Follow College Fashion on Twitter!

Four Ways to Wear Stripes This Season


Stripes on the runway

Stripes can be intimidating. They’re bold, they’re brazen and they can be a little difficult to wear. Some people fear that horizontal stripes make you look wider (totally not true!!) and they can be a little too bold for the wallflowers among us. So it’s understandable that some would be hesitant about them.

But stripes can also be fun and exciting, injecting a little bit of punk rock into an everyday outfit. Stripes were a big trend on the Spring/Summer 2011 catwalks, and they’re an easy way to get a next season feel right now. Below, I have created a list of tips and tricks for wearing stripes and four great ways to wear them – rocker, girly, casual and night out.

6 Tips and Tricks for Wearing Stripes

1. Ignore the myth that horizontal stripes make you look wider.

Recent studies have proved this to be false, so if this is the only thing making you put down that breton-striped top, your fears are unfounded!

2. The wider the stripe, the bolder the statement.

If you’re nervous about stripes, try pinstripes at first and then work your way up to wider stripes. Pinstripes are especially cute for business-casual wear and on shorts and trousers. They add a bit of flare to an otherwise-plain piece.

3. Pair stripes with a neutral if you want to play it safe.

If you’re a beginner with stripes, wear them with a block of color on your other half. A striped skirt with a plain top can look fab, as can a striped top with a plain skirt or jeans.

4. Black and white is classic, but don’t be afraid of other combinations.

Of course, you can go as bright or clashing as you like if you’re daring, but one brightly colored stripe next to a neutral stripe can look fantastic. I love camel with reds and blues, or grays and creams with reds or pinks.

5. To add fun to an otherwise-plain outfit, swap a block-color top for stripes.

This is the easiest way to add stripes to your wardrobe. Swap a plain tank for a striped one; also, a striped sweater or cardigan can add an interesting touch to a simple dress.

6. Stripes are a great base for experimenting with mixed prints.

I love to wear black and white stripes with florals or plaid. The stripes act like a neutral (in the same way that leopard print does) so they can go with anything in your closet.

Outfit One: Rocker Stripes

Stripes seem to go hand in hand with the punky, rocker look. Since I am a little bit of a rocker at heart, I wanted to create something on-trend, using fall/winter wardrobe staples.


striped top/jacket/socks/shearling boots/infinity scarf/skirt

This outfit incorporates some of my favorite trends this season: socks, leather, red and shearling. Imagine this look with a plain black top and you’ll see the different stripes can make to an outfit – this adorable long-sleeve striped top is the perfect contrast to the all-black ensemble. Also, if I’m wearing a monochromatic outfit, I love to add a dash of bright color, and this red scarf is perfect for that. Finally, I am a little bit obsessed with these kind of boots for winter – they just look so warm!

Outfit Two: Girly Stripes

If you have more of a girly, feminine sense of style, stripes can totally work for you too! For this look, I decided to use more feminine colors instead of stark black-and-white to make a really fashion-forward outfit for fall.


dress/long sleeved top/cape/socks/booties/necklace

I created a nice, neutral palette for this outfit, taking inspiration from the black-and-camel stripes on this dress. I love camel for this season and was so happy to find a little camel coat to go with this that would be warm enough for winter. This dress is striped without seeming too bold- I love these dresses because they create an instant outfit by giving the effect of two separate pieces. Plus, these boots are adorable! And finally, I added a long-sleeved black top to make the dress wearable throughout the season.

Outfit Three: Casual Stripes

We all have days where we don’t want to have to think about what to wear; we just want to throw something on and go. A tunic top and leggings is usually the standard lazy day outfit this time of year. A striped tunic-length top is just a little more exciting than your standard basic, yet just as easy to throw on before you rush out the door.



This outfit is entirely made up of wardrobe staples – a simple jersey dress, leggings, boots, a long cardigan and a no-time-to-wash-my-hair hat. I think this dress is perfect for every occasion – it’s so versatile. You could add a bandage skirt over it for a dressier look, or just heels for a night out. Skinny belts were everywhere this season, so belt the cardigan over your dress and you’re good to go!

Outfit Four: Night on the Town

Be warned, this outfit is not for wallflowers! For this look, I wanted to take stripes to their limit and create a really fun night-out outfit. I also love to mix prints and thought “Well, if you want to make a statement, why not do it in the evening?” As I said before, stripes almost act like a neutral so you can really pair them with anything and it’ll work.


skirt (not the exact one used here but the next best thing!!)/ cardigan/crop top/shoes/bangles/necklace/belt

This outfit is meant to resemble one of those dresses that looks like separates, but it’s even better because actually having the separate pieces adds so much to your wardrobe. This skirt can be worn in a million different ways, just as you’d normally wear a black bandage skirt. Next, I love the look of a crop top with a high-waisted skirt. I used the pink from the top for accessories and added the little green cardigan to keep you warm when you’re waiting to get into a bar!

