7 Tips to Unleashing Your Inner Fashionista

Originally posted on Sept. 23rd 2016 on Her Campus UCF.

Everyone knows that sweatshirts, yoga pants, and sneakers are a common part of the designated “uniform” of a collegiette. Athleisure quickly became a fashion term for reason after all. But as a girl who always wore heels to class in high school, I found myself wary. Would I be sucked into the trend? Was getting gussied up for class really that easy to fall out of? But after only a week on UCF’s campus I realized that incredible, individualized style mixed with function is abundant for Lady Knights (and even Guy Knights for that matter!)

So, no matter where you’re located, if you hid away your cute booties or off the shoulder blouses for the sake of fitting in, here are seven tips to let your inner fashionista shine once again.

1. Wear what you feel most comfortable in.

First and foremost, never let anyone tell what you should wear especially if it makes you uncomfortable. You’re the one wearing the clothes, not anyone else. Tight skirts make your skin crawl? Try a flattering circle or A-line skirt. Stilettos make you walk like Bambi? Try kitten heels or wedged sandals.

 

2. Don’t be afraid to play with patterns.

Plaid, paisley, checkered, striped, etc. There are so many prints out there that you’re bound to find one you like if you’ve ever considered giving them a try. Paisley is great for girls with a serious feminine streak, stripes are always flattering, and plaid…plaid’s just awesome especially with fall (slowly) approaching.

 

3. Heels, and sneakers, and flats, oh my!

In the words of Carrie Bradshaw, “Men, I may not know, but shoes, shoes I know.” There are so many different styles of shoes out there that there is bound be at least one type that you find yourself drawn to. When picking shoes keep practical and pick kinds that you already know you can handle. Going too wild might result in bruised and battered feet and no one wants that.

 

4. Simple isn’t always #basic.

If a t-shirt and jeans, or sweater and skirt speaks to you, go for it. Some of the most well put together outfits are made up of simple and inexpensive pieces. They can also be worn in so many different of ways, that you could wear the same outfit twice in a row and only the keenest of fashionista would even notice. But they won’t be judging, they’ll be applauding.

 

5. Get personal with personal style!

This is my favorite tip! Your style translates to the world who you are and even how you’re feeling that particular day, so it’s imperative that it communicates the message you want. The best way to go about this tip is to look at your own closet and check for repetitions, i.e. lots of black and little to no color, or various crop tops but few with long sleeves. We’re creatures of habit so we tend to buy what we like. If a piece looks completely out of place, has no sentimental value, and you haven’t worn it in a while, donate or toss it.

 

6. A is for Accessorize!

Accessories can make or break an outfit. Wearing none at all can sometimes make even the cutest ensemble bland, or wearing too much can result in eyes darting around your outfit and not knowing where to look. Accessorizing is a delicate factor that depends on the personality and outfit. If your more bohemian, fun earrings and layered necklaces with natural themes and colors will work wonders for a tank and maxi skirt combo. If simple chic is more your speed, a single necklace, bracelet, and some classy diamond earring would probably compliment your style best.

 

7. Most importantly: be yourself!

No one knows you better than you know yourself and no one can be a better you than you. Fashion is one of the few subjective factors in our lives and rarely will two people agree on every trend. If you’re looking to change your style, go right ahead. But if you know what works for you, stick to it and work it like no other.

Fashion is about expression, so express yourself!

Photo credit: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7

Five Tips for Mastering High Heels

I have been obsessed with shoes since I was a little girl, especially high heels. However when I first started walking in them at twelve, I had no idea what I was doing. My mom outright told me that I walked like Herman Munster. You know the Frankenstein-like father figure from the Munsters tv show?

Herman Munster

But I didn’t want to be Herman! Oh no I wanted to be feminine like his wife Lily.

Lily Munster
Gotta love a girl with a skunk stripe. Slowly, but surely I eventually figured out the way of the high heel walk and I’ll share my secrets with you!

1. Start Small

If you’ve never really been much of Heels kind of girl, jumping right into a pair of stilettos would be like jumping of a bridge in other words, not smart. The best way to approach Heels as a newbie is start small and work your way up. Kitten heels are adorable and often easier to walk in than any other kind and when you feel ready you can gradually buy or wear shoes with higher heels on them.

2. Wedges

Now this tip is similar to the first but yet vastly different. For some heels aren’t impossible but maybe since they don’t wear them often, there is a period of wobbliness any time they put them on. The only way to remove the wobbles is to wear heels nearly all the time, however, even though I do this, I wouldn’t recommend all people do. Hence wedged boots. Wedges don’t mess with the structure of a person’s foot as much as regular heels and as a result you can practice in them all the time without risking your ankles. And since boots are versatile with a multitude of different styles available you’ll never be in want.

Summer Bonus!! – Wedges are perfect summer shoes when worn in a sandal style so this tip is applicable to all times of the year!

3. Tiptoes

Now this one might sound ridiculous and when enacted it kind of is, which why you do this on your own time at home. If you can’t walk around comfortably on your tiptoes or can’t balance, heels will be a nightmare for you. So for sake of your heels wearing night out or your special event, be a little girl pretending to be. Ballerina and walk around on the balls of your feet. You may look ridiculous, but since you’ll be doing this on your own time no one one will even see you.

