Streets Fashionista

Category:  Fashion
Thursday, October 3rd, 2013 at 11:22 AM
Streets Fashionista by Leslie McAllister

Stu-di-ous [stoo-dee-uh s] adjective 1. disposed or given to diligent study: a studious girl; 2. a term used to describe geek chic style: She looked so studious in her glasses and buttoned up blouse.

I have been known to be obsessed with the secretary / librarian look. There is something all tied up about it that delights me. The geeky glasses, the topknot, buttoned-up blouse, and pencil skirt – really classy.

Fall fashion always lends itself to this scholarly style with warmer fabrics options a la corduroy trousers, silk blouses, wool sweaters, cotton tights, and pointelle pencil skirts. Autumn is the literary lovely’s dream – be it museum-hopping or just cuddling up with a book and cupping a hot mug of tea, these darling are sure to do it in style.

Guys, you can achieve this look too, and when you do, we swoon. Skinny cords with a white tee, a wool cardigan sweater, brown chukka boots, and just slightly mussed hair. Trust me you won’t be able to free up your schedule with all the tutoring you will be doing.

Need some geeky inspiration? Check out or just fall in love with Jenna Lyons, creative director of J. Crew, and those cute Weezer boys.

Who? Isabella Cardina

Where? Mercyhurst University

Why Isabella? She’s artsy-fartsy and super cute. Those Chanel glasses give her an edge to the buttoned-up jumper while the platform shoes anchor her coolness. I love the eclectic jewels adorning her fingers and wrists – a girl always needs to be on time and with a watch like that, promptness is assured.

Describe your style. My style cannot be described in one formal category. I would say I'm pretty much eclectic, which consists of classic, feminine, and vintage pieces. I love playing with patterns and prints; I think that is something that separates me from others. You will always find me in my rings and watch as well. I'm big fan of Peter Pan collars, patterned pants, and classic button-down shirts. I would ultimately compare my style to a combination of Audrey Hepburn and Rachel Zoe – my two favorite fashion icons.

What are some trends that are exciting you this fall? The best trends right now, in my opinion, are pleather or leather shift dresses and tops. I think they are the perfect statement piece for the fall. Trends obviously come and go, and for the most part I follow them, but you will find me putting my spin on the interpretation. Another trend I am loving are different types of coats. There are so many options for people to choose from.

Best out-of-the-way place to find that score. I think the most out of the way place to score some awesome piece of fashion would be in Cleveland at a little vintage shop in Ohio City, called Deering Vintage. It’s the perfect little shop for finding inspiring pieces ranging from fun fake furs to costume jewelry. Their clothes remind me of something Elizabeth Taylor and Julie Christie would wear in the 1960s and 1970s.

Any inspiring street fashion recently? Some street fashion that I have seen recently wasn't on the streets of Erie but on the streets of New York City. Every fashion week millions of people come to the city to see various designers’ shows and I always loved researching the street fashion to see what people are wearing. Some of the things that stood out to me were modern pieces with twists of vintage. I don't think that you have to wear designer clothing in order to be fashionable, so I love seeing people bring together signature outfits during fashion week.

Why Mercyhurst? The fashion program has been my life for the last four years. I've spent countless hours in the sewing and computer lab working on various projects, and I wouldn't trade it for anything. The student-teacher relationship here is one of the best things at Mercyhurst; my professors are always there for me. Whether barging into their offices talking about schoolwork or asking for their advice on personal issues, they always have time for us students. The program really forces you to become an individual and teaches you to work with others. You are not looked at as merely as a number, you're looked at as a person, and I really think that’s something that sets us apart from other schools.

After having so many classes with the same people in the program everyone becomes friends, and it’s truly our own separate community on the third floor of Mercyhurst’s Old Main; everyone knows each other, and I wouldn't have it any other way.

Favorite class. The best class that I have taken in fashion is History of Dress. We covered almost every piece of clothing and accessory since the beginning of time. The projects in that are class were my favorite. I got to interview my favorite person in the world — my grandma — and examine her outfit from an old photograph of her in the early 1930s. History of Dress was also a great class because we got to watch films that had very extravagant fashion such as Marie Antoinette.

Find me out on the town and challenge yourself to get noticed by the Erie Reader! Leslie McAllister can be contacted at, and you can follow her on Twitter @ShopJuJu. 

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