Tuesday, January 27, 2009

How to Wear Stripes

Thanks to the old addage about horizontal stripes making a person look bigger, a lot of Bombshells are deathly afraid of wearing stripes. I get it; the addage is somewhat true - although not an absolute. There are a few ways to wear stripes without looking like you've suddenly expanded sideways. Striped tops lend an easy, classic chic to almost any outfit - especially when paired with turned up jeans, oversize sunglasses and flats. Here's how to get the look without sacrificing even an ounce of your Bombshell curves.

When wearing horizontal stripes, make sure they're no wider than a knuckle on your finger. Small stripes are much easier to wear than wide stripes. When picking out a color combo for your horizontal stripes you can't go wrong with black/white, navy/white, gray/white, red/white, yellow/white. Notice a trend? Balancing a color with white keeps the look slightly nautical French. And nautical French always looks good. Feel free to add a wide belt, if your proportions call for one. Make sure it's wider than the shirt's stripe. Or choose a top with some sort of detail that gives the eye a place to focus, like this Henley with contrast neckline. Use stripes to add some whimsy to your outfit; choose stripes that are on the bias. This wrap-around effect is fun, although you'll probably want to create a focal point of some sort with a belt so your shape doesn't get lost. Or add a solid scarf to pull the attention up to your face. Speaking of scarves, accessories are a fun place to put stripes. The rules are a little more relaxed as far as stripe width when you're playing with scarves. Bonus- Look at how elongating the striped scarf can be (above). Get kicky with a pair of sweetly striped sandals. Again - narrow stripe = narrow-looking foot. That's an especially good thing when you're slipping on a shoe sized 10+.

Photo credits: OldNavy.com (Striped Henley Tee)
UrbanOutfitters.com (BDG Striped Linen Scarf), Payless.com (Seersucker Slingback).


  1. Usually this blog is spot-on in embracing the vast varieties of beauty, and I appreciate the many pieces encouraging us to look our best at every size. I'm really disappointed with this post's assumption that Bombshells are trying to shrink,look small, and be something we are so obviously not. So what if thick, striking stripes make me look wide? Yes, I am a "wide woman," and I refuse to hide that fact. I am concerned with finding the best fitting garments and the nicest colored stripes to suit my style. I am done with trying in vain to conform my appearance to arbitrary rules and standards.

  2. Point well taken, Bombshell. Not every woman is concerned with looking smaller than she is, and it's not my intention to make women feel as though they should. This post reflects my personal beliefs on how to use stripes to look great, based on my own personal idea of what "great" is. Thanks for offering up an opposing opinion.


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