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Trendsetters at the U

Fall 2018

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas

Happy Christmas from the Trendsetters!  Hope you’re getting to spend lots of time with the ones you love this holiday season.

This year for our annual holiday shoot, we decided to have our theme be “Holiday Party” so we could have a bit of an excuse to get fancy! Some of these looks are geared toward Christmas parties, some toward New  Years Eve parties–we left the theme pretty open! Also included in this post–just as a fun bonus–are some cute pictures from our pajama-themed holiday party!

Photography by Aleksandra Wąs | @_fotografed


Brooklyn in glittery black dress, cream cardigan, tights and brown boots

For the Holiday shoot, my vision for my outfit was based upon a New Years Eve look. I wanted the outfit to be warm, sexy, and glimmery all in one. The front and center piece for the outfit was the sparkly dress. This piece was glamourous and form fitting to my body, a perfect style for a New Year’s theme. To make the look more cozy, I added charcoal nylons to accent the dress, a creme off-the-shoulder sweater, and knee-high dusty grey boots. To complete this dusky, winter look, I did a smokey eye for makeup with soft highlights on my cheekbones. For me, I always try to make my outfits match and have the pieces complement one another in color and texture. The sparkly dress had enough boldness and attention, where I was able to add some soft accessories to balance the look out. I also added silver drop earrings and a ring shaped like a bow. These accessories added a pop of fun to an overall more serious look. My inspiration for my outfits lately has been the pop artist, Ariana Grande and her style. She presents such a chic and feminine look that I adore. I love the basic tones of grey, black, and white turned into glamorous outfits. The outfit complimented my personality as I love all things sparkling and on the next level. This outfit would be perfect for the social butterfly and the trendsetter. I wanted my outfit to be classy, chic, and scream, “Thank u, next.”

Brooklyn posing in front of a large tree with lights

Brooklyn posing with a strand of lights

Brooklyn showing off her off-the-shoulder sweater

Brooklyn posing showing off the glittery black dress


Ashley in red cocktail dress, black coat, gray scarf, rose gold purse, pink gloves and strappy nude heels

Where would a girl like me go for the perfect outfit for a glamorous evening out at a holiday party this winter? That’s so easy, Macy’s!! I’m just surprised this time around that my glitz & glam look for going out doesn’t include me being covered head to toe in sequins and glitter!

For my outerwear, I have my favorite winter coat in navy blue from H&M – 40% for only $36! I have my good ol’ pink kiddie gloves from forever ago, and my grey fluffy scarf from Ulta for only $14! I get so many compliments on that scarf and everyone is always feeling it, so I’ll say it one more time for the people in the back: ULTA FOR $14, GET YOURS TODAY!!!

When I went to Macy’s last year over Thanksgiving break on Black Friday, I fell head over heels in love with this red dress! I knew it was the perfect dress for any holiday occasion, but the price tag scared me as a broke college girl. It’s original price was around $75-80. Of course, it was Black Friday, so it was marked down, but for me at the time, something along the lines of $40 just wasn’t in the cards. So, I hung it back up, but it didn’t leave my mind for one second; I was constantly checking their website to see if it would go on sale again or go on clearance, but to no avail. Fast forward to Spring Break, I went with my best friend Halie to Macy’s to look at stuff, just for fun, and tucked under a few different dresses of the same color, I found my dream dress hiding marked down to $14!!! It was 2 sizes too big, but that didn’t stop me. It was a little loose but actually was more comfortable and easy to move in. I’ve had my holiday look in the back of my closet just waiting to be unveiled for months, and the most wonderful time of the year has arrived!

Ashley with no coat showing off the off-the-shoulder neckline of her dress and her necklace

Ashley looking up in front of the big tree

Ashley posing with a strand of lights

Ashley smiling


Dina in black trousers, strappy black heels, pink chunky sweater and purse

“O Christmas tree, o Christmas tree
How lovely are thy branches
O Christmas tree, o Christmas tree
How lovely are thy branches”  

Did you just read that or did you sing? Hahaha!

Yeah, it’s Christmas time. How lovely it is.

