Fashion,  New Trends,  Over 40s fashion tips,  Petite fashion tips,  what to wear

Styling Stripes With Stripes This Fall

Bold patterns to match a bold personality? Um, yes please! That’s one of the reasons I love fashion. You get to express yourself through the unique outfits you wear. There are times when fashion can be very touchy. Wearing the wrong shoes could potentially ruin a very cute outfit, for example. But there are other ‘rules’ of fashion many feel like they need to know. Keeping up with these latest fashion do’s and don’ts can definitely be exhausting. The good thing about this list is that 1. It’s an unofficial list which means 2. It pretty much stays the same for each person and 3. Your list can be completely different from everyone elses. Even then, as trends change some of these rules can even be ignored! My little list of fashion do’s and don’ts will for sure be different when compared to a 20-something college students. As a 45 year old, petite woman, my list will have fundamental differences. So what are some of my fashion do’s and don’ts?


  1. Wear heels. Being petite give you the advantage of being able to rock a pair of heels whenever you’re in the mood! Even if they’re not tall, having some platform to add something to your height pulls an outfit together and makes it the perfect amount of classy. 
  2. Layer for fall. Nothing says ‘chic fall style’ like a layered outfit. Wearing cardigans or statement jackets make your outfit have that perfect balance of bundled yet cute. You can also layer by sporting a bold patterned scarf to add a pop of your colorful personality and style.
  3. Dress for your body type. No one knows your body better than you do! Yes, trends are so fun to keep up with, but know what flatters your shape and age the best. What my 25-year-old assistant wears is so cute and trendy, but it’s not always things that are appropriate for a 40-something year old woman.
  4. Mix-and-Match styles. Wearing a chic blazer and heels with jeans and a graphic tee is a trend I’ve definitely jumped on-board with. Another you’ve probably noticed is my business pantsuits that I like to pair with sneakers. Have fun with your outfits!

Then there are my don’ts.


  1. Don’t buy clothes that are too small. Be confident in your body. Don’t feel like you need to squeeze into clothes that don’t fit you just so you can say you are wearing a smaller size. Everyone has an awesome and unique body type that can look just as amazing with clothes that are their size! I’ve noticed that wearing smaller clothes actually accentuates the parts of your body you may not be fully comfortable with. 
  2. Don’t show off your undergarments. If you’re wearing a strapless dress wear a strapless bra. Are you wearing form fitting pants or a skirt today? Make sure you’re checking in the mirror that there are no panty lines! Everyone knows your wearing them, that doesn’t mean they need to see them! 
  3. Don’t clash patterns. This can easily get out of hand and may be too much, but sometimes risk equals reward… just be mindful of when to admit that a look is maybe not one to repeat.  
  4. Don’t look like a mess. Even when dressing casual you can look put together. Make sure you don’t have stains or holes in your outfits. Your style shows how much you respect yourself and the situation you are in. 

These are my basic do’s and don’ts, but like I said earlier popular trends can make me throw some of these rules out the window! That being said, one rule I can tuck away for the time being is ‘don’t clash patterns.’ Throw caution to the wind and be bold with patterns this fall!

One patterned trend I’m especially obsessed with this fall is wearing stripes on stripes on stripes! Trust me I know how it sounds, but it’s possible to blend them into an effortlessly chic outfit. While some may stick with the rule of ‘don’t clash,’ there is a right way to make it work. The first, and most important, thing to keep in mind is that wearing a striped top and separate striped bottom will only work if the stripes are different size in width (if you’re wearing thicker stripes on top, thinner ones on the bottom is necessary). Another big tip is to have the stripes going in different directions (horizontal striped top means vertical striped bottoms). The cute thing about this outfit is that it could work great with pants, but you can wear a striped skirt instead to add that extra level of chic.

Let’s take this one step further! Stripes on stripes is a big step for a lot of you, I get it, but for those of you who want to take this a step even further out of your comfort zone you can by adding another pattern into the mix! When you’re wearing a full striped outfit and you want to add something else, I’d recommend adding a second pattern as an accessory piece. Whether it be a scarf, sunglasses, or– like I’ve chosen for this particular look– a handbag. The extra pattern I’ve picked is the classy, and quickly rising trend of cheetah print. Adding another print, like I said earlier, is a very touchy part of fashion. So, make sure that you’re not trying to over power the stripes!

Now that we’re looking at this on the rise trend, let’s look at some summer and fall “do’s and don’ts” while keeping in mind the two basic rules when wearing stripes: 


  1. Wear fun colored stripes in the summer! Black and white stripes, or navy and white, is for sure a classic, but wearing white and light pink really make it a summer outfit. You can make this outfit summer appropriate by keeping light colors throughout the whole look. 
  2. Wear flowy outfits for the summer. The combination of loose tops with skirts or short, while rocking light colored stripes, is a great way to get in the summer mood. 
  3. Use stripes to your advantage! One way to do this is when shopping for fall outfits, try and find striped sweaters and long sleeve tops that criss-cross in the front. Wrap tops give the illusion of a slimmer waist-line. 


  1. Don’t be hesitant to wear cheetah print accessories with your stripes. Trust me, it’s not too much! And the colors from the cheetah print make it the perfect fall outfit. 
  2. Don’t wear horizontal stripes on your more accentuated areas. If you have bigger hips, wear vertical striped pants or skirts with a horizontally striped top. On the flip side, if you have a larger bust, wear vertically striped tops and horizontal bottoms.
  3. Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone! Wearing things you normally wouldn’t can be stressful. But, learning to be confident in yourself and your decisions is what helps us grow as people.

Let your personality shine through your outfits! A comfort zone is a beautiful place, but nothing ever grows there. 

Photo credit: @v.stoimirov

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Christ follower, wife, mom, and two time best selling author. Don't preach the message, become the message!


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