Campus chic

As students get settled into the new school year, they are also learning to adjust to Pittsburgh’s seasonal changes. With brutally cold winter around the bend, now is the perfect time to indulge in the best of summer and at the same time embrace the upcoming changes. After all, fall is all about mixing summery fabrics and fun prints with a stronger, darker silhouette that utilizes the best elements for a look that’s wearable and resourceful.

Cozy knit wear is always a great basic for all times, but especially for autumn. Simple, sleek cardigans — for both men and women — can be easily dressed up or down and go along with a wide variety of textures, shapes, and colors. Alissa Micciulla, a self-defined senior, wears the cardigan in a chic, effortless way by casually throwing it over a form-fitting outfit.

With a white tank top and black skinny jeans, Micciulla shows off her body shape, and she glamorizes the look with summery wedge heels. Her look is completed with a metallic bag, one of fall’s most popular styles, that’s spacious enough to hold books yet still looks classic and timeless. Micciulla’s attention to detail is also appreciable — her heels, bag, and watch all have gold-accented features, and she polishes it off with an oversized turquoise ring.

To get Micciulla’s “easy chic” look, be willing to invest in higher-end basics; they last a long time and are appropriate for a number of occasions. Brands like Vince, James Perse, Mara Hoffman, and VPL are known for their high-quality basics that are also extremely sustainable. In order to add some spice to a laid-back feel, accessorizing is key. Add shoes or bags that have some unexpected details — like Miu Miu’s flower-architectural heels and Mulberry’s bright patent leather bags — and pieces of jewelry that offer pops of color and complement the outfit.

Menswear is inherently trickier and more difficult to describe because the palettes are not nearly as variable as women’s clothing. Though the concepts are almost the same — pieces that are shapely and able to be worn for many purposes — it is rare to find a look that’s unique and eye-catching. However, Thomas Rhodes, a master’s student in creative enterprise management, perfects his style with elegance and careful pairing of patterns to create a look that is truly one-of-a-kind.

Inspired by classic films from the 1920s to the 1950s as well as opera, Rhodes incorporates these influences into a more autumnal outfit. Using a well-fitting pinstriped suit as a basic canvas, his violet striped shirt and paisley tie give him a much more retro appeal that suits his personality and hobbies, and Rhodes’ vintage hat and handkerchief refine his sophisticated style even more.

Rhodes may have a very great eye for capturing men’s fashion in an extremely distinctive way, but with some thought, it isn’t difficult to reinterpret his ways of thinking. Start with an influence — a time period, a musician, even a work of art — and find clothing pieces to reflect it. Specialized menswear brands like Dior Homme and Commes des Garçon Homme are great starting points for men’s basics that are tailored, slim-cut, and innovative. Finding quirky accessories to top them can be a lengthy process, but vintage stores and consignment shops are often the go-to places to find such pieces. Hermes and APC, two labels known for their awe-inspiring lines, also create great shirts and ties for men season after season.

Though the time for light jersey dresses and Bermuda shorts is coming to a close, many would argue that fall and winter wear are just as much fun because there are more pieces to work with and more chances to be creative. Micciulla and Rhodes have very distinguished looks, but the overall message is to have fun and be creative when getting dressed — it shouldn’t feel like a chore, but rather an extension of charisma and confidence.