Stripes are the pattern many of us have a serious love/hate relationship with. We’ve been told countless times that wearing stripes, especially when they’re horizontal, can make us look bigger or shorter but that’s not necessarily true. Here’s how to wear this fabulous summer trend without looking wider. Follow our tips on how to wear stripes in a flattering way.
We’ve put together 7 ways to wear stripes in a flattering way:
1. Think about your body shape first… always
This is probably the most important rule to follow; know your body type. It’s the best way to learn how to dress effectively for your shape. Use these general tips when picking out your striped purchase:
- It’s better for apple figures to steer clear of horizontal striped tops and shirts
- Vertical stripes – particularly skirts or pants – do wonders for a pear-shaped
- Rectangular figures should avoid harsh contrasting vertical stripes – they have a tendency to make you look lanky and shapeless
- Have an hourglass figure? Lucky you – you can wear just about any kind of stripe but the most flattering for your body shape are thinner horizontal stripes, which help maintain the balance of your body. Don’t forget to cinch in your waist to make the most of your curves!
2. Placement is key
Stripes (and most patterns in general) will draw attention to the part of the body it’s on. That’s why the first rule for wearing stripes is to never wear horizontal stripes across the largest part of your body, as it will give that area the appearance of being larger. If you are pear shaped, opt for striped tops and shirts; and if you are apple shaped, a great pair of vertically striped pants will be your best friend.
3. Know which stripes are for you
If you work with stripes, and not against them, you’ll be able to enhance your outfit as well as your figure. Vertical stripes elongate the body, so this is a perfect way for petite ladies to create the illusion of longer legs. Or, if you are tall and lean, a few well-placed horizontal and diagonal stripes can add curves to all the right places.
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4. Layer with solids
This rule is pretty simple. Layer horizontal stripes with solid colours to create the illusion of a vertical line. This can be easily achieved by wearing a gilet or long-line blazer over a striped top.
5. When in doubt, go diagonal
Diagonal stripes are great for creating a flattering illusion; mimicking the effects of both horizontal and vertical stripes. They can either make you look taller and slimmer, or bring more focus to your curves.
6. Focus on flattering silhouettes
Never lose sight of your outfit’s overall silhouette. This means incorporating stripes into styles that you would usually pick out for your shape. For example; slim builds can look great in a pencil skirt, while curvier ladies would look better in a fit-and-flare style.
7. Lower the contrast
This is probably the least talked about trick, but the easiest to follow. In basic terms, a black and white contrast will have a more dramatic widening effect than navy and burgundy stripes. So, if you’re still worried about trying this trend, look for a top or pants with stripes in the same colour family, or similar tones.
Fashion editor at Essentials magazine. I’m obsessed with heels, culottes and all things stylish – and yes that begrudgingly includes the fanny pack.