Earning your stripes

Stripes are one of the regular trends for spring, and this
year is no exception.  The Breton style
top is a classic – the perfect spring look. 
However, stripes can be notoriously difficult to wear- get it wrong and
you could look and feel much larger than you really are.  But get it right and you could look fabulous,
as well as bang on trend this spring.  With
some clever tricks it is perfectly possible to wear stripes without looking as
if you’ve piled on the pounds.  Follow my
advice and you won’t go far wrong.

As a general rule, vertical lines will appear to elongate
your body, so if you are petite or have a fuller figure this can help you to
look taller and slimmer.  Conversely, a
horizontal stripe will appear to widen and shorten your body and is therefore
more appropriate for taller, leaner bodies.
Understanding your body shape will help you to determine how
to wear stripes to get the best, most flattering, overall look.  I’ve set out here descriptions of the most
common body shapes and how to use stripes to your best advantage.

Pear shaped (or triangular) – your shoulders are narrower
than your hips, you will have some waist emphasis, probably a small bust and
carry weight on your hips and thighs.
Horizontal stripes can be your friend in this instance, as
long as you only wear them above the waist. 
The Breton top will suit you well as it will create the illusion of
balancing out your wider hips.  A
boat-neck top will help to widen your shoulders.  Just make sure you wear plain colours below
the waist in a darker shade.

Inverted triangle – shoulders wider than hips and a
larger bust.  You will probably have
little or no waist emphasis, quite a flat bottom and slim hips and legs.
Choose vertical stripes for your top half to follow the line
of your straight body shape and draw attention to your legs.  Wearing a lighter colour on your bottom half
will also help to balance you out. 
Alternatively, you could go for horizontal stripes on your
bottom half, wearing a plain deeper shade on the top half.  This will have a similarly balancing effect.

Apple shaped – similar to the inverted triangle but probably
smaller around the shoulders and bust. 
No waist emphasis – you will carry any excess weight around your middle.
You would be best to go for vertical or diagonal
stripes.  These will elongate your body,
giving you a slimmer looking silhouette. 

Hourglass shape – Shoulders and hips in balance,
defined waist and medium to large bust. 
Excess weight is normally carried on the hips and thighs.
If you have a fairly neat body you can carry off a vertical
stripe pretty well, but you will find that a diagonal stripe will also be very
flattering for your shape. 

Angular/boyish shape – You will be straight up and
down, a small bust, no waist and narrow in the hip.
You will be able to wear a horizontal stripe to great
effect.  If you want to try to create a
waist, a diagonal pattern will help with this, but be careful not to pull
yourself in at the waist as it can have the effect of adding excess pounds.

A striped pattern consisting of different widths of stripes
will generally be more flattering than one of the same width of stripe
throughout.  It’s an illusion, as all
these tricks are, but they really work!

If the thought of horizontal stripes is still too scary you
may prefer to choose them for your accessories instead – a great alternative to
keep you on trend.

Still confused?  If
you’d like to know more and specifically what will work for you, do get in
touch.  I’m here to help!

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