In high school I thought I was a fashion expert because I followed all the rules. I never mixed brown and black, black and navy and I most definitely never mixed patterns. As I got older and grew less naive about fashion, I realized there are no such things as rules when it comes to style. With fashion and style, practically anything can go together if you wear it with the right attitude.

When I saw this Fashionista I was surprised by how much I adored her outfit. Five years ago I would’ve been appalled by her blend of stripes and polka-dots, but she wore it so effortlessly and with such confidence.

The best way to pull off different patterns in one look, without seeming like a first grader who decided to dress herself for the first time, is to stick to a color scheme that isn’t too loud and in-your-face. Though this outfit isn’t your typical winter ensemble, the combination of navy, gray, black and white is a great palette for these cooler months.

Between the pleats, polka-dots and stripes, the look has an overall preppy and Parisian vibe that I love; it’s sophisticated without being stiff, both literally and figuratively. Still, this Fashionista adds bit of edge by pairing her outfit with black, suede ankle booties and a touch of class with her simple, silver Movado watch.

Mixing patterns is a great way to stand out and show your personality, but remember: polka dots and stripes aren’t the only patterns. Get creative and try matching a floral print skirt with a polka dot top, or find a skirt like this one that does all the work for you.

What’s your STYLE ADVICE OF THE WEEK? “Don’t be afraid of patterns!”