atiana Usova in Before sunset | Elle US June 2007 (photography: Jenny Cage & Tom Betterton)
What is it about stripes that make them so attractive and addictive? How can a thin line be the shortest and straight way to elegance and chic whatever the budget? Coco was such a genius when she introduced the world to the Breton top. I wonder if we would ever notice it without her impact on our taste…

My favourite choices are always navy and blue stripes because those are the colours I adore and wear a lot. Adding them to solid pieces, a pair of denim blue jeans, white or blue dress or a white summer skirt or trousers,  make the outfit feel so flirty, classy and very current. My other little rules are…

* never wearing more than one stripy piece at a time, whether it is a top or pair of shoes

* wearing horizontal lines on top and vertical on the bottom

* being very selective when it comes to the length of my tops as a shorter one can definitely square you out

* spending a bit more on timeless items like cashmere jumper, classic shirt or cardi that I will wear for years and years and less on tops and tees that will be worn day in and day out, washed a lot and most likely lose their pristine appearance within a couple of seasons

* playing with stripy accessories for just a touch of fun and definitely choosing budget-friendly options when it comes to jewellery, sunglasses, hats and bags (sometimes this even applies to shoes as long as they are adorable and comfortable – no.15 below is a perfect example)

* adding a gold piece of jewellery or statement necklace (pearls or crystals or both) to a basic outfit for creating a different mood.

How do you wear your stripes?

stripes tops blazers shorts
Long-sleeve tops (left to right): Boat-neck long sleeved top by Uniqlo (£14.90), Henley striped cotton top by J.Crew (£25), Sparkle striped sweater by Crumpet (£299), Striped jumper by Commes des Garcons (£234).
Dresses (left to right): Short sleeved striped dress by Sakai Luck (£270), also available in sleeveless option, Striped cotton tank dress by Sonia Rykiel (£305), Striped cotton dress by Mango (£22), Belted tunic dress by Oasis (£45).
Tops and blazers (left to right): Striped knit top by Fendi (£626), Stripe boat top by Oasis (£40), Stripe blazer by Smythe (£469), Cream sailor stripe blazer by Steffen Schraut (£139)
Bottoms (let to right): Invitation Galindo skirt by Hobbs (£110), Dapper striped linen blend shorts by J.Crew (£65), Striped shorts by Sonia Rykiel (£50), slouchy striped cotton twill shorts by Sara Berman (£80)

stripes nautical accessories shoes bags hats sunglasses
Click to shop: 1. Wide brim white straw fedora by Forever21 (£10.65), 2. Raffia braid fedora by Hat Attack (£89, for lucky US-based fashionistas available for £54 here), Nicole sun hat by Laundry (£46), 4. Meredith striped canvas wedge sandals by Charlotte Olympia (£565), 5. Bead & Sequin stripe clutch by Forever 21 (£18.75), 6. Stripe strap watch by AK Anne Klein (£37.21), 7. Duo of multi-coloured bangles by Promod (£11), 8. Wayfarer sunglasses by Forever 21 (£3.80), 9. Dashwood striped cashmere scarf by Ascher (£345), 10. Barca stripe espadrilles by Soludos (£30), 11. Slingback pumps by Ballin (£349), 12. Blue stripe ankle strap heels by Dollybird (£45), 13. Weatherbee eyelet and feather courts by JW Anderson for Aldo Rise (£125), 14. Retro sunglasses by Dior (£219.89), 15. Hope stripe ankle strap espadrilles by Rocket dog (£36), 16. Canvas striped bowling bag by Marla London (£33.75), 17. Aldridge patent leather striped tote bag by Ri2K (£75), 18. Stripe canvas tote by Denim & Supply Ralph Lauren (£88).

Photo source: Tatiana Usova in Before sunset | Elle US June 2007 (photography: Jenny Cage & Tom Betterton)


  1. Great guide, my dear. The Breton top is one of my favourite items and navy and white are the colouts I wear the most. I like pairing them with jeans, wide legged white trousers, shorts or skirts. I can add a statement necklace for a fancy look or maybe a polka dot scarf (remember Cary's look in 'To Catch A Thief'?). The first hat is lovely! xo

  2. Ух, ты! Какая замечательная подборка. Обожаю полоску.

  3. stripes remind me of course about summer and cruise collections. I agree with you the classy white & navy blue combo is the best!
    And what did you do?! Now I want all that striped shoes & hats;)))



    1. Well, that's why I got quite a few really affordable things here. Personally really want the hats and some of the shoes... :)

  4. Fab post - and totally agree with your styling points. I live in my Breton tees! xx

    South Molton St Style

  5. I can never get enough of stripes - I own various combinations of white + navy striped tops. A definite wardrobe staple and so very chic xx

  6. I love stripes too, and like you only in white and blue :) I have never worn stripes as pants or skirt tough...
    You made some awesome picks, my favourites are the hats, so classy!
    Cool post, as always!

    my exams are coming up, whole of June bah :(


  7. Oufff... the stripe dresses and bags are superrrrr cute!

  8. Your comment with the golden accessorizes on my stripes dress post really inspired me, Little Rus! I think a pair of stripy shoes will make room in my wardrobe ;)

  9. Natalia, thank you so much for these advices! Being a fan of stripes, the classic Breton top is a staple of my wardrobe and I also pair it with something gold: either a necklace or when I go casual I style a stripy top, jeans & gold ballet flats.You created a beautiful selections and the striped jumper by Commes des Garcons would be a dream...

  10. Such lovely inspiration! I buy a striped something every season. This year it was a comme tee but I really want a classic soft boatneck too.

    xo Mary Jo

  11. Wow, what a post! You mean business girl ;-)

    Thank God for Coco Chanel! Right now I'm enjoying my coffee in a striped cardigan, navy blue and white stripes. Almost all the time I wear stripes with jeans. I've been looking for sandal wedges that have neutral heel/sole and then stripes like the shoes no 15. I found them in red last summer but they weren't comfortable enough so I didn't buy them. But now I have a crush on all those hats in your post so I'll keep my eyes open!

  12. love stripes but I'm always very careful with them... can make you look so much bigger if worn incorrectly! great post

  13. I love it! I follow you :)

  14. My favorite summer blouse is marinera
    also love striped espadrilles!

  15. Great tips, I am a huge fan of stripes as well. Only for summer though, for some reason.

  16. I don't have a lot of striped tops/bottoms, but I do have a pair of really cute striped flats with gold acccents. I love to pair them with almost everything! I also love your blog and I am now a follower :) Check out my blog and follow back if you like it!