another product I use to control the acne scars is the E.L.F. Blemish Control Face Primer. If I skip the medication part of my skincare routine, this is my back up—it’s another alternative for blemishes. Now, in order for these products to actually work, you have to wait at least three minutes before applying the next item. This will allow for the product to actually penetrate deep inside your skin. It may seem like a lot, but trust me, your skin will definitely thank you for it

What are your tips for finding the perfect skincare routine? Let me know in the comments below.

An Open Letter to Fashion Outsiders

Does the fashion industry have more issues than Vogue? It’s an enigma to outsiders. Some common stereotypes classify the industry as shallow, self-absorbed, and superficial, but industry insiders know that at the heart of fashion is art, self-expression, and empowerment. Let’s face it, the fashion industry has a tremendous impact on society. Consumers have an emotional connection to fashion. Fashion can be poetic, political, radical; it is never unimportant. However, society criticizes fashion for its vanity while simultaneously valuing the importance of appearance. What you wear says a lot about who you are. Caring about fashion doesn’t mean you are shallow. People are able to express themselves through their style.

I’ve gone through various style phases in the process of finding my identity and gaining self-confidence. However, sometimes this industry that I love creates unrealistic ideas about beauty and also struggles with diverse representation. Those in the fashion industry need to be especially critical of these issues, but times are changing and brands are stepping up to combat these issues. Consider the positive body image campaign launched by Aerie that features models of various sizes and skin colors with no digital retouching. The fashion industry is constantly evolving, and with the industry’s great power comes great responsibility.

Working in fashion requires discipline, passion, intelligence, and perseverance. Fashion projects an image and a feeling, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the industry has no depth. Fashion is hard work and creative energy—it’s not all fashion week or The Devil Wears Prada. Another common stereotype is that fashion is unattainable for those without substantial financial means, and everyone only wears expensive designers from head to toe. But if anyone can appreciate the thrill of a finding a good piece at Forever 21, Zara, or the thrift store, it’s fashion people. 

The fashion industry and those that work in it deserve a better reputation. An interest in fashion is no more shallow than any other interests that people have, so why is only fashion labeled as “shallow” while other interests are considered valid? Parts of fashion are glamorous, but we must not overlook the dark side of the industry as well. I encourage outsiders to no longer look down on the fashion industry. Instead, celebrate it for its ability to make people happy and confident while simultaneously inspiring art, beauty, and identity.

What does fashion mean to you? Let us know in the comments below! 

How I Used Fashion as a Reflection of My Beliefs

The featured outfit, along with the pose, is a nod to the “Fearless Girl” statue in the Financial District of New York City. This reflection is to add light in response to the negativity surrounding the “Fearless Girl” and to show that even when faced with adversity, we will remain strong.

1—The Boots

Like the statue, I have on a dress to reflect femininity and how being feminine and female does not make you weak. To further signify strength I paired my dress with black combat boots to reflect a fighter. This reflection shows that being female and being a fighter are not mutually exclusive.

2—The Style

My go-to style tends to be grayscale, earthy, and natural. The darker the colors, the better. Even with colors as low-key as those in my comfort zone, a lot can be done to spice things up. If you’re like me and have the same toned-down color scheme and style, then you’ve probably been questioned about your lack of vivid colors and bling during such bright seasons. What these people fail to realize is that sometimes less is actually more. I used this idea to provide depth to my ode to the “Fearless Girl.”

3—The Dress

Here, I have on a dark purple dress with floral patterns. The floral patterns of the dress are in response to the transition into warmer weather and the display of femininity. The three cut-outs along the neckline create a bold look, making it unnecessary for further embellishment. Similarly, the dress’s bell-sleeves make it so that not wearing wrist accessories won’t make the look too plain. I did, however, add on some rings to my ring and pinky finger.

4—The Accessories

I just started getting into the idea of wearing rings this year. Growing up all I knew was that if you wore a ring you’d wear one on your ring or index finger. Now, I’ve learned to mix and match and try new things. I wore a silver ring with a big, black pearl on my ring finger. Attention is brought to my hands on my hips when the “Fearless Girl” pose is struck. It also makes the look not so plain. On my pinky I have a silver textured band to signify the bumpy roads we must encounter, especially as females.

To contrast the darker tones the outfit encompasses I added pale pink pearl earrings to bring light to a heavy topic. Finally, the look is complete.

Through my fashion and my style I was able to put together an outfit that symbolizes and reminds me of my beliefs.

What are some less overt ways you show support for what you believe in? Let me know in the comments below!


Five Ways to Love Yourself

We can all relate to that eternal struggle: trying to love your entire self unconditionally. But try as we may, sometimes it just isn’t that easy. Somedays we feel like we aren’t good enough (spoiler alert: you are!) because we don’t look like models in magazines. But the truth is, not many of us do. It would be a tragedy not to celebrate how beautifully diverse we are. But for those days that you aren’t feeling yourself, here are some ways to love you:

1—Follow Your Body Doubles. When our social media is plastered with personally unrealistic body standards, it can warp our inner thoughts on beauty. The best way to combat this is to follow social media superstars who you can relate to. Whether you love your voluptuous thighs like Ashley Graham or look to hijab wearing model Mariah Idrissi, seeing relatable people who are embracing their individuality can be truly empowering.

