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Don’t be the college scruffy — be a 'Muffy'!

With the latest fashions leaning toward the neat and perky, you’ll be a university ace in the latest styles, says Judy Gordon.
/ Source: TODAY

Heading off — or back — to class and want to make a good impression? You’ll be delighted to know that the collegiate look is one of this season’s biggest trends. So work this clean-cut look it while it’s hot!

We’ve put together a guide to the best of what you need right now — denim for every day (and beyond), the lowdown on what to wear for interviews and internships, the hottest technology, style for your room and where to find the trendiest “message tees” that express your individual style.

It’s all here in the latest edition of our weekly fashion and beauty update.

College sweetheart From the runway to the real world, one of the hottest fall trends is the crisp, clean-cut, retro, collegiate look —the classic college sweetheart. So work it, girl! Here's your basic shopping list: a plaid, pleated skirt, a demure sweater set, a simple, cropped blazer, a handful of fabulous brooches, colored opaque tights and a wonderful pair of boots or suede pumps. You'll ace the interview or any "dressed up" occasion with style. If you really want to go all out, add a few argyle sweater vests, a crisp white shirt, a navy pleated skirt and a duffle coat to your wardrobe, and trust us — you'll bring tears to your mother's eyes. Good luck!

Don't let your accessories give you away! When dressing up or working the "co-ed" trend, leave your backpack or funky handbag at home. You can pick up a great looking faux crocodile satchel from Isaac Mizrahi at Target for less than $30.

No matter how great something looks, try it out to see if it’s comfortable — you’re going to spend a lot of time at your desk or studying in your favorite chair. We hear that the colorful “Moshi” pillows from Linens & Things are being snapped up by college students because they are filled with massaging microbeads to melt your stress away! Another tip: the cool and comfortable “Retro Rocker” from PB Teen is flying out of the stores.

Denim dreams
You live in jeans, right? So, what’s new? First off, retro looks with a ’70s feel. The Wrangler47 line from BuiltByWendy.com revives and restyles a beloved “retro” brand. You’ll also find that top designers are introducing flared, wide-leg and trouser styles, which are a bit dressier than your basic 501s. Check out Marc by Marc Jacobs, Chloe, Just Cavalli, Juicy Couture, Chip & Pepper and Alvin Valley to catch that trend. Another hot option is the custom-fit jean — you can make them to order at Levis.com — but if you just want a better fit without the fuss, the hip new brand Notify offers a choice of waist, hip and rear (!) sizes and J.Crew has a new line sized just for petites.

Fall’s new darker-washed denim is “dressed up” enough to go most anywhere (except perhaps a job interview or to that fancy restaurant with your aunt and uncle). To dress up the look, pair them with a great sweater or shirt, add a leather belt and high heels, slip on a jacket and then “glamorize” with a dazzling brooch, a faux fur scarf or a touch of metallic.

You’ve got style. Shouldn’t your tech toys, as well? Designer duds to dress up your cell phone and iPod are the hottest things going! You’ll find tempting outfits to match every outfit — designer-logo’d cases from Gucci and Louis Vuitton, and trendy skins from Paul Smith and Kate Spade . And you can even outfit your gear with a hoodie courtesy of C. Ronson.

: No matter what your political beliefs, it’s cool to care (and to vote in the upcoming presidential election). The trend right now is “election fever” and if you want to get one of these hot statements, order now: P. Diddy at CitizenChange.com (“Vote or Die”), limited editions from Todd Oldham, Isaac Mizrahi and Richard Tyler at DeclareYourself.com, girl power at SmartWomenVote.com or candidate-specific messages at ChoiceShirts.com.

Judy Gordon is a New York-based style consultant and the “Today” show’s style editor. She has been covering the fashion and beauty beat for the past decade. To learn more, you can visit her Web site, TheTrendReport.com, which highlights style trends in America.

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