How to wear stripes now: 13 Style Panel tips for bringing this everlasting trend up to speed

How to wear stripes

For as long as we can remember, stripes have been in. Whether associated with a jailbird’s uniform or Coco Chanel, those good ole lines have proved themselves versatile. And while stripes are many things, we wouldn’t have thought modern—until Spring 2013.

Breathing yet another life into the everlasting trend, designers including Michael Kors, Marc Jacobs and Dolce & Gabbana sent stripes down the runways in their own varied brands of sporty, sixties-inspired and painterly. On the dressed-up end of the spectrum, Oscar de la Renta and Raf Simons at Christian Dior splashed stripes across floor-length gowns and metallic party dresses.

For today’s Style Panel feature, we asked our gals how to wear stripes now. Is it possible to think out of the box where fashion’s oldest trend is concerned? As ever, the answer was a resounding yes. A Fashion Love Affair’s Cara McLeay went the Dior route, dressing up stripes in with a dress and tweed blazer combo. Miss Melissa’s Melissa Knight paired her bold and graphic skirt with her feminine floral blouse. Even though her skirt is bold and striped it is black and white so she smartly used the skirt as a neutral to allow the pairing to work. Curvy Geekery’s Mo Handahu went all out wearing three pieces with stripes in one outfit. Her pale tone-on-tone pants ground the look allowing her striped blouse and sweater to play off each other.

Question 39: What are your favourite tips for how to wear stripes now? Read the answers now! »

Or jump to: ALYSSA LAU, EDMONTON | BARBARA ANN SOLOMON, TORONTO| CARA MCLEAY, VANCOUVER | CHRISTINA CRAVERO, TORONTO | IVA GRBESIC, TORONTO | KASSANDRA CAMPONI, EDMONTON | KAYLA SHORT, HALIFAX | KRYSTIN LEE, TORONTO |MELANIE MORAIS, EDSON |MELISSA KNIGHT, VANCOUVER | MO HANDAHU, HALIFAX | STEPHANIE KOCH, KELOWNA | WHITNEY COSGRAVE, LOS ANGELES

How to wear stripes Alyssa Lau

Alyssa Lau, 20
Edmonton | The Ordinary Peoples

What’s better than plain ol’ stripes?

Answer: Zig-zagged stripes. On a romper too.

How to wear stripes Cara McLeay

Cara McLeay, 28
Vancouver | A Fashion Love Affair

I love stripes, and am excited they made such an impact on the Spring 2013 runways. Many people think stripes are unflattering, but if you make sure they are the right colour, hit you in the right spot and work for your style, they are super fun!

Cara’s wearing: Dress, Beginning Boutique. Blazer, H&M. Necklace, Jewelmint. Heels, Shoemint.

How to wear stripes Christina Cravero

Christina Cravero, 27
Toronto | The Style Mogul

This linear print has made a true impact to my wardrobe. Whether it’s horizontal, vertical, thick or thin I’ve always believed that stripes are here to stay and a must have for your closet. From Marc Jacobs to Michael Kors to Oscar de la Renta, every designer has injected stripes into their Spring 2013 collections. Heck, even the first Barbie rocked a wide horizontal striped swimsuit!

If you’re wary about this trend, don’t fret there are many ways you can achieve the bold print. If you’re not ready for a wide horizontal stripe, try opting for a thinner stripe in a pant, blouse, or dress, or even in an accessory or shoe. But remember, have fun with this print, it is something well worth experimenting with!

Christina’s wearing: Pants, Zara. Top, Danier. Blazer, DIY creation. Purse, DIY creation. Collar, Simons.

How to wear stripes Iva Grbesic

Iva Grbesic, 37
Toronto | One Chic Mom

I’ve always loved stripes – specifically nautical stripes, crisp white and navy blue stripes conjure up scenes of summer spent on a yacht in the Mediterranean (a girl can always dream). Thank goodness this trend is still going strong and I decided to try something besides a striped shirt and purchased a nautical inspired blazer. The stripes are bold and I’ve always viewed navy as a neutral making it very versatile with my wardrobe.

I paired the blazer with an emerald green blouse (the colour of the year) and a white statement necklace. I love the white necklace because it ties back to the blazer. To top it all off I added a gold belt and my gold watch. Now all I need is that yacht…

Iva’s wearing: Blazer, the Gap. Top, Banana Republic. Jeans, Adriano Goldschmied. Belt, Joe Fresh. Necklace, Banana Republic. Watch, Michael Kors.

How to wear stripes Kassandra Camponi

Kassandra Camponi, 26
Edmonton | Kastles

The new black and white stripes trend for spring is refreshing. The stripes are bold, in your face & very reminiscent of the cartoon character “Beetlejuice”. It is very rare for me just to wear neutrals, so naturally I had to add in a little pop of colour with my top. If this stripe print is bold enough for you, you can also keep this look more neutral by pairing the stripes with basic denim or just black.

Kassandra’s wearing: Blazer, H&M. Skirt, Tulle. Hat, Joe Fresh. Tights, Joe Fresh. Top, Joe Fresh. Boots, Joe Fresh. Necklace, Pinky Otto.

