You are probably keenly aware of this cause it's hard to miss but stripes are everywhere! Of course, such a basic pattern has appeared since ancient times. Joseph and his coat of many colors... *tongue in cheek*... I'm sure it had a stripe pattern... and then in the not too long ago past, which of us escaped childhood without wearing a striped turtle neck in clashing colors?
Today, clashing stripes are not popular (thank Heavens!), but rather simple 2-tone contrasts (that are complementary). Think blue and white, black and white, coral and white, anything-else-and-white. To ride the trend safely, white needs to be involved. A few exceptions to the white rule do exist that are on-trend today though and are stunning (see navy/orange pattern below)! The Pinterest board I created (linked below) will provide some examples of color-on-color stripes done well.
The golden secret about the stripes trend? They are also a classic. You can't go wrong by adding them to your wardrobe, mamas! Audrey Hepburn helped seal the deal on the timelessness of Breton stripes in particular. Aren't familiar with the stripe vocabulary? Read on!
Quick Guide to Stripes
The trending stripe patterns
The most popular stripe patterns today are breton or nautical stripes in black or blue against white or white stripes against black/blue. Luckily since they are also long time classics they will remain relevant in your wardrobe long after the current #fad.
Other stripe patterns (not on-trend)
These four patterns are samples from tees currently available for sale online from Target and Kmart. You'll find many colorful stripe patterns like these on t-shirts, and they'll often be on sale for a great deal. (Can you picture the 2/$10 t-shirt display right now?!) But they don't help you look fashionable and are somewhat hard to combine with the rest of your wardrobe. Chic outfits rarely come from them. In fact, many make you look childish or inexperienced with fashion. In fact, two of the patterns below were taken from kid's tees. I included them because you often see them on adult tees too. Even these patterns can look adorable if styled right, but wearing them on-trend is trickier than with the classic Breton or awning stripes.
So, without completely banning them, I'd just say, avoid them. If you like stripes, you can't go wrong with the classic (and currently trending) patterns I pictured above. If you DO want to give these "wilder" patterns a shot though, look for them in a cinched tee dress or maxi dress rather than a t-shirt.
Ways to incorporate popular stripe patterns for cheap
Adding stripes to your outfit can be cheap because it should only compose one part of your outfit and a fraction of your wardrobe. One or two pieces containing stripes go a long way. If you currently don't own any of the patterns above, consider adding a striped tee or cover up like a cardigan or poncho that can be incorporated into a number of outfits. You can also pick up a pair of striped flats, wedges or sneakers as a way to add stripes to almost any outfit. You can continue to add select pieces with stripes as a maxi skirt, cropped pants or shorts.
8 Easy Mom Outfit Formulas
1. Striped tee + skinny jeans
2. Striped tee + floral skirt
3. Striped cardigan + simple tee + cuffed black or navy pants
4. Striped dress + denim jacket
5. Striped maxi skirt + chambray top
6. Striped shorts or cropped pants + button-down white tee
7. Striped canvas shoes, flats, or espadrilles + cuffed jeans + simple tee
8. Striped purse or bag + chambray top + navy pants
SHOES: Metallic or brown sandals, wedge sandals, flats, espadrilles, canvas sneakers
(Free PDF printable with outfit images is available at the end of this post!)
I put together a Pinterest board all about styling stripes to help you visualize all the ways you can incorporate on-trend stripes into your mom outfits. I tried to only pin outfits I would wear as a mom but some photos have the women in heels or blazers. I pinned those because the rest of the outfit is awesome!
Don't forget to follow the blog's Pinterest account for daily visuals and inspiration to fight the frumpy monster!
Affordable options on Amazon
And finally, here are some of the ways I have (at least attempted to) style stripes. :)
And a few more examples from my daily outfits on Instagram:
8 Outfit Formulas PDF Printable
I've put together a 2-page printable guide displaying actual outfits from my 8 outfit formulas above. If you'd like to receive access to download it click the link below. You'll also receive immediate access to the existing printables in my library!
If you're already a subscriber, you can download it here. Password is at the bottom of the last newsletter you received.