Classic pieces and sartorial combos are timeless, but they can sometimes feel a tad uninspired. How to style stripes, for instance, can feel like a no-brainer. Mixing black, white, and navy can become a religion. Clean lined pants and blazers might fill your closet to cartoon character proportions, and your button down collection might rival your favorite mall store's selection. However, just as with any style, if you happen to create the same combinations over and over again, you can start feeling a bit bored. So how can you take a staple and remix it in new ways to make it feel fresh and new again?
Well, you simply have to roll up your sleeves and play. Don’t be afraid to push your classics outside of their boundaries — you’ll never know what you like until you try it. At first an outfit idea might sound crazy on paper, but it can look absolutely fabulous on your body. By stretching your closet staples into new styles, you can turn those classics into trends — into pieces that are just as fresh and exciting as the newest fad. To prove it, below are 15 tips on how to style stripes in unexpected ways. Take these into consideration, and then think of how you can style your other staples in fresh ways, too.
1. Opt For Stripes On Stripes
You can never have enough of a good thing, am I right? Add some pizzazz to your striped look by adding in another striped element. To keep it from going into over-kill territory, make sure that the second pattern is either bigger or smaller than the dominant one. This look works because the stripes in the purse are wide and sparse, juxtaposing nicely against the tight lines of the dress.
2. Play Mix And Match
Throw your look a curveball and juxtapose your stripes against a different pattern. The mix will be busy, but in a playful way. Some other great prints that look amazing with stripes? Leopard print, floral, and polka dots.
3. Add Interesting Details
Look for striped pieces with interesting details, like leather pockets or embelished patterns. This will add extra textures to work with when styling, which instantly elevates your look up a notch. If you're crafty enough, you can even DIY this yourself. All you need is a needle and thread.
4. Throw Some Monochrome At 'Em
Want your stripes to really pop? Surround them with different hues of a color, creating a monochrome type of look. Pair them against different shades of cotton candy pink, or against navy or white, and watch how the simple pattern turns bold against it.
5. Make Them Sporty
The nice thing about a classic print like stripes is that you can manipulate it to fit into any style. Make it sporty by pairing it with athletic-like elements like sneakers and jersey skirts. Or keep de-structuring it by adding in a casual leather jacket and easy-to-toss-on cross-body bag. This is laid back chic at its finest.
6. Go Atypical
Not all stripes are created equal. For a different look, try to find a striped piece that almost has a color-blocking effect to it, meaning the stripes are far apart and stacked on top of each other. Keep the look clean by pairing it with unassuming sneakers and a tailored leather backpack.
7. Glam That Look Up
Turn your simple striped skirt or dress into a look with some serious glam factor by focusing on styling it with higher-end pieces. For example, pair it with a fitted turtleneck crop top and then match it with lux accessories like fur or enameled clutches, sky high heels, and serious statement jewelry. It's like a whole new piece.
8. Focus On The Accessories
If you have striped accessories, focus on clashing them against different prints for a wow factor. Mix them with florals or with polka dots — or if pattern muddling isn't your thing, try to pair them with opposing bright colors. The end result will be fun and loud.
9. Give Your Striped Cardis A New Purpose
Just because it's still pretty hot outside doesn't mean your striped cardigans have to be out of commission. Tie them around your waist to give your outfit both a pop of color and pattern. It's a genius way of giving a simple outfit a boost.
10. Layer Them Under Pinafores
In the mood to layer your romper, pinafore, or overalls? Stripes are a classic and unassuming option: They'll add a pop of print to your outfit, but won't detract from the understated look of the piece.
11. Make Them Nautical
Give a striped piece new life by styling it with a different theme. To go nautical, pair the look with beachy components like straw hats, laced sandals, or red, white, and blue accessories.
12. Play With Grunge
Your classic stripes can go on the other side of the spectrum by being introduced to two things that are probably already in your closet: Plaid and black boots. Tie your plaid shirt around your waist, add in a black hat for good measure, and you're rocking that '90s vibe like nobody's business.
13. Go Way Laid Back
Adversely, you can take the same striped piece and turn it off duty. Just pair it with sneakers, a denim jacket tied at your waist, and classic dark sunnies.
14. Juxtapose It With Texture
Want to give your stripes a trendy edge? Contrast them with some texture, whether by pairing them with a suede skirt, matching 'em with a fur vest, or popping a fur leopard coat on top.
15. Choose Black And White, All The Way
Who said black and white have to be boring? If you have a piece that's boasting with both hues, go all-in and use only those colors in your look. The end result will be an edgy, uptown outfit that's equal parts classic and bold.
Follow these rules, and you'll ensure your "classic" pieces are never dull.