Christmas is my favorite holiday of the year because it always brings me joy and happiness, especially when I spend time with my family to celebrate this time. Speaking of my family, this year after 3 or 4 years spending Christmas withhout my family back home,  I finally made it to my home and get to see all my family for this Christmas. While you guys are reading this, I am already in my hometown, Papua, Indonesia. Just so you know, I’m writing this while on my way from Seattle to Japan. Hahahaha. I’m so excited to see all my family and friends. I might write an individual blog about Christmas celebration in my hometown, so you guys might hear about that a little more.

Last but not least, for this photo shoot, I wore black pants and a pink sweater, which I got from H&M. They are really comfy. To keep me warm I put on my cozy jacket that I got from Restyle Fashion Exchange. I usually go to a Christmas party with a small bag and high heels, and this time I choose my pink small bag from Ross and my heels from Rue21. I hope you guys like this style or maybe this style inspired you.

Anyways, Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas

XOXO – Dina Merani

dina with a jacket, earmuffs and scarf admiring a christmas light

Dina smiling at Christmas lights


Dina with coat, scarf and earmuffs smiling


Claire, space buns, cream turtuleneck, brown patterned wide leg trousers

Happy holidays everyone! For this look I tried something new to me: pants! This is the first pair of pants I’ve bought in years; I picked up this pair of paper bag trousers last week at Böhme. The plaid wool gives me the warm and cozy feeling of Montana winter while still looking modern and high fashion. A paired this with a Goodwill turtleneck and my favorite pain of vegan Docs. I chose to put my hair in space buns as an easy idea of how to keep hair out of my face whilst I’m shoving cookies in my face at a Christmas party. I hope all of you have a happy holidays and an amazing break!

Claire posing with Christmas lights

Claire posing with christmas lights



Erin in a black strappy dress, cream cardigan, gray socks and black booties

Christmastime is here and I am so excited! As far as I’m concerned, Christmas Season started November 1st. Yep, I’m one of those.

I was so excited that the theme of this shoot was a Christmas party. I really love the elegance of formal winter fashion, and it just brings to mind all of those cheesy Hallmark Christmas movies that I spend the entire holiday season watching.

I went pretty simple for this one. Say it with me: get yourself an L.B.D. I got this little black dress on sale at H&M for like $10, I’m not joking. It comes in handy because it’s so easy to dress up or down depending on what you need it for. It’s perfect for parties.

I’m crazy about layering, so I threw on this cardigan from Target. I am obsessed with being cozy and this bad boy does the trick. Plus, with a cardigan, you can pull that move where you casually drape it off your shoulders to fake nonchalance, which is like my signature attempt to be casual. I’m also wearing these booties from Olive+Iron. They are my favorite shoes and for heels, they are actually pretty comfy, plus they are an easy addition to dress up an outfit.

I hope you all have a lovely winter break! I know I can’t wait to see my family, sip some hot cocoa, and see some old friends!

Happy Holidays!

 Erin with light strand

Erin looking over shoulder with light strand

Erin smiling over shoulder


Savannah in black cocktail dress, tights and booties with red bow on belt

This look is an example of an easy festive outfit you can throw together with a staple item that every girl owns: A little black dress. If you are searching the stores or your closet for the perfect dress this holiday season and can’t seem to find something to wear then I hope you consider this post.


I have many black dresses in my wardrobe, but I settled on this one because It’s dressy and already has a “party feel” to it. I paired it with some dark gray tights because using black would’ve made the whole outfit blend together. In the winter I like to wear tights with any outfit that would otherwise reveal my legs; I just think it’s more appropriate for the season.

I cinched my waist in with a black belt, and attached a red sparkly bow to the buckle. I bought the bow at the Dollar Store, and I feel it basically makes the outfit. It kind of creates the look of a wrapped present, which is very fitting for the holidays. 😛

Additionally, I would add a large pair of red statement earrings to complete the look. Unfortunately, however, I could not find any at any of the stores I went to, so I opted for a gentle pair of gold earrings. But, I love to elevate an outfit that is fairly simple by throwing on some bold, gaudy jewelry. I think that adding a pair of big red earrings would pair beautifully with the bow, and really tie the look together.

Around the holidays it is easy to find ribbon, bows, and glitter, in green, red, and gold colors, so get creative and don’t be afraid to take a chance by making your outfit a mini art project this holiday season. You will have fun, and it’ll be unique in addition to being super cute.

