Fact: Not all stripes are created equally.
Between stripe orientation, width, placement and colour, wearing an ensemble with multiple lines can get a little confusing and unflattering, especially if it doesn’t suit your body type or the intended look you’re trying to achieve. As such, it pays to put a little more effort and thought when you’re shopping for your next striped outfit. To help you with your conundrum, we’ve rounded up nine style tips you can draw reference from.
1. Horizontal or vertical?
If you’re looking to visually extend the length of your body, vertical stripes are your friend. A failsafe option for most body types, vertical stripes work because the continuous lines down the body trick the eye to believing that you’re taller than you really are. Horizontal stripes on the other hand, accentuate width and are more suited toward slender body types who want to look a tad more shapely.
2. Diagonals are fun
Ganni striped swimsuit, US$125.46 (S$173.69) from Net-a-Porter
Diagonal stripes, though less common, are actually a great way to play up the stripe game. They are suitable for people who are conscious of their midsection as it visually distorts and reduces the prominence of the area.
3. Size does matter
Another factor to consider is the width of the striped lines. Thicker stripes, such as the one on the Re/Done sweater, would make you look wider. On the flip side, thinner stripes such as the one on the Sonia Rykiel iteration makes you look slimmer. Also, if you’re picking out a form-fitting outfit (say, a bodycon dress), it might be more flattering to opt for one with thinner stripes. Thicker strips tend to have a bolder and more dramatic effect — but of course if that’s what you’re going for, we ain’t judging.
4. Consider where it goes
La Ligne striped cashmere sweater, US$286.41 (S$396.51) from Net-a-Porter
Now that you know what stripe orientation and size to pick, it’s time to consider its placement. This neutral La Ligne sweater sports a singular vertical stripe across the chest and arms — which makes the area look wider. This design is good for people with a triangular or pear shape body type as it balances with their wider hips. Conversely, this design is not suited for people who are conscious of their broad shoulders.
5. Think about the colour
Oscar de la Renta paneled stretch-knit turtleneck midi dress, US$3,316.99 (S$4,592.04) from Net-a-Porter
Next, factor in the colour of the stripes. As a rule of thumb, dark colours recede and bright colours look bigger and nearer to you. The Oscar de la Renta cleverly uses the slimming effect of black for the sections that hug the body above the waist (hence hiding your flaws, if any), while the use of brighter brown panels makes the skirt look extra billowy.