You can never have too many stripes

As I was browsing my closet looking for a good skirt-blouse combo, it occurred to me that I have a bit of a stripe obsession. I wore a striped dress last Monday and wrote about them another time in May. It happened a little at a time, but I now own no less than eight striped tops and four striped dresses. 

Before determining that I'm stripe-crazy, I'm going to try to justify this over-abundance of stripes. 

Stripes are classics--always in style. Some of these items have been in my closet for years while others are quite new. They can be worn year round as well, making great layers.

Stripes are a super easy way to spice up an otherwise boring outfit. Stripes have been the the deciding factor for many power outfits in my library. I have countless examples of so-so outfits that seemed to be missing something and falling flat. Add in some stripes, and a power outfit is born! 

Stripes are also easy to match with lots of pieces already in your closet. You can add a jacket as I have here and here. You can also match stripes with another pattern. Think patterned pants on the bottom, stripes on top.  As long as the patterns contrast enough but are in the same family of colors, you're golden.

Despite popular belief, horizontal stripes can be flattering on all body types.  Go with thin lines of dark colors.  Of equal importance, are fabric and cut.  If I haven't yet fully convinced you to run out and buy all of the stripes, start out with a safe, proven option:  narrow, black stripes over a white fabric in a horizontal pattern.  Go with a shirt that can either be belted or tucked to define your waist or a dress with a defined silhouette.  I'll have you as stripe-crazed as I am in no time!

All striped tops I own are different. Beyond the sleeve length, the fabrics and fits are all different. Some are silky, adding a touch of fancy. Others are more tightly fitting. One is a much thicker sweater material I've paired many times with colored pants, skirts or layered with plaid and chambray button downs. The tank is great paired with a cardigan or blazer--so many stripe outfit options.  

Today I chose to pair my pleated black skirt with one of my striped shirts. This skirt hits at the skinniest part of my waist, so I felt comfortable showing it off a bit with a form-fitting ribbed version with cap sleeves and a low-cut back. With so much skin showing I went with my leather wrapped necklace to cover some of it up.  I pulled the whole outfit together (and broke up the black and white) with my Guess criss-cross sandals.  I love the Parisian feel this outfit creates and how it maintains work appropriate while feeling perfect on this beautiful, warm New York day.  Mark this off as another power outfit, thanks to one of my eight horizontal stripe options.  

Outfit breakdown:

  • Striped tee:  Express (same for $19.90)
  •  Black pleated skirt:  Target (white version from Express for $69.90 or fun, yellow version from Zara for $39.90) 
  • Criss cross sandals:  Guess (another blue heel option by United Nude for $319 or a great criss cross straps option by Club Monaco for $298) 
  • Leather wrapped necklace:  Banana Republic (another leather option by Vanessa Mooney for $44)

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