Savannah with lights

Savannah laughing

Savannah with lights

Savannah smiling up at lights

Happy Holidays from all of us here at Trendsetters at the U.

out of focus star shaped light decoration

Bonus: The Trendsetters Annual Holiday Party!

Mackenzie, Tessa, Brooklyn, Ashley, a dog, Savannah and Claire in pjs with mugs in front of a tree

The group hugging in front of tree and stockings

Mackenzie's "Naughty" and "Nice" socks

Tessa in front of tree with mug with candy cane sticking out of it

Fall 2018 Uncategorized

Hello Fall

The trendsetters are so excited to share with you our outfit ideas for our favorite season! Montana has such a short lived fall season, but it is definitely the most beautiful times of the year, especially around campus. Here are some of our trendsetter’s ideas on how to compliment this season through your wardrobe.

All the trendsetters are smiling and looking at the camera, they are sitting on a fallen tree. The leaves in the back are yellow and falling.


Hello UM lovelies ! Since Fall is finally in action (My favorite time of year!) it was time to break out my favorite jumper from Free People while the leaves still match it! Free people tends to run a little large for me, so when I got this jumper I immediately had to get the straps hemmed. I was out of contact with this beaut for a couple months because it was in California, but now I have it back and cant stop wearing it!

When I think of Fall, the first color that comes to mind is dark orange. I think this color looks fabulous on just about anyone who wears it, and is so versatile with fall colors. The other colors I think of are black and white, in the spirit of Halloween. I chose this shirt from also Free People because of the ruffles and the attractive horizontal stripes. The ruffles are inconvenient when cooking or actually being a productive human haha, but when just strolling around the Zoo’s downtown, its the perfect eye-catcher. Not only would I wear this shirt with my jumper, but it also looks great tied in the front with a pair of jeans, or even under a little black dress.

Finally, the bow that tied my outfit together, was my Blundstones. AHH I am OBSESSED with these boots. ( I literally have not taken them off) They’re a perfect Missoula shoe that can we worn in the hot Summers, cool Fall days and the brutal Winters. 10/10 would recommend these boots to anyone! You can buy them at Hide and Soul downtown, just be sure to ask for the student discount! All in all, this was my favorite outfit because it made me feel like I should be picking pumpkins, making pumpkin bread for the fam, and really got me in the Fall spirit!

Riley is looking of into the sun, her hands are up in the air and her selves are flowing.

Riley is holding a strand of her hair and smiling into the sun.


Sarah is kneeling on the fallen leaves. She is wearing a dark green floral top, a tan skirt, and leather boots.

Hey y’all! Happy fall! My name is Sara and I’m a freshman here at UM studying theatre. Fall is definitely my favorite season because it means warm drinks, comfy cute sweaters, and peaceful strolls enjoying the autumn colors and the crisp fall weather.

Fall fashion is another reason I’m in love with the season. I was so excited to find this faux suede skirt on sale at Old Navy at the beginning of the school year, and it has definitely become one of the staple pieces in my wardrobe recently. The neutral color and high waist makes it super flattering on any body type and easy to pair it with really any top. For my shirt, I’m wearing a super soft wrap shirt that I also got on sale at Rue21. To finish off the outfit, I paired it with my signature fringe boots, a handmade Montana necklace, and simple gold hoops.

My makeup is inspired by changing colors of the season. For eyeshadow, I used colors from the Jaclyn Hill Morphe palette, Too Faced Just Peachy Mattes palette, and the Huda Beauty Mauve Obsessions palette. I’m wearing my recent favorite highlighter and lip gloss: Laura Geller Baked Gelato Swirl Illuminator in Charming Pink and the Fenty Beauty Gloss Bomb in Fenty Glow.

I’m excited for the season ahead at all the tea and apple cider I’ll be drinking this fall. See you guys later!


— Sara

Sarah is sitting on a large tree stump with her legs crossed. She is smiling and looking at the camera.

A close up of Sarah on a bridge, she is looking away and there are trees in the background.


Erin is standing on fallen leaves. She is wearing ripped light wash jeans that are belted with a white baggy sweater tucked into it. There are trees with yellow leaves in the background.

Oh my gosh guys it’s the most magical time of the year! I know that I sound so basic, but it’s true, I absolutely love Fall. And Missoula does Fall the best. The University district is so beautiful this time of year, so I actually don’t mind being on campus. And we might have not been on campus for this shoot, but we still loved it.

