There is a mastery to the mystery of mixing and matching patterns and textures, a complicated art that I have only begun to dabble in recently. I have found that the best strategy is to stick within a similar color tone (in my case, neutrals) and pair a small print with a large one. In the case of textures, I have found myself reaching towards more feminine pieces, due to the beautiful weather Chicago has been having recently. I don’t usually rock an overly girly sense of style, so I often reach for something more masculine to compliment and dress down the feminine pieces.

In my case, I started off my outfit with a simple black and white striped dress (mine is actually from Walmart!) with a knot tied at the waist to add definition to my waist. I layered a light wash denim jacket over the top. This jacket has an interesting play of feminine and masculine in itself, as there are lace panels on the shoulder portion, a typically dainty material, directly paired with a denim, which is more structured. I threw on a pair of Birkenstock type sandals in a neutral leather, as they are perfect to slide on and go. I wore my everyday accessories, which include a silver necklace, rose gold ring, and stud earrings, as well as this plaid clutch. This clutch is home to my most important necessities, including my Ventra card, school I.D., apartment key, a pack of gum, and headphones. The large plaid pattern pairs nicely against the small stripes of my dress and the lace and denim jacket, especially because the plaid serves as a nice pop of color to the otherwise very neutral outfit.

I consider myself a very simple person stylistically, so this outfit has very few separate elements, but works together as a whole and can be recreated with different pieces. The mixture of different patterns and textures really help to elevate the look and keep it from appearing sloppy.