[Hi, I'm Justin - the stylist and blogger behind Scout Sixteen. By day, I'm scouting out the latest and greatest in fashion and lifestyle. By night, I'm like a Magic 8-Ball for all of your style questions. From finding your best local thrift store to discovering the designers you need to know, I'll be doing the down-and-dirty research so you won't have to. If you have a style question, I have the answer. Send them to questions AT scoutsixteen.com.]
Hi Justin – I’m in college and looking for a really great bag. The backpack I got is too heavy/bulky and I want something functional but fashionable. Would you send me some suggestions? – Tyler W., Oxford, MS
In college, it’s important that you have a bag that can handle your busy lifestyle. From class to the art studio to happy hour with friends, you’re going to want something functional but transitional to your schedule. I’ve always been a big fan of tote bags – they do their job without weighing you down, so to speak. Here are a few of my favorite options at various price points.
- Inexpensive – Baggu (shown below) makes some amazingly versatile bags that withstand the weight of those chemistry books. In hundreds of colors, Baggu bags adapt to your lifestyle. They fold up into tiny pouches and – at $9 each – you can mix and match to suit your mood for the day.
- Moderate – This leather tote from American Apparel is perfect collegiate accessory. It’s roomy enough for all the essentials and has the quintessential ‘old-school’ vibe to it. It’s also leather which means it will be an accessory you can keep for years to come. At $165, it’s a bit pricier but won’t break the bank.
- Designer – Rebecca Minkoff’s men’s line, Ben Minkoff, makes some incredibly stylish options. This Milo Tote is one of my absolute favorites for busy days. It has about 10 inner pockets that help organize all the essentials and the canvas/leather exterior is modern and dapper.
- Luxury – This Alexander Wang Prism Tote is luxe to its core. With polished hardware and wrinkled leather exterior, first glance would dub this a vanity purchase. But this bag can hold up to 12 pounds of you “essentials” – don’t let the thin cowhide straps fool you!
Everywhere I look, people are talking about the ‘colors of the season’. Where do I look to find these? I need some serious help – I don’t want to get left in this dust while prepping my shopping lists! – Tish A., Grand Rapids, MI
The origin of color trends in fashion is a mystery. Designers seem to have an innate sense of what the upcoming prominent colors are going to be. Whether they look to the streets for personal-style inspiration or get inspired by an overseas trip, there are some consistencies with colors each season. Pantone, the world’s authority in color, actually releases a prediction each season of the hues they theorize will be more far-reaching in the industry. Plan ahead! – for Spring 2013, I’ve made a handy guide to these 10 colors, which you can see to the left.
What’s your take on camouflage? I’ve seen it in some of the stores at my local mall. Is it cool to wear it? – Jared W., Hialeah, FL
This is actually something I address in this post. I grew up on camouflage and hunting gear. It’s interesting to see that there has been a swift surge of retailers carrying camo-inspired items. I am personally a big fan of prints and camo hits home in a very special way. Keeping it subtle is key here. Limit yourself to using the print only ONCE per outfit (a shirt, cargo pants or a bag). Pair camo cargo pants with a white button-down shirt and denim jacket for a cool, Americana look. Or – for ladies – try a camouflage-print headband with a neutral outfit for a subtle pop of print.