4. Find Your Style

No two woman is alike, and no two type of heel is either. There are so many different heights, colors, materials, and styles out there that there is at least one kind of heel that could appeal to a woman. So to make it easier to wear them, find the kind you like. The kind that put a smile on your face every time you put them on. I know I wouldn’t be me if it weren’t for my go to wedges.

5. Practice Makes Perfect

Now this is the simplest tip on this list and is applicable to pretty much everything: practice makes perfect. If you have an occasion where heels are a must—or at least strongly suggested—practicing in them any chance you get is the sure fire way to master them. Wear them to buy groceries, while walking around the mall, going to get the mail or visiting family members. If you have to put shoes on your feet to go, put on your heels. Then by the time your event rolls around you’ll be strutting like a champ.

It’s Okay to Be Anti-Trendy

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Bomber Jackets. Chokers. Tiefront Tops. What do all theses have in common? They were the trendiest of the trendy during 2016. Because of their status as such, I avoided them like the plague. As much as I love fashion, I hate trends. If I buy anything it’s not because everyone is wearing them or they’re the latest thing from Fashion Week. Rather it’s because it’s my style and I like it.

However, sometimes it seems like people feel that they need to be on trend to be fashionable. That is the farthest from the truth. I will site my favorite television journalist, Carrie Bradshaw as the perfect example. Nothing Carrie wore was on trend during her time. Now I didn’t like all of Carries outfits, they were all way too out there for my taste. Nevertheless she rocked what she liked rather than what any one told her to wear. It made her who she was, the ever sarcastic shoe loving columnist who bought Vogue instead of food.

If a trendy piece suits your fancy, then you should definitely go for it. But if your only shelling out the money because Rachel in Biochemistry has one, then you need to reevaluate before your bank account starts bawling its eyes out.

Fashion is meant to be self-expression. So what’s the point in everyone trying to look the same?

And for the record I do own a good amount of chokers now thanks to one of my best friends getting them for me as a Christmas present. But I stuck it out, and didn’t start wearing them until after the new year.

Four Days of Disney

When I thought about what I wanted to do for my first spring break as a college student a lot of ideas came to mind. I could go up north and explore New York City (which is where I want to live after graduating, God willing). Or I could find some friends and rent a house on the beach and pretend that we did it all the time. Or even just go home and enjoy sleeping in a bed that wasn’t twin sized and spend time with my furbabies.

But after living in Orlando for the past seven months, I realized I wanted to relive my childhood for a little while. So a week long stay at Disney won out. My mom and grandmother came up from our hometown and together we headed to the happiest place on Earth.

We stayed at one of the hotels we’d loved in the past called Port Orleans – French Quarter. It is the perfect hotel for anyone who’s looking for a homey feel with short walking distances. It’s styled after New Orleans’ neighborhoods and it really shows in the streets, sidewalks and adorable fences. They even have horse pulled carriage rides available to the guests and a ferry that takes you to Riverside, French Quarter’s sister hotel, and Disney Springs, formerly known as Downtown Disney.

I’ve recently defined my personal style, which doesn’t include graphic tees or athletic sneakers, so my take on Disney vacation fashion is a little more put together than your average Disney fan. I wouldn’t suggest wearing heels of any kind to the parks unless your a seasoned veteran of the act. (By which I mean you wear heels practically every single day of your life.)

Day 1:

It was exceptionally rainy and cold this day so tights and a jacket were a must. I ended up wearing the jacket every day of my vacation, but didn’t photograph it each time. I liked to keep it pretty simple and weather appropriate so I pared my black Forever 21 tights with ModCloth heeled boots, a Forever 21 white v-neck bodysuit, Forever 21 button front mini skirt, and a black knit cap from Claire’s.


Day 2:

Luckily the weather improved and it was no longer raining. It was still cold if not colder than the day before so I had to tough it out to take the photos while my mom and grandma stayed toasty in jackets. I paired a black maxi skirt from Joe B, with a cream crop top featuring black lace detailing from Forever 21 and a pair of lace up wedges from Shoe Dazzle. I also reused my white shoulder bag from Forever 21.


Day 3:

This day was just as cold as the previous two and I couldn’t help but wonder why my spring break was suddenly more Christmassy than my Christmas was, but I’m digressing. I decided to keep it simple and wore a white blouse from Express, some jeans I bought years ago (so I don’t remember where I got them from), and my favorite dark blue Ralph Lauren espadrilles.


Day 4:

Day four and still cold. My leather jacket got a serious workout this week, honestly. On this day I’d channeled the Beret Girl from An Extreme Goofy Movie. (If you’ve never seen it stop what you’re doing and do it now! As of this moment it’s on Netflix!) However I wore a dress instead of a top and pants. My dress is from Misguided and it is the perfect little black dress. My flower patterned tights and my beret are both from Forever 21 and my boots are the same ones I wore on Day 1.

 

Overall, my trip to Disney was a wonderful one and by the final day I didn’t want to leave. However, there is good news. I might be getting an Annual Pass for Disney so that I can return anytime I want to with free parking included. So who knows? Maybe these trips to Disney won’t end here!