Savvy Style Chat {Erika Sorocco of Cafe Fashionista}

In November, we missed our style chat--the monthly series featuring ridiculously stylish, savvy women with great stories to tell--but I am so happy to bring it back for December with a blogger who is stylish, sweet and a wonderful writer. For our December chat, I present...

Erika Sorocco / Cafe Fashionista / CafeFashionista.com

Those shoes! I hunted down those Jean-Michel Cazabat Zulaka shoes in the Foxtrot color for months in my size. I literally stalked Shopbop’s website. Finally, one pair popped up on the Barney’s website, and I clicked ‘Purchase Now’ without hesitation. I’m also wearing a Candie’s Top from Kohl’s {that has the prettiest lace detailing on the back}; and white shorts from Kohl’s.

What is your full time gig?

Grad Student. Since August of 2011 I have been in a full-time Grad Program leading towards a Master’s in Business Administration. As I write this, I am officially 2 ½ weeks away from graduating {!!!!!}. December 15th is my official last day.

How does your occupation affect your personal style?

As a Grad Student, my occupation has affected my personal style in that anything goes. I don’t have a particular uniform to adhere to on a daily basis; and can pretty much choose who I want to be {style-wise} based on my mood. The one trap I refuse to fall into is that of sloppiness. I may spend hours on homework, but I still want to look my best (even when I have class in the wee hours of the morning). I have found that layers, boots, and resilience are a Grad Student’s chic best friend; therefore, I favor heeled boots, skinny jeans with at least 2% spandex in them, colorful printed scarves, and slouchy sweaters – occupational style essentials that have crossed over into my personal-time wardrobe {especially for midweek brunch/coffee dates, and weekend shopping sprees}.

I love this picture because it was the first time of Fall 2012 that I was wearing my absolute favorite boots – Ivanka Trump Kamila! Also…it was the first time that I wore a scarf {see the pink} in years; so I consider it my style milestone day!

What other endeavors do you participate in and how do you transition your wardrobe throughout the day to meet the needs of these various roles?

Aside from being a full-time Grad Student, I am a freelance writer. Currently I write weekly articles about local bands for U-T San Diego newspaper / The Californian newspaper. Additionally, I write animal care articles for Cat Fancy magazine fairly frequently; and, a few years back, I served as Features Editor for the now-defunct Six78th magazine {one of my favorite gigs yet – I got to interview The Jonas Brothers!!}. I also work freelance in the field of editorial / social media content. I suppose you could say I wear many hats; and I’m constantly on a deadline.

Each of my roles seems to differ for me style-wise – sometimes I’m meeting with ‘rock ‘n’ roll’ types for band interviews; other times I’m chatting with Veterinarians in a more professional setting. Over the years, I have found that certain wardrobe pieces tend to work for all situations {or can modify my current look just enough to fit the role that I’m dressing for at the moment}. For me, these pieces include cropped blazers, dark wash skinny jeans, almond-toe pumps, chunky-heeled ankle boots, slouchy sweaters, heeled boots, and the occasional touch of fringe.

An example of my wardrobe transition in action: A few months back I had two interviews in one day – with a Veterinarian in the morning and a band in the afternoon. For the Veterinarian interview I wore a cropped blazer over my slouchy sweater, cuffed my skinny jeans, and slipped on almond-toe pumps {professional yet fun}. For the band interview I took off the cropped blazer, adjusted my slouchy sweater to give it an off-the-shoulder fit, un-cuffed my skinny jeans, and swapped my almond-toe pumps for knee-high heeled boots {playful, youthful…totally cute}. Voila! Two looks in one – give or take a few pieces.

What is your most favorite piece in your wardrobe and how often do you wear it? 

Believe it or not, right now it’s an accessory – a Sterling Silver Infinity Knot Ring by the Etsy seller IndulgentDesigns. If you Follow me on Instagram, it’s likely you see this ring in a lot of my nail of the day pictures. I am literally obsessed with it – I wear it every single day. I find the simplicity of it to be charming. Plus, I love what the infinity symbol stands for; therefore, this ring is my favorite right now.

Honestly, I just like the way my eyes and shoulders look in this picture – which is why I’m including it. I will admit that I do adore that top {from Forever 21}. It’s this really flowy material that is just stunning; though I’m only 5’1, so it semi-fits me like a dress.

