Sunday, July 10, 2016

Stripe Up the Band This Summer

It’s time to Stripe Up the Band and add some sassy stripes to your summer wardrobe. 

A Cornhusker Marching Band Color Guard - Photo by Rose Johnson

There’s something so summery fun about stripes, and I’ve got some great picks I think you’ll like. 

Three Things to keep in mind when choosing your stripes.  

Don’t be afraid of wide stripes.  Wider stripes set farther apart are actually more slimming than small pinstripes or railroad stripes.

Don’t be afraid of horizontal stripes.  It’s all in the width of the stripe and how it’s worn that makes the difference. 

Don’t be afraid to mix stripes with stripes and prints.  If you stay in the same color palette, small stripes and large stripes/prints and vice versa not only work beautifully together, but can take your outfit to the next level. 


This red and white striped, two-piece dress from ASOS is called the Picnic Dress and, frankly, I can’t think of a more perfect dress to wear to a picnic in the park, can you?  It’s 98% cotton, machine washable and the angled stripes of the top and vertical stripes of the skirt are oh-so-slimming.  Don’t we all love that?

You can really catch the ocean breezes in Lulu’s sea blue and ivory striped, mid-length dress.  There’s a flirty little ruffle at the top, and the elasticized neckline on this cotton cutie can be pulled down to reveal sexy shoulders – perfect for evening cocktails in the captain’s quarters.  BTW, ladies, this dress was featured on a segment of Good Morning America. 

I love the colors of the diagonal stripes on this Zara maxi dress.  Diagonal stripes are even more flattering than vertical stripes, as they cut the body on an angle creating a slimmer silhouette than a straight up-and-down stripe.  Given its halter neck and low-cut back, this is a dress that should be worn without a bra, if you can get away with it.  If you can, go for it….unless you don’t care for viscose/polyester blends. 


This cute little dirndl skirt from ASOS (called the Prom Skirt) in black and white is a great classic piece to add to your summer wardrobe.  The wide stripes on this mid-length, cotton skirt are horizontal, but the stripes on the waistband are vertical, which makes your waist look even smaller by comparison – very clever!!  This skirt works best with a cropped or tucked-in top.  So, if you’ve still got a waist, don’t waste it --- show it off. 

Here we have a sexy little faux wrap skirt from Express.  The black and white stripes are on that super-slimming diagonal, along with the asymmetrical hem, which adds another diagonal element to the mix.  All in all, a very flattering skirt on just about any woman.  If you don’t like synthetic blends, however, this may not be the skirt for you. 


I’m crazy about this sleeveless, striped peplum top from She & Sky (available at Shoptiques).  I love the different angles of the stripes, the asymmetrical hem and the loose, easy fit.  It’s the perfect summer top to throw over anything. 

Just make sure to keep in mind my Golden Rule on pairing separates – Loose Top/Fitted Bottom; Fitted Top/Loose Bottom.  If you go tight top to bottom, unless you have a perfect body or charge by the hour, you’re probably NOT showing yourself to advantage.  If you go loose top to bottom, you’re not showing ANYTHING to advantage. 

This striped Portofino shirt from Express is about as classic as it gets.  With its point collar, notched neckline and long sleeves with roll tabs, this shirt will take you from Monday at the office tucked into your pencil skirt to Saturday at the flea market untucked over your favorite chinos.  The horizontal stripes on the breast pockets are a great touch; however, they will accentuate a large bosom, so……..I’m just sayin’…..  Also, if you don’t like poly, than this pretty poly is not for you. 

Remember my telling you NOT to be afraid to mix stripes with stripes?  Well, here’s my fearless and fun take on how to do it. 

For Details on This Outfit, Click HERE

So, how easy was that?  Now it’s your turn to go out and Stripe Up the Band.  


  1. Dearest Marie Thérèse,
    First off, thank you so very much for your message! Needed it today after coming home from my doctor's appointment. Staring at the paperwork where my CKD stage 2 reads now CKD stage 3... Not happy with this fact that both my kidneys function only for 46-48%. Mais c'est la vie!
    Oh, talking about a very low cut back, I am still mighty proud for having all the different bras in my lingerie drawer! Yes, I could pull it off but not with that dress as it has nothing in the neck for hiding the bra part. And I certainly would not love to feel polyester lining next to my bare skin.
    Don't you just love cropped tops? Never bulky and always perfect. But they're so hard to come by. With that I mean, it should not be belly button revealing at our age!
    That dress seems to be two separate pieces as the top is buttoned in the back and double and the skirt zippered in the back... Why call it dress?
    From all the above I would go for the Express outfit, at least the look of it. The shirt being tucked inside the jeans looks awesome from the back too. BUT, not in poly for me...
    Lucky me for still having some summer dresses in cotton and skirts and tops... But we always can dream and fantasize can't we girls?!
    Sending you a big hug and keep well.

    1. Dearest Mariette,

      So sorry to hear that your news from the doctor was less than happy, but, knowing what a fighter you are, I have no doubt this will be only a minor setback for you.

      I had to laugh at the thought of revealing our "belly buttons" at our age!! Not in the cards, ma chère. I'm not a fan of poly either, but I do like a little synthetic mixed in w/the natural.

      As always, look forward to your insightful comments.

      Gros bisous,


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