Style Guide: Stripes For All Body Types

August 16, 2017


The statement stripe has been a big trend this year, and, fortunately for us stylists, it’s one that can work for all body types and coloring. In fact, it can help us visually accentuate certain attributes or create balance and harmony where desired. Here are some key tips for strategic stripe styling (say that 10xs fast!):


Horizontal Widens

If you want to create width or curves, add horizontal lines in the areas you want to visually widen.  On the flip side, don’t add bold horizontal stripes in places your client wants to camouflage.



  • Style a small-busted, triangle-shaped client in a horizontal striped top to create the illusion of a larger bust and thus balance out her hips.

  • If a lean column client wants to appear curvier, add horizontal stripes to the areas you want to visually create these curves.


Vertical Lengthens

To add height and leanness or to camouflage curves, you can dress your client in vertical stripes.



  • A vertical-striped blazer will help camouflage an oval shape’s midsection.

  • Vertical–stripes on top will help balance a short-waisted client and will do the same on the bottom for long-waisted clients.


Size Matters

Make sure the size of the stripe is in proportion to the overall size of your client.



  • A large stripe will overwhelm a small client and vice versa. Dress a small client in thinner stripes and a larger client in thicker stripes.


Complementary Contrast

The contrast among stripes should mimic your client’s color contrast (ie, high-contrast pattern with a high contrast client and low-contrast pattern with a low-contrast client). If your client is low contrast, a high contrast black-and-white stripe will be distracting. Remember, color and pattern should generally complement—not compete—with your client’s features.


Want to learn more about color, pattern, and body type analysis? Take one of our Style Fundamental courses today.





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