Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Rule # 15: How to wear stripes.

Stripes are a huge trend next season so if you want to look your best wearing them either if you'd like to make your figure look slimmer or if you are underweight and always aim for a fuller look, there's a very clever trick to play with outfits for this purpose. Everyone know how much the choice of clothes means when it comes to highlighting or concealing certain parts of our bodies. There're different ways to make every imperfection become an advantage. In addition to the right combination of clothes that work for this purpose there's also another point that plays a great hole in this aspect. That is the print on the clothes. In this case I'm going to focus on STRIPES. Stripes can really help you in this respect. 
Stripes are those oldest and most tricky ways to use for figure adjustment. They have always been in fashion and will certainly have a long life ahead. The only thing that changes is the colours of trendy stripes and their being either thick or thin. Stripes are, indeed, very simple, classical, and ladylike and fit almost everyone. 
Horizontal and vertical stripes have different tendencies. Horizontal ones make your body slimmer, therefore you look thinner, and vertical ones widen our body adding a couple of kilos to you. So in order to learn more about each of them and know how to put outfits with stripes together, let's have a look at these tips for wearing stripes. 


Traditionally, fashion experts have been prone to the idea that plus-sized women should avoid horizontal stripes, claiming that this type of stripes gave the illusion of bulk. Others have the opposite opinion and have said that this was a very harsh mistake, since horizontal stripes have the opposite effect, as plus-sized people appear taller and more three-dimensional when wearing horizontal stripes. 
For me this is a tricky one: if you are a plus-sized woman you should avoid stripes unless you have been advise by an image consultant or you could opt for wearing straight pants with vertical stripes. Avoid wearing any type of stripes on your upper body. 

If you are a brave woman and want to try it follow this: pick a top in dark shades with lighter horizontal stripes, which reaches the top of your thighs. While wearing it, never tuck the shirt in the bottom outfit, rather leave it hanging loose over your jeans, skirt or whatever it may be. To finish off the look, you can also wear a blazer, a sweater or a nice necklace. 

Use stripes wisely. If you are a pear-shape, avoid striped bottoms, you'll even highlight your curvy hips, and always choose black tones of other pieces of clothes when you are pairing them with stripes. The dark background will also make you look slimmer. Unless you have a slim figure (rectangle shape), you can easily combine stripes tops with different colours of stylish bottoms. 


There're different ways of wearing stripes. Let's have a look at the basic outfit choices including tops with traditional horizontal black and white stripes. 
  • One of the easiest and maybe the basic forms of wearing stripes is simply pairing a striped blouse or any other top with a pair of jeans. A loose-fitting shirt will be a wise choice for a curvy body. If you are fat in the tummy area, better opt for loose striped tops rather than define it. 
  • It's also a good idea to wear striped shirt or tee with a simple black bottom. Indeed, whenever wearing stripes the classical way is keeping to black or white. Since the stripes already become visual, you can break the tone down by choosing black or white. If you have a curvy midsection go for something with high-waist paired with a loose-fitting striped top. 
  • If you have a thin top and curvy bottom, then you can opt for a dress with a vertical striped top part and a one-coloured bottom. The bottom will look ideal, as it is, without adding any volume. Whereas the thin top part will visually become fuller. The bottom colour of the dress can complement the top colour or vice verse, contrast it. You can, for example, take a dress with a black and white top stripes and a green bottom. That really looks trendy and creates the illusion that your are wearing a tow-piece outfit. 
  • If you are in one of those days when you don't want to think about what to wear, simply grab whatever comes close and go. A tunic top and leggings can be an ideal pick for those lazy days. A striped tunic-length top is certainly more expressive and fresh than your everyday standard tunics. Combine the latter with tights and you are ready to go. 
  • Another outfit is a simple jersey dress, leggings, boots, a long cardigan and a "no-time-to-wash-my-hair" hat. The dress is very versatile and can serve for different occasions. You can switch the boots to high heels for an evening look. Skinny belts which are very trendy can add a final touch for your look. Put the belt on the cardigan over your dress and you're good to go. 
  • Accessorize the stripes. If you like striped tops and want to have a different look when wearing them, then either add a matching vest, a tie or a colourful scarf that will refresh the traditional black and white. Neutral colours are best for a medium look. For more emphasis go for brighter accessories but keep in mind that you should not define your bottom part in this case. 
  • For those who always want to conceal their body a loose horizontal striped cardigan can make wonders. Put on a neutral top, wear a cardigan on top and finish your look with either skinny pants or tights, or you can wear a simple mild coloured dress pairing it with a striped cardigan. 
  • For more casual and trendy look you can change the cardigan for a blazer or a jacket, a leather one could be great especially for the cold season. A pair of jeans paired with a striped top and leather black jacket as well as black shoes or boots and you're done. 
  • For cold weather, when putting on a dress, opt for a one colour coat over your striped dress and tights that are the same colour as the coat, or if you want to be a little bit bold, then combine the classical black and white striped dress with red tights. You'll have a dramatic look.
  • Opt for stripes of other colours. Best combinations are: red and white, light brown and black, which resembles the leopard print, blue and white and so on. 
  • Pair stripes with a neutral colour if you want to feel safe. If you're just starting to wear stripes, wear them with a block of colour on your other half. A striped skirt with a plain top can look fabulous, as can a striped top with a plain skirt or jeans. Emphasize only one part of you body. 
As you can see stripes can be wear in any season, from summer to winter. Always keep in mind the wider the stripe, the bolder the statement. If you are hesitant about stripes, try pinstripes at first and once you feel comfortable in them make your way for wider stripes. Pinstripes are especially cute for business and casual wear. 

Here are some looks I pulled out for you. 

Top, Blanco. Striped shorts & bag, Mango. Wedge, Zara. 

Striped top, Jeans, Mango. Flats, Asos. Bag, Parfois. 

Striped blouse & skirt, Mango. Shoes, Zara. Clutch, Parfois. 

Striped dress, Topshop. Flats, Asos. Handbag, Mango. Pink belt, Uterque. Sunglasses, Ray-Ban. Heels, Zara. Bag & silver belt, Mango. 

Pictures: Pinterest, Getty. 

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