This Week I Love …

… STRIPES. Oh stripes, I am head-over-heels for you.

I follow trends and love ’em, but seldom have I felt so drawn to an of-the-moment look. I’ve mentioned recently that I pretty much want to wear stripes every day, and have to keep myself from doing so. Forcibly. Also have to prevent myself from buying up and thrifting every striped item I see – recent acquisitions include a button-detail boatneck from Value Village, this blazer, and thisย dress. This fun and versatile print just seems to go with everything, and adds a fun graphic element to any outfit.

I know many women shy away from horizontal stripes because of their rumored widening properties, but I’d encourage all of you to investigate for yourself before resigning yourselves to a stripe-free existence. Stripe width and placement influence figure flattery, as do the amount of contrast between the individual stripes and, of course, the cut of the garment. Before you say you can’t wear stripes, play around a little with striped garments and see for yourself.

Are you into stripes? Do you like ’em big and bold, or less contrast-y? Do you agree that this pattern is versatile, or do you feel it has stylistic constraints? What’s your favorite stripes-based look?

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  • I love stripes too. I seem to have more of them for summery weather, though. And they’re mostly t-shirts, with the exception of that one dress with the tan stripes on black that I love with a passion. And a skirt. Oh, and a little jacket. And the space circus cardigan. OK. I maybe do not need to feel stripe-deprived. I may in fact be a little stripe-obsessed. Must. Control. Self.

  • LOOOOVE stripes! This past spring I really got addicted to them. They may be trendy now, but like leopard print, I think it’s something that occasionally gets a lot of press, but is always a classic fashion choice. I think they look fantastic on you!

    • Sal

      I know that we are co-fans of stripes, lady. In fact, you’re one of my main stripy inspirations!

  • Jess

    Sal, I am OBSESSED with stripes. OBSESSED. Like you, I’ve totally bought into this trend, and when reorganising my wardrobe the other day was actually quite shocked at how many striped items I seem to have accumulated over the past year or so. My favourite item is probably either this striped obi dress from People Tree (scroll down), or a striped midi dress from Primark that I can’t seem to find a picture of online, but which is somehow magical in its figure-flattering properties. It only cost me ยฃ11 and yet I get compliments whenever I wear it.

  • I love stripes so much! I went through a period when I would wear only striped long-sleeve tees with my jeans (I felt very French : >) You look fab in all these outfits!

  • Mod Podge Amy

    I wear them every day and have been for years – I’m glad I’m finally trendy again!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • I love stripes. Love love love. Navy and white are my favorite, but I’ll take them in any color! Anything stripey is such an easy way to look perky and fresh and classic and fun–and when I wear them I FEEL all those things.

    And for some reason, I almost always wear my stripes with my silver hoops. Double love!

  • Cel

    I am really not a stripe person, especially not black and white stripes. I just feel really awkward and weird wearing them, like there’s too much contrast between them and me hah. Even if I still like them on other people, stripes are just a no go here.

  • Anna D.

    I don’t think I own a single striped item of clothing, except perhaps a vertically-striped dress shirt. Oh, wait, I lie, I have a pair of pinstriped pants that I need to hem. Here’s the thing – I ADORE pinstripes, and have been stalking gorgeous pinstriped suits (though I don’t own any). But otherwise I dislike stripes. (However, it’s probably an extension of my general print-aversion – I’ve been breaking out a little with geometric prints, and own some print scarves, but am generally too afraid of busy-ness to go there. I like texture, but not pattern. If that distinction makes sense.)

    I mean, other people look great in them! For me, they just don’t strike any notes I’m trying to hit.

  • I do love stripes, but I have to admit that I feel limited by their feel. I have b&w and navy and white striped pieces. I’m more into really narrow stripes than wide, but you look great in the first photo. I might feel different if I had stripes in different colours.

  • Anne

    I bought my first striped tee shirt (since they reemerged as a trend) last spring. I have worn it a ton. It makes me feel so french! Just got another one on final clearance from j crew yesterday in olive and cream. When the gray one with zippers at the neck goes on sale I’ll be all over it like white on rice. I think the appeal with these tops is that they are both trendy and iconic. At this point I don’t foresee myself indulging in the stripe trend beyond shirts.

  • I love stripes and could really use more in my closet! Basic stripes are great and classic, but there is something about bold colorful stripes that make my heart pitter patter.

  • Tabithia

    I’ve been in love with stripes for a little one, the thing is just finding the shirt that’s great for my proportions! I had one cowl neck, 3/4 sleeved striped shirt from Express a while back. I wish I hadn’t have let go of it when I lost the weight because it’d be a perfect transition piece after this pregnancy! The stripes were wide and darker colors (black and blue). I was always afraid stripes would make me look even bigger but one of the big black stripes ran perfectly across my small waist line like a belt would and it just played up my figure! I also love little chevron stripes! They’re great for hiding tummies.

