How to Wear Stripes Like a Rock Star

by - Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Stripes: Love 'em, wear 'em. But some women shy away from stripes for fear of looking fat or due to uncertainty regarding how to wear stripes. Well, stripes are here to stay for the rest of the 2013 fashion season and if you're not comfortable wearing them, now’s the time to learn how to incorporate stripes. Consider this your primer on popping stripes without looking like the Hamburglar.

Types of Stripes

Fat, skinny, vertical, diagonal, chevron: There are so many cute stripes that you could wear a different type every day for a week or more and not repeat. But let's get beyond the basics here and talk about when and how to wear them.
Chunky, horizontal stripes can make you look bigger. This isn't to say you shouldn’t wear them, just be aware of the effect they might have on your shape. If you're a bigger girl, stick with a vertical stripe or a thin stripe that can look solid from afar. Or you can try a chunky stripe up top if you're pear shaped. Chevron and diagonal stripes can also be flattering without making you look bigger.

Looks to Try

If you're scared of looking fat, skinny vertical stripes are flattering on most body types. You can’t go wrong with basic black and white stripes, and interesting details like zigzags or patterned collars can turn a ho-hum black-and-white-striped shirt into a statement.
If you're new to the stripes trend, start with a traditional, classy look. Wear a striped tee under a solid blazer and neutral pants—like black cigarette pants, a red and white striped boatneck tee and a black blazer. Or glam it up in a glitzy sequin skirt, a navy-and-white-striped shirt and a navy blazer.

Neutral Lines

If you've aced Stripes 101 and want to level up, take this fashion tip from J. Crew and treat stripes like a neutral. At first this might sound shocking, but if you let your inhibitions go, it can be super fun. Pair a flowered skirt with a striped shirt that incorporates one of the skirt's colors, or try a pleated skirt and striped boyfriend cardi with a plaid button-down underneath. You can put together a variety of cute styles by mixing stripes with another type of pattern.

One more style tip: If you're worried about how a certain type of stripe will affect your appearance, work it into a clutch, hat, necklace or other accessory. Chevron-striped scarves add instant visual appeal and allow you to work in the trend in a totally new way.

With these tips in mind, go forth and jazz up your spring wardrobe with stripes. Use Pinterest, Polyvore and fashion blogs to preview outfits and gain inspiration.

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