Alright, I’ll admit that when I first noticed this trend I didn’t quite have a gotta-have-it-right-now love-at-first-sight reaction. To me the bold black and white stripes looked more like a discounted Halloween costume referee outfit than chic streetwear. It just seemed so loud. But after seeing the trend in various mashups of colors and patterns I realized the true potential of this graphic trend. For one thing, it is so versatile. Like seriously, what’s easier to pair with than black-and-white, the mother of all neutral-combos? Plus the bold, stark stripes add a refreshing jolt to any ensemble. So embrace the loudness and slip into some stripes, keeping in mind these five tips to break down the trend:
1. Make it pop. Think black and white striped pants are bold? Kick it up a notch further with vivid shades of fuchsia, golden yellow, or blazing blue. Treat the black and white as you would any neutral and go a little crazy with the colors — the brighter the better. Draw the line (pun-intended) at three colors maximum — any more and the look starts to take on a circus-y vibe.
2. Mix it up. Building on the aforementioned notion of black-and-white as a neutral, try mixing the stripes with other patterned pieces. If you’re feeling stuck, just remember you can’t go wrong with colorful florals. The organic shapes of the flowers contrast marvelously with the crisp, sharp lines. And any black-and-white pattern will create an instant sense of cohesiveness.
3. Go head-to-toe. Clearly this look isn’t for the meek. But if you’ve been feeling fashionably adventurous lately, try a stripes-on-stripes look. If you stick with similar stripe widths on the top and bottom, it will create a power suit sort of vibe. I mean, what’s more powerful than being chic enough to work a sassy head-to-toe striped suit? Can your boss do that? Didn’t think so.
4. Be bold. Try incorporating other trends into your striped outfit for ultimate boldness, like the midi-length skirt and laser-cut sandals or holographic pumps and embellished sunglasses. It helps if you’ve already worn the other trend prior to matching them with the pants — you’ll feel more confident.
5. Cover up. If you’re still feeling a bit hesitant about the whole bold stripes trend, give it a test run first in jacket form. Treat it like a handbag or a pair of shoes in the sense that it should accent your outfit, not take center stage. This is much easier than starting out with the stripes as your focus point. Plus if you start doubting your decision midday you can always take the jacket off and try it again a different day.
And lastly, just have fun with it! Embrace the loudness of the trend and rock those stripes.