Styling Tricks: 3 Ways Opposites Attract

There are times when the Fashion Powers That Be (we believe that would be us) decide it's a good moment to push the styling envelope. And this is one of them. In fact, throwing caution to the wind and matching up clashing patterns and contrasting fabrics feels pretty irresistible right now. From the runways at Proenza Schouler and Rag & Bone to the humble halls of our very own Tribeca office, it's never been a better time to break some of mom's old rules and experiment with texture, prints, and opposing vibes (ie: beat-up denim and After-Eight). We like to call it the Peanut-Butter and Jelly trend (they're so good together!), and here we've mapped out three ways you can get the clash for fall just right.
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1. Utilitarian & Evening—Fashion rules are meant to be broken. That's why we like dressing outside the lines and putting our hardest-working denim up against a pretty evening top, or a military jacket against a spray of sequins. Working in the same tonal color family, this is a wardrobe trick we'll fall for every time.

From left: A fall look from Tory Burch styled by WhatIWore blogger Jessica Schroeder; a fall look from J. Crew Collection.
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2. Stripes & Florals—There's really no reason a match-up like this should work...but for some reason, the offbeat pairing just does, especially when you partner a bolder stripe or floral with its more submissive opposite. Another tip: Try contrasting fabrics, like a heavy-knit stripe sweater and a chiffon floral mini to keep the contrast in check.

From left: A fall look from Lauren Moffatt; a holiday look from Tommy.
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3. Leather & Lace—Stevie Nicks taught us way back when that leather and lace are always a match made in cool-girl heaven, and for fall, that's never been more true. Right now, try road-testing your favorite long lace summer dress with a heavy leather vest or a longer, leaner leather blazer (the more broken in, the better!). This play on opposites is a look that works right into winter, too.

From left: A fall look from ASOS; a fall look from Topshop's Into The Wild collection.