As a college student it is all too easy to sit back and stroll around campus wearing yoga pants, Uggs, and a baseball cap. It never starts off that way, but over time, the excitement to wake up early and accessorize starts to slowly fade. Freshmen year I dressed to impress. When I flew across the country to start school I made sure to include cute shoes, skirts, and shirts in my Vera Bradley duffle— but sadly some outfits remained unworn in the back of the closet (or in some cases crumpled under my bed out of site of my new friends and roommates).

Then sophomore year I settled down. I had occasional spurts of fashion ingenuity but more often than not I dressed for comfort and kept it simple—bright colors, cute jeans and boots. However, this year, when the work set in, it seemed style went out the dorm room window. All semester I found new ways to pair yoga pants and college tees and somehow managed to throw my hair into a hat at least a few times a week. If they did a college edition of “Fashion Police” I have a feeling Ms. Rivers would put me on the fashion chopping block.

I made a new year’s resolution to try harder. This semester it will be different– new year, new style. I dare you to do the same. Have fun with your wardrobe and try to spice things up. This is not to say that you have to make your campus a catwalk—and of course you can still fit in the comfy outfits, but not every day!

It’s important to at least take note of the major trends hitting the streets this spring to ensure that you don’t get caught in a wrinkly rut of already worn yoga pants and sweats. Mix what’s in with what you already love and know how to wear and you’ll be set!

Here’s what designers and fashion divas everywhere are craving this spring:

Color blocking: It’s best if you keep to just 3 main colors, but don’t be afraid to go bold! Try solid cardigans, blocked or striped skirts, even dresses! A big trend is colored denim! Urban Outfitters has jeans in every color (I bought red!) from only $58, which is way cheaper than most places.

Bold Prints: Along with color blocking, try pairing bold colors with bold prints. Anything floral or geometric is extremely popular and can pair well with almost any color. You can mix certain prints, under the condition that you handle with care! Try stripes with a more graphic print for a little bit of fun! The navy impressionist flowers dress from Forever21 could work in the winter cold with tights and a cardigan and then transform into a fun spring staple!

Orange & Tangerine: Orange is red hot this season.  All over the runway fashionistas are spotting orange hues and tangerine splashes. Go bold and bright and add this fruity color to your spring lineup. Orange can be scary but trust me, you only live once so you might as well live on the wild side and stand out in class and around campus in this playful trend. Try the extended basic tank from Forever21 for $6.80 for an easy way to incorporate the color into your outfit.

Pastels: Not ready for “look at me” color schemes? Pastel colors may be better suited for you! Try lighter hues like mint green, or lilac purples, even light orange to introduce a ladylike touch to any ensemble! ASOS sells adorable belts in pastel hues for around $10!

Toms: And now for my favorite runway report item– TOMS is introducing ballet flats into their Spring 2012 collection. Not that I didn’t love the TOMS moccasins— the One for One charity behind them were enough to send anyone running to the store to buy a pair—but I never looked quite right wearing them. Their ballet flats are not only adorably cute, but in my opinion much more wearable. I think their company has a great mission, and a keen sense of what fashion conscious college co-eds are looking for. How fabulous that you can help a child in need and rock a cute pair of shoes?

Nails: And last but not least on the fashion front are your fingernails. Every season the “hot” look for nails catches me off guard and changes faster than it takes me to remove my last color. This season multiple looks are catching people’s fashion eye. First there is long and natural—keeping them simple and clean. Another hot look is the reverse manicure—try another combo besides the classic white and light pink and go bold — pick your favorites or go for something unexpected. If you want to stay simple and classic you can choose a color like nude or Jungle Red! If you want a solid color with a twist of modern flare, try yellow—canary or banana shades are my favorite and are totally unexpected! What could be better than a built in excuse to raise your hand in class? Try OPI Banana Bandana.

All of these trends can be molded to your style preferences and comfort level. Remember to have fun with fashion and make it work for you—regardless of the runway! Designers have great ideas and trends that you can build off of to maximize your personal style—even if you live in yoga pants!

-Ring Queen

I’m reading College Algebra