I can’t wear that… That’s cute, but not for my body type… I’m preggers, no way! Be honest, how many times have you uttered something along these lines? I just hate to see women selling themselves short by eliminating fun wardrobe items that—in truth—would actually look fabulous on their frames. Stripes are a great example of this. Horizontal, vertical, diagonal… they can be incredibly flattering. You just need to understand how the eye works. Allow me to share a few of my favorite styling tricks!
Whether you want to whittle your waistline or create curves, diagonal stripes have illusionary power. They confuse the eye in a good way! When stripes go in different directions, it creates the illusion of your body going in and out. For instance, this assymetrical linen skirt has a slenderizing effect and minimizes the hip area, even though it’s an eye-catching piece. It’s flouncy, fun and has built-in shorts to keep you covered on a breezy day.
I’m not tall… at all. But vertical stripes have a way of making my 4’11 frame appear statuesque! If you are petite like me, vertical stripes in a maxi dress (like this one) or pair of pants is an excellent way to elongate your body. Don’t be afraid to try a wide leg silhouette, just make sure you balance out the proportions with a slim-fitting top.
The best part about maxi dresses is that you can pop a pair of wedges or heels on underneath and feel even taller! This particular piece from PinkBlush stole my heart because it has pockets, pretty crochet detailing, adjustable cami straps and is double-lined to prevent sheerness.
I’m excited to be teaming up with PinkBlush for this post because a lot of my friends are either pregnant or postpartum right now. This brand really spoke to me as a modern mom, because it understands how to make a woman feel beautiful in all of life’s stages—including those moments when she doesn’t necessarily recognize her body (If you’ve had a baby, you know what I’m talking about). It has affordable women’s wear, a gorgeous plus size line and maternity clothes that pull double-duty. They look equally beautiful after baby arrives. Seriously, who wants to buy something you will only wear a few times?
Stripes look fabulous paired with other prints, like this beautiful floral maxi below. They allow you to direct and control the eye, playing up or down the features you wish. Dark colors tend to recede, while light colors draw attention. Worried you can’t pull off horizontal stripes? Print mixing is a great way to dip your toe into the water without wearing all-over stripes. Furthermore, have you ever heard of the Helmholtz illusion? Turns out oft-repeated fashion “advice” is a little off base in this department. Researchers have actually proven adding horizontal stripes to a figure makes it look thinner.
With all the talk about how to wear stripes, we need to touch on the most important styling tip of all! Don’t forget to trust your instincts. We all have a pretty good idea of the shapes and cuts that flatter our body most. Do fuller skirts look great on you? A more fitted, hourglass silhouette? Whatever shape/shapes you gravitate toward, try to inject stripes into that favored silhouette. If you’re not sure what looks best, bring an honest friend shopping with you and try on a variety of styles. Sometimes it helps to have an outside opinion.
Stripes will always be a polished classic and you might be surprised how slimming they are. Go ahead, give em’ a whirl!
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