Lately I've been obsessed with combining different patterns, and one of my favorites combinations is stripes and leopard together. I've already written about combining florals and stripes, so now I thought I'd show you my other new favorite combo, and give you some tips on how to wear it!
This is what I wore to run errands with my daughter on a warm spring day. I needed something that was practical and comfy, but I still didn't want to look like the frazzled mother of two that I am!
I love this Ann Taylor Loft tank and have been wearing it non stop. It's so light and comfy and drapey. And I threw on this Victoria's Secret vest at the last minute, and I love how it added some structure to the soft tank and makes it look like I actually tried! I've been wearing this vest a lot, you can also see it in my date night outfit, and in how I styled my white jeans.
Then because I am on a leopard kick lately, for the hell of it I added my leopard shoes from Target. Because leopard goes with everything, baby! Hilary bought this exact pair of flats from Target as well before I moved here. We end up wearing the same shoes when we go out together all the time!
Some tips on wearing leopard and stripes together:
1. Keep your to one color + white. I think this looks best when you have one color + white stripes, then add leopard. If this tank had been blue and orange stripes and leopard flats it would have been way too much! The white in the stripes keeps it slightly less confusing to the eye, and keeps it looking crisp instead of busy.
2. Add neutral accents. My bag, vest, sunglasses, necklace and jeans are all fairly neutral in comparison with the bold stripes and leopard print. I wanted the prints to stand out, and wearing neutral colors everywhere else makes your eyes go straight for the colors and patterns of the print. The vest especially helps to break up the top's boldness, making it not quite so dizzying to look at. The only thing I may do differently if I wear this outfit again is add a bold bag in a warmer toned color, like orange or red.
3. For the love of all that is holy, make sure your leopard print actually resembles real leopard skin. Nothing would have looked worse then this top with pink and black leopard. Or *shudder* lime green and black leopard. Seriously. My four year old can rock the pink and black leopard print, but unless you're under the age of 10 just say NO! If it resembles real leopard skin you're much more likely to have a piece of clothing that will still look current five years from now, not to mention much more adult. The only exception to this is if you can totally rock the punk/rock/rockabilly look (which I cannot). Then and only then does colored leopard print look good.
4. Use two different sizes of pattern. The leopard shoes work with the striped top because the top has huge stripes and the leopard is tiny. I tried wearing an orange and white striped maxi dress last week with a leopard cardigan that had similarly sized prints...let's just say it didn't work. It hurt my eyes by the end of the day.
5. Try to keep the two prints somewhat separated. With the exception of some seriously cool girls who are masters of pattern mixing, leopard and stripes seem to work best when they're not right on top of each other. Accents of leopard with stripes are key, like my leopard shoes, a leopard bag or belt with a striped top.
And of course, this whole outfit cost me less then $30! I love thrifting because it allows me to play with trends like mixing patterns without paying a ton of money out of pocket. The outfit's cost and details are below the pic:
Ann Taylor Loft tank: Thrifted on this trip here, $1.99
Ann Taylor Loft jeans: Thrifted and refashioned by me: $4
Victoria's Secret vest: Free! A hand me down from my friend (thanks Miranda!)
La Bagagarie Leather Bag: Thrifted, $2.98 (over $400 new!)
Target leopard flats: $17
F21 Necklace: Free (gift carded)
Outfit total: $25.97
What do you think? Should I add a colored bag next time? Please feel free to add your tips on pattern mixing in the comments!