How To Stretch Your Wardrobe with Stripes

stripesIt can be expensive to have a really nice wardrobe, so it’s important to know how to get the most fashion mileage out of your clothes. If you want to look chic on the cheap a great way to do this is to invest in some good quality basics and then style them together in different ways.

One of my readers Annette Hoeldrich, 50, from Munich Germany has mastered this. Annette sent me some photos of 3 different ways she wears a black and white striped dress she recently purchased.

If you’ve been following Fabulous After 40, you know that strong stripes are very popular. In fact, I’ve written a few posts explaining how to wear bold stripes after 40.

What everyone seems to love about them is that they are fresh, and modern and they act as a neutral base that can be dressed up or down, taking you from a fun, casual look to a more dressy, dramatic look.

By mixing things up Annette has created three distinct outfits each with a different mood: Elegant, colorful and casual. I asked Anne to tell us a little about each pairing.

Style # 1: Elegant

Annette: I was already waiting at the checkout counter when I saw this dress. Stripes are a big trend this season.The fabric felt nice and comfortable, the size looked ok (I didn’t even try it on!), and obviously, the price which was $13 the U.S. didn’t let me think about it twice.Immediately I thought about my black blazer, black or nude heels, and a clutch to dress it up.This is the style I personally feel most comfortable with.–> A dressed-up look that is suitable for the office, a meeting or going out for dinner.

Deborah Boland mini

Deborah: This the easiest and most classic way to wear a striped dress. Pick up on the color of the stripe and wear that color as an accent.By keeping all of her accents black and neutral (pearls and nude pumps) the outfit takes on a conservative, elegant look.


Style # 2: Colorful


Annette: I was looking for different stylings in order to make the most of this dress and thought that my cardigans in bright colors would go well with the stripes. Colored sandals and matching jewelry complete this look.

Deborah Boland mini

Deborah: This is a great example of how you can really wear any color. Many women may see a black and white striped dress and think that it is a fun trend but that they cannot wear it because they look terrible or washed out in black and white.

The idea to add another color that complements your skin/hair/eye color,  to go with the striped dress, solves this problem.

Annette is wearing this with a red cardigan, but she could just as easily be wearing it with an emerald green cardigan or jacket, or one in monaco blue, fuchsia or bright lemon yellow. They all work.

The only guideline here about what color you choose is to go for something bold to match the boldness of the black and white graphic stripe. For example, a pale pink cardigan or a gray cardigan would be a washout.

You need a bright hue to contrast with the dramatic stripe and to create that color blocking effect which is currently such a popular way of wearing color at the moment.


Style #3: Casual Chic

Annette: I’m a blogger, and this casual look has been extremely popular amongst my readers. A chambray shirt like this from OASIS, or a denim jacket paired with brown leather accessories and sandals or wedges is an ideal weekend look. It’s comfortable yet stylish.–> A relaxed look with a denim shirt and brown leather accessories is perfect for weekend shopping or a cappuccino stop at your favorite place!

Deborah Boland miniDeborah: Denim and leather are sporty materials which means when you pair them with something they add a fun, casual touch to an outfit.

I think this is a really interesting look. It’s more laid back than the other two and would be good for bopping around town in, doing errands, etc.

Thanks, Annette.



To see more of Annette’s styling ideas visit her blog Lady of Style. You can also see her winning creations in our Pin it to Win it Contests where she was the grand prize winner for the collage What To Wear To The Beach . Comment below and tell me which look you like best and why.



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One thought on “How To Stretch Your Wardrobe with Stripes

  1. This is exactly my style!! Love the stripe dress, would love to know where to find one?

    Thanks for all the ideas on how to use this dress with different looks!


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