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Style Blog

20/03/19
Breton from Boden (www.boden.co.uk)
There are so many different ways of wearing stripes - horizontal, vertical, diagonal, small or large. It can be very daunting trying to decide if they suit you or not, plus we all have instilled in us the belief that if you wear a horizontal stripe it will make you look bigger. But is this really true?
Read on for my top tips and ideas on how to wear stripes like a pro!

The Horizontal Stripe Debate
The debate about which way to wear your stripes dates way back to 1925 when German scientist Hermann von Helmholtz showed that a square with horizontal stripes actually looked taller and thinner than one with vertical stripes.
Since then, discussions have continued about how to apply that to fashion. And there is no hard and fast rule because women’s bodies are all different and so different stripes will flatter different body shapes. And that’s why we can find a multitude of different stripy clothes! Don’t forget also that there are different ways to wear them too. Here are some of my top tips on how to wear stripes to flatter you:
1) Use stripes to
create optical illusions that elongate your body. For example, if you are petite or have short legs then vertically striped trousers can create the illusion of longer legs. Striped palazzo trousers are great too because you can pop a pair of heels underneath and instantly elongate your legs. Or, if you don’t have many curves, you can create some with well-placed stripes in tops and dresses.
2) If you do want to wear horizontal stripes, but you’re worried that they could make you look wider, a good way to wear them is to
layer stripes with solids. So, for example wear a long blazer or cardigan over a striped top in a block or neutral colour.
3) Another good way to get the look of 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. Or, for autumn and winter, you could opt for stripes in autumnal hues such as burgundy or forest green.
4) If you’re not sure whether to go for vertical or horizontal stripes, then opt for the best of both worlds and
choose diagonal stripes. Diagonal stripes can confuse the eye, meaning that they can disguise the parts of your body you’re not too happy with. They can also create curves as, if you have stripes going in different directions, it creates the illusion of your body going in and out (in all the right places!).

Just because you’re thinking about stripes, don’t forget to also think about what is usually flattering for your body shape. So, if you’re atriangle body shape and you usually go for a full skirt, or you have an hourglass shape and look great in a pencil skirt, make sure you stick to these clothing types. Ultimately, it’s about finding stripes which are flattering to your own style and your own body shape.

If you’re not sure what your body shape is, then I can help - a
style consultation will give you all the answers about your body shape, your proportions and scale and is tailored to finding solutions that work for you.

And don’t forget the great thing about stripes is that they never date! They’re just as much on trend now as they were when Coco Chanel first wore the Breton top in the 30s. Here are some easy, stylish ways to wear stripes.

Invest in a classic Breton stripe
This is definitely one trend that will never go out of style! Plus, I’ve never seen a woman who doesn’t look great in a Breton top.
Striped shirt
Something else that will see you through season upon season is the striped shirt. Very on-trend this summer, in a kind of pyjama-style vibe, striped shirts are a great weekend and workwear staple.
Style with a denim pencil skirt and boots for a look which will take you through to autumn.

Mixing patterns
If you’re new to pattern mixing, then stripes are a great way to start because they look fabulous teamed with other patterns, like florals or leopard print. They key is to pick out similar colours in both patterns so they compliment each other rather than clash.
Stripes as an accessory
Accessories don’t have to just come in one block colour! There are some fabulous striped options in stores now.
You could, for example, team a plain white tee and jeans with striped trainers for an instant update on your wardrobe classics. Or, team striped shoes with a navy dress or dark jeans.

So be brave and invest in stripes this season – experiment with colour and direction and you could create a whole new look!