How to Wear: Striped Tops

My How to Wear series has really become one of my favourites. I have been having so much fun selecting a new item each month and then finding out more about how to wear it. In researching each item I really have been learning so much about style and styling outfits myself and I hope you are finding the info useful too!

Today I’m sharing a bit more about How to Wear Striped Tops or T-shirts. This is a classic item that every woman needs to have in her wardrobe. Not only is it the perfect update to the classic casual white T but it’s equally at home being paired with a more elegant ensemble!

The Breton striped top was inspired by the French sailors’ uniform – a three-quarter-sleeve top with blue and white horizontal stripes and a boat neckline. It was popularized by Coco Chanel and become beloved by Audrey Hepburn and Brigitte Bardot making it a very versatile item perfect for adding a touch of French flair to wardrobes worldwide!

stripes audrey hepburn

stripes audrey

stripes bridget bardot

The bonus is that nowadays striped tops come in all manner of styles and shades – long or short sleeved, loose or tight fitting, navy, red, white, black etc etc. These are just a few of the options I came across on a recent whizz through Edgars in the Waterfront…


Since I’ve discovered how versatile a striped T can be I’ve been steadily expanding my collection and my wardrobe now includes a few varieties of this style staple – a very fine black stripe on white, slightly thicker black stripe on white, thin black and white stripes, navy and white, light green on cream.

My most recent purchase is this lovely white on blue version from Tom Tailor at Edgars

147 (533x800)

But how do you know what to wear it with? Here are a few ideas of what to pair your striped tee’s with…..

Ways to Wear Striped Tops

Dark wash classic denim jeans with a pair of Converse sneakers

Skinny jeans and flat black pumps

Boyfriend jeans and a pair of bright coloured heels

Short leather or denim skirt and wedges

Cropped coloured pants or skirt with ballet flats or brogues

White linen trousers and a pair of white plimsolls or espadrilles

Denim cut-off shorts and flipflops or biker boots

Tailored khaki pants or shorts

An all black ensemble – very Parisienne

An all white outfit – very French Riviera

To get a few more ideas on how to style my favourite striped tops I once again turned to Pinterest to get some ideas from some stylish celebs….

stripes alexa chung

stripes alexa

stripes ashley madekwe

stripes ashley

stripes claudia

stripes diane

stripes eva

stripes jennifer lawrence

stripes jessica alba 1

stripes jessica alba 2

stripes jessica alba

stripes jessica

stripes julie

stripes kate middleton

stripes kate moss

stripes liv tyler

stripes marykate

stripes miranda kerr

stripes miranda

stripes olivia 1

stripes olivia palermo

stripes olivia

stripes reece

stripes rosie

stripes sandra

stripes taylor swift

stripes taylor

So which of these looks is your favourite? I hope you’re feeling inspired to add some stripes to your life now. Before you rush off to buy a new Breton striped T you might like to read through a few final thoughts on wearing stripes….

Things to remember when wearing stripes

Try on several styles to find the look that’s right for you.

Master the effortlessly tuck – a half tuck or a front tuck.

Different colour combinations keep the look current.

Wear the more classic colour combinations with something bold or pastel below the waist.

Choose a striped t-shirt instead whenever you feel drawn to wearing a plain white T. Stripes are the new neutrals!

For a chic look wear your stripes with a blazer – black, coloured or printed – they will all work as the different colours or prints will create an interesting contrast in your look.

The danger with wearing horizontal stripes is that they can give the illusion of adding a few kg’s to your shape, so steer clear of horizontal-striped tops in stretchy fabrics as these may draw attention to your middle!

Images: Kathryn Rossiter & Pinterest

Disclosure: 1

Kathryn Rossiter

Kathryn is a South African lifestyle blogger and mom of 2 who has been blogging daily for over 9 years! She writes about travel, health, beauty, fashion, decor and family... but not food (unless it's food she's eaten made by someone else) as she is a hopeless cook. She only wakes up early for 2 things... a red-eye flight to somewhere exotic and early morning game drives. She has just finished an extensive home renovation and would prefer to never see another box again. She's never met a chocolate or glass of bubbles that she didn't like!

  1. Love this post! We’re on the same wavelength this week – I also wrote about Breton shirts 🙂 I’m a huge fan of stripes – I think just about every third garment I own is striped. Lovely post, and you look GREAT xx

  2. Haha that is so ironic! Stripes are clearly having their moment in the spotlight and I for one am very pleased about that!! Thanks for the comment x

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.