Horizontal vs Vertical Stripes: Which is Right for Your Body Type?

shutterstock_137642102When it comes to fashion, one size does not fit all. This is especially true when you are talking about stripes. Stripes come in all different widths, lengths, colour and depth, not to mention horizontal and vertical. How you wear your stripes can greatly alter your overall appearance.

Not all body shapes are created equal, and the key to honing your personal style is knowing what complements your size and shape. Whether you’re male or female, the same rule applies: Dress right for your body type.

For the Ladies

Apple shape: Apples carry most of their weight in their midsection, so if your widest part is your tummy pay attention! Vertical shapes will be your best friend, helping to elongate the frame and divert attention from a horizontal body shape. When possible, try to stick to darker stripes and keep stripes narrow in width.

Hourglass: Do you have a slender waist, wide hips and a full bust? Then you’ve got an hourglass shape. Stripes are often used to create the illusion of an hourglass figure, so if you’ve already got the shape you can basically do no wrong. Vertical or horizontal looks great, just be sure that all your stripes are going in the same direction.

Botticelli: Missing out on the curves your hourglass friend has? No worries, opt for diagonal stripes. If you wear horizontal stripes, be sure they are only in places you want to appear curvier.

Pear: You’re sporting not much on top but lots on the bottom, if you’ve got a pear shape. Stripes on the upper half of your body will help to balance out your frame. Thick stripes will help to broaden your shoulders, while thin vertical stripes on the bottom half will thin out your hips.

art3jpg2Slender: Slender shapes have a boyish frame that’s tall and thin. If it’s the illusion of curves you are after, try a combination of different stripes or opt for thick horizontal stripes in the areas you wish to look curvy. Try channelling some French chic with a Mariniere style shirt like our striped t-shirt.

Petite: You are slender and under 5’3 if you’re petite. Long, vertical stripes will instantly elongate your body and create the illusion of height.

For the Guys

art3-jpg3Short: Under 5’6, but don’t want to feel like the smallest guy in the room? The vertical effect of pinstripes, chalkstripes and herringbones will instantly make you look taller.

Tall and Skinny: You’ve got the shape of a beanpole – plenty of height, but not much width. The solution? Choose horizontal stripes, which will help to bulk you up a bit. In particular, look for a single, large horizontal stripe across the chest area, which will broaden your shoulders and flatter your slim build. Try out our striped t-shirt for casual weekend wear.

Athletic: Do you have a large chest and small waist? Shirts and trousers in a vertical stripe draw the eye downward, elongating the body and visually slimming it. Pinstripe makes for the perfect suit, and also looks good in a dress shirt with dark jeans or black trousers. For casual wear, opt for slim stripes.

Heavy: For the guys who are a bit bulky in the middle, a vertical stripe will help to thin out your build and will play on your height. Look for non-contrasting stripes and go for the same colour tones in sports jackets and pants.