How to Wear Pattern: Dots & Stripes for The Fourth of July

Fourth of july style

Stripes and polka dots. It's my white whale of pattern mixing. Some girls do it so easily, so effortlessly, like they came into the world wearing this fun and frivolous pairing. Yet every time I've brought this combination into the fitting room, I feel like a patriotic piñata exploded on me. Not so much the effervescent effect I set out to evince, you know? 

Chambray and polka dots

When Target asked me to experiment with my summer style, I decided that I was going to harness the power of stripes and polka dots—but that the key would lie in making this duo work for me. So I turned to another of the season's trends: the faded wash. By maintaining muted tones throughout, I could mix these prints without looking like an episode of 'When Fourth of July Parties Attack'. 

Red clare vivier bag

I was feeling so comfy with this look that I decided to spice things up with a cherry red bag in a barely-there size. An outfit like this is apparently a gateway to pattern blending, as I've since worn dotty jeans with a striped sailor's shirt. Granted I doubt I'll ever stray beyond a subdued palette, but if there's one thing I've learned about fashion, it's that I should never say never!

P.S. How to wear striped shorts, and how to wear floral jeans! Thank you to Danielle Snelson of The Why We Love Photography for shooting these images, and to Rachel Delahoussaye for hair and makeup. Disclosure: As a Target Inner Circle member, some items were provided by Target. I am not an employee of Target, and all opinions are my own.