When solids seem like such a bore, it may be time to pull out the patterns.

1. The most popular of them all? Stripes. Upon stripes upon stripes.

2. Lucky for us, graphic prints cover almost every category imaginable.

3. Fact: People who wear polka dots have more fun.

4. Floral is getting fiercer by the day.

5. At this point, animal print is basically a neutral.

Can’t get enough Pinterest inspiration? Check out past boards that caught our eye.  

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August 27, 2013

Stripes and Polka Dots

Stripes and polka dots. Without a doubt, they’re two of the most well-known patterns around. But their backstories? Those might not be so familiar.

Today, stripes are considered a wardrobe staple, but the pattern has not always had such a great reputation. In his book, The Devil’s Cloth: A History of Stripes, Michel Pastoureau shares that a small group of monks known as the Carmelites wore the pattern to Paris at a time when striped clothes were thought to be a sign of evil. Let’s just say – the pattern was not happily met.

With time, though, stripes came to be considered exotic (perhaps due to ever-fashionable zebra stripes) and made their way into the fashion lexicon.

Polka dots, though, are a different story. Using dots as a pattern really took off during the French Revolution, when newly invented machines made it easier to create repeating designs. These dots became all the rage alongside polka music in Europe in the mid-1800s, and the trend came stateside in the 1950s.

The pattern is still closely associated with the cheerful charm that era was known for. Today, they just scream happy.

Two different patterns with two distinct backstories. Now that you know them, explore our Polka Dots & Stripes: Play with Spring’s Patterns Boutique, which opens Wednesday, April 3, at 11AM ET.

By Anna Kuchinsky, Staff Writer

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April 3, 2013

In an effort to appease Mother Nature, I’m slowly but surely transitioning my wardrobe from hibernation-wear to spring-ready.

The first things I’m tossing to the back of my closet? My fleece-lined tights. Break out the bronzing lotion: this is how to phase them out in preparation for bare-leg season.

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Forget opaque. Do away with the darks. Toss black, maroon, and navy tights into the winter pile and switch them out for sheer or light shades like pink or mint.

Switch up your patterns. While leopard print is basically considered a neutral these days, leave it – and busy prints like it – for the colder months. The same goes for anything studded or metallic. Try a floral print, polka dots, or crocheted tights instead.

Go halfway. Opt for feminine knee-highs instead of tights. To keep them from looking too “Hit Me Baby One More Time,” choose a pair that hits mid-thigh and style them with a retro-inspired dress and chunky heels.

By Lauryn Paiva, Staff Writer

How will you be transitioning your winter wardrobe this spring? Share in the comments below, or tweet us at @ruelala.

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March 28, 2013

1. The leaves may be off the trees (here, anyway), but we’re still dreaming of everything floral.

2. This Pinboard of eye-catching prints and colors has us ready to wallpaper the whole house.

3. We can’t stop staring at these bold tribal prints and patterns.

4. Go easy on the eyes with this beautiful assortment of pastel shades.

5. This Pinterest board has us seeing stripes – on clothing, architecture, and everywhere in between.

Can’t get enough Pinterest inspiration? Check out past boards that caught our eye.  

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November 13, 2012

Been there, done that. When it comes to carving pumpkins, I’ve tried it all – spooky castles, wicked witches, and everything in between.

So, when it came to those two perfect pumpkins I picked out at the local farm with help from my four-year-old niece, we focused on polka dots – her new favorite obsession. Stickers in hand, we decorated one pumpkin with multi-size round stickers, then spray-painted the surface black. For the second, we cut off the top, scooped out the seeds, and used a drill to make holes all over.

Materials:

Two pumpkins
Black spray paint
Circular stickers
Drill and 3/4-inch bit
Knife and spoon (to prep pumpkin #2)
One tea light candle

Directions:

1. Wipe down both pumpkins to rid surfaces of any dirt.
2. Start with pumpkin #1. Add stickers as shown above and douse in black spray paint (one coat is all it needs).
3. Once dry, peel stickers off pumpkin #1 and revel in your polka-dotted finished product.
4. For pumpkin #2, cut off top and remove seeds.
5. Drill holes where desired.
6. Add the lit tea light candle, replace top, and display.

By Emily Gibbons of LuckyLittleLove.com, Staff Writer

Have a favorite pumpkin DIY? Share it in the comments below or tweet us @ruelala

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October 12, 2012

What We're Seeing Now: Polka Dots at New York Fashion Week

We love a modern take on a retro staple, and the crowd at Lincoln Center had us seeing spots. The classic look keeps it cool with graphic blacks and whites in sophisticated silhouettes.

September 15, 2011