Knits: Uncommon stripes

Two friends gave me a brief for a post: stripes, black and white stripes. Apparently huge last summer. Where was I? Staring at the sidewalk, it seems.

Just as there is a red for every woman, there's a stripe. In the right scale for your figure, it lends a reprieve from solids, and is more versatile than a print. Stripes are jaunty (a word hardly anyone ever uses anymore) and read preppy, arty or just "having a great day".

Below, five striped knits that cross the the ruled lines. Not one is black and white, but each has its own distinction. 

Vertical verve

J. Crew's wide stripe cashmere cardi has vertical stripes that lengthen the torso. I'd lean into the tart fuchsia and navy combo; price, $310.

Discreetly degradé

Unlike a friend's Jack Russell, degradé stripes are not up your chest the moment you walk through a door. Poetry UK's raglan stripe sweater only suggests bars. Made of wool, bamboo and cotton, it is also  offered in other subtle colourways. Price, £99.

 Witty mix

Pricey but perfect. So, I covet this MaxMara stiped cache-coeur of navy, grey and beige in a silk-cashnere blend. It has irresistible wearability but it's not bread and butter safe. The striped panel says "fearless" and the sleeves murmur "chic". OK, it's £246 (about $380) at but, as they say, that's the price of poker.

Luxe cashmere/lurex

As far from a bold stripe as an orchid from a dandelion: Eric Bompard's autumn white with gold, a discreet dream in 2-ply cashmere. At €260—and then eternal drycleaning (thanks to the sparkly bits)—you're making a commitment, but also a statement. Also in black with silver stripes. 

Placed, with panache

A placed stripe avoids the visual widening effect, but adds snap. Look for a knockout colour combo like Gitane blue/cream/black, as in a cashmere and wool sweater by Marina Rinaldi: a whole new life for stripes, and made for sizes 10-24. 

Post-script: Stripes on scarves

A scarf ties together an outfit without being too matchy. Watch out, these two may be borrowed by a mister!

Brora's fine-striped grey cashmere-and-silk scarf is my cup of English tea: steel blue and oxblood spark the grey. Price, £115.

Prefer brights? Eric Bompard's multicolour striped scarf, 4-ply cashmere, €154. "Who's wearing that scarf today?"

Completely different in mood; I just could not make up my mind, so showed you both.


Darla said…
The sweaters are beautiful but at those prices kind of a stripe commitment. I'd be completely happy with the Brora scarf.

LPC said…
Stripes are almost a creed in San Francisco. I confess I prefer the classics, a pinstripe, the marinière, etc.
materfamilias said…
I'm wearing stripes today, in fact, a striped dress, black and grey. . . . I love the colours and the obvious comfort of that Bompard scarf, mmmmmmmm!
SewingLibrarian said…
I love the scarves, both of them! I also like the Max Mara, but my nine-year-old son looked at it over my shoulder and said, "Oo, that's scary!" The male reaction??
The grey scarf speaks my language.. I wear a white and navy striped Breton Tee by Banana Republic and I feel energized when I wear it! Stripes can really be a clever disguise for figures.
I really like the Rinaldi sweater and the grey scarf. But lately I am not really drawn to stripes...except maybe the tiny pinstripes.
Eleanorjane said…
I like the idea of stripes, but I just haven't been wearing them of late. I think I prefer subtle stripes (I have a very similar top to the beige and gold one - mine was on special from Esprit)
Anonymous said…
Love your blog! we run a british luxury online store. We love oru fine cashmere knits, high quality tailored dresses and clothing...we would love to see how you'd review/style them :) hopefully you'll find something you like! And also we'll be able to offer special offers to your readers!

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