How to wear stripes Kayla Short

Kayla Short, 26
Halifax | Short Presents

Fashion icon, Barbie herself, made her initial appearance wearing a strapless striped swimsuit in 1959, and stripes seem to show up for spring looks time and time again, and so it’s difficult to call stripes a trend so much as a spring/summer essential.

Because of my love for all things nautical, stripes are essential. Recently I have been partial to wide stripes in bold colors, and have been navigating further away from the smaller prints. The large print (especially in this colour palette) acts as a statement in and of its-self making it very easy to style because you only need some simple basics to make it an outfit like these tights and a my go-to leather jacket.

Kayla’s wearing: Leather jacket: Winners. Scarf, Banana Republic. Sweater, Gap. Tights, American Apparel. Boots, Spring. Sunglasses and gloves, Joe Fresh.

How to wear stripes Melissa Knight

Melissa Knight, 30
Vancouver | Miss Melissa

I’ve always loved the classic look of stripes but finding new ways to wear them can be a challenge. Before finding this skirt all of the stripes in my wardrobe were on shirts and blouses, but I love the idea of wearing this bold printed skirt this spring.

Melissa’s wearing: Blouse, Club Monaco. Skirt, Eshakti. Pumps, Zara. Bag, Marc by Marc Jacobs.

How to wear stripes Mo Handahu

Mo Handahu, 29
Halifax | Curvy Geekery

I love wearing stripes because they are such a great print to add to my closet full of prints. I always find myself pairing stripes either with more stripes or with other prints. In this look I decided to be a little more daring and wear three different stripes. I absolutely love how it turned out! Stripes are timeless, naturally casual but so fun and easy to dress up!

Mo’s wearing: Pants and earrings, thrifted. Shirt and sweater, Old Navy. Shoes, the Bay. Clutch, Clutch Culture.

How to wear stripes Whitney Cosgrave

Whitney Cosgrave, 25
Los Angeles | See Shop Eat Do

I’ve loved stripes for years (who hasn’t?) and am so happy that they’ve been reinvented and re-imagined and have become such a strong trend. I found this striped skirt on sale recently and it has quickly become a wardrobe staple; I love to pair it with unexpected items like my polka dot shirt and have even worn it with another striped piece. I like to think that stripes are the new black!

How to wear stripes Krystin Lee

Krystin Lee, 26
Toronto | Suburban Faux-Pas

Despite the fact that the colours in this blouse are so loud, I’ve treated it like a neutral shade in this ensemble. with solid pants and nude flats, I let the printed coat and bold clutch speak for themselves. The key is to treat striped items in your wardrobe the same you would a solid-coloured piece. Let the mixing and matching begin!

Krystin’s wearing: Jacket, Topshop. Shirt, Forever 21. Pants, Zara. Shoes, Me Too. Clutch, Rebecca Minkoff. Watch, Michael Kors. Bracelets, c/o Stella & Dot and Luxe Craving.

How to wear stripes Melanie Morais

Melanie Morais, 24
Edson, AB | BornLippy

Stripes are a classic go-to piece in my wardrobe but it’s always fun to step out of your comfort zone and give the stripes a new look. Lately, I’ve loved the idea of striped pants and luckily for us fashionistas they seem to have popped up everywhere! They surprisingly go with everything and could easily transition between the seasons we Canadians experience. I loved pairing the pants with a bright top and metallic heels, the possibilities are endless with these striped pants! Happy Shopping!

Melanie’s wearing: Top, Aritzia. Pants, Forever 21. Heels, Guess. Sunglasses, Ray-Ban. Watch, Timex.

How to wear stripes Stephanie Koch

Stephanie Koch, 27
Kelowna | Inherited Jeans

I am a self-proclaimed stripe junky. Open up my closet and you will see multiple striped blouses hanging all together, Breton tops and collared shirts. The classic print always pulls an outfit together so in an attempt to find a different way to wear them, I pulled out this dress from the summer. I love how there is a thickness gradient and the neon pops make it fun. However, since Spring and Summer are no where near me weather wise, I put on tights, ankle boots, beanie and a blazer (you could also do a leather jacket here) to give it an edge and keep warm.

Stephanie’s wearing: Dress, Winners. Beanie, Joe Fresh. Blazer and boots, H&M. Sunglasses, Marc by Marc Jacobs. Necklace, Love Always Couture.

How to wear stripes Barbara Ann Solomon
Photography by Trevor Negin

Barbara Ann Solomon, 25
Toronto | Barbara Ann’s Style Blog

Each spring, stripes are a trend within the nautical theme, however recently we’ve seen them be transitioned and styled to create pattern and contrast. I have had a crush on stripes for about a year now, as the new graphic nature of them is so interesting. Growing up as a lady with curves, I’ve always been told to just say no to horizontal stripes, as these will just make you look wider, but I’ve since learned it is really just about the width of the stripes and the cut of the clothing. My recommendations for this playful and bold look is to keep the horizontal stripes on your smaller half, stay within the same colour story, and go bold with the contrast.

Barbara Ann’s wearing: Sweater, Roots. T-shirt, BDG. Pants, Tripp NYC Daang Goodman. Shoes, Costa Blanca.