Inside A Style Blogger’s Closet: Black & White Pattern Mixing!

When it comes to putting together an outfit, one of two things will happen for me. First, I’ll plan ahead of time for a special occasion what I’d like to wear to honor or celebrate whatever the event is—& I won’t budge away from that outfit idea. On the other hand, for day-to-day styling, I simply go by however I feel. I consider the weather, how long of a work day is ahead of me, where I’m headed socially, as well as how I’m feeling health-wise to measure how much I’m willing to fuss with a garment. While it might look like a lot goes into an outfit, sometimes spur of the moment ideas hit me & I’ve created something unique & detailed.

However, when I want to experiment with my wardrobe to try something new with staple items (usually a cardigan, belt, statement necklace, or dress), my instincts lead me to pattern mixing, which is just my kind of fashion risk & something that I’ve happily & successfully explored over the last year. I love discovering the result of pairing stripes with florals or animal prints with polka dots, as well as metallics with chevron, just to have some fun while reinventing old favorites in a new way. When taking a fashion leap just such as this, I make sure that accompanying items are subtle, such as a patent leather flat, black pant, or opaque tights.

Last week, I was inspired to play with some new fall finds from dressbarn, pieces that are also perfect for a cool summer afternoon too. As soon as I saw the black & white tiered floral blouse & diamond print ankle pants, I knew I loved them, but hadn’t immediately thought of putting the pieces together. A black & white color combination is possibly my favorite because of its timeless & clean vibe for any season. When I play around with mixing patterns, I always keep in mind that the best way to execute an ensemble is by keeping with the color scheme. I added an extra special touch to finish off the look with my older floral printed pointy toe flats (shop similar here), a classic denim jacket (shop here), & silver jewelry (shop similar here) since the busy patterns need neutral companion accessories.

Of course, either of these pieces can be styled in multiple ways. For example, the blouse would look cute with a  pretty pink cardigan & skinny jeans, but it can also be a flirty option for night with a blazer & leather leggings. The printed ankle pants are screaming for a pop of color with a bold yellow tank & cobalt heels, or with a red turtleneck for fall & embellished ballet flats.

SHOP: cardigan @New York & Company, skinny jeans @Old Navytop @Nordstrom Rack, & heels @DSW.

For a little more black & white mixed print inspiration, here are a few more pieces in classic patterns like polka dots, stripes, floral, & houndstooth to get you thinking about all the ways to wear these two very versatile & chic colors.

SHOP: sweater @H&M, pants @YOOX, blouse @Maurice’s, & skirt @New York & Company.

Lastly, when seeking some style inspiration, I usually turn to Pinterest, which is where I can find some amazing red carpet & street style shots of my favorite fashionista celebrities who are experimenting on the daily, just like me, when it comes to mixing prints. Some admirable & professional pattern pushers are style icons Olivia Palermo, Solange Knowles, & Jamie Chung.

Look how each of these fashion forward ladies uses neutrals to play up the busier pieces of their outfits, while also offering a sense of balance among the stylish chaos of their outfits. Olivia uses a black blazer as a topper, as well as gold ankle strap heels for some glamorous edge. Solange is all about yellow with her handbag & cropped pants. Finally, Jamie’s gray booties & black heels complete her effortless looks.

Do you like to mix patterns in your outfits? What questions do you have about this risk-taking outlook? Which celebrities do you turn to for style inspiration? How do you feel about the classic black & white trend? Happy Styling!


Super Style Wishlist: White House Black Market’s Sale Makes Me Swoon!

My favorite I’ve-died-and-gone-to-heaven store is & will always be White House Black Market. I love the elegant, classic styles, very reminiscent of Sex & the City‘s Charlotte York, & the quality of merchandise b/c whatever I own from them always seems to last a long time.  However, the prices aren’t always in my budget, which is why I often find myself even swooning over the sale items. If there’s really a very, very special upcoming occasion, then I’ll take the plunge & invest in a valuable new addition to my wardrobe, but that opportunity doesn’t come around very often.

In today’s post, I’d like to share some of my favorites from their sale selection, which are nothing short of ladylike perfection.  The geo-lace stripe pencil skirt ($79.99) is a figure-flattering must-have, & can be worn for all seasons if accessorized correctly.  I recommend pairing your favorite neons or brights with this, belt it, & if it’s cooler, add some opaque tights for texture.  Next is the very 50’s-inspired striped halter sundress ($79.99), ideal for a summer brunch, family event, or weekend at a vineyard.  I’m personally not a fan of halter dresses on me, but this modern take on a vintage look is really irresistible.

If we’re talking black & white, we gotta bring up this strapless dot dress ($49.99) which is perfect for a rehearsal dinner, date night, or cocktail party.  Add a splash of color or stick to patent neutrals to make this look timeless.  Since I’m a shoe-lover, I had to mention the shimmery canvas wedge ($59.99) which are the heavenly combination of dressy & summer-ready with the metallic details & bow over the peep toe.

Note: All of these prices are sale prices & have been marked down from much higher original prices, but if the occasion calls for it & you can swing it without any life-threatening buyer’s remorse, splurge away! Also, if you sign up with the store, they’ll send you coupons & you can get points for even better discounts in the future! Happy Styling!

1/19/11 Darling of the Day: Cate Blanchett in Menswear!

Talk about sexy in menswear!  Although Cate Blanchett can sometimes be mistaken for an androgynous male alter ego (I’m Not There anyone?), she’s certainly one of the most versatile & respected actresses of today with a killer sense of style.

At a recent red carpet event, she wears a Dries van Noten pantsuit in classic black & white, but with white trousers & a black jacket.  How daring is she for winter?  With a hint of a peep toe & pink lips, she puts fashionistas half her age to shame!  A sharp look like this needs no other accessory (well, maybe a pair of studs doesn’t hurt!) than some attitude & confidence!

For more on Cate’s one-of-a-kind style, click here.

QUICK NOTE: I’ve become quite blog savvy in the last few days, what with inspiration from my trip to Italy thus making me a more ambitious writer & lover of style, so I’ve added a bunch of new features to my blogs, starting with this one.  If you grace your cursor over the image, you’ll see where the item is from & how much it costs, saving a great deal of text to what I hope is a more professional looking article.

While I continue to focus on celebrity looks, I will also endeavor to provide more style details about this history on the red carpet & so forth.  Any comments, questions, or suggestions, send them my way!  Happy Styling!