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ALL IN THE DETAILS: Pattern Matters

On college campuses across the country, the impending threat of frigid temperatures is spreading and infecting the masses with a virus of drab. The optimistic colors and cheerful prints of past seasons are regressing into the backs of closets, as dark tones, heavy knits and outerwear begin to stifle the possibility of spotting fun street-style. Finals lurk just around the corner, and as the papers and projects pile on, students’ emotions (and outfits) become ever more lack-luster. It’s understandable that we all feel this cold-weather slump, and it can be difficult to regain motivation, so it’s commendable when someone makes an effort to liven their outfit. Yes, there is an elegance in simplicity, solids and basics, but will any of those really boost your serotonin levels? No. The answer lies in pattern, and lots of it.

This inspired fashion student takes a graphic approach to pattern play. She goes gung-ho with a wild ’80s sweater layered over a high-necked mini dress. Both pieces feature a multitude of black and white stripes—their wide variation in width and direction prevents her from being mistaken as a youth soccer referee, and the consistency in tones, with a hint of fuchsia in the sweater, streamlines the loud geometry. The stripes continue all the way into her thick-strapped sandals which are worn over blush-colored metallic socks. No longer destined for the feet of dads and tourists, socks with sandals keeps the toes warm and chipper, and has become one of the ultimate transeasonal trends. She accessorizes further with funky winged sunglasses—their intricate filament detail echoes the metals and textures of her unique assortment of rings.

Pattern permeates throughout this look—giving a busy student a brighter, zippier mindset by which to tackle the coming weeks, and inspiring others to perk up their own cold-weather ensembles.

How To: Pattern mixing can be tricky, so try multiple pairings before deciding on one. If stuck, go with monochromatic colors or simply black and white. The best way to snag the perfect ’80s-inspired sweater is by combing your local thrift or vintage discount store. Don’t shy away from the men’s section, it often has the most diverse selection!