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'Vampire Diaries' star Candice Accola on Caroline's budget-friendly wardrobe

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Image Credit: Annette Brown/The CW

While Elena spent her summer vacation between the sheets with Damon, Caroline was busy designing the color palette for the girls’ college dorm room. Their cavernous, romantically lit living space isn’t exactly based on reality — where are the cinder block walls and fluorescent lights? —  but even though Caroline and Elena have matriculated at Whitmore, so far they’ve stayed true to their signature styles.

“What I love about the wardrobe on The Vampire Diaries is that it’s hip, youthful, fun, and flirty, but it’s also true to the idea of keeping these characters in a small town,” says Candice Accola, who plays Caroline. The former Miss Mystic Falls often wears baby doll tops and denim jackets from affordable brands like Guess, Free People, Anthropologie, and Urban Outfitters.  “[The characters] aren’t walking around in designer duds all the time. We’re still on trend, but they’re more wearable trends than [you see on] other shows.” The clothes aren’t just wearable, they’re covetable. Fashion-obsessed Vampire Diaries fans turn to sites like Worn On TV, Possesionista, Shop Your TV, and TVD Style to track down clothes and accessories they’ve seen on the show.

Read on to see what Accola says about her character’s taste in clothes,  why the L.A.-based actress has had to learn how to dress for cold climates, and where you can find wardrobe pieces worn by Caroline and Elena in the season five premiere episode.

“[Caroline is] a safe version of trendy. She’s very much into [wearing basics],” says Accola, who is quick to point out that most of the credit for her character’s style goes to Vampire Diaries costume designer Leigh Leverett. “Leigh is absolutely wonderful. She just knows my body type so well that she knows what will look good and what won’t.”

When she isn’t shooting the CW series on location in Georgia, the Florida native spends much of her time off with her fiancé, Fray guitarist Joe King, who is based in Denver. “I’ve never understood how to live in the snow, it’s a comical new experience for me,” she explains. “I [will say to my fiancé,] ‘Look at my new boots!’ and he’ll say, ‘They’re leather and suede. You can’t wear them in the snow.’ First, I’ll master driving in the snow, then I’ll master fashion in the snow.”

Want to shop for Caroline and Elena’s freshman fashions?

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Image Credit: Annette Brown/The CW

In the scene pictured above, Caroline wears a floral-print camisole from Guess (on sale for $26.51 at lordandtaylor.com) and a blush topaz charm necklace ($81.63 at etsy.com). Elena’s silk chiffon beach dress is from the Joe’s Jeans summer 2013 collection (on sale for $112.50 at joesjeans.com), and her dove charm necklace is by jewelry designer Peggy Li ($45 at peggyli.com).

For their first day on campus, Caroline sports a pale pink jacket from Free People (on sale for $49 at 6pm.com), a camisole from Urban Outfitters (sorry, it’s no longer available), American Eagle denim shorts (on sale for $19.99 at ae.com), and the two birds on a branch necklace from Jewelry by D’Anne ($21 at Etsy.com). Elena wears a split neck tank top from Urban Outfitters (on sale for $19.99 at urbanoutfitters.com), All Saints’ Jules biker boots (no longer available), the Montana bag from Hammitt, ($450 on ebay.com), and Lucky Brand’s bird and nest pendant necklace ($35 at macys.com).

For more vampire style inspiration, watch The Vampire Diaries Thursdays at 8/7c on The CW.

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