Delicate horizontal stripes smack of the nautical trend, whilst vertical pinstripes are the domain of the office. However, chunky, ferocious looking stripes are having a fashion moment, reminiscent of 80s punk and 60s beatnik says Look magazine, in their 2nd June, 2008 article “Chunky, Punky Stripes.”
According to Karen Homer, in her book, Things a Woman Should Know about Style, traditionally, horizontal stripes have a classic, nautical feel and have their roots in summer beach resort wear. Pinstripes are professional and business-like, with a more masculine feel, in a Marlene Dietrich kind of way. However, this season for a more modern up-to-the-minute look, broader stripes are the order of the day.
Both men and women can make a bold impact this season by saying goodbye to classic navy sailor stripes and say hello to Americana rock and roll-style stripes. From tailored dress and jackets to waistcoats, T-shirts, tunic tops and tote bags; these big and bold striped outfits are for those who want to be noticed.
According to Marie Claires online article, “How to Wear Stripes,” when paired with the right pieces, they can really enhance your figure and keep you looking up-to-date.
Stripey Summer Looks
Spring and summer runways were full of designers mixing wide stripes with thin, vertical with diagonal ones, and matching stripes with florals. However, such looks may be too dramtatic or out-of-place for everyday wear.
Instead, wear a stripy top with a fitted blazer or skinny jeans or an edgy dress with a toughened-up biker jacket. Go for a wide vertical-striped blouse and plain black pencil skirt, and for the beach, an elegant 50s-style swimsuit in broad stripes. At this years legendary Glastonbury folk festival in England there were black and white stripes galore, with celebrities such as Alexa Chung and Pixie Geldorf proudly sporting their stripes with biker jackets and rubber wellington boots!
If you are looking for something more colorful then there are bold candy-striped dresses and skirts, and punked-up stripy tea dresses like Anna Suis orange dress.
How to Wear Stripes
Unless you have the body of a willowy waif, horizontal stripes should be work at your own risk. Vertical stripes and more forgiving, but even they should be worn with care, if you dont want to look like a clown.
Horizontal stripes have the power to make boyish figures look curvier; vertical stripes give an elongated look to your body.
If you are curvy, have a big bust, or are chunky around the middle, then wear horizontal stripes with caution; especially tops which cling around your bust and waist.
Keep horizontal stripes loose, follow a go 1-size-up rule, to stop them clinging and having a widening effect on your figure.
Vertically striped skirts or trousers can make you look taller, especially worn with a solid-colored top or T-shirt. Diagonal stripes have the same effect.
For an everyday look, dont overdo the stripes. A single piece is stylish, head-to-toe is not. Team a monochromed stripey outfit with a solid color or some shiny patent or satin shoes. You can always add a splash of extra color with an edgy purse. Go for a simple monochromed striped scarf, or wear your stripes on your shoulder with a stripy tote bag.
In terms of color, stick to darker stripes if you want to hide your lumps and bumps. Twenty-somethings can get away with cute candy-stripes, but these may be ageing on those who are the wrong side of 35. Other current on-trend colors for stripes are pink, red and orange.
Narrow stripes look best on petite frames, and if you are fuller in one part of your body than you would like, then consider a stripey style with a single color-block in that area. For example, if you are big-busted then a dress with a plain black bodice and monochrome-striped skirt will be a real figure-flatter. If you have a small bust and big hips, then the reverse is true wear a stripy top with a plain-colored skirt.
You can magically create the illusion of a bigger bust by wearing broad stripes across your top half and then balancing out your lower body with narrower, diagonal stripes.