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Stripes are the new neutrals and a major fashion inspiration| Wear them alone or with solids| Stand tall in stripes

Stripes are the quintessential element of a woman’s wardrobe. And all of us are familiar with the general stripe theory: ‘Horizontal stripes make you look fat, while vertical stripes give the illusion of an elongated silhouette.’

Our mothers knew it. We have projected it through our childhood and teens, and fashion editors swear by it. The theory has been debated and amended by many noted scientists and editors, but still hasn’t found a definite touchdown. So, what is the world’s obsession with stripes – the dispute between horizontal and vertical? Yes, it’s true that horizontal stripes make you look wider. But this doesn’t mean that you should discard them altogether. If administered carefully, we can turn this flaw to your advantage and help you make a chic statement.

How can you wear horizontal stripes while not looking like ‘Waldo’? You can wear it as separates on leaner parts of the body to give a slightly exaggerated look. So, for women with an inverted triangle shaped body, wear it on the lower half to balance the proportion. For pear shaped bodies, wear it on the upper half with layers to give a proportional contouring.

In 1917, Coco Chanel introduced the Breton Stripes, a nautical line inspired by the French sailor’s striped shirt|

SAIL THE NAUTICAL VESSEL | In 1917, Coco Chanel introduced her nautical line inspired by the French sailor’s striped shirt. Referred to as the Breton Stripes, they are narrow black or blue horizontal stripes on a white background. Minimalist and chic, they are a major fashion inspiration on and off the runways.

Decode the sailor stripes | Use the basic colour scheme of the nautical look—red, white and blue.
The trick is to keep it simple and not like you are wearing a uniform. Pair your nautical striped shirt or summer jacket with neutral basics like denims or a white cashmere sweater.
Opt for bright or neon colours to break the monotony of the stripes. Use neutral accessories to pillar this look.

If you are still hesitant to sail the nautical ship, start with striped accessories. Take it up a style notch with a striped scarf, nautical striped heels or espadrilles.
If you want to mix patterns, pair up a striped tee with a floral print skirt. You can also go for a polka dot top with striped shorts for a preppy look. The general rule about mixing patterns is that they should share at least one colour in common.

If you want to be experimental, wear your stripes under a white or a navy blue dress. Incidentally, this look was all over the runways this season.

So, go for it ladies, it’s time to earn your stripes. Bon Voyage!

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