Sporting a Stripe

Personal style advice from Kate Evans, Image Consultant and Coach.

I am a HUGE fan of a stripe… I dress my children, my home and myself in a stripe with frightening regularity. My favourite combination is with leopard print or camel, or both.


This season stripes are back in all their nautical glory as a firm fashion staple. They come in endless variations, from bold to thin, monochrome to candy stripes and you’ll find them on everything from shirts to knee length pleats.


If you want to embrace the stripe it’s worth considering how they work with your body shape so you can find the most flattering way to wear them before you invest.


Busty and curvy

Horizontal lines contribute to a feeling of width as the eye is drawn across the fabric, so not ideal. If you want to wear a striped top try putting a cardigan or jacket over it so you only see a pop of the stripe rather than the whole expanse, then team with plain bottoms.



Those who are straight in the body can go horizontal or vertical with stripes. Tight, horizontal lines or narrow vertical stripes across the hips and bust will create shape and give the illusion of movement, as well as curves. Alternating black and white blocks will exaggerate where areas start and finish giving the impression of a little more curve too.



Your best option is to draw attention to your smaller top half. Stripes help to broaden narrow shoulders to balance out your hips. If you are also smaller in the bust, wear horizontal stripes above the waist to detract the eye away from your wider lower half. Choosing plain skirts and trousers will also deflect attention.



The size of your stripe should balance with your scale, so women with a shoe size of 4 (37) or under will be better wearing fine stripes. The colours of your stripes will also affect your overall look so compare how bright, high contrast shades work versus subtle tonal ones. Take your time and have fun; however you choose to style them, stripes are a print that is here to stay.




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