Wednesday, April 10, 2013

How to: Style a Striped Dress

When I saw this swirly, cute striped dress in Old Navy I had second thoughts about trying it on. I figured it was one of those dresses/silhouettes that is really cute on the mannequin but not cute on me. However, I was pleasantly surprised at how this dress fits.

This is also the first black and white striped dress I've ever owned. I was so excited about coming up with different ways to style it since black and white are neutrals. I even ventured a little into pattern mixing. So, here are a few tips for styling a striped dress...

1. Stick with what works. As much as I really wanted to experiment with wearing stuff under this dress or wearing the dress by itself, I know that dresses and cardigans just work for me. Adventurous can be fun, but not always when it comes to what you're wearing. :)

2. Be adventurous in small ways. Whether it be a unique color combination (royal blue cardi and a yellow necklace) or adding another similar pattern to the mix (adding leopard shoes) being adventurous in small ways can really add to an outfit but not put you too far out of your comfort zone. I haven't worked up enough nerve to wear the third style yet. This one includes a leopard cardi over the striped dress. Maybe someday. But I did wear the fourth outfit with the leopard shoes to church on Sunday and got lots of compliments.

3. Balance neutrals with color. As a self-professed "coloraholic" I'm not afraid to pair different color combinations together. But I had to resist incorporating every color in the rainbow with this dress simply because it was black and white. Black and white stripes, though neutral, are still fairly striking. Other colors can be paired with it but be mindful of how bright the hue is. The most striking colors I wore in the outfits above were in small doses (yellow necklace/hot pink necklace/hot pink belt). The colors I wore the most of were either neutrals (black/leopard tones/nude) or less vibrant colors like blue and teal.

4. Take pictures. Yeah, this is a strange one...but it works. You see, I styled all of these outfits and took photos of them. It was only after I looked at the pictures that I realized I wanted to do a different belt or different shoes. Or maybe that I wanted to leave a cardigan open instead of buttoned. Things look different when you look them as others look at them (as opposed to in a mirror, even). For example, looking at these photos means I should probably not pair that wide black belt with this dress because it makes me look pregnant. (which I am not) The rounded cut of the bottom of the belt and the stripes on the dress look more maternity-esque than they really should. But I never would have noticed that had I not looked at the pictures. Even if you just take photos with your phone, it really helps. :D

I can't wait to experiment even more with this dress!

Linking up with Lindsey at The Pleated Poppy!



  1. I'm wearing that dress today in teal with a little white 3/4 sleeve cardigan!

  2. I really enjoy your outfit posts! I have a similar dress that I love to mix up so this gave me more great ideas! You are very cute.

  3. all 4 styles are cute! looks darling on you.

  4. Can you tell me where I can buy the necklace?

    1. Rebecca, which necklace are you referring to? The pink and yellow one came from Ebay. The other one was from a craft market in Charleston, SC.


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