We have to tip our hat to singer/designer Gwen Stefani and the outfit she assembled for an outing in London early last month. The trend-focused look, which consisted of Michael Kors' Ikat Windowpane Duchess Shell ($1195) and matching Skinny Samantha Pants ($1295, 866.709.KORS), Holmes and Yang's Leather Back Cape ($1859), Yohji Yamamoto men's peaked military-style hat from F/W 12, and Christian Louboutin's Pigalle 85 Patent-Leather Pumps ($625), is a shining example of how to style the season's matching prints. Want to know Why It Works? We break it all down with a closer look at each important element below.
Cape: Look for solid-colored outerwear with clean lines. A minimal cape jacket tempers a busy print and adds instant polish to your ensemble.
Similar Essentials: Marni Silk and Wool-Blend Twill Cape ($1330); Max Studio Single Breasted Cape Coat ($398); Mango Snap Button Epaulettes Cape ($150).
Matching Prints: When working with matching graphic prints, it's imperative that you stick to simple silhouettes. Classic, fitted cuts will not detract from the pattern, plus they ensure that the overall look is sophisticated.
Similar Essentials: Marni Sequence Grid Top ($448) and Printed Wool-Blend Pants ($665); Tibi Paloma Shirt ($330) and Paloma Pants ($345); Topshop Shadow Lace Print Corset ($60) and Skinny Trousers ($80).
Peaked Cap: Head-to-toe prints are inherently playful, so add some gravitas to your look with a structured, military-inspired hat. It's authoritative and smart-two qualities that are exemplified throughout the entire outfit.
Similar Essentials: Burberry Smoked Check Military Wool Tide Flat Cap ($375); Eugenia Kim Marina Captain's Cap ($199); Brixton's Wyatt Train Conductor Hat ($34).
Heels: Sleek, pointed-toe pumps complement the ensemble's streamlined silhouettes and introduce a subversively sexy element to the daytime outfit.
Similar Essentials: Jimmy Choo Agnes Pumps ($525); Boutique 9 Justine Patent Leather Pumps ($120); Aldo Romelia Heels ($80).
Beauty: Finish your look with a bright red lip. The striking hue adds just the right amount of color to a mix of black and white.
Similar Essential: L'Oreal Infallible Le Rouge Lipcolor ($10) in Ravishing Red.--Jessica Baker