2—Rock Your Favorite Look. Sometimes the best way to beat the body blues is to look fabulous. Dig through your wardrobe for the outfit that makes you feel like you can take on the world. Whether it’s your little black dress or a pair of sweatpants, if it makes you feel beautiful and sexy, rock it!

3—Empowering Mirror Messages. When we look in the mirror, we often become consumed with pointing out our flaws. We wish we could change this or that and never take a second to admire the beauty before us. So instead, look in the mirror and say one thing that you love about yourself out loud. Write it on a sticky note and slap it to the mirror. Now every glance at your gorgeous self, you’ll be reminded of what makes you beautiful.

4—Talk with Your Person. We all have that someone who we can bare our heart to. Whether it’s your best friend, S.O., or mom, they’ll always provide that needed pick me up. It’s natural to have days where we feel like we aren’t enough. But it’s important that we don’t get stuck in that mindset. You are your toughest critic, so it’s refreshing to talk to someone who sees your worth. Hit them up and listen to their words of encouragement with an open heart.

5—Enjoy Yourself. Do that something that brings you joy. It may be a beach day or binging Netflix in your PJs. Whatever it is, go and enjoy! For in these moments of euphoria, you realize that you are so much more than your body. You are an incredible individual with your own passions and experiences that are unique to you.

It’s time to love yourself! You are so much more than your insecurities. Your body doesn’t define you, so go into the world and celebrate how incredibly exceptional you are!

How do you love yourself? Let us know in the comments below! 

3 Reasons Why You Need This One Book

Lets rewind back to January. I was in the Cleveland airport waiting to get on a plane that would take me to Riviera Maya for a week. Who wouldn’t want to be escaping the snow for a beach in Mexico? However, I only had a few magazines on my phone and a book I surely did not want to read with me. I walked into the airport bookstore and staring back at me was that pale pink cover of Sophia Amoruso’s New York Times bestseller, #GIRLBOSS.

So, why exactly do you NEED to read this book?

1—NOTHING is left out.

Sophia keeps it real on how she got to where she is today. The whole girl boss movement has taken the world and our millennial generation by storm and contrary to belief, this movement does not seek instant gratification. The whole idea of being a girl boss or boss babe is working for what you want!

2—You can feel the engaging content rolling off of the pages.

We all have our weaknesses and it is refreshing to learn about Sophia’s timeline of events that led up to becoming the founder and CEO of Nasty Gal. She makes you laugh at her one-of-a-kind personality, then on the next page makes you reflects on your own actions and what you are doing to be successful in your personal endeavors.

3—Pure motivation.

Lets be honest here, we are all a little uncertain about something at this point in our lives. Sometimes, we need motivation to kick us in the butt and get us going on the right path. We just need enough motivation to do something as small as showering and getting to class (Shout out to dry shampoo on those rough days.) The tricky part is it takes the RIGHT motivation. #GIRLBOSS is more than a “you can do it!” testimonial. It’s how someone became successful and made something of them. Sophia urges us to “not stop chasing after something even after finding success.”

Fast forward to June, #GIRLBOSS is now a Netflix series that I binge watched in a few days time and a much-loved book I still refer to when I need to feel inspired. In the closing of #GIRLBOSS, Sophia sends a fresh reminder, “Remember, I touched every piece of clothing in those thrift stores. You have to do that with your life.”

Will you be reading #GIRLBOSS this summer? Let us know in the comments below!

WHAT TO WEAR: Final-ly Free Fashion

After spring break, just when you think you’ve reached the point of no return, when all is darkness, late nights, and libraries… finals come. And finals go. And, finally, the light at the end of the tunnel is once again visible. Like the rest of the world coming into bloom, you, the classroom cave-dweller of a college student, are able to emerge from your pit o’ doom, gloom, and deadlines; ready to re-enter the world in full technicolor, stepping out of scholastic mode and into summer, sunshine, and sandals mode. And it’s high time to dress the part!

School’s out, spring is here, and as a Fashionista or Fashionisto, you gotta make like a leaf and bring color back into your life! This Fashionista pictured definitely pulled a Persephone—re-emerging from the underworld (of deadlines and homework that the last month of school is) in a popping shade of pink! Armed with a rose quartz pendant to detox any lingering negative vibes, she worked the theme of refresh, renew, and revive throughout her look. With a black crop top and cuffed pants combo, she lightened her look with a pink satin bomber, pastel-hued cat tote bag, nude nails, and a newly lightened ‘do.

Okay, yeah, spring’s all about colors, and blossoms, pastels (and, if you’re a college student, a new lease on life), but why pink? Color is a crazy thing: The fact that this here Fashionista told me her outfit was the first thing she grabbed once she was free from finals was hardly coincidental. Even if not you’re up on your trend guides, you’ve undoubtedly seen on social media and store fronts the plethora of pink everything, long before those April showers brought May flowers. Why the color craze? With so much worldwide uncertainty for politics, people, and planet, pink is a psychologically calming color (the desaturated shade is universally flattering, gender neutral yet feminine, a statement for strong and soft), “millennial pink,” is the equivalent of rose tinted glasses in some undoubtedly deeply dark times. From Women’s March pussy hats to pro-Planned Parenthood protests, pink is the new punk…. and definitely the color to be seen in.

What to wear on your first day of finals freedom? Follow this Fashionista’s lead and strut your stuff. Radiate strong, soft, sincere renewal in some rose-tinted accessories, and let your style get you ready to roll for a scholastic and stress-free season. Put a little spring in your step and get in the pink!