Stripes: Mix and Match

Let’s talk mixing patterns. When done incorrectly, mixed patterns can be clown-like and an eye sore. But when done correctly, it is eye-catching, artistic, and admirable.

There are some basic rules I personally have when mixing patterns, and today I’m going to apply them to perhaps one of the most classic patterns: stripes!

When it comes to stripes, I feel like women either love them or hate them. With these style tips, you’ll either start to love them or love them even more!

My two rules when mixing and matching stripes are:

  1. Mix with a round pattern to balance out the straight lines.
  2. If you have a thick stripe, pair with a smaller round pattern, if you have a thin/pin stripe, pair with a larger pattern.

Mixing with a Round Pattern:

My personal favorite patterns to match with stripes are leopard print and florals. You can do polka dots too, especially if you have a preppy personal style (I’m not very preppy and don’t have any polka dots in my current wardrobe).

Leopard print and florals are a great because they typically don’t have any symmetry or harsh lines within. These patterns are a little more fluid. Avoiding straight patterns (plaid, gingham) when matching with a stripe means that you are avoiding the need to match up one straight line to another straight line.

Florals and Leopard print, when done right, add dimension to an outfit.

How do you know when it is done right? When the size of the pattern balance each other out:

If you are working with a pin-stripe, you want to stay away from pin-point polka dots or tiny florals. The eye won’t be able to catch onto any one part of your outfit and you may be a walking blur.

If you are working with a pin-stripe, you want to stay away from pin-point polka dots or tiny florals. The eye won’t be able to catch onto any one part of your outfit and you may be a walking blur.

So what are my style tips to make mixing and matching prints manageable for the everyday look?

Leopard Print Shoe/Accessories

I love a leopard print shoe for so many reasons – but I’ll stick to matching with stripes.

For starters, if you’re branching out with a new style, the shoes CAN be the most incognito part of your outfit. You can hide them under the desk, stand them behind the counter.

I also love the leopard shoe when wearing a striped shirt, because it is not one pattern right on top of the other. If you wear a solid pant or bottom, there is a lot of neutral space between the patterns.

Other accessories in leopard print are a great option as well: a belt, a scarf, a handbag. These layering pieces don’t cover a lot of surface area but add just the right amount of pop!

Stick to the same color family

If you’re scared that mixing prints will make you look like a clown, make sure you avoid prints in the SAME color and the OPPOSITE color. Rather, stick to families of color. Are you going all neutral? Are you going with a warm pallet? A cool pallet?

Normally color is my best friend, but when there are so many colors in your clothing pieces, you may look more like an unsolved rubics cube rather than a put together, stylish woman.

P.S another reason why a leopard accessory is great is because leopard is a neutral 😉

Next time you wear stripes, try mixing it with a pattern and snap a pic! You can send it to my e-mail. As much as I love sharing my fashion tips and hope to inspire you, I am always on the lookout for new style inspo, too!

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