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Reah Norman . . . How to wear stripes with confidence

11:52 AM

One of the biggest fashion concerns I hear from my clients is regarding stripes; how to wear them and whether or not they make you look ‘ bigger ‘. Please do NOT be scared of stripes, I promise, they will not bite!

Just like any other trend, color, or style, it’s all about bending the trend to fit your body type and personal style. Traditionally, stripes come around every spring as a nod to the classic nautical trend, offering a clean and crisp introduction to the season. We also traditionally see vertical pinstripes in workwear and masculine styling.

On this seasons runways, designers have mixed and matched vertical, horizontal, and diagonal stripe varieties with prints, patterns, textures, and bold color. Currently, stripes are taking on a more modern and updated look, with broad, colorful, daytime stripes in wide varieties, stripes mixed with additional patterns and textures, and stripes utilized as accent pieces.

Whether you’re going vertical, horizontal, diagonal, broad, thin, monocromatic, or colorful; stripes are definitely wearable for all shapes and sizes, and here are a few tips to think about when choosing the right stripe for you:

1. Pair a Stripe with a Solid

Although this season is full of mixing and matching stipes with varieties of other prints, pairing a stripe with a solid is always a sure thing. The golden rule of balancing your body type is simple: solids on the larger part of the body, and patterns/texture on the smaller part of the body. As long as this fomula is followed, wearing stripes becomes very simple. Also, if you are top heavy, consider a smaller or thinner stripe, and if you want to enhance your bust, choose a bold, wider stripe.


The Lurex Stripe Nehru Shirt is a perfect stripe top, especially for summer! The vertical stripes work to lengthen the silhouette, while the warm color palatte of stripes remain understated.

The Neutral Printed Gypsy Top is ideal for a pear shape body type who carries their weight on the lower half of the body.  Pair this stripe blouse with a solid bottom to create a balanced silhouette.

The Floral Check Maxi Skirt is a must-have for this season and a creative way to incorporate both the maxi trend and the stripe trend into a summer wardrobe.  The mixing and matching of the check and floral pattern laid out in bold tiers, creates the illusion of stripes and is great for balancing a top heavy silhouette when worn with a solid top.

2. Use a Stripe to Layer

If you are unsure about wearing stripes, you can take a more subtle approach and layer a stripe top or dress with a sleek, solid vest or cardigan, which will break the line of the stripe, while still encorporating the trend.  This is probably the easiest and most wearable way to rock the stripes.  If you are brave (which you should be), you can also wear your stripes as an outside layering piece.  Wearing a solid underneath will still offer the same affect, breaking the line of the stripe.

The Navy and White Striped Vest paired with the Pink Cotton Cardigan is a easy way to wear the stripe trend.  Layering the cardigan over the vest breaks the line of the stripe and creates a polished look. Complete this look with crisp, white jeans and gold sandals, and you are good to go for the season!

The Neutral Stripe Cardigan is an ideal option if you are willing to be a bit more bold when adding stripes.  The open waterfall silhouette creates a broken diagonal line, and the neutral tones remain understated, making this cardigan just as flattering as a solid.

3. Wear Stripes As Accents

Incorporating the stripe trend into a current wardrobe can be as easy as choosing a solid garment that has a striped trim or accent.  Striped detailing is a look that is straight off of the runway and will add a fresh and modern twist to a solid silhouette.

The Cross Front Swimsuit has beautiful magenta stripe detailing along the bustline, giving this swimsuit a precise combination of classic meets trend.

4. Get Creative

If you are still having reservations about introducing stripes into your wardrobe, or if you are simple looking for a more subtle approach, a textured or more abstract stripe pattern may be more appealling.

The Black Ladder Cardigan showcases the ultimate marriage of texture and stripe, creating a subtle option for the stripe trend.  Layer this piece under a colorful tank and a long statement necklace for a polished look.

The Mink Self Stripe Shirt has a textured stripe fabrication, along with pintuck detailing along the lapels that create a stripe pattern. This piece is perfect for all body types and is a crisp and fresh choice for summer.

5. Don’t Over-Think It

Not every stripe is right for everyone, however there definitely is a stripe for everyone, no matter what your size!  When paired with the right pieces, stripes can work to enhance your figure and keep you looking up-to-date with one of the season’s hottest trends.  The best tip I can offer is to wear your stripes with confidence and do not over-think it.  Ultimately, fashion should be fun and should be a reflection of your personal style, so get creative and always remember to ‘ think outside the fashion box ‘.



One Response to “Reah Norman . . . How to wear stripes with confidence”

  1. Monique says:

    I love stripes! Great tips and can I have that bathing suit? It’s so cute!!

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