For this shoot, I wore my absolute favorite turtleneck sweater, I got it on sale at H&M this summer and I’m so happy that it’s finally cold enough to wear it. These pants are from American Eagle, and they are surprisingly comfortable.

I hope you all are loving this Missoula Autumn as much as we are!

Erin is sitting on the fallen leaves and looking to the side.

A close up of Erin in the shadows of the trees.


Ashley is sitting on a stump with her legs crossed. She is wearing a flannel, leggings, and a backwards hat.

Ladies and gents, fall is HERE!! You know what that means!

For me, I tend to stray away from the stereotypical norm of sweaters, uggs, and a pumpkin spice latte. To keep myself cozy my go-to is my signature flannel. Anyone who knows me knows that I live in my flannel from the moment summer leaves until it comes back. Back in high school I actually created a little tradition, starting with my friend group, and then growing beyond called “Flannel Friday.” It’s pretty self explanatory, but me and all my friends would wear a flannel every Friday, post about it on Snapchat, and point out anyone else wearing a flannel, intentionally or unintentionally, and cheer on their style savvy. This flannel that I chose for this shoot is my absolute favorite of mine, and the one you are most likely to see me wearing. It’s comfy, fits me perfectly, and keeps me warm. I snuck it out of my high school theatre department’s costume inventory, along with every other flannel they had, so I have an extensive selection in my closet. It also has some sentimental value to me because when I got it, there was a manufacturing error that took it in at the side, but I was able to seam rip it out and sew it back together in under 2 minutes!!

One thing that I DEFINITELY give in to when it comes to the stereotypical styles of the season is leggings!! Why would anyone wear anything else? Oh my goodness, they are so comfy and cozy and they go with literally EVERYTHING; whether it be sweaters or flannels or anything in between, nothing beats a good ol’ pair of basic black leggings. I was able to snag this pair in a 2 pack at Costco for a very reasonable $12. They’re high waisted, which pairs perfectly with my favorite crop tops to show off just enough of my midriff and my scars! This crop top in particular was an “Awesome”gift from my darling friend, Elaina and it is my absolute favorite – and I own a lot of crop tops!!

One of the best things about the cooler weather and the rain coming in is being able to dust off that old pair of boots that have been hiding in your closet all summer! Time to keep our feet warm and dry, and I always make sure to keep my feet warm and cozy by wearing fluffy socks with all of my boots!! For this adorable pair of combat boots, I was able to get them from Macy’s for a STEAL!!! They were originally around $65, but they were on sale for $28 and I didn’t even realize it when I went to check out!!! It really is the little surprises in life that are truly special.

And finally, my hat! This girl right here doesn’t know how to really rock a beanie, nor does she own one, so I am quite often wearing a backwards snapback to spice up what’s going on up at the top of my head. This on in particular is a “Bullet Club” hat from Hot Topic, originally $25 but I got it 50% off! If you haven’t heard of the Bullet Club, they are a fantastic group of pro wrestlers that are taking over the world, setting records in wrestling and Hot Topic sales alike! I know pro wrestling isn’t everyone’s style, but it sure does influence mine!

And finally, the little cherry on top that you’ll most likely see me wearing in every photo shoot is my necklace. My boyfriend gave it to me on our 4th date; it is my birthstone in the shape of a heart centered in a sterling silver heart with diamond accents to complete it. It is from Macy’s as well, and it is my absolute favorite piece of jewelry I will ever own.

Ashley is sitting on the fallen leaves and leaning on a tree.

Ashley is standing on a bridge and looking into the distance.


Marlena is standing on leaves, she is wearing a white sweater, plaid skirt, and polka dot nylons. The tree behind her is yellow and has berries.

Fall is sadly coming to a close soon (how crazy right?) and I am so happy that us Trendsetters got to do one last Fall post for you all. I had so much fun putting this outfit together for this photoshoot. Every piece is from Forever 21 except for my boots and jacket which are from Tally Weijl and TJMaxx. Fall is sometimes a bit difficult to dress for because the weather is unpredictable. I think skirts (and even dresses) are a perfect transition piece from Summer to Fall with a pair of cute tights and a sweater because it’s not too warm and not too cold and still sooo cute! Throwing a light jacket over the top for extra cold days is a perfect way to warm the outfit up even more if necessary. I also have been loving the pattern on the skirt for this season and think it would be a perfect addition to a Thanksgiving outfit (or a Fall date). I hope you all get to enjoy the last days of golden leaves and pumpkin patches before the cold begins to set in and snowflakes begin to fall. Wishing for happy days ahead for you today and every day!

