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Have you ever gone shopping and continuously picked up the same item, only to shake your head and put it back somewhat grudgingly? That’s the game I played with this windowpane-patterned blouse at H&M.

Every time I walked past it (and on numerous visits to the mall), the black and white pattern would strike my eye. I’d casually run my fingers across the lightweight sleeve. I’d even pick it up off the rack, hold it away from me for a good look at the boxy, cropped shape that worked perfectly with the black perpendicular stripes.

Eventually I gave in and made the purchase, but only after taking the time to imagine the numerous ways I could style this blouse once it made its way into my crowded closet.

For day: The blunt, straight-edge crop of the shirt gives it a casual feel, but for some reason also seemed a bit nerd-chic to me. High waisted pants ensure there’s no flashes of the tummy, and I kept the collar buttoned all the way to the top, Steve Urkel-style. To keep in the old-school genre and to play off the black and white pattern, I borrowed my mom’s oxfords. Keep accessories to the minimum and you’re good to go about your day! See the full style post for this look here.

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For work: I’m always looking for fun ways to change up my work attire. Picking a blouse with a fun print is one way to break away from the usual. Even though this pattern is still fairly tame, I dressed it up for the office by pairing it with a standard black pencil skirt, Nine West pumps and my every day purse. Keep your jewelry simple and understated, such as gilded pearl earrings and a dainty necklace.

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For night: As soon as I laid eyes on this shirt, I knew I wanted to pair it with my bright pink skirt. As much as I love a neutral or black and white ensemble, there’s something so fun about pairing a simple top like this with a flash of color. I envision this look for a brunch with your gals or a night on the town. Add a statement necklace to balance the boldness of the skirt on the bottom.

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I can’t wait to find the next way I’ll style this windowpane blouse. And since I’ve already matched the black and white with bold colors, I’m thinking next up will have to be pattern on pattern.

Photos by Michael Ciuni.

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