Thursday, October 17, 2013

Shop Your Closet: Wearing Stripes Like It's Your Job

Shop Your Closet: Wearing Stripes Like It's Your Job (or to your job...)

Photo thanks to Hannah
Recently, Hannah from Love Always Hannah recruited me to help her meet her goal of no shopping for six months. She's having a lot of fun with this challenge partly because we decided to pair up to shop her closet. She's already got some amazing clothing, and we're having fun figuring out ways to stretch her comfort zone around what she can wear and how!

We had a Virtual Closet Consultation over video recently, and we decided to celebrate our shared love of stripes. In college, my best friend dressed by theme (purple and pink for a week, for example), and I've often wondered if anyone would notice if I wore just stripes every day for a week-or a month! My closet could certainly handle it; I might need my own stripe shopping intervention!

A few of my cool weather stripes...
Ahem...Let's get back to Hannah! Here's what she says:

"Of course, stripes can be a tricky thing to incorporate into your wardrobe, but I really believe that anyone can rock them.  Never say never!  Just try until you find a way that works for you.  Ultimately, it’s really about the confidence that you wear them with.  If you feel good, you will look good.  So wear what you love! It’s really as simple as that."
I think of stripes as being an easy way to ease into changing up your usual clothing routine because they instantly add visual interest and play well with colors, patterns, and monochrome. Here are what I think of as the "levels" of stripes.

Level One: Match Stripes and Colors


If you don't often wear patterns, consider starting with stripes. They're flattering, they're classic (and often "on trend," too!), and they play well with colors and patterns. An easy way to start to wear stripes is by picking a stripe and adding a color to it, preferably a bright color. If you have something bright that you don't often wear, try matching it up with a stripe to see if that helps you wear the colored item more often. With the pink sweater above, I picked up on the pink in the necklace and also the fact that the necklace's pattern sort of looks striped.

I think stripes instantly up the cool factor of an outfit. For example, this skirt is gorgeous, and with black it's a solid look. However, a little striped blazer or a striped shirt would kick this outfit up a notch!


The color could be on your lips (like the top picture of Hannah), on your body (above), or even on your feet! This is a great way to keep wearing summery shoes later into the fall season.


This is one way that I get myself to wear more color, actually, since I've long been devoted to black and its cousin, gray. I can appease the part of me that wants to wear black and white with the stripes but shake things up by adding a color in there. Here are a few stripes + color outfits that I put together for myself.


 Level Two: Pair Stripes with Pattern

Another level of commitment up from stripes with color is stripes paired with another pattern. Here, I put Hannah in a striped cardigan with a polka-dotted top. She also gets points because the top is a color! This is a versatile outfit because Hannah could easily swap out the maxi skirt for pants or a shorter skirt and tights when the weather cools down, and she could also substitute another patterned shirt for the pink a different day. I think she looks radiant. Check out more of the outfits we put together here!

Photo thanks to Hannah

Photo thanks to Hannah

Stripes and pattern (crosses and dots!) also looked great on Erika when re-did her closet, and I eased her into embracing three patterns all at once by keeping them all black and white. Even the pearls echoed the dots on the polka-dotted scarf that became a belt.

Personally, I don't wear a lot of florals, but I love pairing stripes with polka dots, graphic lettering, and tribal prints. However, if you've got floral prints in your closet, this is a great way to carry them into fall and winter! Anthro helped me out with this shirt that had polka dots on the back, stripes on the front, and a floral pocket. Here's a stripey selfie from this summer-I need to find a printed pant to replace those shorts!

(Great tees on sale here and here. Order up a size-Anthropologie shirts shrink a lot in the dryer).
I would love these pants with a striped top!

Level Three: Wear Multiple Stripes

Getting a little more daring brings you to wearing multiple stripes. I know, some of you already think that wearing stripes with pattern looks good in theory but isn't for you. But bear with me. If wearing stripes ups the cool factor, wearing more than one set absolutely does! For example, my Breton stripe here goes well with anything from basic black to colored pants, but doesn't adding a simple second stripe make it look that much better?

I think so! It helps the pants to relate to the color of the scarf and also the stripes.

As you can see above, a good way to ease into this look is to choose items with stripes in the same color family, like black and white stripes worn a few different ways or white and gray stripes with gray and a color stripes. The base of the outfit is monochromatic, but the stripes add visual interest.

Be sure to pop over to check out the outfits I styled for Hannah! And feel free to send me your recent striped outfits! I know you've got 'em. Ok, just one last one of Hannah in monochromatic with stripes. She added the accessories herself because she's creative like that! Love it.

Hannah's pic

Find more stripey goodness on my Pinterest board and click here for more shop your closet inspiration.

P.S. Do you love this as much as I do? Hannah-let's throw a stripe party!

Linking up to Life of the Party today!


  1. Oohhh such fun tips! Thanks for walking me through this process! So much fun :-)

    1. It's always so much fun! "We could talk about stripes for days!" You are the best.

  2. I'm so obsessed with stripes and those are some seriously fabulous outfits!!

    1. Thanks, Sherry! I could wear stripes every day, couldn't you?