Horizontal stripes always seem to get a bad wrap! I hear this time and time again from my clients, that they can't wear stripes. Why? I ask, and their reply is usually because they make you look wider.
Well let me clear this up for you and explain why EVERYONE can wear stripes, both men and women. The nature of a stripe, usually being white with another high contrast colour, means that the stripe looks like it goes in and out down the side of the body between the stripes, so there is no visual solid line down the outside of the body, like there is when wearing a solid colour.
This is fantastic news! As the eye doesn't know where to go (kinda similar to patterns on garments). Therefore stripes are in actual fact flattering! Shock, horror you gasp ..... The BIG mistake people can make, is to wear a striped top with the wrong neckline for their neck length, shoulder or bust size and shape. The stripes can then widen that particular area where they are already wide.
For example: If someone with wide, broad, square shoulders, wears a striped top with a bateau or boat neck neckline, then this neckline combined with horizontal stripes running right across their shoulders will indeed widen their shoulders!
Another reason to embrace the stripe trend at the moment: They are striking and add visual interest to your outfit. You can pair back a striped top with denim jeans or jacket and it will instantly 'dress up' your denim to smart/casual. If you team a striped top with black pants, black jacket and some bright heels, then your look is smart, modern and sophisticated.
As long as the stripes are even, and the garment has one of your most flattering necklines, then you can wear it! Now if you wear a top with solid stripe colour blocking i.e a solid band of colour across a particular area that is a different colour stripe to the rest on the garment, then that area is where the eye will be drawn too. So a no brainer really .... you obviously will want that block colour stripe to be going across the smallest part of your body, be it your shoulders, bust, waist or hip area.
People with long arms can use a block stripe to their advantage to visually shorten their arms, as shown in this image. The only area to tread carefully would be on the bottom half, as a horizontal stripe going across the thigh if you are fuller and curvy through the hips and thighs will widen that area - and none of us want that do we!
There are some body shapes that can wear horizontal striped pants (check out the photo I posted of myself wearing some on my FB page recently). I love them and they are soooo comfy!!! You see I have straight shaped hips being a 'V" body shape and so do "H" and "I" body shapes. So these shapes can add weight through their hips and thighs to give them some curves and proportional balance.
I hope this has helped you with feeling more confident in wearing stripes? If you would like more help with your style and what to wear for you body shape, then please contact me so we can have a chat about a one-on-one Personal Styling session :)