Outfit of the Day: Valentine’s Day

For most single people, today is a nausea-inducing flurry of happy couples smothering you with their affection. They seemingly emerge from the woodwork to flood every coffee shop, restaurant and store to publicly celebrate their relationship, all in the name of love. For me, today has been a day of jamming to Webbie’s “Independent” and treating myself to some of my favorite things (shopping, coffee and Vietnamese food), all in the name of self-love.

As far as relationships go, I’m currently single as a Pringle and totally okay with it. As a senior in college, I’m in a transitional period of my life that doesn’t exactly set me up for romantic success. The “real world” is looming on the horizon, potentially drawing me to a new city to pursue my dreams of working in the print or online media industry. Plus, it doesn’t help that the selection pool of men in my college town is a jumbled mix of STD-carrying, frat tank-wearing asshats and socially awkward recluses. But that’s a whole other story in and of itself.

When I woke up this morning, I decided to get dressed to the nines for Valentine’s Day. I may have only gotten spruced up for myself and the random hipsters sitting near me right now in a coffee shop, but that’s okay. I’m a strong advocate of the adage “If you look good, you feel good.” And man, this outfit has me feeling like the spokeswoman for Nicki Minaj and Beyonce’s song “Feeling Myself.”

I encourage all you ~single ladies~ to mop up your self-pitying pool of tears and get out there to celebrate yourself today. Throw on a killer outfit that makes you feel confident, and rejoice in the fact that you don’t have to share your pizza with anyone (except your gal pals, of course)!

DSCN0905Say “cheeeeeeeeese!”

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Musings from a stylish summer in Europe

It’s been nearly three months since I landed back on American soil after my unforgettable seven-week European summer adventure. Following a two-week family road trip from Florence to Barcelona, I spent five of the most memorable weeks of my life studying abroad with my three best friends in Valencia, Spain. It’s safe to say that I nearly cry every Thursday, as I scroll through my photos trying to pick out what photo to use for #ThrowBackThursday. Valencia’s culture became a part of me in the short time I was there, and I miss the laidback, relaxed vibe of the people more and more each week.

I planned to blog every week during my time abroad, but I obviously didn’t stick to that commitment, as this is regrettably the first time I’ve posted on my blog since July 2. Though I would’ve loved to document my adventures and fashionable escapades along the way, I found myself wanting to be 100 percent immersed in everything I was experiencing. I probably passed up great opportunities for killer “Outfit of the Day” blog posts, but it’s all worth it for the memories I made. Trust me — I’d love to ramble on and reminisce about my weekend adventures to Paris, Ibiza, Barcelona and Madrid or the times my friends and I stayed out late enough to catch the sunrise on the beach. But I’ll spare you the details and just stick to the focus of my blog — fashion.

I was so stoked to receive the opportunity to start writing for CollegeFashionista, a website dedicated to college campus fashion trends, at the start of the summer. Once my European journey began, I started writing for the “Fashion From Abroad” section, which was a total dream come true. Being a Style Guru Intern for CollegeFashionista required (or should I say requires, as I still write for the site currently!) me to find a stylish stranger to photograph and write about once a week. From freely flowing fabrics to practical purses and flashy sunglasses to funky overalls, the European trends that I wrote about were all over the board.

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Menswear-inspired outfit of the day

Mother Nature has graced the city of Gainesville with some pretty funky weather lately. Within the past two weeks, I’ve experienced finger-numbing temperatures in the 40s and 50s. What does this mean?

  • For most people, colder temperatures entail grumpy attitudes, Facebook statuses and tweets about the frigid weather, Instagrammed screenshots of the iPhone weather app proving just how shockingly cold it is, an occasional curse word or two targeted at Mother Nature, multiple complaints about not having anything to wear out at night and the desire to skip classes in order to avoid the weather.
  • For me, colder temperatures are like a breath of fresh air that give me an excuse to break out those sweaters and jackets sitting in the back of my closet year round, practically begging for some attention come winter.

Because of the fact that cooler weather calls for multiple layers of clothes, wintertime allows me to further get in touch with my creativity in fashion. Rather than simply pairing a shirt with shorts or a skirt as I do in the warmer months, I can now explore with the mixing and matching of jeans or leggings, flannels, long-sleeved shirts, jackets, scarves, beanies and headbands. It’s a bit more of a challenge to match things and make sure that the layers make for a cohesive outfit. But hey, who doesn’t love a little challenge?

