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?
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)
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)