How To Mix Those Stripes ~ I find stripes to be one of the easiest things to wear, pretty much everyone looks good in a stripe shirt. And it's so French, really, how can you go wrong. But I do get asked a lot how to pair stripes other than with the obvious, denim jeans, and even trickier, with other patterns.

When my daughter reached that stage every kid gets to where they want to be completely independent and dress themselves for school, she was only 6! I remember profusely apologizing to her kindergarten teachers for the strain on their eyes as she arrived every day in some ensemble involving plaid, stripes and dots, usually topped off with a hat and some sparkly shoes. Imagine, now she's the one sending me back to the closet!

This is what came to my mind when mixed patterns started showing up on the runway a few seasons back as a good thing!  At first I didn't get it because it reminded me of all those crazy little miss matched outfits, but then I began to notice how gorgeous it looked when it was done in the right combinations.  And that's the key because if it's not the right combination you just look ridiculous or like you're channeling your inner 6 year old.

3 key tips to keep in mind:

1. Leopard (and I'm a fan) looks great with stripes. Don't ask me why, it just does. BUT, only a little, a scarf, shoes, bag. Sometimes there's an exception but it's rare.
2. The hardest thing to pair with stripes is a bold print. If you look in the mirror and say 'hmm I'm not sure', get back in the closet. Go with your first gut reaction.
3. Be subtle!  You're already breaking the mold by pattern mixing, you don't need to be overwhelming.

Here are a few mixes with stripes that look perfect, polished and pulled together.


Keeping in the same color scheme and same pattern proportion make this one of my favorite combos.

Just a peek of leopard looks great with this pink and gold sweater. Notice the gold in the sweater matches the gold in the leopard. See, there is some rhyme and reason.
This looks great because the dots and stripes are the same proportion. 
How all these patterns work together topped off with the striped skirt border, who knows, it just does, some things we don't questions, especially when they're on Olivia Palermo.
Very conservative looking but it works. I hope she had on heels and red lipstick.
Love, love, love everything about this.
Here's a good example of two different color stripes working together for the greater good. It works because the skirt only has one stripe on the bottom. If the entire skirt was striped it would be too much.
I adore this combo of the bright pink and the navy and white stripe. The leopard clutch is a great addition.
This works because the overall pattern on the dress is sized proportionate to the stripes on the coat. 

The pattern on this skirt is big and way to bold for a thin striped T shirt. It gets over powered and makes her look out of proportion. This type of striped Tee-shirt looks good with jeans. The skirt would look good with a matching bandeau, on a tropical island. (only)
Nice pieces, just not together. Too much leopard over powering the look.
All of these are great pieces, just not together.  The checked blouse works great with the sweater, change for a solid bottom. The sweater would work well alone with the skirt. But as a threesome, just a little too much. 
Again a case of leopard overkill. The stripes are too wide to work with it, a solid black skirt with a leopard belt would work better.
Some people like this, for me it's a don't.
Scroll down on this one to where the shirt ends so you can only see the pants and the coat. Much better right!?  It needs a solid white or black top.


 images for this post from Pinterest, herehere for sources