Courtesy of Hannah Bazarian

I’d like to take a moment to talk about color. With the dying breath of summer and the raspy inhalation of autumn ringing in the Rochester air, it can be a confusing time to gauge appropriate color palettes.

The “California Girl” in all of us is clinging to sunny, yellow bandeaus and cerulean shorts, but our inner new-ivy prep is demanding mustard, burnished orange and all the other colors we will see falling from our soon-to-be-barren trees. Is it OK to mix the two schemes? Or do you avoid both of them and go for some classic black and white?

Luckily, as with most cases in fashion, there is not one correct answer. With the economy in the state that it’s in, styles that cross seasons are now staples on the runway and the street.

Instead of buying one lighter vest for summer and a heavier one for fall, why not save the money and buy one that works for both? Denim is one of those trends that works well for this time of the year, along with nudes and neutrals.

The pairing of summer cuts with autumn colors, or vice versa, is particularly economical this season. A bright floral-patterned shirt with chocolate brown shorts, for example, works as a transitional outfit to pair with sandals, loafers or boots. Neon is another trend that will bridge the seasons, and it’s easy-peasy to pair with summery separates or a more textured autumnal ensemble.

While out on the Eastman Quadrangle scouting for the subtly fabulous, I stumbled upon two undergraduates who were working the Indian summer look, all while being productive out in the sun (something I greatly admire).

The first was junior Olivia Coffaro, who was sporting a heather green jersey-knit skirt her mom made for her once upon a time. After the maxi-knit skirt made a comeback, she dragged it out of storage to pair with a simple gray T-shirt and a denim vest (J. Crew).

What I loved most about her outfit was that it afforded to be both comfortable and unassuming, as well as trendy. She managed to blend a lot of colder tones together without clashing and without appearing too dreary during a crisp, sunny day.

The second fashionista I stumbled into was international transfer student Isabel Wahlgreen from Stockholm, Sweden (where she is in the class of 2012). Wahlgreen was wearing a pair of ankle-length nude trousers (Zara), a sheer beige-based patterned blouse (MQ) and a single bracelet (Marc Jacobs).

Pairing two different nudes is tricky business, but Wahlgreen wore it effortlessly. Her sunglasses were classic and were particularly striking as a black accent against the lighter tones in her outfit. Sprawled on the grass behind her was a brown leather jacket, another classic piece, clearly in reserve for the chillier Rochester nights.

All this to say: Dare yourself to dress in different tints and shades of the same color palette. Darker denim blues work well together, as do different neutral tones. Complimentary colors do not necessarily constitute a “cute” outfit, although they may be easier to pull together in the morning.

Feel free to experiment by pairing an Army green with lime green, and a brick red with bubble-gum pink is not only acceptable on Nicki Minaj.

Conversely, not everything Nicki Minaj wears is acceptable as a general rule, but that’s another column entirely.

Burritt is a member of the class of 2013

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