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Wednesday 2 August 2023

How to Wear Stripes

Gail Hanlon in apple and cream striped scoop from Kettlewell with cream jeans and gold wedges

 & #WowOnWednesday

Dear friends. When Breton t-shirts became all the rage a few years ago, thanks to Boden, it was a trend I resisted. But in the last couple of years I've somehow accumulated quite a few stripey tops for casual wear. 

It got me thinking about the effect that stripes of different orientations and fabrics can have on our shape. 

At the top is one of my latest stripey acquisitions. This is the new Kettlewell Stella stripey scoop in apple and soft white, size small. The material is 51% pima cotton, 49% modal which makes it very soft, and as a result, stretchy compared to blends which have more cotton. The narrow stripes are more flattering than horizontal wide stripes, and there isn't a large stripe across the bust to give unwanted emphasis. 

As the weather gets cooler, these t-shirts look good with a jacket or wrap too.  Below I've added a Kettlewell Chloe jacket in cream. I love the "suit" effect.  The boyfriend jeans in cream are current from M&S. Green vegan bag is also current, Fenella Smith 

Adding a moto jacket adds a bit of extra style and warmth to a stripey t-shirt as shown by Gail Hanlon of Is This Mutton

Now in the photos above I don't think I look too short waisted, which is a result.  But wearing my other new Stella scoop in aqua and cream with leggings does show the perils of too high a waist being too close to the bust! 

Apart from the leggings being too high-waisted, wearing a scarf has also "closed up" my top half. If I wanted to wear the top with leggings again, I would do a half tuck so that there are longer sides to the top, elongating my waist. 

If you're short waisted, don't wear a stripey tee with very high waisted leggings. You're better off with a half tuck to elongate your waist

One of my favourite ways of wearing stripes is mixing a colour with white and adding a short tie wrap, which has the effect of a) creating a waist, and b) making the embonpoint less noticeable! 

A favourite lime and white formula for Is This Mutton and a casual striped look

For winter,  a striped jumper/sweater is an easy to wear stripes in a flattering material. Here I've added black leggings with a side seam to make my legs look longer.  I added a couple of extra patterns for more interest, a scarf and a polka dot belt. 

A striped jumper for winter, always a stylish and flattering solution says style blog Is This Mutton

Stripes for Your Shape 

There's been a lot of confusing nonsense written about stripes which has had the effect of preventing many women from wearing them. In the main:

  • A thick horizontal stripe across your chest emphasises your bosom, particularly in white or another pale colour, as do softer and stretchier fabrics
  • If you're pear shaped, consider thick stripes for your top to widen your shoulders, and vertical stripes in a skirt or trousers to downplay your hips. Alternatively, you can also opt for a diagonal striped skirt.
  • Apple shapes carry a bit more weight in the midsection. So avoid clothes with horizontal stripes at your stomach. Clothes with diagonal stripes are great options.
You can have fun pattern mixing with stripes. Combine them in the same outfit, such as horizontal on top and vertical stripes below, using different thickness and colours. 

As far as striped bottoms concerned, thin vertical stripes down your skirt or trousers will have a leg lengthening effect. 

Stripes for Your Style Personality 

If you've had your style analysed using the Kibbe system, or by a company like House of Color, you'll know whether or not stripes suit your style personality. For me, a gamine, narrow stripes are good: they look fun and don't overwhelm me. Stripes and small polka dots are the only patterns I like wearing.

Kettlewell has a new style quiz on its website which will give you an initial steer on your style personality. 

Are stripes part of your wardrobe? Share your views in the comments below. 

Sharing this post with: Weekday Wear at Away from the Blue, #AnythingGoes at My Random Musings, Hello Monday at Sunshine and Books, Tell it to Me Tuesday at Perfectly Imperfect, Rena at Fine WhateverTurning Heads Tuesday at Elegantly Dressed and Stylish,  Confident Twosday at I Do Declaire, Style with a Smile at StylesplashTalent Sharing Tuesdays at Scribbling BoomerCurated by Jennifer (Wednesdays), Chic & Stylish at Mummabstylish, #SpreadTheKindness  and #Linkup on the Edge at Shelbee on the Edge,  Thursday Fashion Files at Doused in Pink, #Neverendingstyle at The Grey BrunetteFancy Friday at Nancy's Fashion Style,  Traffic Jam Weekend at Marsha in the Middle Senior Salon Pitstop at Esme Salon Crafty Creators at Life as a Leo Wife Unlimited Link Party at Grammy's Grid 

Disclosure: Is Mutton is optimised for the best reading experience so there are no ads or affiliate links. Where I have linked to retailers, this is for your convenience. Clicks are not monetized.

You May Also Like:

Find the best earrings for your face shape 

Style Not Age: Stripes and Dots

Black and White Pattern Mixing 


It's time for #WowOnWednesday, the weekly link-up where bloggers can find new readers, and readers can find new blogs. I feature three favourites each Wednesday on Instagram, and my five or six top picks at the weekend on Twitter and Facebook. 

Any posts that interest women are welcome: fashion, beauty, home decor, gardening, books, travel, self-improvement, nutrition, recipes. Each week there will be as Featured Favourite for Fashion, Beauty and Other Categories.


What I wore on the plane to Italy by Rosemary at Distinctly Southern Style 

Favourite Recipe Post (Most Clicked)

Quick and Easy Chorizo and Egg Breakfast Burritos by Perfectly Imperfect – Life with Lyndsey

Is This Mutton Favourite

Catherine from Not Dressed as Lamb is back! After a few weeks of not blogging, she's introducing herself to new readers:  If You're New Here, Get to Know Me . There's a selection of some of her most popular posts to reacquaint yourself with this leading fashion and lifestyle blogger and IG'er. 

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter


  1. I totally love stripes. They are also so easy to mix with other prints. And just look good on any style. Thanks for the link up party Gail!

  2. I do love me some stripes. White and blue, my fave. Like you, I too have to watch where stripey clothes stop and start so as not to look even shorter. The jumper with the black trousers, very nice. I like it

  3. Blue and white stripes are my fave. Like you, I too have to be careful where my clothing stops and starts on my torso for fear looking even shorter than I am. BTW, I love the pretty striped top paired with the black trousers.


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