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

My mom always told me that horizontal stripes are a definite no – “Why would you wear something that makes you look wider?” she’d say, in the warmest of kvetching motherly ways.

But with brazen stripes all over the blogosphere and spring 2013 runways – from Oscar de la Renta to Marc Jacobs – I think it’s about time we tossed aside all preconceived notions and got to the bottom of that much-dwelled-upon question: Do horizontal stripes really make you look wider?

Despite research by University of York perception expert, Peter Thompson, proclaiming that all horizontal stripes actually make you look thinner, the general consensus across the web is, well, it depends. Because all horizontal stripes are not created equal. (You hear that, Mom?)

Horizontal Stripes

Thick stripes. Wide horizontal stripes are the trickiest to wear – this is because the wider the stripe, the more your eye will slow down and focus on it. They work best on tall, slimmer frames. But that doesn’t mean petites and curvy girls have to avoid them. Just layer them under a blazer or wear them on the smaller half of your body only – a stripy skirt for apple shapes or a striped top for pear shapes, for example.

Thin stripes. Unlike the thick stripe, a thin stripe can be surprisingly lengthening. This is because the narrower the stripe, the harder it is for your eye to focus on just one spot, so you’re likely to look up and down rather than side to side. Translation: Permission granted to wear thin stripes unabashedly this season, no matter your body type.

By Joanna Berliner, Editor

Have a fit tip you want answered? Check our The Fitting Room column every Monday, or tweet us at @ruelala.

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April 8, 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

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

Whether or not you’re waking up for an 8 o’clock class this Friday, you can still lust after the hallmark looks of academia this season – without taking out an extra student loan.

Here’s how:

Stripe accents
An understated stripe updates a simple cardigan without being too overwhelming. Pair a neutral-colored, subtly striped sweater with solid skinnies (think oxblood or hunter green) for a cohesive look.

Collar down
Mercifully, the popped collar trend has long since run its course. Enter the versatile (and far more stylish) detachable collar. Whether or not you go the DIY route, contrast collars are a simple way to either add some edge (leather, stud-accented) or dainty detailing (lace) to a simple cable knit.

Oxford footwear
It’s hard to believe that at one point in my life, my mother had to beg me to wear saddle shoes. Now, I can’t get enough of the restructured canvas and leather Oxford shoe. Paired with dark denim and a sweater vest, I’m ready for the LSAT (almost).

Swap your contacts for chic frames
Why bother wearing contact lenses when there are so many sophisticated optical alternatives out there? Thick, black matte frames or round tortoiseshell glasses will instantly change up your daily look. For an easy, relaxed look, wear with a classic grey or white tee.

By Lauryn Paiva, Staff Writer

How are you rocking this season’s collegiate-inspired trends? Share them in the comments below or tweet us @ruelala.

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October 25, 2012

RUE STYLIST EVAN TAKES THIS TANK TO NEW LEVELS (x3)

Splendid

This summer, our favorite preppy pattern is making some serious headlines with a look that’s equal parts baguette-in-bicycle-basket Parisian and catamaran-in-waters-of-Newport nautical. Rue Stylist Evan works his magic by repurposing this once-casual number threefold: for a sidecar at the speakeasy, a presentation at the office, and a weekend whisk-away to the beach.

1. We believe in neon at night. When heading out on the town, a bold, bright top completely carries a look of basic black. Opt for strappy heels, cropped pants, and a dangling gold necklace to play off the top’s relaxed feel.

2. We believe lots of accessories can still look polished. The tailored blazer and sleek white denim perfectly tame the bright stripes, billowy scarf, and beachy wedges, making the ultimate office-to-drinks ensemble.

3. We believe high-contrast colors are easily wearable. Warm, saturated yellow is such an interesting and chic complement to the cool oceanic hue. Layered and effortless, this is the perfect day-at-the-yacht-club look.

P.S. – A styling tip: When mixing any patterns, select prints in different sizes to keep it chic.

June 10, 2011