Back to School to Learn Your Lines!


Women UK talk to our Fashion Expert Gay Richardson about how to wear this seasons ‘must have’ stripes.

striped-shirtsStripes stripes are everywhere this season but do they really make you look fat?

The old wives tale would have you believe that horizontal stripes make you look wider and vertical stripes slimmer. There is an element of truth to this wives tale, as per normal, but there it stops.
Technically it’s all to do with the width of the stripe and the space in between

The wider the horizontal stripe, and the bigger the space in-between, the more likely you are to look bigger.
A narrower stripe, with a smaller space in between is generally more flattering, and if the stripes are of uneven widths they will make anybody look slimmer.

It’s an optical illusion. And one of the principles of styling. The essence of styling is to balance up your proportions using the styles that you wear, and the details of those styles to create optical illusions to make you look and feel great whenever you look in the mirror.

Vertical stripes will make you look slimmer and if you are petite will also give the illusion of height. I love this because I’m only 5’ 2 ¾ !
Yet still consider their width and the space between them. If you have a ‘larger surface area’ to cover then the striped skirtstripes need to be bigger and vice versa.

What about my body shape and stripes? Another technicality to consider is your body line.

Your body Line is either curvy, straight or a mixture of both.
Marilyn Monroe has a curvy body line and Kate Moss is straight. Most people are a combination.
I am straighter on my top half and curvier on my bottom half. The rule for wearing stripes is that the more straight-line you are the better they will look on you.

If vertical and horizontal stripes are combined in a top, then it can be not only interesting but also very slimming. What about the classic Breton stripe? The Breton stripe, that classic French stripe, originally worn by French sailors was immortalized into modern fashion by Coco Chanel. She incorporated the stripe into her 1917 nautical collection and by doing this she helped break away from the heavily corseted fashions of that time and forever changed the face of casual womenswear. Hurrah! Thank goodness for Coco! (Do watch the image004 (1)film about her life called Coco before Chanel is it fascinating and adorable.)

A Breton stripe top, T-shirt, shirt reigns as an absolute must in any modern wardrobe. A timeless classic. However still check the width and space between the stripes to choose a great piece that flatters your shape.

Watch one of my latest video to understand all you need to know about wearing stripes this season. For more information or to contact Gay for advice, please click here


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