Thursday, May 23, 2013

Polka Dots, Pinstripes, Leopard & Lace: Mixing Patterns and Textures

If you've followed the last couple of posts, no doubt you've noticed a mini parade of black and white, a theme befitting Indianapolis in the month of May in all of its checkered flag racing glory.  Today, we stay on track with the black and white theme, but shift gears to focus on adding interest by mixing patterns and textures.

For example, the busy print of the polka dot blouse, below, can overwhelm on its own, and makes me think of Cruella de Ville.  Pairing it with a classic tailored suit in a subtle pinstripe highlights the best part of the blouse - the collar - and keeps the suit from looking too conservative.  It's my favorite look to pair with spectators that have a modern Bonnie & Clyde vibe.
Blouse:  Keren Hart (Pretty Woman, Bedford, IN)
Suit:  Tahari (Steinmart)
Shoes:  Donald J. Pliner (
Bag:  Wilson's Leathergoods (vintage)
Watch:  Aquamaster (
I'll gladly leave dalmation prints to the Disney villainess, but I love the rich texture and unexpected element that hot pink crocodile leather and leopard print calf hair add to a black and white chevron skirt.  How do you wear animal prints?  Have you mixed them with geometric prints in black and white?
Skirt:  American Living (JC Penney)
Sweater:  Rafaella (Steinmart)
Shoes:  Donald J. Pliner (
Bag:  Brahmin
If you're mixing a lot of textures, sometimes a black and white ensemble stands on its own, and the addition of bright color would be distracting.  The look below mixes pinstriped silk and heavy black lace with snakeskin and chiffon spectator T-strap pumps and a tweed and patent leather bag.  Monogram cufflinks, a pearl and ribbon collar necklace, and a vintage 1940s gold and diamond watch on a black leather strap complete the look and add classic interest in the absence of color.  For winter, I'd add tights and the black cloche with ivory flower accent.
Blouse:  Bloomingdale's (vintage)
Skirt: Lapis (Steinmart)
Necklace:  Charming Charlie
Monogram Cufflinks:  Pish Posh Pendants (Etsy)
Shoes:  Anne Klein (eBay)
Bag:  Anne Klein (Macy's)
Cloche:  Kohl's (with JoAnn Fabric flower clip accent)
Watch:  Wyler (vintage 1940s from G. Thrapp Jeweler, estate jewelry)
Only a few more days until the Indianapolis 500.  Hmmm, maybe that means a few more black and white looks...I do have a race weekend wedding to go to, and the race itself, after all. 

Fashion is what you buy, style is what you do with it!

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