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Ask A Pittsburgh Expert: Tips For College Style Essentials

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College classes are starting up again and soon Pittsburgh campuses will be bustling with thousands of college students eager to return to class—or at least eager to show off their hottest back-to-school fashion finds. Don't fret if you're not sure what to fill your closet with this school year. Kayla Posney, fashionista and's budget fashion writer, shares everything you need to know to help you head back to class in style. Check out her suggestions and tips for college style essentials.

Kayla Posney

Kayla Posney is a freelance writer who has four years of experience writing budget fashion features for She loves writing columns and tips focused on shopping on a budget and sharing local sales and style trends. Posney earned a bachelor's degree in English studies from Robert Morris University in 2008 and a master's degree in professional writing from Chatham College in 2009. She is currently pursuing a master of education degree in secondary education and teaching at Point Park University.

Dark denim wash jeans Dark denim wash jeans (Credit, Jessica Wasik)

Dark denim wash jeans

You won't go many places on campus without seeing students rocking a pair of boot-cut, skinny or straight leg jeans thanks to their convenient and comfort. "Always go with a dark denim wash because it is figure flattering, looks great with a variety of colors and never goes out of style," said Posney. She adds that investing in several pairs of jeans in your favorite cut and wash is an easy and affordable way to create trendy, versatile outfits that transition well from class and campus activities to sporting events and even parties. For those students who loathe laundry, keeping two or three pairs of jeans on hand also guarantees that you'll always have something to wear.

"Blazers are a great way to jazz up a simple outfit and make it look more professional," explained Posney, who suggests ladies splurge on a blazer with embellishment, bright colors or prints. Pair yours with jeans, leggings or over a dress for a look that will carry you from class to work to a girls' night out. For men, Posney recommends timeless black blazers that fit your body type. "Guys of all sizes can wear black blazers. They work well over a button-down shirt or sweater for an important class presentation and look appropriate, stylish and oh-so-dreamy over a graphic tee for a date with that girl you met in your 10 a.m. class."

School bags

A large, stylish and durable school bag is among the must-have college accessories. Posney says to be on the lookout for bags with enough room to accommodate your laptop and textbooks. Have fun shopping for your school bags and explore the limitless availability of colors, materials and styles. For a sophisticated style, browse the selection from Michael Kors, Kate Spade, Coach, Nine West and Nicole Miller. If an athletic edge with a professional touch is what you crave, check out duffels and book bags from Coach Men and Wilson's Leather.

Related: Best Places For Discount Designer Jeans In Pittsburgh

The LBD (little black dress)

Whether for a class presentation, academic award event or a sexy date night, the LBD is the way to go. With so many styles available, this closet essential is anything but boring. Just be sure to select a dress that suits your body type. "Whether it be a shift dress, sheath dress, dress with peplum detail or a sophisticated maxi dress paired with a blazer, you'll get a lot of mileage out of this timeless wardrobe staple," said Posney.

Black flats Black flats (Credit, Jessica Wasik)

Campus-friendly footwear

Campus life calls for a footwear that is stylish, durable and, above all, comfortable. Ladies can't go wrong with a feminine pair of black flats or black knee-high flat leather boots, which Posney found are great for casual classroom fashion and walking hilly campuses, especially on winter days when sidewalks may not be salted. Guys will love the comfort and support of casual tennis shoes, but should also pick up a cool pair of dress shoes, such as oxfords, loafers or wing tips for presentations, work, internships and date nights. For women's dress shoes, Posney suggests a classic black heel, adding that ladies do not have to wear sky-high stilettos, but finding a pair of black heels at a reasonable height in a great footwear choice for presentations or campus parties.

Related: Best Men's Shoe Stores In Pittsburgh

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 Head to CBS Pittsburgh's Best Of page for more local tips on family fun, shopping, nightlife, food, culture and more!

Jessica Wasik lives in Pittsburgh where works as a full-time figure skating coach sharing her passion with todays generation of young skaters. A graduate of Robert Morris University with a degree in English Studies, Jessica is also a contributing writer for Allegheny West Magazine. Her work can be found at

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