Stripes straighten your wardrobe

Mono magic: Stripe fashion for Westfield
Mono magic: Stripe fashion for Westfield
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PREPARE for a super-stripe takeover with linear style just about everywhere you turn.

Cutesy spots and polka dots have been ousted - the defining pattern of the season is elongated and elegant stripes.

Where has fashion’s equivalent of the zebra crossing come from? The caltwalk. It was the graphic print of choice on the spring/summer 2013 runways of trend-setting giants Moschino, Marc Jacobs and Dolce & Gabbana.

The linear look is more flexible thatn you’d expect, though. Just about anything stripy goes, from horizontal, diagonal and vertical through to brights and monochrome.

MONOCHROME MANIA

Part of the appeal of stripes this season is the statement pairing with monochrome - and the bolder the better.

Old faithful nautical navy and white Breton stripes have been put on the back-burner; black and white are in favour.

Monochrome stripes may be uber-modern for summer 2013 but they also offer a retro Sixties spin, particularly if you choose a classic shift dress.

Black and white may feel too harsh for some, so experiment with grey and white for a similar monotone effect that’s slightly softer for spring. For an injection of colour, team your mono look with a scarlet accessory or hot red lips.

PASTEL PRETTY

Stripes are the ideal scenario if the current penchant for plain pastels feel too girly or sickly sweet. White is your secret weapon to slice through the colour and keep the look fresh and contemporary.

Simply choose your favourite sorbet shade, from mint, rose, spearmint, lemon, lilac or lavender, and team with a neutral backdrop.

If you’re quite happy to go all-out with a knickerbocker glory effect, mix a mouthwatering selection of pastels together for a stripy dessert.

They may be pretty but pastel stripes still work for evening too. Turn to the dark side with black and a contrasting pastel shade for something more dramatic - a combination that works well on accessories.

RAINBOW BRIGHT

Heading towards the summer months, lighten up with deckchair-inspired bright shades which are not just reserved for the beach.

Opt for a virtual candy cane of mixed bright colours in a statement piece, like a dress or skirt.

The more colours included in your print, the finer the stripe should be. If you prefer bold, block stripes, then team your favourite bright colour with summer white - yellow is this summer’s shade of choice.

Stripes this bright are meant to take centre-stage, so keep accessories and fussy details to a minimum.

If you want to experiment with linear brights and avoid going overboard, try a scarf or bag and keep the rest of your look pared down for a subtle stripe attack.

STRIPY STYLING RULES

Wearing stripes can have a transforming effect on streamlining your figure or creating curves. Line up the following stripe styles to suit your shape:

Steer clear of horizontal and wide stripes if you’re curvy as they can have a widening effect.

Look to vertical stripes if you want to create the illusion of a longer frame.

Try wearing vertical stripes head-to-toe for maximum slimming impact.

Those with boyish figures should look for bold, horizontal stripes on curve-enhancing silhouettes, like flared peplum tops.

If you’re feeling brave, mix vertical and horizontal stripes to counteract a top or bottom-heavy figure. Wear vertical on your bigger half and horizontal on your smaller half.