Horizontal, vertical, diagonal. There are so many different ways of wearing stripes that it can be daunting. Here are my tips on how to wear stripes like a pro.
In the same way our bodies are all different, stripes come in many different designs and there loads of different ways to wear them. Ultimately, it’s about finding stripes which are flattering to your own style and body shape.
The basic principles
- Vertical stripes lengthen and narrow
- Horizontal stripes shorten and widen
- Diagonal stripes camouflage by moving the eye indirectly – near vertical diagonals lengthen, near horizontal diagonals widen
Use vertical stripes to elongate your body. For example, if your petite, a pin striped suit will create the illusion of height. Vertical stripes in trousers will create the illusion of longer legs. It’s also worth noting vertical stripes are more slimming if placed close together and when they fall straight.
If you’ve a curvy body shape and want to embrace vertical stripes, ensure you opt for softer fabrics that have give in them to ensure the vertical lines fall straight or choose a side stripe design where the body of the trouser is a plain colour with a stripe running the length of the outside seam.
Horizontal stripes are great for shortening your body, balancing your body shape, and creating the illusion of curves. If your very tall or have a long body, horizontal stripes will give the illusion of shortening your height/body. If your bottom heavy try wearing horizontal stripes on your upper body as it will help balance your body. To create the illusion of curves try wearing a dress with varying width stripes.
Go for lower contrast stripes
Another great way to wear stripes without a widening effect is to lower the contrast between the colours in your stripes. So, instead of going for black and white, or navy and white, as is the classic style, try pastel stripes instead.
Opt for diagonal stripes
Diagonal stripes confuse the eye, meaning they are great for disguising the parts of your body you’re not so comfy with. What’s more, wearing a dress or outfit where the stripes are going in different directions creates the illusion of your body going in and out (in all the right places)!
Strictly speaking stripes are better suited to those who have a more angular body shape (the theory being you wear patterns which mimic your body shape eg; angular body shapes opt for angular, geometric patterns and curvy body shapes opt for curvy, abstract and floral patterns).
So what if you’ve a fuller, curvy figure, you want to embrace stripes but are worried they might make you look bigger? Try layering the stripes with solid colour. For example wear a blazer or long cardigan over the top of your stripes in your favourite block colour or neutral. Alternatively there are a number of prints out there which mix floral patterns over stripes – another great way to wear this seasons trend.
When choosing striped pieces don’t forget to reflect your style personality in your choices – if you’re more feminine opt for pieces that have a floral print mixed in with the stripes or lace in the fabric of the clothing. If artistic a tie dye design will probably be more your thing. Naturals will likely opt for a more understated design while classics will look fab teaming a breton stripe top with their favourite jeans and dramatics will rock stripes in bold contrasting colours.
Stripes as an accessory
Accessories don’t have to just come in one block color! There are some fabulous striped options in stores now. So if you’re unsure of wearing stripes in your clothing try teaming your favourite plain t-shirt with jeans and striped pumps.
Here are a few of my favourites
Phase Eight – Samantha Striped Dress, £89
Mint Velvet – Joilet Side Stripe Skinny Jean, £79
Gina Bicconi – Hayden Floral Stripe Maxi Dress, £72
H&M – Black & White Jacquard-Knit Skirt, £39.99
Superdry – Breton Twist Back Top, 24.99
Mint Velvet – Allie White Striped Trainer, £89