Styling Stripes

Though my wardrobe mostly consists of clothes that are just one basic color, there is one pattern that may be found here and there: classic stripes.

The interesting thing about stripes is the illusion they create: horizontal stripes make you look shorter and therefore wider whereas vertical stripes make you look longer and therefore thinner.

Photo by Solene Trahand

As I am self-conscious about my legs, I always choose vertical stripes for my pants, shorts, or dresses. In fact, if you look around, you will notice stores rarely ever sell pants with horizontal stripes since the current trend is the “long-leg-look.”

To balance things out I will style the pants or shorts with a simple basic color top. Sometimes, depending on the material of the pants or shorts, I choose a vertically ribbed top to reinforce the stripes’ illusion.

Having an hourglass body shape and an oddly thin waist, I like tops with horizontal stripes as I find they even out my proportions (though I do sometimes buy tops with vertical stripes too).

Photo by Solene Trahand

I pair horizontal striped tops with solid-colored bottoms to complement the stripes and not overload the eye; often for me, this means jeans.

Stripes can be used to accentuate the flow of a piece of clothing, and you can style the stripes with simple colored clothes.

The advantage of stripes is that they are always in, no matter the season or year. The important thing to remember is to let the stripes take the lead and wear basics with them that let the stripes pop.