January 29, 2012

form meets function

currently loving how bloggers & beauties around the world are dressing down their favorite outfits with the comfiest shoe in their closet - the converse low-top.

converse all stars have always been a favorite of mine for their vintagey, retro feel, which juxtaposes perfectly with more feminine pieces. i love the ensembles below for that mix-and-match mentality: a glam sequin mini skirt, ladylike shorts,  a dolman-sleeve dress and preppy stripes all become so much more unique with those classic kicks!

converse come in a spectrum of colors, but my personal favorite is classic white - love the creamy color and red/blue stripes. 
which is your favorite?

II emily

January 27, 2012

planning ahead

this post is pretty self-explanatory: simply a compilation of current obsessions. i'm well aware that it's still winter and i'm far from being able to wear a lace dress or raffia sandals (nor can i afford most of these things), but all i can think about is spring! and really, what says spring more than hot pink ballet flats and model cut-outs in the shape of easter eggs? 
happy shopping:

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8

II emily

January 24, 2012

get sporty

the other day i was wearing this black nixon watch when my friend said, "that's so unlike you! you usually dress so girly." wait... what?

this, i realized, is indeed an accurate statement. i may be the proud owner of spiky bracelets, combat boots and black pleather pants, but i always mix in some undoubtedly girly-girl items to balance out the toughness. (plus, just look at this post... and this one... and this one. i rest my case.)

i naturally gravitate towards girly styles, but going outside your comfort zone is good for the soul - just take the alexander wang spring 2012 runway for example. wet hair, nylon bombers, and NASCAR-inspired prints are so, so not me. but i love it. that ultra-edgy, super sporty vibe is the freshest trend of the season, and i can't wait to try it out once the weather warms up.

read a more extensive look at trend over at college magazine, or just peep the corresponding lust list right here:

II emily

January 23, 2012

postimpressionist denim

{paige premium denim verdugo ultra-skinny jeans in tumble, clash, and ember}

i'm sure you thought the tie-dye denim phase was over after this lust-worthy post... but i'm happy to report about a new crop of enviable and totally groooovy show-stoppers by paige premium denim.
the bold verdugo ultra-skinny jeans {above} are from paige's new "toulouse" collection, inspired by artist henri de toulouse-lautrec.  blogs everywhere are buzzing about the art-inspired prints, and while toulouse-lautrec was not as "abstract" as many of them are claiming (i think these look more like fauve-era matisse), the messy, imperfect brushstrokes and bold colors that made him famous have translated oh-so perfectly to denim. 

as winter continues to alienate my wardrobe and make my daily sartorial choices that much more frustrating, i'm getting anxious for spring with each passing minute. and while these beauties would look major right now with a simple oversized sweater or crisp boy blazer, i'm imagining them in the warmer months with loose slub-cotton tanks and trapeze tees for that easy-breezy, yes-i-painted-these-myself vibe. and click on over to because i'm addicted to win yourself a pair of "tumble" wash verdugo jeans (my personal favorite).

II emily

January 22, 2012

madewell spring 2012 lookbook

you already know i'm a huge fan of madewell and that i'm their indiana campus representative, so it will come as no surprise to you that i'm head over heels for their new spring collection. what will be a surprise, however, is how swiftly you're going to hop onto their website and unconsciously spend hundreds of dollars on these amazing new pieces. seriously, prepare yourself.

bold colors like fuschia, kelly green and neon yellow spice up madewell's streamlined, feminine basics while mixed prints and clever pairings make it all feel current and unique (and so, so madewell). i love the retro floral patterns, subtle colorblocking, and quirky touches -- like that faux-denim t-shirt or the green engineer-stripe jeans. and the bold footwear -- from rainbow-hued flats to rugged suede booties and 70s-inspired chunky t-straps -- are the perfect finishing touches. 
consider yourself warned; i've already hidden my wallet to avoid an unstoppable urge to pre-order everything.

II emily

January 20, 2012

up close

{all images via fashion squad}

although carolina engman's outfits are always so, so, SO amazing, they become even more drop-dead-genius when you look a little closer. i love how she frequently includes zoomed-in photos of the little details (like texture, pattern, color, studs, chains, and embellishments) that play so nicely together in her ensemble.

