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May 20, 2011  | by: LaDawn Penigar-Mitchell

Proenza Schouler, Prada and Celine

The striking new appeal of stripes has transformed the pattern into summer’s must-have look. Stripes have always been a favorite summer staple for many but this style trend recently received a major face-lift in fashion, and has now become the hottest pattern for summer clothing. The dominant look is big, bold and bright stripes and now is the perfect time to venture beyond the classic Breton or nautical stripes for a more vibrant summer look.

MARC by Marc Jacobs

Prada paved the way for stripes during the spring runway season and featured dresses in thick bands of electric orange and pink that popped on the catwalk. They created a very graphic aesthetic by contrasting different colors with varying widths together. The stripes obsession continued and other designers, including Sonia Rykiel, Jason Wu and Jil Sander, showed similar eye-catching pieces. Stripes were incorporated with countless other fabrics and textures and paired with other prints and geometric shapes to create new, interesting designs. Designers also experimented with color; neon added a touch of eccentricity while stripes casted in an array of pastels provided safer options.  Marc Jacobs showcased bright stripes in loud, popping shades in his collection.

Stripes have now leaped from the catwalk to the streets and celebrities and trendsetters everywhere have adopted the look. Stripes are regularly in fashion but its new look has made the pattern more versatile and attractive. The key for this summer is mixing bright, bold colors that are not often worn together. Different looks can be achieved when wearing stripes so go for a more chic, classic or playful look and still make an impact. When paired with the right pieces, stripes can accentuate your figure and allow you to look modern and trendy.

Cynthia Steffe Ruffle Top

Of course, stripes must be worn carefully; the funky, innovative designs seen on the runway are not realistic for the average girl to wear on a daily basis. Play safe by always wearing just one print matched with a simple, solid separate. Never wear stripes from head to toe and reasonably assess what style of stripes will work for you depending on your size and shape. Avoid horizontal stripes in dresses for fear of widening your shape, and vertically striped skirts can make you appear taller and stylish if worn with a solid-colored top. A striped top or dress can be layered over like any other fashion piece with a cardigan or blazer. There isn’t a pressing need for many accessories when wearing stripes, so stick with a simple shoe and few accessories.  Don’t be intimidated by stripes and attempt to incorporate other trends as well, but always remember to choose the best stripe pattern that complements you.

Kate Spade Dress

Alice + Olivia Skirt

Clear some space in your closet for bold and bright stripes this summer and instantly perfect your new wardrobe. Stripes are a great way to brighten your look and provide summer chic; they also make an outfit stand out and appear quirky without the added hassle. If you want to look more edgy and modern this season, be inspired by stripes and discover your inner boldness.

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