The humble stripe will never go out of fashion and it's easy to see why. Bursting with positive association — from a deckchair on the beach to a Christmas candy cane — stripes can get you spotted in the best possible way.
As the seasons change and a nip returns to the air, we could all do with some fashion va-va-voom. Enter the timeless, versatile stripe.
One of the few patterns which looks absolutely fantastic on anyone, of any gender from 9 months to 90 years old, the stripe almost certainly already has a foothold in your closet to potentially expand upon this season.
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Although they are bold enough to get you noticed, stripes are less fussy than a floral with a crisp edginess which lends itself perfectly to darkening Autumnal days.
The cultural building blocks of the stripe are varied and scattered through time. The pattern's origins as a signifier of an undesirable have been subverted and reclaimed, but leave behind a certain charge which gives the stripe a frisson of danger.
In the middle ages, wearing stripes was an act which marked you as an outcast on the fringe of society. The uniform of sex workers, jesters, clowns and convicts, this eye-catching fabric singled out those who refused to play by societies rules.
While these negative associations have faded away, the bold pattern still signifies individuality and going against the grain.
The stars and stripes of the 1783 American revolution helped to distance stripes from their chequered past and elevate them with associations of purposeful rebellion — an association with roots in the French revolution where tricolour cockades signifying revolutionaries featured red, white and blue stripes.
It’s no wonder that stripes still have the power to allow you to stand out as an individual in the best possible way, whether it’s in the boardroom or the beach.
Two of the biggest associations with stripes have already been breadcrumbed through this article: France and the sea.
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Of course, you can’t talk about stripes without mentioning Coco Chanel and the Breton stripe. A holiday to the North coast of France festooned with striped sailors inspired Coco Chanel to create her seminal 1917 nautical-themed collection. The traditional 21 stripes of the relaxed-fit, navy and white Breton shirt were adapted and adopted by superstars such as Marilyn Monroe and Audrey Hepburn, cementing them as an iconic staple.
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Trickling down to the more ordinary person, stripes are associated with the breezy, carefree nature of the seaside town through sticks of rock, helter skelters and deckchairs. A certain sort of joie de vivre lives within the design.
These elements which streak through striped fabric make them a perfect pattern to wear in the workplace. Signifying individuality and a relaxed confidence within your ability to stand out from the crowd, stripes will get you spotted for all the right reasons.