Marlena in the trees shadows wearing her jacket.

Marlena smiling and walking towards the camera.


Tessa standing in the forrest. She is wearing a black sweater, denim jeans, and tall leather boots.

Ah! Fall! I usually just let fall pass by rather than actually embracing the season. In the past, I’ve thought of fall as a horrible sign of the impending Montana winter. But, lately I’m trying to think more positively about things in my life, and fall has definitely fallen (ha, get it?) under that umbrella. This fall I’ve tried to make a point to celebrate all that fall has to offer. I’ve never been a fan of the pumpkin spice latte, but I’ve been trying all the other fall drinks that the coffee shops I frequent have to offer (side note: apple cider with caramel from FloCo is TO DIE FOR). I’ve been making a point to appreciate the colors of the leaves when I’m outside, I’m re-reading Harry Potter again, I made Halloween decorations with the kids I babysit.

But one thing I know I haven’t been appreciating enough is fall fashion. The colors! The layers! The boots! The scarves! It’s one of the best seasons for fashion.
For this shoot, I wanted to go pretty simple, but try to pay homage to fall and all it has to offer. I think two huge staples of fall fashion are denim and sweaters. So, I went with my favorite pair of high waisted Levi’s and paired them with an old favorite sweater I got at Francesca’s years ago. If you’re an avid reader of the Trendsetter’s blog, you may recognize these gray boots, considering I’ve worn them in at least 4 shoots. What can I say? They’re cute and comfy and practical in Montana year round. But, I can’t forget the real star of this look, the French Tuck. Thanks, Tan.
Hope you all have an amazing fall and enjoy all that this season has to offer!
Tessa standing in the trees shadows.

Tessa looking off to the side.


Madison standing on the grass, she is wearing a tan skirt and a white sweater. She is holding a cup of coffee and smiling.

This is one outfit I will definitely have on repeat for fall! Sweaters and skirts are my favorite combo and very practical for Missoula (freezing cold mornings & warm evenings). For this photoshoot I wanted the colorful leaves to be the star of the show by keeping things neutral!

Sweaters are obviously always on trend for fall but my other go to trend this year is wearing anything tannish orange colored. I donʼt know if itʼs to match all the fall content Iʼve seen on my Instagram lately or because it goes with just about anything. This tan skirt is from Forever 21 and it could possibly be my most worn item in my closet along with this sweater I borrowed from one my of my friends. I have worn it for 5 days straight (no joke) and donʼt plan on stopping anytime soon!

Even though I HATE the cold Iʼm excited to finally be wearing sweaters, drinking hot coffee, and eating anything pumpkin flavored. Hope you guys are excited for all the fall feed coming!

Madison holding on to a tree and smiling while playing with leaves.

Madison standing on leaves and looking over her shoulder away from the camera.


A close up of Claire smiling at the camera, she is wearing a white off the shoulder top, a teddy jacket, a paper boy hat, and a necklace with a teddy bear on it.

Fall has always been one of my favorite seasons, and this year it seems to be passing so quickly! My goal while dressing for fall is to find something unique, comfortable, and still in trend. I have to say my most “trendy” piece of clothing would be my teddy jacket I ordered off of Amazon. It’s such a simple pice to throw on that makes every outfit cozy and modern. My floral skirt is a pice I got from Zara a while back, it compliments any basic outfit while adding a pop of color. My cream colored shirt is from American Eagle, and although it’s simple the ruffles add femininity to an outfit that is overall pretty slouchy. The teddy bear necklace is from a company called Teddy Fresh and is my way of making this outfit a bit more unique. And, like any good fall outfit, I topped it off with a newsboy hat and a dark red lip. Alright, now everyone should go out and enjoy the rest of fall while it lasts. Drink those PSL’s and carve pumpkins with your family, I know I will.

xxx- Claire

Claire standing on the leaves, her skirt is black with a red floral pattern.

Claire smiling and looking away from the camera.

Photography by Sara Diggins  | @sara_digginsphoto