Unleashing the Inner Fashionista: Transforming College Casual to Simply Chic

Let’s face it, Virginia Tech isn’t really known for being a fashion-forward university. I’m strictly here for educational purposes. It seems like the longer you’re a VT student (known as Hokies), the more orange and maroon start to seem to actually match.

 I mean, don’t get me wrong, they keep up with the seasons: we’ve got Hokie t-shirts, shorts and flip-flops for summer, and Hokie sweatshirts, jeans, and Uggs (I don’t know what it is, but everyone has them. I personally, am not a supporter of this fad) for winter. Then of course, you have your designers, a whole lot of Vera Bradley and The North Face happening year round (gross!). Welcome to Blacksburg, a football school with a fashion problem!

It’s not that Hokies don’t know how to dress up, it’s just that they choose not to. It is my belief that everyone has an inner fashionista and I have made it my job to bring out the “Gorgeous” in some of my fellow Hokies!

Name: Tiffany Elam (that’s her “before” shot at left)

Favorite Store: American Eagle Outfitters

Describe your personal style in 5 words or less: Casual, preppy, and simple.

3 Fashion staples: AE jeans, gray Forever 21 3/4 sleeves turtleneck, and dark brown Rainbow flip-flops (not necessarily worn together).

Describe an everyday outfit: Jeans, a fitted top, and a flat, simple shoe.

Accessories? I have jewelry, but I don’t really wear it. I really love my gold medallion earrings with the rhinestones!

How has your style evolved since you have been at Virginia Tech? I definitely have more coverage. I don’t like short tight shirts anymore. I have become a lot more casual. I like hoodies! I never really liked them before.

What is your biggest wardrobe dilemma? I want to get dressed up for class, but I usually just end up looking casual and laid-back.

What’s in her closet? Lots and lots of American Eagle, tons of sweaters, a couple summery shirts, a few really pretty jackets, Ugg boots, Sperrys, and tennis shoes.

 Even in jeans and a plain black shirt, it is not hard to see that Tiffany is absolutely beautiful. She has clear skin, pretty hair, and a radiant smile. When I ask her what she needs help with, she immediately grabs a pair of fabulous wide-leg trouser jeans. “I have these, but I don’t know what goes with them,” she says.

We use this as a starting point, pairing it with a pink fitted tank and a tan cap-sleeved blazer with hints of pink and metallic thread running through it. We top it off with a classic gold pendant and she looks amazing.

I look through her box of costume jewelry and she shows me her sunglasses collection. We talk about the trouser jeans and potential shoe and shirt combinations for them. Tiffany says that she is definitely going to make an effort to look nicer for classes. (Take a look at the “after” pic!)

Looks like my work here is done…for now!


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