Stripes get a post all their own. This is one area of strategic dressing we all think we understand. But do we? My observations suggest we don’t.
Just as pattern is affected by bold color contrast vs subtle color contrast, so are stripes.
- Skinny Stripes can be either positive or negative, depending on the level of color contrast and the direction they run on the piece of clothing. The ideal for minimizing is to utilize low contrast, thin vertical stripes.
- Wide Stripes will accent whatever wardrobe piece on which they appear. They will also accent whatever direction in which they travel. Even subtle, vertical wide stripes make one seem wider.
- Zig-zag Stripes might seem a fun way to fool the eye. They do fool the eye–right into thinking the fabric is large. The more often the eye must stop or change direction, the more wide the appearance. Horizontal zig-zag stripes are the worst offenders.
- Diagonal Stripes can be your friend, even in a high contrast color combination. This is especially true if the diagonal stops at the center of your body, with a matching diagonal on the opposite side. This creates a center vertical line, with the eye traveling downward.
Now you may see stripes in a whole new light. Hopefully, you’ll have some fun searching for just the right stripes to add pizzazz to your wardrobe.