Villanova’s fashion dos and don’ts

Gabrielle Santella

Spring is just around the corner, which inevitably marks the arrival of new trends for the warmer weather and the subsequent appearance of new merchandise in retail stores. Many students will soon embark on trips to the King of Prussia mall to stock up on heat-friendly tank tops, jean miniskirts, the newly popular Bermuda shorts, the Villanova warm-weather staple-flip-flops-and other must-have items of the seasons.

Of course, with the purchase of new clothing, shoes and accessories, every shopper wants to make the right choices and avoid looking like a fashion disaster. Too often, shoppers get persuaded into buying all the latest trends without any idea of how to wear them properly, which leads them to commit all sorts of fashion no-no’s. One does not have to be wearing something new or trendy to be committing a fashion “don’t.” Many people make mistakes wearing classic items that they have had for years. In order to curb these crimes of fashion, I have compiled a set of rules which will propel students to the top of the best-dressed list on campus.

So, before you set foot into that first space of retail heaven, keep in mind these few rules of fashion which will never go out of style:

Don’t over-accessorize. A major mistake that haunts many potential fashionistas is the donning of too many accessories at one time. Chunky beaded necklaces, hoop earrings, a metallic belt, a big hobo bag and oversized sunglasses à la Nicole Richie are all fashion dos of the season-when separated. But when worn together, they overwhelm the body and end up being distracting. So before stocking up on new accessories for the spring, make sure you know how to correctly mix and match them. In order to steer clear of this fashion “don’t,” pick only one or two main accessories for your outfit. The two you choose should highlight different areas of your outfit. For instance, large earrings highlight the face, while a belt adds some interest to the lower half of an outfit. Freshman Alexandria Nguyen best sums up the rule of accessorizing: keep it simple.

Do tote your books in style. Instead of carrying books in the standard book bag, stand out in the crowd. Oversized bags are in for the season, much to the delight of girls everywhere. Bags printed with nautical stripes or floral patterns, suede hobos and woven totes are all stylish options which can add a splash of color or excitement to an outfit.

Don’t wear pants of the wrong length. This is perhaps one of the most common fashion errors and one of the hardest to avoid. At times, it seems impossible to find a pair of pants that both fits one’s body and hits one’s ankles at the right spot. All too often, girls end up purchasing pants that puddle at their feet and drag on the ground, simultaneously shortening their bodies and fraying the hems of their pants. While tailoring pants is a viable option for fixing previously-purchased merchandise, shoppers hard-pressed to find that new pair of perfect spring pants should direct themselves to the “short” and “tall” areas of select stores, where they can find pants that fit them in all the right places. Freshman Stephanie Fernandez is well aware of this useful option.

“To find jeans that are proportional to my height and size, I shop at American Eagle for their petite line,” she said.

Do focus your makeup on one feature. Who says fashion has to be restricted to just clothing? Makeup is one of the most useful accessories on the market, but also one of the most overused. To solve this fashion mistake, make sure you highlight only one major feature each time you do your makeup. If you are using black eyeliner and dark shadow to create a smoky eye, use a neutral gloss on the lips. With a dramatic red or bright pink lip (one of the major spring trends), reduce eye makeup to a bare minimum.

Don’t wear the wrong shoes with your outfit. Wedges, open-toed pumps, flip-flops, flats-spring footwear possibilities are endless. But that does not mean that they can be worn with every outfit. Shoes should be suited to the length of your pants or skirts. When wearing a short skirt, opt for a more demure shoe, like a flat or basic sandal. High-heeled pumps and wedges often look good when paired with Bermuda shorts, capris or mid-length skirts and dresses.

Next time you embark on a shopping trip or pull out your spring wardrobe, keep in mind these “dos” and “don’ts.” By following these fashion rules, you can look like a true fashionista every time you dress.