Urban Pattern Play

Photo by: Rob Berry

Outfit Details:

Caslon sweater (Nordstrom), Puella Turtleneck Tank (Anthropologie), BDG Denim (Urban Outfitters), Heeled Boot (Sam Edelman), Pink Gemstone Necklace & White Quartz Ribbon Necklace (Black Market Minerals)

Photo by: Rob Berry

When it comes to defining my own personal style, I’ve always had trouble classifying myself into a so-called ‘style category.’ What I choose to wear every single day is a reflection of how I’m feeling that day, and to classify that under a particular genre is impossible. For this specific look, I was going for more of an urban-grunge-meets-excessive-patterns kind of vibe.

I feel like at times we’re scared to get dressed up because we don’t think we’re situated in the right landscape to pull off a look. Of course we all wish that we could dress like we live in a metropolitan city every day, but we shouldn’t be afraid to pretend like we do.

Going to school in a very rural, small town, I feel as if I have to dull down my style for fear of being judged for what I’m wearing. But, as I’ve grown throughout my college career, I’ve started to careless about what people think of my quote on quote “dressed up” style; I embrace it.

Photo by: Rob Berry

It’s always daunting when you feel as if you’re the most dressed up person in the room. But, there comes a time when you just need to accept your personal style and not be ashamed of how awesome it is. Now when it comes to adding patterns into your wardrobe, never be afraid of pairing random things together.

Back in the early days of my style evolution, I felt the need to match everything. I would never be caught wearing conflicting patterns, and everything that I wore was strategically planned out. But, when I started to immerse myself into fashion magazines and all of the incredibly unique styles within, I began to feel more comfortable with experimenting with different trends.

Photo by: Rob Berry

Playing with patterns has been an incredibly popular trend on the runways recently, so don’t be afraid to try it! My best piece of advice for mixing patterns is to stick to similar color palettes, particularly neutrals. Mixing bright, exuberantly colored patterns together is always difficult, but is best styled when mixing the same patterns together.

Back to neutral pattern plays, with this specific outfit I chose to blend this thin striped tank with a patterned sweater. Because both items reflected similar color palettes, it blended together more seamlessly. That’s what the goal should be when you’re thinking about pairing pattern on pattern. Take a picture of yourself in the mirror before you leave to really get an understanding as to if the patterns blend well.

Urban 11
Photo by: Andrew Downing
Photo by: Rob Berry

Now, on a random DIY note, I actually cut this pair of jeans because I was sick of how plain and boring they were. Cutting your own jeans is definitely not as easy as DIY videos play it out to be. I remember trying to do it in high school and totally destroying one of my favorite pairs of jeans, so it’s really something to try on one of your less cherished pairs.

To be completely honest, absolutely no planning went into cutting these jeans. I happened to put them on before I was about to go out with friends and thought to myself, “Wow, these look like shit, I should rip them myself!”

Let me start off my saying that I am no DIY master of any sort. You can choose to listen to my method of creating destroyed denim or opt for listening to someone who does this for a living.

Anyway, the best way to begin creating this clean, destroyed look is to simply put the pants on first to see where exactly you want to cut. This was the mistake that I made the first time I tried to cut pants. You can’t just lay your pants out on the floor and guess where your knees will actually hit because you’ll end up cutting a hole in the quad like I did the first try.

Once you put the pants on, look in a mirror and see where exactly you want your largest rip to be. I would suggest doing this on or around the top of where your knee cap hits. Bunch the jean fabric up in the middle and cut a small hole, VERY CAREFULLY. Then, remove the pants and cut the hole width-wise to your desired rip size. Repeat those two steps for as many holes as you want your pants to have.

Next is the most important, and fun stage of creating destroyed jeans. After you’ve cut them, you’ll see that the lines are very clean and look really weird. That’s normal. What you’ll need to do is take your jeans and literally rub them back and forth on carpet to create that pulled, destroyed look. It’s really weird, I know, but trust me, it works. Next, take a sandpaper block and rub it left to right over the rips. This will then open the seams of the cuts a little more.

And wah-la! DIY ripped jeans!

I recommend wearing your newly destroyed jeans for a couple of hours, just going about your daily routine. This will loosen the holes a little bit and make them look more natural. Wash them after one wear to really rough them up and you’re good to go!

Urban 3
Photo by: Andrew Downing

Back to styling: I think that it’s really important to find a couple statement pieces whether it be jewelry or purses, that you can wear or use everyday. Like I’ve mentioned before, I always wear every single ring featured in the photo above. They’ve become rather iconic to my overall look and really finish any outfit off.

When it comes to purses, I have a weakness, or rather a bag obsession. I’ve managed to keep it under control since getting to college and learning how to budget my spendings a little better, but I still think that treating yourself is really important. I purchased this bag for myself after my freshman year of college because I worked my butt off to get good grades and juggle all of my extracurriculars. So, reward yourself for all of the hardwork that you’ve been doing! Whether you buy yourself a new purse like I did, or opt for a new pair of shoes or even a sub from Jimmy Johns, don’t forget to treat yourself every once in a while!

Urban 6
Photo by: Andrew Downing
Photo by: Rob Berry
Photo by: Rob Berry
Photo by: Rob Berry

All in all, I hope that you learned a little something about mixing patterns, ripping your jeans and treating yourself every now and again. Don’t forget, personal style doesn’t have to be scary. Just make it your own and embrace it! Also, a big thanks goes out to Andrew Downing and Rob Berry for helping me with this week’s post. You guys are awesome!

Until next time,

Stylishly Good Vibes


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