Horizontal Stripes: To Wear or Not to Wear?
Forget fashion advice of the past — we're welcoming stripes back into our wardrobe with open arms! No more asking, "Are horizontal stripes flattering?" It's time to bring this pattern back and wear it any time of year.
If you're still unsure about stripes, we've got suggestions for how you can rock this fun pattern with any body type. Learn how to wear horizontal stripes below and get striped outfit inspiration.
Are Horizontal Stripes Unflattering?
Horizontal stripes have a bit of a bad reputation — so much of a reputation that people often ask, "Is it bad to wear horizontal stripes?" Many plus size women have crossed over to the striped side and realized horizontal lines aren't unflattering. You just have to pick the right pieces and type of pattern to feel stunning in stripes.
As you reintroduce this pattern to your wardrobe, look for:
- Neutral colors: Black and white are classic and timeless. They give your outfit everything from a preppy vibe to a professional touch, especially in stripes. Colorful lines are cute and fun, but if you're just getting used to wearing stripes or prefer less youthful styles, go neutral instead.
- Mixed patterns: Florals and stripes play well together for contrast. Use florals to camouflage certain areas of your body and stripes to emphasize others. Or, go all-out by combining stripes with the same pattern in a different color or with plaid.
- Stripes and solids: Look for clothing items that feature lines in some places and solid colors in others. This combination is a great way to draw attention away from certain parts of your body and show off others. Raglan or baseball tees feature solid color sleeves and a striped torso to keep eyes off your arms. You can also use a solid-colored cardigan or jacket to layer over a striped outfit and make the pattern more subtle.
- Narrow stripes: Get slimming horizontal stripes with narrow lines. From a distance, narrow stripes may not even look like a pattern. Instead, they look like solid colors. Narrow designs can even help disguise certain areas of your body.
If you feel your horizontal stripes are unflattering, it may be an issue with the garment you're wearing and not the pattern itself. Clothes that are too tight or baggy can alter your appearance and ruin a look. You can also adjust your choice in stripes to match your body type and maximize your outfit's flattering potential.
Make Horizontal Stripes Work for Your Body
Every body is different, and that makes some horizontal stripes and outfits more flattering than others. If you want to accentuate your favorite assets and downplay certain areas, you can do so with stripes. If you have one of the following body shapes, see how you can make horizontal stripes work for you:
- Heels to get a height boost and lengthen your legs.
- Full-length pants rather than cropped to look taller.
- High-waisted and straight-leg jeans to make your legs look longer.
When all else fails, rock your height! Stripes are a fun way to show off personality, so don't exclude the pattern from your wardrobe.
Women with broad shoulders and busty figures may avoid stripes thinking they will only accentuate the features they want to hide. But the truth is, you can use the pattern to show off what you want to and hide what you don't.
Narrow lines are more flattering than wider ones, and these slimming horizontal stripes help downplay certain features of your figure. You can even find tops or dresses that vary the width of the stripes along the body. Slimmer lines up top and wider ones lower on the body give a balanced look to your figure.
Rectangular Body Shapes
Add the illusion of curves to a straight-line figure with wider horizontal stripes. Wear a striped skirt to add to your hips, or wear a bold striped dress for an all-over boost to your curves. Play with the width of lines throughout your outfit to create the effect of an hourglass figure. Narrow stripes through the waist and wider ones at your hips and bust transform your fabulous rectangular body shape into an equally fabulous hourglass.
Pear Body Shapes
If you've got wider hips and a wider waist or stomach, you've got a pear shape. Use stripes to draw attention up to your bust and shoulders to balance your look. Look for shirts or dresses that feature the pattern, whether vertical, horizontal or diagonal, on the sleeves and chest. Or wear a solid color for your bottoms and use wider lines in your top to give your figure a bit of balance.
Should I Wear Vertical or Horizontal Stripes?
Whether you wear vertical or horizontal stripes is totally up to you. If you're still not convinced that horizontal stripes are slimming and stylish, you can get a variation of the pattern with vertical stripes. Vertical stripes are bold and provide an elongated or slimming look that horizontal patterns offer in their narrow varieties.
Dresses with vertical stripes are popular and can make shorter frames look taller. But in certain styles, vertical lines may make you look wider. Patterns with wide light and dark lines can widen areas of your body, but that could be ideal for rectangular body shapes. If you do go with a vertical pattern, pick one with narrow lines or a color that's similar to the clothing's background color.
Of course, you could always compromise with both stripe styles in pieces like the following:
- A dress with a mostly vertical pattern and a smaller horizontal stripe accent at the bottom.
- A patchwork style pattern with varying sections of vertical and horizontal designs.
- A cut of fabric that makes stripes appear diagonal, horizontal and vertical throughout the piece.
Outfit Ideas With Stripes
There's no time like the present to start incorporating stripes into your outfits. Mix stripes with solid color pieces for an easy way to add the pattern to your look, or go daring with other prints in your outfit. No matter what you do, have fun and get inspired with these ideas:
1. Romp in a Romper
Rompers and jumpsuits often get the striped treatment. You'll find an array of colors and pattern styles in rompers, which work for any occasion. Choose a candy-color romper with thin white lines for a youthful look, or get a formal and fun vibe with a black and white or gray and white pattern.
2. Stay Cool in Shorts
Striped shorts add a bit of pattern to your look. They're ideal for anyone who wants to add personality to a look or emphasize their hips in a unique way. For a warm springtime or early summer look, wear shorts with light pink, blue and white stripes. Pair them with a white or solid-colored top. Striped shorts in blue and white with a white top have a nautical feel that's great for summer.
3. Dazzle in a Striped Dress
Lined patterns appear on everything from casual frocks to party dresses. Get a white dress with a few lines in fun colors for a party-ready look. For something with a formal twist, go with neutral colors in dramatic, wide lines that feel more like a color block pattern.
No matter what type of stripes you choose, pick a color from the dress and use it in your shoes and accessories. If your dress is neutral, add a pop of color. Red plays well with black and white, but you can pick whatever color suits your style and personality.
Add Stripes to Your Wardrobe With Perfectly Priscilla
Whether you go vertical or horizontal, give in to the hype of stripes! At Perfectly Priscilla, we specialize in fabulous plus size clothing but now offer a range of sizes. From dresses to tops and bottoms, our items feature stylish colors and patterns — stripes included. When you shop with Perfectly Priscilla, you know you're getting in on trends with exclusive styles and sizes, all in quality clothing and accessories.