    Oh, and if you wanna try pattern mixing, stripes are a great place to start! They look great with florals and polka dots.

  • Mar

    I love these outfits!!! I think the last one is my favorite.
    I totally admire stripes, but the only things I have with stripes are two short-sleeve t-shirts, so I am on the lookout for something more appropriate for winter. I must admit that I struggle with stripes that are not in neutral colors (beige, black, white, navy). Somehow they seem then way more casual and less chic (but it could be just the particular garments I had looked at).

    • Tabithia

      I totally get this! I just realized I have more striped items than I thought and how I wear them. I have an over-sized sweater in big black and purple stripes that’s “in” but honestly it’s worn more for comfort and warmth than style. Even when I go for cute in that sweater I don’t go for chic. I realized I feel most fasionable/chic in my 3/4 sleeve shirt with grey/white, small stripe combo even if it’s worn with jeans! I think there’s something about the size of the stripes too! I do think red/white stripes could be super hot too and dressed up in a way that doesn’t make them look casual. And of course I think there are exceptions to this too but with different types of stripes.

      • Mar

        Completely agree with the width of the stripes mattering! I just reflected on it and realized that I have 3, not 2 striped tops, except the third one has really wide black and white stripes and I rarely take it out of the closet. I much prefer the thin stripes…

  • Roberta

    They are so easy to love. I wear a narrow striped tee under a wide striped cardigan and my boss says I look like a test pattern. Hee hee. The navy/white striped long sleeve tee over the burnt orange full skirt that I wore yesterday was DIRECTLY inspired by you!

  • I’ve always loved stripes, especially in sweaters. I keep thrifting striped sweaters – this has to stop! I have too many!

    I’m actually on the lookout right now for a striped skirt…

  • I do not fear the stripes. I love the stripes. I’ve already purchased two dresses for the fall that are BOTH striped (one of them is that Target dress you posted, but in the peacock/navy colors). And I can’t forget to give a shout-out to the impractical black and white striped tights I bought last weekend. So many opportunities for stripes, so few days in the season. Yikes!

  • A girl after my own heart! Stripes AND a black/brown combo! These are the outfits you will always reach for when you travel. I swear I have a closetful of stripes *just in case* I need to dash off to Paris.

    ps – You need to wear slingback pumps more often! Rawr!

  • Lisa

    I have an aversion to stripes. I don’t own anything striped! I feel like they make me look like a little girl…it seems many children’s clothes are striped and I can’t get past that.

    • Tabithia

      I probably would not have made that connection but right before seeing your post I opened up a box of clothes my grandmother sent for my daughter…and there were lots of pastel stripes. I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to wear a pastel stripe or an outfit with 3+ different stripe colors because of this.

      • Tabithia

        Oh, and the fact that my favorite outfit of the bunch is a two toned purple striped dress and bloomers lol.

  • I love you in stripes. But I like black and white a lot too. All wonderful outfits!

  • D

    Stripes really are pretty awesome. Just yesterday I wore a stripey dress and got a TON of compliments. I also just bought a fantastic red and orange striped cardigan that I can’t wait to wear more often- it has a significant amount of wool in it, so it is still a little warm for me, but it will be well used soon!

    I think stripes can be very versatile. I don’t have a preference between bold and less contrasting stripes. They are both so chic!

  • Stripes are a goth wardrobe staple, particularly black & white stripes & pinstripes. But really any black + color stripe, such as red & black, pink & black, purple & black, etc. I have a hard time *not* buying every single striped piece of clothing I see, such as every last b/w stripe cardigan (bec. I adore cardigans). I have 3 already! I also love stripey tights in various colors. And stripey scarves. I even have a pair of earrings with b/w stripey beads. Can’t get enough stripes!

  • I do like stripes, but the thing I like most about these outfits is your combination of brown and black. It’s so chic! (And I like the multi-colored pumps in your other outfit, too!)

  • Mia

    I was just thinking about stripes! Okay, not just-just, but last night when I was unpacking my winter sweaters and all the stripes came jumping out at me. I have a couple in particular that I love because the stripe colors are so bright (purple/magenta, teal/green) and it makes me feel fun and cheery on a cold morning. Especially since cold mornings do nothing to make me feel fun or cheery at all. I don’t think I own any black/white stripes except for a cropped sweatervest I thrifted recently, but you can bet your boots that my eyes are always peeled for a good stripe when I’m thrifting.

  • I love stripes. Horizontal on tees as I’m small busted, and vertical on pants as I’m pear shaped. Stripes also see to work quite well with strong prints e.g. florals, so I often do a print tee with striped menswear style pants.
    I have some menswear style fitted pinstriped waistcoats (vests) which I don’t wear much. Do you have any ideas of how to wear them. I don’t want to look too literally like one of the boys. They fit is fantastic though and really shows of my curves.