How often do you go shopping—either in-person or online?

My credit card would love for me to say not that often; however, it’s me speaking, so I’ll be honest…every day. Please keep in mind that, as a fashion blogger, shopping is a form of research; therefore, I oftentimes write retail therapy off as such. But honestly, I do indulge in a bit of browsing at least once per day. I have a really hectic courseload for school, so I find that a little shopping relaxes me quite a bit. I do most of my shopping online {my favorite sites are Shopbop, Zappos, Nordstrom, and Forever 21} because I don’t always have time to go shopping in-person; but that’s not to say that I don’t love to when I do have the chance.

What is your most favorite place of the moment to score new items?

Zappos. I find that they have a ridiculously amazing selection of shoes, and I’m slightly addicted to the Free Overnight Shipping.

My new favorite nail color {Essie Penny Talk} coupled with my favorite accessory {the Infinity Ring} that I mentioned above. I take a lot of pictures of my hands / nails.

The new season signaled new colors for beauty items: what are your favorite fall nail colors? Are you a fan of nail art?

This year I have found so many amazing new nail colors for fall that have completely taken me away from my standard fall beauty fare {oxblood}. My top five favorites are Essie’s Penny Talk {I have swatches that went up on Café Fashionista on 12/3/12} – which is an incredible rose gold/new copper penny chrome metallic that will actually look awesome year-round; OPI’s Ski Teal We Drop – which is actually from a few years back, but new to me; Sally Hansen Lustre Shine Lava – everyone needs this shade, it is an awesome color-shifting duochrome/multichrome; JULEP’s Toni – a grayish purple that I love; and OPI’s Candlelight – gorgeous, gorgeous egg yolk yellow that is very fall yellow {as opposed to summer yellow}.

While I love nail polish, I can’t say that I’m the biggest fan of nail art (aside from an accent nail). I just prefer the look and uniformity of a solid (utterly amazing) color.

Where do you go to get inspired?

I’m very inspired by the street style of certain supermodels {Rosie Huntington-Whiteley especially}; and am literally obsessed with Isabel Marant. On days when my style leans towards the bohemian side, it’s all inspired by Ms. Marant. I actually run a Tumblr site {Pretty Little Luxuries} that, essentially, serves as the Inspiration Board for Café Fashionista, and features pictures of some of my favorite looks.

Aside from supermodel street style and the runway, I love, love gaining inspiration when I’m at cafes – especially if they’re located in big cities that are full of so many different walks of life. There’s something about the charming ambience of a café juxtaposed against the stylish hustle and bustle of random people coming and going that I find irresistible.

Also {I know, my inspiration list is long – sorry!}…the novella Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote never fails to inspire me. I am utterly captivated by that story, and feel as if I absorb a bit of Holly Golightly into my own personality with every re-read. Oddly enough, I have never seen the film – I’m worried that it will take away some of the magic of the book!

Why I love this picture? My makeup looked incredible that day {though you can’t see it very well in these shots}; and it was my first time wearing those boots {Halogen Brianna in Rust from Nordstrom}, that Owl Sweater/Sweatshirt from Target {which everyone I have encountered is obsessed with}; and those Forever 21 Jeans {which I actually found in my closet that morning – having owned them for two years without ever wearing them}.

If a stranger walking past you on the street was asked to describe your signature look in one word, what word would that be?

You have no clue how long I spent trying to come up with an answer for this question, but I have finally settled on one…Low-Key Luxe. I love my denim {low-key}, but I never leave the house without heels, and sparkly jewelry {luxe}.  

{Just for fun} UGGS: Yay or nay?

I wear them around the house as slippers; therefore, nay. For me, they’re just a bit too bulky to be chic/stylish/cute. I think there are too many comfortable alternatives that give off a stylish vibe {i.e. Hunter Boots} without, for lack of a better word, being sloppy. That said; have you checked out the new super-stylish UGG pieces – shearling booties and such? Totally cute!  

**Since this feature was published, Erika has rebranded and is now blogging at Cat Eyes & Skinny Jeans

Want more Savvy Style Chat? You can view the previous features here: