Spring Stripes

M&S Statement Stripe Dress

This Spring season there is plenty of florals, which as its Spring you would pretty much expect.

However Florals are not for everyone, so how do you incorporate pattern into your wardrobe and remain on point in the style stakes.

We’ve talked about Gingham as being a great way to wear monochrome but one of my favourite trends this upcoming season is Spring Stripes!

Stripes are a fabulous way of creating illusions! As an image consultant – the technical term for Personal Stylist – I talk about creating illusions with your clothes. You see its all quite scientific (believe it or not) as its all to do with how the eye works…

The Science Part

The eye travels faster up and down therefore stripes, or patterns or detail, on your clothes that is vertical will give the illusion of being longer (taller) and slimmer! However the eye travels slower side to side, therefore any detail within your clothing that is horizontal will give the illusion of being wider and bigger..

The Advice Part

Bearing the above in mind, you must always be mindful of where you wear stripes on your body so that you can create the best illusion and compliment your shape in the best way! Therefore if you want to lengthen your legs, I suggest wearing vertical details on your legs..funny that isn’t it.. ;0) This doesn’t have to be stripes per se, this could be by wearing a pleat in the front of your trousers for example.

And as if I need to say it…. avoid horizontal stripes/details across areas of your body you are either a) concious of or b) feel is big, as it will only add even more width and will have a negative impact on that area.

To demonstrate my point and to bring you my top picks from the high street here are some wonderful striped pieces.

First up this insane, gorgeous bold striped skirt from J by Jasper Conran at Debenhams is £55,its yet to be released so keep an eye on the link for it coming online.

Debenhams Campaign Image J by Jasper Conran

Its in this bold yellow, primrose colour which is one of the colours of the season and you will see it everywhere. Its a bold colour to wear and I personally avoid advising wearing yellow around your face as on most complexions it reflects too much (think buttercup effect) which can leave you looking jaundiced. However worn on your bottom half its a great way to inject a powerful colour into your wardrobe.

Stripes this season are either big and bold (as they are here) or pinstripe and we’ll look at both. The stripes on this skirt are diagonal, which work more like vertical stripes in elongating and lengthening legs but as they twist around your body they are great at accentuating curves. This skirt would look awesome on a lady with a small waist and curve to her hips and could be easily dressed up with a cropped white jacket and tan strappy heels for a wedding or the races like this one from Next

Next White Jacket Military

 

I’d even be tempted to try a dark navy military style jacket for an off duty look with ankle boots.

Next up if bold isn’t your thing then why not try a subtle pinstripe that still packs a punch. If you see this pop up on my Instagram do not be surprised (and don’t tell my other half either lol ) as it is giving me life! I love the simplicity of the styling but the bow detail (while not perfect as it draws attention to my tummy, so I’ll need to do some more sit ups before I wear it) is quirky and fun and that little bit different without being out there. This is (and yet again the love in with this season’s range continues!) MARKS & SPENCER!! Its £39.50 but is yet to hit the shops so keep an eye out here online for your best bet of snaffling one up.

M&S Statement Stripe Dress

Now, why I like it so much, is that I am 5ft 2in and therefore need all the help I can get when it comes to height! Therefore these elongating vertical stripes will give the illusion of me being taller! For a daytime look I’d likely style it with a heeled metallic ankle boot and then strappy barely there heels for a lunch with the girls and toughen it up with my black biker or even a pop of red or this seasons pink yarrow (a bold fuschia shade of pink)  with a cross body bag.

When it comes to horizontal stripes, I’m not inferring that they are the work of the devil or anything ;0) just that you have to be aware of the impact that they have on your body and the illusion they can create when other people look at your outfit. The way that the eye works (as described above) isn’t a concious thing that you do, the eye just does it, and by having this knowledge you can manage your outfits to maximise the way that you look. Now, you’ll not avoid horizontal stripes and there are some fab pieces on the high street like this gorgeous jumpsuit from Monsoon , it features in their upcoming summer collection and is gorgeous.

Monsoon Striped Jumpsuit

This piece can be worn both formally or casually maximising your pound per wear, my suggestion is that this is better suited to girls with either a  little bit of or no curve to their hips and waist as the stripes will give the illusion of this as the styling will draw you in at the waist. The ruffle detail on the top is a great way to create volume around the bust, therefore great for girls who ‘do’ wish to add curves here. ;0)

If you want to amp up your work wardrobe or even style it for a night out clubbing, this striped skirt from River Island will be £35 when it hits the high street.

River Island Striped Wrap Skirt £35

I love that it clashes up vertical and horizontal, its going to confuse the eye of the beholder, so if you go for this skirt be sure you feel comfortable drawing attention to your hips and legs but this for sure will be a style statement winner and will give the illusion that your legs literally do go up to your arm pits while giving the illusion of curves with the horizontal detail giving added oompf to your hips.

If its a striped top you’re after you can not go wrong with Zara this season, yes I know I might as well be their brand champion as all I wear is Zara but they have created a collection that has oodles and oodles of striped tops to suit all shapes and sizes which not all retailers do..

My top two from Zara include this off the shoulder, Bardot style top from Zara £25.99. I love it because the horizontal detail is above the bust line so its actually widening your shoulders and creating a focal point around your face (as the detail draws the eye up to your face..tadah!) which for me when I’m presenting fashion shows is great because I want people to engage with what I’m saying and not necessarily what I’m wearing.

Zara Stripe top £25.99  My other pick is for girls with curves as the cross over effect of the blouse will accentuate curves and narrowing your waist as the eye will travel across and round the body with the diagonal stripes. Be bold and leave the tie long as in the photo, fight the urge to tie it in a humongous bow as this will only add width to your hips, instead leave it long and it will give the illusion of elongating your legs.

Zara X over top £25.99

Now I accept that I’ve picked similar colours (BLUE) throughout this blog, thats because the high street has had a real focus on this colour when it comes to stripes but there are other colours available, some really bold colours..these pieces above are just the styles and colours I personally prefer and feel are the most wearable and will appeal to the majority. I could go all “stylist” with my choices including bolder, wackier pieces but frankly I want the items I choose to really resonate with you guys to the point where you do want to buy them and see yourself wearing them.

Hope you like my choices for Spring Stripes, don’t forget to tag me on instagram with your Spring Stripes should you go and buy any of my recommendations or find a little gem of your own.

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