Stripes transform well-needed energy and a twist into any outfit style. They are a timeless and classic pattern style - a must add to your capsule wardrobe. Stripes are a pattern that never goes out of style, and should always be in your wardrobe.
The Capsule Wardrobe term is credited to Suzy Faux who back in the 1960s owned a little boutique in Notting Hill, London. The store 'Wardrobe' was unique, as it offered women timeless clothes that did not go out of fashion. Midi skirts, straight leg trousers, and peacoats are a few classic examples of timeless styles of clothing.
A variety of clothing styles play a large part in curating a smart wardrobe, that is a unique mix of clothing items that when teamed together identify as YOU. This goes for cut and colour as well. Knowing what works for you, what you need to suit your lifestyle are some of the fundamental foundations of a successful capsule wardrobe. Patterns can be a highly useful inclusion when they are used correctly.
Maximist and Minimalist Capsule Wardrobe
Stripes suit both the fashion extrovert aka Maximist and fashion introvert aka Minimalist. Not saying your personality need obey to your wardrobe style. Stripes have long had a home in a minimalist wardrobe. Often being the only break from colour, pattern and texture.
Synonymous with a classic and timeless aesthetic, minimalist wardrobes generally embraced stripes. But don't back away from stripes if a minimalist wardrobe has you fearful, stripes are versatile and can be as bold and loud you need!
Of all patterns, textures and prints - stripes are by far the most loved pattern aesthetic. This is for one main reason - versatility! Stripes aesthetic is classic, it's quirky and it's cool, aloof and outlandish all at once depending on YOU - and how you wear them. Stripes will bring a different variant to your capsule wardrobe making it all the more wearable.
A Brief Fashion History of Stripes
Stripes have long been used in fashion to add patterns, motifs, and colour. The use of stripes in clothing adds a distinctive, fashionable, design point of view and multi-dimensional style aesthetic. There are a variety of fabric styles that use stripes; pinstripe, pencil stripe, bengal, robe stripe, and candy stripe.
Fashion has iconically integrated stripes into women's outfits through history to add attitude, and empower a sense of dressing with positive energy and pragmatism.
French-style icon, Coco Chanel, popularised stripes with her famous Breton stripes boater top. Maritime and sailor-style stripes have long been integrated across fashion designers collections. Avant-garde designers, from Issey Miyake, Dior to Junya Watanabe have all used stripes for bold fashion statements.
Stripes have been around medieval times but not always with such a fashion-related allure. The history of stripe fashion from the 1940s onwards is scattered with iconic stripe wearing moments. Stripes are a fashion pattern that has stood the test of time. They are and will always remain popular due to their ease of wear, both in classic and avant-garde styles.
Strike a Stripe
When it comes to classic stripes, they can work in several ways. Wear them with a striped top and formal blazer, adding immediate quality. Or combine a striped top with classic coat for an instant sophistication. Stripes can be used in varied ways depending on the colour combination. A staple fashion essential in your basic wardrobe. Easily mix stripes with colour tones or keep monochrome for a purely minimalist aesthetic.
Horizontal stripes can increase the visual appearance of your bust and vertical is more slimming. Ultimately wear them as you choose and how you think they should be to suit you best.
Capsule Wardrobe Stripes Guidelines
Stripes Colour scheme
A capsule wardrobetypically should consist of 1-4 base colours. Base colours are the core colours of your wardrobe clothing. Neutral tones, that is beige, tan, brown and blush, navy, black, white or grey are generally the key colours to select from. Yes, you can include more vibrate colours if you choose. See these as seasonal, so if yellow one summer is your preference with vibrant blue thats fine.
OwnMuse suggests you store clothes when not in use to keep your wardrobe clutter free. When you store items you remove the from your viewing and they become like new again when the season is right. This also helps you tackle the challenge of what to keep and what to move on. Often storing clothes and then seeing then again a season later triggers a keep or discard awareness.
Capsule wardrobe stripes follow the same colour guidelines. White doesn't count as a highlight colour when used in a stripe pattern neither does black. If you haven't chosen these as part of your base colours, that's ok. It's the stripe highlight colour that should match the base colours in your wardrobe.
The Power of Stripes
The idea when using capsule wardrobe patterns is making them as easy to mix and match a possible. A classic timeless style will ensure you get more wear over more seasons from clothing items. Replacing clothing each season or more is expensive, time-consuming and wasteful.
The great thing about a striped pattern is the ability to enhance your body or reduce it. Trousers with vertical stripes will help elongate your legs, add heels for extra height and accentuation. A vertical striped blazer will work to broaden your shoulders, contrasting this horizontal stripes will help reduce the look of broad shoulders. Vice versa for skirts, dresses and tops.
Body Shape and Stripes
The rule at OwnMuse is; YOU know what feels good, and YOU know what you look good in - this is by your own opinion and standards. Yes, there are body shape and body type guidelines you can follow. For many years working at VOGUE, we featured these articles, pear-shape suits... hourglass... but really... Think about it!
What makes more sense is for YOU to wear what makes YOU feel good, and wear what YOU feel good in! So yes, horizontal stripes will make you look wider, vertical will make you look slimmer. This is because the illusion of the diagonal tells our brains this is so. Not because YOU shouldn't wear horizontal stripes if you have a fuller form. If you like them, then wear them. Embrace your sense of self, the diagonal angel of stripes is merely a guide. Decide what you feel is right for you and stick to it.
Stripes and your Complexion
Another in the list of opinion fashion-based styles is your complexion and what suits who best. Yes, there are 'rules' about the colour of your complexion and what works best. At OwnMuse, similarly to body shape we support YOU. Don't doubt yourself, embrace yourself. If you like it that is the most important factor - Self! Stripes suit everyone, so does colour or lack of colour, every complexion and every body shape.
If you do feel the need for these rules please comment below, there are so many rules on body shapes and complexion - I can list them. After many years working at VOGUE, I know them all too well. But I will have a major clause that they are a guide, not an absolute. OwnMuse is about helping to identify what works best for you and your lifestyle. Creating a core capsule wardrobe full of clothes that YOU love, and making outfits that empower you - is far more important, than feeling awkward in your clothes and abiding by style rules.
Let me know if though they are of interest and, I'll work on something soon. Something that is supportive but not a you must kind of list of rules.
Quality Long-lasting Fabrics
Less is more means you buy fewer items and have more outfits. How? Stop worrying about trends, buy quality garments you intend to use for years. Therefore making sure the fabrics you choose are going to withstand the test of time is vital. When you buy a clothing item that you use for several years you are reducing waste, and saving money the more you wear it. You need to invest in quality fabrics to make sure clothing doesn't lose its shape, odours don't overcome it and render it unwearable, it doesn't pill, tear or discolour.
Buying quality striped fabric is therefore a very important consideration, yes you spend a little more on an item. But when you buy items that are intended to last years not months, or worse hang in your wardrobe tags on, never worn! They are a waste of money no matter how cheap they were to buy, often then ending up in landfills. Reduce waste and buy quality fabrics, its better for your style and the environment.
Comments are welcome as to suggestions. Please repost to social and share with likeminded people.
Harper and The OwnMuse Team
This post may contain affiliate links. Please see the disclosure for more information.