ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to Wear Striped Clothing

Updated on September 1, 2017
theclevercat profile image

I enjoy reviewing makeup, accessories, and bringing others out of their shells by helping them discover their individual styles.

Yard time at the zoo, or the big house?  You want to stand out for the right reasons, not blend in with  a group.
Yard time at the zoo, or the big house? You want to stand out for the right reasons, not blend in with a group. | Source

It was my 17th summer when I went out with The Man in Stripes for the first time, to a comedy club. As my mother ushered him into our living room, I saw a surprised look on her face and wondered what had transpired. In a moment I knew… and when I saw what he was wearing, I said the first thing that that came to mind:

“Nice pants.”

I have always said what I meant, but my date didn’t seem to hear the surprise and hesitation in my voice. He was proud of his outfit and announced that he had a jacket that matched; however, it was too warm to wear both tonight. I said a quick hallelujah to the fashion gods.

Granted, it was the 90’s, but… really? A 6’2” tall man has no business wearing gray and white clown striped pegged pants. It came as no surprise that the comedian had a field day with my date’s outfit.

Oh, Man in Stripes! Your pants will live forever in my memory… and the memory of my parents, my sister, and probably the cat, who meowed and ran away as soon as you walked in. With the right choices, you could have avoided looking like a member of a chain gang or blending in with the furniture. Here’s how.

I should talk.  These stripes appear to be wearing me!  Oh, well.  Live and learn.  Then write a hub about it.
I should talk. These stripes appear to be wearing me! Oh, well. Live and learn. Then write a hub about it. | Source

Direction Matters

The best thing about wearing stripes is that you can can change the look of your body shape, so go in the right direction. If you have a boyish figure, wear horizontal stripes to create curves; someone with natural curves or more padding (like me!) should stick to narrow vertical stripes or pinstripes to streamline the figure.

Avoid wide horizontal stripes completely unless you are part of a circus or absolutely require constant attention… wandering eyes will doubtlessly alight on you whether or not you're ready for your close-up.

It's hard to go wrong with pinstripes.
It's hard to go wrong with pinstripes. | Source

Avoid Looking like a Convict, a Zebra, or Like You're In the Navy

If the right direction is a pro, don't look like a con. The last thing you need is get thrown into jail by the fashion police! Wide black and white stripes may be a classic combination, but they also bring to mind visions of “yard time” at a prison, especially if you are unfortunate enough to be standing near other horizontally striped bodies (human or animal).

Wear narrow stripes on the torso for a more flattering look, or throw some bold stripes around your neck and be That Person With The Cool Scarf instead.

Also, unless you plan to spend a lot of time on a ship, avoid looking like a sailor. Nautical navy and white has its charm, but not in the city.

Now this is how to wear stripes!
Now this is how to wear stripes! | Source

The Right Color, the Right Fit

Choose the right color and the right garment, and you're home free.

I’m a sucker for a black and white pinstriped suit, but the most universally flattering “color” is tone-on-tone. This refers to a pattern worked into a solid color fabric -- the colors of the fabric and the pattern are from the same family, but their shades are different. For example, dove gray pants with a charcoal gray stripe would be considered tone-on-tone.

Anyone can wear tone-on-tone stripes if the clothing is cut the right way, the color works with their skin tone, and the stripe itself is not overpowering. Own your look! (To avoid looking like your stripes are wearing you, balance your stripes with a solid color so your frame is not overwhelmed.)

Also, unless you are wearing corduroys (which are naturally striped), be careful what type of stripe with which you clothe your nether regions.

Finally, don't wear your stripes too tightly. Stripes are lines, and are supposed to look like lines. Be mindful of your lovely lady lumps or beefy blokey bumps! If there is puckering, re-think the outfit.

Try Before You Buy

Stripes, like chartreuse, can be stunning on some and frightening on others. Don’t put yourself in the position of owning striped clothes that you feel obligated to wear.

Just because stripes appeal to you does not always mean you should wear them. I may have worn my fair share of bad striped looks, but that doesn't mean you have to! Just...

Quiz time, Student of Stripes!

view quiz statistics

Ask Yourself Questions

When shopping for striped clothing, ask yourself these questions:

  1. Does this pattern make more sense on a chair or a wall than on a body?
  2. How would this look in a photograph? (Because paparazzi are everywhere!)
  3. Would a different color look better on me?

And if you have trouble answering these questions with your head instead of your heart, listen to a friend instead. If their face lights up when you try on that piece of clothing, snatch it up! If it remains impassive, the look does nothing positive for you, so don't consider buying it. If they frown or crack up, it is obviously not a look that suits you. Drop the clothing, but keep the friend! They are honest and only want you to look your best.

Bottom line: I love stripes, but I wear them carefully. Maybe somewhere out there, The Man in Stripes has learned this as well.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)