Seeing Stripes and Spots

by CB Blog Team on November 14, 2012

When I first started working in the fashion industry, I had this list of ‘never do that’ rules that I rigidly stuck to. Things like never wear white after labor day, or don’t wear black and brown together, etc. I quickly learned though, that while there are recommendations and guidelines in fashion, I don’t think there can ever really be set in stone rules. I feel like that every time a ‘new’ fashion ‘rule’ comes out, someone quickly proves the rule wrong by breaking it in a fashionably bad a** kind of way. So I now live by the mantra, that there are guidelines in fashion, but you are more than welcome to follow the guidelines are just completely ignore them!

So with that in mind, today I wanted to talk about the best ways to wear stripes and polka dots. First, when you are choosing any type of pattern to wear, it can have an affect on the way your body looks. A large pattern can emphasize larger areas of your body. Large patterns can also at times drown a petite frame. A small pattern can exaggerate a petite frame, or slim down a larger body type.

Now on to stripes. Stripes, as I am sure you already know, are everywhere! At the moment, I personally own  4 different  striped cardigans. You can find stripes on almost anything! Here are some ‘guidelines’ to follow {or not} when choosing your next striped treat!

{Horizontal Stripes} These are the most commonly worn style of stripes. Wearing horizontal stripes can be tricky because they have the ‘widening’ effect. Horizontal Stripes tend to widen the body, especially when worn around your mid-section and the hips, butt and thighs area. The thicker the stripe, the wider it tends to make your body look also, so I usually recommend thin stripes. I recently bought a black and white striped dress from H&M and when I tried it on for my husband, he immediately shot it down, the reason? It made my body look wide. I usually recommend to my clients to wear horizontal stripes on top as a top or cardigan.


1. JCrew
2. Forever21
3. ModCloth

{Vertical Stripes} These stripes can be magical! When worn on pants, they can add inches to your leg – at least the illusion of inches! Because Vertical Stripes go up and down, they can make your body look longer and tallers – which also can help you look thinner! These I recommend on anything, especially on pants because they can make your legs look extra long and who doesn’t want that, right?b Just remember the thinner the stripes – the longer the line they create. If you choose a bold stripe, it can have the potential to widen your body, even if it is going up and down.

{Polka Dots} Probably one of my favorite patterns of all time! There is something so fun and feminine about polka dots and it doesn’t matter how old you are – everyone should own something that has polka dots! There is really no guideline when wearing spots – just one thing I tell my clients when choosing something with polka dots: The large the polka dot pattern, the more playful the time. The smaller the polka dot pattern, the more sophisticated it becomes. Don’t be afraid to mix polka-dot patterns – try pairing a large polka dot sweater over a small polka dot top or vice versa. Polka Dots can add a little bit of chic playfulness to any outfit!

1. Gap
2. Anthropologie
3. TopShop

Patterns will always be in style. They are fun to mix and match and bring interest to any outfit whether you are wearing it to work or on a night out. Remember these simple guidelines and you will achieve your best look!

CB Blog Team

CB Blog Team

CB Blog Team

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