How to Make Stripes Work for Your Shape

Stripes are one of the stylish and functional prints you may go for to add some flair to your style. Wherever there is more volume on your body, vertical or horizontal stripes can help balance it out. Though we already know that vertical stripes create length while horizontal stripes create width, whatever your body type, the goal is to create balance. So, keep on reading for our styling tricks to make stripes work for your shape.

Pear-Shaped Body


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If you carry your weight in your hips and thighs but have a smaller bust size and narrow shoulders, then you are a pear shape. Like fashion blogger Kristina Bazan, tops with horizontal stripes are the way to go for you. Thicker horizontal stripes will create volume on your torso, balancing out the volume on your lower half. For bottoms, look for vertical stripes that elongate your curvy legs. If you’re not a fan of bottom stripes, go for a high-waist skirt or dark-colored pants.

Hourglass-Shaped Body

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If your hips and shoulders are equally proportionate to each other, and you have a small waist, you are an hourglass shape. Lucky for you, you can pick and choose your stripes. Like fashion blogger Annabelle Fleur, you may opt for an off shoulder Breton striped top teamed with flared overalls. Remember, the goal is to emphasize your narrow waist, so pick dresses, bottoms, and tops that hit your waistline. Horizontal stripes are best for complementing your proportionality and curviness. Also, it’s best to stay away from anything too loose as dresses without the cinch in the waist will only lose your figure.

Rectangle-Shaped Body

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If you’ve been described as “straight up and down,” and you don’t carry your weight in a concentrated area, you’re a rectangle shape. If you’re taller and don’t define yourself as curvy, stripes could definitely be the ticket for achieving some contour on your body. Like fashion blogger Nicole Warne, go for horizontal stripes on your top or bottom depending where you want to add some volume on your frame. Horizontal stripes of varying widths look great on you as they create curves where you may not have them while still flattering your natural figure. While smaller stripes create a narrowing illusion, thicker stripes create a widening illusion, so opt for larger bands rather than narrow stripes to create the illusion of having more curves.

Inverted Triangle-Shaped Body

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If your shoulders are wider than your hips and thighs, you are an inverted triangle shape. You may also find that you tend to carry weight in your arms, bust, and tummy. Because there is more volume on your torso than on your lower half, avoid horizontal stripes on your top part that will only create more volume and width. Like fashion blogger Jenny Bernheim, go for horizontal striped shorts and plain tops since your hips and thighs are narrow, and pattern will create width, thus balancing out the volume of your torso. By heeding these tricks, you’ll be able to wear stripes in a flattering way.