As a teenager, I used to have a lot of clothes with stripes. I love the geometry of the pattern, the constrast of colours, and the imagery associated with stripes fashion (think stereotypical Parisian women with their striped boat-neck shirts and a scarve). Well, that love affair ended abruptly when I looked in the mirror one day and noticed how unflattering (aka fat) I looked in my striped shirt.
It's been years since I last purchased any tops or bottoms with stripes though I found different ways to incorporate this pattern in my wardrobe. My sock drawer, for example, is filled with stripes knee-high socks and arm warmers of many colours. I wandered into American Eagle Outfitter yesterday, a store that I have not visited for a few seasons. I guess it must be the anticipation of summer...when I saw all those shorts and t-shirts, they really brightened up my mood. Sensibility told me that I'm too old to dress in such "spring-break appropriate" attire but I figure I will likely need some casual clothes to play in the warmer weather anyway. So I picked out this striped wide-neck hooded t-shirt and striped shorts just for kicks.
In the fitting room, I was surprised to see that neither of them add any visual poundage. I think the fitted but not sausage-tight shape has much to do with it. In addition, the t-shirt has a longer bodice than normal which goes well with the low-waist shorts. In general, patterns are best used as an accent piece in the entire outfit. So for example, if I wear a striped shirts, it would be best to keep the rest of my outfit in solid colour. However, mixing this striped shirt, shorts, and knee-high socks seem to work in an unexpected way. All I'm missing now is a pair of classic red Converse and I'll be all set for summer!