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Monday, April 8, 2013

To Wear or Not to Wear Stripes

Every spring stripes re-emerge on the scene in a burst of glory - wide and narrow, horizontal and vertical and in colorations of soft and bold. What to do, what do? As a small child, my mother must have dressed me in a few too many stripes because I have a slight aversion to stripes on many of my clients. I have a set of fashion guidelines I like to follow with most clients, but I also keep an open mind. I have some clients that are partial to polka dots (large and small), some who love an animal print (and some who don't) and some who prefer to dress in solid colors only so getting dressed is uncomplicated. Everyone has their own likes and dislikes, and I have to admit - once in a while I am surprised at how much I like stripes on some people. My daughter must have gotten my mothers love of stripes gene because she is forever looking at tops that have them. She is the queen of finding that wonderful stripe combination of width and color, so then again maybe the gene came from me. I'm just saying. Now that I have given you my own personal thoughts on stripes, may the information flow!

For men, the return of stripes for spring is really not a return, but more of a continuance. Men are more than ever prone to wear stripes with their suiting, dress shirts, polos, pants, bomber jackets, knits and socks. One of the newest trends for guys this spring is patterned socks, as in striped socks. Wide and narrow, horizontal and vertical. Remember when your father wore argyle socks? These days what you find is either tri-color block socks or stripes.

Vertical stripes can take on a different feel in appearance. Vertical stripes make you appear taller which is wonderful if you're not tall to begin with, men!  If you are on the taller side, make sure the stripe is thin and no more than one inch in width. Anything more and you may appear to be rocking that "street style"! Horizontal stripes tend to be more slimming and color blocking of stripes work as well in polos, as long as the blocking progressively gets larger and not smaller as it moves to your midsection.

Contrasting of stripes from a suit to a dress shirt is simple. If your suit has narrow stripe, opt for a slightly wider stripe for your shirt. As for the tie, please go solid or slightly textured and no additional stripes. Generally, it is the tie where I like to add that pop of color. Nothing is finer though than for spring and summer than to see a man in a linen jacket with a narrow stripe worn with either a casual crew neck t-shirt or solid dress shirt, jeans and a loafer! Relaxed, but well put together. As for the wrinkle in the linen jacket, it only makes the stripe look better! Striped seersucker suits can be worn as a whole suit, but often looks better if broken apart and worn as separates.

As for casual polos, I've touched on color blocking but not the actual stripes. Try and opt for a slimmer stripe if you have a well padded stomach. Wide stripes will only make you look wider. Try to find striped shirts that only have two different colors and not a rainbow of colors. Too much distraction for the eye. I know one always thinks that black is more slimming, just keep in mind the severity of it and visit navy instead.

Either way, whatever the striped clothing item or accessory you choose to add to your wardrobe, keep in mind, less is more. Choose no more than two striped items per look and don't over-do the look. Stripes can be season-less depending on your fabric selection and can be worn for many months out of the year.

Send me your picture of your favorite striped item and I will send you back another way to wear it!

From my closet to yours-

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