SHIRTING STRIPES

  • STYLE SPY
  • |
  • 5 April 2017

It all started in the mid-1800s when the French Navy chose a blue and white striped shirt design – or the Breton – as its official uniform. Coco Chanel took notice and worked her magic into a collection inspired by the boys in blue-and-white, causing fashionable society women to embrace trousers and tops in place of corseted dresses (we’re breathing a sigh of relief on their behalf).

 

Moving into the 1950s their appeal didn’t waver, with icons like Audrey Hepburn and Brigitte Bardot perfecting the balance between boyish and seductive by pairing nautical yet nice shirts with flared trousers and expertly winged flicks of eyeliner.

 

Button-down shirts were given a dramatic makeover in the 70s with bows, ruffles and puffed sleeves aplenty. In 1971 Ralph Lauren went against the grain, reinterpreting these billowy designs into more tailored, skinnier and – of course – striped staples. And their popularity has lasted – high-end labels such as Alexander McQueen and Victoria Beckham continue to send striped shirts down their catwalks today.

A few tweaks make shirting stripes a must-have for any occasion, working equally well on Monday mornings as Friday nights. Pair yours with pointed flats, sharply tailored trousers and a metallic backpack to lend a modern edge to 9-to-5 dressing. For a laid-back weekend outfit, wear with softly faded jeans, white trainers and your brightest smile.

 

Bollywood diva Sonam Kapoor masters the art of fusion dressing, rocking button-down shirts and ethnic trousers to cool effect. Suits actress Meghan Markle also nails this trend, whether pairing her shirting stripes with lawyerly pencil skirts on-screen or opting for oversized designs for a chic off-duty look.

 

We’re loving the directional turn this trend has taken, with off-the-shoulder styles and nightshirt-length pieces in bold stripes topping
our wish list. Anyone can pull off these on-point ensembles, and we think it’s time to invite them into your wardrobe.

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