Every woman knows the hidden danger of stripes and most have always tried to stay away from that most dangerous of territories. While stripes come in all shapes, sizes and directions, this year the designers have used their brilliance to create stripes in fashion that can complement the figure.For those of us that are short, horizontal stripes have been an absolute horror. No self-respecting woman around five feet tall would go near them. Vertical stripes can be acceptable as they cause the eye to go the length and therefore bring a visual effect of being taller. Designers this year have based their stripe creations on rugby and sports-style stripes. These tend to be a blend of smaller black on off-white or gray neutral back ground, but this year we are seeing a lot of other color combinations. Burgundy red and black in a cut out dress has made a hot appearance on the runway. Another combination includes variations of directional stripes in navy blue and white, paired with the perfect bag and shoes. Evening wear is taking on stripes with a strapless horizontal stripe top and a floor length wide skirt in vertical stripes. The chevron stripe has been adopted whole-heartedly by a number of designers, blending with bare midriffs and short skirts. The statement of a bold black and white stripe outfit, whether one direction or multi-direction absolutely must have a solid jacket. The jacket choice can be based on the purpose of the outfit. For a more casual look, the solid black, short cropped military style jacket is perfect. For a business look, a tailored jacket and for an evening look go with a longer jacket in a flowing silk blend. For every day wear, add a jacket with a touch of color. Pale shades of pink, coral or even a hot poppy red. One of the best fashion additions can be wearing a striped dress with a black leather biker-jacket.
The style of today is to attempt to be rid of our fear of stripes and the designers have made both color choices, patterns and fabrics a fairly easy move to the challenge. A clean, small striped top, worn with a solid tailored pair of pants and a long neutral tone jacket has runway appeal for the more timid. We all have something striped in our closet, and this year’s fashion helps us take the plunge, even in baby steps.
If you decide to stick with a black and white look, remember to add something for a pop of color. Large sixties style beaded necklaces in bright colors, with matching bag and shoes and a sixties style updo for your hair makes an easy statement and will absolutely turn heads. The classic styling of the sixties celebrities always used color as a focus point when wearing black and white. If you need personal inspiration, take a view of some of the shots of Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s – with her black dress and glorious jewelry. A more pronounced look for Ms. Hepburn is the always memorable outfit for the races and all of the glorious black and white creations in My Fair Lady. The use of stripes in this musical extravaganza set a standard for design that has yet to be matched. The simplicity of black and white, combined with just the right tailoring and accessories is as iconic today as it was when it was first released.