Perfect Stranger Little Tie Top, $44.95, and Flounce Pant, $69.95, in rust stripe, universalstore.com
Perfect Stranger Little Tie Top, $44.95, and Flounce Pant, $69.95, in rust stripe, universalstore.com

Earn your stripes and never go out of fashion

French fashion, sailing the sea or exotic animals - stripes generate thoughts of far-away lands and adventure.

The enduring print has been a style staple for more than 100 years. In the early 20th century, prisoners were forced to wear stripes for the same reason sailors wore it at sea - to be extra visible (should they escape or fall overboard).

No longer compulsory attire for sailors or convicts, stripes have become a style stalwart. Unlike opinion-dividing prints of leopard or tartan, they're far reaching across cultures and cupboards. Not only that, they are gender neutral - adorable on a two-year-old boy, classic on an older woman.

Fashion designer Sonia Stradiotto says she loves using stripes in her collections to evoke the essence of European beach towns.

"I created pieces in Portofino earlier this year, soaking up the sunshine on the Italian coastline," Sonia says.

"Stripes are here to stay. They are timeless and allow us to combine nautical flair with chic designs that will never go out of fashion.

"It can take you from a relaxing day on the water to dinner at a glamorous restaurant."

To add some stripes to your existing wardrobe, start with a classic black and white block handbag or clutch. The neutral shades will complement the colours of any outfit.

The myth that horizontal lines make you look wider has been debunked. In fact, studies have shown horizontal stripes are more slimming than vertical ones.

Black and white mini or maxi striped dresses are classically cool and can be dressed up or down with boldly coloured accessories or a denim jacket.

Coloured stripes in clothing are pacified by neat line shapes, so co-ordinate with neutral or similar tones for a smart outfit.

For classic European elegance circa 1930, opt for a Breton T-shirt - long sleeved and in a relaxed fit, it can be paired with black skinny jeans, a pleated skirt, fitted cargo pants or shorts.

 


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