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Outfit of the Day: Lunch date

Today I had a lunch date with some of my college friends at the oh so posh Oxford Exchange near downtown Tampa. What did this exactly mean for me? I felt the need to do the following:

  • Talk in a British accent to mirror the namesake of the restaurant
  • Sip my lavender fog tea with my pinkie finger up to look extra classy and sophisticated
  • Order something I usually wouldn’t order for the sake of adventurousness, which ended up being a delicious hummus wrap and hibiscus lemonade
  • Consciously eat my hummus wrap so as to not look like a savage in front of the attractive waiters
  • Take advantage of the lunch date and see it as a chance to dress up… duh!

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Exam week chic

Exam week – the bane of every college student’s existence – is among us. Sleep-deprived students hyped up on venti Starbucks iced coffees are schlepping around campus in a zombie-like manner. After pulling all-nighters in Library West, they emerge from its depths in their T-shirts and yoga pants and into the fresh air like a baby coming out of the womb. This past week, I’ve noticed that the stellar fashion choices that are typically present around the UF campus have disappeared, only to be replaced with more comfortable options suited for long days of cramming at the library.

Newsflash: It’s possible for your studying attire to be both stylish and comfortable! New trends like harem pants were totally made for the comfy chic look. I personally see them as a more fashionable version of sweatpants, and the cinched ankles and tapered legs ensure that they don’t look like pajama pants. They come in tons of different colors and prints at popular retailers like Forever 21, Love Culture, Cotton On and PacSun. Some of my personal favorites are these tribal ones for when I’m feeling bold and these chambray ones for days when I’m in a more laid back mood. Instead of wearing harem pants with your soccer team hoodie from high school, opt for a snug patterned sweater or cardigan that will give you a more put together look. Here is an exam week look that I made using my latest obsession, Polyvore:

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You might be asking yourself, “What is this girl talking about? Why should I even try to look presentable during exam week?” The answer is simple and lies in the saying “If you look good, you feel good.” As a strong believer in this saying, I can attest to the fact that looking presentable every day makes me feel more confident. If I’m feeling good about myself, I’m more likely to be productive and studious. See? It’s a chain reaction of sorts. So start at the root of it all, and get exam week chic.

As always, thank you for reading, and happy studying!

The art of taking an outfit from day to night

This is one of those things that all of us busy fashionistas struggle with every now and then. You’re in a night class or at home studying, and you get an unexpected text from your friend saying, “Just found out about a party at 10. Let’s go!”

Suddenly, you can’t concentrate on anything, and you start to wonder how you can possibly whip yourself into proper “going-out mode” in a span of 30 minutes. Your hair is in a bun, you have barely any makeup on, and you’re still wearing the same clothes you wore to class.

To prevent this panicky situation, there is a simple solution. It all boils down to buying versatile items of clothing that can be easily taken from day to night. These are pieces that can be either dressed up or down according to the occasion. My personal favorites in this department are items like dark wash jeans, graphic T-shirts, high-waisted shorts, plain colored shirts and “muscle tank tops.”

If you buy basic items like this, it’s so much easier to build a totally new outfit centered around them.

Here’s an example of a casual outfit I wore to class last week. I chose the graphic T-shirt option (Led Zeppelin, of course!) because I knew it would be easy to make it dressier when I went out later that night.

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And here is how I changed the outfit and took it from a daytime to nighttime outfit by simply pairing it with dressier shorts, shoes and a statement-making necklace.

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It was so much less stressful to only have to pick a new pair of shorts and shoes for this outfit rather than having to come up with an entirely different outfit with a new shirt in a time crunch. As a thrifty college student, I’m all for getting the most out of my clothes.

When it comes to transforming an outfit from day to night, the key is to accessorize, accessorize, ACCESSORIZE! This can be as simple as buying some cheap jewelry from Forever 21 (Can you really say no to a necklace for $3.80?). All you need is a little “bling bling” to spice things up a bit.

In need of a little more inspiration to take on this seemingly daunting transformation? Check out this post from Fashion.AllWomenStalk.com for eight ways to take your outfit from day to night! If you’re a maxi skirt kind of gal, then this post on CollegeFashion.net might interest you!

For more style tips like these, stay tuned for future posts. Thanks for reading, fellow fashionistas!