Ask An Expert: Tips For College Style Essentials

August 27, 2013 5:00 AM

(Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images for Abercrombie & Fitch)

(Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images for Abercrombie & Fitch)

College style may be simple to some—t-shirt, jeans, tennis shoes and that’s it. While this definitely screams comfort, it lacks originality and overall personal style. For the college student who wants to be fashion forward and a stand out from the crowd, fashion stylist Mary Mirsky has five tips for you that will take you from drab to fab in just a matter of seconds.

Mary Mirsky

Styled by Mary Mirsky
Dallas, TX
(903) 570-2485

Fashion stylist and trend-spotting guru Mary Mirsky is taking Dallas by storm. From a knockout fashion blog to working with some of the best in Dallas’ fashion industry, Mary Mirsky is rapidly becoming the “it” girl for fashion styling. Immediately the stand-out in any crowd, Mirsky is known for creating drool-worthy looks from affordable pieces. For those who are unfamiliar with Mirsky and her work may think she’s up and coming; but for those heavily involved in the Dallas fashion scene are well aware that she has already arrived.

Upgrade Your Denim

It’s a well-known fact that college students can give a good pair of jeans a run for their money. Jeans in the college context are the alpha and the omega, the beginning and the end—everything essential to the college student’s wardrobe. Instead of going with the mold and taking the long trek to classes in tattered ill-fitted jeans, Mirsky advises that the easiest way to upgrade your look is to invest in a quality pair of dark-washed denims. Darkening the wash of your jeans creates a more stylish and polished look while still allowing for exceptional comfort.

Pair Denim With Denim

Mirsky admits to being in love with one of this year’s hottest trends—denim on denim. She guarantees that this style will be an automatic hit on campus. Not too long ago, pairing denim with denim was considered a faux pas, but lately the new twist of coordinating a darker wash jean with a lighter denim on top is one of fashion’s latest obsessions. For the outgoing college male, Mirsky recommends adding flair with a bow tie or suspenders to graduate this look from ordinary to runway-worthy. This style, according to Mirsky, is “so easy and so chic” that any college student should be able to implement this trend with absolute ease.

Related: Best College Bars In DFW

Say “Yes” To Pleats Ladies

For many college students, it’s all work and some play. Just as professionals need attire that can easily transition from 9 to after 5, the active college student needs similar options as well. For the women, Mirsky highly recommends adopting her go-to staple item: the pleated skirt. Easily dressed up with a blazer or shimmery blouse, this must-have item can effortlessly morph into the fashionably casual realm with the addition of a denim button-up shirt. You can rock this skirt with studded booties or school-girl loafers and it can instantly create a stir.

Memorize These College Style-Friendly Stores

Just like you would cram for a mid-term final, stylist guru Mary Mirsky wants you to study and commit these budget-friendly stores to memory. These stores are not only fashion forward, but also offer items for under $50. For name brand designers at an affordable price, Mirsky recommends Target. From collaborations with Prabal Gurung to Isaac Mizrahi, Target is a go-to style haven for people of all ages. Next on Mirsky’s list is the UK’s largest online boutique, Asos. Considered the mecca of fashion for some of the world’s top fashion bloggers, Asos is a pocket-friendly brand that some college students can hardly live without. Other recommendations by Mirsky include Cotton On in NorthPark Mall and the Mango brand located inside J.C. Penney.

Related: College Student Prep: Must-Have Items For Every Dorm Room

Throw Away Those Ratty Shoes

Face it fellas, one of the first places a woman will look when she gazes her eyes on you will be your feet–and not for the reasons you are thinking. It’s understandable that walking around campus all day may require a great pair of tennis shoes, but from time to time, a slight step above casual may get you more points with the girls. Mirsky jokes that college guys needs to “stop ruining good outfits” by wearing ratty shoes. Instead, opt for the classic lace-up boat shoe which will dress up any outfit yet still help you to retain comfort for lengthy walks on campus.

Leah Frazier is a freelance writer covering all things Dallas. Her work can be found on