Your thoughts?

How do you like to wear stripes? Do you mix it up with mixed prints or keep it simple with a neutral? Will you be wearing stripes this season? Let us know in the comments!

Posted on on October 30, 2010 / Filed Under: Fashion Tips / Tags: , , , , , ,

Blog Widget by LinkWithin

21 Responses to “Four Ways to Wear Stripes This Season”

  1. 1
    October 30th, 2010 at 3:07 pm

    I think I just fell in love with the second outfit!! Love this!

  2. 2
    October 30th, 2010 at 3:23 pm

    I just bought a cute grey and white stripe gave great ideas

  3. 3
    October 30th, 2010 at 3:44 pm

    Great post! I’ve had a gray and black striped skirt from H&M (similar to the bottom half of the dress from outfit two) for the longest time, and really never wore it, because I don’t really know how! It was one of those impulse buys. But now I have more of an idea! Thanks!! =]

  4. 4
    October 30th, 2010 at 5:15 pm

    I have always been put off stripes because of the ‘myth’ that horizontal stripes make you look wider. I absolutely love Outfit 3 – it’s definitely something I’d like to try.

  5. 5
    October 30th, 2010 at 5:35 pm

    I love the third outfit. It is one of absolute go-to’s- cardigan, tee, leggings, and boots. I love pairing neutral stripes with pops of color like yellow or teal. Great post!

  6. 6
    October 31st, 2010 at 12:09 am

    I just recently bought a striped tee which i’l pair wid a pink floral skirt…tho it may seem a weird combo but it actually works!!!….i think the2nd & 3rd outfit is definitely me & bt i’d rather let the 1st outfit be reserved for halloween…

  7. 7
    October 31st, 2010 at 12:42 am

    Wonderful outfits! The last one surprised me a bit, but though it isn’t my favorite, I still love it! It’s something I’d definitely try if not wear regularly.

    I especially love the second and first outfit though. They’re chic, but edgy and powerful. It definitely appeals to my aesthetic.

    I’ve always been a stripe lover, but sadly, I haven’t actually worn that many different striped pieces before. Thanks to your, I’ll definitely aim for the gold. Thanks!

  8. 8
    October 31st, 2010 at 12:24 pm

    I absolutely love stripes. It’s really easy to mix patterns with them, and if you wear simple black and white stripes, you can justify rocking virtually any bright color with them, just like any other neutral. Just wondering, does anyone know where to find the exact shirt displayed in the firsts outfit? The link took me to a similar one, but I really like the wide stripes and shoulder detailing on the one in the picture.

  9. 9
    October 31st, 2010 at 1:39 pm

    My favorite way to wear stripes is the nautical, sailor way because it is so stylish and casual at the same time.

  10. 10
    October 31st, 2010 at 2:52 pm

    I definitely learned so much about stripes today. My next shopping trip will to look for striped skirts and tops (and maybe some striped accessories as well)

  11. 11
    October 31st, 2010 at 4:31 pm

    I love the last outfit! So classic southern, with the pink-and-green, but I love the fashion-forward twist of the striped skirt with it. I need to replicate this gem, asap.

  12. 12
    November 1st, 2010 at 3:58 pm

    I love the boots in look 3 — but $15.99? Do you know anybody who has a pair of them? Thanks.

  13. 13
    November 2nd, 2010 at 10:24 pm

    I love stripes, way too much. I wear them far too often for my own good. Great outfits, I want them all. Stripes and florals is one of my favourite pattern combinations.

  14. 14
    March 23rd, 2013 at 11:56 pm

    Hi..I recently bought a grey and white stripe (white background with grey stripe)maxi skirt… I’m plus size and usually don’t wear skirts what would be a great way to wear it…what colors and what style shoe

  15. 15
    March 29th, 2013 at 6:23 pm

    I have a navy blue and white medium stripe maxi skirt can I wear a red top and what color shoes or what do you suggest

  16. 16
    June 2nd, 2013 at 1:09 am

    Ive just purchased my first striped skirt but am not sure what color top to wear with it. The stripes are navy blue and teal and are mostly horizontal, but the stripes that go across the hip area are kind of angled and curve around the hip. Any suggestions for top colors? Color blocking seems to be the way to go?

Links to This Article

Leave a Reply


* Comment Rules: CF is a positive place and our comments section is no different. Constructive criticism is fine, but if you're rude, we'll delete your comment. Please use your PERSONAL name or initials and not your business name and do not put your website in the comment text, as both come off like spam. For more info, see our Comment Policy. Have fun & thanks for adding to the conversation!


* Want a custom avatar to show up next to your comments? Sign up for a free Gravatar.