With the right fit and color, subtle stripes can make for a bold outfit.
By Beth Livesay
Stripes are a pattern that’s close to any Newport native’s heart. Frequently spotted on the backs of sailors in 19th century France, the stripe has enjoyed a long-standing connection to all things nautical and, for those who enjoy sailing around Newport, the stripe is an obvious choice for integrating print into one’s wardrobe. And that’s easy to do with so many top brands from Gucci to Theory adopting the look in their collections.
Megan Langston, manager, buyer and head stylist at Atelier 7918, advises that if you’re aiming for nautical, you should stick to blue and navy lines. But for those seeking a not-so-nautical look, try playing with the material. “Wearing silk or viscose material versus a cotton or linen [fabric] can differentiate stripes [and prevent them from] looking too nautical,” she says.
For the more land-loving local, stripes are a segue into mixing patterns. Linear looks can be the center of attention, or used as a building block for mixing with other, louder patterns. In fact, many brave street-style stars and editors combine the pattern with other prints for interesting ensembles. Luckily, mixing it up is easier than you may think. Langston recommends finding a common color between the stripes and the other pattern, then proceeding from there. “Also, if you have a larger stripe, wear a smaller pattern, and vice versa,” she adds.
Size and frequency are the details to pay attention to when it comes to fit with this print. “Be aware of your body type when trying horizontal stripes. If you are curvier, stay away from larger, more block-looking stripes,” Langston says. Body shape isn’t the only obstacle when it comes to selecting a striped piece. “Stay away from black-and-white, medium-grade stripes. You’ll look like a referee or inmate,” Langston warns.
And while we’ve all heard the cautionary tale that stripes can make us appear bigger or are difficult to utilize, Langston debunks this notion, asserting that this style is for everyone. “Stripes complement all body types, can elongate your figure and create dimension to any look, whether evening or casual,” she says. So upgrade your closet with lined pieces to earn your stripes.
Newport’s boutiques offer the best entryway into this classic trend with a plethora of tops, bottoms and more.