Stripe season
2007-05-24 16:26:26 [ Big Normal Small ]     Comment
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The beginning of a new fashion season can be exciting, but also a bit daunting with so many new trends, designer collections and garments crowding the racks. That's why it's always nice to find something that works well no matter the budget, body or trend. This season that do-it-all item is the stripe which will carry you from Parisian chic to beatnik babe with style and ease.
Jackets, pants, blouses, sweatshirts, T-shirts, beach tops, socks, hats-indeed garments of every, ahem, stripe have been branded with lines of every sort. There is full freedom of width, color, texture and shape, from references to navy stripes (white, blue and red) to very thin horizontal stripes on pullovers, skirts and suit trousers in dark, almost autumnal shades and brightly-colored stripes on the catwalks of Marc Jacobs, Anna Sui, Chanel and Diesel.

Some designers have built empires defined by bold, colorful stripes. Coco Chanel broke ground with this style in the 1920s with her nautical collection, which included striking sailor stripes, casual pants and ropes to accent accessories. The Italian label Missoni recently celebrated 50 years in business and it remains best known for its colorful striped knits. Paul Smith has also made multicolored stripes his design signature, plastering the pattern on to everything from cufflinks and crockery to carrier bags.

Stripes look good for elegant, as well as casual dressing. An effortlessly chic navy striped top is so very jet set. When paired with the right pieces, stripes can enhance your figure, too. Vertical stripes can make you appear taller while horizontal stripes add curves to boyish figures.The key wearing tostripes is to always wear just one print matched with a solid. For example, a vertically striped blouse looks great with white trousers or jeans, and vertically striped pants or skirts are best paired with a solid-coloured tee. Nothing says sexy like a striped dress, which is even better if accessorised with one of the other latest trends, such as metallics or espadrilles.

If wearing bold stripes is too daunting, then carry them instead. Look out for rainbow-striped bags, which don't require too much confidence, but still look fresh and fun.

Stripes go with everything and are totally spring. But, unless you're Jean Paul Gaultier, or a gondolier, be careful not to go overboard.
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