II emily

January 19, 2012

street style

when it comes to fashion, there's nothing more inspirational than street style. the majority of blogs out there focus on bloggers' everyday outfits as well as street style photographs of women around the world, and that's where the real talent lies! 
i don't need to talk too much about my love for blogs; my blogroll {at right} grows every day, and i have my own blog, after all! they're pretty special to me. i'd much rather peruse the internet for chic women around the globe than, say, get inspired by a celebrity look. celebrities have teams of stylists; bloggers do not. (some of them are actually stylists, though!)

these are some of my favorite street style looks right now...

1 / i love kendi's updated "geek chic" look: thick glasses, a schoolboy blazer, loafer wedges, and a bow-tie blouse. adorable!

2 / this beauty from berlin combines some of my very favorite things: a leopard jacket, leather pants, a pop of hot pink, and moto boots.

3 / tuula's take on color blocking is so soft and simple with shades of mint green - and her sleek black bag and sandals create the perfect contrast.

4 / blair looks pretty in pink, with crisp breton stripes breaking up the cotton-candy hues.

5 / i'm literally obsessed miroslava duma's look here, even though it's extra matchy-matchy (which is now a total "do") - even her mismatched creepers are perfect!

6 / the ultimate in chic neutrals; a camel leather skirt, crisp blouse, and messy braid all communicate that carefree, effortless vibe.

7 / looove this girl's ensemble - a chambray shirt, red cardigan, cap-toe heels and structured satchel all come together to update the classic prep look.

8 / blair never fails to amaze; i have a bit of a girl crush. this look is practically the opposite of #3 - it's a bit rock 'n roll, even. i love how she layered her military jacket and blouse, piled on the chains, and those shoes! sigh.

9 / jules is the ultimate mix master - her ultra-casual cardigan gets an elegant twist with strappy black heels and a giant metallic clutch.

feeling inspired yet?

II emily

January 17, 2012

textile e&j

despite how you may feel about acid wash/tie-dye denim (totally 90s, yes, but i'm going to go ahead and let you know i give it my biggest stamp of approval), it's hard to resist the ultra-colorful and casual pieces from textile elizabeth & james' spring 2012 line.  even the preppiest of prim-and-preppy dressers can find something they like in this collection, from baby pink jeans to a classic navy-and-yellow dyed crewneck.

textile's emphasis on denim is always refreshing, and their current take on the standard t-shirt + jeans combination is a (huge) breath of fresh air. i'll be trading in my go-to light skinny jeans and cutoffs for pieces that are a bit brighter and more interesting (those studded shorts would look extra cute in lilac, wouldn't they? a girl can dream...) and i suggest you do the same.

II emily 

January 16, 2012


{wearing a zara dress, j.crew shirt, forever21 scarf, dv dolce vita wedges [similar here], j.crew purse [scored on sale!], and michael kors watch. jewelry: david yurman, j.crew, handmade, marc by marc jacobs. nail polish: butter london "teddy girl"}

as the newest addition to the IU CollegeFashionista team of "style gurus," i thought i'd share some outtakes from my first article -- a personal style biography (see the real thing here).  

CollegeFashionista is a national site that was started here at IU (!!!) by amy levin. the premise of the site is kind of like a street style blog (think jak & jil, the sartorialist, etc) but more structured and editorial.  "gurus" like me take photos of stylish boys and girls around our campus and write about them for the site -- whether it's a particular item they're wearing or their chic look as a whole. sounds amazing, right? 

i'm the "all about beauty" guru, so instead of shooting inspirational fashion, i'll be on the lookout for the coolest makeup, nail, and hair trends on campus. get your hands on some neon nail polish or master the fishtail braid and you may just find yourself featured on the site one day :) i publish on thursdays, so mark your calendars for my weekly musings!

II emily

January 15, 2012

inside the lines

{images via honestly...wtf}

a recent discovery of martha nehrling's graphic, single-stroke artwork is providing even more reason to dress in the boldest and brightest colors this winter and in the coming spring. bonus - art lovers and novices alike will appreciate nehrling's straightforward approach: the seemingly-simple lines and dashes stem from her observance that life is chaotic and creates a variety of colors; her paintings kind of look like they're whizzing past in a blur. #coolness

II emily

January 14, 2012

just in time

you can't really call it a "trend," nor can you say it's something new - but bright colors are your one-way ticket to chic this season. and by "this season" i do mean in the dead of winter.
is this breaking some kind of rule? yes. but does it make complete sense? yes.
 a pop of neon or an especially saturated hue can brighten up your dull skin, limp hair, and gloomy winter attitude, whether its a chunky bracelet or a swipe of lipstick.  hot pink is always a fabulous option, but more unexpected colors like lime, sunflower, and orange pack a punch, too. 
to avoid looking like a walking window display, pair your brights with casual, neutral basics - a slouchy white tee or grey knit with your trusty dark denim usually does the trick. 