  • 1lostmitten

    I’m a zaftig woman who loves stripes. i find that horizontal stripes work way better on my body. i recently had an adorable knit top with vertical stripes that i had to give away because it just didn’t work – every curve and ripple made the stripes look wavy and weird. on the other hand, one of my favorite pieces is a horizontally-striped black and white tee – also a soft, stretchy knit – that looks supercute on me (if i do say so myself) because the topography of my body doesn’t distort the stripes.

  • buzibu

    I have been perplexed by the horizontal stripe craze. I truly don’t see the attraction (and I am a big-time pattern girl). Just screams prisoner of Alcatraz to me! ๐Ÿ™‚

    What I do like is diagonal stripes that make a V on a buttoned down shirt or similar structured item – insanely flattering. Vertical stripes are good too, in moderation, and more complex stripe patterns for example on a striped scarf.

  • I’ve always loved stripes, but I’ve been experimenting with more types of stripes lately! Thick and thin, short sleeved and long sleeved tees and tanks! I love the variations. My favourite striped shirt currently is the one like your last outfit. Just bought it a few weeks ago and I feel like I could wear it every day. I have to keep myself from doing so, but I’m really excited for the remixing I can do! I’ll be digging through your archives for inspiration ๐Ÿ™‚

    http://mygrowingobsessions.blogspot.com

  • I am all about the stripes and I think they’re always in style! I have a lot of black and white or navy and white ones but have been looking for a red or orange striped shirt or dress!

  • I love the nautical American sportswear thing. And I like stripes as a base layer with florals.

  • Jen

    My favorite pattern is floral, followed by geometric/randrom, but I like me some stripes too. I’m a curvy girl, and I say screw the “can’t wear thats”! I prefer larger horizontal stripes in bright colors (don’t know if this flatters me or not, but who cares). I have two of the same t-shirt from Old Navy a while back–one is lavender and purple large stripes, and one is grass green and crayon blue striped. Summer staples for me. I recently picked up a light sweater from Goodwill (Old Navy brand, oddly enough) that is light gray and mint green large striped. So pretty. I could kick myself for not buying a loud hot pink and orange striped cardigan from (you guessed it) Old Navy. I also love the navy-and-white or black-and-white, so classic. I have a short-sleeved cardigan that is navy and white. I also have dreams of making or having made a swishy skirt from this dreamy cobalt blue and black striped material I have. It makes me feel so badass just to look at it. Huh, actually, I do have a lot of stripes now that I think about it.

  • Tiffany

    Stripes and polka dots are the only patterns I can really ‘manage’. And I LOVE them, although I do mainly stick to the conservative navy/cream, black/cream combinations. I did branch out to an olive/cream J Crew striped top and I love that too …

  • Carol N.

    I have always loved stripes and feel like I must have at least one striped knit top in my closet at all times. I’m not a thin, willowy type but I still love them and think they are very classic looking even if a little casual.

  • Becky

    I love stripes too. The bolder, the better. I think i actually like them better than polka dots, as they seem to be more versatile. I’m a big fan of all patterns (plaid, argyle, houndstooth, etc) .

  • I love the stripes. Thin, wide, variegated, whatever. Love them. But, I don’t wear them enough. I will work on that. I especially love the black and white stripes paired with black and brown. I’m pretty much gonna copy that.

  • Shaye

    I actually find that vertical stripes are much harder for me to wear, because the lines get distorted by my curves. Horizontal stripes, on the other hand, flatter my curves without making my boobs look like they’re going to jump out and attack someone, like one of those optical illusion posters from the late 80s/early 90s. You know, the kind where it just looked like static, but if you let your eyes go unfocused, all of a sudden you see some 3D object coming toward you? “Don’t cross your eyes around my boobs” is a phrase I’d rather not have in my vocabulary.

    Honestly, though, diagonal/chevron stripes are my favorite. Harder to find, but they just look so great on a moving body. (Probably because diagonal lines are more dynamic.)

  • LOVE them. Used to live in striped knit poorboy tops in my teens (hello, 90s kid here) and I have always been a vertical stripes girl when it comes to wovens. Pinstripes, big stripes, even vertical pintucks, because they have a similar effect. Love love love that it is everywhere. Never bothers me when I am “trendy,” it just means I have more opportunities to stock up on styles I love!

  • Kirsty

    I love stripes, but anything with narrow horizontal stripes makes me feel like I’m going cross-eyed ๐Ÿ™

    Do you mind telling me where you got that top t-shirt, with the broader stripes Sal? I love that outfit you’re wearing ๐Ÿ™‚

    Kirsty

  • Kirsty

    I dug back through your archives and found out it’s thrifted ๐Ÿ™ Ah well…

  • Tiffany

    If you are a cowgirl in the summer, I am a sailor. I love stripes! Especially in an outfit that gives off a nautical vibe. I pair horizontal stripes with my boat-themed jewelery, and I’m good to embark!