II emily

January 13, 2012

le smoking {flat}

{all flats, topshop}

a true fashion victim, i've been on a painstaking mission for chic, flattering, affordable smoking flats for months; they look equally amazing with rolled trousers, full skirts, and your favorite jeans. i'm all about versatility. and while you may think i'm repeating myself after my post about j.crew loafers, i'll have you know smoking flats are very different than your standard loafer. a lower vamp and sleeker silhouette make these markedly more feminine and wearable versus a menswear-inspired penny loafer. (details, people.)

anyways. i think i've finally found suitable (and affordable) smoking flat options! topshop always kills it with their shoe selection, but they're especially on their game with these studded, spotted, and suede beauties. now all i have to do is choose one... (can't i just get them all?!) truthfully, i'm leaning towards the taupe leopard or beige studded varieties. i'm a sucker for good nude shoes!

II emily

January 12, 2012

leather + lace

{image via a love is blind}

how much do you love these photos of teen vogue editor jane keltner de valle? i can't get enough of her leather skirt - it's both tough and feminine, with tiny pleats and a midi length.  she softened the look even more with her gray lace-detail sweatshirt, and ray ban wayfarers are always a classic touch. and those metallic topshop pumps? d-i-e. 

II emily

January 10, 2012

spots on spots

although we haven't even reached winter's peak, i'm already looking forward to spring. soft pastels, floaty florals, and femininity reigned supreme on the spring 2012 fashion week catwalks, and the season is bound to bring even more lovely surprises.
polka dots have a been a longtime favorite of mine, but not until recently had i played with the idea of mixing them together.  layering two polka dot pieces is one of the easiest ways to a chic, effortless ensemble, and there are really only 3 rules to follow:

1. stick to the same color scheme - neutrals like navy, cream, black, and white are especially easy to use.
2. choose 1 piece with small polka dots, and another with larger dots to create contrast
3. keep shapes simple and unfussy.

the outfits below perfectly demonstrate the demure, girlish charm that results from mixing polka dots. the top ensemble shows a more daring approach, with whimsical accessories and a colorful top, while the bottom look is a bit more subtle. whichever you choose, have fun with your spots and don't forget some necessary pops of color!

II emily

January 3, 2012

fancy pants

statement pants may not be part of your everyday repertoir, but as winter continues to rear its ugly head (hello, highway pile-ups, black ice, and icy-pale skin), style suffers an inverse reaction.  we ditch our fashionista tights, dresses, and platform booties in favor of thick sweaters, long johns, and snow boots, and i, frankly, do not approve. it's looking more and more likely that a good pair of fancy pants is just the thing to pull anyone out of their winter style rut!

between waxed finishes, bold colors, retro silhouettes and full-on dominatrix leather (partially joking), pants are no longer confined to act as the 'neutral' or 'foundation' of your outfit -- instead, give them some face time. make them the focal point. let some kelly green or burgundy (or a full leg of sequins) peek out from underneath your winter parka; those pants are really be the only bit of style anyone can see! (who knew your knees would get so much love?)
 plus, statement pants allow the rest of your outfit to practically build itself -- just throw on an oversized grey, camel, or black sweater, your favorite fuzzy scarf, a few necessary accessories (ie: 10 bracelets) and go!

II emily

January 1, 2012


with each passing year, there are things we're ready to leave behind.  this applies invariably when it comes to fashion; i'm happy to say adios! to lady gaga-inspired footwear, pretentious hippie headbands, ridiculous furry key chains, and wet-look hair, among other trends gone wrong.
but on the other hand, there were, of course, countless trends i'm forever thankful for -- those which defined 2011 and made it a particularly stylish year. like the ubiquitous alexander wang cape shoes, the embrace of ladylike, conservative clothing coupled with an abandonment of skimpy, slutty alternatives (thanks in part to leandra), sleek pointed pumps, blinding bursts of color...  sigh. the list goes on.
luckily, 2012 is looking just as promising -- here's what i'm hoping to see more of:

{photos via my pinboards}
II emily